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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 10:18 GMT
Cosmetic surgery demand 'soaring'
Dermal filler being injected
Facial enhancements are popular
The popularity of cosmetic surgery is continuing to soar in the UK, latest figures show.

Market analyst Mintel predicts that in 2008 Britons will spend more than 1bn on cosmetic surgery.

In the last year 577,000 cosmetic treatments were carried out in the UK, compared with 300,000 in 2005.

The number of non-surgical procedures rose from 230,000 to 472,000, with a particular surge in demand for botox and collagen wrinkle fillers.

Some people spend longer choosing their bathroom tiles than they do choosing their surgeon
Mr Rajiv Grover
British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons

Mintel said these non-invasive procedures have become much more popular because they are seen as less risky.

But the analyst warned that the fact that these delicate procedures do not have to be carried out by medically qualified personnel, and that this part of the industry is still self-regulated should be a cause for concern.

Other non-invasive procedures include laser hair removal, chemical peels and teeth whitening.

Mintel senior cosmetics analyst Alexandra Richmond said: "Today, the British perception of beauty is based on airbrushed images of models and photos of surgically enhanced celebrities, both young and old.

"For many the natural look simply can't compete and leaves them feeling inadequate."

Surgical procedures still make up the bulk of spending on cosmetic treatments.

Most popular

Facial enhancements, such as facelifts, and breast surgery are the two most popular surgical procedures.

One in five facial surgery operations carried out in the past year were nose jobs.

Nose jobs were the most popular surgical procedure with men, with breast enlargement most popular with women.

Breast uplifts are increasingly carried out to redress the effects of breast-feeding and pregnancy on women's shape, the report says.

Mr Rajiv Grover, a consultant plastic surgeon and secretary of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said that there was still potential for further growth in the numbers of people having procedures.

He said: "The current figures suggest that as little as 0.03% of the population has undergone a procedure, so there is scope for more.

"We just don't know what new procedures will be available in even the next few years."

However, he cautioned people considering cosmetic surgery to consider the potential dangers and side-effects, and select their surgeon with care.

"Some people spend longer choosing their bathroom tiles than they do choosing their surgeon," he said.

Botox is used to smooth forehead lines, eliminate crows' feet and other facial lines. It is the most popular type of non-surgical cosmetic procedure.

Collagen is another injectable filler which is used to improve the appearance of wrinkles and lines.

Botox 'needs better regulation'
25 Apr 07 |  Health

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