Warning over 'cosmetic crisis'

Unregulated injectable anti-wrinkle treatments are a "crisis waiting to happen", an official review into cosmetic procedures has warned. It says the procedures should only be available on prescription and carried out by qualified practitioners.

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Sir Bruce Keogh: We are 'keeping our citizens at risk'

A review led by NHS medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh, has called for all people who provide cosmetic procedures to undergo formal qualifications and to be signed up to a register. Sir Keogh said:

NHS medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive

"The irony in all of this is that not only are fillers not regulated as a medical device; the most striking thing is that anybody, anywhere, anytime, can give a filler to anybody else, and that is bizarre.

"We should ensure that all devices - whether they are solid or liquid - that are implanted into humans and stay there should be covered by the medical devices regulation.

"We recognise that Europe is looking at this but in the mean time I don't think we can wait - keeping our citizens at risk.

"We should make fillers prescription-only in this country as soon as possible."

190 different cosmetic fillers available across Europe

Health officials said there has been "explosive growth" in the market for dermal filler treatments, which involve injecting a gel-like substance into wrinkle sites, in recent years.

The products, which are also used to plump up lips, should be made prescription only, the review board set up by the Department of Health said.

It added that in the US, where the items are "properly regulated", there are just 14 items on the market, but across Europe there are 190 different types of fillers available. The report states:

It is our view that dermal fillers are a crisis waiting to happen.

A person having a non-surgical cosmetic intervention has no more protection and redress than someone buying a ball-point pen or a toothbrush.

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Calls for tighter regulation for cosmetic surgery

A committee set up by the Department of Health in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal has called for tighter regulation of the UK cosmetic interventions industry.

Recommendations announced today by the committee, headed by Sir Bruce Keogh, has recommended tighter controls on advertising, that those administering treatments should have proper qualifications, and that all dermal fillers should be prescription only.

A PIP implant victim holding one of her ruptured PIP implants after having it removed Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The review board, set up following the PIP breast implant scandal, said it was "surprised" to learn that non-surgical treatments are almost entirely unregulated.

The cosmetic surgery industry is worth £2.3 billion a year, with people spending money on a range of procedures from Botox to breast implants.

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