With ‘Botox’ becoming more commonplace as part of anti-ageing beauty regimes, it is easy to forget that, although used as a ‘beauty’ treatment, it is in fact a prescription medication.
Botulinum Toxins have been safely used by the medical world for many years to treat patients with conditions such as facial spasms, cerebral palsy, migraine, wry neck, crossed eyes, foot deformity, hyper salivation, excessive sweating, Parkinson’s disease, etc., always under strict medical supervision.
In theory, Botox* should be administered only following a full assessment by a prescribing medical professional, even for cosmetic indications. Current trends to have salon based treatments following a simple ‘telephone’ consultation with a prescriber, with no contact or prior knowledge of the patient’s medical history, are disturbing. In some cases, such remote consultations consist of the prescriber asking merely to the patient over the phone ”Are you in good health”, falling far short of the General Medical Council (GMC) and Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) own guidelines regarding prescription medications.
The advice of the NMC given to its nurses is NOT to use remote prescribing in the course of medical aesthetic treatments. Nurses continuing to practice while using remote prescribers could well be in breach of NMC standards, as remote prescribing should only be used in exceptional circumstances – and it is unlikely that a cosmetic treatment would be considered ‘exceptional’. Any doctor prescribing Botulinum Toxins is required by its own professional body (the GMC) to conduct a full assessment of each patient. As aesthetic medicine is a very visual specialty, it is difficult to imagine how a full assessment could be conducted without a face to face consultation between the prescriber and the patient.
It is also important to determine when booking a treatment that all products used are only from reliable and trusted pharmaceutical sources. Again, there is a growing trend, especially with younger women, to self-inject product sourced from the Internet. This is a highly dangerous route to take. Products prescribed by medical professionals have had to comply with rigorous testing and medical safety standards and anti-wrinkle injection products sourced for home use over the internet can slip through this safety net with unknown consequences. There is no way of knowing what is contained in the vials bought in this way.
Botulinum Toxins are widely used and give excellent results in treating wrinkles. In booking any treatment, ensure that:
- Your treatment plan includes a face to face consultation with the prescriber
- The administering practitioner only uses reputable products from known pharmaceutical sources
- Be particularly wary if the price quoted is too low – if this is the case then don’t be afraid to ask questions
(*) Botox is a registered trademark of Allergan