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Victoria AquinoWould you allow someone to inject poison into your face if you thought it would improve the way you looked? As extreme as this sounds the reality is that many people happily pay for someone to do this to them completely unaware of what the procedure they are undergoing actually involves. Having poison pumped under your facial skin is more commonly known as Botox - a procedure which uses chemicals known to cause muscle paralysis to achieve a smooth, wrinkle-free appearance.

Many cosmetic surgery procedures are seriously under-regulated in this country and the horror stories of people having Botox or fillers by unqualified beauticians are sadly all too common.

Dermal fillers are made out of synthetic or natural substances and can be used for a number of treatments such as lip enhancement, to improve the appearance of scars and smoothing the appearance of wrinkles. Not only is there a risk of these procedures not working at all but they can go catastrophically wrong.  Although the procedures are supposed to be temporary, as the ingredients are broken down in the body over time, it can still lead to months of possible disfigurement and pain.  Some of the complications that can arise include

  • Allergic reaction
  • Toxic shock
  • Swelling, blisters, sores and cysts-which could disfigure a patient following a negative reaction to dermal fillers
  • Temporary or permanent facial paralysis
  • Severely decreased tear production resulting in dry eye symptoms and possibly permanent cornea damage
  • Blindness through a blocked blood supply
  • Impaired swallowing

The Keogh review into cosmetic surgery procedures is currently ongoing and was requested in the wake of the PiP breast implant scandal. It is alleged this health scandal will cost the NHS at least £2 million. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAPPS) has recommended to the review that products such as dermal fillers should be classified as medicines so they can be properly regulated. 

Shockingly dermal fillers are readily available online and are of varying quality.  As they are not classed as medicine the products do not undergo the same strict testing required of medicines.  They have also suggested that the term “surgeon” is legally protected and that there should be a compulsory register for practitioners.  It is scandalous that at the moment, anyone can call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon” and the consumer is none the wiser. 

Hopefully the review will help give consumers protection in this ever growing industry.


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