We often think that doctors dispense pills willy-nilly. Although over-prescribing sometimes occurs, for example, doctors dispense antidepressants when therapy might be more appropriate, every prescription that is written is carefully analyzed and monitored.
That makes the current situation with anti-aging fillers even more bizarre. Fillers are not and have never been by prescription in this country, so anyone can apply them. Think about that for a moment.
While I, as a doctor, will have any antibiotic prescription I write reviewed and reviewed by various layers of professionals, someone with little more than a few hours of training (if that) can currently inject someone’s face with a substance that can dramatically change their appearance.
In addition, if the treatment is done incorrectly, it risks a number of serious side effects, including blocking blood vessels and causing parts of the tissue to die.
Under current law, aesthetic doctors in the UK need no qualifications to apply dermal fillers, which has led to calls for MPs to change the rules to make them prescription only.
People simply don’t realize that under the current rules there is no mandatory qualification required to be a cosmetic surgeon in the UK, meaning that literally anyone can apply dermal fillers.
It beggars belief that it has been this way for so long.
However, things may change now. Last week MPs heard how the current laissez-faire approach to dermal fillers is putting the public at risk, and calls were finally made to make them prescription only.
At the very least, this would mean that the substances used in fillers would be properly monitored and that a medical professional, such as a doctor, would have to be involved. It seems bizarre that anyone in this country can inject a substance into someone’s face without any restrictions.
It’s not just that it has the potential to be life-changing when done incorrectly, but in fact, my biggest fear is that in this wild west of cosmetic procedures, it’s far too often administered to people who are inappropriately young.
I was horrified the other day to see an 18-year-old girl in A&E (who came in with an unrelated problem) tell me she had just had her lips ‘done’. Unfortunately, she looked like a blow-up doll.
Why would someone her age need something that is supposed to be an anti-aging injection? She needed careful counseling and emotional help, not some chemical pumped into her face.
It makes me sick that young women even think about this, but the thoughtlessness of the people who do this to them is truly terrifying.
These kinds of procedures are completely inappropriate. It’s easy to blame the cult of celebrity, where a face full of fillers is considered part of a beauty regime.
Many fans look up to these famous people and want to emulate them, not realizing that in fact, ironically, they already have the youthful look that these celebrities are after.
Dr Max Pemberton (pictured) says the filler can be injected by anyone in the UK, with many only having hours of training and serious side effects if done incorrectly.
But the buck has to stop with the practitioners who have the needle.
By being prescription only, doctors would have to get involved, who are bound by strict ethical guidelines on who to give these injections to.
Physicians who prescribe recklessly or unprofessionally would be quickly identified and questioned. Individuals found to have breached the guidelines or acted outside of normal accepted practice would face serious consequences.
There are several levels of protection, with regulations being followed at local, regional and national levels.
This is important because – while medications may be intended to help – inappropriate or incorrect prescribing can be dangerous or even fatal.
Medicines are powerful things and should be handled with care and respect.
Moving to a prescription model would crack down on cowboy practitioners by making our health professionals responsible for administering the treatment.
Yes, there are unscrupulous and unprofessional doctors and nurses. I know, don’t get me wrong.
But the control that exists around prescribing would mean at least some monitoring, and it would mean that patients would have to have a one-on-one consultation with the prescriber, who would be required to explain the risks and benefits, just as with other drugs or procedures.
I find it absolutely insane that this industry has grown in the last decade without any regulation.
While dermal fillers might be able to turn back the clock, it’s time for the industry to be brought into the present.
The £2bn-a-year NHS compensation system needs an overhaul, according to former health secretary Jeremy Hunt. He is right.
The system is hugely costly to taxpayers and much of it is wasted on legal fees. It needs to move from a culture of blame to one where NHS trusts learn from their mistakes.
Don’t think of ADHD as a fad
TV chef Gizzi Erskine was filmed criticizing people who claim to have ADHD just to ‘look cool’. I’m afraid it’s something I’ve seen time and time again. Lately there is a real tendency to medicalize our idiosyncrasies in order to gain sympathy
TV chef Gizzi Erskine was filmed criticizing people who claim to have ADHD just to ‘look cool’. I’m afraid it’s something I’ve seen time and time again. Lately there is a real tendency to medicalize our idiosyncrasies in order to gain sympathy.
I’ve seen adults say they have ADHD to explain why they can’t focus or concentrate on work.
An entire industry has sprung up to diagnose people with ADHD, when in reality they often just need to put down their phones and learn to tolerate the frustration, boredom, and boredom in their lives. In children, it is even sometimes used to cover up bad upbringing.
ADHD is undoubtedly a complex condition with genetics, environment and social factors playing a role.
Yet too often people reach for labels to explain their behavior instead of looking at what’s really causing it.
Doctors were told not to use “disparaging” words such as “send home” or “do a test”. The authors of the article published in the BMJ say it portrays patients as passive.
Wait, the world has gone mad! I’m not sure any of these phrases are particularly derogatory. When I send someone home, it indicates that the doctor has decided that I don’t need to be in the hospital. I am very happy to be ‘sent’ home.
What patients don’t want is doctors messing around with the words they use. They want to be seen by a doctor who is kind and knowledgeable.
Dr Max prescribes…
A cup of tea
According to research, a nice cuppa is just what the doctor ordered. Tea has been shown to be the ‘optimal drink’ for good health – reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia
According to research, a nice cuppa is just what the doctor ordered. Tea has been shown to be the ‘optimal drink’ for good health – reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia.
This is because it is rich in compounds such as flavonoids and L-theanine, which have antioxidant properties, suppress inflammation and promote tissue regeneration. So put the kettle on!