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Posted Wed 12 September 2018

I popped out for some shampoo and handcream the other day and noticed an advert for facial injectables instore. Convenient and cheap - what’s not to like?

Where to begin? First up, an invasive procedure, that’s one that breaks the skin, is a world apart from, say, threading or a pedicure. There is always a risk of infection when injecting. If you don’t like your eyebrows or nails, they will grow back but once a substance has been injected, it’s hard or impossible to get out.

Sterile conditions and medical qualifications are not just niceties, they are essential for patient safety. Incorrectly positioned injections can lead to facial paralysis and the risks and complications from both botulinum toxin and dermal fillers are varied and many. When administered by a Consultant Plastic Surgeon under sterile conditions these become very rare, but in the hands of an inexperienced practitioner in a non clinical setting, far more likely.

A Consultant Plastic Surgeon is familiar with what lies below the skin, the structures underlying the face. When they inject they know exactly where the needle is going and will pay vital attention to the muscles and nerves. Their thousands of hours of training and time in theatre mean they have met or are aware of the rare complications that can occur. In the event of a complication, you want someone who’s met it before and knows exactly how to deal with it. No need to consult, look it up or ask a colleague, they’re on it straight away, putting it right and calmly setting you on the road to recovery.

Injectables are only as safe as their manufacture and storage. Is the product sourced from a quality assured sterile pharmaceutical grade facility? Has it been temperature controlled and reconstituted correctly? You want to be sure what exactly is being injected and that traceability is maintained in case a batch is recalled.

So don’t scrimp on your face. Cheap injectables are very high risk and while you may have a friend who swears by them, and seen adverts with smiling models walking off into the sunset, don’t be fooled. Choose a Consultant Plastic Surgeon whose years of training and in depth experience make any treatment as safe as possible.

Catherine Cowen writing as Patience Wellbeing, Plastic Surgery Blogger