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BCAM 2023 Annual Clinical Review

The British College of Aesthetic Medicine has released data from its annual audit of 357 members to inform on treatment popularity and complication management.

While the frequency of treatments performed remains similar to last year, results demonstrate a staggering rise in complications caused by other practitioners being managed by BCAM members.


BCAM members have treated 300 more complications from other practitioners since last year.

The total number has risen to 3,523 from 3,323 since 2022. Of the 357 BCAM members surveyed, 82% said they had handled someone else’s complications.

Most (69%) of the complications had come from treatments performed by beauticians, therapists and podiatrists, which is up from 60% last year. The rest were attributed to other aesthetic medicine doctors, surgeons, nurses and pharmacists.

Dermal filler procedures continue to be associated with the biggest number of complications, while adverse events associated with botulinum toxin are not far behind:

  • Dermal fillers (44%)
  • Botulinum toxin (30%)
  • Threads (12%)
  • Lasers and other energy-based devices (9%)

Due to the lack of the denominator (number of procedures performed by non-physician practitioners) it is impossible to estimate the relative rate of complications of injectable treatments performed by unregulated practitioners in the UK.

BCAM president Catherine Fairris said, “We have found that dermal fillers continue to be the treatment with largest number of complications from non-medical practitioners, which confirms how dangerous dermal fillers can be in the wrong hands. Notably, members report that these complications are often more severe and require specialised treatments. We strongly welcome the public consultation for a licensing scheme of aesthetic treatments, which will hopefully reduce the rate of complications and put patient safety first in the coming years.”

Top treatments

Botulinum toxin was again the most frequently performed procedure by BCAM members. More than 283,000 individual botulinum toxin procedures were conducted by 357 individual members, which was down from 315,000 by 331 members last year.

The top five treatments most frequently performed by BCAM members were:

  • Toxin injections (96% – a decrease of 1%)
  • HA dermal fillers (93% – a decrease of 1%)
  • Non-HA dermal filler (53% – an increase of 5%)
  • Mesotherapy/Collagen stimulators (66% – an increase of 4%)
  • Laser/IPL (36% – an increase of 1%)

BCAM’s commitment to safety

BCAM has been collecting data from its members since 2012. The data collected in each annual review is used to tailor BCAM’s decisions to best suit the needs of members and improve patient safety.

The results will also be shared with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to provide insights that inform and help to better cooperate with policies and decision makers.

BCAM Trustee Dr Aggie Zatonska, who coordinated the Annual Clinical Review, said, “BCAM will continue to use our survey results to influence its future planning. We look forward to working collaboratively with stakeholders over the next year to further improve patient safety and campaign for better regulation.”

Notes for Editors:

For further details, please contact the BCAM Professional Services Team 

The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) is the UKs leading representative body for doctors and dentists practising aesthetic medicine. The charity aims to promote safe, effective and ethical treatment for patients and clinicians through leadership, education, support and professional development.

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