Ever since the pandemic, people have begun to realize just how much they can get done without ever leaving the house. At the time, the beauty industry pivoted and quickly made at-home treatments a main focus in almost every category. Nail technicians made house calls for manicures and pedicures, and hairstylists started venturing to clients’ homes for cuts and color refreshes. But what about at-home medical aesthetic treatments?
While “Botox parties” have been around for some time (for the unfamiliar, it’s an event where ‘tox injections are administered in someone’s home in a party-like setting; think: drinks, snacks, and friends), recently, there’s been an uptick in at-home aesthetic services being offered by a wide range of brands. That includes medical aesthetic services like Botox and filler, yes, but also chemical peels, microneedling, and even platelet-rich plasma (PRP) hair restoration — all made available in the comfort of your own home.
While the idea sounds appealing and, of course, convenient, it does beg the question: is it safe to receive these treatments — a lot of which involve needles penetrating the skin — in a non-sterilized area such as someone’s bedroom or living room? Ahead, we chat with experts who break down everything to know about at-home medical aesthetic treatments.
What Are At-Home Medical Aesthetic Treatments?
As the name implies, at-home medical aesthetic treatments are treatments focused on aesthetics that you can receive at home. Some treatments offered by different companies include neurotoxin injections, chemical peels, microneedling with PRP, SkinPen treatments, and dermal filler injections.
Are At-Home Medical Aesthetic Treatments Safe?
While, ideally, you are only booking said medical appointments with a trained professional, that’s often not the case — especially if your vetted practitioner only works in an office setting. “In my opinion, [medical] aesthetic treatments are not safe to receive outside of an office of a licensed professional or a board-certified dermatologist,” Corey L. Hartman, MD, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, tells POPSUGAR.
The reality is that there are quite a few risks when it comes to at-home medical aesthetic treatments. “The first is that the treatment itself won’t be effective,” Dr. Hartman says. “If you work with someone who is not a board-certified dermatologist, you don’t know whether they’ve had enough training, or the right training, to give you the results you’re looking for.” The best-case scenario, he says, is that nothing happens to your skin. The worst case, however, is contracting an infection or a skin issue.
“We’ve seen horrific atypical deep fungal infections riddling the face where contaminated fillers were injected,” Ellen Marmur, MD, president and founder of Marmur Medical and MMSkincare, says. “Not to mention biofilms causing disfigurement. It’s naive to think that convenience overrides safety when it comes to injecting anything beneath your skin.”
The bottom line? “These are not beauty treatments,” Dr. Marmur says. “By definition, they are medical.” Because these are considered medical procedures, they should be administered in a sterile office with a licensed medical professional.
Where Is the Best Place to Receive Medical Aesthetic Treatments?
The experts advice? “Always see a board-certified dermatologist in a clean clinical setting and save yourself from very possible nightmarish side-effects,” Dr. Marmur says. Dr. Hartman suggests looking for a board-certified dermatologist by searching for terms in your area on the American Academy of Dermatology website.
He also suggests reaching out to friends who have used board-certified dermatologists and asking about their experiences as well as their recommendations. “You can also ask a board-certified dermatologist for before and after photos of patients similar to your skin type and [skin] needs to see how the treatment might look on your skin,” Dr. Hartman says.