The 5 minute nosejob – or – Why I chose paraffin wax

There was a point in the sixties where criminals in particular took joyfully to the appearance-changing properties of paraffin wax (the hard form of Vaseline) – injecting it under the skin at specific points could change the shape of your face. The effects, depending on how much you used, lasted weeks or months. No big surprise that there was a belated after-effect but then nearly everything injected into the human body carries a price. Paraffin wax was replaced with silicone. Whoops. More after-effects.

Right now the popular non-surgical rhinoplasty – changing the shape of your nose by injection, for an effect lasting several months – is done, according to the ever-useful source Wikipedia, using options like calcium hydroxyapatite, hyaluronic acid, liquid silicone, polyacrylamide gel, or packing the target area with microscopic plastic beads in bovine collagen – polymethylmethacrylate. Well those certainly sound healthier. However, they are relatively modern and the aftereffects of paraffin wax and silicone gel had sometimes taken 15 years and more to appear. Who knows.

The popular target areas are nose, chin and breasts – even a small correction can make an astonishing difference in appearance but oh my anyone who ever researched cosmetic surgery knows the prices are way, way out of line with any other surgery. Men and women alike will beg borrow or steal to look better. Anyone offering a quicker cheaper option to do just that has our undivided attention. (BTW, some surgeons will inject saline water as a preview:  the effects only last a few minutes but you get to see what difference the stuff with the unpronounceable name would make.)

So – what actually happens when you take the quick option? What happened to those who did? I had to do the research because I wanted to change a character’s appearance in a hurry in my Do-Over book. I eventually went with the formerly popular, no-real-skill-required, paraffin wax injection of the past. The effects would last for the few months required by the story, the character was in immediate deadly peril if he didn’t change his appearance, and the long-term risk was relatively small. The human body is never happy with foreign substances suddenly introduced and will protect itself by containing them as far as possible in the injection site. Over time, a granuloma forms, specifically called a paraffinoma when triggered by paraffin injection (so a siliconoma when triggered by silicone). The hard mass of the granuloma has to be removed surgically. A tragedy when we are talking cosmetic corrections now worse than the defect they corrected: but I stand by my choice for my story.

In terms of perfect proportions my nose is short for my face. Packing and extending the soft tip could balance my entire appearance. Would I go for non-surgical rhinoplasty? After looking this lot up? Hell no. Anyway I had dermal fillers several years ago for my daughter’s wedding and the memory of those gazillion tiny stinging injections still lingers. I’ll work on my lovely personality instead. Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were personality injections available . . .

Ever researching on your behalf

Elegsabiff