A mother claims a numbing cream used before getting lip fillers gave her ‘sausage lips’ so horrific that her friend vomited when she saw her.
Christina Burton, 29, believes the cream used before the £75 at-home procedure caused her lips to swell ‘out of control’.
Hours later, she was gasping for breath as her throat closed over, leaving her fearing for her life when she rang 999.
Given a cocktail of drugs and an oxygen supply, Ms Burton, from Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, was kept overnight in hospital.
When she sent the shocking photos to her friends and family, they thought she had added a playful Snapchat filter.
Christina Burton, 29, claims a lip filler treatment left her with ‘sausage lips’ so horrific that her friend vomited when she saw her
Ms Burton, pictured before the incident, believes the numbing cream used before the £75 at-home procedure caused her lips to swell ‘out of control’
Four hours after having the lip filler treatment an ambulance crew raced to her house and administered adrenaline, put her on oxygen and gave her a nebuliser (pictured)
Ms Burton, who had gotten lip fillers roughly five times over the previous two years, said: ‘It could have killed me, who would explain that to my kids?
‘I won’t get fillers again. I’ve been tempted to get them done again but I’m just scared.
‘I’ve gone to book it and cancelled it because the thought of going through that again? I just can’t, it’s not worth it.’
When Ms Burton got dermal fillers from the comfort of her own home she knew something wasn’t right straight away.
The beautician reportedly assured Ms Burton that swelling was normal and she went ahead with injecting the 1ml filler.
Ms Burton said: ‘As soon as they put the cream on I just knew something wasn’t right. My lips were tingling and felt like they were swelling up straight away.
‘When you have numbing cream on it does feel like it’s swollen because it’s numb.
‘That time I just felt something wasn’t right – my lips were swelling straight away and I was in pain, which I never usually am.’
When she sent the shocking photos to her friends and family, they thought she had added a playful Snapchat filter such as the one pictured
Ms Burton looked in the mirror and saw her lips were swollen. She said: ‘My lips kept getting bigger and bigger and more painful. I thought my lips were going to explode, the pain was unreal’
Ms Burton was gasping for breath as her throat closed over, leaving her fearing for her life when she rang 999 four hours after the treatment
CAN YOU HAVE AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO NUMBING CREAM?
Numbing an area of the body uses a type of medication called a local anaesthetic.
Local anaesthetics (LAs) stop the nerves in a part of your body sending signals to your brain so you can’t feel pain.
LAs are generally very safe and serious problems are rare.
A patient may have discomfort if an injection is given, a tingling sensation or minor bruising.
Some people experience temporary side effects from LAs such as dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, twitching muscles, continuing numbness, weakness or pins and needles.
These problems will usually pass. In very rare cases, a person could have an allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic or develop serious problems, such as fits (seizures) or a cardiac arrest (when the heart stops pumping blood around the body).
Allergic reactions to LAs have been established in some studies. Contact dermatitis and delayed swelling at the site of administration may begin hours after injection and usually peak within 72 hours.
Urticaria (like hives) and/or anaphylaxis reactions which come on within seconds are very rare and are limited to case reports.
After the treatment, when the beautician left, Ms Burton became concerned that her symptoms were getting worse.
She said: ‘I looked in the mirror and saw they were swollen, my throat was numb and I started struggling to swallow.
‘They looked like sausages on my face, I looked like a duck gone wrong.
‘My lips kept getting bigger and bigger and more painful. I thought my lips were going to explode, the pain was unreal.
‘I tried taking antihistamines and painkillers to help with the swelling and I had an ice lolly to keep them cool but they just got out of control.’
Ms Burton, a full-time mother, phoned for an ambulance when the swelling left her gasping for breath.
Four hours after having the lip filler treatment an ambulance crew raced to her house and administered adrenaline, put her on oxygen and gave her a nebuliser.
After 45 minutes of treatment at home, Ms Burton was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital where staff gave her steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics and monitored her condition overnight.
Ms Burton said: ‘When they came to my house I couldn’t breathe, they had to give me a cannula straight away and two lots of adrenaline.
‘That’s when it scared me. It’s a good job I didn’t go to sleep which is what I was planning to do, I worry I might not have woken up.
‘The hospital nurses couldn’t believe how badly swollen my lips and the skin between my nose and lips were.
The beautician reportedly assured Ms Burton that swelling was normal and she had the 1ml filler in September
Ms Burton was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital where staff gave her steroids, anti inflammatories and antibiotics and monitored her condition overnight (pictured when her lips had reduced in swelling)
Ms Burton, who is sharing her ordeal to urge people to do their research before going under the needle, said: ‘It could have killed me, who would explain that to my kids?’
‘The pain felt like they were going to explode. It felt like when something has its own pulse.
‘I couldn’t open my mouth because my lips were that heavy. It was scary.
‘I’m scared to death of hospitals. Last time I was in that ward my gran passed away and I was in the same room where she was, it was just horrible.’
Ms Burton was discharged at 6pm the following night and given a course of steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics to take home.
When she initially shared pictures of her face, friends and family thought she’d put a filter on them and laughed.
However, when people realised they were real they were stunned – and she claims one friend threw up in shock.
Ms Burton said: ‘Everyone thought it was a Snapchat filter. I even FaceTimed my cousin who laughed at first because I looked like a duck. I couldn’t even talk it was that bad.’
Fearing she could have died, Ms Burton is sharing pictures of her ordeal to warn others to consider the potential reactions that could happen with dermal fillers.
She hopes that by sharing photos she will remind others to do proper research before getting invasive cosmetic treatments.
‘I’m sharing my story in the hope that people are aware that allergic reactions can and do happen to anyone,’ she said.
‘I would say to anyone thinking of getting filter to make sure it’s with someone who’s fully qualified and has had proper training, you know what products they’re using and they’re insured.’
Although Ms Burton believes it was numbing cream that caused her reaction, dermal fillers themselves can cause infections and painful swelling if they aren’t injected properly.
Complaints have risen sharply in recent years which has led to the Government announcing the launch of a campaign to crack down on botched Botox and filler injections.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BE WARY OF WHEN GETTING LIP FILLERS?
Lip fillers are usually made of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance found in the skin and other bodily tissues.
Hyaluronic acid injections are generally safe but can cause redness, swelling, bruising, itching and tenderness at and around the site of the injection.
Side effects may affect people differently and should be discussed with a specialist before the injections are done.
If someone gets cold sores it can trigger an outbreak, and the injections may not be suitable for people who are at risk of keloid scarring – when scars become large and grow out of control.
Lip fillers can get infected when:
1. Unregulated cheap products are used which cause a reaction with the tissue leading to a secondary infection
2. When treatment occurs in unsanitary conditions like the back of a gym or a patients sofa.
3. When there’s poor aftercare for example use of make up immediately after treatment.
4. Syringes are shared. This is poor practice but common in areas where people want to minimise cost by sharing syringes between patient.
How to get safe lip fillers:
1. As per NHS England advice ensure your practitioner is a registered medical professional.
2. Ensure treatment is within a clean clinical environment such as a clinic.
3. Check you practitioner had the appropriate insurance and is experienced at the procedure and treating complications.
4. Always ensure you have a follow up appointment available to you as part of your treatment.
5. Adhere to aftercare and ensure you have emergency contacts for your practitioner.
Sources: Save Face and NHS