A young woman’s aspirations of becoming a fitness influencer were destroyed after she developed a horrific flesh-eating illness from vitamin injections at a Los Angeles spa.
Pursuit of Perfection Takes Nightmarish Turn
In early 2021, Beatriz Amma, then 23, paid $800 for a series of vitamin B1, vitamin C and deoxycholic acid injections at an upscale spa. The acid was touted as a fat-dissolver. In total, Amma received around 60 injections in her arms, back and stomach over the course of treatment.
Initially, everything seemed normal, but within days Amma developed symptoms like fever and chills. Soon painful welts and lesions began emerging on her skin near the injection sites. She was eventually diagnosed with a bacterial skin infection called Mycobacterium abscessus. Doctors determined it was likely caused by improper injection of the deoxycholic acid.
For Amma, a former swimsuit model hoping to establish herself as a social media fitness influencer, this marked the beginning of a years-long medical nightmare that dashed her dreams.
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Life Derailed by Excruciating Illness
The pain and physical limitations of Amma’s condition were utterly debilitating. Simple tasks like bathing and dressing herself became impossible without assistance.
“I was just rotting in bed,” Amma recalled. “My body had lost the fight. I remember just being in so much pain that I thought I was going to die.”
To date, Amma has undergone multiple surgeries to remove infected tissue. She must also endure daily multi-hour intravenous antibiotic infusions that leave her exhausted.
Doctors have told Amma this will be a lifelong battle. Any hopes of becoming an influencer and wearing revealing bikinis have been extinguished.
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Hope Despite Hardship
While Amma continues to suffer from the effects of her illness three years later, she has found purpose in raising awareness about aesthetic medicine safety.
She also strives to empower other women to embrace their bodies, regardless of scars or societal beauty ideals. “I want all of us to be able to express our bodies and feel beautiful even if people feel different,” Amma said.
Risks of Aesthetic Procedures Highlighted
Amma’s story highlights the potentially serious risks associated with trendy cosmetic treatments like fat dissolving injections.
Though the spa appeared professional at first glance, the resulting infection has irrevocably damaged Amma’s health and derailed her career aspirations.
Research has revealed improper injection technique can lead to dangerous skin reactions like Amma’s. Consumers may feel a false sense of security due to an establishment’s superficial legitimacy.
While Amma’s case is alarming, it remains relatively rare. However, experts urge consumers to thoroughly vet any provider offering invasive cosmetic procedures, and understand all potential risks before consenting to treatment.
Amma’s journey also illustrates the power of maintaining a positive mindset during times of adversity. Despite unimaginable hardship, she has found purpose and resilience through focusing on self-acceptance and helping others.