A recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning cautioned consumers and medical professionals about adverse events associated with injection lipolysis—a series of injections meant to break down fat cells in the areas around the injection sites. They are often delivered in spa-type settings as cosmetic procedures. The agency said the applications are sold online under the names Aqualyx, Lipodissolve, Lipo Lab, and Kabelline and are not FDA-approved treatments. Side effects include permanent scars, serious infections, skin deformities, cysts, and deep, painful knots. Additionally, the agency cautions that some employees delivering the injections may not be appropriately licensed to do so, and some spas and IV clinics are mixing products without proper sterilization. Meanwhile, NBC News reports that a growing number of people are experiencing adverse events after visits to med spas or hydration clinics with infection as the one of the most common conditions, including the aggressive bacterium Mycobacterium abscessus.
Patient concerns: Urgent care clinicians who see patients presenting with unusual infections might consider asking about recent spa treatments when documenting medical histories and arriving at diagnoses. Med spas represent a $15 billion market that has grown dramatically since 2020, so it stands to reason that urgent care may see more patients with adverse events resulting from spa visits.