Save Face in the Express: REVEALED: Lip filler frenzy leaving teenage girls with HORRIFIC damage
Women have begun sharing needles with strangers in what experts call ‘crisis waiting to happen’
The number of people seeking professional help after being left looking like “cartoon characters” and being hospitalised has rocketed this year since stars like Kylie Jenner admitted having the treatments, specialists say.
Medical professionals have slammed the government for failing to introduce laws to curb the craze as girls as young as 16 rush to get products pumped into their lips.
Some have been left with bruising, lumpy lips and odd shaped mouths with others experiencing necrosis and nasty infections.
Save Face, the non-surgical cosmetic treatment industry watchdog has seen “explosive growth” in the filler market and a surge of people coming to them for help.
Women are often being pulled in by competitive pricing – even if it means sharing needles with a stranger.
One self injector caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to her lips with online fillers
“We have seen patients with a massive stream of complications. Infections, bruising, disfigured lips and necrosis where the flesh eats itself”
Ashton Collins, Save Face
Director Ashton Collins has been calling for more strict Government action in the industry, including raising the legal age for people seeking such treatments.
She said: “We have seen patients with a massive stream of complications. Infections, bruising, disfigured lips and necrosis where the flesh eats itself.
“Patients who have fallen into the wrong hands – patients who have paid via services like Groupon and have already paid so even when all the signs are there they get the procedure done.
“Teenagers think nothing of paying £99 for lip fillers, and when it goes wrong it is too late.
“The problem is it is often portrayed as another beauty treatment and the medical aspect is played down – that is not the case.
“Beauticians are just shamelessly advertising sharing needles, it is an awful situation.”
In 2013 the Keogh Report predicted the cost to the NHS was set to rise, but since no register has been put in place there is no official record.
But, experts have predicted it is weighing heavy on the public purse because industry growth is “explosive”.
Some women have had to wait months for filler in visibly uneven lips to dissolve
The Keogh report found people getting fillers have no more protection legally than someone buying a pen or a toothbrush.
Kevin Hancock, a consultant plastic surgeon with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said surgeons have long been calling for the Government to clamp down on dermal fillers as the number of bad jobs are “certainly” increasing.
He said: “Sharing needles is exactly the same as drugs addicts sharing needles. It is a recipe for disaster.
“Just because it is a filler it doesn’t make it any safer.”
But Mr Hancock said it is impossible to put a figure on the numbers or cost to the NHS because irresponsible injectors do not keep records of issues.
Qualified surgeons and medical professionals have taken to the internet to advise people against ever sharing a needle.
Dermatologist Lisa Kates told an online forum of women to never share a syringe, questioning the ethics of the practitioners willing to do it.
Cosmetic intervention is a booming business in the UK, worth £3.6billion, up from £2.3bn just five years ago.
Problems experienced by women this year include lumps, necrosis and serious infection
Industry watchdogs Save Face have slammed ‘needle sharing’ practice
And non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers account for nine out of ten procedures and 75 per cent of the market value (£2.75bn).
Some women are even buying products online and injecting themselves to keep down costs.
One ‘self injector’ Holly went to Save Face after buying treatments online caused £1,200 damage to her lips because she became “addicted” to filling her own lips with cheap product.
Her lips became lumpy and puss-like. She ended up in so much pain she was admitted to hospital where she was prescribed strong antibiotics.
Another girl was ridiculed in the street after having her lips overfilled by a clueless beautician.
She was made fun of and pointed at by strangers after being left looking like a “cartoon character”.
After the procedure the client looked to have her lips fixed but was forced to keep the false looking, bloated lips after finding out she was pregnant and unable to safely receive the reversal treatment.
Some of the ‘self injectors’ are buying products from eBay with no idea how much to inject or having learnt the proper technique.
Beauticians have advertised needles sharing online against the advice of medical professionals
One woman was pointed at and made fun of in public because a beautician used so much filler
Self injectors can pay around £50 to buy and insert filler in their own lips
An investigation by Save Face found some beauticians are advertising sharing needles on some girls.
The injector is sold in 1m tubes but is being used by some up to four times on different clients.
There is little data available on the exact extent of the problem because women will often seek help from private clinics and there is no formal reporting register, but experts have called the latest surge in people seeking fillers ‘explosive’.
But practitioners have called it a “crisis waiting to happen”.
Last year, Essex based clinic Al-Fa Perio Clinic warned women are now mixing fillers and alcohol at ‘botox parties’.
NHS England admitted it is an “issue of increasing importance” but said it did not have exact numbers for the cost to the health service.
Industry watchdog, Save Face have established a register of accredited doctors, dentists and nurses who have all been assessed and verified against a stringent set of industry specific standards.
The register can be found here.
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