Do-it-yourself projects not meant for the face - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Do-it-yourself projects not meant for the face

(WWBT) -

Have you ever thought about do-it-yourself projects on your face so you can avoid a plastic surgeon? 

"I'm going to show you how I inject myself and my goal is to show you how to inject yourselves," says the so-called Dutchess of Dermis.

And YouTube is full of videos of people just like her, showing consumers the tricks of the trade to perform minor procedures, usually done by plastic surgeons - in the privacy of their own home - and - at a fraction of the cost.

"So, I'm just gonna go right in, just like this, see, see the needle, the needle there?" as she injects her self.

Many of these DIY procedures don't have a happy ending. Lips that become misshapen, injectible fillers that cause disforming allergic reactions, or burn the skin so badly, it can't be repaired. 

Well known author and plastic surgeon, Dr. Joe Niamtu, sees it in his practice all the time.

"Unfortunately, this is permanent," he says about a woman who came to him after DIY silicone injections. She was attempting to give her cheekbones more definition, but in reality, she disfigured herself, probably for life.

"Silicone is not reversible, you can't dissolve it," said Niamtu. "The only thing you can do is surgically remove it, and there's a lot of blood vessels and nerves, and important structures here - so it's a permanent deformity."

Myra, who has had eczema since she was a child, is recovering from burns after getting duped online.

Eczema is thought to be linked to an over-active response by the body's immune system to an irritant. It can be anything - the weather, stress, the laundry detergent you use on your clothes. 

For Myra, the condition caused her great stress, which only made it worse, it impacted her self esteem. And her doctors could do little to help.

"I was sent to the doctor over and over, and they told me to use general products on my skin, petroleum jelly, aloe, oatmeal," Myra said.

But none of it worked. She went online and bought a cream - a product that caused an allergic reaction that nearly sent her into anaphylactic shock. The cream also burned her skin, causing scars, she's still treating to this day. 

"Nowhere on the website to they specify any side effects that could possibly happen, for obvious reasons, they leave out those reasons," she said. 

Dr. Niamtu is treating a patient that used the same product as Myra, which caused burns that left deep scars. He's fixing it as best he can.

"We're doing laser treatments to improve this. We've made good strides, but there's still a long way to go," he said. "So, really the situation here is, buyer beware. Don't try to be your own doctor, because it can have horrific consequences."

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