Dermal Filler Regulation- What Is Going On?

dermal filler regulation

With increasing clamour for regulation in the aesthetic industry, dermal fillers have come under the lens again. The Guardian has recently talked about dermal filler regulation. This blog will summarise what is going on!

What has been said?

The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons have issued a warning about the lack of regulation in the industry. We already know the dangers of going to see a non-medical professional to have cosmetic surgery (click here for Rachael Knappier’s horror dermal filler).

Unlike many other countries- anyone can inject a dermal filler in the UK. This has meant there has been many beauticians and non-medical professionals picking up a needle and syringe to inject a patient’s face. Needless to say, there has been a sharp increase in complications.

MPs are now becoming concerned with the increasing pressure from healthcare professionals to have the industry more regulated. A Save Face report found a total of 934 complaints about non-surgical procedures in 2018- this was an increase of over 200% from 2016! Approximately 60% of these complaints were patients concerned about their dermal filler treatment with half of these patients having to have their treatment corrected by an actual healthcare professional. Worryingly, 11 patients ended up in A&E.

At The Treatment Rooms London, we make it clear- if you are a patient you need to have a clear idea of who you are seeing for treatment. They should be a medical professional (e.g. Doctor or Surgeon) and they should have sound understanding of the medical treatments they are providing. If your injector can’t answer your questions, can’t take you through the risks of a procedure and can’t manage any complications that can arise- that is a big red flag! Read more about this topic by clicking (here).

What is the current dermal filler regulation?

Dermal fillers are classified as a medical device in Europe. This means they don’t have to go through the stringent testing that medicines have to go through. Unlike America which has 10 approved dermal fillers. Europe has a whopping 160 approved dermal fillers!

At The Treatment Rooms London we are seeing patients coming to see us to have their dermal filler corrected. Often they have seen an inexperienced non-medical injector who has sourced their filler online. These fillers are usually poor quality, cheap and unregulated. If you knew the substance that was being injected in your face didn’t meet stringent medical tests would you still agree to have treatment?

What happens at The Treatment Rooms London?

At The Treatment Rooms London we source all our fillers directly from approved, vetted and regulated manufacturers. This means our patients receive high quality fillers. No corners or costs are cut to ensure high quality and safe care for our patients. All our injectors are Doctors and Surgeons- not nurses or allied healthcare professionals.

Our Doctors and Surgeons go through all risks of treatment before commencing any procedure. In our dedicated, purpose built clinic, procedures are performed in a sterile environment. Being a CQC-registered clinic for cosmetic surgery we are able to perform a wide range of procedures- legally meeting the high standards of CQC regulation. If you wanted to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.



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Jowl Thread Lifts- What You Need To Know

before and after jowl thread lift london

At The Treatment Rooms London, we have been providing jowl thread lifts to patients across London and internationally. Being one of the most popular treatments, we wanted to write more about the procedure.

What is a jowl?

A jowl is the drooping bit of skin and fat on your jawline. It is mainly caused by the fatty tissue in your face moving downwards as you age. In the end, the appearance of a jowl can make you look sad, tired and older.

In the before picture above you can see a clear sag in the jawline caused by skin and fat. This is a typical jowl.

How are jowls treated?

Before thread lifts were introduced, the main treatments available to combat the problem were dermal fillers or a surgical face lift.

Using dermal fillers placed on the cheek bone and in the chin together with the angle of the jaw, you can “conceal” a jowl. The treatment works because:

  • Filler in the cheek bone helps to lift the skin and muscle in the face up. This helps to lift the jowl up too
  • Filler in the chin and jawline angle stretches the skin and fat across the jowl and helps to define the jawline

However, there comes a point when you cannot place more filler without looking unnatural. Secondly, in some patients the jowl has sagged so much that using fillers would not make any difference. This is where a jowl thread lift works best. If you were looking to have a procedure that had less downtime than a surgical face lift the best treatment option for your jowls is a thread lift.

What is a jowl thread lift?

A thread lift is a minimally invasive treatment. By placing a thread under the skin and into the fat tissue we can pull these threads up to lift skin and fat. The thread is the same material used in surgery to stitch wounds and at The Treatment Rooms London we use polydioxanone (PDO) threads. These threads have small tags on them that help to latch onto skin and fat so when the thread is pulled up, the skin and fat are pulled up too.

