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Victoria AquinoA lot of women are put off from having Botox as they don’t like the idea of having poison injected into their faces. Botox reduces wrinkles by paralysing muscles.  Some women wrongly believe that having dermal fillers is actually a safer way of improving their looks.  This procedure involves injecting a gel like substance under the skin which plumps out skin and smoothes fine lines.  It adds volume to skin which has been thinned by ageing.

These fillers were initially developed to treat deformities but cosmetic surgeons quickly realised that they could also be used to enhance appearance.  Over the years fillers have become more affordable and along with Botox the amount of procedures carried out is set to grow next year.

Many women do not realise that fillers are not regulated in the same way as Botox.  The law treats them as harmless substances.  In the USA there are six types of fillers which are approved for use by professionals and these must be obtained by prescription. However in the UK there are more than 100 types of fillers available and they can be obtained without prescription by anyone.   More worryingly, they can be injected by anyone, regardless of whether or not they have been suitably trained.

Fillers can cause major health problems such as nerve damage, blurred vision, blindness, facial collapse, and skin discoloration.  A study by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) revealed that over the last 12 months, seven out of ten surgeons had seen patients who complained of complications from dermal fillers.  It revealed that over the past three years the number or problems with fillers has tripled.

These are worrying statistics and unsurprisingly 98 per cent of surgeons polled thought that fillers should be treated as medicine.

There are two types of fillers; temporary ones made from hyaluronic acid where the acid is eventually absorbed into the body, and more permanent ones which are made from other materials which can remain in the body for years.

I was horrified to find out that the fillers can move from the original injection site to other parts of the body.  If the temporary filler is injected too close to the skin it can lead to the skin turning a shade of blue. The dangers of fillers should be highlighted as these women are looking to enhance their appearance.  If they knew that there was a high risk they could end up with permanent disfigurement maybe it would make them think twice. 

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