Expert welcomes major report calling for greater regulation of cosmetic procedures
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A clinical negligence specialist who has campaigned for better regulation in the cosmetic surgery industry has welcomed a major report calling on the government to protect young people.
Ruth Powell, Senior Associate at BL Claims Solicitors, said today’s report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics was a significant step forward in the campaign to protect people, particularly children, from an unregulated industry.
The study found young people are turning to cosmetic procedures, such as botox and dermal fillers, because of pressures from social media.
Ruth backed recommendations from the report calling for a ban on “makeover apps”, which are targeting children as young as eight.
The think tank also called for all cosmetic surgeons to be properly trained and certified, for a ban on non-medical invasive procedures for patients under 18, and for evidence of safety and effectiveness to be required for dermal fillers and implants.
Ruth, who has long campaigned for better regulation on dermal fillers in particular, said: “Most people would be shocked to discover that dermal fillers are only subject to the same level of regulation in the UK as ballpoint pens and toothbrushes.
“When it comes to those who carry out filler procedures it’s rather like the Wild West out there – pretty much anybody can do it.
“It is reported that fillers, laser hair removal and Botox account for nine in 10 procedures, and approximately 75 per cent of the market in terms of money spent.
“There is a widely held view that this market is partly driven by pressure to look good from TV, magazines and social media – particularly the “selfie culture”.
“It is perhaps not surprising that people are tempted by advertising for a quick fix to their wrinkles after seeing perfectly-posed pictures of smooth-skinned celebrities on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram.”
She added: “I welcome this report and hope it will highlight the very real need to protect people, and particularly children, from elements of the cosmetic surgery industry that are totally unregulated and put people at risk with potentially dangerous untested procedures.”
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