A jowl thread lift is a treatment that places these threads across your jawline. The threads are pulled up to lift the jowl up the face and remove it sagging across the jawline. This results in a defined natural jaw. At The Treatment Rooms we often combine the treatment with a dermal filler placed in the pre-jowl area. This means your jaw is not only defined but has a natural contour that suits your face after a thread lift.

Jowl thread lift

In the video above you will see a jowl thread lift in action performed by one of The Treatment Rooms’ Doctors. You will see the PDO thread being placed across the jawline eventually tied and tightened to lift the jowl.

What happens after?

After the treatment you may have a bit of swelling and bruising but you can go back to your daily activities. We recommend you don’t eat any chewy foods for 7-10 days and don’t exercise for 5 days. Any pain you may feel should be mild and can be managed with Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.

Is it painful?

At The Treatment Rooms London, we use local anaesthetic to make sure you don’t feel any sharp pain. You may feel a bit of tugging and pulling during the procedure and this is normal.

Some before and after photos of jowl thread lifts

before and after jowl lift using pdo threads
Jawline contouring using PDO threads
jowl thread lift
Lifting the jowls using PDO threads to define the jawline. Results last 2 years.



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Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

body dysmorphic disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) has been in the news recently as Superdrug have been told they are could do more to check that their patients are not suffering from BDD before they recieve Botox® injections. This blog will help provide you some extra information on the condition and how patients should be treated.

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a well known mental condition where someone is obsessed with a part of their body being flawed and goes to extreme lengths to correct the apparent defect. Despite having treatment these patients often are dissatisfied and continue to focus on minor defects or flaws. This fuels a vicious cycle of “perceived flaw-treatment-perceived flaw” and actually the patient is best treated with psychological or psychiatric therapies.

Without psychological treatment, some patients with BDD may end up having numerous cosmetic treatments and plastic surgeries in order to fix problems that are not there.

Should I be worried I have BDD?

In short the answer is no. There is a difference between those suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder and patients who would like to undergo cosmetic surgery to address an aesthetic problem.

BDD is a psychiatric condition that manifests as an obsession over appearance and over-treating a problem that no-one else notices. Rarely, patients with BDD can incorrectly undergo a number of cosmetic surgeries over their lifetime. In the UK it is actually illegal for Doctors to provide cosmetic treatments to patients potentially suffering from BDD.

It should be your Doctor’s duty to assess for Body Dysmorphic Disorder in their consultation. If they are worried you may be suffering from the condition then they may refer you to a specialist.

Typical symptoms of BDD include:

  • Making a huge effort to conceal flaws e.g. wearing loose clothes, applying a lot of makeup
  • Looking at yourself in the mirror a lot or even avoiding looking at a mirror at all
  • Spending a lot of time comparing the way you look to other people
  • Worrying excessively about a specific area of your body- particularly your face
  • Picking at your skin to make it “smooth”

These symptoms can be particularly distressing and patients often find it really affects their life. Some patients can even suffer from depression that can lead to self harm or suicide.

Potential sufferers of BDD

People who have had numerous cosmetic treatments are easy to spot and there are a few well known individuals who are thought to suffer from the condition.

Recently Rodrigo Alveswho has had a total of 62 cosmetic surgeries and spent approximately £600,000, underwent his latest treatment- a face reduction procedure. His previous treatments include Botox®, Dermal Fillers, Hair Transplantation, Thread Lifts, nose jobs, implants into his chest, liposuction and more.

At The Treatment Rooms we believe his surgeons and Doctors should look beyond what Rodrigo may want to have and assess whether having treatment in the first place is in his best interests.

Can you treat BDD?

BDD can be treated and the first step is going to see your GP. You may be referred to mental health services where the following treatments can be provided:

  • CBT- cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Anti-depressants

These treatments will help to tackle the potential underlying causes of BDD such as:

  • A chemical imbalance in the brain
  • A traumatic previous experience e.g. bullying or abuse

Interestingly, Rodrigo Alves regular admits to being bullied as a child by his school friends. This might make him predisposed to having BDD but there is no way of telling unless a full psychiatric assessment is made.

If you are worried about BDD then please contact your GP. Alternatively, you can click on the following links to find out more:

How do the Doctors and Surgeons at The Treatment Rooms London address BDD?

