Warning on surgery

The rise in popularity of cosmetic surgery shows no sign of abating, with a UK poll revealing that Brits alone are set to spend more than one billion UKP on cosmetic treatments in 2008.

UAEasy.com pictureThe report, from market analyst Mintel, says the demand for cosmetic treatments will continue to rise, particularly for non-invasive treatments such as Botox and collagen wrinkle fillers, which soared in popularity during 2007.

During that year more than 570,000 cosmetic operations and treatments were carried out in the UK alone, compared with 300,000 for that country in 2005.

The number of non-surgical procedures such as laser and teeth-whitening treatments rose from 230,000 to 472,000, with a marked increase in demand for Botox and collagen wrinkle fillers.

The total cosmetic surgery market is now worth just over 900 million UKP - more than double the 430 million spent in 2005.

Non-invasive treatments, such as Botox and collagen fillers, have become much more popular because they are seen as less risky and require repeat top-ups, the report adds. Breast enlargements remain the most popular type of surgery for women.

One well-known consumer group is sounding a note of caution over this expansion in busines. Which? says that in a boom sector there is a real risk that in the rush to make money some businesses will cut corners.

Health campaigner Frances Blunden said: “This report underlines the fact that cosmetic treatments industry is now big business and companies are trying hard to maximise their share of this growing market.”

Which? is concerned that the lack of effective regulation in the rapidly growing market could leave consumers vulnerable to sharp sales and marketing practices and unregistered or unqualified practitioners and providers, particularly of non-surgical treatments. 

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