Cosmetic Injections. It’s a risky business!

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Cosmetic Injections are growing rapidly in popularity. What was once almost unheard of is now readily and easily accessible. Unfortunately, cosmetic injections including fillers and botox can be administered by someone just out of nursing school with very little (if any) additional training – and therein lies a big issue!

For your own health and safety, we highly recommend you do your research and choose your cosmetic injector “carefully”.

The process of cosmetic injections including dermal fillers and botox is a ‘medical procedure’ that should be performed by an experienced and qualified medical/cosmetic doctor, or a nurse practitioner under the supervision of an onsite doctor.

We know it may sound like a trivial procedure given the amount of places you can get your cosmetic injections, but nothing could be further from the truth. The person performing the injections should have extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, as well as the required training and experience with cosmetic injections. Injecting a filler into the wrong area of the face can have serious consequences. These consequences include instant and irreversible blindness as well as skin discolouration and skin tissue death.

Blindness from filler can occur following a cosmetic injection anywhere on the face, not just around the eye area. Even lip injections can cause blindness. It’s instantaneous and permanent. Consider for a moment you’re lying on the bed receiving your lip filler and suddenly, without warning, you can’t see a thing.

As well as blindness, injecting filler into a facial artery can cause soft tissue damage, ‘killing’ certain parts of the face.

While there appears to be fewer risks surrounding Botox (Botulinum Toxin), don’t get complacent. Botox is derived from one of the most deadly, naturally occurring neurotoxins on the planet and has been found to escape into the central nervous system and rearrange the brain’s sensory map of the hands. It’s not without its own risks. No medical procedure is.

If you considering the procedure, whatever you do don’t choose the cheapest or the one running the $199 special in the local newspaper – even if it says ‘medically trained’. A nurse is “medically trained” but their experience with injectables may be extremely limited. Do some thorough research and ask the tough questions.

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Find out exactly who will be performing the procedure.

The AHPRA website (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) lists all persons who hold registration with the Medical and Nursing Boards of Australia. Use it!

If you come across someone that isn’t listed, it’s all the more reason to dig deeper. While it may not be necessary to find another practitioner just yet, it should trigger a red flag. Ask them why they aren’t listed and if you can see formal qualifications. Medical practitioners will generally have their qualifications close by and if they aren’t prepared to show you (or can’t for any reason), we would suggest you find someone else.

Ask how much experience they have.

Experience is critical! Facial anatomy is no joke. How long and how often have they been doing cosmetic injectables for?

There has been a huge interest in nursing courses over the previous years for the sole purpose of being able to perform cosmetic injectables. A nurse not long out of school fresh out of school performing cosmetic injectables without an onsite doctor should be a serious red flag.

Ask what type of product they will be using and if it’s TGA approved.

Brands names and substances can’t be advertised so you’ll only know if you ask. Once you have the name, check the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods to ensure it’s listed. If it’s not listed, then there’s a good chance it’s a cheap import/knockoff that shouldn’t even be in Australia. You could even go as far as asking them why it’s not listed. The answer you get could be quite interesting.

Report it to the TGA so they can deal with it.

Duty of care.

If you come across an injector with very little experience and/or no medical doctor on hand, you’ve got to question their duty of care. They are performing a treatment they probably shouldn’t be. As a medical professional they should know better but unfortunately, Australia’s relaxed regulations surrounding the aesthetics industry as a whole will let just about anyone pick up a needle and stick it in your face.

So what it all boils down to in the end is the sheer responsibility of the person performing the treatment. They can legally and are well within their rights to perform the treatment – regardless of whether they have extensive training and knowledge or a doctor onsite. It doesn’t mean it’s morally or ethically correct to do so.

Don’t decide with your wallet.

Quality doesn’t come cheap, and cheap doesn’t get you quality.

The extra $100-200 you might pay to see a fully qualified, medically trained cosmetic doctor could be the difference between a successful treatment that delivers incredible results – and blindness. So while that $199 special in your local newspaper may be appealing, the next time that special comes along you might not be in a position to actually read it.

We know it’s a popular treatment and done correctly in the hands of a highly qualified medical professional (or under the direct supervision of one), you’ll get amazing results with a greatly reduced risk of complications.

The point of this article is to promote awareness and provide you with advice on finding a reputable practitioner to perform the treatment safely. There are some very talented and long serving nurses who perform cosmetic injectables all day, everyday with great success. We aren’t concerned about those individuals. We are however ‘very concerned’ with the growing amount of individuals that are coming into the field with very little (or no) experience, working in non-medical environments without so much as a doctor onsite to ensure safe practice. This is extremely alarming and concerning and we personally fear for the safety of the clients who undergo a treatment by one of these individuals.