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Social Media Aesthetic Treatments Doctors Warn Against

We’ve talked a lot recently about TikTok Trends and social media trends that relate to the aesthetic industry. While social media can have great effects for your business and the industry, it can also cause issues when it comes to DIY tools and treatments and can influence consumers to seek treatments that might not be right for them. For example, we recently discussed the dangers of at home microneedling devices. We thought we would dive into more of these treatments that are going viral on social media and debunk some of the myths you might hear about them.

  1. Hyaluron Pen – these pen shaped devices are being marketed as needle-free lip-injections that push hyaluronic acid into the skin by means of “jet-injection.” Although the pens are marketed as “noninvasive,” this does not mean they are safe to use at home or safe for non-medical professionals to use.

Because the hyaluronic acid is delivered by pressurized air, it is extremely hard to control how much of the drug is administered and where. Licensed medical professionals spend years training and practicing the art of injecting for the ability to determine how much product and where to place it for the best results for the patient. And because there are no needles involved, it is very likely that the drug does not even penetrate beyond the top layer of skin. Therefore, it’s effects are likely to be transient, and even cause further issues. As with any at home treatment, the risk for infection and other side effects are very high. The FDA has issued warnings around the use of Hyaluron Pens and their use as they are not regulated or approved. 

  1. Semipermanent BB Cream (“BB Glo”) – a major trend in the last few years has been permanent eyeliner or lip color, microblading the eyebrows, etc. Treatments that mimic makeup. The BB Glo procedure involves creating tiny wounds in the skin via microneedling, then sinking BB Cream into the skin. This is scary for a number of reasons. For one, the BB Cream that is typically used is from Russia or Korea, which might not always meet FDA standards in the United States or we may not know what exactly is in them. Second, you don’t need any qualifications or certifications, nor do you have to be a medical professional to administer this treatment. This is because the microneedling devices used only implant pigment at less than 0.5mm. But even this can be too deep, and cause permanent damage. Again, the risk of infection, complications, and damage is higher in these unregulated procedures.

  1. Plasma Fibroblast Skin-Tightening Therapy – This one is a bit more complicated. There is one FDA approved pen available on the market, the Subnovii by Cartessa, which only received approval a few weeks ago. Resurfacing technology has come a long way in the past several years, and is now available in a small, handheld pen, which makes consumers think it is easy and low risk. But it is far from it. Plasma Fibroblast essentially creates controlled burning just above the skin surface, causing the skin to contract. Because in essence, you are burning the skin, this procedure should ONLY be administered by licensed medical professionals with high levels of experience. It can cause a lot of damage in the wrong hands, but when used correctly, can make major improvements. It is also important to evaluate patients to see if this is even a viable treatment for them.

It’s important to discuss these treatments and trends for a number of reasons. It’s vital in the aesthetics industry to stay on top of all the current trends because your patients may come in asking about them, or worse, they could have tried one and it failed them or caused some sort of damage to their skin. And as always, knowing what your patients are seeing and hearing on the internet, could help you determine their motives and help you set realistic expectations. Finally, this always serves as a good educational point for your patients and future patients. Take the time to educate them on the dangers of devices and treatments such as these and how what you do sets you apart.

Another aspect we want to mention is that these treatments are not only becoming popular on TikTok and social media, but deal sites like Groupon are flooded with MedSpas and cosmetologists advertising these treatments. (If you want more info on our take on Groupon, check it out here!!) So educating your patients/future patients on the dangers of these deal sites and some (not all) MedSpas, is very critical.

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