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Play safe with your face

Main image 10 February, 2016

The Scottish Government’s new proposals aimed at regulating the cosmetics intervention industry in Scotland, published by Health Improvement Scotland (HIS), does not go far enough to offer the public any real protection, assurance or redress should something go wrong with treatments, it is claimed.

In 2010 the cosmetics procedures market in the UK was worth £2.3billion. Only 5 years later this has increased to £3.6 billion with non-surgical treatments such as fillers, Botox and skin peels seeing the largest growth. But it is still possible for a person with no training or qualification to administer these injectables that can have some damaging and dangerous side effects.

Safe Cosmetic treatment

While some of these are prescription drugs, and therefore need a medical practitioner to be prescribed, non-regulated cosmetic practitioners can get block prescriptions from unscrupulous doctors who have never seen the patient and don’t know their medical history. The HIS proposal presents a greater risk to public safety than the current landscape” says industry watchdog ‘Safe Face’.

The phased approach that is being suggested by HIS offers a stringent set of standards for medical professionals operating in the industry, who are already regulated by the GMC and similar national bodies. However it does nothing to regulate non-medical practitioners despite research showing the number of complications and treatment errors caused by these providers is significantly larger.

Unscrupulous doctors in action

Besides aesthetic disappointment and distortions due to lack of knowledge of the muscular and anatomical structure of the area being treated, or understanding of the chemicals used, certain patients can also suffer unpleasant reactions and side effects including second degree burns, scarring and facial paralysis.

Private medical practices such as YourGP in Aberdeen’s West End are an ethical and medically based service with all the governance that is assured from the General Medical Council. They have also met the stringent requirements of industry watchdog ‘Safe Face’ who work to regulate and increase the standard of the cosmetics industry. Their aim is to protect consumers and ensure high standards are met including: use of genuine licenced products sourced from legitimate suppliers, safe and clean equipment, and correct training of medical staff as well as patient consent and understanding of possible outcomes. “The medical cosmetics market is not regulated” said Dr Myskow, Medical Director at YourGP, “and this enables anyone anywhere to practice as an expert in an area where they have insufficient knowledge and training, often with serious consequences for the patient.”

The GMC and NMC are also looking at introducing more regulation but in the mean-time patients need to take great care in selecting their practitioner.

Private medical practices such as YourGP give you the assurance of being in professional and fully trained medical hands when undergoing cosmetic treatments.

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