Feb 16, 2006

Black market beauty

Would you let some guy off the street about whom you knew nothing perform plastic surgery on you?

Me neither. But apparently it's become such a widespread problem in Miami that the police have formed a special task force to investigate.
[One] unlicensed injector arrested in 2004 had a five-gallon bucket of industrial silicone, the kind used to seal furniture or lubricate car engines, that she injected in her clients' faces and bodies, detectives said. The woman also kept a tube of Krazy Glue in a night stand next to her syringes.

"Sometimes they use Krazy Glue to plug up the holes they have injected into," the undercover detective said. "But some of them tell us they mix Krazy Glue with saline and inject that. I don't think the public is aware of the consequences of being injected with unknown substances in unsanitary apartments."


Dr. Mayoral sees serious side effects from black market beauty treatments. She photographs the most egregious cases and categorizes them by appearance. She classified one woman whose face looked hollow after she had illicit injections as a "cadaver." The terms "chipmunks" and "blowfish" cover women who have been injected with so much material that their faces are severely bloated. "Parrots" are patients whose injections by amateurs cause their lips to resemble snouts.

"Some say they were injected with shark cartilage or with sheep collagen," Dr. Mayoral said. "But most of them have no idea what they've got in their faces, which makes them hard to treat."

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