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A Shot in the Dark

Allergic reactions to silicone shots can be deadly or disfiguring

The procedure is quick, easy and inexpensive. And the person selling it to you will promise fuller lips, smoother skin and a more youthful look.

Sold? Think again. The procedure, silicone shots, has been linked to many cases of severe disfigurement and, in a few cases, death, according to an article from MSNBC. The practice is popular in South Florida, where thousands have opted for the procedure, which can cost between $100 and $500. But the practitioners are often untrained and unlicensed. And in some cases, they are not even using sterile procedures.

The immediate effects can be encouraging. The procedure is used to battle wrinkles, plump lips, create fuller breasts and reshape buttocks, legs and hips. It is particularly popular among AIDS patients, who often lose weight while taking drugs to combat their disease. It is also popular among transsexuals, who use it to create a feminine figure. But side effects can create horrible problems, either immediately or many years later. One doctor described the allergic reactions as looking like leprosy. One woman died when the silicone traveled to her lungs and created an embolism.

Despite problems with some procedures, plastic surgery is more popular than ever -- with both men and women. The key is going with an established procedure and finding a board-certified practitioner. To learn more, you can read this information from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. To find out more about acupuncture facelifts, read this from ABCNEWS.com.

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