THE demand for dermal fillers has sky-rocketed in the past few years, and scrolling through Instagram or watching TV, it’s easy to see why.
Countless celebs have had lip or skin fillers, from Kylie Jenner to Olivia Attwood.
Dermal fillers – which are now the nation’s most popular non-surgical treatment, with the industry worth £2.75billion and accounting for nine out of 10 procedures – involves collagen or hyaluronic acid being injected under the skin to create volume and shape.
They can cost anywhere between £50 and £2,000.
However, there’s one big problem: fillers are totally unregulated, meaning you don’t need to have any qualifications to buy and inject them.
Such lax regulations have led to an explosion in cowboy practitioners advertising their services on Facebook and Instagram, with a shocking 83% of botched jobs performed by people with no medical training, often in unsanitary conditions.
The results can be devastating, with women left at risk of potentially lethal infections such as sepsis, rotting tissue and blindness. Some may even need chunks of their lips amputated.
When problems like these occur, rogue traders typically disappear, leaving the NHS to pick up the pieces.
Consultant plastic surgeon Niall Kirkpatrick, who specialises in correcting dermal filler complications, says: “The government needs to act to regulate the cosmetic industry.
Currently, absolutely anyone can inject fillers, but only appropriately trained and qualified people should be allowed.
Had Our Fill campaign
Britain's Botox and filler addiction is fuelling a £2.75billion industry.
The wrinkle-busting and skin plumping treatments account for 9 out of 10 cosmetic procedures.
50% of women and 40% of men aged 18 to 34 want to plump up their pouts and tweak their faces.
Fillers are totally unregulated and incredibly you don’t need to have ANY qualifications to buy and inject them.
83% of botched jobs are performed by people with no medical training, often in unsanitary environments – with devastating results.
Women have been left with rotting tissue, needing lip amputations, lumps and even blinded by botched jobs.
Despite the dangers, there is no legal age limit for dermal filler, which is why Fabulous has launched Had Our Fill, a campaign calling for:
- fillers to be made illegal for under 18s
- a crackdown on social media sites plugging fillers
- a Government-backed central register for practitioners with accredited qualifications
We're working in conjunction with Save Face and are backed by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
We want anyone considering a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to be well-informed to make a safe decision.
We’ve Had Our Fill of rogue traders and sham clinics – have you?
At the moment a full lip is the fashion, and both social media and direct advertising from clinics target young women, coercing them into treatments they don’t need.
“This age group may not fully understand the risks involved and many are getting fillers injected by non-medically-qualified people, who likely have almost no knowledge of human anatomy, pharmacology or the medical risks. These injectors also won’t know how to treat complications if they arise and do not have medical indemnity protection to cover the patient financially if something goes wrong.”
Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners who provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments, found in its Consumer Complaints Audit Report that between 2018 and 2019 there were 1,617 complaints regarding unregistered practitioners.
Of those complaints, 1,309 were about dermal fillers, and 387 of those who reported a botched job had to have corrective procedures, with 11 people ending up in A&E departments as a result.
A staggering eight in 10 treatments were carried out by beauticians, hairdressers or laypeople, with a third of patients unsure of what qualifications or training their practitioner had. The situation is so bad that leading doctors have told Fabulous the UK’s facing a “public health crisis”.
Despite the dangers, there is currently no legal age limit for dermal fillers – meaning teens as young as 13 are falling victim to dodgy traders. In light of these worrying figures, we’ve launched Had Our Fill.
Our celeb supporters on why they’re backing Had Our Fill
TOWIE star Amy Childs
“A few years ago I was addicted to lip fillers. My parents had to sit me down and say it was too much. When I eventually went to a practitioner to remove them, doctors found that my repeated use had led to a burst blood vessel in my upper lip. Now my lips are unlikely to go back to their natural shape. I wish I’d never had it done in the first place.”
Geordie Shore’s Abbie Holborn
“I’ve had filler in my lips, jaw, chin and tear trough. I ended up with two black eyes after getting it dissolved after complications. It was really painful. You need to be careful with these treatments, and really do your research beforehand, making sure the practitioner is properly qualified.”
TOWIE star Shelby Tribble
“I’ve given up fillers for good, as I got a horrible duck-face look. You hear about girls who are under 18 and having them done – it’s scary, there are lots of horror stories. Girls are putting themselves in a vulnerable position, especially if they don’t do their research. If I can help one person make a more informed choice, then it’s worth it.”
2018 Love Islander, Samira Mighty
“After Love Island, I was messaged a lot by [cosmetic surgery] companies saying: ‘We’d love to do something to your face.’ I felt under pressure, so it’s amazing Fabulous is raising awareness about the dangers. The lack of regulation is disgusting. Girls need to be aware that cheap is not always a good thing.”
Working in conjunction with Save Face and backed by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), we want anyone considering a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to be well-informed so they can make a safe decision.
Duncan Stephenson, deputy chief executive of the RSPH, says: “Dermal fillers are a crisis waiting to happen, which is why we’re backing Fabulous’ campaign. Anyone can set themselves up to give these procedures, and there is absolutely no requirement for knowledge, training or previous experience. Like Fabulous, we believe all fillers and other non-surgical cosmetic procedures should be made illegal for under-18s.
Plus, we’re calling for licensing to ensure only those technicians with the right qualifications, who are operating in a clean and safe environment, are eligible to practise. This would make it a legal requirement for any individuals administering fillers to hold a valid qualification in infection control, therefore minimising health risks.”
Over the next few weeks Fabulous will be bringing you advice from top surgeons and speaking to victims of botched operations and our celebrity supporters – including former TOWIE star Amy Childs and Love Islanders Samira Mighty and Arabella Chi – about their experiences with fillers to raise awareness about the dangers of an unregulated industry.
We’ve Had Our Fill of rogue traders and sham clinics offering dangerous and bogus treatments to unsuspecting clients – have you?
To read more about the campaign, visit Thesun.co.uk/topic/had-our-fill
FILLERS BY NUMBERS
£2.75bn – estimated value of UK’s non-surgical cosmetic industry
59% – 13 to 24-year olds see lip fillers as routine as getting a haircut or manicure
68% – young people say friends have had fillers
160 – different types of dermal filler available for use in Europe, compared to only 10 in the US where they have tighter regulations
1,617 – complaints received by Save Face last year regarding unregistered practitioners
1.2m posts for #lipfillers on Instagram
3.9m – Google searches for ‘lip fillers’ in UK last year
40% – 13 to 19-year-olds say images on social media cause them to worry about body image
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