Anything that normally boasts a hefty price tag can be found on the black market—an under-the-radar source (a provider or website) that makes bargain hunting for fillers, implants and aesthetic treatments and procedures accessible and discounted. The problem with opting for a black market cosmetic treatment is that oftentimes you’re not getting the real thing, but rather a knockoff or something defective. “Plastic surgery and aesthetic procedures can be expensive, which is why patients look for cheaper alternatives that are not worth the discounted price,” says Chicago plastic surgeon Julius Few, MD. Black market beauty procedures and treatments are almost always done illegally, either by a nonboard certified, nonlicensed practitioner, or a nurse or aesthetician who works or has worked for a doctor.
The problems that can occur:
- Blood clots, blindness and scarring
- Difficulty swallowing and breathing
- Migration of the substance to the lungs, causing death
- Hard-to-remove nodules and lumps can form
- Infections, abscesses and sores
- Long-lasting skin inflammation
- Permanent disfiguration and tissue death
5 clues you’re not getting the real thing:
The procedure or treatment is performed at someone’s house, a hotel room, after hours in a doctor’s office, or anywhere else that isn’t a medical facility.
The implants, injectables and/or fillers are knowingly bought online (by yourself or the provider), which signals that they are not legit. (These products are deemed authentic only when they are sold directly to a physician by a manufacturer.)
The product being injected isn’t shown to you in a sealed box or put into a syringe in front of you. (In addition, the failure to sign consent forms, ensuring you know what to expect, is another red flag.)
“If you see impossibly cheap fillers being offered by someone who is not a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, buyer beware,” says Vero Beach, FL, plastic surgeon Alan Durkin, MD.
- The procedure being offered is something that board-certified plastic surgeons won’t do, like butt injections with silicone (they are too risky because the filling agent can produce long-term problems).
Choosing Board-Certified: Why It Matters and How to Tell
Plastic Surgery Red Flags: 5 Signs It’s Time To Walk Away
What You Should Know About Anesthesia
Are You Addicted to Plastic Surgery?
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