News has been abuzz with tragic incidents associated with injectables over the past weekend with a case of a lady in Singapore fatally succumbing to a reaction after an injection in an aesthetic clinic in Marina Bay, Singapore.

While aesthetic breakthroughs have occurred over the past decade, there are very stringent rules in place governing what is allowed in medical practice precisely because of the safety issues.

However, many women who seek faster (and cheaper) results may fall prey to centers that offer quick fixes with dubious claims. Here are some ways you can tell if your beauty injections are safe or if they may even kill you!

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#1 The claims are too good to be true

Some centers offer whitening injections will make over-the-top claims that your whole body will be instantly whiter after one session. One advert even claims that your gums will appear pinker! (Do we even care about pink gums?) But the truth is that to give these sort of results, they may be using unapproved products and what’s worse, administering them intravenously (shooting directly into the veins)!

Imagine if you eat something bad, you will get a serious bout of food poisoning. Now if you inject the contaminant into your bloodstream, your body’s reaction will be a hundred times worse! It could even be fatal, as we have seen in some of the cases in the papers.

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#2 The prices are too good to be true

Unapproved products come with the perks of being cheaper than those that have to go through stringent testing and years of clinical trials. But you do get what you pay for. Apart from the sterility issues, there are issues with contaminants and allergies from unlisted ingredients as well. In the end, you will always pay the price, and sometimes it is with your life. So super cheap vitamin jabs, or ‘two whitening jabs for the price of one’ should get alarm bells ringing in your head. Even Botox injections or fillers at unbelievable prices should be considered suspicious. “When it comes to putting something into your face or skin, your standards for safety should be much higher” says Dr Chua Han Boon, from SW1 Clinic. “You really don’t know what’s being injected into your skin”.

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#3 They are done by unlicensed operators

Injections whether into the face or the veins need to be administered by a qualified doctor and in a licensed clinic. If you are getting your beauty fix in some back alley salon, you could be asking for trouble. Having said that, you should not always assume that just because you visit a clinic, you are getting safe treatments. MOH Singapore has banned Vitamin C, Glutathione and other whitening injections for many years. In fact, it is so severe that even the Ministry of Health Malaysia has stepped in to highlight this dubious issue.

Despite these steps taken to ensure patient safety, there are some clinics who flout these rules to administer them regardless. If this is a treatment that is not available at a reputable medical practice, then you may be undergoing an unlicensed and unproven therapy.

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#4 Vitamin Injections? Vitamin Drips?

“Vitamins should be taken orally if you want it to enhance your health. If you are keen to make the greatest impact on your skin, consider topical application of vitamin serums” advises Dr Kenneth Lee, medical director of SW1 Clinic. There is no real benefit to having vitamin drips or whitening drips. On the flip side, if you are getting these from an operator who is not judicious about sterility or the kind of ingredients they use, you could be putting your life on the line. “That is why we spend so much time and effort to treat our patient’s pigmentation issues with a combination of lasers and topicals, which we remind them to use judiciously and regularly” continues Dr Lee. “There are no quick fixes for some skin issues”. If someone says otherwise and offers you a miracle beauty jab that will turn you from beast to beauty in a day, our advice is to run – for your life.

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