Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:54 pm on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Jane Stevenson Jane Stevenson Conservative, Wolverhampton North East 9:54 pm, 16th October 2020

Yes, I absolutely agree. People have to go into these treatments with full information so that they are giving informed consent, which, of course, under-18s cannot realistically give on such a serious matter.

The cost of these treatments is certainly not insignificant. A reputable, qualified, experienced practitioner can charge between £300 to £1,000 for botox treatments. Dermal fillers have a similar cost. The effects last about 12 months before they will need to be repeated. For most adults, those are significant amounts of money. For young people, the high cost leaves them seeking cheaper alternatives. They use non-healthcare professionals, sometimes hairdressers or beauticians, many of whom have trained for mere hours rather than several years.

In the wrong hands, these treatments frequently go wrong. The number of cases of botched jobs has doubled in the last year, from 616 cases in 2017-18 to 1,300 last year. There are, as we have heard, potential health risks, including blindness, tissue necrosis, infection and scarring. There can also be a significant psychological impact when a treatment does not give the desired effect, or when it does not deliver the desired boost in self-confidence. I think that that is at the root of the mental health point.