Warnings Over Social Media Trend

23 April 2015, 05:00

A social media trend is leaving young Scots bruised and in pain.

The Kylie Jenner Challenge sees people putting their lips in to the neck or cap of a bottle, or in to a shot glass, and sucking to create a vacuum. That causes their lips to swell up, in an attempt to mimic the plump pout of the reality tv star.

Jenner's appearance, compared to older pictures of her, has sparked online gossip about whether she's had surgery or undergone cosmetic enhancement. The 17-year-old denies having had any procedures to enlarge her lips.

Many teenagers are filming themselves and posting the videos or pictures on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Medical experts are urging teenagers not to try and recreate Jenner's look, warning that, as well as prolonged swelling, the practice can cause burst blood vessels, bruising, burst lips and even lacerations that need stitches - meaning the chance of permanent scarring.

15-year-old James Law from Paisley, who currently lives in Devon, tried it. He told Capital: "I just thought it would be a fun video to put on Facebook, but when you think about what can actually happen, it's pretty scary.

"I've seen myself really bad things happening to people, with their lips bursting. It's just horrible."

James used a deoderant cap, and said the results were shocking: "My lips were literally purple and just turning blue and different colours. I had red spots round my mouth - like wee bits of blood inside my skin. It looked pretty scary cos I just thought I was going to stay like that for ages."

It took around nine hours for the swelling in James' lips to go down, but the bruising and marks lasted for several days. The teenager told us going to college afterwards wasn't much fun. "It was really embarrassing, to be honest, because my lips had been bruised and the top and bottom of my mouth had been bruised for three or four days. I had college and when I came in everyone was like 'what's wrong?'"

James' dad Jimmy wasn't impressed either. He said: "I walked in the back door, and effectively I was confronted by a ridiculous-looking 15-and-a-half-year-old with lips the size of a baboon. I'm laughing now but I wasn't laughing then - I thought someone had punched him in the mouth, to be honest.

He's never off youtube, he's never off social media, so I thought it was just a prank to give his followers a giggle and for him to kinda look like he's the centre of attraction and he's Mr Popular. But I think it's backfired, because he's just been a complete eejit."

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