By Oliver Farrimond
SCOTS cosmetic surgery experts have sounded the alarm over potentially deadly DIY Botox kits.
The £115 home therapy kits have needles which contain the deadly poison botulinium, and have already been linked to a several deaths in the United States.
And now a chorus of Scottish experts are urging caution over the packs, and instead urging consumers to seek professional medical advice over the treatment.
A spokesman for Glasgow-based Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group said: “With the increase of so-called DIY Botox via mail-order and online, we feel it is vital to highlight the dangers of self-application and how this can in some cases make the problem worse.
“We’ve seen cases of patients who have trouble eating, talking and drinking because of self-administered, unidentified treatments.
“As with any facial treatment, it’s important to visit an aesthetic practitioner for a consultation.
“The practitioner will analyse the skin area to make sure the patient needs the treatment and doesn’t suffer from any medical conditions which could have an adverse effect, such as poor circulation, sensitive skin or any allergies.
“When buying serums or drugs online, there’s no way to check the original source of quality of product, and there’s no way of safely measuring the quantity used.
“A large dose of a drug such as Botox could lead to health problems.
“People need to be aware they have no real control when they buy products like this online or via mail-order.”
In 2008, an American watchdog linked the home Botox kits to the deaths of 18 people.
The fashionable treatment is used to paralyse muscles in the face, reducing wrinkles and slowing the signs of age.
Dr Victoria Bobbie, chief executive officer of Face and Body Medical Cosmetics beauty clinic in Edinburgh, echoed calls for caution over the dangerous DIY kits, which can be almost £100 cheaper if purchased online.
She said: “Botox is a pharmaceutical medicine available only in the UK via prescription, and the use of these products is considered a medical procedure.
“The greatest concern is the lack of knowledge by members of the public in facial anatomy which makes it dangerous for them to self-inject or inject friends of family.
“The inappropriate use and disposal of the DIY kits could not only be putting the user at risk, but also the safety of others such as their family – or even local refuse collectors.”
Dr Nanette Milne MSP, public health spokeswoman for the Scottish Conservative Party, said: “I’d advise strongly against the use of home Botox kits.
“It’s easy to forget that Botox is actually a poison which if injected into the wrong area, could produce some shocking results.
“There are growing concerns about lack of regulation and the sale of potentially harmful cosmetic treatments, with the internet becoming a cut-price marketplace and consumers often buying products from the US.”