An Auckland woman says she was unable to walk for several days after suffering an extreme reaction to cosmetic leg-injections.
Twenty-five-year-old Becky Zhao got botulinum toxin injections – commonly known as botox – for slimmer legs, which she said left her with a fever and “intense” pain.
She has since been ignored by the provider and is still in the dark about what went wrong, with the beauty salon refusing to give evidence of its licence to give injections, she said.
While lower doses are used for anti-wrinkle treatments, higher doses can be used to reduce muscles and have a slimming effect.
Ms Zhao said she got injected at Su Beauty Lab last Thursday, and was told it was done by a registered nurse and that the salon had a doctor overseeing the practice.
A fever and “tearing” leg pain followed the injection, Ms Zhao said. She was unable to walk for three days, but said she was told the reactions were normal.
Ms Zhao saw a GP when symptoms persisted. A GP form sighted by Stuff showed an ACC misadventure during surgery/medical care incident had been logged.
The GP advised Ms Zhao to find out what was injected, so she requested the beauty salon’s doctor’s credentials and the product code of the botulinum toxin they used, but they refused to release this information, she said.
“I want to know what they injected me with…what have you done to me?”
After trying to contact the clinic through the agent who set up her appointment, she said she was given a message that the doctor’s details were “private” and that she should’ve asked for this before she got injected.
Ms Zhao was told this message came from the person who injected her.
Wechat messages between the agent and Ms Zhao showed she was told the reactions were normal. Messages also showed Ms Zhao was first advised to take antibiotics, but later advised to take panadol.
While she can walk now a week following the injection, Ms Zhao said she can still feel pain in her legs.
But the spokesman said botox injections fell outside the council’s jurisdiction.
Auckland Council received 33 complaints regarding health and beauty providers operating without the correct licences in 2019, and 23 complaints in 2020.
Meanwhile, Ms Zhao said she was frustrated by the lack of channels for redress, and was considering legal action.
“I have been hurt emotionally and physically and there’s no one to help me…I don’t know whom to go to, do you expect me to just be hurt and stay silent?”
Ms Zhao complained to the Health and Disability Commission (HDC) and a statement from HDC to Stuff confirmed an assessment is underway.
However, it said the complaint may be referred to a provider’s regulatory authority for further action.