Facial surgeons support bill banning cosmetic procedures on under 18s

The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) has welcomed the private members’ bill that would make it illegal to give botox or dermal fillers to anyone under 18 for cosmetic purposes.

 The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill 2019-21, brought by Laura Trott MP as a private members’ bill, recently had its second reading in the House of Commons.

Caroline Mills, BAOMS lead on facial aesthetic/cosmetic surgery and consultant maxillofacial surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “BAOMS is pleased that Health Minister Edward Argar has given his backing to this bill, and for his department’s commitment to explore increased oversight of aesthetic practitioners. We want this to be the first step towards wider regulation across the industry to protect anyone in the UK undertaking non-surgical cosmetic procedures. 

“It is essential that everyone fully understands the risks they are taking when they consider a cosmetic procedure such as a dermal filler or botox, and consult a fully trained medical practitioner. This is why we have consistently called for regulation in the UK to protect patients properly,” Caroline Mills said.

She explained that the possible complications from botox or dermal filler injections are significant and can cause blindness, severe allergic reactions, chronic ongoing infection and deformity: “These procedures can have significant life changing side-effects and require the competency to administer emergency medical treatment. It’s recognising and managing these problems that is so important, and where patient safety maybe compromised.”

BAOMS has for some while voiced concerns about the scope of training, health and hygiene and infection control in the high street beauty salon industry. There is also an increasing cost impact to the NHS to treat high street non-surgical procedures that have complications, and at this time the full scale of the long-term problems remains unknown due to lack of suitable coding within the system.

“High street cosmetic procedures carry serious life-altering risks, and now is the time to implement regulation that will properly protect people in the UK,” Caroline Mills said.