A rise in the popularity of lip fillers is driving the number of official complaints about non-surgical procedures, according to Save face, which received 934 complaints regarding unregistered practitioners between 2017 and 2018.

The voluntary register reported that, of the sub-standard treatments it heard about, 387 had resulted in the patient seeking corrective procedures by other practitioners.

Most complaints were about dermal filler procedures, with 616 patients reporting unsatisfactory results. Most (72%) related to lip filler, while 13% were about tear through treatments, 9% related to cheek filler and 6% to non-surgical rhinoplasty.

Of the complaints, 156 patients reported lumps and nodules in the injected area post-treatment, 122 felt they looked worse, 27 developed an infection and 6 suffered from vascular occlusion or impending necrosis – potentially life-threatening conditions.

There were 224 botulinum toxin procedures reported. Of these, 76% of patients were unaware that the medicine was prescription-only, while 68% didn’t have a face-to-face consultation with a prescriber and 31% didn’t know what qualifications or training their practitioner had.

11% of botulinum toxin cases took place at a ‘botox party’, and, when these were investigated by Save Face, eight practitioners were found to be pretending to be healthcare professionals.

Most (62%) of the unregistered practitioners involved in the reported treatments were found by patients via social media, while 18% came from discount voucher websites.

Some 84% of patients said they didn’t know what products were used or where they sourced from.


Aesthetic medicine , January 2019 , p.6