Cosmetic procedures are more commonplace in Ireland than ever before. Not only are more people seeking treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers, but they’re also becoming more popular among younger age groups. Now, minister for health Simon Harris is considering a ban on such treatments for anyone under 18 years
In our current era of so-called 'Insta-perfect' beauty influencers and reality stars, more young people are seeking cosmetic procedures than ever before.
Instagram and reality shows play a large part in this. When TV show Love Island became a mainstream sensation last year, Dr Paul Reddy at Thérapie Clinic said there was a 75% increase in inquiries about injectable treatments, particularly since Megan Barton-Hanson joined the cast.
The then-24-year-old had allegedly undergone €28,000 worth of cosmetic treatments; including rhinoplasty, lip fillers and breast augmentation. At the time, Dr Reddy said, "We’ve seen a spike in enquiries for fillers and Botox over the past few weeks; our bookings have been rapidly filling up. Since Megan entered the villa, we’ve had countless clients ask to get a similar look".
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It seems this trend has continued into 2019. A quick scroll through any beauty-related hashtag on Instagram will garner thousands of results showing women (and men) who have had their lips enlarged and wrinkles immobilised by Botox.
In response, minister for health Simon Harris has questioned the safety of such treatments for younger people; saying he is considering implementing a ban on Botox for people under the age of 18.
In a statement released by Simon Harris, he said he has asked his department to assess the current regulations in the cosmetic industry; to determine whether or not an age restriction is required.
"While the profession and the products are regulated," he said of cosmetic surgery and Botox, "I am conscious that this is an industry that is continuing to grow and particularly worryingly, it is targeting young men and women.
Related: Should Botox and filler customers
be screened for mental health issues?
"There are a number of reasons for this including a desire by young men and women to be perfect, driven by social media," said the minister. "But there are also companies and professionals who are exploiting that for their own gain.
"There is a need to examine whether current regulations are sufficient or whether further regulation is required," he continued, adding, "I have asked my department to assess whether we should impose a minimum age for the use of those products. This cannot be an area that goes unregulated or unsupervised."
He hopes a Botox ban will benefit young people in the same way as the sunbed ban of 2015.
Photo: Minister for Health Simon Harris via Facebook
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