A decade ago, discussing cosmetic surgery was incredibly hush hush. With the rise of social media, female empowerment and body ownership, more people are opting for both minor and major beauty treatments and procedures.

Almost on a daily basis, we see our friends and family posting pictures of their new lips or enhanced jawlines, and discussing their experiences. As perceptions shift, it’s no longer a carefully guarded secret and many people are getting ‘something’ done.

Due to booming popularity and easy access to cosmetic treatments, many young women and teenage girls are eager to get that Kardashian-Jenner perfect pout.

Many of us know that word of mouth is crucial advertising and we’ll often take our friends’ word for it, after all, their influence is everything. Unfortunately, a recommendation does not always prevent beauty horror stories.

With little to no regulation for these minor procedures, what happens if something goes wrong?

As the number of botched beauty procedures rises, a local law firm discusses the need for regulations to be enforced to safeguard non-surgical treatments.

Watkins and Gunn, with offices in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool, is advising individuals to take necessary precautions when seeking popular beauty treatments such as eyebrow tattooing, lip fillers and Botox.

Lisa Guscott, partner at Watkins and Gunn, cautions that in an industry worth approximately £3 billion to the economy and accounting for around 75% of all cosmetic procedures, regulation is crucial in protecting both practitioners and individuals.

Ms Guscott explains: “Thankfully there are government officials calling for regulation, in an industry that is seeing an increasing rise in botched treatments from unregulated practitioners.”

Lisa Guscott

Ms Guscott advises that it is important to remember that there are “many excellent practitioners” that carry out safe procedures and urges people to contact ‘Save Face’, a government accredited list of practitioners, which is seen as the first step in regulating the industry.

Whilst Botox is regulated by prescription, fillers are easily available from online sellers based overseas. These can be sold and incredibly, administered by anyone, with no qualification to do so.

This could result in an ineffective treatment, but worryingly, there is also the inability to recognise the early signs of an adverse reaction. This means they are unable to deal with any problems should they arise.

Despite this, those performing these procedures are still bound by a duty of care and if performed negligently, can still be held liable.

Whilst most qualified beauty practitioners are covered by insurance, unlicensed practitioners often are not, which means that if someone suffers due to negligent treatment at the hands of an uninsured practitioner they may struggle to enforce any Court Judgement against them.

She said: “With celebrities endorsing beauty treatments across social media, the popularity of non-surgical procedures is on the rise. Over the last five years, we’ve seen a noticeable difference in the number of enquiries.

“With physical damage such as permanent scarring, lumps and in extreme cases, necrosis, it’s crucial that these procedures are carried out by a trained professional.

“Even with minor, everyday procedures such as hair dye and eyebrow tinting, the side effects can be traumatic for an individual. We have seen clients with swollen faces from tints, and blistered scalps and hair loss from hair dye, underlining that preventative measures such as patch testing are essential.

“When problems occur as a result of negligent treatment, people are often reluctant of coming forward as they are embarrassed, however at Watkins & Gunn, we are well placed to deal with any queries relating to these types of claims.”

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