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How to choose a practitioner for a cosmetic procedure

Demand for surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments has spiralled in the past ten years among men and women, especially young women in the 18-34 age group, thanks to social media, reality TV and celebrity endorsements. A corresponding increase in ‘botched’ procedures is putting pressure on the NHS to solve problems created by unregistered, unqualified practitioners. How can we reverse this trend?

Surgical treatment like facelifts and hair transplants should only be carried out by regulated professionals e.g. surgeons. But the landscape isn’t as clear for non-surgical treatments. The facts are as follows:

  • Practitioners offering treatments such as lip fillers, anti-wrinkle injections (like Botox) and lasers do not need to be regulated by law (although legislation may change in the future)
  • In theory, anyone can offer these treatments
  • Anti-wrinkle injections require a prescription, but lip fillers don’t
  • This means that if you’re having Botox (or similar), the prescriber should speak to you to assess your suitability for the procedure. 
  • There are no plans to make lip fillers prescription-only, but there are plans to reclassify them as ‘medical devices’. This should standardise the quality of filler products on the market and eliminate cheap imports from abroad. 

Sounds daunting? It is. There’s a lot to consider. Official advice is to check your practitioner is qualified and has appropriate insurance. This makes sense but it’s not always easy to know where to look. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. Our Check a Practitioner service exists for situations like these. You can check if a practitioner is regulated by law or belongs to a reputable Accredited Register here.

In the case of non-surgical cosmetic treatments, we would still advise seeking treatment from a regulated professional (such as a doctor, dentist or nurse) but one who is on one of our Accredited Registers. This demonstrates their commitment to the additional training which is advisable before performing these kinds of treatments. Our Accredited Registers in this area are JCCP and Save Face. If you’ve been offered treatment by someone, you can check if they’re listed. If not, ask them what their training and qualifications are. Do they have insurance? What would they do if something went wrong? Where did they get their products from? It’s worth checking who’s treating you to ensure you don’t risk being scarred or injured by poor practice.

Do you know who is treating you?

Government consultation on licensing non-surgical cosmetics 

The Government’ has launched a consultation on a licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetics in England and is encouraging all relevant stakeholders to respond to the consultation. The deadline for responding is 28 October 2023.

Thinking about having lip fillers?

If you are thinking about having lip fillers, check out our advice and top tips.

Watch our short animation on top tips for safe lip filler treatment


Do you know who is treating you?

Use our check a practitioner tool to make sure that they are either regulated or on an accredited register

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