Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can provide under 18s with Botox or filler treatments for clinical reasons, but injections for cosmetic purposes have been banned following a change in the law.

The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act came into force in England today (1 October), and will prevent young people from getting cosmetic injections.

Then health minister Nadine Dorries announced the legislative change last month after a significant increase in the number of young people attempting to achieve a so-called ‘Instagram face’.

Previously, there was no legal requirement for checks on those aged under 18 prior to treatment.

Treatments can be approved by a medical practitioner to be performed by a pharmacist, doctor, dentist or nurse on those under the age of 18 with a clinical need such as cervical dystonia or hyperhidrosis.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said failure to follow the new legislation ‘could result in a criminal prosecution and an unlimited fine’.

The law applies to people visiting from outside England, as well as those who have the permission of someone aged over 18.

In July, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing published several recommendations for the Government on how it could address a current lack of a legal framework of standards around cosmetic treatments.

Pharmacists offering aesthetic services in their pharmacies backed a call for dermal fillers to become prescription-only medicines (POM).

Other pharmacists told The Pharmacist they believed that it should only be healthcare professionals who offer these treatments. To find out more about pharmacy-led aesthetic services see The Pharmacist’s Clinical Ambassadors series of case studies.