Our Doctors and Surgeons are fully trained to notice the clues that a patient may be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. In all patients requesting Hair Transplants, Hair Loss treatment, Botox®, Dermal Fillers and even Thread Lifts our Doctors fully assess your health and wellbeing to make sure you are safe to have treatment. If they are at all concerned they are more than willing to talk you through their concerns. This may include referring you to your GP or to mental health services for assessment.



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Botox® Parties- Think Twice

botox parties

We’ve talked about them before and we wanted to write something again. Botox® Parties have been in the press recently- mainly for negative reasons. This blog highlights the main points.

What are Botox® Parties?

They are informal gatherings for friends to catch up, have drinks and be given Botox® injections.

Are these parties a good idea?

An article by The Guardian highlighted how there are an increasing number of these parties. They appear fun and a good way to catch up between friends. As Botox® lasts for 3-4 months, regularly scheduling Botox® parties gives those attending the chance to have repeat treatment when the effects have worn off, but allows friends to catch up on a regular scheduled basis. It sounds convenient but at The Treatment Rooms London- we advise strongly against them. They are not a good idea.

Why are Botox® Parties are bad idea?

There is a government petition currently circulating highlighting the risks posed in the UK by non-medical professionals injecting Botox® and Dermal Fillers. Injecting someone’s face with a needle obviously requires strong clinical understanding of the anatomy of the face and the medicine (Botox®) you are giving. If you aren’t trained in either of these important pillars of aesthetic medicine then you are clearly not practising safely.

In the UK there is currently no law that prevents a non-medical professional injecting Botox® or Derma Fillers. Together with the rise in popularity of these treatments over the last few years, there has also been a number of cases of tragic complications from poor treatment- often when a patient has been treated by someone who is not a Doctor, Nurse or Dentist throwing a Botox® Party.

Treatment like Botox® should be given in a clean, sterile environment and certainly not when you have just had a few alcoholic drinks. Part of undergoing Botox® treatment includes going through a thorough consultation including a full consent process where a patient is allowed to weigh up the decision to undergo treatment or not. There is simply no place for alcohol which can cloud a decision and leave patients regreting any choices made after having treatment.

It is no wonder there has been a few horror stories about people having complications after having treatment at a Botox® Party. We cannot emphasise enough- if you have been invited to a Botox® party- please think twice and suggest an alternative environment to catch up with friends.

Where should you be having Botox®?

Our advise is you should look to have Botox® treatment in an environment that suits the following conditions:

  • A clean, sterile room
  • In a dedicated Medical Aesthetics Clinic
  • With a trained Doctor, Nurse or Dentist
  • In a clinic that addresses the full consultation process from assessment and consent to aftercare



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Botox® and Migraine

botox migraine

Botox® has been licensed for the treatment and prevention of Migraine since 2010 but the actual effectiveness has been questioned until now. A review of all the evidence was published recently and the result showed that Botox® WAS effective in preventing Migraine. In this blog we explain more about the study and what it means for the millions of migraine sufferers out there!


Migraines are a type of headache, often felt as a throbbing on one side of the head. You may also find you suffer the following symptoms too:

  • Sickness and vomiting
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound

Migraines are common in women (1 in 5) and in men (1 in 15) and is thought to be caused by nerve signals, chemicals and the blood vessels in the brain. You may find certain factors characteristically trigger your migraine like stress, diet and hormonal changes.

Botox®- how does it work?

Botox® works by blocking the release of acetylcholine (a chemical in nerves). This chemical helps to activate muscles and by blocking its effect you can reduce muscle activity and other chemicals that can contribute to migraines (e.g. glutamate). Hence, if you carefully inject Botox® you can prevent migraines from occurring in the first place.

Botox® and Migraines- what did the study show?

The research analysed 17 studies looking at 3,646 patients in total. Botox® injections to the head and neck resulted in:

  • 1.6 fewer migraine attacks per month for chronic sufferers who have >15 headaches per month
  • Reduced depressive symptoms associated with migraine

The main benefit of Botox® injections was seen 2 months after having treatment. Some side effects were reported which are often found with having Botox® treatment. These included:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Neck pain and muscle tightness
  • Double vision

Importantly no severe side effects were reported in the study.


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