New York a hotbed of deathly “beauty” injections

botoxThe Big Apple is always ahead of the curve on all things beauty, so the rest of the western world best be wary of the latest trend to take our fine metropolis by storm. New York’s department of health is warning that unlicensed practitioners are injecting bizarre and unregulated substances as “cosmetic enhancements” for lips, breast and even butt boosting.

“People who undergo these unsafe procedures hope to enhance their appearance, but the reality can be lifelong deformity and even death,” said Doctor Nathan Graber, director of the city’s environmental and occupational disease program.

Among the substances being injected: silicone, petroleum jelly, castor oil and mineral oil.

And the side effects: serious infections, nerve damage, respiratory and kidney failure, irreversible disabilities, disfigurement and death.”

The popularity of illegal cosmetic injections is on the rise since the start of the recession: the New York poison control center has received three calls in the last 10 months from doctors who treated patients injected with cheap, industrial-grade silicon by unlicensed practitioners in a so-called “underground beauty industry.”

Gross? Sure. But not so off-putting when you consider some of the legal alternatives.



‘Extreme’ Health Stats
02/10/2009, 12:12 am
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madonna_botox_wideweb__470x3520Ah, the pursuit of wellness. That vague notion of union between body, mind, and spirit. Americans are chasing health in a myriad of ways, and diet, fitness and cosmetic surgery are some of the most popular means of going after “our best self”…A few statistics to consider:

Last year, Americans spent $58 billion dollars on diet and weight loss products. That’s a lot of Lean Cuisine.

An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from a clinical eating disorder. To put that into perspective, consider that 4.4  million suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Bariatric surgery (aka – stomach stapling, gastric bypass, and the like) reached record numbers in 2007, with nearly 200,000 procedures in the U.S.

Speaking of surgery, Botox (the injection of a lethal toxin to temporarily remove wrinkles) is so hot right now: last year, it was administered nearly 3 million times, making it the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world.

And speaking of ways to avoid surgery, the latest estimate from U.S. Health and Human Services suggests that over 65 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of daily exercise.

Let’s end on a high note. Really high. Like, 100. That’s the percentage of Americans who will be overweight or obese in 2048, if current health trends continue, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

For a full rundown, visit: Plastic Surgery 2008. News on Weight Loss.



A Senior Citizen’s Snake Oil

snakeScience hasn’t “cured” aging yet (though, trust me, it’s not for lack of effort), but you can at least stave off the unsightly side effects of getting older. The latest innovation is synthesized viper venom, which has made its way into wrinkle creams being sold in England.

The cream, already a best-seller across the pond, contains an artificial version of the poisonous venom from the Temple Viper, a cousin of a Thai rattlesnake. Apparently, amino acids contained in the venom actually block nerve signals and prevent facial muscles from contracting. Fewer contractions mean fewer wrinkles.

One 30 mL pot of the cream, manufactured by Planet Skincare, sells for around $80 USD and lasts about a month. It’s being marketed as an alternative to Botox, and already has a growing contingent of celeb fans – Gwyneth Paltrow is “a devotee” (and not a moment too soon, if you’ve been holding a magnefying glass to recent Paltrow photos in Star Magazine!).

You may recall that snake venom has had a starring role in other beauty products, notably the uber-sexy “Lip Venom” plumping gloss.