Botox Dangers

Reporter: Helen Wellings

Women, and men, who want a cheap fix for wrinkles and jowls, are buying dermal fillers and Botox on-line -- even applying them at home -- with disastrous results.

The internet abounds with black market injectable dermal fillers claiming to plump lips and chin, fill in wrinkles and improve the look of scars. But these products are prescription only - not even approved for sale in Australia -- and can be highly dangerous drugs.

We've warned before about the dangers of these parties, mixing Botox and bubbly. TV comedies satirise the pressures of staying youthful, but 36 year old Sandra Jones had movie star looks until she bought the potentially lethal dermal filler on the internet. "I'd lost faith in the beauty industry after spending almost $3,000 on two laser resurfacings on my face with no result. I decided to do it a cheaper way and I saw that it said it's from Europe not China", Sandra said.

Sandra mistook dodgy Juveni, for another well-known product called Juvaderm which reputable cosmeticians use.

"These procedures can be risky and that's why they need to be done by an experienced injector. You can be hitting the veins, what you can do is cause pressure necrosis which can lead into scarring, blindness and you can block a tear duct", said cosmetic nurse, Matty Samaei.

Matty says Sandra asked her to inject the Juveni she bought on-line but Matty refused outright, warning her not to use it. "We've only got 3 or 4 of them that were approved to be injected in Australia. This product does have ingredients in it that you can have an allergy reaction to; you can die from this, you can have an anaphylactic reaction to it", Matty said.

Sandra went ahead and injected herself. "I had severe bruising and I couldn't leave my house for two weeks -- it was that bad -- and very, very sore", she said.

There are now possibly permanent results. "I have big bags under my eyes -- they swell up -- and I have a big lump, like a bone. A dimpling effect that was never there, like cellulite and they are lumps, like a have a big lump of scarring", Sandra said.

"The product has got what we refer to as PMMA in it. It's an ingredient that a lot of permanent fillers contain. It is also like a liquid plastic", Matty said.

"You can actually see the injection spots where they are lumpy", Sandra said.

"We can't melt it away. Normally they need to cut that product out of the skin. When they cut it out, how much scarring they leave behind we don't know", Matty said.

It's all made worse by Sandra's hyperpigmentation, the after-effects of a 7-year repeat course of antibiotics for teenage acne, recommended by a GP who didn't tell Sandra her skin would end up so badly.

The real sting is a professional treatment would have cost Sandra around $340, compared with $315 she paid for the black market Juveni, plus she's up for the unknown costs of plastic surgery to try and repair the damage -- a very expensive mistake. "I could have lost my eyes my sight or twitching or I could have been paralysed on one side of my face. It is certainly not something you should do yourself ever", Sandry said.


Cosmetic nurse and beauty expert: Matty Samaei, owner of the Medispa by Matty, Shop 7/81 Military Road, Neutral bay, 2089

Tel: 02 9909 2635