Health

Silicone Injections, A Potential Threat to People

To look beautiful and attractive throughout your life is what almost everyone desires. Whether it is a man or woman, none of them will ever want those wrinkles, freckles, and fine lines or any other sign of aging to tackle them. People use uncountable means to delay aging and enhance their splendor, and Silicone Injections are one of the common means used to serve the purpose.

Silicone injections became popular in the 1950s. They were first used to boost the breasts’ size among women. Then they were employed to increase the butt size among people and especially women. Now they are extensively used in the beauty world for various purposes including cosmetic facial treatments.

FDA declares them a potential risk to the health and thus their use is considered unsafe and illegal. However, consumers are still increasingly looking for silicone injections for body shaping ignoring the health risks associated with them. In addition,they are repeatedly reported to cause infections, deformities, and bumps and were eventually banned.

Why are silicone shots hazardous?

Liquid injectable silicone has been basically in practice for the accumulation of soft tissues. To be more precise, it was about after World War II, when the silicone injections became popular. They were used by doctors in Japan and Las Vegas for augmenting the breasts and butts.

Initially, the injections were composed of the silicone that goes into making the furniture polish and transformer fluid. Cysts, sores and painful hardening of the breasts were seen in many cases. The conditions were so severe that the affected women were surgically operated for removing their breasts. Large-scale silicone injections used for body contouring may promote the accumulation of a hard and gravel like substance under your skin. Silicone can travel through the blood and cause obstruction of vessels in heart, lungs, and brain if injected directly into a vein.

Many untrained practitioners use deteriorated or industrially graded silicone, containing contaminants which may promote various complications. Among them, Erythema, ecchymosis, and edema are minor complications and Granulomas, cellulitis, ulcerations and disfiguring scars, cystic lesions, granulomatous hepatitis, pneumonitis, embolism, and even death are the major ones.

Reasons to stop using Silicone Injections

Following are the reasons that render Silicone Injections harmful,

  • Silicone accumulates in the body for longer times

Liquid silicone is also called silicone oil. It may be as consistent as motor oil. When injected into the body, these injections cause the body to surround the foreign material with collagen, which in return bulks up the skin cells. Ordinary fillers that are employed for a temporary treatment does the same but being organic in nature they break down under the skin with time. However, silicone is inorganic in nature thus it doesn’t leave the cells immediately.

  • Silicone threatens our skin

Dr. Marvin J. Rapaport, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills, Calif states that silicone is a time bomb! He had drawn suitable risks associated with the use of silicone as a dermal filler. He had been studying the cases of people who fell prey to the silicone injections since 1974. He reported that during the course of his studies, he had noticed that inflamed nodules appear at the site of the injection or on the face of the patients after surgeries. He further revealed that steroid injections are then used for years and years to reduce the swelling.

  • Use of contaminated product

People use silicone shots for a smooth and a youthful skin but rather get it disfigured. This may occur due to the use of deteriorated and contaminated products used for creating the injections. Most of the time people do not know what products they are being treated with. Using their own clinical judgment, fillers and other medications are used by physicians for ‘off-label’ purposes. This substantially puts the corporal health of the individual at greater risks.

  • Inappropriate technique for Injection

Different physicians employ different techniques for injecting silicone into our body that may also augment the risks associating with the injections. Orentreich had introduced “the serial microdroplet puncture technique” as a standard technique to be used worldwide and it is currently the most accepted method of injection.

This method includes injection of less than 0.01mL of silicone into the sub-dermal plane with intervals of 2-4mm. These microdroplets are then surrounded by a capsule of collagenous fibrous tissue, which holds them in place minimizing their migration.

  • A non-licensed physician also increments the risks

The inefficacy of the injectors, who are not even physicians, at using the most purified silicone products may also increase the potential risks. Most of the horrible side effects observed have been the outcome of injecting an impure substance by an inexperienced physician. This mostly happens in nonmedical settings like spas and hotel rooms etc. According to a survey, the complication rate, in good hands, could be 4 in 1,000 patients.

  • Avoiding health concerns

All the health concerns e.g. if the patient has a medical history regarding a disease, any immunological disorder and any kind of past injuries and regular medications must be taken into account before giving silicone shots. Otherwise, the adverse effect of tissue rejection leading to lethal conditions may occur.

What could be a safe alternative to Silicone Injections?

Safe cosmetic fillers may serve as a potential and safe alternative to silicone injections.

  1. Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers are popularly known as injectable implants, soft tissue fillers, or wrinkle fillers. They are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are used for,

  • Creating a smoother appearance in the face, cheeks, and lips
  • Increasing the volume of the back of the hands
  • Increasing size of breast, buttocks, and feet
  • Implanting into bone, tendon, ligament, or muscle

2Restylane

Restylane injections are also an emerging topic in the beauty world. They are used against fine lines and wrinkles. Being FDA approved it is considered to be a safe method of smoothing skin. These injections are reported to be developed in sterile and authenticated labs. Thus, they offer a reduced rate of side effects.

 3. Botox

Botulism bacteria are the origin of OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox). It is also called botulinum toxin type A. It functions primarily to block the nerve activities in the muscles which may reduce the muscle activities temporarily. Blocking the nerve signals hinder the contraction of the muscle which relaxes and softens the wrinkles. Forehead lines, lines around the eye, and frown lines are possible targets of Botox. However, studies have started to report Botox as a potential cause of health deterioration too. Thus it is advised to use Botox injections after a complete investigation.

Conclusion

Liquid injectable silicone for soft tissue augmentation is undoubtedly a controversial subject. A highly purified medical-grade product employed appropriately by a well-trained and experienced physician renders silicone safe to use. Whereas, the arising complications outweigh the benefits and are inherently inevitable and unpredictable. Safe fillers are available in the market that must be used in order to avoid disasters. Awareness about the potential complications in association with the proper and improper use of silicone fillers must be promoted by dermatologists. Reputable physicians must be visited by the patient, using FDA-approved and purified products. Proper equipments must be used to treat the complications too. Patients also need to take into account the potential harms that may originate by using impure substances. In addition, people need to change the mindsets that attract them to such risky treatments and they should prefer health over the artificial beauty.

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan is currently a student of bio-medical sciences and loves to contribute her research into the field of health through her writing. Her expertise include product reviews and health news reporting but she can manage almost all kind of content writing regarding health and wellness.

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