Beauty to Die For? Silicone Injections and Latinas

A recent NY Times article highlighted a startling new beauty trend gaining popularity among Latinas. Many women have begun to use silicone injections as a way to plump their thighs and rear ends. Medical and industrial-grade silicone is being administered by shady cosmetologists at "plumping parties" to women who don't realize the potentially deadly side effects of the procedure.

Siobhan DeLancey, a spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration, told the Times, “This seems to be kind of an underground occurrence, so it’s difficult to get numbers of actual events and to know exactly what these people are being injected with,” Ms. DeLancey continued. “It’s important to note that none of the products that are reportedly being used are approved for this purpose.” Ms. DeLancey went on to explain that no type of silicone has ever been approved by the FDA for injection into tissue.

But nationally, reports of body enhancement using the silicone injection process are ballooning. These injections seem to be particularly popular among Latina and transgendered women, perhaps due to the high price of conventional plastic surgery and the accessibility of unlicensed practitioners working solely through word of mouth.

Side effects are not commonplace, but the silicone injected can travel through the bloodstream or tissue, leading to ugly lumps, chronic pain, clotting and even death.