In October, our Medical Director and founder, Dr Rekha Tailor, shared her three key questions patients should ask when considering any kind of injectable treatment – like fillers or botox.
Here at Health & Aesthetics, we believe that only properly qualified medical professionals should be able to administer injectables. We’re getting increasingly concerned by the number of unqualified practitioners offering these treatments, and the number of problem stories we see in the media. And just last month this issue was picked up by the BBC’s Watchdog programme – highlighting some of the dangers of allowing non-medically qualified ‘therapists’ to inject your face.
We don’t want to put patients off having the right injectable treatments – done by the right person, under the right conditions, it can be perfectly safe, and get fantastic results.
But we want to see the industry properly regulated, so that patients can have the confidence that only people with the right qualifications and experience can come anywhere near them with a needle!
WHO CAN GIVE YOU FILLERS OR BOTOX?
Right now, pretty much anyone. Fillers can be injected by almost anyone on the high street – from a cleaner, builder or hairdresser, to a therapist or beautician.
The industry is totally unregulated, which means that many of these practitioners have no medical knowledge, experience or qualifications. They don’t need to be qualified at all, or even experienced, to administer them.
The lack of training isn’t the only issue, though. How can patients know what they having injecting into them, if the practitioner doesn’t? It’s actually possible to just order products from the internet and watch a few YouTube videos. Investigations have shown a huge variation in the quality and composition of these products, and unless only FDA approved products are used, patients have no way of knowing whether they are effective, or even safe.
There is a voluntary register of practitioners who have qualifications, which we think is a positive step forward. But even those who have had training may have only had a very short training course – a day or less – before being encouraged to go out and start practising. Others, like pharmacists or dental professionals may have had extensive training in their own fields, but lack the specific knowledge needed to administer aesthetic treatments safely.
One of the biggest problems with this is that many practitioners don’t have the detailed knowledge of anatomy or clinical training in assessment that a medically trained doctor or nurse will have. Badly injected or poor quality fillers can give an uneven, lumpy effect, but the potential complications from injectables aren’t limited to disappointing results. Incorrectly injected or poor quality products can block essential vessels in the face, resulting in swelling, scarring or even tissue death. And a non-medical practitioner is less likely to be able to assess the risks of an allergic reaction – which could be life-threatening if it results in anaphylaxis – or to deal with it if it occurs.
WHAT DOES THE INJECTABLES INDUSTRY NEED?
Here at Health & Aesthetics, we believe that the only real way to reduce the risks and ensure patients get the results they want is for the administration of injectables to be regulated, so these treatments can only be administered by properly qualified and experienced, medical practitioners. That means Doctors, already regulated by the General Medical Council, or nurses, regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Both go through years of training before becoming qualified, so patients could be confident they were always in safe hands.
We’d like to take it further, ensuring that only medical practitioners properly trained in aesthetic medicine can administer these treatments. But some regulation would be a positive start.
WHAT IS HEALTH & AESTHETICS DOING ABOUT THE ISSUE?
At our clinic in Godalming, Surrey, we ensure that all injectable treatments such as fillers and botox are only ever administered by our fully qualified and highly experienced medical practitioners, such as our Medical Director, Dr Rekha Tailor. We aim to delight all our patients with the results we achieve, but our duty of care also means that their safety is paramount. A comprehensive, doctor-led consultation ensures that every patient’s medical history is fully explored, and results in an overall adverse event rate (for all our treatments) of less than 0.03%.
We also only use FDA approved products, which means that they have been extensively tested and monitored, not just for safety, but for their effectiveness. Find out more about the importance of FDA approval here. We are CQC registered and have met or exceeded all their requirements.
As well as having been a fully accredited General Practitioner for 29 years, Dr Tailor has over 13 years’ experience in non-surgical aesthetics medicine, and is one of the UK’s leading aesthetics specialists. She is a member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine and the Aesthetic Complications Expert Group, and aims to encourage other leading aesthetics specialists to join her in calling for regulation and improvements to safety in our industry, for the sake of all our patients.
Read more from Health and Aesthetics here.