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Caution advised as demand for cosmetic treatments soars

cosmetic treatment

As the nation prepares for the lifting of lockdown in the next few weeks, demand has risen for nonsurgical cosmetic treatments such as Botox and fillers in the UK, including among the male population.

Having spent much of 2020 staring at our own faces on video calls, it’s no surprise that demand for facial cosmetic treatments has risen as people analyse every wrinkle and flaw.  The thought of going out in the bright sunlight of a summer’s day to meet with colleagues or friends is leading many to investigate, and often book, aesthetic treatments in preparation for showing their face publicly.

Figures from Save Face, the national register of accredited aesthetic professionals, show a 37% increase in people researching nonsurgical treatments such as lip fillers and Botox after the UK government announced their roadmap for lifting lockdown earlier this year. Similarly, BAAPS (the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) reported that UK plastic surgeons saw a 70% rise in consultation requests during 2020, linked to an increasing focus on our appearance during countless video calls in lockdown. A third of plastic surgeons surveyed experienced increasing demand from male clients, in particular for hair transplant procedures.

This is all good news for the aesthetics industry. However, BAAPS also issued a warning to consumers to check the credentials of their practitioner before going ahead with any treatments. Along with a boom in demand for aesthetic procedures, there have been worrying reports of rising numbers of botched treatments. Save Face logged over 2,000 patient-reported complaints last year, a 22% increase on 2019 figures, which has also led to a rise in the number of corrective treatments required by clients.

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Badly executed aesthetic treatments are most often linked to unaccredited and poorly trained practitioners. This is why BAAPS is warning consumers to check they use only fully qualified, accredited and professionally insured providers. Accreditors such as Save Face provide a register of trained aestheticians which helps clients to find a safe pair of hands for their treatments.  

Kerri-Ann Hockley, head of customer service at PolicyBee, said: “Rising demand for aesthetic treatments, along with higher numbers of patient complaints for treatments that have gone wrong, does mean that practitioners are under pressure this summer to reassure their clients they are trustworthy and have the right credentials.

“Clients that heed the warnings will be likely to check their practitioner is accredited with the relevant UK association, and fully insured, before booking a treatment. Consumers are bound to tread more carefully in the wake of news reports about botched treatments. Industry bodies have highlighted that in the past year the vast majority of injectables were performed by beauticians, hairdressers or laypeople. The danger for customers of using a non-medical practitioner to get a treatment is that the provider may not be fully trained, and they may not be fully insured.

“Although treatment and professional liability insurance isn’t currently a legal requirement for aestheticians, the cost of not taking out cover could be catastrophic for a business if things go wrong and a customer sues. If that happens, your insurance picks up the bill for legal costs and any compensation awarded, which can run to many thousands of pounds.  

“So, taking out treatment and professional liability insurance will not only reassure clients – it will give aestheticians peace of mind during what looks to be a very busy summer ahead.”

For more on treatment and professional liability insurance policies go to: https://www.policybee.co.uk/aesthetics-insurance

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