Warning issued over facelift jab

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has warned there are risks associated with using anti-wrinkle injections and that consumers need to know there are counterfeit products circulating.

Dermal fillers, as the wrinkle-erasing products are known, should only be obtained with a prescription, the medical goods watchdog said.

The fillers are injected under the skin to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles or lines, and can also be used to enhance facial contours by adding volume to cheeks and lips, and to improve the appearance of scars.

But a runaway increase in their use, especially by young women, prompted the TGA to remind consumers that there are risks, including if the procedure is carried out by doctors who don’t have adequate qualifications or experience.

A recent report on www.9news.com.au claimed that Australians spend about $1 billion on both surgical and non-invasive cosmetic procedures.

Per capita, Australians spend more on these procedures than Americans, the report claimed.

“Botox sets you back anywhere between $90 to $300 dollars every three months and fillers cost $500 to $2000 and last six to 12 months,” it said.

“The process of injecting dermal fillers is a medical procedure that should only be undertaken by an experienced and qualified medical doctor, or a nurse under the supervision of a doctor,” TGA said.

“Neither the brand of product or substance used in cosmetic injections can be advertised to the public. Brands should be discussed in consultations to ensure the doctor uses good quality products.”

Blindness and even death can result from a filler injected into the wrong area of the face, so the TGA said practitioners needed to have extensive knowledge of facial anatomy.

“Counterfeit dermal filler products imported from overseas exist and should be avoided,” TGA said.

“These can be difficult to identify. The best way to avoid them is to only ever source prescription products from a medical professional who is registered in Australia.

“Be aware of heavily advertised and discounted procedures. Ask the right questions to make sure you’re comparing ‘like with like’ when researching clinics and doctors.”

Among the questions the TGA says consumers should ask before being injected with a dermal filler are:

  • Who will be performing my procedure?
  • How much experience do you have in this type of procedure?
  • What product will you be using? Is it approved by the TGA?
  • What are the risks associated with this procedure and what level of aftercare will you provide?
  • Will I be supported after the procedure if I experience any side effects?

More information is available from the TGA by calling 1800 020 653. To report adverse effects of dermal filler products, speak with your doctor or visit www.tga.gov.au.

Do you believe dermal fillers improve people’s appearance? Or do you think it is better to age gracefully?

Written by Olga Galacho

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