WOMEN are being urged to get “clued up” about the risks of cosmetic procedures – as part of a new campaign to tackle “botched” treatments.
Ministers warn too many Brits are being left with “dreadful” physical and mental scars after dodgy therapies.
It comes as two in three women admit having had or are considering aesthetic treatment.
Officials warn of a significant increase in those having Botox, dermal fillers or surgical interventions such as liposuction or boob jobs in recent years.
The rise is being fuelled by cheaper procedures, celebrity endorsements and social media pushing quick fixes.
Many providers now offer cut-price deals to lure women in.
‘Think before you leap in’
Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: “Many people don’t think fully about the consequences – both physical and mental – of having a cosmetic procedure.
“These are serious treatments, and you should think carefully before you leap in.
“I’m particularly worried about people seeking treatments which are unsuitable for them, or who are not prepared for the mental health impact of an aesthetic change.
“But we also need people to do their homework on the company or individual carrying out the procedure – if a deal looks too good to be true, then don’t be afraid to walk away. The consequences of botched procedures can be dreadful.”
Butt lift deaths
Two British women died last year after having Brazilian bum lifts in overseas clinics.
One of those was Leah Cambridge, 29, from Leeds, who collapsed shortly after the start of the £3,000 procedure at the Elite Aftercare clinic in Turkey.
And many treatments, such as lip fillers, are not regulated and can be administered by people with no medical training.
But blunders can lead to painful skin conditions and even blindness.
Rachael Knappier had fillers done at a friend’s house during a boozy “Botox party” but nearly lost her top lip after the botched procedure.
The beautician had injected the £220 filler into an artery, which caused her lips to swell to four times their normal size.
The 29-year-old, from Leicestershire, had to be rushed to hospital and after 72 hours, the filler dissolved and thankfully they went back down to their usual size.
Another 29-year-old woman, Christina Burton, was left with horrific “sausage lips” after suffering a nasty reaction to a £75 at-home procedure.
The full-time mum, from Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, had to call an ambulance and needed adrenaline, oxygen and steroids to combat the painful reaction.
Officials want people to shop around and choose qualified professionals for their treatment.
The Government has now issued new advice – published on nhs.uk – setting out the questions that should be asked before undergoing any cosmetic procedure.
- Speaking to a professional about the outcomes you can expect.
- Choosing a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner who is trained in the specific treatment and either a regulated healthcare professional, or registered with a body overseen by the Professional Standards Authority.
- Avoiding being pressured into making decisions on treatments without time to fully reflect.
An increase in unregulated companies offering cheaper services, many offering procedures abroad, is also believed to be contributing to more people experiencing harm.
A study at the Royal London Hospital found a six-fold rise in cases needing urgent follow-up care after botched overseas treatments between 2013 to 2018 .
The risks: Unregulated lip fillers could cause blindness or a stroke
Doctors have previously warned over the deadly side-effects associated with unregulated lip fillers – which can cause blindness or a stroke.
Leading cosmetic doctor Tijion Esho, founder of the Esho Clinic, said people can cause “catastrophic” damage to themselves by jumping on the filler bandwagon.
He said: “From hematomas to infections, abscess and tissue necrosis (where blood vessels become blocked with filler leading the tissue in that area to die), there are so many consequences to consider.
“People can go blind and suffer a stroke.
“There’s a risk of infection, abscesses can form and tissue necrosis is also a risk. People can be permanently disfigured.
“My fear is that something really bad will happen before people take note, which is why I’ll always be fighting for legislation.”
MORE ON COSMETIC SURGERY
Serious complications of cosmetic procedures can include infection, nerve damage, blindness, blood clots, scarring, and in rare cases have resulted in death.
Ashton Collins, Director of Save Face, who welcomed the campaign, said: “As a register of accredited practitioners our primary aim is to connect those seeking treatments with verified practitioners who meet our standards, but, we also help patients who have fallen foul to bad practice and have a unique insight in to the challenges patients face trying to navigate their way to a safe practitioner.”
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