PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – TikTok can be educational, entertain, fun, and now you can add dangerous.
That is the assessment of experts who say a growing number of videos are encouraging a dangerous practice.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Reports 7,606 New Cases, 100 More Deaths
“It’s dangerous and it can really lead to really severe potentially catastrophic you know events,” said Dr. Kristen Whitney a dermatologist with Allegheny Health Network.
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association is putting out the warning about young people self-injecting Hyaluronic Acid.
Dr. Whitney said the acid is a common tool used by highly trained doctors.
“What it basically does is it binds to collagen in the skin and collagen is what gives structure,” she explained. “And it also binds on to water and that’s what gives the skin its plumpness.”
The pens to administer the acid and the acid are both sold online which worries Dr. Whitney.
“I’ve seen you know things sold online that said that they’re hyaluronic acid and they end up being silicone or cement, or you know contaminated with bacteria and all sorts of things and some of those things are fixable and sometimes they’re not,” she said.READ MORE: Cooking With Rania: Crostini With Toppings (Pt. 2)
WATCH: Dermatologists Warn Parents Of Dangerous TikTok Trend
She says often surgeons are left to go in and dig the results out and try to restore the area.
Young women are doing this to enhance their lips and fill in their facial skin, and boys are looking for a better jaw or chin line and help with their acne. Dr. Whitney says all of those things can be accomplished but should be done in the hands of a trained professional.
There is no overstating the potential says Dr. Whitney, “It can be catastrophic. I’ve seen them leading to severe disfigurement because we can’t fix it. A very scary thing is hyaluronic acid can make its way potentially into a blood vessel, can lead to a severe scar on the face, and it can actually lead to blindness.”
With the ready availability of the hyaluronic acid and the pens to administer it, Dr. Whitney says parents need to be cautious.
“You know definitely make sure you’re aware of anything that your kids are purchasing online and their friends,” she said.
Dr. Whitney and the ASDSA say this trend is nothing short of scary.MORE NEWS: Trevor Noah To Host 'The 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards' On CBS
“It’s devastating, really, and it’s extremely scary. I think because the problem is there’s a sort of innocence is that you know the kids think this is just something to do, and let’s have fun with it but I don’t think that they really understand the potential for complications and serious complications. You know until it happens.”