Clinics under scrutiny

A woman receiving a botox injection

A woman receiving a botox injection

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HEALTH chiefs in Wigan have issued a warning about the use of anti-wrinkle injections after a huge rise in clinics and beauty parlours offering cosmetic procedures.

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust (ALWPCT) has stressed treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers carried out by poorly-trained practitioners can put users at risk.

It follows warnings from the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS), which has raised concerns over the increasing amount of beauty salons offering injectable cosmetic treatments.

Dr Kate Ardern, Executive Director of Public Health in Wigan, said: “Some cosmetic procedures don’t involve surgery, but this doesn’t mean they’re without risk.

“It’s important to find a practitioner who is reputable and properly qualified.”

Professor Simon Kay, a consultant plastic surgeon and vice-president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, said: “Non-surgical procedures usually involve injections of either fillers or botulinum toxin, and carry less serious risks than surgery in general.

“However, over-correction can be difficult to treat, as can asymmetrical placement of the filler and allergic reactions.

“Risks can be minimised by choosing a reputable surgeon or established nurse practitioner who is working in a clinical environment.

“The first priority is health. If you have any alarming symptoms, such as a rash, fever, inflammation or increasing pain, go to your GP or your local accident and emergency department.”

There has been a recent huge increase in demand for Botox and anti-wrinkle treatments known as dermal fillers.

Providers of cosmetic treatments that do not involve surgery do not have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator for health services in England.

However a government-backed register of “responsible” providers has been set up to show which clinics and beauty parlours have been declared safe to use.

The Treatments You Can Trust online directory lists all the doctors, dentists and nurses who have had proper training, and firms that meet standards set by the industry’s trade association.

About 1.1m non-surgical procedures were carried out across the country in 2009, according to the consumer analyst Mintel.