Experts probe health risk from popular cosmetic treatment
Public Health England is investigating the possible risk of blood-borne viruses such as HIV being transmitted through a widely available cosmetic treatment.
The probe comes after three members of staff working in North West beauty salons suffered needlestick injuries while carrying out needle microdermabrasion.
A procedure which has risen in popularity in recent years and is available in beauty salons and cosmetic surgeries, needle microdermabrasion involves a handset, with a needle-studded cylindrical roller attached to it, being moved across the face.
This process creates multiple small punctures which can result in bleeding and the generation of serous fluid where it has been applied, PHE said.
If needlestick injuries to staff or cross-contamination to clients occurs, PHE said there is a risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
PHE said of the incidents which happened between March and May last year: "All exposed individuals were using the same needle microdermabrasion device.
"Needlestick injuries occurred during the process of disassembling the device after use on clients. All three subsequently tested negative for blood-borne viruses."
PHE said as part of the investigation they are working with environmental health officers and the device manufacturer to recommend design modifications, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and needlestick injury, as well as supporting the development of improved training and infection control guidance for those providing the treatment.
PHE said there are currently no regulations governing the use of needle microdermabrasion systems.
C onsultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover, a former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: "Just because something is non-surgical it does not mean it is non-medical.
"The use of needles does at the very least some need medical supervision firstly to avoid treating patients who have contraindications from dermatological conditions or potential scarring conditions (keloid tendency).
"Secondly complications can occur from needling (such as infections) and recognising and being able to treat these is essential. It is not good enough just to be able to handle a needle but essential to be able to handle the problems that may come from it too."