Safety in non-surgical aesthetics

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The non-surgical aesthetic industry in the UK is poorly regulated. In fact, former NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh previously commented that a person having a non-surgical aesthetic procedure has no more protection than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush (!). That’s shocking isn’t it?

Due to the poor regulations, this means that anyone can identify themselves as an aesthetic practitioner regardless of training and qualification. Imagine going to a nail salon for a haircut… or going to see your dentist when you have a tummy ache. If you think that sounds absurd, then imagine getting dermal fillers injected blindly deep into your skin, by someone who does not have in depth knowledge of the human anatomy. Would you put yourself at such risk?

Now when it comes down to the nitty gritty, the issue is never about one’s ability to do as good a job, if not better. With some training, non-healthcare professionals are likely capable of providing lip filler or other facial filler injections too. The elephant in the room is what happens when things do go wrong?

Let’s talk about dermal filler injections. One of the most significant complication from dermal filler injections is when it causes vascular occlusion (VO). This is when the blood supply to a certain area from the injection site is at risk of being cut off especially if not dealt with in a timely fashion.

In the lips for example, VO can start off with severe swelling and pain, and if left to progress, can ultimately lead to the affected area not surviving and eventually falling off. Some VO sites occurring in the face can even lead to blindness! I know it’s not easy to imagine this, but these complications can happen to anyone regardless of how skilful one’s practitioner is. So, the million-dollar question is, does your practitioner have the knowledge and skills to deal with the complication when it happens?

Let’s start with some real-life examples. Some of you might have heard that a former Love Island contestant who is a personal trainer, has recently completed a short course in non-surgical aesthetic procedures (i.e. wrinkle injections and dermal filler injections) and has started providing treatments to clients. While it might not be difficult to pick up a new skill, can we say that all practitioners are able to deal with the complications?

Now let’s talk about BOTOX®, which is one of the most popular wrinkle injections used. Did you know that it contains egg protein? Why is this information important? If you have previously suffered from a severe allergic or an anaphylactic reaction to eggs, using BOTOX® injection to treat wrinkle lines could elicit the same reactions. Aesthetic practitioners not only need to be aware of this, they need to be equipped to treat a reaction immediately. So, if a client is having an anaphylactic reaction, are you confident a non-healthcare aesthetic practitioner is able to deal with the reality of the situation?

Next real-life encounter I would like to share with you, is a story from a client that went to a voucher site and bought a discounted deal for lip filler injection from someone advertising as a Doctor. In this current climate, it is understandable, that clients are money-savvy and are always looking to get the best deal. However, be careful of what is out there.  In the case of this client, it was only months after the treatment that she realised that the practitioner was a PhD Doctor of History, ie: zero medical knowledge.


Yes, we know. We can hear you all saying that behind your screens because that was our reaction too. Thankfully in this case, the procedure performed had no complications. But what if there were? Therefore, always make sure you know who your practitioner is.

On SafeAP, our practitioners are only registered healthcare professionals who are medical doctors, dentists or nurses. Apart from verifying their aesthetic training in treatments they offer, we also check their insurance cover, DBS clearance and more importantly, life support training. Clients can search, compare practitioners and prices, book and pay for your treatments, all on a single platform.


SafeAP provides clients with a variety of qualified practitioners because we believe in empowering clients to make safer and well-informed choices when it comes to your treatments. After all, your skin is your biggest organ in your body. Why not treat it with the respect it deserves?


Stay safe and signing out, 



Disclaimer: This is the personal view of the SafeAP team and is not to be substituted with professional advice given by a qualified healthcare professional.

NB: All media headlines taken from online source.

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