HIGH STREET BOTULINUM TOXIN: WHAT’S THE DEAL?
After the recent announcement of Superdrug launching Botulinum Toxin (sometimes known as Botox®) and filler treatments, healthcare professionals, customers and beauty industry insiders were all divided on the subject. While the project promises to offer customers high street pricing (starting from £99) for luxury services, questions surrounding potential health consequences and the dangers of trivialising medical treatments are causing some experts to express scepticism and concern...
To be able to offer a competitive and safe service in this field, Superdrug will need to employ trained experts, provide thorough client-focussed consultations and ensure exceptional standards of treatment, consistently. Understandably, some have questioned whether a commercial store like Superdrug has the infrastructure to deliver this sort of service when. Whilst Superdrug is undeniably orientated around health and well-being, the company is nonetheless leaping from retail to clinical interventions and some would say this is a leap too far. According to the company’s Head of Health and Wellbeing Services, Caris Newson, Superdrug are fully aware of the potential risks and have been executing every step keeping public health their main priority.
The statement shows careful consideration from Superdrug’s side but doesn’t address every concern raised on the matter. We have explored the key issues surrounding this launch to provide a critical review and an overall opinion as a training provider safeguarding standards of practice and public safety.
The Service and The Environment
After announcing the launch of Botulinum Toxin and treatment services, Newson emphasized the importance of a professional environment. Offering private consultation rooms completely separate from the shop floor, is definitely a ‘big tick’ in the box: besides the obvious sanitary benefits, a private room can also take away from the traditional high street feeling and create a more welcoming and trusted environment for customers.
The service also won’t allow walk-in customers, which is another positive feature. Instead, customers (strictly only over the age of 25) will have to book via phone to first consult with a practitioner nurse and later fill out a medical questionnaire which is assessed by experts. Impulse buying pay be encouraged amongst retail customers of Superdrug but if they want to create a credible and responsible service, it is vitally important this concept is not exploited through the new aesthetic treatments on offer.
Of course, the procedure itself carries the most risks. From low-quality fillers to self-proclaimed “experts” and mistakes in administration, ‘botched jobs’ in Botulinum Toxin and dermal fillers can cause a range of serious health issues such as haematoma or abscess formation, skin necrosis, granulomas and even blindness. Superdrug ambassador, Dr. Pixie McKenna acknowledged the issue in her following statement, reassuring that the company will be careful with selecting the practitioners:
This ambitious project could make Botulinum Toxin and filler treatments more accessible to the public, encouraging other high street giants such as Boots to roll-out a similar project. In some ways, this project may be regarded as empowering the public to access treatments which have traditionally been considered ‘luxury’ and reserved for the likes of the rich and famous. As a ‘big fish’ in the retail world, Superdrug will be under watchful scrutiny more than most cosmetic clinics operating in the UK. Perhaps they are therefore more likely to adhere to the legislation and guidance in this field, protecting standards of practice and promoting customer satisfaction.
As the popularity of these treatments continues to climb, we urge customers to maintain respect for the medical significance of receiving treatment and stay informed of the potential risks and side effects. Clients should assess their practitioners on an individual basis, ensuring they have the appropriate background in healthcare and can demonstrate a satisfactory level of training and experience.
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