Existing regulator is allowing underqualified practitioners to “roam free”


A leading medical aesthetics professional has warned of the dangers to young girls of inexperienced, underqualified and unregulated practitioners offering potentially dangerous procedures involving sub-cutaneous injections to highly sensitive parts of the face and body.


Dr Cormac Convery, Co-founder and Medical Director of Glasgow-based Ever Clinic, said young people are being lured by adverts on social media which promise cheap injections to add volume to lips, but which offer no wraparound aftercare from practitioners who often block subsequent calls from patients if the treatment causes complications.


“There are a number of injectable-based products entering the market at the moment which you won’t find for sale in any reputable professional clinic as they tend to be gimmicky and largely unproven.


“A simple search on Facebook or Instagram, for example, will show underqualified practitioners across the UK selling a particular ‘fat dissolving” product, often from their home addresses which is a bit of red flag: what if something goes wrong? How thoroughly are age checks undertaken? How safe is this product?


“One of our regulators, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to which clinics like ours pay substantial annual fees, has no remit, or apparent interest, in preventing teenage girls preying on the venerable public.


“In effect, these people are allowed to operate with no standards or regulation, while those of us who are qualified and registered doctors, dentists or nurses, delivering the same treatments to the highest medical standards, are very strictly regulated.


“The only way around this problem is comprehensive regulation of the sector since the current set-up ignores those representing the highest risk to patients.”


The dangers associated with cosmetic procedures carried out by unregulated or underqualified people include infection, scarring, asymmetry, nodules, anaphylaxis and even, in extreme cases, blindness.


Dr Convery added: “There needs to be a clear recognition of the inherent risks, including the difficulty accessing care when things go wrong. It’s notable that the NHS often refuses care in managing complications unless there is an immediate need.”


Charites echoed Dr Convery’s warnings, saying the law banning filler should also be implemented in the home nations. Save Face, a campaign group, said young girls were being encouraged to view fillers as just another beauty treatment.



Date of release: November 2023