Mystery woman tells of beauty treatment injection ordeal

Masked client describes an injection of human placenta extract with no medical supervision

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 3:25am

A woman revealed yesterday how a beauty centre botched her HK$50,000 "health" treatment by taking a medical procedure into its own hands.

Wearing a mask and sunglasses to hide her identity, she told a Democratic Party press conference she was talked into buying the therapy, which involved injecting human placenta extract into her body, two years ago.

The injection, performed with a jet injector - an air gun for medical use - was supposed to be good for her eyes and liver.

"A cosmetologist who usually performs other beauty treatments at the centre did the injection … it was not a doctor," she said.

The centre did not tell her about the risks of the injection, which was performed near her navel over two consecutive days. Afterwards her skin turned red, dry and, at times, painful.

"Staff at the beauty centre advised me to put on more moistening masks, but my skin turned dryer and dryer," she said.

In follow-up calls to the supplier of the placenta extract, the woman was told the procedure should be performed only by a doctor. She was even more shocked to learn the supplier had not received any new orders from the beauty company.

That made her wonder about what, exactly, had been injected into her body.

Out of concern for her safety, she refused to continue the treatment. She later called police, who told her to seek help from the Department of Health.

But a department investigation went nowhere.

Having visited beauty centres for six years, the woman said there were even more financial traps than health risks.

She once spent HK$60,000 for a laser treatment which, the beauty centre claimed, would be performed using an Italian machine.

It would remove unwanted hair and dark spots, employees told her. However, the woman later learned the machine was made on the mainland and did nothing but remove hair.

Her case came to light amid mounting public concerns about the safety of procedures at beauty centres.

A customer of the DR beauty centre chain died last month after receiving a blood transfusion as a "health therapy".

Prominent dermatologist Dr Louis Shih Tai-cho said: "Use of any product made from human placenta needs to be closely supervised by a medical professional because a human product - the placenta is a human organ - can transmit disease …

"Products made from human placenta have been banned in many countries."