Another two illegal salons, including at her home in Melbourne’s south-east, were discovered during the investigation.
At least 18 concerned clients phoned the Department of Health and Human Services helpline in the days after the salons were found.
Dozens of images posted to Lee Kim Tan’s Facebook profile show before and after shots of women with scabbing and bruising from eyelid procedures. Others have bloody scabs on their noses, rashes around their mouths from lip filler treatment and cuts from mole removals.
Later inspections found poor hygiene practices, including cockroaches crawling across equipment, amid fears clients may have been exposed to serious blood-borne infections like HIV and hepatitis.
To date, there have been no known instances of clients being infected with blood-borne disease as a result of being treated by Ms Tan.
Most of Ms Tan’s clients were Cambodian or Vietnamese migrants; a trend reflected in the wave of illegal operators scattered across the state, with many targeting Asian Australians.
“The safety of Victorians is our number one priority,” Ms Cusack said in a statement on Monday.
“As such, I believe it is necessary to impose this permanent ban on Lee Kim Tan to avoid a serious risk to the health, safety and welfare of the Victorian public.”
Ms Cusack said while there were many ethical and safe cosmetic treatment providers, not all comply with the law.
Over the past year, Ms Cusack’s office has received more than 70 complaints about botched procedures ranging from cosmetic injectables, like Botox and dermal fillers, to shoddy skin treatments and laser therapy.
More than a dozen dodgy beauty salons in Melbourne have been shut down in the last year.
Operators have been hit with prohibition orders which ban them from advertising services or providing any type of cosmetic, surgical or medical procedure.
Some have been found to be working illegally in Australia as beauty therapists or massage therapists and ordered to complete training and obtain relevant qualifications before they can practice.
“That is why it is important for any person considering cosmetic treatments to consider what can go wrong and what they have a right to expect from their health service provider so that they can make fully informed decisions,” she said.
“We rely on community members to come forward with their concerns so that we are aware of possible breaches of the code.”
Any person considering cosmetic treatments is urged to ask their provider about:
- their qualifications and experience
- the products they use
- the risks involved
- if they have insurance in the instance something does go wrong
- where the procedure will be carried out.
Anyone concerned about treatments they may have received at the Springvale salon is urged to contact the Health Department on 1800 356 061.
Melissa Cunningham is The Age’s health reporter.