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The importance of trust in aesthetics

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The world of aesthetic treatments is ever growing and in the US it is projected to reach $22billion by 2024. You may therefore be surprised to learn that in the UK the aesthetics industry is largely unregulated, meaning that anyone can undertake a day course and be injecting dermal fillers in less than 48 hours; having had no prior experience and worryingly, no medical experience or training at all.

Every time you visit your aesthetic practitioner, your face is literally in their hands. Yes, that sounds scary, but it’s true.

One of the most serious complications that may arise when having injectable treatments is the risk of vascular occlusion. In layman’s terms, this is when the practitioner accidentally injects into an artery, causing a blockage and a lack of oxygen and nutrients to the cells in the affected area. This can lead to necrosis (death) of the skin or surrounding tissue. This is an extremely serious condition that needs to be recognised and treated immediately so that there is a chance to save the dying skin. Doesn’t that single risk alone give some perspective as to how shocking it is that people with no prior medical knowledge are legally able to inject with such little experience? It should do. This is one reason why it’s so important that you are able to trust your practitioner. At your consultation, you should always ask the injector about their training history, medical experience, how long they have been practising, their insurance, whether they are accredited by organisations such as Save Face and any potential risks from having treatment. As a Doctor, I have no problem at all with my patients asking these sorts of questions, in fact, I actively encourage patients to do their homework on both the injector and the products they use, as well as the potential risks associated. It is my job to ensure my patients are fully informed BEFORE treatment, for their safety.

That brings me neatly on to products. When having treatment, you need to trust that your practitioner is using high grade products for your treatment. You are paying a premium rate for safety tested and approved products as well as for the experience of your injector. If a treatment price seems too good to be true, it probably is! There are so many counterfeit or out of date products on the black market that are bought cheaply to serve one purpose – profit. Profit should never come at the cost of patient safety, but sadly, it so often does. So remember, if it seems too good to be true then walk away. If a practitioner is selling themselves cheaply there will be a reason for it.

My third reason that trust is so important in aesthetics is that it’s very much an art. You have a desire to improve or enhance something that concerns you, whether that’s smoothing out wrinkles, defining your jawline or lifting the tip of your nose, you are asking your practitioner to help you achieve your goals. Your practitioner should firstly be able to show you examples of previous work, so never be afraid to ask. Secondly, they should be realistic with you about what you can achieve and how your final result may be. It is important to recognise that every face is unique and that means that every result is also unique. What is achievable for one person, simply may not be achievable for you. Your practitioner will be honest with you about this, and likely air on the side of caution as opposed to over promise! Do not feel deflated if your aesthetic doctor explains why you may not be able to achieve exactly what you are asking for, as they will be recommending a treatment plan that is right for you, as opposed to nodding and telling you what you’d like to hear.

Trust in your practitioner is incredibly important, and if at any point you feel unsure, do not proceed. If you don’t have absolute faith, then listen to your instincts and seek another opinion from a medically trained aesthetic doctor – believe me, you’ll see that the consultation fee was worth it.

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