INFECTED, paralysed and blinded – these are just some of the ways British women have been maimed by fillers.
The problem is there is no regulation or legislation around dermal fillers in the UK - meaning any man and his dog could perform the delicate procedure.
You only have to swipe on Instagram to be bombarded by cosmetic treatment packages, many of which are offered by cowboy practitioners who have next-to-no training.
That’s why I’m backing The Sun’s Had Our Fill campaign to get rid of this dodgy grey area on our high streets.
Through my work as an ambassador for the government-approved register of accredited practitioners Save Face, I’ve heard of horrific negligent cases.
Complaints about botched dermal fillers have doubled in a year and 86 per cent came from treatments carried out by ordinary people with insufficient training.
And for anyone that thinks the worst thing to come out of a dodgy procedure is a misshapen trout pout, they’d be wrong.
People have suffered horror injuries
I'm aware of patients who’ve ended up hospitalised with sepsis and of about 200 women have been left blinded after badly administered filler.
And it’s not just victims’ physical health that is damaged. Plenty have complained about the toll on their mental wellbeing after losing jobs and being unable to look after their children following filler foul-ups.
The campaign calls for fillers to be made illegal for under 18s and a crackdown on social media sites plugging fillers.
As part of it you'll hear how dozens of women were butchered by beauticians and harmed in the back room of a hairdresser’s – but were left with inadequate aftercare.
The NHS is footing the bill
They’ve paid anywhere between £50 and £5,000 for private treatments but where do they end up when it all goes horribly wrong? At their GP’s surgery.
I spent seven years at medical school learning about a patient’s anatomy but a beautician who’s been on a day’s training course will not see the warning signs until after the damage is done.
I’ve heard of salons dodging phone calls from disgruntled customers - or even packing up and disappearing off the face of the planet.
These dodgy clinics certainly aren’t going to correct the mistake free of charge if there’s nothing medically wrong.
So it’s left to you and our already-strapped NHS to foot the bill.
HAD OUR FILL CAMPAIGN
BRITAIN'S Botox and filler addiction is fuelling a £2.75billion industry.
The wrinkle-busting and skin plumping treatments account for 9 out of 10 cosmetic procedures.
50% of women and 40% of men aged 18 to 34 want to plump up their pouts and tweak their faces.
Fillers are totally unregulated and incredibly you don’t need to have ANY qualifications to buy and inject them.
83% of fillers are performed by people with no medical training, often in unsanitary environments - with devastating results.
Women have been left with rotting tissue, needing lip amputations, lumps and even blinded by botched jobs.
Despite the dangers, there is no legal age limit for dermal filler, which is why Fabulous has launched Had Our Fill, a campaign calling for:
We're working in conjunction with Save Face and are backed by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
We want anyone considering a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to be well-informed to make a safe decision.
We’ve Had Our Fill of rogue traders and sham clinics - have you?
From medication to treat infections, to the cost of GPs and A&E staff's time, the repair bill cost for the NHS is estimated to be tens of thousands.
Botox is classified as a medicine, and can only be obtained through prescription and subjected to rigorous clinical trials – but dermal fillers are not covered by any law.
In the US, tighter rules mean only 10 dermal fillers are approved for use.
By comparison, there are as many as 160 in Europe – and experts have warned that Britain’s regulation of fillers is one of the worst in the continent.
Rogue traders disappear when their victims need help
Almost 80 per cent of patients who complained to Save Face found their practitioner on social media because they’re cheap, used celebrities to promote them and showed before and after pictures.
Social media feeds are full of these rogue traders, calling themselves things like 'Perfect Aesthetics' to sound medical but are nothing of the sort.
They just close their pages and throw away their pay as you go mobiles, disappearing when their victims try to get help.
In the right hands, face fillers can be a fantastic way to shave a few years off your appearance.
But left to amateurs, the beauty injections can permanently disfigure or psychologically damage patients for life.
