The current law states that treatments must not be given until a face-to-face consultation takes place with a medical professional, who is qualified to prescribe which ever drug (and Botox and fillers are drugs) will be administered.
Many articles recently published by undercover journalists have highlighted that this is being widely abused and people are being treated by unqualified beauticians, with no medical supervision.
This isn’t just a case of ‘look I am losing business to salons’ – we are seriously worried.
As someone who has been practising aesthetic cosmetic medicine for 15 years, who is a full-time practitioner and unashamedly shouting about how highly trained he is, I fear for some who are unaware that they are putting themselves at quite significant risk.
As a registered GP when I started, I was lucky enough to already have a thorough knowledge of anatomy; it is vital when administering Botox or fillers to know and understand where the injections should be made. Mistakes can lead to some serious side effects that can be irreversible.
From time to time, I get people contacting me who have had mismanaged treatments. They are mostly requesting help in either managing a side-effect or removal of excess filler. It is sad to say that I have to decline these calls for help as I simply don’t know what doses or approach has been undertaken. As a doctor, my first duty is to ‘do no harm’ (Hippocratic oath). If one experiences any problems it is vital to return to the medical practitioner for help; when it is an unqualified person administering the treatment, complications may need to be taken up with your GP who will need to investigate exactly what has been undertaken.
Fellow practitioners and I welcome the fact that the Government have now begun to take a serious interest in this line of medicine. Botched treatments are causing significant cost to the NHS and as more and more find loopholes in order to administer these treatments a new registration body, The Joint Council of Cosmetic Practice is being established. The JCCP will hold a register of those who are qualified to administer treatment. This register will be open to the public later in April. As a practice, we welcome these changes and the tightening of regulations. The treatments we offer are very popular, and not all are suitable for everyone; we have a duty to ensure we are giving these treatments safely and appropriately.
Sadly, the truth of the matter for those whose treatments have gone wrong is that they find out that cosmetic treatments are not as simple as they first believed. The British College of Aesthetics Medicine believe that all independent practitioners should be trained and be able to deliver care in emergencies such as anaphylaxis, fits and faints, vascular occlusion, myocardial infraction and cerebrovascular events. They must also be able to deal with complications such as infection and allergic reactions. Whilst all of these are very rare, they can occur. If you are sitting in a spa or beauty parlour getting your treatment, ask yourself if they would be able to cope with any of the above should you be the unlucky one – have they done a thorough consultation to ensure you are medically fit for the treatment? Are you in safe hands?
We believe you deserve to be certain.