As Petroleum jelly hit the market almost 150 years ago, it continues to be a dermatological favorite.
Petroleum jelly is a thick, waxy paste that many people use as a skin care product and treatment for minor cuts and burns. Other names for petroleum jelly include petrolatum and Vaseline, a common brand name. It does this by sealing water inside your skin. Your wounds benefit from that because they require a moist environment to heal. The healing process for dry skin injuries could take up to twice as long. This greasy moisturizer may also lessen the inflammation of a fresh scar and reduce the risk of infection. It also won’t burn when you put it on.
However, as Petroleum jelly is typically used to treat skin conditions, alternate uses have been discovered by bodybuilders like Kirill Tereshin, such as injecting it to aesthetically increase muscles. But as a result, Tereshin, known as the real-life Russian “Popeye,” is currently dealing with potentially fatal health issues.
When Tereshin was 20 years old, he started injecting petroleum jelly into himself. The former soldier rose to fame thanks to his budding MMA career and hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, where he goes by the name “Bazooka Hands.”
But he got stern orders to get rid of the substance two years ago. Doctors said that he put three liters of Synthol oil into each of his arms, which hardened and began aggressively cutting off blood flow to his muscles, some of which were already decomposing beneath his skin.
The 25-year-old Russian man has had multiple corrective procedures, including one in 2021 to remove “dead muscle” and lumps of hardened goo from his biceps.
After being warned by doctors that he could face amputation or even death. The COVID-19 epidemic is gravely postponing more surgery, although the first two operations went smoothly and removed roughly 25% of the scar tissue, dead muscle, and jelly.
However, despite the treatments, it seems as though the injections are still having a negative impact on his arms as his muscles continue to be incredibly bloated.
“Soon I will have a very complicated, hard third surgery,” said Tereshin. “I don’t know how it’ll end up. I bulked up my arms when I was 20 due to my own stupidity. I did not think about the consequences. I am very lucky that there are doctors who took me on. God forbid something happens to this nerve and I cannot move my arm.”
At first, Kirill Tereshin experienced no side effects and achieved all of his goals. The 20-year-arms, old’s which were only 24 inches at the biceps, appeared out of nowhere.
While the MMA fighter and bodybuilder had thought that these injections would provide him an advantage while serving in the military, Synthoil oil is only cosmetic and does not enhance muscles when injected. Instead, by damaging the tissue, its oil, benzyl alcohol, and lidocaine mixture weaken them.
The drug is most frequently used on the triceps, biceps, deltoids, and calf muscles by bodybuilders like Tereshin. The negative effects are anything but minor and include infections, myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary artery blockage, and damage to nerve cells. Tereshin was lucky, and so was Dr. Melnikov.
“It saturated the muscle tissue, blocked blood flow,” he said after the first surgery in 2019. “As a result, the tissue dies and gets replaced with a scar which is as tough as a tree. We have seen petroleum jelly injected into breasts, buttocks and others parts of the female body. We are warning that it is extremely dangerous.”
The doctor continued: “Petroleum jelly affects the whole body, kidneys in particular. I think Kirill did not fully realise the consequences of what he had been doing.”
Although the surgeon removed some of this material, he was only able to operate on one arm.
At this juncture, Tereshin hopes that the third and final operation on his biceps will go smoothly.
“The hardest surgery will be on my biceps,” said Tereshin. “The nerve responsible for the arms’ sensitivity is inside. God forbid something happens to this nerve and I cannot move my arm… I should have thought about this earlier, I know. I blame myself, I know I’m guilty.”