UK Healthcare Commission calls for greater botox regulation

Related tags Plastic surgery Surgery

The UK Healthcare Commission has made a number of recommendations
to regulate the phenomenal growth of the market for non-surgical
treatments such as botox, chemical peels and injectable fillers.

Growing demand for this type of treatment all over Europe, and in particular in England where demand is reported to have grown by up to 150 per cent in recent months, has led to a rash of diverse businesses offering such services. Earlier reports of botox parties and even dentists offering non-surgical cosmetics treatments led to an extensive report being conducted by the body.

The Healthcare Commission​ head of operations, Simon Gillespie, said: "Cosmetic and aesthetic procedures to improve appearance are far more accessible and affordable than in the past, These procedures, if properly conducted, are safe but there are risks.

"The safety and quality of cosmetic and aesthetic procedures in England needs to be kept under regular review, not least to understand and respond to new developments. The Healthcare Commission will be carrying out further work to develop minimum standards of practices to ensure the safety of patience."

The Commission's report recommends that the improvements are made to help smaller establishments increase their level of compliance with regulations, whilst at the same time further efforts will be made to exam the risk assessment of unregulated treatments.

Further to this the Commission also recommends that standard definitions of cosmetic and aeasthetic procedures need to be further developed to make them safer. The recommendations state that in order to achieve this specialist training needs to be established and made mandatory and that service providers must be fully compliant with consumers' needs and safety requirements.

Currently the Commission runs a register of approved businesses providing such services and it recommends that individuals check up to see if any doctor or clinic they are considering using is already registered and approved.

In both the UK and across Europe a growing obsession with maintaining youthfull looks is being blamed on pressure from the media. In turn this is causing individuals to take increasingly drastic action in order to maintain their looks. However, with many individuals apprehensive about cosmetic surgery, an increasing number of people see non-surgical treatments such as botox as a cheaper and less painful alternative.

But in line with the growing popularity of these treatments, there has also been a growing incidence of treatments going wrong, with allergic reactions and inappropriate use of procedures often being blamed on a lack of regulation.

Recognised implications of treatments such as botox include drooping eyebrows, a loss of facial expression and even headaches.

Recently the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reported that the number of surgical procedures carried out in the UK market in 2004 amounted to 16,367, compared to 10,783 in 2003. The UK is currently the leading market for cosmetic procedures in Europe.

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