By Lisajane Davies
Take a look at this ‘Lip Horror’ suffered by 21 year old Claire Hawkins, now 23. So bad was the treatment that the skin on her lips began to blister and die after botched lip fillers. Claire was left with painfully swollen, blistered and bleeding lips after her lip filler treatment went wrong.
Although a very pretty young girl, Claire always felt that she had a thin top lip and admits that seeing Kylie Jenner and the Kardashians evolution from ugly to swan influenced here decisions to get bigger lips. The Kardashians and Jenner’s are very vocal about all of the aesthetic and cosmetic treatments they have. Even their mum, I mean dad or do I mean other mum? has had more work than the average lady in the street in the UK. Let’s be clear though about celebrities and their treatments, they have big budgets for famous doctors with great reputations who give great results. Yet today it seems almost normal to have had work done and young people seem to want to try it even if you they need anything done.
When I was younger, if you had thin lips you bought a lip liner and a brighter lipstick! But today girls and boys are having multiple treatments in their early 20’s as we are all exposed to the Kardashians, TOWIE or Geordie Shore looks.
Research! What research, Claire didn’t’ do any research at all into choosing a qualified practitioner, nor the different types of dermal fillers available and did not even know what the fillers were made of, how long they lasted or if they were permanent! Hyaluronic Acid or HA were not words that she was familiar with. All Claire knew was that she wanted bigger lips and liked some pictures she had seen on social media. Armed with her picture of Kylie Jenner,she booked in at her first local provider in Somerset for lip treatments to change her appearance at just 21 years of age. She chose a salon based on an offer that they had in the shop window for Lip fillers discounted from £300 to £250 for 1 ml. At first she had a really natural treatment with just .5ml of fillers but she admits she became obsessed with her new look and wanted larger and more inflated lips each time. Claire didn’t realise that the body naturally absorbs HA filler so she found herself revisiting her salon every 3 months.
To date she has spent over £1500 on her lips in just under 2 years.
Despite regular visits to the salon she still had a fairly natural look but when she was told she should not have any more fillers that month, Claire began to look elsewhere.
Claire’s whole family disapproved of her lip treatments and she began to hide her treatments from them]. She tells me that she really didn’t notice how bad her lips had started to look or how big they had become until her Grandmother mentioned them and local boys started calling her ‘duck face’ in the street, even that did not stop her wanting to go bigger. She was told by girlfriends how great she looked enforcing the nationwide problem with the distorted view of what is an acceptable way to look.
Natural is becoming the Unnatural
Instagram, this is how Claire found her new practitioner after her friends tagged her in numerous posts.Pull out [Did you know that absolutely any adult person can legally inject dermal fillers into any other adult in the UK?] What is worse than choosing a practitioner based on a stream of, to be frank, images of women with lips like rubber pillows is not checking to see if that the ‘practitioner’ is medically qualified, now a painful lesson learned for Claire. The bad news with this story does not end there, the injector did not even have a clinic and came to her friend’s house to do the treatment. There was no consultation of any kind, they just looked at pictures and in June 2015 Claire allowed someone to almost destroy her lips for life!
Just 30 minutes after being injected with 1.5ml of filler in her top lip and 0.5ml into her lower lip Claire knew something was very wrong, this time her lips swelled up immediately and were very painful. The practitioner told her she would be fine, to pop some ice on her lips, took her money and left. She stayed at her friend’s house and overnight her badly injectedlips began to suffer with Necrosis, where the skin turns black and actually starts to die, they were blistered, lumpy and there was a constant taste of blood in her mouth she tells us.
Claire didn’t know what to do or who to turn to so she did nothing. She began to be teased even more by strangers in the street and foolishly decided to go back to the practitioner to get another 0.5ml in the lower lip to try and ‘even them up’! The injector obliged once again with no thought for the health and wellbeing of her Claire.
Claire lived with her lumpy and painful lips with no medical intervention or expert help for over a year. Her lips never did return to normal and she had dark marks inside her mouth and also on the surface of the lips from tissue damage scars. When she talked people could see the lumps and the uneven appearance and many commented. One day in April of 2016 she happened to walk past the window of a clinic owned by a very experienced cosmetic doctor, Dr Beatriz Molina. She saw that the clinic offered lip augmentation and decided to see if there was any way that she could repair the damage that she had been living with for the past year.
Dr Molina told us “When we first saw Claire we did a full medical consultation and it was obvious that she need to have a correction of a previous treatment, there were lumps all over the inside of her mouth, worse in upper lip. The shape of the lip was still too large and uneven.”
She added “It is shocking to see how someone can inject a lip so badly endangering a young person looks.”
Dr Molina found that the botched lip fillers had the complete wrong placement, mainly submucosa (the layer of areolar connective tissue lying beneath a mucous membrane) and she sound filler behind the muscle. Even after a year had passed the poor results and damage were still so obvious.
During the first treatment with Dr Molina a ‘doctor only’ hyalase to dissolve the existing filler and then we organised a follow up appointment 3 days after for correction treatment using a dermal filler.
It has taken Dr Molina series of gradual treatment over 6 weeks to make Claire’s lips look ‘natural’ again. Claire told us that she will now only go to Dr Molina for her future treatments and that everyone should make sure they do their research before having any treatments.
Claire wanted to share her story so that other people both young and old could hear more about the real dangers associated with botched lip fillers, not doing your research about treatments, choosing the wrong practitioner and the possibilities of life changing damage when a procedure goes wrong.
Do you have a question about dermal fillers or any aesthetic treatment? Email our experts ASK@totallyaesthetic.com or to find your nearest clinic simply fill in our online patient enquiry form www.totallyaesthetic.com/enquiry
Our story also featured here in The Sun Newspaper