What Are Saline Injections?

Jessica F. Black

Saline injections, a mixture of water and salt, are used for various reasons, including several types of body modifications, acne scar treatment, spider vein treatment, and other procedures. One well known use for this saline mixture is intravenous infusions to re-hydrate patients. Saline mixtures are also sold over the counter as nasal sprays and contact lens cleaner.

Saline has been injected into the buttocks for cosmetic purposes.
Saline has been injected into the buttocks for cosmetic purposes.

This particular body modification process has become increasingly popular and involves inflating several body parts by using saline injections. The most common body parts inflated include the labia and breasts for females or the scrotum and penis for males. Sexual stimulation is generally the motivation for those who participate in this form of body modification, and the scrotum is usually the body part that is most effected. Due to the large number of nerve receptors in the scrotum, saline injections may enhance sexual stimulation and may cause instant sexual gratification. Some males may also directly inject this solution into their testicles for similar purposes.

Saline injections can be used as a less expensive treatment for acne scar treatment.
Saline injections can be used as a less expensive treatment for acne scar treatment.

Females may use saline injections for sexual stimulation and also to increase the size of their breasts. There are males and females who inject this solution into their buttocks for cosmetic purposes, but the enhancement is usually temporary. One of the largest concerns with this practice is infections, and those who practice these methods are usually urged to make sure that the procedure is performed with sterile instruments. Some people opt to perform this procedure at home, but there are various body modification centers that also offer these injections.

Saline mixtures can be given intravenously to rehydrate ill patients.
Saline mixtures can be given intravenously to rehydrate ill patients.

The use of saline injections for acne scar treatment is one of the less expensive methods used to correct scarring caused by mild acne. This procedure usually needs to be performed several times over the course of many months and may become costly depending on the severity of the individual's scars. Damaged areas are usually injected with the solution and although the immediate effects are short term, the repeated use may permanently change the contour of the skin.

Saline injections may be used to eliminate spider veins.
Saline injections may be used to eliminate spider veins.

Spider vein treatment using this method has relatively more success because the injections often shrink the veins and eventually cause them to disappear. There are numerous plastic and reconstructive surgery offices that administer these injections to patients who suffer from overly apparent spider veins. Regardless of the use for saline injections, the interested party should research the effects, pros and cons, and possible dangers of these procedures.

Saline injections may enhance sexual stimulation.
Saline injections may enhance sexual stimulation.
Saline mixtures may be available in the form of a nasal spray.
Saline mixtures may be available in the form of a nasal spray.
Saline injections may be a less expensive form of acne treatment.
Saline injections may be a less expensive form of acne treatment.

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Discussion Comments


My girlfriend is a nurse and she injected saline into my scrotum.


Distilled water is lethal, but go for it.


What takes longer for the body to process, a cosmetic saline injection using a higher percentage saline solution or a lower percentage solution? I'm assuming a .9 % standard saline as the baseline for injection cosmetically but am wondering about .6% saline as would it last longer or not?


What mix of salt and water is needed for spider veins? Boil tap water, use table salt, sea salt? Order solution online then boil? Thanks.


You could end up with MRSA and other infectious bacterias rotting holes in your flesh causing terrible scarring. It seems a silly thing to risk, especially considering the positive results won't last long. But I'm no doctor. People tormenting their bodies for attention or affection is their own problem.


How much saline can be injected into the testicles directly?


The only time I've had a saline injection was when I used to donate blood plasma. Because plasma is basically the water portion of the blood, they replace the lost fluid with saline. Whenever it goes into your arm, it is kind of a weird feeling because the saline is room temperature and colder than your body temperature.

My mother is a nurse, and I remember her telling me that when they were learning how to give shots and hook up IVs that they used saline solution. Because it is much better to practice on other people rather than dummies after a while, they ended up having to take turns injecting each other with saline solution. That way, you get a real-life experience, but the saline doesn't have any effect on the person it's being ejected into.


@kentuckycat - Be prepared for some major discomfort is you inject yourself with plain water. Saline solution is used because it is very close to the salt concentration of the blood and cellular fluid. If you remember how osmosis works, if you were to inject only water, it would go from an area of high concentration (the injection point) to areas of low concentration (cells and capillaries). The cells right around the injection point would swell very quickly and probably erupt causing bruising. By using the saline solution, it can redistribute itself over a much larger area near the injection point and won't immediately rush into the cells.

As far as the acne treatment goes, I was curious about that, as well. I'm not sure what exactly causes the pock marks of acne scars, but I'm guessing it has something to do with some protein not being present in the area. My guess is that the regular saline injections push out the pock marks and allow the cells to fill in the gaps. Eventually, I suppose the area fills in enough that the scars are gone.


@jcraig - I was curious about this, too, so I did some research. You are right, the saline is eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. Apparently, the results don't last very long, either. Just however long it takes for your body to redistribute the saline into the cells and bloodstream. To be honest, I don't know why anyone would bother with it in the first place.

I understand that there are cosmetic reasons for wanting to have larger breasts, but I don't know what the purpose would be to just have the larger breasts for only a few hours. I'm also curious about the acne scar treatment the article mentions. It sounds like that is a longer-term treatment that ends up being permanent, but how would that work?

Finally, what is the purpose of needing to use saline. Why not just give yourself an injection of distilled water or something?


Wow, I never realized there was so much that saline injections could be used for. To be honest, I had never heard of the injections being used for anything besides post-surgery types of treatments.

It sounds like the saline is always used to make areas more "plump." How does it work, though? I'm no expert on breast enlargement, but I was always under the impression that instead of using saline injections for the breasts that they just implanted silicone sacs that contained a saline solution.

I guess the real question here is how does the saline stay in one place? Wouldn't it eventually just start mixing with the blood, and you would end up with the same look you had before the injections? Maybe there is something I'm missing here. Does anyone have any ideas?

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