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Regulation needed for dermal fillers says surgeon

Call for the regulation of therapists who inject dermal fillers in beauty salons.
08 November 2018 , Sian Evans

A facial surgeon has called for the regulation of therapists who inject dermal fillers in beauty salons, at CIEH’s Beauty Conference.

Caroline Mills, lead on cosmetic surgery and consultant maxillofacial surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital was speaking at the London conference on issues and emerging trends in the beauty industry.

She said: ‘In the EU you have to have a medical licence to inject fillers, but no one in the UK government is saying we need similar regulation.’

She told the audience of EHPs and leading figures from the industry that there are 200 types of fillers on the market, adding: ‘It’s the semi-permanent ones that are the problem. Facial surgeons only use temporary, biodegradable fillers.’

The oral and maxillofacial surgeon went on to explain that serious medical complications that can result from injecting dermal fillers.

She described how the procedure can cause vascular occlusion, which can result in blindness, adding: ‘Beauty therapists should not be injecting fillers because they cannot recognise the problems … How many beauty therapists could treat a cardiac arrest?’

Mills said that the cost to the NHS in corrective surgery was unknown because there is no NHS coding for non-surgical treatment problems for clients presenting to A&E She gave the example of a patient who had taken up the offer of inexpensive dermal fillers being promoted at her gym. The treatment went badly wrong, leading to 30 facial operations, and ‘her life is ruined’.

The CIEH professional practice event for EHPs whose role is to safeguard public health, covered a range of issues affecting the high street beauty industry.

Topics covered included regulation, training, treatments and techniques, future regulation by the Medical Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the experience of introducing new licensing legislation in Wales.

EHPs raised the issue of how they could assess the skills of therapists without right-of-entry to salons, without evidence of concern. The experience of EHOs in the West Midlands exposed how few practitioners understand good infection control.

An audit revealed that an estimated 70 percent of therapists used re-usable tools. This led to local councils promoting single-use tools and changing how notifiable infections caused by a cosmetic treatment, such as Hepatitis B, will be reported to public health in future.

The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) has launched a register of practitioners qualified to undertake aesthetic treatments. Mills said: ‘The register is a good first step in the potential regulation of non-surgical cosmetic interventions.’

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