I get many requests from health care professionals and others to help them get started in this industry and I would like to offer some information as I don’t have the time to offer shadowing or education to others at present. Things change so quickly in this industry and there are increasing numbers of non medical and medical people carrying out treatments. It is much harder than it seems to start up a safe, professional medical cosmetic business – there is a lot of competition from less professional people offering cheap treatments. The difference between having a professional medical treatment in an established clinic and a cheap treatment in a room in a house or beauty / hair salon is huge. The public are increasingly perceiving medical cosmetic treatments as mere commodities and just see the look they desire as the ideal outcome without the logical thinking behind risks and possible problems from injecting products into the face and neck. There is sadly huge pressure to look “perfect” which is a false illusion and fuels low self esteem in society as a whole. Some cosmetic businesses are happy to exploit these vulnerabilities and offer cheap treatments, with fillers bought online but I pride myself in being ethical and putting the patients interests first and will decline anybody if I feel they are not in a position to make adult, informed decisions and are healthy mentally and physically.

Medical Professionals ONLY should inject

Primarily, the difference between a medical and a non- medical professional is the Duty of Care to which we are bound by our regulating professional bodies (NMC, GMC, GDC). This means if any problems arise from treatments carried out, they will be quickly identified, followed up dutifully and managed to the best outcome to completion.  A Beauty Therapist does not have this professional obligation and so the basic approach is primarily commercial  with no duty to check or provide after care. This difference can lead to serious adverse effects not being correctly identified, followed up or treated and can lead to life changing problems. A beauty therapist cannot diagnose, prescribe, refer on or treat any complications safely.

Working in isolation

Once you have had your Basic Training in Toxin and Dermal Fillers, and have insurance, you can carry out treatments. Whether you carry out safe and effective treatments comes with experience, time and facilities. All of this is a slow evolution in your professional development and it is harder to start than it looks. It is also very expensive as you establish with different suppliers, marketing, websites, medical equipment etc. You will need to have a business acumen (but not too much as this makes you unscrupulous), and be able to market yourself legally and responsibly (more rules). You will have to have confident and sensitive people skills and an ability to show excellent interpersonal skills. You will then carry out treatments without supervision which can be frightening. Each treatment must be good – you cannot make mistakes. You will miss the NHS support network as there is no-one  except you in clinic to help you (or to blame!). You can find excellent local, regional and national peer supervision and support from the organisations linked below. You can gain shadowing and mentor services (privately paid for) from BACN.

Prescribing for Botulinum Toxin Type A and other POM’s

The rules are very clear but the regulation is limited. If you are going to administer a POM (Prescription Only Medication), you need access to a prescriber who can carry out a Face to Face consultation prior to any treatment. You will have problems finding a reputable prescriber as they will need to travel, your patient will need to be present (and not cancel on the day) and that prescriber is then accountable for your safe practice and any complications which may arise.

Ideally, you have your Prescribing Registration (V300) and Certificate and can carry out treatments under your own prescription. However, as a prescribing nurse, you are not allowed to do same day treatments as you are not allowed to hold stock. Therefore, you will need to carry out a Face to Face Consultation and order the drugs to be dispensed the next day or next appointment. You will find that a lot of people prefer same day treatments. If you have a legal relationship / contracted relationship with a Doctor or Dentist, they can order stock for you to hold under their prescription but again, following accountability lies with them on this too.

Dermal Filler Treatments

Anyone can inject into another person and they do. The law cannot be changed on this as people caring for loved ones at home may need to inject medication under medical direction and this helps care at home. This loophole has been exploited by non medically trained individuals who feel they can inject products into people by right. Beauty Therapists often feel they have enough anatomy training to inject into people, but they do not have key safety skills or qualifications to manage, diagnose, and treat safely any complications which may arise – and they can be very serious.

Any injection carries a risk of swelling and infection. Any product injected has inherent (small) risks of blocking blood vessels and causing blood supply loss to organs and tissue which can have very serious outcomes. Adverse reactions such as these can show immediately and need medical intervention or be delayed, needing a professional follow up system in place.

Advanced Training

It is best to continue your training in this speciality as more research and training and techniques develop. Local reps are very good at helping you to access further training and often have workshops and conferences where the standards are excellent and updated.

Useful links

Spend a lot of time researching these organisations to gain an insight into the industry. For nurses, the BACN has invaluable resources.

BACN .   https://www.bacn.org.uk/

Save Face .   http://www.saveface.co.uk/

NMC .  https://www.nmc.org.uk/

GMC .   https://www.gmc-uk.org/

GDC .   https://www.gdc-uk.org/

MHRA    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/medicines-and-healthcare-products-regulatory-agency

Galderma .   http://www.galderma.co.uk/

Allergan .   https://www.allergan.co.uk/products/what-we-treat/medical-aesthetics/facial-aesthetics

Merz Aesthetics .   Merz

Lifestyle Aesthetics .   http://www.teoxane.com/

Trading Standards .   https://www.tradingstandards.uk/consumers/support-advice

Environmental Health .   https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/topics/professional-medical-and-environmental-health-advice/environmental-health