Exclusive research for the Daily Mail has revealed the hidden toll of complications from botched skin fillers, marketed as a non-surgical means to achieve younger-looking skin.
Some 70 per cent of Britain’s plastic surgeons have seen patients with problems resulting from temporary skin fillers which have left women with lifelong disfigurement.
In addition, half of surgeons reported seeing patients with more serious complications from permanent fillers which can rupture in the body. Of these, 84 per cent required corrective surgery or were deemed untreatable due to the damage caused.
As these skin treatments are unregulated and can be administered by anyone completing a half day course it doesn’t look like there is going to be a reduction in the number of women at risk.
Side effects range from infections, swelling and bruising, to inflammation of the deeper skin tissue causing lumps and permanent scarring. In rare cases vision has been impaired by injecting near the eye.
James Frame, a consultant and professor of aesthetic plastic surgery at Anglia Ruskin University, called for more rigorous training for practitioners and a crackdown on irresponsible advertising. He said:
‘The popularity of fillers has gone through the roof. If it goes wrong, you can get atrociously bad reactions. The site can become infected, or it can affect the deeper tissue. There was one case where it eroded a woman’s upper lip.
‘Many people who carry them out will not have knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the face.
‘Aesthetic plastic surgery should be a speciality in its own right with rigorous training.’
The Government has launched an inquiry into the marketing of cosmetic procedures following the PIP scandal, led by NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh, which will include skin fillers. But the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons is pushing for tougher European standards for fillers to classify them as medicines as in the US.