By Dr. Julie Shelley
In the past several months, our office has seen a large increase in the number of patients coming to see us for correction work after being injected with the “Hyaluron Pen.” This device, and several others like it, are being marketed on social media and across the internet as an “innovative” new injection device that can “painlessly” inject hyaluronic acid filler into the skin without using a needle. It is commonly being used across our state for lip injections. There are so many Hyaluron Pen gone wrong cases that cause us great concern.
At Renew Wellness & Aesthetics, we pride ourselves on being educated and knowledgeable about the newest aesthetic techniques and treatments. New trends are constantly emerging in the beauty industry. Oftentimes, new treatments lack evidence to support their safety or efficacy. I firmly believe in sharing knowledge with our patients to help everyone make safe and informed decisions about their health and aesthetic treatments.
The Hyaluron Pen (also known as hyaluronic acid pen) is a small handheld medical device that is used to administer hyaluronic acid fillers into the face. This “pen” was originally created for diabetic patients to offer a needle-free, pain-free way to deliver insulin into the subcutaneous tissue.
The Hyaluron Pen works by creating enough pressure external to the tissue to “push” hyaluronic acid filler into the skin without using a needle. In Oklahoma, it is most commonly being used for lip injections.
The Hyaluron Pen is currently NOT FDA-approved in the United States. In fact, it is currently being marketed and sold illegally online. Recently, the Canadian Health Department made a strict warning against the device to its residents, stating that the device may pose health risks.
Potential risks of the Hyaluron Pen include:
In the U.S., no state has publicly commented on these types of devices. Yet, administering medication (no matter the method used) is considered “the practice of medicine.”
Per the American Medical Spa Association, these needle-free injection devices should be treated the same as traditional syringes of filler. In the state of Oklahoma, in order to legally use a Hyaluron Pen, individuals would need to possess the same license required to inject using a needle and syringe. These licensed individuals include: Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician’s Assistants, or Registered Nurses.
Both cannula and needle techniques are proven to be safe injection techniques. Both are FDA-approved in the US. These techniques allow the injector to place fillers in very specific planes and depths of tissue to allow for a desired aesthetic result. There are several brands of Hyaluronic acid fillers in the US. Juvederm and Restylane are two mainstream. Both are available for medical professionals to purchase through licensed pharmaceutical companies. At Renew Wellness & Aesthetics, we ONLY purchase hyaluronic acid filler through these FDA-approved companies.
Hyaluron Pens only “push” a thin hyaluronic acid filler into the superficial layer of tissue where it disperses in a very non-specific way. This makes it more likely to produce an undesired aesthetic result.
Hyaluronic Pen devices are currently being illegally sold and marketed to the public. This “treatment” is often used by unlicensed individuals. We have seen several patients in our office with undesired results from these devices. Patients should be extremely wary about having a treatment performed with one of these devices. Further, you should be aware of the risks associated with the outcome. This device has caused numerous, documented medical issues across the globe.
We strongly recommend only seeing a medical provider who purchases their filler (and all products for that matter!) directly and LEGALLY from pharmaceutical companies that provide FDA- approved products. It may save your face (literally)!