Almost one in four cosmetic practitioners who are administering injections such as Botox are NOT qualified clinicians according to a new analysis conducted by researchers at University College London (UCL).
The study, published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, is the first UK survey of who is providing cosmetic injectable services, such as Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Fillers.
The researchers evaluated 3,000 websites to identify 1,224 independent clinics and 3,667 practitioners who were delivering cosmetic injections and discovered that 32% were doctors, 13% were nurses, 24% were dentists and 8% were dental nurses, leaving 23% (almost one in four) with no formal medical qualifications.
The UK injectables market is predicted to reach a value of £11.7 billion by 2026, and to date it is largely unregulated, but the government is preparing to consult on a new licencing system later this year.
Dr David Zargaran, an author of the study, said: “One of the key challenges facing the government’s licensing scheme is to ensure that practitioners granted a licence possess the skills and experience required to safely administer their treatment to minimise risks to patients.
“It is important for patients to be able to feel comfortable and confident that the person administering their treatment is competent in the procedure as a fundamental foundation of informed consent.”
An earlier study from the same authors, found that many people who had non-surgical cosmetic procedures experienced long-lasting adverse effects, such as pain, anxiety, and headaches.
Professor Julie Davies, a co-author of the study, said: “The UK cosmetic injectables industry has expanded rapidly in recent years. This has happened largely without scrutiny or oversight. Our findings should be a wake-up call for legislators to implement effective regulation and professional standards to safeguard patients from complications. Although the risks associated with injections are often mild and temporary, the physical complications can be permanent and debilitating.”
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