We asked Prof Caitriona Ryan:
‘There is a concerning overuse of lip fillers in our younger generation and this has been facilitated largely by irresponsible, non-medically trained injectors who are targeting a vulnerable population. No responsible practitioner would inject the lips of a 17 year old.
There is enormous pressure on young women today to look “beautiful” and “perfect”, largely due to the huge pressures of social media. Instagram and influencers have had an incredible influence on recent trends in cosmetic procedures, particularly in the younger generation. These young women have a warped sense of reality, being bombarded daily with filtered, digitally enhanced images of flawless young girls with overfilled lips and there is huge pressure to conform to these idealistic, artificial portrayals of beauty.
There has been an explosion in the uptake of lip fillers in young women in their early to mid 20s large due to the huge wave of influencers with overfilled lips dominating the newsfeeds on Instagram with their pouting selfies. Having overfilled lips is almost akin to having the newest fashion accessory. Body dysmorphia has become a serious problem in this age group. Unfortunately, these are also the age-group of women who tend to be less cautious about where they go for dermal fillers, have less money to pay for high quality fillers with medical experts and often fall victim to disfiguring botched jobs by non-medical practitioners.
There are many commercial clinics and beauty salons exploiting the vulnerability of young girls for their own gain. Many of the products being used are being offered cheaply, having been sourced through unregulated channels or over the internet and are injected by non-medical staff who are not equipped to deal with potentially devastating complications. In the wrong hands, dermal fillers can be associated with dangerous complications including vascular occlusion leading to permanent tissue death, serious infections, or allergic reactions.
If a dermal filler is inadvertently injected into an artery of the face, it must be immediately reversed by hyaluronidase, a regulated prescription injection that can only be injected by doctors, dentists and supervised nurses – if not, the results are catastrophic for patients. Beauticians are not permitted to inject hyaluronidase, nor can they diagnose or treat infections, allergic reactions or other common complications of filler injections.
When your daughter is older, if she still wants to volumise her lips, research is essential. It is important to be treated by an experienced cosmetic doctor, nurse or dentist who is conservative and subtle in their approach, and has the expertise to deal with potential complications.