How To Tell If Your Injectables Are Counterfeit

1. Make an appointment with a board-certified professional.

The simplest way to avoid treatment with a fake filler is to have the treatment done by a board-certified provider. “Ideally, this person has either been recommended by someone you trust or has a stellar online reputation,” says injection-trainer Nicole Ciasullo, BSN, RN, CANS. A quick Google search can pull up whether or not your provider of choice is certified with the state board of registration in medicine.

2. Ask to see the box the filler came in.

“Ask to see the box the product comes in,” says Ciasullo. “If its a legitimate product, there shouldn’t be any issue with you being able to see the packaging. Botox Cosmetic, for example, comes with a hologram on the box.” But, says Naomi Fenlin, owner of About Face Skin Care in Philadelphia, the typical consumer may not be able to tell the authenticity of the box, so it’s important to have an open dialogue with your provider.

3. Pricing is important.

Typically, if dermal-filler or Botox is super-marked down in price, there’s a good chance it’s a phony, says Ciasullo. “If the treatment is unusually inexpensive, you should wonder — it’s almost too good to be true,” she says. Adds Fenlin: “Providers all pay close to the same price for Botox — we all have to buy it from the same company.”

4. Check your symptoms.

If, during your treatment, there’s unusual pain, you should be wary of the filler’s authenticity, says Lauren Adamski, RN, a Philadelphia-based nurse-injecctor. Other side-effects to be on the lookout for are: “persistent redness with swelling, deeply colored bruising of the skin (which may indicate blockage of a blood vessel or soft tissue), and hard, irregular contours,” explains Adamski. “Any medical emergency, such as an infection or reaction that may affect sensation, vision or function should be treated immediately.”

5. Get help.

If you feel as if you’re experiencing the above side effects, return to the medical professional who injected you for a post-treatment examination. “If you are not satisfied with the answers, you can obtain a copy of the records and seek help from another provider!” says Fenlin.