The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - SUE DUNLEVY

A WOMAN has been left with a “horn” on her fore­head and an­other had her face eaten by bac­te­ria in the lat­est bun­gles in the boom­ing cos­metic in­dus­try.

New Mac­quarie Univer­sity re­search has linked cos­metic filler pro­ce­dures to se­ri­ous and chronic in­fec­tions that take years to con­trol and leave vic­tims dis­fig­ured.

One victim now re­quires surgery in which her face will be cut from ear to ear and her fore­head peeled back to re­move filler that has left her with a mis­shapen face.

An­other has been on an­tibi­otics for more than a year and en­dured four oper­a­tions, cost­ing $25,000, to drain in­fec­tions and re­build her face.

Doc­tors are warn­ing that poor pro­ce­dures can lead to chronic in­fec­tion, cell death, blind­ness, a loss of sen­sa­tion, and the in­abil­ity to smile or clean teeth.

Jean Huang, 35, died in Syd­ney last month dur­ing a pro­ce­dure to in­ject fillers into her breasts.

Mac­quarie Univer­sity plas­tic sur­geon Pro­fes­sor Anand Deva, whose re­search has linked cos­metic fillers to seri- ous bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, ac­cuses the in­dus­try of pur­su­ing prof­its at the ex­pense of pa­tient safety.

He wants an elec­tronic pa­tient regis­ter to keep track of the fillers used and the doc­tors who carry out the pro­ce­dures.

“We are fac­ing a per­fect storm in the cos­metic in­dus­try where de­mand is in­sa­tiable, driven by so­cial me­dia and celebri­ties, and it is be­ing met by com­pletely un­reg­u­lated providers,” he said.

“We can ride the wave, the boom and make money and drive fancy cars or we can say this is still medicine and the health of peo­ple is at stake.”

Aus­tralians are now spend­ing over $1 bil­lion a year on cos­metic pro­ce­dures.

One of the big­gest cos­metic chains, Laser Clin­ics, said it per­formed more than 2.7 mil­lion beauty treat­ments and treated 220,000 new clients in 2017. The busi­ness was sold re­cently for more than $650 mil­lion.

Pro­fes­sor Deva’s re­search tested the cos­metic fillers hyaluronic acid, poly­acry­lamide and poly-l-lac­tic acid and found they all sup­ported bac­te­rial growth.

Mul­ti­ple nee­dle passes or fan­ning of the nee­dle dur­ing the pro­ce­dure in­creased the risk of in­fec­tion, he found.

TRAGEDY: Jean Huang, 35 (above), died in Syd­ney last month dur­ing a pro­ce­dure to in­ject fillers into her breasts.

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