As dermal fillers continue to dominate the aesthetics market, the Joint Council for Cosmetic practitioners is calling for additional measures to safeguard the public from botched procedures.  

On Tuesday 26th April, MPs heard calls for dermal fillers and lip injections to be made prescription-only treatments. This would require anybody wanting to undergo such procedures to first seek medical approval, making practitioners responsible for dishing out prescriptions. 

Under current rules, aesthetic practitioners in the UK do not require any mandatory qualifications to be able to perform non-surgical procedures on the public. This means, anybody can undergo a basic training course, and go on to perform dermal fillers on patients.

However, in recent years there has been a significant rise in patient complaints following unsafe non-surgical procedures resulting in botched treatments. As a direct response, earlier this year UK leaders announced a new initiative to see those administering dermal fillers, including Botox, legally required to hold a license.   

Now, in a bid to further safeguard the public against botched procedures, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners is calling for all dermal filler treatments to be prescribed by licensed medical professionals capable of issuing prescriptions. This move would see medical professionals responsible for explaining the risks of the procedures, and the possible complications that may arise. 

The comments were made to MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee during a session on the impact of body image on mental and physical health.

Professor David Sines, chair of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners said: “We believe they should firmly become prescription-only devices, because if they were then there would be a requirement for oversight from prescribers, which would provide greater protection for the public. 

In making dermal filler injectors need a prescription, it would crackdown on cowboy practitioners by making medically trained professionals responsible for signing-off treatment. It would be a matter of misconduct if a prescriber did not assure themselves that the person to whom they were delegating the prescription was fit and proficient.”

Shines also added that he was in discussion with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency about the possibility of making dermal filler injectors prescription only treatment, like Botox.

Currently, dermal filler treatments cost as little as £200 depending on the type of injections; and thousands of Britons undergo them each year aspiring to look like A list celebrities including Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian. This has prompted concern from experts that Britain is falling victim to a largely unregulated aesthetics industry. 

Various body image and cosmetic surgery groups have been campaigning for years for the Government to act and introduce new rules and regulations to safeguard the public against botched procedures. 

In February of this year the Government announced it would introduce a licensing regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including dermal fillers and Botox. No date has been confirmed. 

Speaking exclusively to The Harley Street Journal, Malieh Hillman, an official distributor of Revitacare, a leading provider of treatment solutions to the aesthetics market said: “I agree with the calls for change. This market has been largely unregulated for a long time, and as it continues to grow unfortunately there has been a rise in unsafe practice. 

To ensure each patient receives a professional, and safe level of treatment, there does need to be a licensing system in place to ensure practitioners are adequately trained within the treatment being administered. 

For patients, they need to understand the dangers of unsafe practice when it comes to injectable treatments and be confident in the knowledge that their chosen practitioner is well-qualified and equipped to deal with any complications safely. If not administered correctly, the risk of complications involved can be severe. 

Of course, complications can arise even in the most skilled of hands, but the risk of complication is significantly minimised when injections are prepared and injected by an experienced practitioner.”

MPs from the Health and Social Care Committee also discussed the prospect of requiring watermarks to be added to digitally altered images using filters that are frequently being posted on social media.c