Non-surgical treatments such as Botox and fillers account for nine out of 10 cosmetic procedures in the UK and are worth about £2.75bn a year.

But the non-surgical cosmetic industry is almost entirely unregulated. Hundreds of companies across the UK offer dermal fillers but there are currently no rules about who can inject you with filler, nor what training they should have had.

Growth in demand for injectables has been attributed to the rise of social media, compounded by influencer culture and reality TV. Because aesthetics is – by definition – represented visually, it lends itself extremely well to Instagram and Facebook marketing. The trends in younger people wanting to change something about themselves has grown massively.

The number of young women looking for lip fillers and wrinkle prevention has led this to become a big industry and yet the consumer has probably not considered that a practitioner or therapist using these products may not be qualified to do so.

This data is not here to scare people or in fact to move them away from personal choices. Simply put, we are here to try and raise industry standards so it really is in everyone’s interest to know the facts.

Botox is a prescription-only medicine that has to be administered correctly. If it’s not, it can lead to infections, drooping facial features, and even impaired vision or breathing difficulties. If you want Botox, whoever gives it to you, whether that’s a beautician or a cosmetic surgeon, should also refer you to a medical professional – their prescriber – who will check you’re fit for the procedure. By law the person prescribing Botox should be a doctor, nurse, dentist or prescribing pharmacist.

Fillers can be administered by anyone but its doctors, dentists, and nurses that learn how to safely administer dermal injections as part of their medical training. Medical professionals are taught how to use needles and cannulas safely, they are also taught about how to deal with problems that may arise from allergic reactions, infection, or an error by the injector.

We are not advocating that you stop your aesthetic injectables, just take care and do your research before you do something that could cause damage to yourself. Advice from the NHS is: book a consultation before the procedure where you can ask about the practitioners experience and qualifications, the name of product being used, any risks or side effects, what will happen if things go wrong and what insurance cover they have.

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