Government clamps down on Botox cowboys

Plans to make anti-ageing treatments much safer are being given the green light by a new Government backed scheme.

The introduction of a new register of responsible practitioners has been set up to protect anyone opting for anti-ageing treatment, otherwise known as Botox or dermal fillers.

According to IHAS more unqualified providers are offering the procedure without having the correct training putting patients at immediate risk of infection and disfigurement.

Now, The Treatments You can Trust online directory hopes to minimise injury from injectable cosmetic treatments giving patients piece of mind when making the decision to have Botox.

Andy Randall, managing director, sk:n clinics (, says of the IHAS Register of Injectable Cosmetic Providers: ‘As the largest and leading provider of non-surgical cosmetic treatments in the UK, with 10% of the UK’s dermatologists working for us and 36 clinics nationwide, sk:n is completely committed to providing a safe and professional service to its clients,” says Andy Randall, Managing Director, sk:n.

‘Unfortunately, there are many rogue injectable practitioners who do not operate under the same strict medical qualifications, ethics and safety policies as we do, which is harming the reputation of the industry. For this reason, we have been actively calling for a regulation scheme of this kind for some time and are delighted to be the one of the first large clinic groups in the country to achieve the Quality Assurance Mark.

‘At last the public will be able to vet their injectables provider with confidence and we hope this will spell the end of incompetent, unqualified practitioners.’

Over the past year there has been a significant increase in the amount of people opting for anti-ageing treatments such as Botox with around one million patients using this form of treatment.

According to IHAS people who are not properly trained are dangerous and pose a great risk to the patient, with many salons offering Botox administered by unqualified beauty therapists.

Eventually IHAS would like to anyone offering the anti-ageing treatment registered on the list and urges any member of the public considering such a procedure to consult the list before choosing a clinic.

Admittedly the list will not see a complete end to rogue practitioners but could be a good start to making the treatments much safer and more reliable.

Meanwhile, the popularity of Botox in London as an effective yet affordable non-surgical anti-ageing cosmetic treatment is growing, and fast.

Despite the economic downturn, recent reports suggest the number of adults in London opting for facial aesthetic treatments, including Botox, has increased by 15% in a year, with more than one million treatments being carried out.

Research indicates that as many as 19 million men and women in the UK, including 250,000 in London, would undergo some kind of anti-ageing treatment. Indeed, such is the popularity of Botox in London and elsewhere in the UK that for many, it is now considered a routine part of their cosmetic regime.

Botox (Botulinum Toxin) has become synonymous with patients seeking a safe and highly effective treatment to relieve fine lines, wrinkles, frown lines and furrows to the face, predominantly to the forehead, glabella (between the eyebrows) and crows’ feet.  

However, Botox has many more medical benefits and is used to treat patients suffering from conditions including hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating), neck spasms, writers cramp, multiple sclerosis, facial spasms, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy.

For many, the simplicity of a Botox treatment is part of the appeal.
Typically, a patient in London will visit a professional clinic for a detailed consultation in which they are able to discuss their main areas of concern and the results they are hoping to achieve.

Based on this (together with their budget) an appropriate treatment programme can be determined. 
During the consultation, patients are asked to use certain facial muscles so doctors can observe how they work.

A fine needle is then used to inject very specific quantities of Botox just below the skin surface to targeted muscle groups. 
Results will be visible within three to four days of treatment with the full effect being evident after 10-14 days.
A quality clinic will offer a free review and top-up injections two to four weeks after treatment to settle any residual movement.  Treatments can then be expected to last between three to five months.

Botox is often called the classic lunch break treatment. Because it is so quick, usually taking around 20 minutes, patients can build it into an average day, with no disruption caused to work.
Discomfort is negligible and side effects minimal so patients can immediately resume normal activity. There may be some initial redness and swelling at the injection sites, which usually dissipates after 10 minutes, when make-up can be re-applied if desired.
Occasionally there is bruising and very rarely, ptosis (drooping of an eyelid).  This can be treated with eye drops and should disappear within a few days.

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