Getting rid of your wrinkles and plumping your lips? Cosmetic treatments such as dermal fillers and Botox are medical procedures, and it’s extremely important that only licensed experts administer these treatments to patients. The pressure to look beautiful is higher more than ever, and many are flocking to cosmetic clinics to get a nip and tuck here and there.

But with treatments increasingly becoming common, there are those who take advantage of the popularity of procedures such as dermal fillers and Botox. Dermal fillers are unregulated, and practically anyone can claim they can inject people who want them. As for Botox, although it is a doctor-prescribed treatment, there are also counterfeit products available and people may claim that they are ‘certified’ to inject them.

But you don’t have to go under the knife, get loaded on anesthesia, and endure weeks of recovery time to banish those stubborn flabs. Here, we compare four non-invasive fat reduction treatments to lose the fat without incisions.

Don’t be fooled by these schemes. They are extremely dangerous. Here are some questions to answer before going under the needle:

Is your practitioner is a licensed cosmetic doctor or nurse?

The first thing to check is your practitioner’s qualifications. And no, it’s not enough that they simply had ‘training’.

“The term ‘appropriately qualified’ suggests the individual should be a cosmetic doctor, dermatologist, surgeon, dentist or nurse,” says Dr. Raj Acquilla, UK ambassador and global key opinion leader in facial injectables.

According to Rajiv Grover, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), “Cosmetic surgeons should be on the Specialist Register of Plastic Surgeons maintained by the GMC. Ensure they perform the specific procedure you want at least 30 times a year.”

As for nurses, British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) vice chairwoman Sharon Bennett says that a nurse must be a ‘nurse prescriber’ to work without a doctor. “The qualification for this is the V300 and this will appear under their name on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register. Also, always ask to see proof of insurance. The BACN holds a list of registered cosmetic nurses,” says Bennett.

Be extra wary when people tell you that they’ve ‘undergone training’ for administering Botox and dermal fillers. Dr. Mervyn Patterson, a cosmetic doctor, says “A training course can involve as little as half a day standing as part of a crowd watching someone else inject, yet everyone goes home with a certificate.”

Are you in a sterile clinic?

If you’re in a hotel room or in someone else’s house, it’s a major red flag. Fillers and Botox are medical procedures, and they should be done only in a cosmetic clinic where the environment is sterile. Besides, licensed professionals run away from ‘outside jobs’ like this. So if the one who’s injecting your face is willing to do it anywhere, he’s probably not qualified to stick needles in your face.  

Botox parties have been the trend lately. Simply put, they’re parties where people get together and have drinks while getting Botox and possibly other treatments. These can be extremely risky, and it’s best to walk away from them.

“If you are being offered these treatments in someone’s home or at a party, stay well clear. Clinics don’t have to be registered with the governments’ Care Quality Commission, but if they are, it means the clinic follows protocols and is inspected. Beware flashy websites – they mean nothing,” says Dr. Patterson.

Are the injections cheap?

Like we mentioned earlier, fillers and Botox products may be bought off the internet. These might provide you with cheaper options, but avoid them at all costs. Keep in mind that you don’t exactly know what’s in these products. Thus, the possibility of ending up in the emergency room is sky high.

Legit fillers and Botox will cost you some moolah. In the UK, dermal fillers cost about £150 to £400 per session, while Botox costs £150 to £400 per session.

Can your practitioner provide you with before and after photos?

Clinics should be able to provide before and after photos at a minimum. These photos are basically a way of saying, “We’ve done this before and we’re excellent at it.” Ask to see some photos during your consultation. This will give you proof that the clinic provides legitimate services.

Dermal fillers and Botox are 100% safe procedures, but they can be risky when performed by the wrong hands. Do your own research and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Consult only with licensed practitioners, like the ones over at Courthouse Clinics. They have 20 years of experience, and Courthouse Clinics is the number 1 doctor-led cosmetic clinic in the UK.