Mum ‘left looking like Elephant Man’ after getting £120 lip fillers done at home
A mum who treated herself to £120 lip fillers in her own home claims her lips became so swollen she looked like ‘The Elephant Man’.
Billie Roocroft, 23, from Horwich, Greater Manchester, ended up in A&E after her lips apparently ballooned in size.
She had taken up a ‘special offer’ of 1ml of filler injected into her lips in her living room – which she had spotted via Facebook.
But after undergoing the procedure, she claims even her two-year-old daughter was scared of her ‘humongous’ lips.
Billie said: "My lips swelled that big within half an hour of the beautician leaving, they looked like they were going to pop.
"My top lip was a lot bigger while my bottom lip was touching my chin – I looked like The Elephant Man.
"My lips were stinging and felt really sore from the stretching, I felt like crying as my neck, jaw and throat were hurting too."
She claims Belissimo Rivington Aesthetics told her the reaction was "too fast" for it to have been caused by the filler, and insisted she must have been allergic to the numbing cream applied beforehand.
But she fiercely disputed the cosmetic company’s reasoning, pointing out that she had used numbing cream in the past for her tattoos and other lip fillers.
"I messaged [the beautician] the pictures and she said she’d never seen anything like that before, suggested I may have been allergic to the numbing cream and advised me to go to hospital," said Billie, an axillary nurse.
"My mum looked after my little girl who was two at the time while I went to hospital, as I was putting her in the car she was a bit scared and just stared at me.
"I went to A&E with my hands over my face. When the receptionist asked what was wrong I couldn’t talk so just showed her.
"I was really upset when I was checked out by the doctor as he told me he couldn’t promise that it would go down, I thought I was going to be stuck like that forever."
Belissimo Rivington Aesthetics said there is always a risk that a client could suffer an allergic reaction to dermal fillers and that it always makes sure the client is aware of this before undergoing treatment.
It added that it takes its clients’ health "very seriously".
The lip filler procedure was on offer and advertised on Facebook.
Administered by the mum and daughter team from Belissimo Rivington Aesthetics, the treatment cost just £120 – nearly half the price of the average clinic charge.
But Billie said her lips quickly began swelling up.
She said: "I had really thin lips and had tried lip-plumping lip gloss with no luck.
"A lot of young people have lip fillers, like people on Geordie Shore, I just wanted to plump them up a bit.
"I saw someone had shared an offer shared on Facebook post, she came to my house did it in the living room while I was lying down on the sofa."
She added: "She wore gloves, I signed a consent form and she put the numbing cream on. She did the top lip first and my eyes were streaming.
"After they were done I put Vaseline on my lips and was told that if there was any swelling I could use hot and cold flannels.
"The next day the skin was peeling from my lips as they aren’t meant to be that big.
"When I’ve shown friends the pictures, at first they think they’re fake."
Billie claimed that within 30 minutes of her having the filler, her lips ballooned and began to hurt.
After a seven-hour stay at Bolton Hospital’s A&E, she was given a steroid injection and a course of painkillers.
When she woke up the next morning, Billie was relieved to discover her lips weren’t as big as the night before but she still experienced some facial swelling.
She claimed: "When I was in hospital I started to see them going down and when they went down fully they went back really thin, it was like I’d never had them done.
"After all that, the filler didn’t even stay.
"I got up to go to work the next day and noticed my lips had gone down but my cheeks still looked like a hamster.
"All the skin was peeling as lips aren’t meant to be that big.
"I ended up getting what looked and felt like cold sores and blisters – they were tingling and itching."
The mum has since got her lips filled again, but this time, she said it all went to plan.
Billie said: "It was a risk getting my lips done again, but I knew it wasn’t the numbing cream as I’ve had it before with my tattoos.
"I went to a clinic and showed them pictures of what had happened before, they couldn’t believe it."
Billie had the original procedure in January 2017 and is sharing her ordeal now to urge people to do their research before going under the needle.
A spokesperson for Belissimo Rivington Aesthetics said: "There is always a risk that a client could suffer an allergic reaction to dermal fillers, this can happen once and may never happen again.
"We always make sure the client is aware of this before treatment and clients do sign a dermal filler consent form.
"At Belissimo Rivington we take the health of our clients very seriously. Prior to any treatment being carried out, our clients are made fully aware of any possible risks or side effects that might occur.
"Each client is made to acknowledge this by signing an informed consent form, along with a liability waver. All clients therefor take responsibility for any adverse side effects where they may be unfortunate enough to suffer from.
"As such, Ms Roocroft was well aware of the possible risks and accepted liability for them prior to her treatment."
Co-founder of The Plastic Surgery Group and member of The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) Dan Marsh said: "Lip fillers don’t have to be prescribed, we’re [BAAPS] lobbying the government to try and change the rules so they do have to be prescribed.
"People giving them are not trained to deal with any complications that can arise so that’s the reason that you should have it done by a medical profession who has all the equipment with them that can treat any problem.
"If you don’t treat people quickly and appropriately it can be catastrophic.
"It’s terrible that people who are not trained are just allowed to just inject filler into the face.
"You wouldn’t go to just anyone to have a vaccination jab or your insulin injection, you would want to go to someone who’s trained to know what they’re doing."
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