Emma Wedgwood

Can you really trust your aesthetic injector?

Oct. 17, 2021

We’ve all seen the impact of badly injected Botox or fillers. But sadly, dangerous practices are common in this growing industry. This article aims to provide the information you need to keep you (and your face) safe.

Can anyone inject Botox and fillers?

It’s important to understand that while Botox needs to be prescribed by a medical professional, anyone can administer the injections. Dermal fillers require no prescription and can be purchased and administered by anyone.

This lack of regulation in the industry has led to a rise in the number of practitioners, many of whom are either completely untrained or have minimal training. But having anything injected into your body carries dangers, and therefore aesthetic treatments should only be administered by someone who has had the correct medical training.

Side effects of badly done injectables

Botox is a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyses the muscle, this is what prevents wrinkles from forming. The doses of Botox required for effect are tiny, and when administered by a qualified professional, it has an excellent safety record. Incorrectly administered Botox however, could cause unwanted side effects such as brow drop or asymmetry.

Dermal fillers are typically made up of hyaluronic acid, which is naturally present in our body. The filler is designed to plump up areas of low volume and fill in wrinkles. It has an excellent safety record and is usually tolerated well by the body. However, incorrect use can have serious consequences, such as a vascular occlusion. This is where the filler has been injected into the wrong space and stops the blood supply to that site. This can lead to necrosis, which can cause tissue loss. Spotting early warning signs are crucial, which a medical practitioner is trained to do.

Both Botox and fillers are designed to enhance rather than change the appearance.

Injector red flags

Look out for these common red flags from anyone who is offering to administer Botox/fillers

So how do you spot a good quality practitioner?

Sadly, as the popularity of injectables continues to rise, so does the number of practitioners that shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near your face with a needle. So how do you know whether you can trust your injector?

One of the key things to look out for with a good injector is someone who manages the entire journey from start to finish. This means carrying out a full consultation before administering any treatment, providing the right aftercare advice and being fully available should you be concerned after treatment.

Botox is a prescription only medication and can therefore only be prescribed by someone licensed to do so. You should be seen (preferably in person) by a medical professional, who will carry out a full facial assessment and ask you about your medical history before formulating a treatment plan.

While dermal fillers don’t have to be prescribed, a good practitioner will carry out the same level of assessment as with Botox and discuss whether fillers are right for you.

Don’t assume that a wall full of certificates means that someone is qualified. There are several “training courses” available that take less than a day to complete and come with a certificate. A good practitioner will have completed medical training that is recognised by a professional body, such as GMC (General Medical Council), NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) or GDC (General Dental Council) and might also be a member of the BACN (British Association of Cosmetic Nurses) or relevant professional association.

A good practitioner will welcome your questions, so don’t be afraid to ask! Question those certificates and qualifications. When it comes to your health and safety, there should be no embarrassment, nothing should be too much trouble.

Similarly, a good practitioner might even advise against treatment if they feel you aren’t suitable.

And if in any doubt whatsoever, walk away.

Checklist of a good injector

  1. Medically trained – has a medical professional assessed you?
  2. Fully qualified – check relevant professional registers (such as NMC, GMC, GDC) to ensure that qualifications are beyond a 1 or 2 days course
  3. Correct insurance – membership to registered health bodies usually require members to have up to date medical indemnity insurance
  4. Are they using licensed and genuine products and equipment?
  5. Clean and compliant premises - where they regularly practice
  6. Follow up service – will they call or have another appointment to ensure that the result is as expected and desired?
  7. Experience – is the injector experienced, have they been recommended?
  8. Less is more – A good practitioner will administer the least amount of Botox/filler and then add more only if required.

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