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The risks of DIY fillers

For many people the idea of injecting anything into themselves is horrific and something more associated with the dingy world of narcotics than facial aesthetics.

But there is a growing trend for DIY filler treatments – where people purchase lip or dermal fillers online and then inject them themselves.

But why shouldn’t they? It’s going to be cheaper than a trip to Melior Clinics, so what’s the problem? Are we just scared of losing business?

If you’re in any doubt about why DIY fillers are NOT a good idea, then read on…

The risks of DIY fillers

There are many risks if fillers are injected by someone who is not suitably trained and experienced – including yourself.

These are some of the possible outcomes if you, or another untrained person, injects fillers:

  • Creating a ‘lopsided’ appearance by not using the correct amount of fillers on each side.
  • Severe skin reactions such as rashes, swelling or ulcers, which could, for example, be due to a contaminated product or poor injecting technique.
  • If you inject filler into your bloodstream then it can become blocked (arterial/venous occlusion), leading to ischemia (reduced blood supply). Ultimately this can result in the skin dying (necrosis) and vision loss (which is usually permanent).
  • If you hit the wrong nerve you could get nerve damage causing facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy.
  • Poor hygiene or technique can lead to skin infections, which can spread to other parts of the body or lead to permanent facial scarring.
  • Should you hit an artery there’s a risk you could trigger a stroke.

Compelling reasons not to take the risk.

Let’s explore exactly why DIY fillers go wrong…

Know your anatomy

If you are injecting something into your skin then you should understand what you are injecting and where you are injecting it.

Do you know how complex your facial anatomy is?

The structure of your skin

Your skin is made up of three layers: the upper epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. Each plays an important role in protecting you from microbes, regulating body temperature and allowing you to experience sensations of touch.

These layers of skin contain tough connective tissue (including collagen and elastin), hair follicles, sweat glands and pockets of fat. They are nourished by a complex network of blood vessels.

Your lips are also covered with skin, although this is much thinner than the skin elsewhere on your face. This is why the increased visibility of your blood vessels through the skin gives them a red appearance.

Under the skin

Under these layers of skin is subcutaneous tissue containing your facial muscles, which, like the skin, are fed by a multitude of blood vessels. Among and beneath these are your facial bones.

The face, including your lips, is also served by a network of nerves which control feeling and movement.

So, when injecting yourself, you’ll need to know exactly where you should and (more importantly) shouldn’t put the needle. Are you confident you can do that? Without hitting a nerve? Without injecting into a blood vessel?

Why DIY injectables go wrong

A lack of understanding of your facial anatomy is just one of the many reasons why DIY fillers are such a bad idea.


Some people really seem to think that watching a few YouTube videos will replace the training and experience you need to effectively administer injectable treatments. Not only does this lack of skill risk unwanted side effects, but it also makes it highly unlikely that you’ll get the desired effect.

For example, it takes months of training and experience to ensure that you inject exactly the right amount of filler into each side of the face to have a balanced appearance. Do it yourself and there’s a high chance you’ll come out lopsided.

Product safety

Purchasing injectable treatments from someone who doesn’t care who they’re selling to is not the best idea.

You’ll have no way of telling what exactly the product is. It could be fake, contaminated or unlicensed. You’ll never know whether the product is dangerous until after you’ve injected it into yourself.


Hygiene is also critical when injecting anything. The syringe must be kept completely sterile, sterile gloves worn at all times and the area to be injected thoroughly swabbed. If these steps aren’t followed strictly then infections can result.

So, who should inject fillers?

Only suitably trained healthcare professionals (eg doctors or nurses) working in a safe, hygienic environment should administer filler treatments.

Their combination of medical knowledge and specific treatment training can ensure you receive fillers which are both safe and achieve the results you’re seeking.

Find out more about our expert practitioners who deliver safe, reliable and effective dermal and lip filler treatments.