Botox bombshell as most cosmetic injections aren’t given by qualified doctors

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More than two-thirds of all cosmetic practitioners in the UK administering injections like Botox and Dermal Fillers are not actually qualified medical doctors.

This is the shocking conclusion of a study by researchers from University College London, who reviewed the credentials of 1,224 independent clinics and 3,667 cosmetic practitioners.

Of the professions represented, only 1,163 of the practitioners (32 per cent) were doctors, of whom 41 percent were on the specialist register and 19 percent on the GP register.

The rest of the cosmetic practitioners were mainly made up of dentists (24 percent), nurses (13 percent) and dental nurses (8 percent).

Even though the UK injectables market is expected to be worth a whopping £11.7 billion come 2026 — but at present is effectively unregulated, the researchers said.

The Government is looking to implement new policy around injectables next year, following a public consultation on the industry which will begin next month.

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The study was undertaken by Dr David Zargaran — a plastic surgery registrar at University College London — and his colleagues.

Dr Zargaran said: “There are well-documented, yet to date unaddressed challenges in the UK cosmetic injectables market.

“Without knowledge of the professional backgrounds of practitioners, we cannot adequately regulate the industry.

“Our research highlights that the majority of practitioners are not doctors and include other healthcare professionals, as well as non-healthcare professionals such as beauticians.”

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Dr Zargaran continued: “The range of backgrounds opens a broader question relating to competence and consent.

“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.

“This research provides a unique insight into the sector to help inform regulators and patients, and work towards a safer and more transparent cosmetic injectables industry in the UK.”

Paper co-author Professor Julie Davies is a researcher in University College London’s School Global Business School for Health.

She 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.

“There are also serious psychological, emotional, and financial consequences for patients when procedures go wrong.”

The full findings of the study were published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

The previous study into experiences after a Botox injection was published in the journal Skin Health and Disease.