I guess it’s no secret that Botox and similar products are being used by just about every celebrity, high flyer, socialite, television personality and the like, but more and more every day mums and dads are searching for their ‘fountain of youth’ by way of injectables.
Here is some information about Botulinum Toxin – aka Botox – that you should consider when thinking about having one of these procedures done.
Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species, used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralysing facial muscles.
Now, in case you didn’t know, this is the definition of ‘botulism’ – food poisoning caused by a bacterium growing on improperly sterilized tinned meats and other preserved food.
Most people think that having a few injections is much easier and safer than having full surgery to ‘correct’ your wrinkles etc, yes, they may be easier, but safer, well, that is another issue. Injectable products that will reduce wrinkles and enhance lips etc need to be administered by a professional in an hygienic environment. Yet, more and more, we hear about ‘Botox Parties’. Like party plan, someone will come to your home and instead of demonstrating something like plastic kitchenware, they will give you and your friends an injectable make-over.
I would like to point out here that many of the people who are administering these treatments are not qualified cosmetic surgeons, nor are they even medically trained. Giving an injection is not difficult, but giving an injection correctly is something that needs to be done by someone who has the right qualifications and who also can administer legal product.
The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA) investigated claims on Australians hosting ‘Botox parties’ involving alcohol and using illegally procured botulinium toxin (Botox™).
Here is an article by the CPCA with regard to two separate botox parties, one in which the products used were procured from overseas providers, meaning they were procured illegally. Party goers were alleged to be under the influence of drinks and drugs, meaning informed consent is null and void, and there would have been no aftercare provided. The second group allegedly were given a consultation with a GP based in India via conference call. Unless the GP is registered in Australia, such an act is illegal.
“It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous set of circumstances for the administration of this procedure – a seemingly unqualified person, providing illegally-procured treatments, in an unhygienic setting, all whilst people may be intoxicated,” said CPCA spokesperson, Dr Cath Porter.
“Cosmetic medicine is a three dimensional skill, requiring a full and detailed one-on-one consultation by a medical practitioner who possesses suitable expertise in patient psychology, as well as medical conditions and comorbidity, which can effect patient management.
“This is a fine example of why the College has been pushing the MBA to implement our policy. We believe that these issues would not be commonplace if the policies were in place and enforced by the MBA and AHPRA. The restrictions we place on members on the use of teleconsulting really must be applied to all practitioners, including nurses, to protect patient safety, in particular, that the signing off doctor must have cosmetic qualifications. It really begs the questions, was the doctor in question registered to practice in Australia, let alone a cosmetic doctor?”
The limitations placed on teleconsulting for cosmetic purposes by the CPCA are as follows:
– The medical practitioner doing the teleconsultation must work in the field of cosmetic medicine at least part-time and is a member of a cosmetic medical college or society or other college involved with cosmetic medicine and involved in its CME program;
-The medical practitioner doing the teleconsultation accepts responsibility for the outcome where the person performing the treatment is not a medical practitioner;
-The teleconsulting medical practitioner has met the treating nurse in person and has a professional relationship with any nurse he/ she delegates to and is satisfied that the nurse has adequate training and experience in cosmetic injectables to perform the specific treatment;
-The patient must have an annual review either face to face or via a teleconsultation with a doctor who meets the criteria stipulated in the first dot-point and who accepts responsibility for the subsequent treatments until further review;
-The person performing the teleconsultation must be available themselves, or through a suitably-trained medical practitioner locum, to offer immediate advice and support to the remote practitioner in the case of an emergency or where the practitioner needs further guidance;
-The person performing the treatment must have in their possession hyaluronidase to use in the event of arterial embolism plus an emergency medical kit to deal with acute allergic reactions and the skill to use them.
Further to the issue of teleconsulting, the CPCA believes that there needs to be amendments made to the advertising of Schedule 4 medications and their application.
“The Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation currently prohibits the advertising of any S4 medications including, for example, mentioning those medications by either generic or trade name on the website or brochures of a medical practitioner like botulinium toxin. This means that cosmetic physicians are unable to communicate on their website, in their brochures or in their signage the fact that they are fully qualified, skilled and experienced to provide procedures with specific S4 medications, such as botulinum toxin, used to treat wrinkles. Perversely, non-doctors are left to advertise with impunity.
“Unfortunately, these media reports reflect feedback from our members who often are called upon to remediate the effects of such dodgy practices. It is clearly a matter of public safety, formal investigation is necessary and punishment needs to be applied to act as a deterrent, otherwise the problem will only get worse.
Research released by the CPCA in May of this year found that one in ten Australians admitted to having their last non-surgical cosmetic treatment performed in a home setting, rather than a doctor’s clinic – double the number from 2015.
So, while a party may be fun, parties and medical procedures should not be combined, nor should medical procedures and unqualified practitioners.
To find a qualified doctor with a focus on cosmetic medicine visit www.cpca.net.au