Former The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville recently wrapped up a stint as housemate on Big Brother, and according to her, she took a few things away from the experience: It was fun, Mark McGrath is grumpy, and viewers want to know why the 45-year-old former model has a stiff upper lip — literally. So in a video for her blog, called Bicoastal Beauty Unfiltered, she addressed the reason behind her mouth’s limited movement.
“Everyone wants to know why my top lip doesn’t move. You can see it right here. It’s a little white circle,” Glanville says in the video, pointing to an area of skin near her mouth. “I had laser hair removal on my upper lip about, gosh, 2009, maybe ? And I got a third-degree burn. And my face on the right side doesn’t move the way my face on the left side moves, so that is why I have some nerve damage and scar tissue, and so I talk out of the side of my mouth.”
This was the first we at Allure had heard of laser hair removal leading to paralyzing nerve damage, so we asked Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, if this is a side effect laser patients should be concerned about. Short answer: Kind of?
“Laser hair removal is a safe and effective treatment that offers permanent hair reduction,” he tells Allure. “One of the risks, particularly at higher energy levels, is a burn in the skin. [However] it would take a very significant laser setting to give a third-degree burn, especially one that causes nerve injury.”
Zeichner says there are other reasons a person may suffer from partial immobility of one’s face, some of which could be the result of a cosmetic procedure and some not. “Other causes for nerve injuries include Bells Palsy, which is a facial nerve injury thought to be due to a viral infection, as well as cosmetic facial procedures, including surgeries and injectables, like fillers or Botox.”
The risk of something going wrong with a cosmetic procedure is also significantly increased when it’s administered by a non-qualified practitioner with an unverified product. “A woman came to me with her upper lip indented and hanging weirdly,” Doris Day, a dermatologist in New York City, recently told Allure. “She thought she’d bought lip filler, but it was silicone — and silicone is permanent.”
Regardless of the reason Glanville’s lips lack a full range of motion, one thing’s for sure: She doesn’t care what anyone thinks or says about them. “If you don’t like it,” she says in the video, “suck my dick.”
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