Northern Ireland

Botox and dermal fillers ‘wild west scenario’ being created

Durkan expresses concern at lack of regulation around non-surgical cosmetic procedures

It is thought that post-op injections of Botox might interrupt abnormal nerve signals to the heart
Mark H Durkan expresses concern at lack of regulation around non-surgical cosmetic procedures including Botox and dermal fillers.

Botox, dermal fillers and other non-surgical cosmetic procedures (NCSPs) urgently need regulation, Mark H Durkan has said.

The Derry MLA said there were currently no mandatory qualifications or national minimum standards with which practitioners had to comply and there was a similar lack of regulation in the tattoo and body piercing industries.

Policing Board member and SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan.
Botox and dermal fillers ‘wild west scenario’ being created - Mark H Durkan MLA

“The Health Minister should introduce a licensing scheme and standardised qualifications for practitioners carrying out NSCPs, including Botox and dermal fillers following a rise in botched treatments,” he said.

In response to a question from Mr Durkan in February, Health Minister Robin Swann said he had no plans to bring forward legislation in the area of NCSPs.

“Cosmetic surgery is a lucrative market, the industry in the UK is worth an estimated £3.6billion, so it’s no wonder so many practitioners are diversifying into this field. The ‘zoom boom’ over the course of the pandemic which saw people looking at their own reflection in countless work calls, coupled with the social media and use of online filters, has seen the demand for Botox and filler, skyrocket,” Mr Durkan said.

“People are pitting themselves up against impossible standards of perfection. Of course, this is nothing new but the lack of regulation in terms of licensing and advertising is deeply concerning. People don’t need to look too far to see how widespread the issue of unregulated non-surgical cosmetic procedures problems is. Social media is filled to the brim with influencers promoting the latest on the market trends.

“I saw a post earlier in the week where someone was ‘trying out’ a move into NSCPs and were offering a free Botox treatment to anyone willing to act as a guinea pig.

“It’s not my intention to impact the many practitioners and businesses out there who pride themselves on their high standards but rather this is about the system they’re working in. Registered healthcare professionals performing NSCPs are required to meet the competency standards set by regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council, the major problem here is that there is no such requirement for non-medical practitioners,” said Mr Durkan.

The MLA said a “wild west scenario” was being created where anyone could practice cosmetic procedures without a proper screening process for customers.