The first thing I need to make clear about Botulinum Toxin (i.e. Botox, Azzalure and Bocouture), is that it is a prescription-only medication and should only be prescribed following a face-to-face consultation with a medical professional who holds the relevant prescribing qualification. Injectable non-surgical cosmetic treatments, like wrinkle-relaxing Botox, come with some small associated risks – for example, in extremely rare cases, the risk of anaphylaxis. Receiving treatment from a fully qualified medical professional means that in the unlikely event that such a reaction occurs, the practitioner has received training that enables them to deal with this medical emergency in an appropriate, and potentially life-saving manner.
By having a consultation with the Prescribing Medical Professional prior to any treatment taking place, the risk of any unwanted side effects from wrinkle-relaxing treatments is reduced. A detailed medical history should be taken, helping the practitioner to determine whether Botox or a similar brand is an appropriate medication for a patient to receive, and whether it will help them achieve the results that they are looking for. The potential risks, side-effects and aftercare recommendations should also be made clear in the consultation, helping a patient to determine whether this form of injectable treatment really is right for them.
There are a few warning signs to look out when searching for a practitioner to carry out wrinkle-relaxing treatments, apart from the fact that they should have the obvious prescribing qualification. Firstly, treatment should be carried out in a clean, clinical setting with sterile equipment. Home treatments, ‘Botox Parties’, nail bars, etc. are not appropriate settings for non-surgical cosmetic procedures. In addition, practitioners willing to treat you with wrinkle-relaxing injections where you have not had a face-to-face consultation with a Prescriber first, are not only illegal but put you at risk from bogus practitioners and even ‘fake’ Botulinum Toxin bought over the Internet. The consultation is there for the patient’s safety and well-being, issues that should be the primary concern of the medical practitioner!
The face is a delicate area to work on, and it is not until expressions are restricted that patients realise how much they rely on their facial expressions to communicate non-verbally! If you choose to undergo this kind of cosmetic procedure with an untrained practitioner, you are not only risking physical damage from their potentially inappropriate treatment techniques, but you are also risking giving your self-confidence a ‘knock’ too if the practitioner targets the wrong areas, and you are unhappy with the result; 3-6 months is a long time to wait for the injections to wear off if you are unhappy with an unnatural and frozen-faced appearance! The key with wrinkle-relaxing injection treatments is to be subtle, and to enhance your natural beauty with careful and considered treatment – exactly what we strive to do at my clinic, and what any reputable, experienced, and appropriately qualified medical professional should also want to achieve!
So before you agree to undergo any form of injectable cosmetic treatment, make sure that you have a face-to-face consultation with the practitioner prior to going ‘under the needle’! (I also recommend looking for a Save Face Accredited Practitioner). If there’s anything you aren’t happy with, it’s a good warning sign to find an alternative Medical Professional. By placing yourself in the trusted hands of a fully qualified and reputable practitioner, you can ensure that any treatment you receive is carried out carefully and with your safety as the top priority.
Be safe out there!