WITH more women than ever opting for non-surgical cosmetic treatments, particularly fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments, it can be difficult to know who to trust or where to go.

Ashton Collins, the founder of Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners which provides non-surgical cosmetic treatments, is urging people wanting these types of treatments to go with a medical professional.

Beauticians and - essentially - anybody, can get a qualification to be able to administer dermal fillers but Ashton and many other medical professionals around the country are strongly against this.

And due to the lack of regulation in the industry, little can be done.

Several campaigns have been launched in a bid to crackdown on rogue nurses administering treatments.

Ashton has also heavily campaigned for several years.

Ashton told the Echo: “In short, very little is being done to regulate the industry. It is completely legal for these treatments to be carried out by anyone from anywhere which leaves people vulnerable and at risk to be preyed upon and exploited by unscrupulous practitioners who are untrained and uninsured.

“Save Face is a Government approved register of accredited practitioners who have all been assessed and verified against our stringent standards.

“We check everything to ensure that the people who use our register to find a practitioner will be in the safest possible hands.”

Ashton also explained the risks of going to someone who is not medically qualified and how 83 per cent of all complaints received are over treatments which have been carried out by non-healthcare practitioners.

She added: “We only register healthcare professionals and for good reason. Medical injectors spend at least three years studying anatomy and physiology.

“Beauty qualifications and training courses are no substitute for a healthcare qualification.

“Like most medical procedures, non-surgical cosmetic treatments can cause complications which need to be treated urgently to avoid permanent damage.

“Dermal fillers in particular can cause devastating complications such as blindness infection and tissue death if they are injected incorrectly, the treatment of which requires prescription medication.

“Opting for a cheap treatments with a non-medic can quite literally be the difference between having a safe treatment by someone who will look after you should something go wrong versus someone who will ignore your requests for help, block your number and leave you to fend for yourself.”

The Save Face register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority and is recognised by the government, The Department of Health, NHS England and The Care Quality Commission.

Anti-wrinkle treatments, known as Botox, require a valid prescription prior to treatment which means that they must have a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare professional who is able to prescribe, such as a doctor, dentist, independent nurse prescriber or a prescribing pharmacist.

However, botox can still be administered by anyone regardless of their training or experience.

You may wonder how non-medics are able to obtain Botox without a prescriber.

Unfortunately, there are prescribers supplying the medicine to beauticians and laypeople without conducting face-to-face consultations with patients, leaving them at risk.

Save Face identified a large number of non-medics who were purchasing Botox and fillers over the internet and importing them from China.

Ashton added: “This is extremely dangerous as they have no idea what they are injecting into people’s faces.

“They are literally gambling with people’s health and appearance to make more profit.

“By cutting out the prescription these practitioners can source these illegitimate products over the internet for around £20 to £40, which enables them to offer cheap deals but still make a lot of money.

“We have seen cases where the treatment has been completely ineffective and cases where patients have suffered life threatening allergic reactions to bogus medicines.”

“In one case we helped to investigate, patients thought they were being injected with Botox, but it was actually beef gelatine and it caused over 20 women to suffer anaphylactic reactions.”

Visit www.saveface.co.uk