A beauty therapist turned to strangers on Facebook for medical advice after one of her customers suffered a severe reaction to lip fillers.
Kelly Adsett appealed for help in the ‘Lip Filler Chat Group’ earlier this month after her client claimed she was suffering swelling in her face, arms and legs and could not walk properly three days after the injections.
She received comments from other users suggesting the customer may have herpes and should treat her swelling using cold sore cream.
The group says it is ‘for all who are interested in fillers’ and can be viewed by anyone, regardless of their medical background.
Ms Adsett, who runs a farm-based salon called The Stable near Bodmin in Cornwall, reassured the client in a text it was ‘completely normal’ for there to be swelling. But behind closed doors, she pleaded for advice from the 4,500 members of the public Facebook group.
The beautician shared a photo of the unidentified woman alongside pictures of her heavily swollen lips.
In the typo-laden post, Ms Adsett said: ‘Her face is swollen what can anyone suggest? She doesn’t want to remove it but I think I have no opption (sic).’
The beauty therapist revealed in a separate comment that the client went to A&E and was diagnosed with a blood clot, which doctors linked to the lip filler injections.
Campaigners said the case was proof that most beauticians have ‘no idea what they are doing’ and claimed it highlighted the need for tighter regulations.
Ms Adsett posted online for some advice after one of her customers suffered huge swelling in their lips and then arms and legs following a lip filler treatment. Campaigners said it showed most beauticians have ‘no idea what they are doing’
Ms Adsett (pictured) runs The Stables in Bodmin, Cornwall. The clinic no longer offers lip filler treatments on its website, although it continues to sell others such as teeth whitening
Ms Adsett posted the above messages on Facebook group ‘Lip Filler Chat’ that she had sent to the client
She also later shared the clients response. Medics say it is possible for lip fillers to trigger blood clots, but this only happens when they are injected into arteries
Current rules mean an aesthetic practitioner does not need any qualifications, so anyone can go on a basic training course and then be allowed to perform non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
Staff are being taught online or at one-day training courses for as little as £150.
In the now-deleted post on March 6, Ms Adsett said: ‘Look for for some advice, the photos aren’t great I no.
‘I did this client on Thursday at 1pm she said it’s really swollen and painful and has has can antihistamine and parctomal, also put compression on it she said today her face is swollen what can anyone suggest?
What are the risks with getting lip fillers?
The beauty industry in the UK is an unregulated ‘wild west’, with clinics not required to register or meet basic hygiene or safety standards.
Ministers are currently preparing to regulate it, however, with plans now making their way through parliament.
The NHS says the risks of getting fillers depend on whether the procedure was done correctly or what filler was used.
Serious complications include:
- An infection;
- A lumpy appearance under the skin;
- Filler moving away from the intended treatment area;
- Blocked blood vessels in the face, which can cause tissue death or blindness.
‘She doesn’t want to remove it but I think I have no opption than to take the filler out.’
Providing an update in the comment section, Ms Adsett: ‘So before and after filler and today but now she tell me her legs and arms swollen she can’t walk.
‘She going to a nd e I’ve told her come in ive now asked what hospital she attending.’
She shared screenshots of messages sent to the customer, where she said the swelling was ‘completely normal’.
But the customer later replied saying if she had taken this advice and done nothing she ‘would be dead’.
The client’s response read: ‘Hello… Now I’m feeling a little bit better I thought I’d give you a message. I’ve been treated for a blood clot from the lip filler which travelled to my lung.
‘Obviously if I knew/was told I would ever have the risk off. A blood clot that could of killed me, I would never of had them done.
‘Also with messaging you basically telling me the hospital couldn’t do anything if I carried on listening to you it would of killed me.’
It is not clear what triggered the reaction, or if the customer had an allergy.
Incredibly, the beautician appears to still be using before-and-after images of the botched fillers as advertisement on her social media pages.
Aesthetic campaign body Save Face has called for a crackdown on the ‘unregulated’ industry.
A spokesperson for the body said: ‘In recent years the number of people who have set themselves up as practitioners with little or no training has grown exponentially.
‘It is clear from the number of people who take to social media forums to post questions about complications and adverse reactions that the vast majority of them have no idea what they are doing.
‘Not only are these people breaching patient confidentiality and data protection laws by posting pictures and case histories on social media without consent, but it is abundantly clear that they are not competent to comprehend the difference between normal post treatment reactions and potentially serious complications.
‘These forums perpetrate the issues that exist within this field of practice as there is an abundance of clueless lay people offering advice they are not qualified to give.’
Ms Adsett has now deleted the posts on the Facebook group. She is pictured above
Ms Adsett also appears to still be using pictures from the treatment for her advertising. Pictured above is an advert on her Facebook page (left) and an image of the swollen lips she posted on the Facebook group to illustrate her clients condition (right)
Ms Adsett said she had not gone to the Facebook group for advice. But a search reveals two other queries she posted on the group in May and October last year
The address for The Stable in Bodmin, Cornwall, listed on their website brings up this farm and caravan park, as pictured on Google Maps
Despite the use of needles and the potential for serious complications, an aesthetic practitioner does not need any mandatory qualifications, meaning anyone can go on a basic training course and the be allowed to perform the treatments.
Under the skin treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers and chemical peels remain largely unregulated, although the Care Quality Commission urges those considering altering their body to check the registration of their surgeon beforehand.
Some dermal fillers and some implants used in cosmetic interventions as part of a ‘professional service’ in the UK are exempt from any product safety regulations.
The UK Government announced earlier this month it is planning to crack down on rogue practitioners by making it an offence to perform non-surgical work like botox and fillers without a licence.
The Stables does not publicly offer lip fillers on its website, although it advertises other treatments including teeth whitening and tattoo removal.
It has not received any reviews online, but has been ‘liked’ on Facebook by 3,000 people.
Responding to criticisms of the recent case, Ms Adsett said: ‘When you’re working in the industry you get people out there who try and do things to scam you and give you a bad reputation.
‘I think it was an insurance scam because after everything she never gave me her doctor’s paperwork, never wanted to have any contact, she just wanted her money back.
‘She basically just wanted a refund of her money, she didn’t actually have anything that was wrong.’