Cosmetic Injections are growing rapidly in popularity. What was once almost unheard of is now readily and easily accessible. Unfortunately, regulations surrounding cosmetic injections including fillers and botox are almost non-existent. Someone just out of nursing school can start injecting with very little (if any) additional training – and therein lies the issue!
For your own health and safety, we highly recommend you do your research and choose your cosmetic injector “carefully”.
The process of cosmetic injections including dermal fillers and botox is a ‘medical procedure’ that should be performed by an experienced and qualified medical/cosmetic doctor, or a nurse under the supervision of a doctor.
We know it may sound like a trivial procedure given the amount of places you can acquire cosmetic injections, but nothing could be further from the truth. The person performing the injections should have extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, as well as the required training and experience with cosmetic injections. Injecting a filler into the wrong area of the face can have serious consequences. These consequences include blindness as well as skin discolouration and skin tissue death.
Blindness from filler can occur following a cosmetic injection anywhere on the face, not just around the eye area. Even lip injections that are extremely popular right now can cause blindness. It’s instantaneous and permanent. Consider for a moment you’re lying on the bed receiving your lip filler and suddenly, without warning, you can’t see a thing.
As well as blindness, injecting filler into a facial artery can cause soft tissue damage, ‘killing’ certain parts of the face.
While there appears to be fewer risks surrounding Botox (Botulinum Toxin), don’t get complacent. Botox is among the most deadly, naturally occurring neurotoxins on the planet and has been found to escape into the central nervous system and rearrange the brain’s sensory map of the hands. It’s not without its own risks.
If you considering the procedure, whatever you do don’t choose the cheapest or the one running the $199 special in the local newspaper – even if it says ‘medically trained’. Do some thorough research and ask the tough questions.
Find out exactly who will be performing the procedure.
The AHPRA website (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) lists all persons who hold registration with the Medical and Nursing Boards of Australia. Use it!
If you come across someone that isn’t listed, it’s all the more reason to dig deeper. While it may not be necessary to find another practitioner just yet, it should trigger a red flag. Ask them why they aren’t listed and if you can see formal qualifications. Medical practitioners will generally have their qualifications close by and if they aren’t prepared to show you, perhaps you shouldn’t be prepared to risk your health and wellbeing with them.
Ask how much experience they have.
If they tell you 1 year, that might be a red flag and all the more reason to ensure a medical doctor will be overseeing the procedure. If they tell you 10 years, refer to the AHPRA website above as this also tells you when they first registered and if it’s current. While it’s not foolproof, if they tell you 10 years and the website says otherwise (5 years, for example), there is another red flag. Ask them why there is a discrepancy.
Ask what type of product they will be using and if it’s TGA approved.
Brands names and substances can’t be advertised so you’ll only know if you ask. Once you have the name – Google the hell out of it! Also check the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods to ensure it’s listed. If it’s not listed, then there’s a good chance it’s a cheap import/knockoff that shouldn’t even be in Australia. You could even go as far as asking them why it’s not listed. The answer you get could be quite interesting.
Report it to the TGA so they can deal with it.
Duty of care.
If you come across an injector with very little experience and/or no medical doctor on hand, you’ve got to question their duty of care. They are performing a treatment they probably shouldn’t be. As a medical professional they should know better but unfortunately, Australia’s extremely lax regulations surrounding the aesthetics industry as a whole will let just about anyone pick up a needle and stick it in your face.
So what it all boils down to in the end is the sheer responsibility of the person performing the treatment. They can legally and are well within their rights to perform the treatment – regardless of whether they have extensive training and knowledge or a doctor overseeing it. It doesn’t mean it’s morally or ethically correct to do so.
If they are prepared to perform cosmetic injections on you with such little training or duty of care, then what else are they playing games with?
Don’t decide with your wallet.
Quality doesn’t come cheap, and cheap doesn’t get you quality.
The extra $100-200 you might pay to see a fully qualified, medically trained cosmetic doctor could be the difference between a successful treatment that delivers incredible results – and blindness. So while that $199 special in your local newspaper may be appealing, the next time that special comes along you might not be in a position to actually read it.
We know it’s a popular treatment and done correctly in the hands of a highly qualified medical professional (or under the direct supervision of one), you’ll get amazing results with a greatly reduced risk of complications.
The point of this article is awareness and providing you with advice on finding a reputable practitioner to perform the treatment.