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20 Reasons You Should Choose A Medic For Aesthetics

We know it takes time to decide to undergo an aesthetic treatment. And rightly so...it's not like choosing what colour gel nails to have!

But if you've decided you'd like a tweak, please make sure your face is in safe hands.

Not many know this, but the UK is one of few countries where treatments like Botox, lip filler and threads can be carried out by ANYONE. Literally anyone. We've known bank workers train as injectors over a weekend. There are no minimum education or training standards. If you're 18 or over, you can set up as an aesthetics practitioner.

The availability of fillers, anti-wrinkle injections, chemical peels, laser hair removal etc, in beauty salons, nail technicians and hairdressers, has fuelled the misconception that non-surgical aesthetic treatments are akin to getting your nails or lashes done. Rather than the reality, which is that these are medical treatments.

Whilst this has led to incredible growth within the aesthetics industry - it's great that women feel empowered to have these treatments - due to this complete lack of regulation, there is an increasing and very serious public health issue brewing.

The consequences of this are pretty dire. There is an abundance of poorly trained injectors using inferior, often unlicensed products, and conducting treatments in inappropriate surroundings. And the crazy thing is, there are no rules or laws to stop this...except if your practitioner is a medic.

Medical professionals are held to a different set of standards than the hairdressers, bank clerks, retail assistants or handy men* who train to become aesthetic practitioners.

(*All actual examples)

So here are 20 reasons, if you're considering having any aesthetic treatment, you should choose a medical professional:

1. Injectable treatments, threads, certain chemical peels, microneedling treatments and laser treatments are MEDICAL. By virtue of the fact customers are patients and the devices are medical and the medicines...well, medicines. The problem in the UK, unlike other countries, is that the lack of regulation means that they are largely considered beauty treatments by consumers.

2. Healthcare professionals are accountable to their statutory body (GMC, NMC, GDC, GPhC and HCPC). Each of these bodies issue their own standards, guidance, and frameworks for their members to adhere too - all of which are designed to protect patients.

3. As members of a statutory regulatory body, medics will have annual appraisals and show evidence of continued professional development.

4. Medics are fiercely protective of their professional status and their statutory registration. Being ‘struck off’ would be damaging and embarrassing for them, it has grave consequences.

5. Patients can raise complaints with statutory bodies and report medical professionals for incompetency and complications. There is recourse if things go wrong.

6. Lay practitioners are not accountable. Of course, they hold themselves personally accountable, but there is no statutory body to whom they answer to, and thus there are zero consequences or avenues for recourse for patients.

7. Medics are experienced and trained in the anatomy and physiology of the human body.

8. Medics are experienced and trained in treating complications and issuing emergency care.

9. Medics are experienced and trained in patient care.

10. Medics are required to carry out informed consents (lay practitioners are not) They are highly skilled at explaining to patients the risks and benefits of treatment. This is essential to ensure patients can make an informed decision as to whether a treatment is right for them or not.

11. Medics are competent in identifying mental health conditions such as Body Dysmorphia Disorder and can signpost patients for specialist help. Beauticians/hairdressers/lay practitioners are not.

12. Medics are confident, comfortable, and willing to say ‘no’ to patients. They have a legal 'duty of care' and must put their patient’s welfare first and profits second. Of course, there will always be exceptions, but this is a reasonable generalisation.

13. The duty of care medics have extends to the time following your treatment. They must ensure they look after you from the consultation and during and after your treatment. They will ensure they manage complications and seek assistance from colleagues if required. Lay practitioners can refuse to handle a complication, and the patient is forced to seek the help of either the NHS or a medic.

14. A lay person can learn to inject and start putting what they have learned into practice without having any medical background or real understanding of anatomy, how to treat or even recognise complications.

15. A medic will insist on a consultation with a patient before any treatment. They will ensure they complete a full medical history. They will understand medical contraindications.

16. Medics must be adequately insured for the treatments they offer. It is a legal requirement. Lay injectors are not mandated to have adequate insurance.

17. The majority of advanced and acclaimed aesthetic training courses simply do not allow non-medics to train with them.

18. Notwithstanding, introducing standardising aesthetics training, while helpful and a step in the right direction, does not give that person the 4-6 years of medical training, patient care, and emergency response experience.

19. The most reputable medical malpractice insurance companies will not insure lay practitioners.

20. The majority of drug and device manufactures will not train lay injectors to administer their products.

So there you have it.

Your face is too important to f*** up. Choose your practitioner wisely.

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