Young people are not being protected by clinics or practitioners as blatant disregard of age checks by those offering cosmetic lip filler treatments to under 18’s
As demand from younger patients for lip filler procedures increases, only 4% of clinics ask for photo ID according to a WhatClinic.com survey
- 73% of clinics surveyed report an increase in demand for lip filler this year
- 42% of traffic to lip augmentation pages that were sampled this year, were from visitors aged 18-24
- 100% of clinics surveyed said they won’t provide lip filler to under 18s but most will provide fillers to under 21s
- The average lip filler spend of each patient per visit by more than 80% of patients is over £200
WhatClinic.com, the clinic comparison site, has highlighted its concern following a recent survey of UK clinics that looked at how clinics across the UK validate the age of younger patients. Results suggest that processes in place may not be robust enough to curtail teenage demand for lip filler and other facial treatments.
The site, which sees millions of consumers all over the world find and compare clinics online, conducted a survey of UK clinics in response to the increase in consumers within the 18 – 24 age bracket looking for filler and Botox related treatments.
A recent survey of filler trends looked at the trend for ‘larger than ever’ lips. Clinics remarked that social media influencers, bloggers and TV shows like TOWIE and Love Island were instrumental in driving trends.
All clinics surveyed recommended a ‘less is more’ approach to filler, and when asked about teenage patients, were unanimous in their criticism of any clinic who would consider treating a younger patient. However, clinics themselves commented that demand has increased from younger patients.
Following this, WhatClinic delivered a second survey which asked how clinics attempted to verify patient age, and if definitive proof of age was ever sought prior to treatment.
The majority of clinics surveyed only ask patients their age if they ‘appear young’ or look to be under 18. Furthermore, 78% of clinics surveyed said that they only rely on information that the patient volunteers through form completion before any procedure is carried out.
The infatuation with celebrity influencers, namely the Kardashian and Jenner clans, along with social trends sees the demand for lip fillers at an all-time high. 58% of clinics surveyed said that the demand for lip fillers is continuing to grow. They cited social media and celebrity as key influencers of the younger population, as cosmetic procedures such as Botox and lip fillers can often be driven by social trends.
While all clinics surveyed ask patient age prior to any procedure actually being conducted, this is usually via patient completion forms. Only 4% of clinics surveyed requested photo ID with roughly 10% of clinics saying that they would only look for ID if the patient was particularly young looking. Most of the clinics surveyed felt that Botox was best suited to people over 25, however 20% of clinics thought that 18 was an acceptable age to start Botox treatments.
Dr. Susanna Hayter, a qualified GP and private aesthetic practitioner said, “I am getting more and more enquiries from young girls regarding requests for lip fillers. They usually want a consultation and treatment on the same day. However, all potential clients should have a consultation where the risks and likely outcomes are made clear, which should then be followed by an appropriate cooling off period. Many places do not follow these critical guidelines provided by the General Medical Council (GMC) for cosmetic procedures.”
“We require all clients to provide information including date of birth, and I would never consider treating anyone below the age of 18. Given the results of the WhatClinic survey we will now routinely ask all clients who appear to be below 25 years old for photo ID.”
With the amount of treatments being carried out on the rise, prices are following suit with the average cost per visit for lip augmentation being in excess of £200.
The below table is the UK average from 1,731 clinics that offer lip augmentation:
|CITY||AVERAGE PRICE FOR TREATMENT|
Philip Boyle, Head of Consumer Matters at WhatClinic says “Clinics offering aesthetic procedures such as lip fillers should be aware of the growing interest from this younger demographic, and ensure that appropriate checks are carried out before treatment is provided.”