The dark side of the aesthetic industry

Aesthetic industry dark side needle on a lip

Why are thousands of people every year, put at unnecessary risk, facing horrible results after aesthetic procedures?

We are very good at many things regarding general health care, but fact is that the aesthetic industry is a wild west. Lack of regulations, control and safety procedures, will likely only affect the client and in most cases young women. This includes laser, skin, filler & Botox procedures and even aesthetic surgery.

Is this not taken seriously since this is considered a “women issue”? Is this interpreted as vanity treatment where you only have yourself to blame for the consequences? Is it due to the lack of concern an empathy for the people considering aesthetic procedures?

During the last few years, several Swedish and international doctors has raised the concern regarding injection treatments. Proposals has been but forward to the government and politicians, hoping this will be taken seriously. The aim is to set national regulations, protecting the consumers from the most unnecessary risks.

There are unfortunately many horror stories out there from young women, following procedures from less professional aesthetic clinics. In many cases the patients are too ashamed or do not feel comfortable reporting any complications. This favors unethical aesthetic operations, making illegal activities go unnoticed.

Illegal and unethical? In what way?

Here are some examples to mention a few

  • There are guidelines and requirements on hygiene (ventilation, protection wear, running water, etc.). For instance, this means that it is NOT ok for a specialist to ignore the use of gloves during treatments which can lead to increased risk infection.
  • Your aesthetic clinic or professional need to commercially handle medical waste (bloody needles). Many “home injection specialists” do not have necessary licenses and do not take responsibility over this waste.
  • As with all businesses and companies, the aesthetic services need to be tax registered. Any specialist demanding cash payment and refuses to supply receipts, are operating illegally. This puts patients even further at risk with no records or transactions to fall back on if something would happen.
  • Many specialist are crafty at marketing, calling themselves “certified”, “master injectors”, “aesthetic specialists” or with other professional sounding titles, without having any medical knowledge. Even though you can become certified with a diploma, does not necessarily mean that you have adequate skills or that you are a legitime professional to handle aesthetic procedures.
  • All registered and legit aesthetic clinics and professionals need to oblige to patient data privacy. In the EU this means following GDPR for online patient records. This is rarely followed, and many patients risks having their medical history exposed or worse, copied and sold.

Unfortunately, the scenarios above are common, and as mentioned, kept in the shade. The majority of these unethical specialists treats patients at home or operate on a freelance basis. Many lacks any medical education and missing basic knowledge of first aid, or licenses to prescribe acute medication when things goes wrong. Tissue damage can be irreversible after a few hours, so acute treatment is essential.

Both you as a patient or you as a professional have a responsibility to make the aesthetic industry safe

What can you do as a patient to promote good practices?

  • Only receive treatments from reputable clinics with medically trained staff
  • Report any malpractice
  • Ask for proper receipts for any transactions during your treatment
  • Ask that your personal data & patient records are protected in secure data base

Together we can make the aesthetic industry safer, increase quality in treatments and reduce unnecessary risk, especially for young women that are our future.

/ Iman Nurlin – CEO | Ribelle Clinic