Former beauty queen Tracie Samara was left bruised, swollen and nearly blinded from getting silicone fillers in her face.

The then-44-year-old opted for a free, non-invasive face procedure by a Miami doctor because she wanted to return to her youthful appearance from when she modeled.

The fillers were so bad that an infection formed deep into the tissues causing pain and extreme discomfort along with bruising.

Eleven years later, she is still working on getting her face back to normal from the damage the injections caused.

The use of facial fillers is the second most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States.

Daily Mail Online spoke with Dr David Shafer, a double board certified plastic surgeon in NYC, who warns about the dangers of ‘do it yourself’ procedures and using doctors who are not certified.

Samara was attracted to the offer of a free, non-invasive procedure that would return her face back to the youthful days of her modeling career.

She went to a Miami doctor who injected her face with silicone fillers in many areas including her cheeks and lips.

Silicone face fillers are a cheaper option than collagen because they are inorganic.

Collagen face fillers mimic the natural producing collagen in the body to help replenish the stores that have depleted in the face due to age.

But liquid silicone is an unnatural substance that is injected into the skin and normally stays longer because it can’t be broken down by the body.

Instead, collagen surrounds it and helps fill out the areas in the face.

Samara was left bruised and swollen from the silicone filler, but she didn’t realize something was wrong until a few weeks after the procedure.

‘There are many cases of unethical people injecting industrial grade silicone in place of medical grade products and the complications can be life-threatening and life-long disfigurement,’ Dr Shafer said.

He recommends for people to find doctors certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and to avoid people offering medical procedures who are not doctors.

Dr Shafer also shows his clients the packaging before he injects them.

This is to help reassure them that it is a genuine and legal product going into their skin.

‘Feel free to speak up if they feel something does not seem right such as not seeing the packaging before being injected or not being told what you are having injected in you,’ Dr Shafer said.

Samara still doesn’t know exactly what type of silicone was injected into her skin.

The swelling and bruising under Samara’s eyes got so bad that she was nearly blinded by the lumps.

An infection formed and there were spots that turned into hard and lumpy nodules, something that shouldn’t occur after face injections.

She went under the knife for numerous surgeries to rid her face of the silicone and bring her appearance back to normal.

But the free procedure had done its damage.

Her face was left deformed from the surgeries because the infection had gone deep into the tissue under her skin.

‘I sort of went under ground after that,’ Samara said to 7 News Miami. ‘No going out, no socializing.’

Another trend happening is people thinking they can inject their own filler without the help of a trained practitioner.

‘No one should ever inject their own filler,’ Dr Shafer said. ‘First of all, the mechanics are all backwards. Holding a needle and syringe backwards and injecting is awkward.’

He also warns that DIY injections do not give people the natural results they are looking for.

‘It takes an impartial set of eyes and a different perspective when injecting to achieve the best and most natural appearing results,’ Dr Shafer said.

Samara had a hard time finding a doctor to get her face back to normal after the infection and swelling took over her face.

She eventually found Dr John Martin in Coral Gables, Florida.

He works with patients who have received bad injections from previous procedures and gets those areas back to normal.

Dr Martin has now done five Ultherapy procedures on Samara’s face to help break up the nodules that had formed from the bad injections.

This therapy is normally used to tighten the skin around the neck, but he has found that it also works well to soften and minimize the nodules that form from bad injections.

The deep ultrasound heating unit is very painful for Samara, but she has slowly seen her face go back to normal.

Samara is planning a future cosmetic surgery to further fix the damage to her face from the injections.

‘I’m still not happy with the way I look, but I feel hope. Samara said to 7 News Miami. ‘And I didn’t have that before.’

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