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Trend of “tweaks” in the UK—What to watch out for with Injectable Cosmetics

Botox and dermal fillers, among other non-invasive cosmetic procedures, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Botox and dermal fillers, among other non-invasive cosmetic procedures, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Who among us doesn’t have a few imperfections that we may consider addressing through cosmetic procedures? For individuals interested in enhancing their complexion or achieving fuller lips, “tweakments” could potentially offer a solution.

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including Botox and dermal fillers, are experiencing growing popularity in the UK. According to a cosmetic medical professional, there has been a significant increase in demand for procedures at his practice, estimated to be at least 50%, following the conclusion of the COVID lockdowns.

Based on a recent UCL study, it is projected that the UK injectables market will possibly hit a value of £11.7 billion by 2026. However, it is worth noting that the current regulatory framework for this market is not fully established.

In this instance, we provide an overview of important considerations to keep in mind prior to scheduling a “tweakment”.

How can you be sure that you are receiving treatment from the most qualified professional?

In the United Kingdom, injectors come from a variety of backgrounds, from medical professionals to those without a medical background, making research crucial.

First and foremost, you need to know that they are qualified to perform the procedure in question, that they have received adequate training for it, and that they have a plan in place for handling complications should they arise. 

The injector should also be prepared for and know how to treat any complications that may arise, even minor ones like pain, redness, and swelling.

To avoid rushing into treatment, it is important to compile a list of practitioners you are interested in seeing and might be able to trust, but this does not mean you should immediately schedule appointments with them.

Feel free to ask your injector lots of questions about their background and how they dealt with complications in the past.

The growing popularity of “tweakments” highlights the need to educate the public on how to locate a qualified practitioner.

Dentox is a comprehensive training program designed to provide medical professionals with the necessary skills to effectively administer Botox injections. Please consider visiting the following links for additional information on patient training programs: for live classes and for virtual classes.

What are the limitations on who can perform these procedures?

As it stands, there is no hard-and-fast rule in the UK about who can provide these treatments.

According to a recent study by researchers at University College London (UCL), about two-thirds of those in the United Kingdom who inject patients with drugs for cosmetic procedures like Botox are not trained physicians. 

The research study, which has been published in the esteemed Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, represents the initial survey conducted to identify the providers of cosmetic injectable services, such as botulinum toxin (Botox) and dermal fillers, within the nation.

Researchers from UCL conducted a comprehensive analysis of 3,000 websites to gather information on the background qualifications, training, and experience levels of individuals involved in administering treatments.

A total of 1,224 independent clinics and 3,667 practitioners were identified as providers of cosmetic injections. Among the various professions represented, a significant proportion (32%) consisted of medical doctors, while nurses accounted for 13% of the group. Additionally, dentists made up 24% of the professionals, with dental nurses comprising 8% of the total.

According to experts, it is important to consider the professional backgrounds of practitioners in order to effectively regulate the industry.

However, one of the key concerns regarding the current legislation is the need to ensure a high level of competence in administering the injections.

Competence plays a crucial role in effectively recognizing and managing potential complications, should they arise.

These injections, like any medical procedure, carry the potential for complications. While most complications are typically mild and temporary, there is a small risk of long-lasting and significant effects.

What measures is the government taking?

The UK government is currently reviewing potential changes to its injectables policy.

The UK government is currently reviewing potential changes to its injectables policy.

The UK government is currently in the process of considering updates to policy regarding injectables, and they are planning to initiate a public consultation on the matter starting in August 2023.

It is anticipated that recommendations will be considered in order to inform potential amendments to the Medical Act in 2024.

In addition to considering the professional background of individuals administering cosmetic injections, it is worth noting that there has been barely any study conducted on the occurrence of complications and their effects on patients until lately.

In 2013, the government sought the expertise of a Professor to conduct a comprehensive review of the regulations pertaining to cosmetic interventions. In his report, the former NHS England National Medical Director expressed the view that individuals seeking non-surgical cosmetic interventions may have limited avenues for protection and redress, similar to those purchasing everyday consumer products such as ballpoint pens or toothbrushes.

He suggests that there was a missed opportunity ten years ago when the recommendations outlined in his report were not implemented through legislation.

He expresses optimism that potential government intervention in the UK will have a positive impact on enhancing and safeguarding patient safety while also ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to address any unfortunate incidents.

One potential resource that the government may consider when evaluating the qualifications necessary for administering these treatments is the set of recommendations outlined in the 2015 Health Education England framework.

There is a desire among individuals for the standardization of training in this field. It is believed that having a qualification or a similar requirement would be beneficial in ensuring the competence of those performing the treatments. It would be beneficial for the industry to consider implementing regulations and advocating for aesthetic medicine to be recognized as a specialized field.

A Professor from the UCL Global Business School for Health, who co-authored the UCL study, mentioned that the UK cosmetic injectables industry has experienced significant growth in the past few years. This has occurred with limited scrutiny or supervision.

The findings of the study suggest that there is an opportunity for legislators to consider implementing efficient legislation and professional standards that could potentially enhance patient safety and reduce complications.

While it is true that injections can carry some risks, it is important to acknowledge that these risks are typically mild and short-term. However, it is also important to consider that in certain cases, there is a possibility of experiencing physical complications that could have long-lasting and significant effects.

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