Will There Be Tighter Controls on Botox Treatments?

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The General Medical Council have ruled that doctors cannot prescribe botox over the phone without having first seen their patients. This is big news for salons and beauty therapists who do botox treatments but require a doctor to prescribe the drug to them remotely.


This ruling has brought to light the fact that prescriptions made in the name of one person are given to others within the beauty industry. A nurse may use botox on one client whilst . One doctor who was filmed undercover described this as a “common, almost universal” practice. There are worries that injecting people with botox without a medical checkup is dangerous.

Botox is a toxin that paralyses (or forcibly weakens) facial muscles in order to smooth out wrinkles in the overlying skin. The treatments are expensive with a regular series of treatments over a year costing thousands of pounds.

Medical uses of botox that you might not know about include injecting it into the head and neck to ease migraines, into the vocal cords to help with speech impediments, pain from amputated limbs and muscles spasms in the pelvis.

As with any toxin (poison), it is possible to over-inject with botox. Some children with Cerebreal Palsy have died after being injected. If the botox escapes from the injection site and travels, it may interfere with breathing and cause serious complications.

Botox sales worldwide came in at $1.3 million in 2010. In September 2011, US sales of botox were still increasing. Clinics reported that customers tended to spread their treatments out over longer periods of time due to drops in disposable income, however clinics continue to market botox as a kind of ‘wardrobe staple’ for the face.

A new drug, Latisse, has recently come onto the market. Riding the trend for salon-based eyelash enhancements such as tinting, permanent curling and adding extensions, Latisse has its roots (no pun intended) in a medication for the eye problem glaucoma which was found to lengthen eyelashes as a side-effect. However, adverse reactions to Latisse have been reported. These include darkening of the eyelid and of the iris (the coloured part of the eye) itself. Latisse also alters the pressure in the eyes. It is a drug used to treat glaucoma, after all.Although the brand has celebrity endorsements from actresses like Claire Danes and Brooke Shields, there have been horror stories of the kind that usual warrant the involvement of medical solicitors.

What do you think of the trend for injectables and medically-derived beauty treatments like Latisse? Are they something you would be willing to try?

Joanna Duncan is a beauty blogger

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