Protect Yourself: Liquid Facelifts are in High Demand, Leading to Increase in Illegal Fillers
Liquid facelifts rank as the top non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the nation. Unfortunately, the demand for Botox and fillers has triggered a rise in illegal injectables. Right now, it’s important for patients receiving these treatments to be aware of these possible dangers. Read on to find out what the situation is and how to protect yourself from potentially harmful products:
The FDA has issued an ongoing alert for unlicensed Botox that is shipped in from other countries. Captain Domenic Veneziano, the FDA’s Director of Import Operations said. “We don’t want potentially dangerous products to get in the hands and be used by the American people.” Even though the FDA is working to correct the issue, doctors on both sides of the bay have been inundated with offers for cheap offshore-unlicensed Botox and fillers not approved for sale in the United States.
It has been discovered offshore sellers from Europe and Japan are selling boxes of Juvederm Ultra 2 for half the price of what the American Society of Plastic Surgery estimates the correct price is. But there’s a catch. According to the FDA, Ultra 2 cannot be legally sold or used in the USA.
If you go to a doctor that wants to use this product on you, there are clues to let you know it is not legitimate. First, the word cosmetic is missing from this box. Legitimate Botox containers always contain the word ‘cosmetic,’ according to Allergan, the manufacturer. Allergan states, “Only Allergan’s product is called Botox Cosmetic. Boxes and vials missing the ‘cosmetic’ label may be real Botox, but its not approved for cosmetic use in the United States.” Currently, the FDA says, “Only Allergan’s Juvederm Ultra and Ultra Plus XC with lidocaine are approved for use in the United States.”
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, risks associated with unlicensed filler range from dangerous reactions to outdated or ineffective products. In Florida, a study of the Department of Health found 900 cases which involved disciplining medical professionals in the last five years. There were only three cases involving offshore bought or illegal filler. These numbers are proof not enough is being done to punish those who buy and inject unwitting patients with illegal filler.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself. The FDA’s website contains a list of approved fillers. Botox manufacturer Allergan posts pictures and a list of legitimate providers on its site. Allergan, the makers of Botox Cosmetic and Juvederm, lists those physicians that buy directly from them in their physician locator sites that can be found on www.BOTOXCosmetic.com . Here is a link to the FDA’s approved list of wrinkle fillers:
The key to protecting yourself is to see a licensed, experienced and board-certified doctor. Contact Shapiro Plastic Surgery and Skin Klinic to learn more about what injectables are available and approved.