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Avoid Cosmetic Cowboys -Skin To Love Clinic

How to avoid cosmetic cowboys

The General Medical Council’s guidance to doctors practising cosmetic interventions defines the practice as “any intervention, procedure, or treatment carried out with the primary objective of changing an aspect of a patient’s physical appearance. This includes surgical and non-surgical procedures, both invasive and non-invasive.” GMC guidance sets high standards for qualified doctors when it comes to the specific safety issues and ethical concerns of the cosmetic sector.

You may be shocked to learn that some practitioners calling themselves ‘doctor’ or ‘nurse’ are not registered to practise. Make sure the doctor treating you is registered with the GMC by looking up their name on the online medical register, and you can check your nurse (or midwife) is registered at the online Nursing & Midwifery Council register. Only those on these registers can practise by law.

A point to remember is that it’s currently not illegal for non-medical people, such as beauty therapists, to inject – although it is highly controversial. However, it is illegal for someone to inject a prescription-only medication, such as Botox and other muscle-freezing drugs unless they are working alongside a qualified prescriber, such as a nurse or doctor.

Research before you book

Before you look for a practitioner, make sure you understand exactly what you’re asking them to do by thoroughly researching your procedure. Clinical research papers are usually easy to access on the internet to help you understand further any risks and results.

It’s also important to have realistic expectations about the result you can expect to achieve. You’re never going to achieve the same result with a filler, for example, as you are with a surgical procedure.

Once you’re happy that you want to go ahead with the procedure, you need to look for a qualified practitioner. This way you can be sure that when you’re booking an appointment for fillers, Botox and other treatments, the person administering them knows what they’re doing.

  • Check for medical qualifications (is there a Meet the Team page on the website with biographies of the people who’ll be doing performing the treatments).
  • Look to see if they are registered with a professional standards bodies, e.g. Cosmetic Redress Scheme, the General Medical Council, and the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
  • Ask if the person or clinic is insured. If they’re not, go somewhere else.
  • Ask for information – staff should tell you about recovery times, risks and other key facts.
  • Make sure you know how much your treatment is going to cost you – remember that not all treatments are a ‘one-off’ and you may need to budget for further treatments when the effect wears off.
  • Check for testimonials on independent sites, e.g. Google, The Best Of… Then ask the clinic if any of their patients who’ve already had the treatment would be willing to talk to you about their experiences. It may not be possible as it’s down to the patient’s discretion, but it’s always worth asking.
  • Shop around – talk to a number of clinicians.

What to do if you’re not 100% certain

Don’t go through with the treatment!

Take your time making the decision; you should never be pressured into having any treatment. Some of our patients have come back a year after their initial consultation!

If you’re still having doubts, have a second consultation in order to make sure that you fully understand the procedure. Feel free to ask any questions that have come up since your initial consultation.

And always remember that surgical and non-surgical treatments run risks. Even if some of the risks can be very minor or very rare, they are still risks, even if you are being treated by the most skilled, experienced and highly qualified practitioner. So when you are considering having any treatment, ask yourself the question: “if this side effect were to happen to me, would my practitioner/clinic have the skill, knowledge and qualifications to help me deal with it”.

If you would like to talk to us about any non-surgical treatment, contact us to book a consultation.

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