It’s hard to believe that Botox and dermal fillers aren’t actually illegal for children and young people under 18 but won’t be the case much longer.
The campaign to make them illegal is gaining momentum after MPs supported a ban as part of a new Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill brought by Conservative MP for Sevenoaks, Laura Trott.
The Bill has had unanimous support from the House of Commons and House of Lords and will have its third and final reading this week (Wednesday 28th April) before moving into the final stages of consideration.
The new law would bring the procedures in line with other body modification techniques, such as tattooing, by banning them for under-18s.
The Act would prohibit the procedures for children in England if they are for purely aesthetic purposes and not approved by a doctor.
Dr Stephen Hennessy BDS, a leading aesthetics trainer and practitioner at the Dr Hennessy Academy in Preston says there’s so much pressure on youngsters these days that it’s no surprise they want a tweak or two:
“We would purely put it down to social media and the pressures to look a certain way nowadays. Aesthetics should be used to enhance, correct, smooth, etc but in actual fact when you have your face filled when you are too young it can make you look older.
The danger is the unscrupulous practitioners taking advantage of the young. You find a lot of under 18’s will be too naive and trusting and therefore not have researched the clinic they have chosen. Their decision is definitely based more on cost that safety.”
MPs and Doctors have shared details of some of the worst cases they’ve seen, especially after lip fillers went wrong from clumping which results in lumps and bumps to necrosis; where the lip tissue actually dies and you start seeing the lip filler coming out.
The after effects of botched injections can lead to life long scarring which has a knock-on effect on the child’s mental health.
Health minister Nadine Dorries told the Commons:
“I believe everyone has the right to make informed decisions about their bodies, but our role in Government is to support young people in making safe, informed choices where necessary and to protect them from potential harm that cosmetic procedures can do to their health.”
MPs have previously raised concerns about the “Love Island effect”, which involves young people experiencing physical and mental harm by seeking to achieve unrealistic body images promoted on television and elsewhere.