Beautician Dermal Fillers and Botox®- what can go wrong by having them done by a beauty therapist? There has been a major story circulating in the media recently. A young lady, (Rachel Knappier), had her lip fillers treatment by a beautician in a “Botox® party” and the result was horrifying, (1).
Her lips ballooned up, became painful and her beautician could not manage the problem. It was clear the beautician panicked, advising Rachel to go immediately to A&E. The NHS doesn’t dissolve dermal fillers so the patient ended up having her lips fixed in a clinic like The Treatment Rooms London.
So what went wrong?
- Going to a Botox® Party is not the best environment for treatment
- Rachel Knappier should have been given time out to think about lip filler treatment
- The beautician had no clear management plan for the lip filler complication
Going to a Botox® Party- a bad idea
Going to a “Botox® Party” is NOT a good idea (2). Having Botox® injections or Dermal fillers isn’t like going to get your nails done. Both are medical treatments that should be carried out in a clean environment- ideally in a clinical room. Having Botox® with a group of friends in an unclean environment opens the door for potential complications like infection.
Time to think
Secondly, it seems the Rachel Knappier decided to undergo lip fillers without taking any time to think about the procedure. Having any dermal filler treatment is a considered decision and you must be able to take time to reflect on treatment before choosing to have it (3). This is in line with professional guidance from renowned bodies like the GMC and JCCP.
Could the complication be managed better?
The lip filler complication was likely a result of the beautician incorrectly injecting and placing the filler into Rachel’s lips. Together with a potentially dirty room Rachel risked suffering an infection too. She needed her lip fillers dissolved as the filler was likely pressing on nearby veins and arteries causing her lips to become swollen and painful (4).
The management of the dermal filler complication should have been dealt with by the original beautician instead of sending the patient to A&E following a virtual conversation. Using hyaluronidase, the lip filler can be dissolved quickly resolving her swollen lips (4,5,6,7).
A worse case scenario
At The Treatment Rooms London we worry if something far more dangerous could have happened, for example the patient losing her eyesight. Would the beautician know how to manage these symptoms and prevent blindness? Simply referring to A&E is often not the best course of action as patients who do have visual problems need to go to the nearest Eye Casualty Unit without delay. If you needed to the nearest eye casualty then please click here to find the nearest one to you.
Should beauticians be injecting Botox or Dermal fillers?
This has been hotly debated in the media and government over the last 5 years. A government review by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, of cosmetic treatments like Botox® and Dermal fillers suggested that there needs to be more regulation and accountability (8). The industry needed a set of standards and training so those who provided Botox® or Dermal fillers practised safely and also knew how to manage complications. This included the suggestion that there should be a professional body that can help oversee practitioners- the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP). The JCCP has now been set up and beauticians have been dropped from registering on the JCCP, with the register reserved only for healthcare professionals like Doctors, Dentists and Nurses, (9,10).
At The Treatment Rooms London we welcome more regulation for cosmetic injectables. Practitioners need to promote good practice of providing treatments safely. As with any medical procedure, things can go wrong and there can be complications. This also applies to patients having dermal fillers or Botox®. If beauticians have not been trained in managing complications and knowing emergency medical protocols, then ultimately their patients are at risk (11). However, it is important to note that this should also apply to all healthcare professionals too. Keeping up with the latest in techniques, and treatments is important as it helps keep all patients safe.
So what should you expect before having Botox® or Dermal Fillers?
If you go to a safe, regulated clinic then you should expect the following:
- A qualified and licensed Doctor providing you a full medical consultation. Assessing your concerns and expectations before treatment.
- A clean, sterile clinical room.
- A consent form you read and sign explaining the procedure and any risks
- Price- the price for Botox® treatment can range from £150-£300, Dermal fillers tend to be priced between £250-£350 per ml that is used. Anything less and you should be wondering how they have cut corners.
- Take your time to ask any questions- if you needed information on which questions to ask read this blog and it will give you a good base to start from.