Experts question health risks from popular cosmetic treatments


Several articles published today on-line  today, have raised concerns about the risk of blood-borne viruses being transmitted through popular aesthetic treatments such as injectable fillers. Public Health England is now currently investigating the concern, which stems from three reports of injuries sustained by staff working in beauty salons, all three injuries were experienced whilst the individuals were carrying out microdermabrasion with needle sticks.

The popular cosmetic procedure of Microdermabrasion is available in beauty salons and cosmetic clinics and spas across the UK, needle microdermabrasion involves a handset, with a needle-studded cylindrical roller attached to it, being moved across the face and can also be used on other body areas too.

This treatment creates multiple small punctures on the skin which result in bleeding and the generation of serous fluid where it has been applied. The results are seen and experienced by the customer, once the skin heals itself and regenerates fresh rejuvenated skin.

The risk of needlestick injuries can occur in this treatment, to staff, and to client, and the possibility of cross-contamination, means that a transmission of a blood-borne viruses including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. can happen, although slim, experts state the risk is still there.

In response to the investigation for Public Health England, Consultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover, a former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: “Just because something is non-surgical it does not mean it is non-medical”

“The use of needles does at the very least some need medical supervision firstly to avoid treating patients who have contraindications from dermatological conditions or potential scarring conditions (keloid tendency).

“Secondly complications can occur from needling (such as infections) and recognising and being able to treat these is essential. It is not good enough just to be able to handle a needle but essential to be able to handle the problems that may come from it too.”

Although the three injuries sustained by the individuals at the heart of the investigation were using the same needle microdermabrasion device, environmental health officers and the device manufacturer are said to be communicating and working together to recommend design modifications, which will hopefully reduce the risk of cross-contamination and needlestick injury.

All three individuals have been tested negative for blood-borne viruses.

There are currently no regulations governing the use of needle microdermabrasion systems.

For more information on reporting injuries in healthcare and workplace, please contact us.

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