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“A slippery slope”: a scoping review of the self-injection of unlicensed oils and fillers as body enhancement

Brennan, Rebekah and Overbye, Marie and Van Hout, Marie Claire and McVeigh, James (2021) “A slippery slope”: a scoping review of the self-injection of unlicensed oils and fillers as body enhancement. Performance Enhancement & Health. p. 100185. ISSN 2211-2669


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Self-injection of a range of oils and fillers for body enhancement dates back to 1899, but due to significant associated harms and fatalities this practice has been largely linked to distinct cultural groups in recent times. This scoping review gathers what is currently known on the self injection of body fillers for aesthetic purposes, using Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) five stage iterative process scoping review methodology. Thematic manual coding then organised the data into themes through identified patterns: indicative profiling of individuals who self inject body fillers; motivation for use across types of oil injection; sourcing routes and documented harms. It was found that the majority of people who inject body fillers are male and do so to grossly increase muscle size. Injection of oils and other materials in the male genitalia was also described, in addition to female self-injection in the breast, hand and leg areas for augmentation. A range of health consequences were reviewed. Recommendations are made for further research into this unique phenomenon, which although is relatively rare warrant future research attention considering the documented increase in DIY facial fillers and contemporary body image culture.

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