The sale of cosmetic skin care products has grown to around £2 billion per annum in the UK, amidst a myriad of claims on effectiveness. The same applies to personal treatment, with support ranging from skilled, to unqualified.
There is however a difference between risking a little cash on a cream you see online and undergoing personal treatment. A mistake on the first can be donated, or disposed of, the latter matters far more.
Everyone has a right to look as they wish and to seek medical support for this, in a completely safe, professional environment. The issue is that in the UK, finding non professional, unsafe care is all too common.
Lack Of Regulation
Despite medical aspects being involved, the sector is poorly governed. A Department of Health report concluded that non surgical cosmetic intervention can offer “no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen”.
Quite complex procedures are unregulated, such as dermal fillers, including the lips and jaw, hairline management, or laser hair removal. Anyone who chooses could open a cosmetic clinic tomorrow morning.
There is no legal requirement for providers to be trained and evaluated, to understand your skin. The coronavirus pandemic has seen the problem worsen, as professional cosmetic clinics closed but amateur providers carried on.
The online world, particularly social media, has contributed to the popularity of cosmetic changes. There is also a tendency for treatment to be trivialised and for untrained hands to promote themselves via social accounts.
Reports are given to clinics performing corrective care that the choice of initial treatment was based on an Instagram, or Facebook profile. Nothing wrong with getting to know a provider but far more is needed.
Beyond basic consumer legislation, providers without qualifications are unaccountable. They can’t be disciplined, struck off, or lose their license, they don’t have one. Neither is apparent qualification by paid membership much better.
Treatment by a doctor, or nurse is overseen by the Care Quality Commission and professional bodies, such as the GMC. If you do have issues, there are established routes to follow, instead of no route at all.
As 2021 progressed, referrals for corrective work following non medical care more than doubled. Patients looked worse, were often in pain and had wasted their money, more serious issues of infection, or disfigurement far from rare.
As a dedicated medical centre we chose to write this to help people avoid these issues and guard their health. Cases of blocked arteries, necrosis, blindness, even a stroke are rarer but not unknown following wrongful cosmetic care.
Don’t Be Put Off
The points above are not meant to frighten people away from cosmetic treatment, which can be pleasurable, even life changing in a positive way.
All we ask is that you choose a professional provider. Whilst you will be we made welcome, this does not have to be our clinic, simply one where care is based on training, skill and all round knowledge of your skin.
At a good dermatology clinic, aesthetic staff ensure they understand underlying conditions, which contribute to the visual symptoms you want to change. Medical and cosmetic diagnosis are logical partners.
Setting up as a cosmetic provider on the web, or via local ads can be achieved in hours, becoming a consultant dermatologist takes 15 to 20 years. Other staff you meet at a specialist clinic may have invested equal time.
They care for their patients, are there to offer experience based advice and place patient wellbeing above all else. You may be surprised to find that regulation is not in place for all providers in the UK but this is the reality.
With a little thought and research, you can still find excellent cosmetic dermatologists, where wider medical considerations and fine looks go hand in hand.