Cheap lip fillers and crow's feet injections putting people at risk
Growing numbers of women and men in Ireland turning to cheap anti-ageing injections to smooth out wrinkles and give themselves fuller lips may be putting themselves at risk.
The desire to copy the beauty secrets of celebrities is leaving the image-conscious at risk of opting for cheap treatments by people who are unqualified, Health Minister Simon Harris warned yesterday.
He revealed that increasing concern about standards in some parts of the beauty industry had led him to ask health officials to investigate if there needed to be tighter regulation of the use of fillers.
"Many of these products are being offered cheaply, without prior assessment of the person and by professionals who are not regulated in this country," he said.
The use of these treatments in younger age groups may also be banned with the introduction of a minimum age.
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian's flawless features have attracted many people to seek cosmetic procedures to achieve the same look. But botched injections can trigger excessive swelling or infections, which could have more serious consequences.
Mr Harris said: "It is clear this is a growing industry across all age groups and all sexes.
"While the profession and the products are regulated, I am conscious this is an industry that is continuing to grow and, particularly worryingly, it is targeting young men and women."
The non-surgical beauty sector is booming, with more people looking at enhancements to smooth away frown lines, crow's feet and to give themselves plumper lips.
The minister added: "There are a number of reasons for this, including a desire by young men and women to be perfect, driven by social media.
"But there are also companies and professionals who are exploiting that for their own gain.
"There is a need to examine whether current regulations are sufficient or whether further regulation is required.
"This is not an issue solely confined to Ireland but one I believe we need to address as a matter of priority."