Press Release

March 27, 2008


State public health director warns against cosmetic injections by unlicensed persons

Adverse health conditions can result; two cases reported in IL  

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, today issued a warning to consumers to use care regarding cosmetic injections. This warning comes after two Illinois residents developed serious health complications after undergoing cosmetic injections by unlicensed persons in other states.

Earlier this month, an Illinois resident developed respiratory failure after an unlicensed cosmetic injection. The resident is reported to have undergone two previous injections. And in December 2007, another resident developed kidney failure after an unlicensed cosmetic injection.

“People need to be very careful when considering cosmetic injections,” said Dr. Arnold. “People should only undergo cosmetic injections under the care of a licensed healthcare professional trained to do these procedures and who uses approved products. Anyone who experiences health problems after having a cosmetic injection should contact their doctor immediately.”

Unlicensed injections of highly viscous liquids by unqualified persons for cosmetic purposes are an ongoing problem. Information is usually not available about the formula or purity of the fluids injected, but they are often described as silicone injections. These products can be dangerous when injected in incorrect volumes, using incorrect technique and/or unapproved formulas. Adverse health issues can arise within hours, days or even years after the injection. These adverse effects may include kidney failure, respiratory impairment and local injection site complications.

Most reported adverse events have occurred following injections by unlicensed persons using formulations not intended for medical purposes. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued a health alert to local health departments, hospitals and infectious disease physicians. Doctors should report such incidents to their local health department for follow-up and local health departments are asked to report these cases to IDPH’s Communicable Disease Control Section.

Anyone considering getting a cosmetic injection should verify that the person giving the injection is a licensed health care provider. Verify the licensee’s status by visiting the license look-up feature on Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation's Web site at

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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