According to new statistics from Save Face, 83 per cent of complainants were not asked their medical history. Seven in ten didn’t know what product was being injected into their faces, and 84 per cent were blocked or ignored by their practitioner when they tried to seek help afterwards. Astonishingly, 93 per cent of those seeking redress were not aware that serious complications could occur, and thought these were low-risk beauty treatments.
‘Contrary to what people may think, dermal fillers are associated with far more potential risks than Botox,’ says Dr Gammell. ‘Risks with dermal fillers can range from lumps to permanent blindness, if a filler is injected into a blood vessel resulting in a vascular occlusion (blocked blood vessel).’
Botched jobs mean patients are going permanently blind
Ashton Collins has represented three women who’ve lost their sight since 2014. ‘The most recent – a woman in her late 40s – came to us about 18 months ago,’ she says. ‘She had dermal filler into her naso-labial folds (the lines that run from the bottom of the nose to the corner of the mouth). Someone came to her house, and injected her while she was lying on the sofa. A short while later, the lady had a visual disturbance in one eye, like an eclipse.’
‘Doctors came to the conclusion they were 99 per cent sure it was down to the filler,’ says Collins. ‘The practitioner was initially horrified and apologetic, but when the patient tried to get her insurance details, the beautician denied ever treating her. And, in fact, the beautician hadn’t broken any laws, because there aren’t any. So the patient – permanently blind in one eye – is now pursuing a negligence claim, while this dangerously inept ‘aesthetician’ continues to practise.
A terrifying tale, but sadly, far from the only one. Marcelle King, 65, is a dog behaviourist from Poole in Dorset. ‘I first became interested in Botox in 2013,’ she says. “Everyone has it done,” I told myself. “All the TV stars and celebrities. They say it can knock 10 years off you.”’ King wasn’t particularly looking for a tweakment at that time, an advert popped up on her Facebook feed, with a mobile number for a local beauty parlour. ‘I thought: why not?’ she says, and decided she wanted her jowls done. ‘I had no reason to smell a rat. It didn’t cross my mind that this wasn’t legit.’
A couple of weeks later, King arrived for her appointment at a salon which was, in fact, a filthy kitchen in a rented property. ‘A woman in ordinary clothing had answered the door. I expected her to take me through to a sterile treatment room,’ says King. Then, suddenly, the ‘doctor’, Ozan Melin, walked in. He started to take ‘enormous needles’ from a smart silver case with which he was going to administer Botox. ((King found out later that Botox is not for the lower facial area. The correct treatment is dermal fillers.) ‘Melin was charming, says King, ‘a good looking boy.’ But the process was very painful, and was over in less than a minute.