Warning: Graphic Content
A teenager had to spend days in hospital after a lip filler appointment left her with ‘sausage lips’ that oozed green pus.
Lauren Winstanley, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, went to the salon last month in an attempt to transform her ‘small’ lips into a full pout which would allow her to ‘properly’ wear lip liner and lipstick.
The 18-year-old paid £170 to have the fillers injected at a salon where she regularly gets manicures and eyebrow treatments, and the beautician talked her through the procedure before putting numbing cream on Lauren’s lips and injecting them.
Lauren was keen to have ‘plumper’ lips but her excitement soon turned to shock when her mouth started to balloon up.
Recalling the incident, Lauren explained the beautician assured her the swelling would go down but instead the opposite happened and the 18-year-old’s grew ‘bigger and bigger’ over the next few hours.
The teenager, who works as a carer, said:
They started swelling straight away, when I looked in the mirror at them I was shocked because I’d never seen myself with bigger lips.
They were hurting ahead of my night shift starting and over the next few hours they grew bigger and bigger and ended up triple the size they should be.
When I left work my bottom lip in particular was massive and it was starting to feel really sore.
Lauren went to bed with the hope the swelling would go down while she slept but she woke up to find her lips hurt even more than before. Panicked, she messaged the beautician to tell her she was worried about her lips.
The salon worker continued to assure the teen that the reaction was ‘normal’, though she admitted Lauren may have suffered a non-serious allergic reaction and encouraged her to take antihistamines.
After suffering with sore and swollen lips for a day, Lauren decided to go to hospital to get them checked out. Staff assessed her lips and sent her home with a course of antibiotics and painkillers but the pain only continued.
I was crying because I was in that much pain, when I looked in the mirror I remember thinking I looked deformed, it was vile.
My lips looked like rock solid sausages and felt bruised and were stinging.
I started to feel sick, had a temperature and my neck and cheek felt bruised.
The concerned teen decided to call 999 and she was rushed to Whiston Hospital in Rainhill, Merseyside, where doctors conducted blood tests and found Lauren had Group A strep infection.
The 18-year-old continued:
I couldn’t eat or drink as my lips were still triple their usual size and kept growing and filling with green and yellow pus.
They were that full under my lip you could see little white holes, which was the infection working its way out of my lip.
I could feel my chin keep getting wet from the infection in my lip leaking out.
When I looked at myself in the mirror it knocked me sick, my lips were disgusting. I have really bad low self-esteem as it is and this was making me feel worse. Thinking I could lose my lip was also freaking me out.
Lauren was hooked up to an IV drip before undergoing surgery to drain the infection and remove infected filler, though the suffering woman ‘begged’ doctors to put her to sleep while they drained her lips because she was ‘in agony’.
She spent a week in hospital as a result of the lip fillers before being sent home with antibiotics and painkillers, though she is still living with after-effects of the procedure, including lumpy lips, a partial loss of sensation and pain when she presses down on her lower lip.
After her ordeal, Lauren learned the beautician had trained less than five months earlier. Though she had treated some of the 18-year-old’s friends, Lauren admitted she would have had her fillers done elsewhere if she knew how inexperienced the salon worker was.
The teen decided to share her ordeal to urge people to do their research before going under the needle, explaining:
I wish I’d have paid extra and had it done by someone medically trained like a dentist or dermal nurse.
It’s put me off getting them done again in future. I would never wish that pain on anyone, it was traumatising.
Professor Ash Mosahebi, Council Member for The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, explained:
Giving treatments in a non-clinical environment without backup and emergency facilities is hazardous even in the expert hand.
When this is combined with poorly trained practitioner then it is a recipe for disaster.
The beautician who injected Lauren’s fillers believes the incident was a result of an ‘infection’ Lauren got which was not related to the filler.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.