In view of the huge explosion in cosmetic procedures, the UK government has launched a new website containing guidelines for individuals considering all types of surgical and non-surgical treatments.
The move follows recommendations from an expert group headed by Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson to provide patients with access to detailed, accredited advice on cosmetic procedures, including what standards to expect from providers.
"Well informed patients can help to drive up standards among providers in a field of healthcare where there have been concerns," said Donaldson.
"I am sure that the web material will be widely used and will make a significant contribution to raising awareness among both the public and the providers," he added.
The website, which can be found at www.dh.gov.uk/cosmeticsurgery includes information about reasons for wanting cosmetic surgery and what sort of expectations individuals should realistically have for the results, together with other alternatives that are available to surgery.
It also contains a cosmetics surgery 'checklist' of questions to ensure providers give all the necessary details during the consultation period.
Likewise information will also be provided to ensure that the surgeons, doctors, dentists and nurses involved in any type of procedure are fully qualified for the job.
As well as this there is an A-Z list of every type of procedure currently available as well as a clear guidance for the steps to take if a procedure is undertaken and the results are not satisfactory.
Harry Cayton, national director for Patients and the Public at the Department of Health, said: "The publication of this web-based information is one of the ways we can help people be more knowledgeable about cosmetic surgery and what they can expect from their treatment."
The UK is generally recognised as one of the leading markets for cosmetic procedures in Europe. This is partly due to the fact that trends set in America - the pioneering market for cosmetics procedure - are often first picked up on by British consumers who are often considered to be more experimental than their continental European counterparts.
One of the biggest growth areas has been for dermal filler procedures such as Botox. This has long been popular in the US, but is now very popular with UK consumers, and increasingly so in Continental Europe.Usually dermal filler treatments last six to nine months and cost between €200 and €1,000 depending on the type of filler used and the number of injections the treated area requires.