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Safety for aesthetics procedures

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

A complaints report compiled by Save Face in 2017-18 demonstrated that of 934 patient complaints regarding unregistered practitioners, most complaints were regarding dermal filler and Botox. The majority of the complaints regarding filler were around lip fillers. Complaints centred around bruising and swelling which unfortunately is expected after injection procedures, but also lumps and nodules and uneven results. Thankfully there was a low incidence of vascular occlusion and impending necrosis, and it is important that you see a practitioner that knows how to deal with this. Having a pre-injection ultrasound scan may help to prevent these complications.

Regarding botulinum toxin injections 76% of people did not know that Botox was a prescription only medication. Therefore, this can only be prescribed after a face-to-face consultation with a practitioner that has a license to prescribe this product. A consultation will assess the suitability of you to receive this drug and in some cases it may not be suitable for you. Alarmingly there were several treatments that took place at Botox parties and many people did not know the qualifications of their practitioner. It is important that you ask this prior to consultation.

After treatment there were several complications and what Save Face found was that 226 complaints were completely ignored by the person who treated them at 387 had to have corrective procedures by other practitioners, 27 people went to the GP and 11 went to A&E.

83% of these treatments were carried out by beauticians, hairdressers and laypeople and in a number of cases practitioners were masquerading as healthcare professionals which is illegal. When asked why customers chose their practitioners, 64% based their decision on cheap deals and offers.

When you’re considering a treatment on your face that may have long-term implications for both your physical appearance and your psychological well-being it is important not to base your decision based on a low price.

Many customers received treatments in a domestic setting by mobile practitioners or at treatment parties or hair salons. Many patients did not know what products were used and how they were sourced. It is important to visit licensed premises that can demonstrate they use products licenced for use in the UK.

Save face (2022a). Consumer Complaints Audit 2017-2018. Available at: (Accessed online 17th October 2022).

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