Woman, 22, who suffered 3 years of lip filler hell welcomes Botox ban for kids

A woman who suffered for years after getting lip fillers to like her celebrity idols by her 18th birthday has welcomed a ban on giving Botox to children.

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Anna Russell said she has faced three years of "botched" lips and shattered confidence after wanting to look like pouting celebs when she was just 17.

But her operation spiralled into a nightmare and she said she was left with uneven lips and lumps of ‘unknown’ filler spreading across her face.

Russell, of Edinburgh, has now backed a government ban being introduced on 1 October preventing all Botox treatments for under-18s amid growing concern about the number of teens wanting cosmetic enhancements.

She said she was too young to make a rational decision on her actions at the time and didn’t think about the consequences.

Anna Russell wanted to look like pouting celebsAnna Russell wanted to look like pouting celebs
Anna Russell wanted to look like pouting celebs

‘Love Island’ surge of procedures

The government decided to step in after a "Love Island" surge led to more than 41,000 procedures being carried out on those under 18 just last year.

Health minister Nadine Dorries said ages would now need to be verified before enhancements can be carried out and practitioners could also face prosecution if they fail to do so.

Russell said she was convinced her lips were "too thin" but after the op cried every day before being told by a doctor the "unknown substance" she was given had been injected haphazardly.

Anna Russell said she was convinced her lips were “too thin” (Photo: SWNS)Anna Russell said she was convinced her lips were “too thin” (Photo: SWNS)
Anna Russell said she was convinced her lips were “too thin” (Photo: SWNS)

She has said: "I’m really happy the ban has gone through as it’s such a big decision to make when you’re 17.

"I knew about the new law last year when they were trying to pass it and it has to be a good thing.

“I have always been quite conscious of my lips because they are quite naturally thin. It did become a trend with people my age and I saw others doing it and liked it.

“I had it done a couple of days before my 18th birthday, and found the girl that did it on Facebook. I told her that I was 17 and she said it was fine.

“But it’s 100 per cent too young, I think because when you’re 17 or 18 you do think that you know what’s best for you and you know everything.

“When I think back to the tattoos I thought I wanted at 17 and 18 I think ‘thank god I didn’t get that now.’"

Damage has lasting impact

Russell said the damage caused by the fillers had a lasting impact on her life.

She added: "The fillers really affected my confidence and self-esteem. It completely warped my self-image because I was already insecure when they looked like that.

“It changed the way my whole face looked and how I felt about my face. For ages, I didn’t even look at myself In photos."

Russell said she eventually ended up seeing a plastic surgeon to ask about getting them dissolved.

She added: “He was going to dissolve them for me and I asked him to fill them back up.

“But he told me you’re not fully developed until you’re 21.

“I would say to any young person just wait, so much can change in a year so the way that you feel right now, you might not feel that way in a year.

“You make such rash decisions at that age and mine were botched three years.”

Campaign group Save Face said complaints about botched procedures had jumped nearly ten-fold in five years with 2,083 last year, up from 217 in 2016.

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