Expert Lawyers Welcome Review Of Cosmetic Industry Guidelines

NICE To Offer New Advice For Cosmetic Needle Use Following Infection Concerns

24.09.2013

By Helen MacGregor

Expert medical lawyers have welcomed reports that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is updating its guidelines in relation to the use of needles for beauty treatments, after seeing an increase in the spread of infection.

NICE says growing numbers of people are injecting tanning agents, dermal fillers and Botox at home and in salons, and some are lax about hygiene, leading to the organisation updating its advice for England and Wales.

The health watchdog is concerned that people having beauty treatments like Botox could be at risk of infection from dirty needles including blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C.

The guidelines, which are out for public consultation, aim to encourage people to use sterile needle and syringe programmes to stem the spread of infections.

Mandy Luckman, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in cosmetic surgery claims, said: “The number of people using botox, dermal fillers and tanning agents at home and in salons has significantly increased in recent years and the fact this area of the cosmetic industry is unregulated does cause great concern.

“It is because of this lack of regulation that it is impossible to know how many patients could be at risk of blood borne diseases from needle-sharing with either Botox or fillers.

“We regularly receive enquiries from individuals that have sustained significant damage, which on occasions is permanent, following fillers and Botox procedures and there seems to be a pattern that they have not been warned of the risks to their health.

“We have been calling for government intervention and greater regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry to protect patient safety for years, after seeing an increasing number of potential claims involving practitioners that are not medically qualified and exposing patients to harm.

“We hope the updated NICE guidelines are the first step of many to improve the industry and protect patient safety which will reduce the spread of infections and substandard surgery cases we regularly see.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to cosmetic surgery claims