For anyone who has sat near me and even slightly uttered the word ‘filler’, you will know exactly what sort of rant you get from me. I am absolutely passionate about cosmetic enhancement but only when it is done correctly and appropriately. While I am all for the increased accessibility and affordability of dermal fillers, I will never be ok with those who use peoples insecurities as a way to profit and take advantage.

So what was the above mini rant about? Well, just now I received a press release from the great folk at the CPSA about an issue I have been warning people against for years …. Don’t buy dermal fillers off the internet!

Some people will think my warning above is stating the obvious, but those people would be shocked to find out just how popular it is. The amount of product out there available for illegal purchase is mind boggling, and not only is the injectable substance available but often they can be purchased along with needles, cannula’s and DYI “instructions”.

Now, usually I hate those who publish press releases word for word, but I must do exactly that in this case because it is vital to anyone considering fillers or injectables of any sort. Even if you have never thought about it, read the below. It is a must.

Doctors warn against risky internet drug purchases after Australian case

The Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA) is warning Australians about the dangers of purchasing cosmetic injectable substances over the internet, following a recent case that left an Australian woman with severe facial disfigurements and infections. Consumers in Australia have benefited from a safe and regulated system of medication monitoring and perhaps, rather naively, feel that products purchased over the internet are of the same standard as medication from legitimate Australian sources.

The woman has asked the CPSA to release a number of pictures in the interest of alerting other members of the public to the risks of buying dermal fillers on the internet.

The patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, purchased a “dermal filler substance” labelled “HA 40 mg/ml” from an overseas website. It was injected into her cheeks and lips. Apart from an extremely poor aesthetic result, the patient suffered from a painful reaction to the foreign substance and developed a number of infections. Her reaction included severe and abnormal swelling where the substance was injected, and the development of large infected abscesses on her face.

Dr Gabrielle Caswell, President of the CPSA, says it is extremely concerning that overseas-based websites are claiming to offer cosmetic “medicines” such as “Botox®” and “dermal fillers,” some of which are packaged with unsafe and unhygienic do-it-yourself injection kits.

“A person cannot guarantee the substance advertised is in fact botulinum toxin or a dermal filler from a legitimate source. In fact, every pharmaceutical company operating in Australia registers its medicines with the Therapeutic Goods Administration and never sells medicines online. This fact alone should alert individuals that they cannot purchase such products from a legitimate source online,” Dr Caswell said.

“In Australia, cosmetic medicines such as botulinum toxin and dermal fillers are prescription-only medicines, meaning that an appropriately registered doctor needs to prescribe the medication for the patient after a medical history has been taken, and the patient is examined.

“The general public should be aware that the substance they intend to purchase online may not be sterile (with the potential to cause difficult-to-treat infections); or worse, may be a toxic blend of ⅔ something unidentifiable, leading to longer-term illness, scarring and disfigurement. Legitimate medications can be sourced from an appropriately registered medical practitioner, where patients may be availed of registered, sterile and appropriately manufactured medications.

“Individuals should also be aware that purchasing such alleged medicines from international websites, and importing them into Australia, may also be an illegal activity.”

Dr Caswell advises that anyone considering such cosmetic treatments should look for a medically registered doctor who has a focus on cosmetic medicine, such as a CPSA member.


Patient two days after injection with ‘dermal filler substance’ bought on the internet from overseas website. Un-retouched photograph.


Abscess located on the right cheek area following injection with ‘dermal filler substance’ (6 weeks post injection) bought on the internet from overseas website. Un-retouched photograph.

Please, my beautiful lovely readers, don’t put your life in jeopardy to save a few pennies. There are some things in life you can get away with cutting corners and going for a cheaper option, but this is not one of them.

For more information visit the CPSA, and of course stay tuned to The Plastic Diaries for more cosmetic enhancement articles.

Photos copyright to Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia

What do you think of the above images and information? Did this shock you? Have you experienced anything like this? Let me know by commenting below
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