Only 4% of UK clinics ask for photo ID
More than 95% of UK clinics do not check the age of their patients before giving them lip fillers, highlighting concern over processes to curtail teenage demand for aesthetic treatments.
Data collected by WhatClinic.com found that only 4% of the 32 clinics surveyed request photo ID from patients before carrying out a lip filler procedure, and approximately 10% would only ask for ID if the patient was “particularly young looking”.
Meanwhile, 78% said they only rely on information that the patient volunteers through form completion before any procedure is carried out.
In the UK, lip fillers are legally allowed to be administered to anyone over the age of 16, however, many professionals do not approve of under-18s undergoing the procedure.
More than half of respondents (58%) said they believe the continuing demand for lip fillers is the result of the impact of social media and celebrities as key influences on the younger generation, the report found.
WhatClinic.com also discovered that 42% of its web traffic to lip augmentation pages were from visitors aged 18–24.
Dr Susanna Hayter, a GP and aesthetic practitioner, said: "I’m getting more and more enquiries from young girls regarding requests for lip fillers. They usually want a consultation and treatment on the same day.
“However, all potential patients should have a consultation where the risks and likely outcomes are made clear, which should then be followed by an appropriate cooling off period. We require all clients to provide information including date of birth, and I would never consider treating anyone below the age of 18."
Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and former President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), also shared his thoughts: "The findings are interesting, but do not accurately tell the whole story. One only has to look at the constant stream of cautionary tales of botched filler stories in the media to see that the current landscape of unregulated non-surgical treatment is absolutely dire, with no regulation in sight.
“The complications arising from dermal fillers – which can include very serious infections, skin necrosis and blindness – can often not be recognised, much less be treated by, amateur injectors, leaving the problems on the doorstep of the overstretched NHS.”
He added: “Furthermore, many prominent and established clinics continue to flout recommendations for best practice in ethical marketing – deliberately enticing young patients through offers on social media where they know they will not face consequences from the ASA."
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