Let the buyer beware: what to look for in a cosmetic provider

Let the buyer beware: what to look for in a cosmetic provider

It used to be that you would go to a salon to get your hair and nails done but these days salons offer all kinds of beauty treatments including cosmetic injectables and even more invasive procedures. The prices can be very cheap, but the results can be catastrophic.

On this episode of KVUE’s HealthVue, Dr. Jennifer Walden is interviewed on why it is crucial for consumers to take a second look and ask more questions. Notably, there was a dramatic case out of Miami last year when reports surfaced about illegal cosmetic injections being performed on several women. “Doctors” were accused of injecting these women with substances like mineral oil, super glue, concrete, and Fix-a-Flat. The women reportedly were getting buttock injections in hopes of attaining a healthy “backside”, but they could have lifetime disfigurement as a result.

Last month, in Tyler, Texas, a salon owner was arrested for injecting clients in the breast and buttocks with an unknown substance (likely automotive grade silicone) and closing it with a superglue-type sealant. Why would someone get this done to their body? Perhaps it is the very low cost and the lack of information about what these victims are being injected with.

As Dr. Walden explains, it is important that patients are educated about the three P’s: Product, Practitioner, and Place.

1. Product – Make sure the product you are getting injected with is an FDA approved product for the particular area you are wanting injected. The FDA has approved certain products for injection into different regions of the face for cosmetic purposes, like Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, and Sculptra. There is no synthetic material that has been approved by the FDA for injection in the breast so that is a red flag itself. Ask what neurotoxin or filler is being used, and even research the product labeling online. If a provider refuses or is unable to tell you what material you are being injected with, do not let that person treat you.

2.Practitioner – Know what type of practitioner to go to like a physician trained to do cosmetic procedures or his/her designee such as a physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse with cosmetic injection training. Go to a doctor in one of the core specialties like plastic surgery, dermatology, or otolaryngology who is also board-certified in that specialty.

3. Place – Don’t get injected in a place that you feel uncomfortable undergoing a procedure in such as a salon, mall, or private home. These are medical procedures and they ideally should be performed in a medical office or medical facility due to its sanitary environment with resources at hand. Often the price may seem too good to pass up, but if you hear of a Groupon ad that’s too good to be true or a salon owner that is offering rock bottom prices on something that is going to be injected in your face or body, let the buyer beware as it be dangerous or even fatal. Even at a Botox “party” or event, a physician must be supervising anyone who is doing these procedures and they must the appropriate credentials, meaning they have to be a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant with special training to administer cosmetic injectables.

In other words, do your research, ask questions, and become informed!

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