31 July 2017
Aberdeen doctor calls for greater public safety
An award-winning Aberdeen doctor has called for greater regulation on cosmetic treatments, in a letter published by a world-renowned medical journal.
Qualified GP, Dr Sam Robson, owns and runs Temple Medical in the city centre, specialising in aesthetic medicine. Dr Robson made her comments in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) following a report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
Temple Medical is a private medical clinic, concentrating on non-surgical or minimally-invasive procedures. The qualified medical team at Temple offers a range of treatments such as Botulinum Toxin, dermal fillers, chemical peels, LED light therapy, skin care and body contouring treatments.
Dr Robson is one of a large number of doctors who have called for injectable products, such as anti-wrinkle dermal fillers and lip enhancers, to become prescription only medicines, ensuring that only trained and qualified medical personnel are able to carry out the invasive procedures.
Dr Robson said: “The public seems to believe that laws exist to protect them from unskilled and unscrupulous practitioners. As long as hairdressers, beauty therapists and other non-medics continue to administer invasive, medical, cosmetic procedures, governments across the UK are guilty of fostering this illusion.”
In her letter to the BMJ, Dr Robson highlighted the need to regulate training for every practitioner who conducts injectable cosmetic treatments. She highlighted the initiative exclusive to Scotland that was introduced in April by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS). This called for regulation of all doctors, dentists and nurses providing aesthetic treatments. Temple Medical was among the first clinics to sign up to HIS, however the regulation does not cover non-medical therapists, such as beauty therapists.
Dermal fillers are injections used to fill out wrinkles and creases in the skin, and increase volume and definition in lips and cheeks. The popularity of injectable cosmetic treatments is increasing rapidly, particularly amongst younger people, influenced by celebrities and social media posts.
Statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons* showed that cosmetic surgery in 2016 was the lowest in nearly a decade, with people opting for non-surgical injectable treatments instead. There is currently no legislation in the UK to prevent non-medical professionals from carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
Dr Robson said: “Scotland is leading the way by introducing a new registration scheme for medical practitioners of aesthetic treatments, yet this does not protect the public from non-medical therapists.
“The HIS regulation is a step forward, but unqualified people are still able to perform invasive procedures. Qualified medical practitioners such as myself would welcome increased regulation. There are more and more new procedures becoming available every year, which can cost a great deal of money, and promise life-changing results, yet there is no quality control. It is quite frightening that anyone can buy a dermal filler and inject it into a face, with no assessment or training.
“Regulation would ensure that clinics and practitioners operate to the highest professional standards, with a commitment to safety and quality improvement.”