Beware of Cheap Beauty Treatments

Unqualified beauticians use cheaper substitutes for injectable dermal fillers.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — An aesthetic doctor warned Malaysians against undergoing unreasonably cheap beauty procedures as they may be conducted by unqualified beauticians.

Dr Nazelia Thibroni, who runs two clinics in Shah Alam and Alor Star, told Bernama that many patients came to her after Hari Raya Aidilfitri every year because of facial defects from botched treatments by unqualified beauty centres.

“It’s impossible to offer cheap aesthetic treatments because the costs involved are high as only high-quality products are used and, furthermore, only qualified personnel can undertake such treatments.

“Hence, those salons that offer cheap packages are obviously motivated by profits as the treatments are done by unqualified beauticians. This is a very worrying situation,” Dr Nazelia was quoted saying.

According to her, injectable dermal fillers have become increasingly popular in Malaysia. They are used to smooth out wrinkles, plump up thin lips, enhance definition of the cheeks, and also for breast and buttock augmentation.

Dr Nazelia said, however, that the injectable filler treatment could cause cancer or complications like blindness, loss of limb functions, facial paralysis, or even death if administered wrongly by an unqualified therapist.

She said many patients came to her when they suffered areas of inflammation on their faces after they received injectable fillers from other centres.

“Some suffered from abscesses, bleeding, bacterial infection and bruises. And, for the majority of patients who sought treatment at my clinic, the problem had turned chronic by the time they came to me. They had earlier wasted time trying to seek the help of the salon where they received the beauty treatment but they were either not entertained or told to see a doctor,” she said.

Dr Nazelia reportedly said filler injections used hyaluronic acid, with effects lasting between nine and 12 months, but unqualified salons used petrolatum-based fillers as a cheaper substitute.

“Petrolatum, when injected into the skin, can cause the injected part to become hard, painful and lumpy.”

She also doubted the so-called laser equipment used at certain beauty centres, pointing out that medical grade lasers were expensive and could only be operated by registered medical practitioners.

Bernama said there were more than 20,000 unlicensed beauty therapists or aestheticians operating in Malaysia.

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