Scotland deemed "worst in Europe" for unqualified injectors

Scotland has been named the ‘worst country in Europe’ for unqualified injectors administering aesthetic procedures.

A recent BBC News article highlights the UK's concerning lack of regulation when it comes to injectable treatments like dermal filler. Unlike other countries around the world, the UK does not have regulations permitting only trained healthcare professionals to administer injectable treatments.

Woman receiving filler injections. Dangers of unqualifies injectors
Woman receiving filler injection

Scotland finds itself under the microscope due to the fact we also lack a ban on under 18s receiving these treatments. This is in contrast to England who have had a ban in place since 2021.

The concerning lack of regulation means that virtually anyone in the UK can become an aesthetic injector. You are not legally required to have a medical background in order to be accepted to a training course. Not only that, but you can also administer treatments in a non-clinical setting such as a hairdressers or someone's home.

As a result of the unregulated landscape, complication rates are on the rise. These complications can be serious and include infections, necrosis, and blindness. The situation is further fuelled by social media advertising. Around 90% of people looking to get filler and Botox find unqualified injectors through platforms like Instagram.

In the BBC article, the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) brought attention to the prevalence of unlicensed and counterfeit products, such as Botox. This poses further risks to patient safety.

Not only does the patient not know what is being injected into their body, but the ingredients often used in counterfeit products can cause adverse reactions within the body

Photo of Mr Taimur Shoaib Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Mr Taimur Shoaib, La Belle Forme Medical Director

La Belle Forme's Medical Director, Mr Shoaib, was featured in an article in Aesthetic Medicine on 22nd March 2024. Commenting on the current lack of regulation he added:

They call it an industry but actually we’re a medical speciality and this is why the situation is no better in the rest of the UK where unregulated lays can inject without consequences, when they cause complications to the unsuspecting public.

Licensed products go through rigorous testing before they are allowed to be used; every single batch of the product has to be tested and approved before being distributed.

Botulinum toxin (wrinkle relaxing injections) is a prescription-only medication, and acquiring the toxin without a prescription is illegal. However, without robust regulation, it is very easy for unqualified injectors to order the toxin online from untrustworthy pharmacies.

In 2022 the Scottish government said it would aim to ensure that all cosmetic treatments were carried out by appropriately trained professionals, but no details have been published since.

If you are interested in getting these treatments done, it is essential you consider this information to keep yourself informed and safe. Before attending a practitioner ask yourself whether they are qualified to handle possible complications, if they administer treatments in a sterile clinical setting, or whether they are using legitimate, safe products.


Read the full BBC article

Find our more about choosing the right aesthetic injector 

Discover Mr Shoaib's full article

More Men Want Less Wrinkles

Record numbers of men are looking for aesthetic treatments that make them look and feel younger and keep them “selfie” ready, according to Valerie Goldburt, MD, of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

man with wrinkles Glasgow Day Surgery Centre La Belle Forme

“Surgical procedures across all genders increased dramatically in the second half of 2020 and peaked in the spring of 2021 at 55% of pre-pandemic surgical counts, according to the Aesthetic Society,” Kolker said as part of the database summary. “Men contributed to this high water mark, however, in the same relative proportion as they have historically.”

Men underwent more than 1 million non-surgical cosmetic dermatology treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, and laser resurfacing in 2014, a report from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) found. On top of that, the number of cosmetic treatments among men has risen an astonishing 273% since 1997, according to the ASAPS.

Men Wrinkles

The most popular cosmetic treatment for men remains Botox (the best known of a variety of injectable treatments such as Dysport, Myobloc and Xeomin) using botulinum toxin to temporarily relax the facial muscles that contribute to wrinkles.

Treatment with botulinum toxin was the single most common cosmetic procedure in 2023, accounting for more than 40% of all aesthetic procedures done in men, according to the American Society for Plastic Surgery.

Of course, other treatments are available - you can check out the range of La Belle Forme wrinkle treatments elsewhere on our website.

Call 0141 552 0828 for more details

Book a consultation*


Link to full story

Postoperative Fillers Reduce Revision Rates in Rhinoplasty

Dermal Fillers After Rhinoplasty

Before and after photograph of dermal fillers post-rhinoplasty

A recent paper by La Belle Forme owner and Medical Director Taimur Shoaib and others aimed to review the successful use of dermal fillers (hyaluronic acid) fillers post-rhinoplasty. Minor imperfections following rhinoplasty are high and can cause distress and anxiety to a patient who has been concerned about the appearance of their nose for many years and is understandably hoping to have the best result possible.

