Warning over ‘beauty injections’

Several people reportedly have suffered facial injuries from botched beauty injections, prompting regulators to issue a public warning about the dangers posed by unlicensed therapists. 

Dr. Steve Tomlinson of the Health Practice Commission cited at least one incident, in which a woman suffered severe facial injuries. It was reported to police and is now in the courts. 

He said the commission received several complaints in the past year about beauty therapists administering collagen, Botox or commercial silicon injections without the proper licensing, both at salons and at private parties in people’s homes.  

He said there is a big difference between beauty therapies like massages and facial peels and injections, and that medical training is required to reduce the risk of infection or injury. 

Anyone in Cayman administering any kind of invasive procedure, such as an injection, is required to be a certified health practitioner.  

Some beauty salons have staff qualified to give cosmetic injections, but many do not. 

The commission warned in a press statement Friday that anyone who gets this kind of treatment should first check that the person administering the injection is certified. 

Dr. Tomlinson said the issue is relatively new here. 

“This is something we have seen only in the last two years. There have been incidents of illegal administration of substances and people have ended up harming the patient. There have been cases where it has been reported to police and people have been arrested. 

“The only way anyone should be doing this is if they are medically licensed and they have been sanctioned by the medical council. 

“With Christmas coming up, people want to look good. The Health Practice Commission decided to alert the public to the dangers of this type of practice.” 

He said it is difficult to say how widespread the practice is because only incidents where someone was injured led to complaints to the commission. 

By law, all health care facilities and all health care practitioners are required to display their current Certificate of Operation of a Health Care Facility or certificate titled Health Practitioner License to Practice. Any injection must take place in a registered health care facility, the commission said in a statement. 

“If there is no certificate on display, and one cannot be produced, the facility has not complied with the national standards for a health care facility and their credentials have not been checked by government, nor has the practitioner been screened for appropriate and required credentials,” the statement added.  

The HPC has also warned of the “risk to life” posed by so-called “pumping parties,” where people gather to get injections in someone’s home. 

“Pumping parties are known to occur in India, South America, Japan and the United States. Any such gatherings in the Cayman Islands should be reported to the Department of Health Regulatory Services,” the statement added. 

Dr. Tomlinson said people can get beauty injections at a number of registered facilities in Grand Cayman. He said it is not necessarily less expensive to get treatment from an unlicensed salon or therapist and insisted it is “not worth the risk.” 

“…A person having a nonsurgical cosmetic intervention has no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush,” he said. 

Anyone who has evidence that a facility without a license is offering injectable treatments can contact the Department of Health Regulatory Services at [email protected] to file a formal complaint. 

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Concern has been raised over unlicensed beauty injections.
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