Save Face team up with ITV to Investigate the Darker Side of the Non-surgical Cosmetic Treatment Industry
Health experts in Wales are calling for tighter regulation of anti-wrinkle injections and lip fillers.
They warn the procedures can cause blindness and disfigurement if they’re not carried out correctly.
In the UK, non surgical cosmetic treatments are worth nearly £3bn.
The most popular procedures are injections into the face. Botulinum toxin, or botox, relaxes the muscles to reduce wrinkles while dermal fillers plump up and fill out the face.
But despite the health risks, there’s very little regulation in Wales to cover dermal fillers. Practitioners aren’t legally required to have any training or qualifications, and anyone can purchase the products.
Save Face, which independently assesses clinics, has seen a rise in the number of people coming forward after botched beauty treatments.
Camille Hoffman had her lips injected but didn’t end up with the result she expected.
In the months following the procedure the filler product moved out of her lips and formed hard lumps on her face.
In 2013, the UK Government commissioned a review into cosmetic procedures.
It warned that although dermal fillers were “a crisis waiting to happen”, they were only covered by the same regulation as ballpoint pens and toothbrushes.
In May, the Welsh Government introduced a new law to regulate procedures like tattooing and body piercing. But it doesn’t apply to dermal fillers, despite many health organisations arguing for them to be included.
Dr Phil Banfield from the British Medical Association says that’s a worry, as any procedure that breaches the skin can cause problems.
The Welsh Government told ITV Wales they wanted to let councils embed the new licensing scheme for procedures like tattooing, before introducing any new ones.
But they admit, they are concerned about the risks of dermal fillers, and they may introduce regulation in the future.