Scotland set to regulate lip filler beauticians to prevent 'growing risk' of treatments gone wrong

Scottish government move to regulate cosmetic procedures
Scottish government move to regulate cosmetic procedures
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Beauticians in Scotland offering cosmetic surgery such as lip or cheek fillers will soon be required to obtain a licence.

The Scottish Government are planning to bring in a licencing system to avoid the "growing risk" of cosmetic surgery cases gone wrong.

Such procedures are currently not regulated an can be carried out by anyone.

In a consultation document, the government said the demand for non-surgical cosmetic treatments in Scotland and the UK has risen considerably over the years and continues to do so.

It also highlights the dangers these procedures can pose and the risk of permanent damage.

Edinburgh doctor Dr Nestor Demosthenous, who owns Dr Nestor’s Medical Cosmetic Centre in the New Town, recently wrote to Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman to urge her to clamp down on the industry in light of warnings that injuries connected to procedures such as Botox and lip fillers are rising fast.

In his letter he said at least once a week he receives inquiries about having a correction from patients who have had work done elsewhere.

READ MORE: Edinburgh doctor calls for clampdown on 'Wild West' lip-filler and Botox trade as injuries rise

Ministers plan to bring in legislation to introduce a licensing scheme for people who are not healthcare professionals and carry out non-surgical treatments which penetrate the skin.

They have stopped short of a ban, despite the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group effectively calling for such a move by saying the procedures should only be provided "on or behalf of a regulated healthcare professional".

The consultation document states: "We consider that a blanket ban on non-medical professionals carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures could be difficult to enforce and might drive unregulated providers underground."

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In 2016, the law was changed to ensure independent clinics run by a doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife or dental technician had to register with Healthcare Improvement Scotland before they could legally provide cosmetic procedures.

The Scottish Government wants pharmacies to be included in this group as part of the proposed legislative changes.

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: "We are committed to patient safety and want to ensure that all those who carry out non-surgical procedures, such as dermal fillers or lip enhancements, are competent and that the treatments take place in safe and hygienic premises.

"We plan to introduce regulations later this year and invite members of the public and interested parties to give their views as part of the consultation on our proposals.

"In the meantime, we urge anyone considering any kind of cosmetic surgery to visit the Health Improvement Scotland website for regulated and approved providers."

The consultation opened on Friday and runs until the end of April.