Posted by Ben Lees, Partner
Botox with your shopping? – Superdrug is setting a potentially dangerous precedent
In an interesting turn of events, the high street cosmetic store Superdrug has announced that they are going to be offering a new ‘Skin Renew Service’ in some stores. Concerns have been raised about the safety and oversight of such treatments.
Superdrug will now be offering treatments including Botox and Juvéderm dermal fillers to customers over the age of 25, who must complete a medical questionnaire, undergo an assessment over the telephone before booking any treatments. Superdrug have also confirmed that the treatments will be administered by a qualified medically-trained nurse in store.
Caris Newsom, head of Health and Wellbeing at Superdrug said the reason the high street retail store is offering these treatments after surveying what customers want. She reiterated:
“We’re listening to what people are telling us they would like is the reassurance that if they choose to have aesthetic treatments then it will be administered by a highly qualified nurse practitioner in a private consultation room”.
Botox is potentially dangerous in the wrong hands, so should it be so readily available?
It is of concern to many that having easily available Botox treatments, at affordable prices, will encourage the public to view such procedures as a casual thing, young and vulnerable members of the public being at particular risk. Critics are, sensibly, calling for stronger regulation of this type of cosmetic procedure to protect the public.
There has been a rise in recent years in the number of non-surgical procedures including Botox and dermal fillers. But that doesn’t make it any safer, and it’s not necessarily a ‘quick and easy’ procedure in every case; there are some real dangers to having Botox done.
Experts have warned of an alarming rise in the number of botched procedures that can leave people with lifelong problems, including muscle atrophy and muscle wastage which can occur with repeated use of Botox. This is because the muscle is not being used and results in drooping of the skin around the area.
Dr Gerard Lambe, consultant plastic surgeon and spokesperson for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons raised concerns following Superdrug’s announcement stating:
“While Superdrug may be hiring medically trained nurses, it is crucial members of the public do not treat having Botox and dermal fillers as casual beauty treatments, like brow threading or waxing. Administering an injection of any kind is a very serious procedure and requires an experienced qualified health professional. All kinds of risks can arise, from infection to incorrectly applied needle placement over delicate facial muscles – which can lead to paralysis.”
Here’s what you should know about Botox, before nipping into your local Superdrug
- Botox is a brand name. What you might not know is that it is actually a neurotoxin called Botulinum toxin which blocks nerve activity in muscles. This prevents them from contracting, pulling the skin and causing lines and wrinkles to appear.
- Fillers are not the same as Botox. A filler is usually made of hyaluronic acid which naturally occurs in the body and is not a toxin.
- It’s not an instant fix – the full effects of Botox will not appear until approximately 7 – 10 days after the treatment.
- Botox doesn’t work for everyone. Your body develops antibodies to Botox so eventually it will stop working.
- Botox is only temporary and typically people require “top-ups” every 3 to 6 months.
What is clear is that stricter regulation of Botox and other non-cosmetic procedures is required. Botox and dermal fillers are not trivial procedures and should only be administered by specialists.
Before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, make sure you do your research, both about the procedure and the person administering the treatment. After all, if you feel you need cosmetic surgery, you want to ensure that you’ll at least look better once it’s been done and most of all avoid unnecessary injury.
If you have undergone a cosmetic procedure, and have suffered injury as a result, please contact our specialist team today
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