DIY Filler Pens – Don’t Try This at Home!
A facial filler procedure is performed to add extra volume to the lips and the area under the eyes. When it is performed by a licensed professional it can be both expensive and time consuming. To avoid visiting a licensed professional, some people are taking matters into their own hands and doing their own fillers. This trend is being seen a lot lately among users of YouTube or TikTok. To perform procedures at home, they are using hyaluronic pens which are self-injecting pens designed to deliver fillers into your skin at home. They’re also using heavily pressurized air that will force fillers into your skin instead of injecting them with a needle. There are many options for the self-injecting pen available on the market. There have been people on YouTube with videos testing all of the hyaluronic pens on the market to find which one is “best” and the pens are also popping up on TikTok. To the surprise of no one, doctors are not impressed with these pens.
DIY Filler Pens and the FDA
The pens and fillers are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Not long after they are offered for sale on Amazon or Etsy, they are often pulled off of the sites. There isn’t much knowledge regarding what is allegedly inside these products so the lack of transparency has become a big issue. According to New York City dermatologist Doris Day, M.D. “You don’t know exactly what’s in these pens.” Hyaluronic acid is “not meant to be put into the skin,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City board-certified dermatologist. Some experts feel that it is implied that hyaluronic acid is included in the product. Dr. Zeichner added that injecting the pens can cause swelling, hives, permanent scarring and even blindness.
“NEVER buy dermal fillers on the Internet,” a report by the FDA reads. “They may be fake, contaminated, or harmful.” The report adds another important disclaimer: “NEVER get injectable fillers from unlicensed providers or in non-medical settings like hotels or private homes.” Dermatologists have a huge list of issues with these pens and safety is the biggest concern. Dr. Zeichner says that “injectable fillers are absolutely not safe to do yourself at home,” One of the biggest risks is the risk of vascular occlusion which causes a blockage of a blood vessel. The doctor added this condition will “prevent delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin and can lead to permanent scarring, or even issues such as blindness.”
The American Med Spa Association Speaks Address DIY Filler Pens
With DIY fillers, there is hardly any way to know what is inside the stuff you are putting in your body. That is why the American Med Spa Association (AMSA) also warns against their use. “While the injection technology is novel, the treatment is fundamentally the same as traditional filler injections. Although there is no needle being used, the skin is still being ‘pierced’ by the jet of hyaluronic acid.”
Additional DIY Filler Pens Safety Issues
Aside from these concerns, DIY fillers can also alter the appearance of your face. “It takes years of study of anatomy, proportions, and injection technique in order to deliver the right amount of product to the right plane of the skin,” Dr. Day says. The fillers that doctors use have different properties. “Some are stiffer, others are softer, and some are more flexible. We do it in different amounts to carefully work around anatomy to create the desired effect.”
Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City adds, “The appropriate angle of injections is difficult to perform.”
According to Dr. Day, a doctor or trained aesthetician will know what works and what doesn’t work. If you’re looking to get fillers, Dr. Zeichner suggests seeing “someone properly trained, such as a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.” It is also suggested to take it easy the first time. “I always tell my first-time patients, ‘let’s do less than you may need initially, get comfortable.’” Dr. Goldenberg says.
It is best to skip this trend as it can be detrimental to your overall health. As Dr. Zeichner bluntly states, “Creating a DIY filler is probably one of the worst ideas I have ever heard.” The complications that come with using fillers without a doctor consultation or participation is very risky and can have complications that are either an arduous task to deal with or can’t be reversed.
There are temporary options available to try at home such as a plumping lip gloss. The plumping lip gloss causes blood to rush to the surface of the skin which makes the lips temporarily swell. These products are considered to be safe and give you a better idea of whether or not fillers are something you really want once your see the swelling and added volume to the lips.