Complaints over botched aesthetic fillers have doubled in the last year, a campaign group reports.
Save Face, which is a national register of accredited practitioners who provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments, received more than 1,300 complaints from patients who had sought treatments for fuller lips but been left with serious injuries.
The NHS website states that face and lip fillers (aka dermal fillers) are substances injected into your face to add volume. They are not permanent and the majority of dermal fillers used in the UK contain a natural substance called hyaluronic acid. Prices can range from £200 up to several hundreds of pounds.
Save Face claims that medical issues caused by fillers of this kind can include severely swollen lips, blood clots, anaphylactic shock, blindness and necrosis, which is when tissue in the body dies due to lack of blood supply.
The campaigners received 672 complaints about dermal filler in 2018. But this figure rose to 1,342 in 2019.
The group warns that the fillers market is under-regulated in the UK, with some available online for as low as £44, and therefore this has led to the rise in botched procedures.
The research is revealed in an episode of BBC Inside Out West on BBC One that airs on Monday evening.
Ashton Collins, director at Save Face, told the BBC: “Dermal fillers are extremely dangerous and unfortunately there are no laws dictating who can or can’t do them.
“So for instance a lay person on the street could decide today they want to start offering these treatments, they could watch a Youtube video this evening, order some products and set themselves up as a treatment provider.”
In the programme, the BBC speaks to self-proclaimed “lip king” Jordan Parke, who claims to inject fillers for up to 15 people a day.
“I get girls who are 14 or 15 contacting me saying ‘look my mum’s said it’s okay for me to get them done is it okay if she comes along and signs the consent form?’ I’m like ‘no’,” he says on the show.
Parke added that the worst side effect caused by dermal filler is necrosis. “Obviously if you block an artery then it stops the blood supply pumping around the face and then if that happens and the tissue dies if it’s not dealt with ASAP you can lose parts of your lip,” he told the BBC.
The Department of Health told the programme that it was looking at options to regulate the use of fillers i the UK.
BBC Inside Out West airs at 7.30pm on BBC One West tonight. It will be available afterwards on iPlayer.