The Department of Health and Social Care has recently announced that it will be launching a campaign to increase public awareness of the problems that can arise following cosmetic procedures such as fillers and Botox. The campaign warns patients against using home treatments and disreputable, unsafe providers.

Cosmetic procedures have become increasingly popular in recent years but the Government is concerned that public awareness of the risks and possible complications has not kept pace. While recent sad cases of deaths following ‘Brazilian butt lift’ surgery have raised public awareness of the risks attached to such surgeries - particularly when undertaken abroad - patients view the risks of non-surgical procedures far more casually.

There is currently little regulation of non-surgical procedures such as injectable dermal and lip fillers. Designed to provide a plumping, smoothing effect which can make the skin appear more youthful, these procedures can be administered by beauticians or used at home. Users are naturally attracted to the lower cost and easily accessible options of visiting a beautician or administering injectables themselves at home but there are risks of infection, swelling, bruising and pain if this is done incorrectly. Infections can become serious in some cases.

Rising numbers of people are reporting that the results of treatments such as Botox and fillers do not meet their expectations and can be frightening, painful and extremely unsightly. If there are complications, patients usually seek further treatment to rectify the damage from the NHS, the costs of which are rising in line with the popularity of the treatments.

Victoria Johnson, an associate in the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, said: “Any medical procedure, even if it is non-surgical, comes with some risk that things could go wrong, or that the patient will not achieve their desired result. These risks are minimised when the patient goes to a reliable, professional provider who will advise them fully on what to expect and can safely deal with any complications that arise. As not every treatment is suitable for everyone it is important to discuss the options with a medical professional before going ahead.

“Although the Government campaign is a step in the right direction to ensure patient safety, tighter regulation of where cosmetic procedures can be administered would be preferable. The consequences, both physical and emotional, when complications arise can be devastating and may also be expensive if follow-up care is required.”