With the prevalence and popularity of botox injections and injectable fillers, people have gotten much more comfortable with the idea of facial injections as a means of changing their look. However, one treatment in particular has dermatologists especially concerned – glutathione.
These injections purportedly help lighten the skin on your face, but not without some troubling side effects. Let’s take a look at what these injections are, whether or not they work, and what patients should be aware of before opting for this treatment.
What is glutathione?
Glutathione is an antioxidant. From a nutritional standpoint, antioxidants are typically found in whole foods, particularly fruits and vegetables with very deep colors (pomegranates, broccoli, etc.). Antioxidants are important because they help to fight off free radicals, which are irregular atoms or groups of atoms which can start unhealthy chain reactions in the body.
However, there is a world of difference between getting your antioxidants naturally through nutritional intake and receiving an injection of the same substance in your face. Many patients make the mistake of assuming that since glutathione helps the body as an antioxidant, it must be safe. This is not necessarily true.
Do glutathione injections work?
It is unclear whether or not glutathione injections are effective in lightening the skin. The problem with understanding whether or not the injections work has a lot to do with the fact that glutathione is not as regulated as it could be. Dosages may differ wildly from treatment to treatment, or even from injection to injection. Different professionals may have different techniques for administering the shots, and the results may be quite varied depending on the individual.
Because these injections have not been properly evaluated or tested for consumer safety and efficacy, we cannot say definitively whether or not they work. What can be said, however, is that they are largely unsafe and unregulated, and many countries have warned against their use.
Glutathione injection side effects
As with any medical procedure, there is a risk of side effects with glutathione injections. First and foremost, there is the risk of an allergic reaction, which could include redness, itchiness, swelling at the injection sites, and hives. And while allergic reactions are certainly serious and may warrant medical attention, there are some side effects associated with glutathione injections that are even more grave.
Injections have been linked with kidney failure, liver disease, severe asthma attacks, infection, and Stevens-Johnsons syndrome – a disease which causes cells in your skin and mucous membranes to die off rapidly. Each of these side effects is considered a true medical emergency and requires immediate attention.
Even if glutathione recipients manage to dodge the more frightening side effects, there is still the possibility of their hair turning white, or increased risk of severe sunburn. In short, it is not worth the risk.
Safer skin lightening treatments are available, including all-natural topical creams. For example, Zeta White offers a three-step system which gradually and gently lightens skin without harsh chemicals or dangerous procedures. Those looking to lighten their skin should be wary of any products which must be taken internally, including pills and injections.
Remember that your health is more important than your looks, so please do not risk your health, especially when there are safer options available.