Skip to main content

Calls for tougher regulation around non-surgical cosmetic treatments welcome

by Kathryn Salt, medical negligence lawyer

The All Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing (APPG) published a report on 21 July, 2021, after a year-long enquiry into Botox, fillers and similar non-surgical cosmetic treatments. 

It concludes that the general public is at risk due to an absence of legal framework in the administration of these treatments. It also note little oversight or enforcement where restrictions do exist.

Increase in beauty treatment complaints

At Irwin Mitchell we have seen an increase in recent years in the number of enquiries relating to non-surgical cosmetic procedures including Botox, fillers, skin peels and other beauty treatments.

 It is concerning that currently there is a lack of regulation around these treatments. Many of them including invasive filler treatment can be performed by virtually anyone, having received minimal training. This can leave consumers at risk of injuries resulting in physical and emotional pain, the effects of which can be long lasting or permanent in the worst cases.

Dermal fillers risks

Dermal fillers can carry a risk of vascular occlusion by blocking the blood vessel, meaning that blood can no longer flow through the area. In the worst scenarios this can cause skin around the injected area to die, leaving permanent scarring and a change to the shape of the face, as well as having the potential to cause blindness. 

The knock-on effects to those individual’s wellbeing can be catastrophic. Some consumers also do not realise that the products used to try and dissolve the filler and rectify damage can also damage natural tissue. 

Treatments should not be undergone lightly thinking the effects can easily be changed if you do not like them.

Carry out research before undergoing cosmetic treatment

We always stress the need for consumers to do their research and check the training, qualifications and insurance of their practitioner before proceeding, however people place a lot of trust in those practitioners and so it is important that the regulation is there to ensure safety.

The APPG report identified a complete lack of legal framework around the treatments currently which has left consumers at risk. The APPG intends to ensure all practitioners gain appropriate training and prove their competence to deliver advanced aesthetic treatments. 

It has have made 17 recommendations for the Government to implement to bolster the regulations, including:

  • Setting national minimum standards for practitioner training;
  • Making it mandatory for practitioners to hold a regulated qualification in line with national standards;
  • Legislate to introduce a national licensing framework;
  • Make fillers prescription only;
  • Develop a mandatory psychological pre-screening process;
  • Extend the ban on U18s receiving Botox and fillers to other invasive aesthetic treatments;
  • Place advertising restrictions on dermal fillers and other invasive aesthetic treatments;
  • Require social media platforms to do more to curb misleading ads and posts promoting these treatments.

APPG's findings welcomed

We welcome the APPG’s report and issues that they have identified within the industry which put so many consumers at risk. We hope that the Government will consider the same carefully and work towards implementing the recommendations going forward.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people following cosmetic procedures at our dedicated medical negligence section.

The APPG launched an important year-long inquiry into aesthetic non-surgical cosmetic treatments to investigate how standards for undertaking and advertising treatments such as botulinum toxins or similar anti-wrinkle injectables, dermal fillers, polydioxanone (PDO) threads and cogs, should be improved to support the beauty and aesthetics industry and protect public safety.”