An MP has expressed concern that social media buzz is encouraging young ladies to seek out cowboy Botox providers who are preying on their vulnerabilities and risking lasting damage.
Laura Trott, who is spearheading a campaign to raise awareness about the issue, claims that young people are being bombarded with pushy advertisements for unethical providers on social media platforms like Instagram.
The ‘Wild West of healthcare,’ according to Ms Trott, who spoke to the Mail on Sunday in her first newspaper interview.
She cautioned that women constitute the vast majority of those having such treatments and that immediate action was required to make social media more secure for them.
Social media is responsible for 80 percent of consumers finding a cosmetic provider, according to Ms Trott. In my opinion, it is the most common place where people feel under pressure.
Laura Trott MP, who is leading a campaign on the issue, said young people are being inundated with aggressive adverts for unscrupulous providers on platforms such as Instagram
The Conservative MP for Sevenoaks – who has been working with Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries on the dangers of social media in the Online Safety Bill – has already successfully introduced a private member’s Bill to ban cosmetic Botox and fillers for under-18s.
New guidance off the back of her Bill, which is due to come into force in May, will mean providers will no longer be able to advertise these services to under-18s.
But she wants to go even further.
She told The Mail on Sunday of her horror at the way anyone can pick up a needle and start administering Botox.
The 37-year-old also revealed how she has personally seen the disastrous effects such procedures can have when they go wrong, including the case of one 15-year-old girl who had fillers and ‘her lips blew up’.
‘She had to go to hospital and they nearly had to amputate her lips. They will never be the same again. And she wasn’t warned,’ she said.
‘These are decisions which can really change your life, and yet you have no idea of the implications. You assume you are protected, and you’re not. It’s just heartbreaking.’
Ms Trott, who sits on the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, said most people have no idea about the lack of regulation in the industry. [File image]
Ms Trott, who sits on the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, said most people have no idea about the lack of regulation in the industry.
‘You can go out and get an injection of something and you don’t know what it is,’ she added.
‘The person doing it does not need to be qualified or licensed in any way. They don’t need to be insured. The complications of it can be absolutely awful – blindness, necrosis or rotting tissue, the fillers moving around the face.
‘You can walk into somewhere on the high street and it can blind you, or you could lose your lips.
‘The person who’s administering it doesn’t need to be qualified to deal with side effects. So it’s the NHS or the individual who then pick up the bill afterwards.’
Mother-of-three Ms Trott also revealed that she was acutely aware of the pressures mobile phones and social media now place on young people.