A mother-of-two was left with pus-filled blue lips from fillers she was inspired to get by social media influencers.
Ashley Schlick, 34, from Orlando, Florida, had been getting fillers regularly for three years after always longing for a fuller pout.
But when she went for a 1ml top-up last year, which cost her $495 (£380), Ms Schlick noticed that her lips had a different reaction than before.
Her bottom lip turned white, and over the next two days started to turn black with bruising and crusted skin.
Ms Schlick paid a further $1,500 (£1,100) paid for the removal of the filler, but has since paid for more corrective surgery.
She is now warning other women to consider the dangers of having fillers like those advertised by influencers on the likes of Instagram.
Ashley Schlick, 34, was left with crusted blue lips from fillers she was inspired to get by social media influencers. She has since had corrective surgery and is pictured recently
When Ms Schlick went for a top-up filler last year, which cost her $495 [£380], she noticed that her lips had a different reaction than before
Over the next two days Ms Schlick’s lips started to turn black with bruising, ozzing pus and shredding skin (pictured)
Ms Schlick said: ‘My upper lip was swollen and uneven with bruises underneath, but I thought my bottom lip was going to be damaged beyond repair’
Ms Schlick said: ‘After seeing social media influencers and celebrities getting their lips done, it pushed me to want to get it done more – so I started getting them done when I was 31.
‘My injections had always been fine, until I noticed that my bottom lip was white as a ghost after surgery.
‘As the night went on, I noticed that a black spot appeared and this gradually turned into bruising across my entire lip.
Ms Schlick, whose occupation is unknown, said her lips ‘continued to get worse’.
She went to the emergency room and was prescribed with antibiotics for a bacterial infection.
Ms Schlick said: ‘Luckily, a few days later I was able to get my lips dissolved and eventually my lips looked less botched.
‘Now I want people to open their eyes to the dangers that come with getting lip fillers, as mine ended up costing me almost $2,000 (£1,550).’
Ms Schlick paid a further $1,500 (£1,100) for the removal of the filler, but admitted she has since paid for more corrective surgery
Ms Schlick believes she escaped permanent damage to her lips but wants to warn other women of the dangers of getting lip fillers
Ms Schlick believes she escaped permanent damage to her lips, as she believed the botched appearance would ruin her face.
She said: ‘My upper lip was swollen and uneven with bruises underneath, but I thought my bottom lip was going to be damaged beyond repair.
‘Luckily I was able to get my lip filler dissolved in a matter of days and, thanks to the antibiotics, the infection went away also.
‘Although I experienced a lot of pain in having my lips dissolved, I am fortunate enough to have come out of this clean.’
It took just under a year for the discolouration to go down – but it is still slightly noticeable.
Ms Schlick said: ‘Now I feel good and grateful about my lips and have had corrective lip filler surgery to make my lips how I want them again.’
In the UK, facial fillers cost about £150 to £300 per session, depending on the amount and type of product used, and around $680 to $900 in the US.
Popularity among celebrities and reality TV stars may be driving demand for the procedures, but people are rarely aware of the risks, experts say.
Dermal fillers and Botox can cause infections and painful swelling if they aren’t injected properly.
Save Face, a UK company which keeps a register of accredited practitioners, said it received 616 complaints about dermal fillers in 2017-18.
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