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Are DIY Lip Fillers Safe? What Are the Risks? - A Doctor’s View

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

By Dr. Naz (MBChB), Aesthetics Practitioner


In recent months, social media apps such as Tiktok and Instagram have seen a huge surge in DIY beauty ‘hacks’, with creators promising that they’ve found the most budget-friendly, at-home alternatives to common beauty treatments. One of these so-called ‘beauty hacks’ is DIY lip filler. As a qualified aesthetics practitioner with years of experience and training from leading aesthetic doctors based in Harley Street, London, I’ve witnessed first hand the damage these DIY at-home solutions can do.


This is why I’ve decided to bust the myths around at-home lip injections, address frequently asked questions on the topic and discuss the dangers associated with them. I’ll also provide some safer, at-home alternatives to DIY lip-filler, if you feel you’re not yet ready to get them done professionally.


Are DIY lip fillers safe?

In short - no.


When it comes to any cosmetic procedure, safety is always the number one priority, and unfortunately, DIY lip fillers are not a safe option. The chemicals found in at-home treatments such as this are often unregulated and can cause severe allergic reactions, even hours or days after use.


Doing your own lip filler at home also increases the likelihood of infection, as you’re far less likely to be in a sterile environment or using appropriate equipment. What’s more, there’s a huge risk of accidentally injecting filler into blood vessels. This can cause serious complications, such as (death of body tissue), blindness, and even stroke.


What are the dangers of DIY lip fillers?


Heartbreakingly, I’ve seen many instances where people have tried to do lip injections at home themselves and have ended up with long-term disfigurement. This can be truly devastating, as it defeats the whole purpose of getting the filler in the first place, and can be really crushing for people’s confidence and self-esteem. What’s more, corrective surgery can be extremely time-consuming and costly, with asymmetry, lumps, and nodules being often more difficult to rectify.


As mentioned earlier, the lack of proper sterilisation with DIY lip fillers can lead to infections, causing painful swelling, redness and abscesses on the face, that could even progress onto the onset of sepsis. If filler enters into blood vessels, this can cause them to become blocked (also known as vascular occlusion), which can lead to tissue damage and - in severe cases - blindness, heart attacks or strokes.


Are DIY lip fillers painful?


Without proper numbing techniques used by professionals, individuals attempting DIY lip filler procedures at home are far more likely to experience significant discomfort, pain and swelling than those receiving treatment in a professional setting.


But it’s not only technique that differs in a home setting vs in-clinic. Trained professionals will always use specially formulated, good quality numbing creams or local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort, making the procedure virtually pain-free. Whilst at-home kits often contain unregulated substances, many of which have not been formulated for safe use in the human body, which is part of the reason why pain is generally heightened when using these methods.


What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing their own lip injections at home?


My advice to anyone considering DIY lip fillers is simple: don’t do it.


It can be so tempting to save a bit of cash or get a ‘quick-fix’, but the dangers by far outweigh the benefits. Opting for a professional, licensed practitioner instead ensures not only your safety and comfort, but also the end results you truly desire.

The bottom line


In conclusion, while the allure of DIY lip fillers can be very tempting, they’re simply not worth the risks involved to your health, appearance and bank account! As an aesthetics practitioner, my number one priority is always the safety, comfort and satisfaction of my patients. If you’re thinking about getting lip fillers and are unsure of where to start, get in touch today and we’ll provide you with tailored advice to suit your needs.



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