Whenever you have a lucrative business, there will always be less than honest people looking for ways to cash in.
Injectable fillers are up 18% for 2013 over 2012, according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and Botox has increased 703% from the year 2000, with over 6 million injections for 2013. The figures do not include illegal injections from non-professionals using illegal products.
Dr. Miguel Delgado says his San Francisco and Marin County offices and hundreds of other doctors offices receive multiple offers daily via FAX and emails for offers of unbranded cheaper injectables. These products are illegal and dangerous and can ultimately land a doctor who uses them in prison.
The FDA has been warning consumers and doctors of illegal marketing practices for Botox and dermal fillers for years. However, the practice continues and has been increasing dramatically. Now patients can buy fillers and Botox online and many even come with injection kits.
Plastic surgeons and dermatologists in the San Francisco Bay Area are noting a large increase of patients seeking help for disastrous results with disfigurement and in some cases even blindness.
Unfortunately, patients are trying to save money by making purchases of fillers online, most are unaware that it is illegal. In the United States, only licensed medical practitioners can purchase FDA approved fillers. There are not any self-injection dermal fillers approved by the FDA. Letting price dictate the quality of service may result in getting an unqualified practitioner. In an effort to save a few hundred dollars, these patients are spending thousands of dollars in reconstruction procedures.
Statistics for botched filler cases have been difficult to document. Doctors are requested, but not required to report these cases to various agencies, such as; the State Medical Board of their respective state, and the FDA. Many doctors do not make reports because they do not know what the injected material is.
Manufacturers of legitimate fillers do not sell their products online. There is no guarantee that you are getting what is advertised. A reputable doctor or licensed injector is not going to inject a patient with the patient’s own product and be responsible for the outcome. Online products might not be sterile, leading to infections that are difficult to treat. They may even be a toxic blend of unidentifiable substances. One testing showed injected material to be similar to particles of Plexiglas. The result may be disfigurement, scarring and even long term illnesses.
For illegal products you can look for:
• Misspelled names, or unknown catchy marketing names.
• The serial numbers and lot numbers may be missing
• Trademarks may be missing
• Foreign language on the packaging
The FDA encourages anyone who suspects that non-approved, offshore or counterfeit injectables are being used to notify them.
Reputable physicians and injectors will not be offended if you ask to see the packaging and label of the product to be used for you. The FDA has a list of all approved fillers on their website. Click here for the list.
The injectables that Dr. Delgado uses are all on the approved list; Juvederm, Belotero Balance, Radiesse, Sculptra, Artefill and of course Botox
Due to the massive number of consumers that have been injured by illegal products, a coalition has been formed called Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety (PCIS). Miguel Delgado, M.D. says, their purpose is to provide to the public unbiased, accurate information, to help patients make safe choices for their cosmetic injectables.
PCIS is made up of over 5,000 Board Certified physicians, including the prestigious societies: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and many more. The website offers detailed guidelines for consumers to follow in selecting their physician.
Dr. Delgado has been an expert injector since 1988 and states that successful results for dermal fillers and Botox depend on; the health of the skin, the type of filler and the skill of the injector. Call or email today for a consultation for your dermal filler needs.