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Health experts call for tighter regulation of cosmetic treatments

Health experts are calling for tighter regulation of treatments including anti-wrinkle injections. Photo: ITV News

Health experts in the UK are calling for a tighter regulation of the cosmetic treatments, including anti-wrinkle injections and lip fillers.

They warn certain procedures can cause blindness and disfigurement if they are not carried out correctly.

In the UK, non-surgical cosmetic treatments are worth £3billion.

The most popular procedures are facial injections such as Botulinum toxin, (or botox), which relaxes the muscles in order to reduce wrinkles, while dermal fillers plump up and fill out the face.

The non-surgical cosmetic treatments industry is worth £3billion in the UK. Credit: ITV News

The organisation Save Face, which provides advice to those interested in receiving cosmetic treatments, is also a national register of accredited practitioners.

They say practitioners who administer the following non-surgical cosmetic treatments aren’t legally required to have any qualifications:

  • botulinum toxin (botox) injections
  • chemical peels
  • laser hair removal

They can legally be performed by anyone, whatever their level of training, medical or otherwise.

Camille Hoffman had her lips injected but didn't end up with the result she expected.

Camille said she got an Credit: ITV Wales

In the months following the procedure the filler product moved out of her lips and formed hard lumps on her face.

Not long after the procedure, hard lumps formed around Camille's mouth. Credit: ITV Wales

When you take a picture or when you're looking in the mirror you can see that flaw...it's not something you can hide.

I can't cover it up with make up, it's an actual disfigurement, it's a lump and over time it's got worse and worse and worse.

– CAMILLE HOFFMAN

In 2013, the UK Government commissioned a review into cosmetic procedures.

It warned that although dermal fillers were “a crisis waiting to happen”, as they were only covered by the same regulation as ballpoint pens and toothbrushes.

Dr Phil Banfield from the British Medical Association says the government is not fully aware of the potential problems that come with cosmetic surgery.