"Teen Toxing": Dangerous Trend Developing in UK Schools
Botox or Other Cosmetic Injectables Not Recommended for Teens
The Physician's Coalition for Injectable Safety warns against "Teen Toxing" or the administration of Botox or other injectable products to individuals under the age of 18 for cosmetic reasons. According to an article published in the UK Daily Mail, a 15-year-old girl was recently administered Botox injections by her mother Sarah Burge, known in the press as the "human Barbie."
The Coalition believes that this disturbing report may be an indicator of other questionable cosmetic injection practices. "We need to avoid the abuse of this product in the US and the only way we can do that is by stricter control of distribution and administration of all neurotoxins," says Richard D'Amico, a leader in the Coalition and former President of American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Robert Weiss, MD a Coalition leader from Baltimore, MD and Past-President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) questions the need for teens to use a product used to treat fine lines and wrinkles. "I am very doubtful of the benefits of neurotoxins for individuals who are wrinkle-fee by virtue of their age. Botox does not prevent natural aging, so this seems like an unnecessary risk." This fact goes directly against the girl's belief that Botox "prevents wrinkles" on her young face.
The mother, Sarah Burge, is the world record holder for the most cosmetic surgeries on one person and explained in the article that she would be hypocritical to tell her daughter she could not have Botox. She is a trained aesthetic practitioner, orders the Botox from the manufacturer and administers it to her daughter herself. British Surgeons have spoken out against the Burges and injecting into a young teen, but no laws have been broken.
"This case raises the question of who is responsible for injecting it and dealing with the technical difficulties, risks and the informed consent process," says Roger Dailey, MD, Coalition leader and a former President of American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). "If a complication occurred, will they be prepared to deal with the consequences?"
The Coalition would like to highlight the potential complications and risks mentioned specifically regarding this case, and to not recommend injecting teens with neurotoxins. The procedure has no foreseeable benefits and comes at a high risk. All medical procedures for teens, plastic surgery or otherwise, should be reviewed with a board-certified physician.Read the article "Meet the teens who Botox"
The Coalition, charged with educating consumers on safe choices in cosmetic injections and eradicating the use of counterfeit and illegally imported cosmetic injectables, suggests all consumers follow these steps to ensure safe and effective treatment:
- Doctor: Ask your doctor or injector for qualifications. Choose a doctor who specializes in treating all cosmetic concerns of the face, such as a board certified plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon or dermatologist. Examinations and procedures should take place in a licensed and properly equipped medical facility. Establish a positive and on-going relationship with your doctor and follow-up as directed. A nurse or physician's assistant may perform your injection if you elect, but a licensed physician must prescribe the treatment.
- Brand: Ask specifically for the brand name of the injectable recommended for you, the approval status of regulatory agencies in the country where you will be treated (the FDA in the United States) and about any potential outcomes and the likelihood of adverse events. If your doctor does not offer, ask specifically to see the packaging and identifying marks that can verify authenticity, including identifying holograms and logos for the brand, the serial and lot number (which as a matter of proper procedure must be recorded in your medical chart). For reference, images of all US FDA approved brand logos and packaging are available at: http://www.injectablesafety.org/html/ataglance.php.
- Safety: If you suspect your injector is not properly trained, is not following proper procedure or is injecting you with a non-branded, non-approved or unsafe substance, do not accept treatment. Follow-up by anonymously reporting suspected illegal activity to your local FDA field office that can be found at http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/oci072307.html.
To learn more about the benefits of cosmetic injections, the uses for approved cosmetic injectables, to plan for your treatment, see video of live, appropriately administered injectables and more, visit http://www.injectablesafety.org and http://www.realself.com/injectable-safety-campaign.
The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety is an alliance of specialty physician organizations including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology, the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The mission of the Coalition is to provide the public with unbiased and necessary information on injectable cosmetic treatments, appropriate injectors and where to safely access cosmetic medical procedures. Our goal is to promote treatment supervised by properly qualified and trained, board-certified doctors and to promote only the use of U.S. FDA-approved, appropriately administered product. More information can be found at http://www.injectablesafety.org.