Two years ago Laura-Alicia Summers, 28, had a lip filler procedure while working at a trade fair, tempted by a £200 deal from a pop up clinic at the event.
She says: ‘The night after having the filler done my lips were tingling, and when I woke up the next morning they were five times the size. The whole area was swollen and I couldn’t open my mouth.’
Laura-Alicia had to take time off work and suffered the ill effects of the botched surgery for a month. And there are many more like her – innocent victims of a £3 billion industry that is dangerously unregulated.
Like many other women who have suffered the same issue she was embarrassed and ashamed: ‘I do feel stupid - I hadn’t researched what they were injecting.’
But we think she is wrong to blame herself. The cosmetic industry – whether it’s breast implants, fillers, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal or Botox - is dangerously unaccountable and no one is prepared to take the blame when things go wrong. Women who complain are written off for being vain or silly.
We want the Government to regulate this industry; to ensure proper training; and to stop vulnerable women being manipulated with unsuitable special offers and hard sell techniques.
When Laura-Alicia tried to complain the clinic ignored her calls, then fobbed her off with excuses. Finally the line went dead.
She thinks that something needs to be done to protect her and women like her. ‘I’m in full support of the Marie Claire campaign about regulating plastic surgery, so no one else gets done to them what I had done to me, and to make this world a safer and more beautiful place.’
On April 24 the Government will be hearing recommendations on the industry. We want them to listen.
If you think it’s important to protect women from bad experiences like this – and worse - please sign our petition.
At care2.com we think women would be shocked if they knew the dangers faced as a result of the poorly regulated cosmetic-intervention industry in the UK. That’s why we have launched the #TakeAGoodLook campaign. We feel that, regardless of their views on cosmetic surgery, anyone who cares about women will support this campaign. No one wants another PIP scandal.
We think women should be fully informed so that they are empowered to make the right decisions for them. And, if people have a procedure and something goes wrong, we want them to know where to turn for help. We are speaking out for women.
Our petition demands:
An End To Hard Sales Techniques And A Code Of Practice For Advertising
The care2.com demands a ban on hard sales techniques such as interest- free finance and two-for-the-price-of-one deals, as well as manipulative advertising that preys on women’s vulnerabilities, plus a code of practice for advertising.
Regulation And Accountability For The Industry
Currently the industry is almost entirely unregulated and unaccountable – yet it takes up to £3 billion a year, mostly from women. At the moment any type of doctor, from a GP to a microbiologist, can perform cosmetic surgery, even if they have had no training. We demand a register for practitioners and procedures, including a national breast implant registry.
Training Courses For Non-Surgical Procedures
Cosmetic surgery and treatments such as Botox, fillers and microdermabrasion – which we have come to view as everyday beauty treatments – are potentially dangerous procedures that urgently need to be regulated. In addition, anyone can buy equipment such as laser machines and call themselves a cosmetic practitioner, while fillers are easily available online. We demand proper accredited training courses. Fillers should be made prescription-only.
An End To Stigma And An Organisation To Turn To If Things Go Wrong
Without proper training, the results of cosmetic intervention can be disastrous: two out of three surgeons surveyed by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons say they have seen patients suffering complications from botched temporary fillers. Current figures for bad results could be the tip of the iceberg because of the shame and stigma attached to cosmetic surgery and embarrassment at coming forward. There should be an impartial ombudsman to turn to if things go wrong.
The care2.com Campaign Demands:
• a register for practitioners and procedures
• standardised information for patients
• a ban on special offers and procedures as prizes
• a code of practice for advertising
• training courses for non-surgical procedures
• fillers to be made prescription-only
• a national breast implant registry
• an impartial organisation to turn to when things go wrong
If this government cares about women, please action our demands.