Any cosmetic enhancement procedure involves some level of risk. According to the results of a survey released by the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA), nearly 40 percent of Australian women are increasing these risks by failing to check the qualifications of the practitioners who provide non-invasive or minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.
In contrast with surgical cosmetic procedures, which are often referred to as invasive procedures, non-invasive cosmetic treatments are those that neither break the skin nor involve the use of local or general anesthetic. Laser hair removal, superficial chemical peels and microdermabrasion fall into this category.
Some minimally invasive cosmetic treatments can involve breaking the skin, but usually do not require anesthesia. These include such things as collagen and anti-wrinkle injections and medium depth peels.
Both non-surgical and minimally invasive enhancement treatmentss are increasingly in demand. Here’s a list of the most popular among the participants of the CPSA survey listed in order of popularity:
- Microdermabrasion – 53.6%
- Laser/IPL hair removal and
Wrinkle (muscle relaxation) treatments – 30.4% each
- Dermal filler treatment (lip plumping, nose to mouth folds etc) – 28.6%
- Chemical peels – 25%
- Laser/IPL treatment to remove broken capillaries – 23.2%
- Laser/IPL photo rejuvenation – 19.5%
- Laser/IPL treatment for wrinkles or scars
and skin needling for rejuvenation or acne scarring treatments – 8.9% each
- Non-surgical cellulite treatments – 7.1%
- Other – 12.5%
Australia has not yet passed regulations to limit who can perform some of these non-surgical procedures. As a result, almost anyone can provide these services, quite legally, even though they may lack the proper training or the practical experience to ensure patient safety and a quality outcome.
With surgical procedures you may ascertain whether the surgeon is qualified by checking their membership with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).
Here’s a checklist you may find useful, if you are thinking of undergoing non-surgical or minimally invasive cosmetic enhancement procedures:
- Don’t go by appearances, advertisements or by price.
- Don’t choose practitioners through coupon or lottery offers.
- Avoid anti-wrinkle injection parties.
- If being treated by a medical professional is important to you, ask to see the doctor first.
- Find out the practitioner’s name, initials and the letters that are listed behind his or her name to indicate qualifications and memberships.
- Check online to ensure that your practitioner is licensed to do what they are doing and that their qualifications are genuine. You are likely to find members of the:
- Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS),
- Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS),
- Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA)
- Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS).
There may be others who provide services but possess international qualifications.
- If nursing staff are involved, make sure they are treating you under the supervision of a doctor and with a treatment plan approved by a doctor.
- Beauty therapists are not registered health professionals in Australia, and as such it is difficult to check their credentials.
It is not imperative that a medical professional perform all cosmetic procedures. Experienced beauty therapists can safely and effectively perform some services such as microdermabrasion. If you decide to proceed with a beauty therapist, make sure they are qualified in their area and are highly experienced in delivering the service you seek.
In the excitement of deciding to have a cosmetic procedure, it is easy to forget to do your homework and thoroughly check out the practitioner you plan to use. But just because a treatment isn’t surgical doesn’t mean it can’t have unacceptable results. This is especially true of treatments legally performed by unlicensed practitioners. The bottom line is this is your face and body that you should protect by researching the people who will perform procedures for you.