Botox injections are becoming more popular and are no longer seen as the treatment that only the stars can afford. With its increasing popularity, is there a sudden downfall in standards associated with this?
The first thing we saw was a rise in the number of Botox parties being offered, beauty therapists entering the industry, closely followed by mobile practitioners and mobile therapists offering treatments in the” comfort” of your own home. District nurses offer medical treatments to patients when necessary however, Botox treatments are a cosmetic medical procedure that seems to be seen as a treatment that does not require a clinical environment to healthy, mobile patients. With this association we are now increasingly seeing the presence of cheap Botox being illegally advertised along with a ridiculous pricing structure. £40 per area on a voucher website, £75 an area in a barber shop in Liverpool, £200 for 3 areas in Manchester city centre all undertaken by practitioners who have trained to undertake this procedure. Cosmetica charge cost price of £40 for each area to models requesting treatment from delegates in a training environment, however, we do not intend to make a profit margin from these treatments and we would question the qualifications and experience of those offering cheap Botox treatments as part of a business venture.
With everything that is happening within the medical aesthetics industry we were intrigued to hear about a BBC documentary researching for a programme about Botox. It was quite disturbing to see adverts appearing on forums asking for people aged 18 – 25 who have Botox. This is an age group that obviously do not need these treatments and we feared the route this programme would take would be one showing the industry in a bad light.
There was a young girl who had received poorly injected lip enhancement along with unnecessary Botox injections, a woman who lost her house after choosing to pay for treatments, a lady who had unfortunately encountered problems with permanent lip implants that we now know occur, a beauty therapist who shockingly injected her 15 year old step daughter with Botox and a presenter who sought the advice of a respected aesthetics doctor. The presenter decided to have some time with the doctor away from the cameras and emerged from the clinic room stating it was not a treatment that was for her at this time, yet she had rather suspicious swelling and erythema in an area that is frequently injected with Botox. Of course it is her prerogative to keep whether she had treatment confidentially or not.
It was very disappointing that the presenter chose to not explore the illegal nature of the beauty therapist. No sane prescriber, be it a doctor, dentist or nurse would prescribe Botox for a 15 year old child, so we can only assume that this therapist had Botox that had been prescribed for another patient and used this to treat her step daughter. This action is illegal as it is seen as theft. No consultation would have occurred so the therapist would have decided on the dose that again is illegal. She could face imprisonment or a large fine as making a prescribing decision when you are not legally allowed to is a criminal offence. The legislation regarding prescription only medicine is very clear. If you are not allowed to prescribe anything before undertaking Botox training then this will automatically be the case after completing a Botox course regardless of your initial qualifications. We have contacted the BBC to ascertain who this beauty therapist was, who her prescriber was and why they chose not to cover the illegal aspect of her decision-making. We have yet to hear from them although will update our blog accordingly.
The most pleasing aspect of this documentary was the section with Andy Pickett who highlighted the concerns of non authentic Botox and dermal fillers that are available to purchase over the internet. Botox is a prescription only medicine and as such needs to be prescribed by a doctor, dentist or independent non medical nurse prescriber. If such products can be purchased from a website claiming to be a pharmacy then they will not be authentic, sterile or safe products suitable for injection.
The same researchers are recording a further documentary being aired on BBC Radio 5 Live, so it will be interesting to see the course that is taken with this programme.