How To Avoid Counterfeit Botulinums and Dermal Filler Products
Counterfeit and fake dermal fillers are not the same thing. Although both are illegal, counterfeit fillers use the same name as the original brand, hoaxing the customer into believing it is genuine. It’s extremely difficult for the buyer to tell the difference unless they have a sharp eye and attention to detail.
On the other hand, fake products are labelled with different branding whilst claiming they work the same as an original. The product falsely states it is pure and efficient but is in fact an unsafe, cheaper alternative. Whats more, the brand name is perceived as being highly professional, which dupes medical professionals into trusting the brand, putting patients at risk.
Practitioners should be careful when considering to buy fillers and Botox from illegal sources. Understanding the dangers this could cause to their patients, will heighten awareness and make professionals think twice before buying cheap brands.
Buying from wholesale distributors that are reputable in the dermal filler industry should be the number one factor when deciding where to buy. Cutting corners or saving costs may backfire if a patient has an adverse reaction to a counterfeit or fake filler.
Unsurprisingly, counterfeit Botox does exist, predominantly in countries in South America, Russia and China. The main characteristic is the absence of toxin activity, which is the most important component of Botox. In other counterfeits, it is the high levels of toxin which result in overdosage which raise alarms. Combined with the lack of quality assurance and sterility in the manufacturing process, there are extreme health risks posed to customers subjected to Botox counterfeits.
The main side effect of counterfeit Botox is botulism where facial nerves become paralysed and the patient is unable to feel their face. Double vision, slurred speech and dry mouth are also symptoms of counterfeit Botox. Muscle weakness, nausea and problems urinating are additional side effects of toxin overdose.
Ways in which you can be alert and avoid counterfeits are to watch out for the following:
- The lot number on the Botox bottle should match the lot number on the Botox box. There is also a hologram on the box which needs to be authentic.
- If the price of the Botox is too good to be true, then it probably is. Cheap products on the market are likely counterfeits.
- If a patient experiences unusual pain from the product administered, then practitioners need to question the authenticity of the product they are administering.
- Develop a trained eye and look for the small details which will help you tell the difference between a counterfeit box and a genuine one. Minor spelling mistakes in print or missing details. Often the illegal manufacturers cannot even spot their own mistakes as they are unprofessional.
- If buying dermal fillers or Botox online, is the company you are purchasing from easy to contact? Do they have a telephone number and registered address? If the contact us page opens up a form for you to send a query, then the likelihood is that there is an illegal person sitting behind the website then they are probably distributing counterfeits.
- Look for a social media page representing the company. If they are genuine, then they will have lots of followers and happy customers. You can often work out the credibility of a company through its social media activity.
- If the company is based in the EU, do they have a tax or VAT identification number?
The problem with fake dermal fillers that claim to be permanent is to attract customers who want minimal number of treatments they need in a lifetime. The side effects of fake permanent fillers include granulomas, lumps and other reactions impacting the immune system. Patients victim to such procedures have had to see a professional practitioner to have permanent fillers physically removed to stop their side effects.