New trends and fads are constantly emerging in the beauty industry and in regards to cosmetic injections. Often times, these new products and procedures lack any empirical evidence supporting their efficacy or safety.
“At EA, we pride ourselves on keeping our staff up to date on the most current and advanced training available in the industry.”
We believe it is our responsibility to share that knowledge with our clients to help them make informed and safe choices in their care.
Lately, we have been seeing everyone from estheticians to lash technicians offering Hyaluron Pen lip plumping and wrinkle erasing.
The goal of this blog post is to teach you about this new fad and the dangers associated with it in order for you to make the best decisions regarding your health and help you achieve your aesthetic and cosmetic goals safely.
What is the Hyaluron Pen?
Also known as hyapens, fog injection devices, SERA pens, and nebulizer injector guns, the Hyaluron Pen is a small handheld medical device that is being used to “inject” hyaluronic acid fillers into the face.
The Hyaluron Pen was originally created for diabetic patients. It offered a needle-less, pain free way to deliver insulin into the subcutaneous tissue.
The Hyaluron Pen operates by creating enough pressure externally against the tissue to “push” the hyaluronic acid filler into the dermal layer of your skin without the use of needles. Most commonly in cosmetic cases, it is being used for lip plumping. However, there are also several advertisements promising entire wrinkle free faces without the use of needles.
Since its creation, the cosmetic world has manipulated the device to suit purposes it was not originally intended for. Here is where the issues and dangers with Hyaluron Pens begin…
Is the Hyaluron Pen safe?
The short answer to this question is “no”.
There are not any needle-less dermal filler devices that have been authorized for sale in Canada. Furthermore, Health Canada has advised that the use of Hyaluron Pens for dermal fillers may pose health risks. According to Health Canada’s website:
Potential side effects include:
- Inflammatory skin reactions
- Staining of skin
Additional risks, including:
- Bacterial and fungal infection due to contamination during filling
- Spreading of transmissible diseases due to cross-contamination between users
- Damage to skin, eyes or blood vessels due to excessive pressure or operator error
Then why do you keep seeing it advertised everywhere?
“Needle free filler has arrived! Pain free and natural looking!”
This is an advertisement from a local spa boasting that the Hyaluron Pen will give you fuller lips, minimize and erase your nasolabial folds and frown lines, and much more! They also promise that it’s a fraction of the cost you would pay your qualified, licensed injector! Plus, did they mention its need-less and pain free?!
The staff at these types of spas are most often not medically trained professionals. At External Affairs, the portion of our staff that performs cosmetic injections includes only healthcare practitioners. While you are most likely to be treated by one of our Registered Nurses, you may also be injected by our MD, Physician’s Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner.
All of our staff have exceptional and extensive training in facial anatomy, products, and injection techniques. More often than not, Hyaluron Pen injections are being offered in a non-clinical, spa setting.
“Injectors at External Affairs use a variety of techniques to inject dermal fillers including cannula and needle.”
Both cannula and needle are proven to be safe injection techniques and are approved by Health Canada. In addition, these techniques allow the injector to place dermal fillers in very specific planes and depths of tissue to achieve a desirable outcome.
Hyaluron Pens merely “push” a thin hyaluronic acid filler into the dermis (a superficial layer of tissue) where it disperses in a nondescript fashion. Lacking specificity, it is much less likely to produce an aesthetically pleasing result.
How is the Hyaluron Pen still available and being advertised?
As healthcare practitioners (whether we are RNs or MDs) we are licensed by our respective governing bodies. These governing bodies ensure that we practice safely and competently. If we don’t, we risk losing those licenses and our titles.
Most estheticians and laypeople offering the Hyaluron Pen are not medically licensed, and therefore, do not have a governing body to answer to or receive discipline from. Health Canada has stated that they have reached out to estheticians and spas offering the Hyaluron Pen. They have advised them of the licensing requirements and the associated potential health risks, but many are ignoring these warnings, and continuing to use it.
Now that you know…
As of now, needle-less filler injections are a “too-good-to-be-true” dream for the future. But, who knows, they may one day be approved by Health Canada. More research and studies will be required, however, to ensure their safety, quality, and efficacy.
Stay tuned to External Affairs blog posts for the most up to date information regarding all of your aesthetic needs!
Aging With Passion & Purpose
Becky Wilkins RN
- Clinical Director, External Affairs Medical Spas
- Board member Women’s Health Coalition