Having just returned from the FACE conference I wanted to share a growing concern in our industry – the sale and use of fake toxins and fillers and the untrained and non-medical injectors using them.

The problem isn’t new but the results we are seeing from botched procedures and fake products are growing in number.

Why anyone would want a cosmetic procedure done on the cheap is baffling, considering all the horrible things that could go wrong. There is the possibility of complications with a genuine trained and experienced medical injector, so imagine how much higher the risk is if you happen to pick a cowboy or a fake product.

Medical clinics are seeing more and more people with botched toxin injection results and consulting with them on correction – faux-tox as many of us call them.

It’s important to know how to safeguard yourself and the number one rule is to avoid having a filler or a toxin injection at home, or in a non-clinical setting, from someone who is just visiting for the day or not medically trained. Ignore this advice and you are putting price before your health and safety.

Safety checklist:

  • Check the credentials of the clinic and injector and know the product being used as there are many.
  • Check the injector will be available to see you tomorrow if you have a complication or side effect.
  • Check they know how to advise and help if there is a problem.
  • Check they are fully insured.
  • Check the person injecting you is a prescriber. Toxin injections are a prescription only medicine (POM) – the prescription can only be written after a consultation between prescriber and patient – not through any third party. Would you get any take any other POM that wasn’t prescribed for you personally and from somewhere other than a pharmacy or hospital?

Beware of fake products

Spotting a fake product is difficult, like all counterfeit products copies are getting better all the time. Our best advice is to double check your clinic’s credentials:

  • Check your clinic is CQC registered
  • Check your injector is trained to the standards of, and registered with, a Cosmetic Medical Association (BCAM, BACN, BAAPs). It is by no mean a guarantee that the product isn’t fake but it’s less likely, as the punishment from the regulatory bodies are severe.
  • Always ask to see the product both in and out of its box. Filler is a single use vial and should be exclusively yours. Toxin comes in varying size bottles and may have some ‘withdrawn’ through a sealed cap by a sterile syringe but still ask to see the bottle. This way you’ll get used to seeing the product and should know what to expect.

Over half of toxin and filler patients asked in a recent survey by Transform didn’t know there are several brands of wrinkle smoothing toxin treatments, or had any idea which one they had been injected with.

Never be embarrassed to ask – an informed patient is a delight, as it reassures the medical professional that you care about your treatment and understand that it’s a serious procedure. Making price your main consideration is, for someone, a disaster waiting to happen – don’t let it be you.