DIY beauty trends popular on TikTok could be dangerous and harmful, healthcare groups have warned that includes applying bleach to whiten teeth, removing moles at home, and using eyelash glue to make lips appear larger.

These videos went viral, that encouraged others to copy the so-called beauty hacks, which could cause permanent harm, the groups warned.

When it comes to skin, it can lead to unnecessary fear or panic where it is not needed, wasting of resources such as money on products unable to treat medical problems, potential delay in treatment, as well as potentially worsening one’s psychological health.

It is important to remind people that social media should not be used as a primary source for dermatology issues.

Dr Anjali Mahto – British Dermatologists

Removing Moles Challenge

Some videos promote using chemical or physical ways to remove moles. Experts advise all moles be checked by a professional before removal.

There is no safe way to remove a mole at home. This needs to be done by a qualified doctor or dermatologist who is trained and knows what they are doing. Using chemicals or attempting to scrape off a mole could lead to infections, bleeding, scarring and deformity of the area.

Dr Ross Perry – NHS GP

Eyelash Glue

Another method recommends applying eyelash glue to skin. Some cosmetic surgeons said they had also seen social-media videos of at-home Botox or lip-filler kits.

To create a plumping effect could lead to scarring or permanent disfigurement. Eyelash glue contains cyanoacrylate which is known to be a contact allergen. Applying a potentially allergenic chemical to lips could result in a severe reaction.

Dr Adil Sheraz – British Dermatologist

Applying Bleach

Dentists have issued an urgent warning to parents after a new TikTok trend prompted children to use undiluted bleach to whiten their teeth. TikTok users are using food grade hydrogen peroxide, purchased online, as a form of mouthwash for up to a minute.

TikTok videos with the hashtag #teethwhitening have amassed about 284 million views. Some recommend applying bleach to teeth, to avoid expensive over-the-counter treatments.

As per law teeth-whitening products can be sold directly to the public only if they contain no more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. Anything above this level should supplied, or used, under the supervision of a dentist.

The British Dental Association is concerned about the DIY trend to whiten teeth with levels of hydrogen peroxide that are higher than that permitted in over-the-counter products. Using higher concentrations unsupervised, as some videos advocate, raises the risk of damage to teeth and gums, including burns to the mouth, tooth and gum sensitivity, as well as irritated or inflamed gums.

British Dental Association Spokesperson

Teenagers are buying bottles of food grade hydrogen peroxide from Amazon with the purpose of using it as a mouthwash to in effect bleach their teeth. This is far from safe.

The solution they are buying is not for use in this way. It is highly toxic and dangerous and will cause severe pain and damage to both teeth and gums and using the wrong products at home could cause permanent damage.

Skin cancers

Another viral video copied throughout TikTok suggests a way of applying sun cream to create a contour affect.

Skin cancers affect all areas of the face. Using sunscreen on certain areas and missing others to create a pattern may be trendy – but the UV damage to the tanned area will invariably increase the risk of skin cancers in that site. Not only that, repeated exposure to UV light in these areas will make them age prematurely, so, in time, the skin will appear mottled and uneven.

Dr Vishal Madan – Stratum Dermatology Clinics

Some cosmetic-mask treatments promoted in TikTok videos could also be harmful. It is dangerous to put citrus fruits on to the skin and then go into the sun. It can cause inflammation of the skin expressed in burning, redness and blisters.

Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme – Medical Director

In response to the above mentioned practices TikTok replied:

Keeping people on TikTok safe is atop priority these videos did not break our policy. Our community guidelines make clear that we will remove content promoting dangerous behavior or activities that might lead to serious injury or physical harm. We are continuously evaluating our policies and processes to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our users safe.

TikTok Spokesperson
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