DIY Plastic Surgery: This Is Not A Hoax.
I do a lot of research on the Internet for information about home-made solutions to everyday problems. In fact, I'll be posting one soon that covers recipes for home-made car wax, air freshener and even glue. But on my travels, I discovered a horrifying fact - in these tough economic times, people out there are taking medical matters into their own hands. DIY plastic surgery is on the rise.
Around two years ago, a reliable English paper called Metro reported the outbreak of DIY plastic surgery. The obsession with celebrity culture, and media pressure that make everyone feel bad if they don't look amazing, was leading people to take matters into their own hands. It did not go well.
"In the worst case, a man gave himself a nose job with a chisel and replaced the cartilage he removed with a chicken bone," according to consultant psychiatrist Dr David Veale. "Others have cut their stomachs in DIY tummy tucks, and used glue to try to pin back their ears."
Ouch! It seems more like a story that would appear in the National Enquirer, but unfortunately it's true. That was two years ago, and sadly, things have not improved. A lack of self-confidence and a rise in BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) continues to make people long for the plastic surgeon's knife. And with people suffering from a lack of money and no access to credit, they are becoming desperate. DIY plastic surgery, as horrific as it sounds, continues to gather momentum.
In late 2008, news broke of Hang Mioku, a Korean woman who became so obsessed with plastic surgery that she injected COOKING OIL into her own face.
Her face became so grotesquely large that she was called "standing fan" by children in her neighbourhood - due to her large face and small body. And it would seem that even Hang can now see the damage she has done; she now says that she would simply like her original face back.
Last month, WCCO's Esme Murphy told the story of a woman who injected herself with silicone to save money on plastic surgery.
"I really thought that I was getting a bargain and I really didn't do my homework like I should have," said the woman who did not want to be identified. Her lips and left cheek are disfigured from silicone she self-injected. She was trying to make her upper lip fuller and fill acne scars. A year and a half ago, another doctor had given her silicone injections. That treatment went well but it wasn't cheap. It was $2700 for a series of three treatment. So she turned to the Internet and found a site advertising silicone for $10."
As you can see, the results are awful. She will be disfigured for life unless she pays for a certified plastic surgeon to try and reverse the results.
"Initially I thought I did a good job," said the unfortunate mom from the Twin Cities. However, within a day her lips and cheek were disfigured. "Its very frightening, its very embarrassing having to be in public," she said.
There is even a Technorati page devoted to DIY Plastic Surgery gone wrong, which you can check out yourself here.
And now, which may be even worse, more "legitimate" ways to do the treatment yourself are reaching the market.
For $129 and up, you can buy a hand-held personal laser to remove blotches and smooth out wrinkles. And the REJUVAWAND costs $159 and uses two infra-red wavelengths of laser energy to promises to give similar results to the more expensive Botox and microdermabrasion treatments. Does it work? Doctors say it's too weak a laser to do any damage, but in effect you're wasting a lot of money on an almost useless product.
You can also buy a DIY chemical peel. Dr Denese's Triple AHA/BHA at-home fizzing facial peel promises the same results as a beauty salon treatment at a fraction of the cost. But is it ever a good idea to put these kinds of chemicals on your skin with no medical supervision?
Perhaps the most harmless DIY solution I found was the CoCo "nose job" device, which will give you Cleopatra's Nose! To be honest, it just looks like a strong clothes peg.
"CoCo - Beautiful New Look of Nose is available at discerning stores in Japan, Korea and Taiwan from only $7.50. Why spend more on expensive plastic surgery and fancy doctors when you can just 'do it yourself'?"
With the average rhinoplasty procedure costing roughly $5000, what do you think the chances are that a $7.50 product could do the same job? Exactly.
Look, I'm no doctor, but I would like to summarize by saying please, please don't take the frugal option on this and attempt to do it yourself. There is no substitute for medical training and your body is too important to mess with by yourself. There are very few shortcuts to a better body, but plastic surgery is one of them...and it comes with a hefty price. Be prepared to pay it, or you may end paying significantly more to reverse your own home-made medical mistakes. Or worse, pay for it for the rest of your life with horrible disfigurements, bad health and chronic pain.