Doctors warn against do-it-yourself treatments

April 19, 2012

Doctors warn against do-it-yourself treatments
Doctors warn against do-it-yourself treatments

While the high cost of some plastic surgery procedures has caused some people to seek dangerous alternatives such as using unlicensed individuals and potentially dangerous ingredients, others have chosen to perform them on their own at home, which also poses serious risks says reports from ABC news and CBS Pittsburgh.

The low cost and ease of buying a do-it-yourself kit for a non-surgical cosmetic procedure such as microdermabrasion, laser hair removal or a chemical peel is causing many to try these treatments out on their own. However, doctors warn that they may end up doing more harm than good.

CBS Pittsburgh reports that plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists are seeing an increase in individuals who have had to endure pain and long-term skin damage due to some at-home treatments.

"We've had patients come in the day before their daughter's wedding and done an at-home chemical peel and come in with second degree burns," a Pennsylvania-based cosmetic dermatologist told the news provider.

Experts say that although prescription-strength acids used for chemical peels can be found online and obtained without a prescription, consumers should avoid them.

"If you stumble upon a website selling prescription-strength retinoid, that should be a red flag and [you should] seek professional help first… because there are certain reactions that can happen and certain products you don't want to mix together with those," the dermatologist told CBS Pittsburgh.

Caution also needs to be used when trying a do-it-yourself laser hair removal, as misuse can cause burning, redness and scarring. In-office treatments are also likely to be much more successful.

"The companies say after five treatments you have a 50 to 70 percent reduction in hair growth," an industry expert told ABC News about at-home laser removal. "I expect 70 to 100 percent from office devices."

Permanent damage can also result from microdermabrasion kits and scrubs that promise to exfoliate the skin and produce a more glowing complexion. Over-scrubbing can result in pain and bleeding.

"They start to think if a little bit is good, more is better," said the Pittsburgh-based dermatologist. "So, they start to do more for their skin and that can really damage the barrier function of the skin."

Whether you want to restore a more youthful glow to the skin or get rid of unwanted hair, consulting with a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist is recommended in order to achieve the desired result and maintain safety.

The mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

Search by location (Zip, City, or Country)

Related Articles

Illegal buttock injections are more common than you think

September 19, 2013 - How many times have you read a story about illegal plastic surgery in the news?

How to get a top-rate plastic surgeon

September 4, 2013 - For the best results, do your research

Mother-daughters team arrested for illegal Botox injections

July 30, 2013 - You may have heard of a recent trend known as "couples’ surgery."

Two women share nightmare medical tourism tale

July 19, 2013 - Houston’s KHOU 11 News recently reported on a story of two women who took a trip to Mexico in hopes of saving on plastic surgery costs.

Terms to add to your plastic surgery glossary

July 11, 2013 - If you're in the early stages of planning a plastic surgery procedure, you've likely come across a few terms that have made you stop and scratch your head.

Latest Articles

Plastic lips to get rid of wrinkles?

September 25, 2013 - Remember those wax lips you used to chew on when you were a kid? Well, they seem to have inspired the latest fad in the anti-aging realm.

Illegal buttock injections are more common than you think

September 19, 2013 - How many times have you read a story about illegal plastic surgery in the news?

Yet another anti-wrinkle cream faces lawsuit

September 17, 2013 - It seems to be almost cyclical - every few months, a brand new, game-changing anti-wrinkle cream is introduced to the market, only to face lawsuits due to suggestions that the "scientific" claims made on the side of the bottle are absolute bunk.

Study: If you've got wrinkles, thank Mom

September 12, 2013 - Have you ever wondered why some people get wrinkles at a young age and others don't?

ABOUT The Aesthetic Society

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. The Aesthetic Society is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


Copyright © 2009-2021 the Aesthetic Society. All Rights Reserved.