The Dangers of DIY Botox

Some people consider themselves do-it-yourselfers.  They tackle their own home remodeling projects, sew their own clothes, or grow their own food.  But one thing that should never be done is do-it-yourself (DIY) Botox

With soaring numbers of people undergoing cosmetic procedures and injectables in the year 2020, there is also an increase in black-market purchasing of DIY Botox kits and people watching online self-Botox injection tutorials.

However, buying black market Botox online and injecting yourself could seriously harm your looks and endanger your life.  Do NOT try this at home.  Here’s why:


First of all, what is Botox?

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Botox is a cosmetic injection used to relax specific muscles in the face to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.  Botox treatments can help soften or eliminate smile lines, aka “crows feet”, lines between the brows and horizontal forehead lines.  This treatment is considered low-risk and safe under the supervision and treatment with a trained professional who understands correct dosing and placement of Botox. At Carolina Facial Plastics, Dr. Kulbersh, our board-certified plastic surgeon, Heather, our physician assistant, and Courtney, our nurse practitioner, have over 30 years of experience between them. 

So why are DIY injections so dangerous?  

Botox injections are so common that people often forget there is always some risk when cosmetic procedures are done.  Botox is made from a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.  This is the same bacteria that causes botulism, which is a deadly illness causing severe muscle weakness and possibly paralysis.  However, trained professionals understand how to mix and administered Botox in the correct dose, and under the right hands, it is a very safe procedure.  

So ask yourself this:  do you really want to be attempting to self-inject a product purchased from the internet with such potential risk?  

Buying and selling Botox online is illegal.

An important fact that should be known… the FDA does consider Botox to be a prescription medication.  Thus, Botox cannot be obtained without a prescription from a licensed medical professional.   

Allergan is the only company that manufactures and distributes Botox in the United States.   They are regulated by the FDA to ensure their product is safe and effective for patients.  Know this — if you’re buying Botox online without a prescription, it’s not from Allergan. To learn more about Botox, visit

You never know what you’re getting when you purchase Botox online.

So if you buy Botox online, where is it from?  Who knows!?  Some may be real Botox, but most is likely a counterfeit product claiming to be Botox. These products sold online are not regulated by the FDA, so there are no safety standards to make sure these products are safe or to ensure what’s in them.

Was the product produced in a laboratory or someone’s basement trying to make a few dollars?  What’s in the product; is it even Botox?  What’s the dose in the bottle; is the dose safe for injection or too high that could be deadly?  Has the Botox been prepared properly? Are there impurities or poisons in the product?

Again, Botox purchased online is from unregulated sources.  They don’t adhere to any of the FDA’s rules or safety standards and carry a significant risk when injected for a variety of listed reasons.

Technique and knowledge of anatomy matters when injecting Botox 

Say you somehow get hold of real authentic Botox from an online source?  There’s no risk, right? Think again!

A medical professional spends years learning facial anatomy and proper injection techniques. If injected improperly, your cosmetic outcome may not be as desired. Risks of improper Botox use include ptosis (droopy eyelids and eyebrows), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing or trouble with speech), and diplopia (double vision or difficulty with eyesight). These cosmetic and functional effects can last for many months and are not reversible.

There is a risk of death or permanent health complications with DIY Botox

When administered at medical doses by healthcare professionals, Botox is very safe for use.  However, if the dose is incorrect, from improperly prepared Botox or from counterfeit products, a lethal overdose could happen, leading to respiratory or cardiac arrest. Essentially, a large dose of Botox into the bloodstream can stop breathing or stop the heart.

Other severe complications can occur, including dangerous allergic reactions, severe infections, and skin necrosis from injecting an unknown medication into your body. 

DIY Botox – Don’t do it!

With all the risks and complications that can come from purchasing Botox online and attempting to self-inject, it’s not worth it!  Don’t risk your health with DIY Botox. Be smart, and come see us at Carolina Facial Plastics for a beautiful (and SAFE!) Botox treatment! For more information, fill out our online contact form.

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