The Dangers of DIY Thread Lifts

People are performing DIY cosmetic treatments on social media, including PDO thread lifts. These individuals are providing video tutorials for procedures doctors spend years training for, with tools illegally purchased online. While at-home beauty hacks have their appeal (it can be quite hard to resist the opportunity to save money and skip a trip to the doctor’s office), many consumers don’t recognize the fact that these treatments come with serious risks in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, I have seen the consequences of DIY procedures in my own North Caroline office. I have a few reasons why these treatments should be avoided at all costs. 

What is a Thread Lift?

A thread lift is a minimally invasive procedure that effectively lifts loose skin and sagging tissue for a noticeably younger appearance. Unlike a surgical facelift that removes the patient’s excess loose facial skin, a thread lift only suspends portions of the skin using dissolvable sutures placed in the lower dermal layers.

PDO threads, which stands for polydioxanone, are a flexible, absorbable type of biocompatible polymer thread. After we insert the threads underneath the skin, we tighten and pull them back, lifting the sagging areas of the face. This gives the skin an instantly lifted and rejuvenated appearance. The threads not only anchor the skin and lift it upward, but also encourage the body to produce more collagen, which improves overall skin texture and elasticity.

To learn more about PDO thread lift, visit

Can I do my own PDO threads?

The simple answer is no. A quick video demonstration does not teach you how to safely perform a PDO thread lift. Any tools purchased online are unlikely to be approved by the FDA for the purpose intended. Some patients may need surgery to correct any damage created by counterfeit products and the use of improper techniques when administering them. This supposed money-saver is likely to cost you more in the end. As the saying goes, “buy cheap, pay twice.”

The Risks of At-Home Thread Lifts

Thread lifts are considered low risk because of their minimally-invasive nature (it’s considered a gentler kind of facelift), but only in the hands of the experts, such as facial plastic surgeons and other board-certified providers. As a form of an implantable device, PDO threads can cause serious health issues when done incorrectly.


Because threads are pierced through the skin, there is the potential for bacteria to enter and remain even after the threads have dissolved. Bacteria can lead to infections, resulting in tissue loss, skin necrosis, and significant scarring. An infection in the face can cause an abscess (buildup of pus), which may lead to permanent damage to the face. Removing these threads can even be more traumatic for the skin than placing them in the first place.

Illegitimate PDO Threads

When you purchase tools online, you have no guarantee about their safety and authenticity. These products are unlikely to have the same certifications or go through the same rigorous testing and quality control that legitimate PDO threads have. While you might be able to find authentic, FDA-approved threads, they may be expired or damaged. These threads won’t be able to give you the results you desire, and you may end up with an infection or other side effects as a result.

Ineffective Skin Tightening Results

Substantial medical training and experience is necessary to safely perform a PDO thread lift and achieve the desired aesthetic results. Because a PDO thread lift involves precise placement of threads, not even all medical professionals have the skill or knowledge to successfully perform them. You cannot learn this skill by watching a brief YouTube or TikTok video. 

It is only by consulting with an experienced thread lift provider that you can determine if a PDO thread lift is a suitable treatment for you. For example, patients with significant skin sagging may not see satisfactory results from a non-surgical facelift.

Safely Lift and Tighten Skin with a Non-Surgical Facelift From a Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Trust experts who are qualified and trained to perform cosmetic procedures for the face for all of your treatments. Carolina Facial Plastics is an all-inclusive aesthetic destination in Charlotte, NC,  led by myself, double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh. My team of cosmetic experts, including two board-certified physician assistants, Heather Bryant, MPAS, PA-C, and Amanda Piligan, PA-C, and our board-certified nurse practitioner Courtney Whitley, FNP-C, perform all of our injectable procedures, including thread lifts. 

Our plastic surgery clinic offers a full range of surgical, non-surgical, and aesthetic treatments, including the PDO thread lift that we can customize to your precise needs and goals. We also use MINT threads, which have the highest quality and best lifting capabilities of all the threads available today.

To learn more about PDO thread lifts and to determine if it’s the best treatment option for you, contact Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, NC, to schedule a consultation.

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Surgeon in Beverly Hills

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