COVID Cosmetic Procedure Boom Increases Risk Of Unsafe Practices

Counterfeit injectable use is on the rise, according to The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery.

The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery warns that increased demand for cosmetic procedures will increase unsafe practices. More than 150,0000 Australians are expected to undergo treatments to overcome the mental effects of the COVID-induced economic recession. Medical Dean Dr Ron Feiner says consumers must be wary of the ‘cosmetic cowboys’.

“There is a misconception that anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers are beauty treatments, in the same category as make-up or facials. But they are medical practices and carry risks including blindness or even death,” he said.

It’s estimated Australians spend more than $1 billion on cosmetic procedures annually, and this figure excludes any black market revenue. Reports are emerging that more non-TGA approved and counterfeit filler are being used.

Dr Ansulette Kay, a fellow of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, intervened in a case where filler was poorly placed. The patient underwent treatment for crows feet, which resulted in severe swelling after the injections into her tear trough. The skin clinic refused to dissolve the filler when she returned days later complaining of the swelling.

“In Australia, patients are required to have a medical consultation with a doctor before receiving any form of cosmetic injectable or dermal filler,” Dr Feiner adds.

The demand for cosmetic procedures has risen by 50 per cent in the year prior to September 2020, despite the rising unemployment rate. This phenomenon is known as the lipstick effect and was first observed by economists in 1930. There was a notable increase in lipstick sales during the Great Depression, even when industrial production in other markets slowed.

“During times of economic stress, Australians need a pressure-relief valve, and indulgence is one way to achieve that.

“Ninety-years ago we may have indulged in a new lipstick while today it is lip-filler, tummy tucks, breast augmentations or facelifts,” he finishes.

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