Bloodborne HIV: Don't Get Stuck!

Protect yourself from bloodborne HIV during healthcare and cosmetic services

Patron observed sterile treatment for botox, melanotan, and other injected beauty treatments

POST for botox & other skin-piercing beauty treatment
1. Avoid skin-piercing procedures Find out if there are alternative types of treatment without injections. It may be possible to find oral or topical (applied to the skin) treatments that are safer and equally effective. For example, there are oral and topical tanning treatments.
2. Use new disposable instruments (a) Make sure all the items you use (sharps, syringes, vials) are new, unused, and not tampered with in any way. The packaging should be unbroken. It is better to buy the product just before you use it. If the vendor is a health professional, such as a pharmacist, ask for his or her advice on usage and safety.(b) Do not share skin-piercing products, syringes or vials with others; both the product and the equipment used to administer it may become contaminated.
3. You sterilize the instruments It is safer not to try to sterilize your own equipment. If you keep reused syringes and needles at home, even if you boil them after use, it is easy for them to pick up germs from hands, cloth, and air. This can lead to infections and abscesses. So: use new disposables.
4. Ask providers how they sterilize instruments Botox, melanotan, and other skin-piercing beauty treatments should be available in pre-filled syringes, so there should be no need to prepare or reuse anything. Check that your provider is using a fresh product and new equipment from a package opened in front of you. Look around the facility and ask the provider about hygiene and safety. If they are not willing to answer questions, do not have the treatment there.

Additional information on beauty treatments that involve injections and other skin-piercing procedures

This website provides more information on injection risks and how to protect yourself; other pages discuss risks and self-protection with other cosmetic treatments, such as tattooing, piercing, manicures and pedicures and hair styling and shaving.

Newspapers in the UK and Australia have reported unsafe cosmetic injections of botox, tanning agents (melanotan), steroids, and dermal fillers (collagen). These treatments can be obtained in salons, or they can be self administered. Some practitioners may offer such treatments in the home, where conditions are likely to be unsuitable.

In 2008, the BBC reported that a growing number of people in the UK are injecting themselves with an unlicensed hormonal tanning drug called Melanotan. It is possible that this drug is being sold illegally online, in salons, in gyms and in health centers.


1. Preston R. ‘Backyard botox’ on the rise in Perth. WAtoday 12 December 2012. Available at: (accessed 20 October 2018).

2. Roberts M. ‘Needle risk’ over beauty treatments. BBC 24 September 2013. Available at: (accessed 20 October 2018).

3. Boardman S. Unlicensed tanning drug use rises. BBC 17 November 2008. Available at: (accessed 20 October 2018).

4. Potaka E. Fake doctors, banned drugs, risky procedures: inside Australia’s backyard clinics. The Feed 27 March [no year reported]. Available at: (accessed 20 October 2018).

2 responses to “Patron observed sterile treatment for botox, melanotan, and other injected beauty treatments

  1. Pingback: Risk of Blood-borne Viruses from Skin-piercing Beauty Treatments | Don't Get Stuck With HIV

  2. Pingback: Risk of Blood-borne Viruses from Skin-piercing Beauty Treatments | Blogtivist

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