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Women are risking permanent disfigurement and even blindness by having unlicensed facial filler injections according to a city specialist.

A leading specialist, who has 14 years experience in facial aesthetics, indicates that almost half of his work is repairing the damage done by hairdressers or beauticians.

“We’re seeing more and more cases where patients are coming in with serious problems,” he explains. “And not little lumps and bruises but where fillers have been injected into blood vessels or into arteries and the damage that can be done is frightening.”

The issue, the specialist states, has two concerns: cosmetic procedures have become so commonplace that people see them as no more serious than having a hair or nails done, and secondly, Botox can only be given by a licensed health professional because it’s a prescription-only medicine, but we find that people outside the health profession offering these services.

“If Botox and/or fillers are injected into blood vessels, or too much around blood vessels so they are compressed, that stops the blood supply to the tissue and causes what’s called necrosis. The lack of oxygen then kills the tissue so the skin on your face basically dies. We see a case of skin necrosis every six to eight weeks and not all will require surgery, some can be injected with an enzyme, but if it’s not spotted soon enough then plastic surgery, specifically a skin graft, will be needed to correct it.

“We’re also getting reports of cases of blindness too with fillers which have been pushed into people’s faces and gone into the central retinal artery. So although it’s been trivialised to the point where it’s become part of some people’s regular beauty regimes, they don’t realise just how dangerous and damaging it could be.

Have you suffered from a cosmetic surgery going wrong?

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