The Risk of Botox Jabs

Lorna Jackson
By Lorna Jackson

Lorna was Editor of Consulting Room (, the UK's largest aesthetic information website, from 2003 to 2021.

On 19th December 2015, The Times newspaper published an article entitled "Patient put at risk over Botox jabs" following an investigation into industry practices.

This article focused on the risk to the public of having Botox injections delivered by the unregulated beauty sector where treatments were found to be being delivered without proper face-to-face consultation and assessment beforehand by a prescribing medical practitioner.

The Times reported that Doctors (and other prescribers) are breaching medical guidance by writing Botox prescriptions without having face-to-face consultations with patients, so-called remote-prescribing, despite ministers and regulators promising a clampdown on the “wild west” cosmetics industry two years ago.

The Times found that treatments are often administered without an assessment and that patients are being injected by beauticians who obtain prescriptions directly from doctors or potentially on the black market.

patients at risk of Botox injections

The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses responded to this report with the following statement:

"The British Association Of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) urges the public to look carefully at whom they go to when considering any wrinkle relaxing injections or injectable cosmetic treatments.

The BACN advise that medical cosmetic treatments such as " Botox " should be administered by a registered medical professional and preferably by those who are members of a specialist professional association such as BACN, BCAM, BAD, BAPRAS. A professional cosmetically trained doctor, dentist or nurse should offer a full consultation with a medical history check and an informed consent signed at each treatment. These professionals are also bound by their regulators NMC, GMC and GDC who have a duty to protect the public.

Therefore any treatment carried out by these professionals will be medically supported, a safer option and with redress.

Quick treatments in salons by non-medical personnel such as beauticians and hairdressers do not allow the public a safety net as they are not part of a regulatory body and they cannot manage complications that might occur. Complications may be evident at the time of treatment or may appear later.

Health Education England have been coordinating an industry wise consultation on recommendations set out by the Dept Of Health Keogh Report. The final recommendations will be published early January and will likely recommend that the industry establishes its own regulatory /oversight body.

The BACN has taken this forward by developing an embryonic structure, in association with the British College of Aesthetic Medicine, to formally address the lack of oversight in the cosmetic industry.The Department of Health recently indicated that it supports this initiative put forward by BACN and BCAM. Once Dept of Health recommendations are published in January we can move forward to formally action the framework and address the lack of oversight in the cosmetic industry to offer a safety net to the public."

The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses do hold a register of practitioners across the UK who ensure all members are qualified, trained, insured and meet all of the standards of our organisation in addition to those of the NMC,GMC and GDC."

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