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As Christmas and New Year’s Eve approaches, the number of parties and family gatherings we look forward to attending increases. And, understandably, we all like to look our best for such occasions - we invest in new clothes, take ourselves to the hairdressers, or perhaps treat ourselves to some new make-up.

However, people are turning to more costly and riskier methods to get 'Christmas party ready', with cosmetic beauty treatments growing in popularity around the Holiday season.

Data from Google Trends shows us that there is a dramatic spike in interest for jaw and lip fillers in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve:

Data: Google Trends, 3.12.19

The popularity of Google searches for ‘jaw fillers’ has increased sharply since the beginning of November

Data: Google Trends, 2.12.19

Similarly, the popularity of Google searches for ‘lip fillers’ has been high all year, but it reached a peak in the final week of November.

While perhaps this comes as no surprise, I do want to offer a word of caution to people who are considering undertaking a cosmetic procedure of any kind this December, but particularly to those who are interested in dermal fillers: make sure you do your research into the practitioner, the procedure and the products used.

The non-surgical cosmetic industry is notoriously unregulated, with no legal requirement for practitioners to have any kind of specialist medical training before they can set up shop and start offering fillers to patients. This means that there is a greater risk of inexperienced or poorly trained practitioners taking advantage of the seasonal surge in demand, leading to unpleasant, unexpected or - in very rare instances - life-altering results.

What are the risks of botched dermal fillers?

Aside from the emotional and financial implications of receiving fillers that go wrong, the physical repercussions of a negligent treatment can include:

  • Localised swellings
  • Artery occlusion
  • Scarring
  • Nerve damage
  • Vision loss
  • Mismanagement of infection
  • Mismanagement of necrosis

Undertaking dermal fillers with a practitioner who does not have the right training, skills or necessary experience can increase your risk of suffering from these conditions. And it is not just the obvious culprits who pose a threat - even those with a medical background can cause harm if they have not undergone specialist training.

As an example of how serious this can be, I successfully handled a case involving a self-styled “cosmetic doctor” who caused permanent vision loss by injecting facial filler into the central retinal artery. This case illustrates how it is vitally important that all practitioners carrying out facial filler injections are fully trained in the anatomy of the face and the locations of the arteries. They must possess the specialist anatomical knowledge required to prevent harm.

How to find a safe cosmetic practitioner?

We strongly advise that patients seek out practitioners who have undergone specialist medical training and are also a member of an accredited regulatory body.

Look out for membership of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine or the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses, you can also search their databases to find a local clinician.

Registers hosted by Save Face and the JCCP can also be a good place to start, as these organisations only permit qualified practitioners onto their database.

One area that we highly advise caution is when sourcing a practitioner solely through social media. While this is not a problem in and of itself, the worry is that many of the more unscrupulous practitioners can use these channels to directly attract and engage with potential patients. Warning signs to look out for include rates that are much cheaper than the standard, deals that are time-sensitive or multiple offer deals.

An investigation from Save Face found that the number of complaints about procedures offered on social media shot up from 222 in 2017 to 579 in 2018. Most of these complaints were related to “celebrity” package deals where a multitude of treatments are offered in one appointment.

The concern with time-limited deals is that they apply pressure on a customer to commit to a treatment quickly. If a practitioner is offering a much cheaper rate, then you really have to ask yourself, ‘why’?

Take care over the holidays

As a recap - don’t let the fun of the holiday season be ruined by the pressure of getting Christmas party ready.

Before you undergo any ‘tweakments’ such as Botox, laser hair removal, chemical peels - and in particular dermal fillers - it's important that you take your time. Do your research, ask around for recommendations, and don’t commit to anything unless you are 100% comfortable. Looking our best should not come at a greater financial, physical or emotional cost than individuals can afford.

If you think you have suffered from a negligent cosmetic treatment, we are here to help. Get in touch by calling us on INSERT PHONE NUMBER or use our contact form and we will call you back as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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