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The Ugly Side of Beauty

Non invasive cosmetic procedures are a booming market. Treatments involving facial fillers, laser treatments, and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are, amongst others, regularly performed in up and down the country in high street beauty salons and even tattoo parlours.

The 2013 Keogh Review, an independent review of the cosmetic surgery industry in the UK, found that spending on cosmetic procedures is estimated to rise to £3.6 billion in 2015, up from £2.3 billion in 2010, and that non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as laser skin resurfacing, account for over 75% of that figure. The review highlighted the fact that anyone can carry out non-surgical laser procedures at present, regardless of their level of medical training, despite the known risks of burns, scarring and infections.

So while the government takes its time to consider whether to implement some form of regulation to this growing multi million pound industry there are practitioners out there that are carrying out procedures where they are not correctly trained or qualified. This inevitably increases the risk of something going horribly wrong which if you are a victim can leave you distressed embarrassed, in pain and in some cases permanently disfigured.

I have represented a number of Claimants who have suffered severe burning and permanent changes in skin pigmentation from IPL treatments carried out by practitioners who have not had the required training or possess the necessary level of skills. Where the practitioners are adequately insured I have been able to recover compensation on the Claimant’s behalf. However I am finding more and more that a number of beauty salons do not hold the requisite Public Liability Insurance so even if a Claimant pursues a successful claim they are unlikely to receive any compensation.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL ) earlier this year confirmed their intention to champion Public Liability Insurance as a requirement for consumer facing businesses as without it the public are left at risk.

There is nothing more disappointing than seeing a Claimant who plainly deserves redress go without compensation simply because a business is not adequately insured and has no funds to meet any claim made directly.

If you are going to proceed with a non-invasive beauty procedure I strongly advise you to do your research. Make sure that staff are adequately trained and companies adequately insured before their services are used. The British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) are an organisation within the Beauty industry whose members are self-regulating, ensuring their staff are qualified and their businesses adequately insured for the procedures they carry out. Their website can be used to search for organisations who are members.