Two in three cosmetic surgery jabs are not administered by doctors, according to new research.
Analysis of the UK cosmetic injectables industry found that 68 percent of practitioners who are administering injections – such as Botox – are not qualified medical doctors.
The study is the first survey of who is providing cosmetic injectable services, such as Botulinum Toxin (Botox) and dermal fillers, in Britain.
Currently, little is known about the background qualifications, training and experience levels of those who are administering treatments.
Researchers from University College London (UCL) evaluated 3,000 websites to identify 1,224 independent clinics and 3,667 practitioners who were delivering cosmetic injections such as Botox.
Of the professions represented, 32 percent were doctors, 13 percent were nurses, 24 percent were dentists and eight percent were dental nurses.
Among the 1,163 doctors identified, 41 percent were on the specialist register and 19 percent were on the GP register.
Of the 27 specialties represented on the specialist register, Plastic Surgery was the largest group (37 percent), followed by Dermatology (18 percent).
The UK injectables market is predicted to reach a value of £11.7 billion by 2026, but is effectively unregulated.
The government is preparing to update policy around injectables, with a public consultation on the industry due to begin next month. Recommendations are expected to inform amendments to the Medical Act in 2024.
Study co-author Dr. David Zargaran, of UCL, said: “There are well-documented, yet to date unaddressed challenges in the UK cosmetic injectables market.
“Without knowledge of the professional backgrounds of practitioners, we cannot adequately regulate the industry.
“Our research highlights that the majority of practitioners are not doctors and include other healthcare professionals, as well as non-healthcare professionals such as beauticians.
“The range of backgrounds opens a broader question relating to competence and consent.
“One of the key challenges facing the government’s licensing scheme is to ensure that practitioners granted a license possess the skills and experience required to safely administer their treatment to minimize risks to patients.”
He added: “It is important for patients to be able to feel comfortable and confident that the person administering their treatment is competent in the procedure as a fundamental foundation of informed consent.
“This research provides a unique insight into the sector to help inform regulators and patients and work towards a safer and more transparent cosmetic injectables industry in the UK.”
Another study by the same research team, published earlier this month, found that 69 percent of respondents had experienced long-lasting adverse effects following cosmetic surgery – including pain, anxiety and headaches.
Co-author Professor Julie Davies, of UCL’sl Global Business School for Health, said: “The UK cosmetic injectables industry has expanded rapidly in recent years.
“Although the risks associated with injections are often mild and temporary, the physical complications can be permanent and debilitating.”
She added: “There are also serious psychological, emotional, and financial consequences for patients when procedures go wrong.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker