FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- From creams to Botox to fillers -- a simple Internet search will turn up a number of websites that promise to save you money on cosmetic treatments. But ordering online beauty can have some ugly results.
"Quite simply, you don't know what you're getting," said Dr. Kevin Ciresi of Athenix in Fresno.
Ciresi is a board-certified plastic surgeon who brings his years of expertise to his clients, and he's used that experience with corrective surgery for some patients who've had botched beauty treatments.
"I did have a lady that had some substance injected into her lip, she wasn't really sure what she had injected, and it developed a really deep-seeded infection. It was a permanent product. The only way to get rid of it is to cut it out," said Ciresi.
That's the nightmare that happened to s patient of a dermatologist in San Francisco. She ordered a facial filler online, but it actually contained fiberglass. The material had to be cut out, leaving her with permanent scarring.
And Apryl Brown made national headlines after she had a friend inject her with what she thought was silicone. But she got a staph infection from the injections and had to have her hands and feet amputated.
Ciresi says FDA-approved wrinkle treatments and fillers can be sold only by licensed physicians, and he encourages clients to do their homework.
"Oftentimes they spend more research buying a car, getting a new washing machine, buying a dishwasher than they would researching what they could potentially inject into the body," said Ciresi.
There are websites that sell authentic Botox or Juvederm, but injecting it is another concern. Without at least a medical professional on hand, how will you know sterile practices are being used? Even with the genuine product, a mishandled injection in an unsanitary environment can lead to serious complications.
"If you do your research and the physician has a good background and referrals that you can talk to or know, I think that's a good place to start," said Ciresi.
Some potentially life-saving precautions so you're not left scarred by a beauty bargain.
In the United States, there are 21 FDA-approved dermal fillers and none are approved for self-injection. You can find reputable providers at the websites for the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Plastic Surgery.
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
American Academy of Dermatology
American Society of Plastic Surgery
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