24 July 2017 (Last updated: 27 Mar 2019 13:47)
London - 24 July, 2017 According to the results of a poll by WhatClinic.com released today, 42% of web traffic to lip augmentation pages were from visitors aged 18-24, with the clinics surveyed saying that while they unanimously would not provide lip filler to under 18s, most would provide fillers to under 21s. The survey further credits the increase in demand to the impact of social media and reality television, echoing the sentiments of the British Association of Aesthetic Surgeons (http://www.baaps.org.uk), who have urged the Government for stronger regulation of dermal fillers and other non-surgical treatments over the last 15 years. BAAPS cautions that the results of this poll do not adequately convey the unethical way aesthetic treatments are being marketed to Millennials, nor the danger of the current situation with fillers - which the Association has previously described as "the next PIP crisis waiting to happen."
Dermal fillers remain unregulated in Britain - meaning anyone wielding a syringe can order them off the Internet and have a stab at a 'lucrative career' - despite two out of five surgeons seeing patients presenting with complications stemming from the treatments in 2016.* Whilst the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will not allow clinics to advertise cosmetic surgery as prizes or to make misleading claims in adverts, they admit that they do not have the resources to police social media - resulting in a murky grey area where lip fillers are frequently used by unscrupulous practitioners to encourage new clients for non-surgical treatments, which are often performed in unsterile, non-clinical environments: in people's homes or even the local pub.
Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President says;
"The findings from the WhatClinic poll are interesting, but do not accurately tell the whole story. One only has to look at the constant stream of cautionary tales of botched filler stories in the media to see that the current landscape of unregulated non-surgical treatment is absolutely dire, with no regulation in sight. The complications arising from dermal fillers - which can include very serious infections, skin necrosis, and blindness - can often not be recognised, much less be treated by, amateur injectors, leaving the problems on the doorstep of the overstretched NHS.
Furthermore, many prominent and established clinics continue to flout recommendations for best practice in ethical marketing - deliberately enticing young patients through offers on social media where they know they will not face consequences from the ASA. If larger companies are putting profits before patients with impunity, and the Government has not intervened to ensure Britons are protected, what is to stop these cowboys and amateur injectors from lining their pockets by offering dermal fillers to anyone, irrespective of their ages? If these findings are indeed correct, we have a duty to protect young and vulnerable people from making potentially irreversible decisions that risk affecting their lives."
About the BAAPS
The BAAPS (www.baaps.org.uk), based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BAAPSMedia and Facebook: www.facebook.com/BritishAssociationofAestheticPlasticSurgeons
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