DIY Cosmetic Injections Prompts Criticism From Some Dermatologists

Self Injections
Inside Edition

Inside Edition spoke to board-certified dermatologists about the risks of do-it-yourself cosmetic injections. A Chicago doctor who guides patients to inject themselves via telehealth says it's OK with proper medical supervision.

The rise of do-it-yourself cosmetic procedures is prompting criticism from some dermatologists after a number of women posted videos of themselves on social media performing the at-home procedures.

Renee Sprouse bought a Hyapen and posted a video on TikTok showing viewers how she injected her lips with fillers.

“I didn’t feel like my lips were big enough,” Sprouse told Inside Edition.

Sprouse’s TikTok caught the attention of board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, who made her own TikTok reacting to Sprouse.

“I would strongly discourage people from doing this yourself at home,” Bowe told Inside Edition. “I wanted to call attention to the fact that there are significant risks associated with what she was doing in that video.”

Sprouse acknowledged that what she is doing carries risk.

“Obviously [Bowe] has very strong opinions as a doctor, as she should. You’re taking a risk. I am one of the kinds of people that does that regularly,” Sprouse told Inside Edition.

Complications from self-injections can be serious. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Christine Lee showed Inside Edition photos of patients she treated to correct bad results. One patient had a droopy eye after injecting Botox herself. Others had scarring around the cheek and mouth from fillers.

“It’s very dangerous for women to be injecting themselves. If somebody actually injected into the wrong nerves, they could get paralysis of the face,” Lee said.

But not all doctors are worried. Dr. Stanley Kovak, who runs Mirror Care outside Chicago, claims it is OK to inject yourself with proper medical supervision. He says he’s breaking barriers by providing telehealth consultations for those wanting to do it.

Kovak invited Inside Edition to watch as he instructed a patient how to inject herself with Botox. The patient said it was “very easy” to do it.

Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero questioned Kovak about the practice.

“According to medical and legal experts, they say what you are doing is ‘dangerous, crazy, obscene, completely unethical and shady as hell,’” Guerrero said to Kovak.

“I believe that, one — they’re not as informed at what we’re doing. I think if they were a little bit more informed, they would see that it isn’t shady as hell or obscene or unethical,” Kovak responded.

“You have to admit that it’s safer to do this in a doctor's office under medical care,” Guerrero said.

“I will not admit that. It is not safer to do it in a doctor's office than it is to do it via telehealth with a doctor guiding you who knows properly how to do it,” Kovak responded.

Many in the medical community disagree. 

“When it comes to injecting foreign substances into your skin, which could have potential complications, including infection, scar and blindness, I would think twice,” Bowe said.

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