'It left dents in my lips' - Woman warns people to do research before getting filler
PUBLISHED: 06:30 04 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:04 04 January 2020
January is the time of 'new year, new me' but for an ever-increasing number of people the answer to this phrase can be a lot more drastic.
Reporter EMILY THOMSON investigates the world of lip fillers and meets a Norfolk woman who shares her cosmetic horror story to warn others.
The world of aesthetics is bigger than ever with lip fillers accounting for 80pc of all non-surgical cosmetic procedures. As new clinics pop up all over the county, getting work done to your face can be as easy as getting a haircut.
But behind those plumped-up lips is an issue much less aesthetically pleasing.
The industry is currently unregulated, meaning anyone with little to no qualifications can carry out procedures.
Poppy Clarke, 22, from Gorleston, was 19 when she first had her lips done by a non-medic, but what she was left with was far from the perfect pout and nearly three years later she is still having corrective work.
She said: "From a really young age you start seeing it in magazines and all these celebs are getting their lips done and you instantly want to change yourself.
"I had my lips done for the first time by a beautician and they were fine for the first three days but then they started going lumpy, but I thought it was normal.
"A week later I knew something wasn't right. You could see big lumps, they were hard and sore. I couldn't even put my lips together because they were so painful.
"In the end I went back, and they had to pierce holes in my lips, drain the blood and squeeze the filler out. It left dents in my lips - it was an awful experience."
Despite the high risks and complications that can occur when injecting dermal filler, many young women go to the first practitioner they find.
But with 83pc of complaints carried out by non-medics, it is important to know who is injecting your face, what training they have had and if they know what to do if something goes wrong.
Jemma George is a registered nurse practitioner who owns Refined Aesthetics in Gorleston and Ms Clarke is now regular client at her practice.
She said: "In my opinion, Poppy had too much too soon and bad placement, perhaps with poor technique because she had migration and superficial lumps."
Ms George is helping Ms Clarke to finally achieve the look she has always wanted after correcting the non-medic's previous work but said it was a prime example of why regulations are needed.
"Some training courses for non-medics can be as little as two days," said Ms George.
"I did a three-year degree in nursing and medicine and a year in college. So, four years in total and I trained at MATA on Harley street, but I still feel nervous every single day injecting someone's face.
"The problem is when someone doesn't understand the risks and there is no accountability, they don't have the same anxiety.
"This isn't about bashing non-medics because some do their training in what to do if there are complications, they practice very safely and give beautiful results.
"I just want everyone, registered healthcare professionals and non-medics, to be trained to the same standard and accountable for what they do."
Maxine Hopley has been in the aesthetics industry for 11 years and she is the owner of Cosmetic Couture, in Manchester, a leading training provider to medics and non-medics in the UK.
Ms Hopley said: "I have been in the industry for a long time and I was the first non-medic to be trained - so I have a lot of knowledge.
"What we do at Cosmetic Couture is a lot more than a two-day course.
"The training we offer is in-depth, with training in anatomy, physiology and complications, constant support and advice, clinical professional development hours, and product supply from our registered pharmacy.
"But there are training companies with low standards so getting the industry regulated is something we are also working towards.
"If you chose to have a treatment from a non-medic, research them, ask if they have insurance, look at their previous work, ask if they have had training in adverse effects and first aid.
"These are the questions the public should be asking."
Ms Clarke added: "Knowing what I know now, personally I would never go to someone who isn't a registered healthcare professional. I'm still dealing with the bad work that person did.
"I would advise anyone wanting to get their lips done to do your research because it's such a massive thing and when someone is injecting your face, they need to be trained as trained can be."
Cosmetic doctor calls to government to regulate aesthetics industry
A cosmetic doctor has warned those looking to get dermal filler to seek out the safest practitioner after he has seen an increase in complications.
Dr Manav Bawa is a cosmetic doctor and trainer at MATA, one of the leading Medical and Aesthetic Training Academies for healthcare professionals in the UK.
The academy is located on Harley Street, in London, which trains only doctors, nurses and dentists who wish to enter the aesthetic industry.
With years of medical training and education behind them, it's not too much of a career jump, which is why Dr. Manav believes it is much safer to visit a registered healthcare professional when deciding where to get botox or dermal filler.
He said: "The first thing is that England is one of the only countries where non-medics can practice.
"People are shocked that anybody and everyone is injecting. There are the risks with what we do and I'm seeing more and more complications.
"Put it this way, I don't understand how someone can do a two-day course and are then able to stick needles in someone's face."
"The government need to clamp down on this."
Dr Manav has a background of five years in surgery, including plastics and orthopaedics and works as a GP part time. He knows all too well the risks involved when injecting dermal filler.
Complications can vary from minor swelling, bruising, lumps and nodules, asymmetrical lips or a lumpy appearance under the skin, which might need to be treated with surgery or medicine.
To more extreme cases of allergic reaction resulting in anaphylactic shock, infection, or necrosis and vascular occlusions, which is when dermal filler is injected into or compresses an artery in the face which can cause tissue death or permanent blindness.
Dr Manav added: "There is a higher chance, if you go to a non-medic, things could go wrong, especially if they do not know anatomy.
"We have two very large arteries in the lip and if filler goes into a vessel it will block it and stop the blood flow coming to that area, the skin will die and it could result in the patient needing steroids, antibiotics or worst case, plastic surgery.
"Medics are trained in anatomy and can identify when complications happen. For example, I always have an EpiPen for anaphylactic shock and I can administer Hyalase to dissolve the dermal filler if it goes into a vessel.
"The industry is in need of a proper training program, standardised assessments and exams, and accountability to a regulatory body, only then should someone be allowed to treat patients."
Dermal filler advice from the NHS
Whoever you choose to carry out the procedure, the advice remains the same and experts say it is up the public to make the right decision.
Botox and Dermal filler can be high-risk with the possibility of complications and the NHS website has tips for those who are debating getting work done to their face.
It recommends asking the medic or non-medic for the following information:
- Experience and qualifications
- Evidence of the practitioner's previous work
- Name of the product and how and where it's made
- Any risks or possible side effects
- What will happen if things go wrong
- What insurance cover they have
- Do they know what to do if there are complications?
- Are they part of a regulatory body or an official register?
Other tips include, not basing your decision on the cheapest price as this could indicate lack of experience or training and book a consultation before the procedure.
For more informations visit the NHS dermal filler advice page here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/dermal-fillers/