UNREGULATED beauticians are carrying out potentially dangerous cosmetics procedures which can disfigure women for life.
They are performing so-called ‘non-surgical’ treatments such as lip and cheek ‘fillers’ without medical qualifications.
Last night, one young woman told how fillers carried out by beauticians left her with a drooping top lip that has no sensation.
‘Lilly’ said, ‘It feels like my lips are twice the size…they’re cold and numb to touch’.
The number of complaints about procedures by non-medics in Scotland has reached a record high – almost doubling last year.
A loophole means medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and dentists, who carry out the treatments have to register with a Scottish Government regulator – but beauticians do not have the same checks.
Dermal fillers have become increasingly popular in recent years, in part owing to the influence of US reality star Kylie Jenner, 21, who admitted having lip enhancements.
Gels are injected under the skin and can plump ‘problem’ areas such as thin lips, weak jawlines, and eye-bags. But complications can include blindness, severe allergic reactions, and necrosis when tissue dies. Medics and campaigners have called on the Government to crack down on unregulated beauticians.
Dr Nora Nugent, of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: ‘These invasive treatments carry serious risks. Fillers can cause blindness; they can cause skin death and it is not always reversible.
‘A beautician that may have done a week’s course is not the same as being clinically assessed. It is time to look at the legislation and look at what is best for the patients. ‘
Since April 2017, health professionals in Scotland have had to pay more than £2000 to register with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and must have regular inspections to carry out the procedures.
Beauticians can do the same work without the same monitoring.
Government-approved body Save Face is working to improve regulation and set up a UK-wide register of accredited practitioners which is recognised by the UK Government, NHS, UK Department of Health and Care Quality Commission
Save Face said the number of complaints lodged against non-medics in Scotland relating to non-surgical cosmetic procedures rose from 57 in 2016-17 to 109 last year. Its director, Ashton Collins, said that was ‘directly linked’ to the number of people doing cosmetic procedures without medical qualification. She said, ‘Practitioners target patients on social media and when something goes wrong the patient gets blocked and has to seek corrective treatment elsewhere.’
Save Face said DK Aesthetics had the most complaints in Scotland with 16 in three months – five from healthcare professionals. Run by beautician Daniel Kerr in Bathgate, West Lothian, it boasts on it’s Facebook page that it delivers ‘Scotland’s number on non-surgical facial aesthetic procedures’.
In Save Face documents seen by the Scottish Mail on Sunday, a client said they suffered a vascular occlusion – a blockage of a blood vessel – after treatment there. Others have allegedly been left with hard lumps in their lips.
Mr Kerr denied ever knowingly caused an occlusion and was not aware of complaints to Save Face.
He added ‘We do everything by the book, our insurance company knows we follow all medical malpractice procedures. If anyone was to complain, it’s an open-door policy. If there are any concerns, there’s a 24-hour number.
‘Unfortunately, there are a lot of doctors and nurses that have it against us because we are a little bit cheaper than everyone else. ‘I’m very good at my job, I know exactly what I am doing.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said ‘We are considering a range of options for the regulation of independent clinics.’
‘My Lips are numb…I even drool at night’
Mother-of-two Lilly wanted her lips plumped after seeing the ‘dermal filler’ craze sweep social media. She booked her first appointment in October 2016, getting 1ml of hyaluronic acid get syringed into her lips. Three years and a further 6ml of filler later, she is at the centre of a cosmetic horror story.
With a drooping and heavy top lip, broken blood vessels pushing at her overstretched skin and a constant sensation of both burning and numbness, Lilly is uncomfortable and in pain.
The care assistant from Livingstone, West Lothian, who did not want to give her real name, has had treatment from a number of beauticians. She had her most recent procedure – 1ml lip top-up in February. Although she initially showed off her newly plumped lips on social media, she is now suffering challenging complications.
Each morning, after another night of drooling on her bedsheets, she wakes up with her top lip swollen and curled up towards her nose.
She said ‘It feels like my lips are twice the size. They’re red, nippy and throb. They fold over every morning when I wake. My lips are curled up, sticking up, giving me creases at the sides of my mouth.
I still like how big they are but when I smile, I can see bits of my lips dangling down over my teeth. They’re cold and numb to touch on the top. I can run my nail along it and there’s no feeling and it’s hard.’