(English) If Looks Could Kill – Is Botox Safe?
A couple of months have elapsed since the fatal incident of a lady succumbing to a reaction from an injection in an aesthetic clinic in Singapore, but the residual reservations about the safety of aesthetic procedures will undoubtedly remain for some. While great strides have been made in aesthetic technology over the past decade, there are strict regulations in place that will help to regulate what is safe for medical practice, and what is not.
Unfortunately, a lucrative industry like beauty will always have its fair share of unscrupulous individuals that will flout these very regulations, just to draw pull in eager bargain hunters looking for cheaper beauty fixes. Some of these “cheaper” beauty fixes are cheaper for a very dangerous reason – you might end up paying for it with your life. Let’s take a look at how to single these establishments out, and avoid them at all costs.
#1 The claims are too good to be true
Fair skin has always been a beauty goal, and some centres being well aware of that have made outrageous claims of whitening session that “guarantee” instant results after one session, at absurdly economical prices. Major red flag here. Here’s the hard truth: the promise of results of this nature may only be feasible via unapproved products and procedures and worse, done intravenously (administering said products directly into the bloodstream)! Eating something bad will get you a serious bout of food poisoning. Now imagine injecting the contaminant into your veins and into your blood. The body’s reaction will be a significantly worse! Probably even fatal, as seen in some highly-documented cases.
#2 The prices are too good to be true
Products not sanctioned by the FDA come with the perks of being cheaper than those that have to go through meticulous testing and years of clinical trials. In this essence, you do get what you pay for. Apart from the standard issues with sterility, you will have to contend with contamination issues and allergic reactions from unnamed ingredients as well. In the end, you will always pay the price, and sometimes it is with your life. Uber cheap vitamin jabs, or ‘Two-for-one whitening jabs’ should get alarm bells going off your head. Even Botox injections or fillers at ridiculously cheap prices should be considered suspicious.
“When it comes to putting something into your face or skin, your standards for safety should be much higher,” explains Dr Chua Han Boon, from SW1 Clinic. “You really don’t know what’s being injected into your skin”.
#3 They are performed by unlicensed operators
Injections, whether into the face or the veins need to be administered by a qualified aesthetician, and in licensed premises. If you are getting your botox in an establishment that looks more like a neighbour hair salon, you could be courting trouble. Having said that, you should not always adopt the assumption that just because you visit a “clinic”, you are getting certified treatments. MOH Singapore has imposed bans on Vitamin C, Glutathione and other whitening injections for many years. It is in fact so severe, that even the Ministry of Health Malaysia has stepped in to highlight this dubious issue.
In spite of the steps taken to ensure patient safety, there are some clinics who continue to violate the rules of engagement. If this is a treatment that is not available at a reputable medical practice, you may be undergoing an unlicensed and potentially dangerous procedure.
#4 Vitamin Injections? Vitamin Drips?
“Vitamins should be taken orally if you want it to enhance your skin health. If you are keen to make a greater impact on your skin, consider topical application of vitamin serums,” advises Dr Kenneth Lee, medical director of SW1 Clinic.
There is no proven benefit to undergoing vitamin drips or whitening drips. On the flip side, if you are getting these from an practitioner who is not particular about sterility or the kind of ingredients utilized, you could be in danger. “That is why we opt for a combination of FDA-approved lasers and topicals to treat the various issues our patients face. There are carefully crafted guidelines that advocate the right method of usage or aftercare procedures. There is no such thing as a short cut when it comes to fixing your skin. ” continues Dr Lee.
While many online advertisements and flyers might convince you otherwise and attempt to sway you with a miracle beauty jab that will turn you from beast to beauty in a day, our advice is to run – your life may depend on it.