There has been a worrying growth in the availability and marketing of do-it-yourself facial fillers (aka dermal fillers). These products allow people to purchase a package containing a medical needle and the product, usually some form of collagen, which is made from cow skin. They are generally used to fill out lines and wrinkles, sunken cheeks and weak chins, and in some cases to reshape noses or lips.
The procedure is a very delicate one, which requires an expert plastic surgeon who has experience dealing with different facial structures. An injection in the wrong place can lead to long lasting problems. There have been cases of such procedures going wrong even in the hands of experienced surgeons, so providing the tools for the public to self treat themselves is very irresponsible.
The British government is working to improve the regulation of the British cosmetic industry to deal with this rising trend in facial fillers. There are only six such products licensed in America, compared to around 140 widely available in the UK.
Typical long term problems that can occur are rashes and itching, persistent swelling or redness, and increased sensitivity at injection sites. Sometimes collagen injections result in lumpy skin, which is impossible to treat, leaving people with hideous long term scarring.