Whilst surgical corrections can be made, a number of patients would not benefit from another surgery.  For these patients, dermal fillers may be the ideal solution.

Out of 800 patients who had undergone a rhinoplasty 85 of those had a follow-up treatment using dermal fillers

Patients may have believed that fillers would be a short-term fix, similar to a non-surgical nose job and that the corrections to their nose would soon abate requiring further fillers to be used. However, as the paper outlines, dermal fillers after rhinoplasty can be long-lasting, perhaps even permanent.

Read The Full PaperTaimur Shoaib on Google Scholar


Maria Khan, MBChB, MRes, PG Cert, Thangasamy Sankar, MBBS, FRCS, FRCS (Plast), Taimur Shoaib, MBChB, FRCSEd, DMI(RCSEd), MD, FRCS(Plast).

Postoperative Fillers Reduce Revision Rates in Rhinoplasty, Aesthetic Surgery Journal Open Forum, Volume 5, 2023, ojad029,

How to Choose the Right Aesthetic Injector

Have you been considering filler? Follow these steps to make sure you choose the right injector

Horror inducing headlines about “botched filler” and “duck lips” have become common place. Our social media feeds are littered with injectors offering 3 for 2 deals on filler. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

We recently had a patient visit the Clinic looking to have her lip filler dissolved which had been done elsewhere. Unfortunately, the filler had migrated giving her a puffy, unnatural looking upper lip. There were also superficial deposits of filler on the underside of her lip giving them a lumpy appearance.

Our aesthetics nurse created a treatment plan which involved dissolving the patient’s filler with a Hyalase injection. Hyalase contains the active ingredient hyaluronidase which is an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid based fillers. Two weeks later, once the swelling subsided and her filler dissolved, our patient returned to have her lips carefully refilled by a medical professional.

We have prepared some tips to help you make the safest choice when it comes to selecting an aesthetic injector to administer your filler.


Ensure that the injector has the necessary qualifications, training, and experience to perform the treatment safely and effectively.

We advise visiting a medically trained injector who is registered with a governing body such as the General Medical Council (GMC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Governing bodies are there to protect the public by ensuring professional standards are met and that anyone not adhering to these standards is stricken off.

Non-medically trained injectors on the other hand do not have a governing body holding them to account. Lacking a medical background may also mean the injector is not equipped to deal with medical emergencies if they occur.


Reading online reviews can be a helpful way to gauge an injector’s credibility. You want to keep an eye out for reviews stating the injector is professional and informative, tailors treatment plans to their patients and operates in a clean, sterile environment.

Having a look on a clinic’s or injector’s social media can also help you when choosing a practitioner whose style you like! But be careful not to assume that a large social media following and a catalogue of before and afters are enough reason to justify booking in. While social media may help you identify an aesthetic you like, this must be paired with further research. Some injectors have been known to edit and filter their results to make them appear more desirable. Not all that glitters is gold.

Avoid Practitioners Advertising Ultra-Cheap Deals

Those new to injecting often charge cheaper prices to help get clients in the door. While practice is important for any aesthetic practitioner, when weighed against the risks of possible complications you should consider is it worth the risk?

Cheaper prices may also mean cheaper filler is being used. These could be from uncredited suppliers. A quick google search shows that derma fillers are very easy to purchase online without a prescription or other verification. In this case you cannot be sure that your injector is using safe, medically approved products. Cheap filler also increases your risk of suffering an allergic reaction as it could contain ingredients that are not tolerated well by the body.

If an injector is cutting costs on their filler, the chances are they do not have the safety equipment needed if an emergency occurs.

Always Book a Consultation

Once you have found an injector that meets these criteria, it is time to book a consultation and meet with them in person. A good injector will talk with you at length about your areas of concern and will make a treatment plan tailored specifically to you. Equally, a good injector will also evaluate your medical history and tell you whether the procedure is safe for you to have.

During your consultation the benefits, risks and side effects of the treatment should also be clearly explained. You also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and gain a better understanding of the injector’s experience.

When it comes to making any cosmetic change to your face, it pays to be picky. Do not be afraid to get in touch with a clinic or injector to ask any questions you may have, and do not shy away from checking whether they have the relevant qualifications and certifications. Your safety is the number one priority.

La Belle Forme offer bespoke dermal filler treatments with fully qualified medical professionals. Both nurses and surgeons administer treatment at our clinic. If you have been considering getting derma filler, feel free to get in touch and book a consultation with one of our accredited specialists.