Are cosmetic injectables safe?

anti-wrinkle injections

There has been a lot of scrutiny of our industry in the media of late… with many forced to reevaluate their position on cosmetic treatment. A question that is trending is: are cosmetic injectables safe?

As with most things in life, there is always a degree of risk when it comes to cosmetic treatment. At Aescend this is something we try hard not to downplay, not only because we are professionally obligated to help our patients make informed decisions, but also because we care about you having an experience that is as pleasant as possible. Many of the treatments we (and cosmetic clinicians alike) perform, require specialist training and advanced, semi (or minimally) invasive techniques with prescription medication(s). For this reason we try hard to divorce our profession from that of beauty, instead promoting it as it should be, in a medical light. 

Whether we are applying chemicals to peel the skin which could splash into an eye, treating with a laser that could burn and scar, or injecting substances that could cause infection or damage to tissue there is always a risk of injury. At Aescend we work hard to minimise risk to our patients, as this is in keeping with our own personal ethics but also with the morality of our profession as Registered Nurses. As a potential consumer of cosmetic treatments, we implore you to do your homework and educate yourself prior to deciding on what treatment you have and who will perform it.

Some quick tips:

  • Check the qualifications of the person on the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority (AHPRA) database. What is their profession? Are they registered? Are there any restrictions on their practice? This is publicly available information
  • What is their scope of practice? In Australia only nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and dentists are able to perform cosmetic injectables. In Australia, EENs need DIRECT supervision by a REGISTERED NURSE (RN), and RNs need indirect oversight of a doctor.  
  • How long have they been practicing in the profession?
  • How long have they been practicing in the specialty? Regardless of base profession, is this sufficient enough to have experience recognising and managing adverse events?
  • What further qualifications do they have, how long did it take them to achieve these qualifications and is their training institute reputable?
  • What ongoing and additional study/training do they routinely undertake? Do they contribute back to the industry by belonging to associations/organisations that are involved in furthering the industry as this shows genuine interest and devotion to their trade?
  • How OFTEN do they practice in the specialty? Do they do it every day, do they just provide oversight, or is it a side line to their main interest and profession? Is aesthetics actually an interest for them, something they take pride in, or do they do it purely for the income?
  • How do they make you feel? Do you feel coerced and rushed into treatment, or comfortable that the person treating you is providing scalable options (including non-treatment), will take calls out of hours, and be responsible and available in the event your treatment does not go as intended?
  • What products do they use? Can they tell you why they use those products verus others on the market, what the associated risks might be, and what the safety profile is?
  • What machines/devices do they use? Are they approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) in Australia? Can they show you ‘befores and afters’ of treatments they have performed with those devices, and do they have the credentials to be using those machines? In Australia, each site where laser and light devices are operated should have someone present trained as a Laser Safety Officer. 
  • Is their practice clean and fit for purpose? In Australia there are strict infection control guidelines that need to be adhered to in order to safely provide injectables. Surfaces and floors should be non porous and able to be wiped down. There should be handwashing facilities in the same room and appropriate sharps disposal receptacles as a minimum.
  • Do you know people who have been treated by that clinician? What is their feedback?

Why Aescend?

At Aescend we are foremost concerned with the safety and efficacy of our treatments, so much so that we often find ourselves declining treatment where we feel it is not in the best interests of the patient. We routinely seek education and opportunities to upskill to ensure we continue to provide a contemporaneous service that is in line with best practice. We are Registered Nurses with over 20 years of nursing experience between us who own and operate our practice, so your experience is of utmost importance to us. Cosmetic nursing is our full time interest, though we continue to maintain skills in critical and emergency care to ensure we are able to appropriately manage adverse events should they ever occur.