EL DORADO (CBS13) — Online videos are showing you how to inject yourselves with fillers, to smooth out your face. An El Dorado Hills mom says it’s cheap. But is it safe?
Kimberly Pratt has 425,000 page views on what she calls, her “rebellious skincare” channel. “My goal has always been just to share my experiences with things,” she said.
Her “how-to” videos are broadcast to the world through YouTube. Pratt, a mom of four boys, says you can save thousands of dollars by doing these procedures at home.
CBS13 asked her if she thought what she was doing is dangerous. “I think what I’m doing, there’s risks right? Like with anything,” she said.
Pratt is one of the hundreds of “Do It Yourself” injectors on social media. She tells us how she buys the chemicals and the accessories online.
“It’s just amazing what you can find online,” she said.
The products, she says, are all available at the touch of a button, and the fillers come from china or the U.K. She says the products will show up on your doorstep within days.
“Some of those things are available on Amazon or on eBay, and some of them come from outside of the United States from different vendors,” she said.
The products she buys online are not yet FDA approved.
“Just because some things are not FDA approved, doesn’t mean they’re bad and harmful,” she said.
But doctors disagree.
“The FDA guarantees its potency, its purity,” said Folsom plastic surgeon, Dr. Terry Zimmerman. He says these products can be anything, even vegetable oil disguised as a legitimate filler.
“When you’re getting something through the mail from another country, you have no idea what you’re really getting,” he said.
Dr. Christine Lee is a cosmetic surgeon with the Skin and Laser Treatment Institute.
“Sometimes they have horrific complications,” said Dr. Lee.
She shared photos with us, of three women who came to her after they bought injections online and used them at home.
One woman self-injected with a filler from China, which turned out to be fake. The photo shows the infection she got afterward. Dr. Lee said she still has the swelling and lumps.
Another woman bought what turned out to be a synthetic permanent filler, like vegetable oil or silicone. After she injected, the lump never went away.
And this woman bought a product she thought was Botox, she injected into a muscle which causes the eyelid to droop, she couldn’t open her eyelid for almost a year.
Dr. Lee says she’s seen worse.
“Your skin can die and start falling off you can get horribly disfigured from that,” she said.
Pratt says she knows the risks.
“Whenever you do something, when you’re opening up your skin you are opening yourself up to potential infection,” she said.
And says she has no plans to stop. “I think we can all stick our heads in the sand and say, ‘No, you’re not supposed to do it at home. These products shouldn’t be coming into the United States,’ but the truth is that they are,” Pratt said.
Doctors tell us the manufacturing companies are at fault for selling these products to people without a medical license.
Pratt also shared her story with The Doctors on CW31. Watch the full segment below: