A beauty therapist turned to strangers on Facebook for medical help after one of her clients suffered a severe reaction to lip fillers.
Kelly Adsett asked for help on the ‘Lip Filler Chat Group’ earlier this month after her client claimed she suffered swelling in her face, hands and feet and was unable to walk properly three days after the injections.
She received comments from other users suggesting that the customer may have a cold sore and should treat the swelling with cold sore cream.
The group says it is “for anyone interested in fillers” and can be viewed by anyone, regardless of their medical background.
Ms Adsett, who runs a farm salon called The Stable near Bodmin, Cornwall, reassured the client in the text that it was “completely normal” to experience swelling. But behind closed doors, she asked for advice from 4,500 members of a public Facebook group.
The beautician shared a photo of the unidentified woman alongside images of her severely swollen lips.
In a post riddled with typos, Ms Adsett said: “Her face is swollen, what can anyone suggest? He doesn’t want to remove it but I don’t think I have any option (sic).’
In a separate comment, the beauty therapist revealed the client went to A&E and was diagnosed with a blood clot, which doctors linked to lip injections.
Campaigners said the case was proof that most beauticians “have no idea what they’re doing” and claimed it highlighted the need for stricter regulation.
Ms Adsett posted an online request for advice after one of her customers suffered massive swelling of her lips and then her hands and feet after having lip fillers. Campaigners said it showed most beauticians “have no idea what they’re doing”
Mrs 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 the “Lip Filler Chat” Facebook group that she sent to a client
Later, she also shared clients’ reactions. Doctors say it’s possible for lip fillers to cause blood clots, but that only happens when they’re injected into arteries
Current rules mean that an aesthetic doctor does not need any qualifications, so anyone can complete basic training and then carry out non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
Staff are taught online or in one-day training sessions for just £150.
In a now-deleted post on March 6, Ms Adsett said: “Looking for some advice, the pics aren’t great, I’m not.
“I did this client on thursday at 1pm she said it was really swollen and painful and she had an antihistamine and parktoma, also put a compress on her, she said her face is swollen today, what can anyone suggest?
What are the risks of getting lip fillers?
The beauty industry in the UK is an unregulated ‘wild west’ where clinics do not have to register or meet basic hygiene or safety standards.
Ministers are currently preparing to regulate it, with plans now going 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:
- A lumpy appearance under the skin;
- The filler moves away from the intended treatment area;
- Clogged blood vessels in the face that can cause tissue death or blindness.
“He doesn’t want to remove it, but I guess I have no choice but to take the filling out.
Ms Adsett gives an update in the comments section: “So before and after the filler and today but now she tells me her legs and arms are swollen and she can’t walk.
“She goes to and I told her to come, now I asked which hospital she goes to.
She shared screenshots of messages sent to the customer where she said the swelling was “completely normal”.
But the customer later responded that if she took that advice and did nothing, she “would be dead.”
The client’s response was: “Hello… I’m feeling a little better now, thought I’d give you a message. I was treated for a blood clot from a lip filler that traveled to my lungs.
“Of course if I had known/been told I would never have seen the risk. A blood clot that could have killed me, I would never have them done.
“Also with you basically telling me there was nothing the hospital could do, if I continued to listen to you it would kill me.
It’s unclear what triggered the reaction or whether the customer had an allergy.
Incredibly, the beautician still seems to be using before and after pictures of botched fillers as advertising on her social media pages.
Aesthetics campaign body Save Face has called for a crackdown on the “unregulated” industry.
A spokesman for the body said: “The number of people becoming practitioners with little or no training has increased exponentially in recent years.
“From the number of people taking to social media forums to post questions about complications and adverse reactions, it’s clear that the vast majority have no idea what they’re doing.
“Not only are these people breaching patient confidentiality and data protection laws by posting images and case histories on social media without consent, but it is abundantly clear that they are not competent to understand the difference between normal post-treatment reactions and potentially serious complications.
“These forums are perpetrating the problems that exist in this area of practice because there are a lot of clueless lay people offering advice that is not qualified.”
Ms Adsett has now deleted the posts in the Facebook group. It is pictured above
It also appears that Ms Adsett is still using images from the treatment for her advertising. Pictured above is an advertisement on her Facebook page (left) and a picture of swollen lips she posted on a Facebook group to illustrate her clients’ condition (right)
Ms Adsett said she did not go to the Facebook group for advice. However, a search revealed two other queries she posted about the group in May and October last year
Despite the use of needles and the potential for serious complications, there is no mandatory qualification required to be an esthetician, meaning that anyone can complete a basic training course and be allowed to perform the treatment.
As part of skin treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers and chemical peels remain largely unregulated, although the Care Quality Commission urges those considering body modification to check their surgeon’s registration beforehand.
Certain dermal fillers and certain implants used in cosmetic procedures as part of ‘professional services’ in the UK are exempt from any product safety regulations.
The UK government announced earlier this month that it intends to crack down on rogue practitioners by making it a criminal offense to carry out non-surgical work such as botox and fillers without a licence.
The stable does not publicly offer lip fillers on its website, although it advertises other treatments including teeth whitening and tattoo removal.
It didn’t get any reviews online, but 3,000 people tagged it on Facebook.
Responding to criticism of the recent case, Ms Adsett said: “When you work in this industry you get people out there who try to do things to cheat you and give you a bad name.
“I think it was insurance fraud because after all that she never gave me the papers from her doctor, she never wanted any contact, she just wanted her money back.
“Basically she just wanted a refund, she didn’t really do anything wrong.