'Filler' injections can cause permanent damage, say doctors

The world's leading cosmetic surgeons claim thousands of people face permanent damage from new facial "filler" injections. They warn the risks faced by people having such treatments in the UK have also increased because of government failure to regulate "cowboys".

Douglas McGeorge, consultant plastic surgeon and president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: "The public needs to be realistic about the outcomes it can expect from new cosmetic treatments, at least until solid clinical evidence of their efficacy exists."

He added that failure to bring in statutory regulation of people offering such treatments would lead to serious health problems in the future. "To foster a 'wild west' approach [of industry self-regulation] is not only an affront to reputable professionals who follow the rules, but ultimately creates an unsafe environment for the public," he said.

His warning was echoed by other plastic surgeons who are warning that long-term use could permanently damage skin.

Dr Daniel Marchac, an eminent French surgeon, said he and other surgeons share deep concerns about facial fillers. He said he had personally been consulted by at least 25 patients already with untreatable fibrous tissue and subcutaneous changes that he believes were caused by "abuse" of these injections – long-term use that he defines as twice a year for four years. Dr Marchac has asked 900 surgeons in Belgium, France and Switzerland for more evidence and he plans to report his findings later this month.

Dr Marchac believes the results of his survey could show that up to one in 20 of those who have had facial filler injections may suffer irreversible damage to the facial tissue.

There are two types of injection: one intended to be permanent and another to be absorbed into the skin, and then repeated after six months. Dr Marchac said both are potentially risky. "All of the permanent fillers are creating, from time to time, serious problems with bumps and deformities, and sometimes you have to operate. All serious plastic surgeons agree one should avoid permanent fillers," he said. "We will see in the future patients of 50 who have had 15 years of fillers with fibrous, tough tissue we wouldn't be able to do anything with. The serious things are the permanent fillers, and the second is abuse of resolvable fillers."

His concerns echoed those of Dr Sherrell J Aston, surgeon director and chairman of plastic surgery at New York's Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.

"Botox is OK, but I have concerns about the other fillers," he said. "My concern is that as time goes on with these foreign materials placed in the face, there are going to be quite significant problems. I am really concerned that in 15 years we will see a lot of people with lumps and bumps and no good way to treat it."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

    £26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

    £30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

    Day In a Page

    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests