Where Beauty Meets Medical

Whether we're looking to firm, tone, and repair to restore; the fascination with looking and feeling younger has encouraged in recent years our desire and demand to seek out the best procedures on offer. The industry is constantly changing either by beauty/cosmetics versus plastics and general medical practice, new techniques versus existing procedures or by law; what is clear is that it can be a mine field for those who don’t know where to begin to seek direction.

Most of us  think about changing our appearance on a daily basis but rarely find the time, or we simply talk ourselves out of taking the next step towards making a real difference and improving or enhancing how we look and feel. Gone are those days when we were born with a bump on our nose or we weren’t blessed with being an ample cup size and lived with it. These days it really is as easy and accessible as the internet. We, have so much information on procedures and techniques available at a touch.

In today’s market, Beauty/Aesthetic Consumers, are opting to book and request advice from cosmetic surgery providers directly and missing out the “middle man” i.e. their GP and sometimes their beauty Therapist.

After years of attending beauty salons or GP Practices for skin or weight loss advice, for most; the results are short term and so consumers are increasingly seeking advanced procedures within the Aesthetic industry; leaving Health Care Providers within the National Health Service, becoming more and more insular within their own field and finding themselves solely concentrating within their own specialised remit of knowledge and experience.

Most Health Care Professionals are not equipped to deal with cosmetic inquiries and appear to be dismissive without considering what is best practice for the patient.

Can the Beauty/Cosmetic Industry co exist with Medical Practice?

For industry professionals within the beauty, cosmetic surgery and medical practice; there is an increasing divide. All Professionals should be working to resolve and break down the restraining prejudices within their industries and address the rising issues, including the following to name a few:

  • Patient Standard of Care – In recent months and years, there has been an increased concern for those practicing unlawfully and without adhering to regulatory and government policies and guidelines for procedures.
  • Improved training /qualifications – It has also been highlighted that there is a greater need for training for Beauty Therapists, Aestheticians, Nurse providers, and other Medical Professionals.
  • Lack of Information – Clearer guidelines should be given to consumers in relation to procedures, as well as to Surgeons, GPs, Aesthetic Practitioners and Beauty Therapists who are providing the service. 
  • Funding - Most beauty/aesthetic businesses and General Medical Practices have a budget they have to work with. It isn’t always feasible or best business practice to over commit or to over spend and so is limited in their services and resources.
  • Prejudice – The Medical Profession and Beauty industry professionals, has always held a biased opinion in their respective professions.

In order for all to coincide with each other, strong measures are needed to improve quality of service. Even though there seems, to be a real change within these professions to increase awareness of their own growing industries to educate and inform the public as much as they can. What is needed of these professions is to be respectful of what each industry offers and to further develop and co-exist as service providers.

A challenging interest for all; is to recognise which sector of private and public service is best suited to perform which procedure or treatment; taking into consideration the suitability and the needs of the consumer/patient .

Each sector must initially address the following to co-exist:

“Accountability” - In current times, the Cosmetic Surgery and Non-Surgical industry has catered to a whole host of minor and major cosmetic procedures that are in demand and has been driven by the consumers need.

The industry has also been under the spotlight in the amount of publicised “botched procedures” and is increasingly asked to keep a stricter reign on all professionals in support of patient care. The Cosmetic surgery industry is the mediator and link between the Beauty and Medical industry and demands the cooperation of those involved.

“Referral” - General Practice. In recent years, most consumers have sought the advice from their GP for Weight loss, Hair Restoration procedures and Dermatology treatments. General Practitioners (GP) will always be considered the ‘gatekeepers’ for referral to surgeons and other services. Though, the referring period has always taken weeks before treatment is given due to increased waiting lists, the process has always been long, arduous and exhausting. 

Within our National Health Service, there is an understanding from all General practitioners, Surgeon’s and Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon’s that there is a place in the market for consumers/patients to seek alternative means of Aesthetic Surgery and treatment. It would be helpful to the consumer if GP’s could refer them to reputable Cosmetic Surgery Groups.

“Knowing your Limitations” - Beauty salons, have over the years provided a professional and reputable business. However, most treatments are exhausted and limited in what they can offer. Due to recent legislation, most advanced procedures are prohibited for those who do not hold adequate training, qualifications and insurance to practice. Reputable beauty salons will recognise that they hold a continued and valued place in the beauty industry.

Changes to working practices and regulations

With the recent (April 2013) Keogh Report, it has been established that there is a greater need and a tighter restriction on which professions perform what service. The continued drive is to equip professionals with the appropriate training and qualifications by adhering to regulatory practices; establishing clearer guidelines and educating the consumer in the ongoing development of services provided.

Both Beauty/Cosmetic and Medical industries acknowledge that they are all different.  Working practices are there to outline professional frameworks that recognise the need for Surgeons, Beauty Therapists and Practitioners to continue, maintain and update their skills to provide a better service of care to clients/patients.

Exciting opportunities

The current specialism of Cosmetic treatments is on the increase at an alarming rate and it is an exciting and growing industry to be involved in. Whether, you are a Beauty Therapists, Aestheticians, Non-Surgical Injector/Prescriber or a Medical Professional; the industry can provide a greater opportunity to advance within the field of Aesthetics.

As is often the case within this rapidly growing field, there are a wide range of options for training and training providers. Success in this industry is directly related to the quality of service and the amount of training you undertake.

The future includes

  •     New advanced Procedures and Techniques.
  •     Increasing awareness to the Consumer and Industry Professionals.
  •     Improved standard of Care and Service.
  •     Meeting the Consumers Needs.
  •     Better training for Professionals.
  •     Additional growth within the industry.

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