At the start of 2011, the Daily Mail ran an article by journalist Natalie Evans-Harding entitled “The Botox boom: Six women talk candidly about their quest for perfection”. The feature focused on the stories of 6 women, aged from 25 to 60 and their reasons for embarking on Botox® treatments.
Shockingly the opening introduction featured the sentence...
“Now you can book a Botox appointment in your lunch hour, and even your local hairdresser could administer the injections if they’ve been on the right course.”
Once I had recovered my composure from the sharp intake of breathe this shocking statement had caused, I was simply flabbergasted that such irresponsible advice could be dished out by a publication with such a wide audience reach. This highlights the clear lack of understanding and research conducted by so called Beauty Journalists who themselves appear to view this treatment to be as trivial as having your hair or nails done.
The aesthetic industry has fought for many years, and is still fighting, to educate the consumer that Botox® injections and other prescription only botulinum toxin type A brands such as Vistabel®, Azzalure®, Dysport®, Xeomin® and Bocouture® should only be administered by properly trained medical practitioners such as Doctors, Nurses and Dentists having been individually prescribed to the patient by a Doctor, Dentist or Independent Nurse Prescriber.
The launch of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services ‘Treatments You Can Trust’ Quality Assurance register in September 2010 also aims to point the public in the direction of reputable and properly trained and qualified individuals for cosmetic injectable treatments including botulinum toxins and dermal fillers. Yet the article in the Daily Mail failed to mention this as a resource. Instead pointing the public to BAAPS, a surgeon association, which as the industry well knows are not the main providers of aesthetic injectable treatments as they focus primarily on cosmetic surgery.
The body that regulates the licensing and supply of drugs in the UK is the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). When it comes to their regulations on the supply and administration of botulinum toxin injections, published on their website, it states:
1. Who can administer these medicines?
They can be:
a. self administered
b. administered by an appropriate practitioner
c. administered by anyone acting in accordance with the directions of an appropriate practitioner.
2. Who is an appropriate practitioner?
A doctor, a dentist or, subject to certain limitations, a nurse or pharmacist independent prescriber or supplementary prescriber.
This would clearly therefore indicate that the MHRA would in no way view a ‘local hairdresser’ as an appropriate practitioner to administer botulinum toxin injections and no doubt they and the GMC, GDC or NMC would take a very dim view of any prescribing practitioner who gave directions to a hairdresser to administer the injections, no matter how many apparent training courses they had attended. (See our blog on the rise of Botox training for non-medics for additional content on this subject.)
UK Botox® Trainer and Clinical Trialist Dr. David Eccleston, Clinical Director at Medizen in Birmingham was also outraged to see this statement in print.
He said; “Once again, a poorly researched article trivialises the administration of a medical procedure. It is through administration of Botox® and other botulinum toxins by persons not qualified in medicine that most problems occur.
Dentists do have a good argument that they at least have medical training in anatomy and pharmacology (the means by which drugs work on the body). Nurses, once they have been through a detailed training programme lasting a year or more, can obtain a prescribing qualification which allows them to offer such treatments without the direct involvement of a doctor. But hairdressers, beauty therapists and their allied professions are in no way qualified to administer a prescription-only treatment of a drug, and doing so goes against best practice and is frankly illegal in my opinion.
What prospective clients must realise is that the likelihood of causing side effects is highest in those with non-medical qualifications purporting to be a ‘Botox’ practitioner. A false economy indeed, and if things go wrong there would be no way that a hairdresser or beauty therapist would be able to manage such complications.
Only go to a medical specialist clinic for such treatments, or a reputable and insured nurse with a prescribing qualification.”
At The Consulting Room™ we have made it our mission for the best part of 8 years now to educate the consumer when it comes to researching and finding an appropriate practitioner for any cosmetic treatment or procedure that they are contemplating.
We would always advise that the public seek botulinum toxin injections only from a Doctor (including Dermatologists and Cosmetic Surgeons), Dentist, Nurse (under the guidance of a Doctor or Dentist) or Independent Nurse Prescriber. Under no circumstances would we recommend seeking treatment from a Beauty Therapist, Hairdresser or other non-medically trained and qualified individual.