FILLERS BY NUMBERS
£2.75bn - estimated value of UK’s non-surgical cosmetic industry
59% - 13 to 24-year olds see lip fillers as routine as getting a haircut or manicure
68% - young people say friends have had fillers
160 - different types of dermal filler available for use in Europe, compared to only 10 in the US where they have tighter regulations
1,617 - complaints received by Save Face last year regarding unregistered practitioners
1.2m posts for #lipfillers on Instagram
3.9m - Google searches for ‘lip fillers’ in UK last year
40% - 13 to 19-year-olds say images on social media cause them to worry about body image
Cowboy clinics will inject anyone
It’s my job as a responsible doctor to turn away customers who don’t need or aren’t suitable for cosmetic injections.
Cowboy clinics will inject anybody because all they care about is money.
What’s even more worrying is that more and more of us seem to want our lips and cheeks pumped to the brim full of filler.
It’s a trend that’s come over from the States - where showing off your plastic surgery is a sign of status and wealth.
As fillers become more readily available over here, we are starting to lose touch with how we think we should look - and worse still young women and teens are being lured in by cheap prices.
Unsuspecting patients might want to copy Kylie Jenner’s look but walk out of a bad clinic looking like a baboon’s bum.
But as a customer, it’s hard to distinguish the good clinics from the bad ones.
Some are very professional looking - white, modern offices with neon lights can give the impression they know what they are doing.
But in the absence of any regulation around fillers, how can you possibly know you’re in safe hands?
People don't know what to check for
To mitigate the risks of falling foul to bad practice it’s hugely important that your practitioner is a registered healthcare professional who is trained, insured, uses safe products and administers treatments in a clinical setting.
Verifying this information can be very challenging.
People do not know what to check or how to check it and so they are hugely reliant on what their practitioner is telling them.
If you are unlucky enough to stumble across an unscrupulous provider, they will tell you what you want to hear.
I became an ambassador for Save Face because they undertake all of these checks on your behalf.
They inspect each practitioner and clinic on their register against a robust set of standards to make sure the public can navigate their way to a safe pair of hands.
About Save Face
Save Face is a Government-approved register of accredited non-surgical cosmetic practitioners.
They inspect every practitioner and clinic listed on their register against a stringent set of standards.
Each practitioner has been vetted to ensure that they are:
To mitigate the risks associated with poorly injected treatments carried out by untrained and unscrupulous providers visit www.saveface.co.uk.
You want to know what is being put in your face and that you won’t have a reaction to it.
Find out what filler they are using and if it is licensed in this country.
Finally question the price you are being offered. Many clinics are coming up with really competitive prices because fillers are so popular at the moment.
But it can mean that they are skimping on service somewhere else - like aftercare.
Listen to your instincts - if you are being offered fillers in someone’s kitchen for £50, it’s extremely likely you are putting yourself in danger.
But the crux of the problem is that these so-called clinics shouldn’t be allowed to prey on the public in the first place.
We urgently need regulation around fillers to prevent a generation of maimed, disfigured and desperately unhappy customers.
The Government has a duty to protect women.
FLIPPIN' HELLAmy Childs' boob implant flipped over & BURST after fillers sparked addiction
LIGHTS P-OUTHundreds of women like me are being BLINDED for life after botched fillers
P-OUT OF CONTROLBotched filler ops DOUBLE in just year but it's just 'tip of the iceberg'
poutrageousI'm only 15 but not one salon asked me for ID when I booked in for lip fillers
NADINE DORRIESEven MPs like me get Botox so don't blame women for botched jobs
FACE VALUEHow Kate's disappearing 'crow's feet' & Meghan's 'nose job' sparked filler craze
OVER FILLLove Island fans irritated as the twins can’t stop licking their teeth
HAD OUR FILLLove Islanders, celebs & MPs back Sun campaign to end danger of rogue fillers
POUT OF ORDERHorror of fillers gone wrong from rotting tissue to chunks of lip falling off
'it went blurry'Lizzie Cundy left BLINDED by fillers after catching lover with girl, 21
How is it right that you have to be registered and be trained to pierce ears, but don't have to conform to the same scrutiny to inject fillers into people's faces? It doesn’t make sense.
We're in a position where smoking ads are banned yet kids are being targeted by adverts for fillers all over Facebook and Instagram - and these things could cost them their eyesight.
If action isn't taken to crackdown on this epidemic now, we will look back in years to come and realise it was a smoking-style crisis waiting to happen.