Experts estimate that 80% of cosmetic injections in Shanghai are suspect.

At a medical conference in Shanghai, experts warned that cosmetic injections, such as Botox and dermal fillers, as well as skin whitening products, purchased and injected at beauty salons and unlicensed clinics are very likely to be counterfeit.

The popularity of cosmetic injections is growing in Shanghai, said Dr. Qi Zuoliang, director of the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine’s reparative and reconstructive surgery branch.

“Though it is simpler than [surgery], it is a medical practice. I have received many patients who suffered serious side effects after receiving cosmetic injection[s] at beauty parlors, which cheated them with fake products, even banned products,” said Dr. Qi in the Shanghai Daily.

In order to address the series of reported side effects from counterfeit injections, or those done improperly by unlicensed facilities, Shanghai city government has established a hotline number to offer consultation and help.

Among the first respondents, a 21 year old woman complained of receiving a suspected counterfeit filler injection in her nose. She said the beauty salon injected a banned substance, polyacrylamide gel, into her nose to change its shape. Polyacrylamide gel was banned for cosmetic surgery use in China in 2006 for causing cancer.

By S. Imber