08 January 2009

The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD) has warned cosmetic surgery patients against choosing low priced injectables from unreliable suppliers or poorly trained practitioners.The non-profit organisation, which aims to promote the advancement, education and practice of cosmetic dermatology in the UK, has expressed concern that unethical and unqualified consultants may be exploiting consumers' desire to save money by offering non-surgical treatments - including Botox and dermal fillers - at discount prices. Dr John Curran, a cosmetic doctor and BACD President, said: "In times of economic uncertainty people turn to non-surgical cosmetic treatments as they are cheaper than cosmetic surgery and provide an immediate result. "However we are concerned that people may be tempted to 'shop around' for cheaper treatments which could lead to a surge in horror stories if administered by poorly trained practitioners." Dr Curran also emphasised that the market for dermal fillers was open to particular abuse, adding: "Cosmetic dermatology must be delivered in a safe medical environment by a competent, well trained healthcare professional who makes the patient's interest his or her first concern." In order to help consumers protect themselves, the BACD offers a range of guidelines to bear in mind when seeking non-surgical cosmetic treatments. These include seeking doctors that are registered with the General Medical Council and members of the BACD, and ensuring that you check your practitioners qualifications and experience before making a decision. The body also suggests having a direct face-to-face consultation with the doctor managing your treatment, and recommends that patients undergo cosmetic treatments in the UK, rather than abroad. In line with the BACD's recommendations, online auction site eBay announced that it was clamping down on illegal Botox promotions earlier this week, following an investigation by independent consumer resource Which?.