Those well-versed in the consumerist world know that a higher price tag doesn’t always yield better results – a fact that an unfortunate Los Angeles woman learned the hard way. Wooed by the gleaming luxury of a $20,000 facial that would surely impress her Beverly Hills friends, a lady in her late 60s underwent a non FDA-approved stem cell cosmetic treatment. Common sense would tell you it’s not the smartest idea to 1. opt for an untested procedure that involves removing parts of your body and injecting them elsewhere into your body and 2. spend loads of money on it. But she ignored all warning signs and went for it, and then she grew bones in her eyelids.
According to a recent report by Scientific American, the woman had a little lipo done in her abdominal area in order for cosmetic surgeons to isolate certain stem cells that multiply into identical versions of themselves, the new tissue allegedly revitalizing the skin and healing aging skin cells to lift and tighten. The doctors reportedly injected her own mesenchymal stem cells, a type that could potentially turn into bone, cartilage, or fat, around her eyes. Thus, a few months after receiving the treatment, she felt intense pain in her eye and heard a clicking noise with each blink.
Cosmetic surgeon Allan Wu investigated her condition and deduced that these cells, paired with wrinkle-smoothing dermal filler that contains calcium hydroxylapatite, had caused small chunks of bone to grow in her eyelid, as they encourage bone growth, not skin. Although he successfully removed the small bits, many stem cells remain from the treatment and could cause her pain again in the future.
So what have we learned here?
1. Don’t even think about trying procedures involving your body parts if it is not approved by the FDA. There’s a reason it hasn’t received approval or, even worse, was rejected.
2. $20,000 would be better spent on retinol products, Ponds cream, facials at Bliss, sunscreen, literally anything else. Young ladies, moisturize your situation to the high heavens and practice safe sun so you won’t be tempted by ill-fated luxury when the social security checks start rolling in.
3. If you want another bone in your body, find a hot boyfriend.
4. Despite what the media tells you, the world doesn’t end because you’re getting old. So enjoy a mani/pedi, relax, and stick to your at-home beauty rituals that you know and trust.
5. And most importantly, this is not a knock against stem-cell research. It’s a knock against not using your head! While one component of a procedure may be safe and tested (i.e. dermal fillers), mixing it with an untested and unapproved procedure is a recipe for disaster.