The real world of cosmetic practice

FACULTY DENTAL JOURNAL April 2014 • Volume 5 • Issue 2

Non-surgical cosmetics is a booming, lucrative industry. Demand is higher than ever, with the market expected to double in the next five years, and an increasing amount of doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals getting involved in cosmetic practice. It’s easy to see why. But there should be more to it than money, and more to being a cosmetic practitioner than a one day training course… a full-time cosmetic doctor speaks candidly about this thriving yet troubled industry.

I work full time as a cosmetic doctor. 14 years ago I was aGP with an interest in minor surgery. I became interested in the growing trend for cosmetic facial enhancements and started doing simple injectable treatments as a sideline. The treatments were quick and very lucrative. It was possible to make in 1 hour what I used to earn in a 12- hour shift doing out-of-hours calls. What really appealed to me was the satisfaction of the job. Getting good results and patient appreciation brought extra reward.

When I started cosmetic work, Botox® and fillers were no longer the reserve of the rich and famous. Procedures were relatively simple: mainly wrinkles, lips, nasolabial and marionette folds. Training was equally basic and simple. A one-day course comprising of brief theory and a bit of hands on and you were good to go! In 7 years I went from being a full-time GP doing simple cosmetic procedures on a couple of clients a week to being a fulltime cosmetic doctor seeing 20-30 clients a day.

The bulk of my work is injectables – botulinum toxin injections account for approximately 60% of my cases. The techniques have become more advanced. As well as the usual crows’ feet and frown lines we can now do more impressive things like masseter reduction, gummy smiles and neck lifts with botulinum toxin. Fillers are used in larger quantities and in more places to achieve the effects of a face lift or disguise the appearance of eye bags. I also do chemical peels, platelet rich plasma, carboxytherapy and radiofrequency treatments. I have been trained in laser and IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment. The latest treatment to have been introduced into my practice is fat-dissolving injections.

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