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Is Hyaluron Pen a Safe Alternative
to Lip Filler Injections?

Karli Plunkett, DMSc, PA-C, LME

July 14, 2023

3 min read

In the pursuit of beauty and the quest for an ageless appearance, a significant transformation has been observed in the beauty and aesthetics industry. Lip and facial fillers have gained immense popularity among consumers aiming to enhance their looks. However, with this increased interest in beauty enhancements, there's an escalating trend that's causing a ripple of concern among health professionals - the use of hyaluron pens for administering these fillers. These devices, often marketed as a simple, needle-free solution to fuller lips and rejuvenated skin, have now come under scrutiny. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a stark warning about the inherent risks and potential harm these needle-free devices can cause, highlighting severe and sometimes irreversible harm to the skin, lips, or eyes.

The Realistic Dangers of Hyaluron Pen

Direct-to-consumer marketing strategies have made it exceedingly easy for consumers to purchase lip and facial fillers online. However, the FDA has highlighted a major concern regarding these products. Dermal fillers sold directly to the public, especially those available online, can potentially be contaminated with harmful chemicals or infectious organisms. Without proper control measures in place, these products may pose a serious health risk.

One of the most disconcerting aspects of these devices is that they lack precision in controlling where the filler is injected. This lack of control can potentially lead to incorrect placement, increasing the risk of complications. Even riskier, consumers attempting these procedures without appropriate medical training may inadvertently expose themselves to unnecessary risks and harmful complications.

The Potential Complications: More Than Skin Deep 

Using hyaluron pens for lip and facial fillers can result in complications that are far from minor. Some of the immediate issues may include bleeding, bruising, and infections. The misuse of these devices can also lead to the formation of unsightly and potentially harmful lumps under the skin. But the risks don't stop there.

The more serious risks are severe and potentially life-altering. These include vision loss or blindness, stroke, and permanent scarring as a result of a blocked blood vessel causing tissue death. Other concerns involve damage to the eyes due to the pressure exerted by the device, discoloration of the skin, and even allergic reactions. Worryingly, some of these issues might be irreversible, leading to permanent damage and long-term health implications.

FDA's Lip Augmentation Warnings

In light of these significant risks, the FDA has issued several critical recommendations targeted at consumers. These guidelines aim to protect individuals from the potentially dangerous consequences of using hyaluron pens:

  • It's imperative to avoid undergoing any filler procedures using needle-free devices, such as hyaluron pens.

  • Consumers should refrain from buying or using lip or facial fillers sold directly to the public, particularly those sold online.

  • Individuals should not attempt to inject themselves or others with lip and facial fillers using any device, irrespective of its origin or type.

  • If you experience any issues or concerns after an injection using a needle-free device, immediately seek help from a licensed healthcare provider.

  • Report any problems experienced with the use of needle-free devices for filler injections to MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.

The Trade-off Between Cost and Safety

Hyaluron pen lip filler treatments, while appearing to be a convenient, needle-free, and cost-effective method to enhance one's appearance, carry serious and potentially life-threatening risks. It's an understandable appeal; the fear of needles is widespread, and the affordable nature of these treatments can make them seem like an attractive option. However, the potential hazards and irreversible damage associated with them underscore the importance of making informed choices when it comes to personal aesthetics.

In contrast, injectable lip fillers, administered by a licensed healthcare provider, present a safer and more controlled alternative. Despite being a pricier option, these FDA-approved treatments allow for a high degree of precision and significantly reduce the risk of complications. It's crucial to remember that, when it comes to our health and safety, cutting corners or choosing the cheapest option can often lead to dire consequences. 

Our aesthetic injectors, Karli and Jenni, are both deeply trained and experienced Physician Associate injectors who specialize in lip filler treatments. To learn more and see our lip filler before/afters, click here.

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