Lip injections are a major trend and it doesn’t look like they’re going away any time soon. The desire for a plumper pout is a rampant one—I’ve even had my thin lips injected for a fuller look (more on that here). But when it comes to what you get injected into your lips and the doctor you pick to perform it, that’s of critical importance to the results you’ll achieve. So when I saw this painful-looking image on Instagram, I knew one of those factors (or both) weren’t right. Turns out, this woman had biopolymer (liquid silicone) injected into her lips instead of hyaluronic acid fillers, which led to serious complications.
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The Instagram post, originally posted by @dr.alexv (captioned in Russian), was reposted by @Dr_Miray, who wrote this about the picture: “This post is for all of you looking for a cheap, quick fix and do not research your injector nor the substance that you are getting injected in your body. Do not trust anyone blindly just because they have a medical title. And always make sure to know what kind of substance that is injected in your body and make sure the package is opened in front of you (NOT saved in the fridge for later touch ups!). I wanted to share this biopolymer excision by @dr.alexv…Biopolymers is a gel-like implant (‘liquid silicone’) that nonprofessionals inject in the buttocks, hips, breasts, lips—you name it. It may lead to severe pain, compromised health, tissue death, and even death of the patient. As far as I know, there are not many doctors performing this procedure with good results. For lips, I only recommend nonpermanent fillers that are dissolvable.”
New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD, says silicone injections are not FDA-approved in the U.S. for lip injections, but they are still used by some doctors or professionals calling themselves doctors, but they’re not board-certified or properly trained. “These injections have caused a lot of complications, including death. Injecting something permanent into the lips can be disastrous because if there are complications, the only way to remove the compound is my surgically excising it, as you see in the Instagram post. Please do your homework. Find a reputable, board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to do your injectables, and avoid Groupons—after all, it is your face, your health and your life.”
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According to Palo Alto, CA, facial plastic surgeon David Lieberman, MD, liquid silicone is a substance that gets a lot of media attention. “Medical-grade liquid silicone is FDA-approved for certain uses—for example, in certain retina reattachment procedures—and SI-1000 (a liquid silicone product) has been used off-label to augment the lips for many years. However, the potential complications make it a very risky way to enhance the lips. There are so many other safe ways to create beautiful lips such as hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvéderm or Restylane. Even the use of approved lip implants is preferable to liquid silicone.”