Not looking so good – your guide to compensation for botched non-surgical cosmetic procedures

The growth in the popularity of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in recent years has been fueled by social media, with its focus on body image and frequent celebrity endorsements from reality stars like the Kardashians.

Cathal Murray, personal injury lawyer with James McNulty & Co. Solicitors in Omagh explains, ‘Non-surgical cosmetic treatments are becoming commonplace and are so readily available that people are having them carried out during their lunch hour. This creates an impression that they have no significant health implications. However, even simple errors can result in serious harm. If, for instance, Botox treatment is not carried out correctly it can result in a whole range of serious medical conditions including droopy eyelids, muscle weakness, impaired vision and problems speaking, swallowing and breathing.’

These types of ‘tweakments’ are not always what they are cracked up to be and common procedures which go wrong include:

  • chemical peels to improve skin texture;
  • fillers injected into cheeks, lips and forehead;
  • fat-melting injections into the chin;
  • laser hair removal; and
  • micro-needling (rollers with tiny spikes which prick the skin to encourage collagen production).

The burgeoning industry has drawn criticism from various quarters. High on the list of concerns is the alarming rise in the number of botched procedures. According to data from Save Face, a government-approved register of accredited practitioners, the number of reported problems associated with these treatments has almost trebled, jumping from 378 in 2016 to 931 in the space of just 12 months. There is no legal requirement to report mistakes, so the exact number is likely to be far higher.

Non-surgical treatments now account for 90 per cent of all cosmetic procedures, yet a government review in 2013 worryingly highlighted the almost total absence of any regulation of the industry. For example, no qualifications are required to administer injectable cosmetic products. The products themselves are also unregulated by law, with businesses completely free to make and market substances such as dermal fillers.

If you have suffered adverse effects following a non-surgical cosmetic procedure, you should take photographs of any adverse reaction and seek immediate medical attention. Remedial treatment may be available to improve your condition and prevent permanent damage, so it is important not to delay.

You should also consult a specialist lawyer about claiming compensation. Our experts will look into what happened and consider whether the practitioner, clinic or manufacturer is at fault. The sooner you speak to one of our solicitors the easier it will be for them to obtain the evidence that will be required to win your case.

We will act on your behalf to negotiate compensation for the physical ‘pain and suffering’ of the botched procedure, any revision treatment you need as well as the psychological harm. We can also arrange for you to receive private medical treatment.

If you need time off work as a result of your ordeal, then we can recover your lost earnings and we can claim for the value of any help or care provided by friends and family.

Although no amount of money can take away the traumatic experience you have been through, compensation can make life easier. So, if you have suffered harm as a result of a non-surgical cosmetic procedure within the last three years then let us help you make a claim.

If you need help with a non-surgical procedure claim, or any other personal injury matter, please contact Cathal Murray on 028 8224 2177 or email

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.