Young people view Botox and fillers as ‘status symbols’, says leading cosmetic surgeon

The leading clinician stated that ‘anybody under 30 has lost the plot’

Joanna Whitehead
Monday 19 December 2022 09:00 GMT
Plastic surgery needs 'tougher regulations'

Young people view “tweakments”, such as Boxtox and fillers, as a status symbol, a leading cosmetic doctor has claimed.

Dr Michael Prager, known as the “king of Botox”, said that while older patients sought a subtle approach when seeking anti-ageing solutions, a “visibly enhanced” look had become popular with clients aged 30 and under.

The clinician stated that younger people are “being overly injected and proud of it”, telling The Guardian that they had “lost the plot”.

He said: “Generally, anybody under 30 has basically lost the plot. They haven’t spent enough time in the playground and they grew up with thumbs in a crooked position in front of a screen and now that’s their life.”

The rise in “tweakments”, particularly among twentysomethings, has risen sharply in recent years, with an estimated 900,000 Botox injections carried out in the UK each year, according to Save Face, a campaigning group and national register of accredited practitioners offering non-surgical cosmetic treatments.

This has coincided with an increase in the number of complaints regarding botched treatments.

Concern about unregulated practitioners prompted the government to introduce new licence requirements that make it illegal for such treatments to be administered without a licence, and banned Botox for under 18s; in 2020, the Department of Health estimated that as many as 41,000 Botox procedures were carried out on those under 18.

And in 2021, MPs recommended that recipients of botox and fillers should require psychological pre-screening before a procedure, warning that the “complete absence” in the regulation of non-surgical beauty treatments is dangerous and must end.

A botox injection in a woman’s lips
A botox injection in a woman’s lips ((Alamy/PA0)

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing said that while demand for such treatments has “exploded”, the government has failed to regulate the sector, putting patients are risk of serious harm.

“There is a complete lack of a legal framework of standards around these treatments, which has left consumers at risk and undermined the industry’s ability to develop”, adding that existing regulation is “fragmented, obscure and out of date”.

While social media and reality stars, such as the Kardashians and Love Island contestants, have largely been cited with normalising tweakments, those embracing the trend can often be found at the other end of the needle.

Dr Prager said some of his colleagues across the industry have “injected themselves to a point where in the old world they would have been considered nuts. I’ve known some of these people for 20 years.”

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