Two years ago Laura-Alicia Summers, 28, had a lip filler procedure while working at a trade fair, tempted by a £200 deal from a pop up clinic at the event.
She says: ‘The night after having the filler done my lips were tingling, and when I woke up the next morning they were five times the size. The whole area was swollen and I couldn’t open my mouth.’
Laura-Alicia had to take time off work and suffered the ill effects of the botched surgery for a month. And there are many more like her – innocent victims of a £3 billion industry that is dangerously unregulated.
Like many other women who have suffered the same issue she was embarrassed and ashamed: ‘I do feel stupid - I hadn’t researched what they were injecting.’
But we think she is wrong to blame herself. The cosmetic industry – whether it’s breast implants, fillers, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal or Botox - is dangerously unaccountable and no one is prepared to take the blame when things go wrong. Women who complain are written off for being vain or silly.
We want the Government to regulate this industry; to ensure proper training; and to stop vulnerable women being manipulated with unsuitable special offers and hard sell techniques.
When Laura-Alicia tried to complain the clinic ignored her calls, then fobbed her off with excuses. Finally the line went dead.
She thinks that something needs to be done to protect her and women like her. ‘I’m in full support of the Marie Claire campaign about regulating plastic surgery, so no one else gets done to them what I had done to me, and to make this world a safer and more beautiful place.’
On April 24 the Government will be hearing recommendations on the industry. We want them to listen.
If you think it’s important to protect women from bad experiences like this – and worse - please sign our petition.