Cosmetic clinics are cajoling young girls into altering their faces by offering two for one package deals on lip, jaw and cheek enhancements.
The clinics are targeting young impressionable teens on social media sites with ‘bring your bestie’ offers, ‘Kim Kardashian packages’ and competitions for lip bolstering injections.
The news comes as Patricia Molloy, Vice President of DANAI, the dermatology aesthetic nurses association Ireland and owner of the DermaClinic in Blackrock, reports that a young woman almost partially lost her lips and nose when cosmetic injections were administered incorrectly by a practising beautician.
“We recently saw a case of a woman who attended a beauty therapist who was then treated by one of our doctors. If she hadn’t have come to us - she could have lost her lips and nose. There have been a couple of cases in Ireland where women have nearly lost their lips or nose only that they got medical help in time.”
Ms. Molloy describes the targeted social media campaigns as “unethical” and says they are “cajoling” women and is calling for guidelines to protect a generation of impressionable young women turning to cosmetic surgery in the age of Instagram filters and picture perfect reality stars.
“Young girls are coming in to us and they are looking for absolute perfection. We only had one young girl in today, a 25 year old who felt that one side of her jaw wasn’t exactly the same as the other side. Ethically, I couldn’t treat her because there was very little wrong. She wanted absolute perfection, which is not normal and isn’t achievable, and personally I felt she had body dysmorphia, which we are seeing more and more of.”
“We are now seeing more and more young women in their 20s with the ‘pillow face’ look, bloated faces caused by an over-use of fillers. We have had 18 year olds asking for botox but we just turn them away.”
But online, companies are going all out to attract young girls to the world of facial augmentation.
One Irish based cosmetic clinic is advertising cut price injections for bigger lips and sharper jaws online with the tagline “I work so my face can have a better life.”
Cut price summer sales on cosmetic filers are also popular while a clinic reminds potential customers on their Facebook page that: “Prepping for a night out has gone from a new outfit and shoes to new jawline and filler.”
Ms. Molloy explains: “The only people that should be doing this are nurses, doctors and dentists who are qualified as well. People don’t realise that 283 of people worldwide have gone blind because of botched lip injections.
“There is a major blood vessel around the lip and if a filler gets into it, it can do one of two things- it can cut off the blood supply to the tissue off so the skin dies and you could end up losing your lip and it can also travel up in the artery and affect the nose. There is a prescribed product that can be used to quickly dissolve the substance but if you are not a medical professional you can’t use that. So people presenting to A and E. I know that there have been a couple of cases in Ireland where women have nearly lost their lips or nose only that they got medical help in time.”
"Meanwhile, last year the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), which monitors for illegal supply, including administration, of medicines containing botulinum toxin, reported that they seized 54 vials of illegal medicines containing botulinum toxin, up from 23 in 2011. Two women and one man have also been convicted since 2014 of supplying or advertising medicines containing botulinum toxin illegally. They were fined between €1000 and €6000."
Elsewhere, Dublin-based SISU clinics reported a recent surge in popularity for facial enhancement procedures due to the 'Love Island effect.' The aesthetic clinic chain has seen a massive increase in demand for lip fillers, Botox, dermal fillers and other non-surgical treatments in the past number of weeks, which they believe is down to the reality show phenomenon. More than 35pc of these bookings have been for men, resulting in the new fad 'Mantox' (Botox for men).