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Woman's Lip-Filler "Addiction" Nearly Cost Her Life

A woman who suffers from body dysmorphic disorder talks of the pain and danger of excessive use of lip-fillers.

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Lauren Smalley wants to warn others. Photo via

By Fionna Agomuoh

05/14/12

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A British woman suffering from body dysmorphic disorder nearly lost her life because she became hooked to lip filler. Lauren Smalley, now 30, "began to hate the way I looked” from the age of 12, she tells The Sun. She was first prescribed medication for body dysmorphic disorder when she was 15. But driven by her condition to change her appearance, she began making regular visits to Harley Street—the traditional home of expensive private doctors in London—and became "addicted" to monthly lip-filler injections of Perlane and Restylane, costing up to $480 a time. In order to save money and reduce the frequency of her trips to the doctor, Smalley began looking for a permanent filler and discovered Bio-Alcamid. But she developed small tumors called granulomas in her face after using it, and a subsequent infection on top of that meant the filler had to be surgically removed. The painful and costly reconstruction she now needs will take years. “Bio-Alcamid has left me dreadfully scarred and I feel deformed now," she says. "I’d like to tell anyone who is considering using lip fillers to be careful.”

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