Paying lip service to cosmetic change
With celebrity endorsements and ever-growing social media influence, it is evident that an increase in cosmetic procedures has continued to escalate on a yearly basis. It is thought that the cosmetic industry in the UK alone is growing and worth approximately £17 Billion, but with costly procedures it is clear that a majority of patients are now seeking cheaper treatments from non-medically qualified practitioners here or abroad in search of a better deal.
Unqualified people for non-surgical treatments.
Currently, in the UK, no qualification or medical training is required in order to provide non-surgical treatments such as lip fillers, laser hair removal and injections. This has led to a rise in reports of cosmetic surgery going wrong and in some cases causing death.
Whilst the materials and equipment used in these procedures undergoes strict product testing, the people using them do not. It is concerning that these procedures can be carried out by untrained people when risks of complication can include burning, scarring, allergic reactions, infection and even blindness if performed incorrectly.
The US has some laws to protect individuals
In the United States, it is unlawful to administer Botox without meeting certain requirements and attendance of certificated Botox training courses. So what is the UK doing to rectify this?
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has set recommended professional standards for cosmetic practice but it is voluntary to adopt them. However, this provides patients with little to no regulation or protection in receiving treatment.
From as early as 2013, with the introduction of “The Keogh Report”, there have been campaigns to regulate the practice of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
Regulation is needed
In April 2018, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) developed a register of highly trained practitioners to perform this cosmetic work. However, at present, although the Department of Health strongly supports the recommendations that have been provided by Health Education England (HEE), the Government have not accepted the case for statutory and mandatory regulation in the non-surgical aesthetic sector. Consequently, anyone not on this JCCP list may continue to undertake procedures without answering to any professional body.
Making an informed choice
Until this time, it is advisable that patients ensure they make more informed choices in who is providing there a procedure by asking more questions such as whether there practitioner has had training? How long have they been practicing? And what are the possible complications or side-effects of the procedure? Have they adopted and abide by the RCS professional standards?