Regulation of Medical Aesthetics in the UK

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

Did you know that medical aesthetics are not regulated in the UK? This means that non surgical cosmetic procedures – such as Botulinum toxin, dermal fillers, peels, laser and IPL – can be performed by anyone.

  • Treatments such as Botox and fillers account for 9 out of 10 cosmetic procedures in the UK
  • The cosmetic injectable industry is worth around £2.75bn a year in the UK
  • Yet the UK industry remains almost entirely unregulated.

There are people out there injecting with zero knowledge, experience or clinical skills. No training in complication management, on how to inject safely or even hold a needle properly. They are literally taking a gung ho approach with no accountability whatsoever – and no idea what lies under the skin.

As most people naturally assume that such procedures are governed by law, I believe it’s important to raise awareness of this among the general public, to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

  • Anyone can complete a brief course, buy dermal filler and inject your face. Are you ok with this? I’m certainly not.
  • Legally, your mate or cousin could do a one day course and inject your face with filler the next day.
  • Not all fillers are safety-tested in the UK, unlike the US where they must go through stringent FDA testing.

At best this can lead to fake, ridiculous-looking results – from over filled lips and faces to frozen faces with startled ‘Spock’ brows. And at worst, vascular occlusions, loss of sight and necrosis.

When I look at your face, I see the complex structure of your facial anatomy – what lies beneath your skin. I know precisely where to inject to achieve optimum results, where to avoid – and exactly how to resolve any potential issues. Someone without medical training, or sufficient experience in aesthetics, is simply unable to do this.

I believe that all injectables should be administered by medically trained, healthcare professionals.

In September 2020, the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health published a report on the regulation of cosmetic treatments in the UK. The report recommends that the Department of Health and Social Care should bring in legislation to require mandatory licensing of cosmetic treatments such as dermal fillers and Botulinum toxin – and that a standard set of licence conditions for all treatments be developed by an independent, central Government-appointed body, incorporating best practice and expertise.

This report applies to England only. Like many other practitioners in the industry I believe that such legislation should be introduced imminently, extending throughout the UK and Ireland.

Most of the general public are blissfully unaware of this and sadly often suffer as a consequence. Some come to people like me to dissolve their botched filler and sadly, many suffer in silence. Cheaper is not always better (if ever), so please choose an injector carefully – if an offer sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

Cosmetic injectables are not to be toyed with and should only ever be administered by a medically trained, experienced practitioner. Before letting someone inject your face with dermal fillers or anti-wrinkle treatment, please make sure the needle is in safe hands.