Who Do You Trust to Inject Your Face? | The DOC Clinic - 1

Who Do You Trust to Inject Your Face? | The DOC Clinic

There are risks involved when getting a dermal filler or anti-wrinkle injection treatment via a non cosmetic physician or doctor. This varies from simple issues through to very serious issues. It takes many years to learn facial anatomy, let alone get an artistic eye for facial or body rejuvenation. This doesn’t even get into the medical management if something occurs that is unexpected. For this reason, you should be wary of shopping centre clinics or nurse driven clinics that have no actual cosmetic doctor onsite.

The Potential Risks

By seeing an untrained injector, you could be placing yourself at a higher risk of a poorer or sub optimal result that could be temporary or permanent.

While you can typically expect a little redness, swelling and bruising from cosmetic injectables, other rarer side effects may have an increased incidence in untrained clinics/injectors. These side effects can include a droopy eyelid or brow (“ptosis”) infection, as well as serious side effects such as necrotic skin (dead black skin), blindness, and stroke (extremely rare).

To avoid these risks, make sure your injector is an experienced cosmetic physician (preferably associated with the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia, CPCA), plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist. A very experienced aesthetic injecting nurse is another option,as long as there’s a doctor onsite where you plan your treatment. Whoever you choose, make sure they have adequate medical and cosmetic training and experience.

A shopping centre cosmetic bar or spa can have many flaws, so it’s important to do your research. Usually, there is no doctor on site.

About Dr Ed

Dr Ed Omarjee trained at the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland) as an undergraduate (2 full years of anatomical training on cadavers). He also completed surgical training (3 ½ years) with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (Alfred Hospital) in his early post graduate medical career, contributing to his skills in cosmetic medicine. And he is the fellow of the CPCA, Cosmetic Physicians College Of Australasia (the biggest cosmetic college for non-surgical doctors). He conducts regular conferences, workshops and trains other doctors and nurses.

Do you have to be qualified to inject cosmetic injections?

No, a specific qualification is not needed to administer cosmetic injections. To minimise risks, however, you should look for a qualified injector. Don’t be embarrassed to ask if your injector is a doctor or nurse, though even seeing a doctor is no guarantee of experience.

If you’re seeing an injecting nurse, there are some very important legal processes that must occur before any cosmetic treatment is performed involving anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers, as both involve what we call Schedule 4 drugs.

These legal processes include:

You MUST have a mandatory ‘face to face’ medical consult with an experienced cosmetic doctor to assess your history, examine your area of concern, and devise a management plan with relevant products and dose to be used. If this is not possible, then a video conference might be performed as a substitute. Treatment, side effects and risks associated with the proposed treatment must all be discussed. The doctor is then called the “prescribing doctor”.
Only after the above has occurred can the injecting nurse perform a cosmetic injectable treatment (anti-wrinkle injection or dermal filler).

This doctor-based consult process has to be repeated every 12 months (earlier if your medical history changes) if you want a non-doctor to inject cosmetic injectables.

If the above processes don’t occur, the clinic and injector are operating illegally and face large fines or penalties (Medical Board of Australia, AAPHRA).

Other Questions to Consider

What credentials does the injector have? (It’s also a good idea to do additional online research before undergoing any cosmetic procedure)

What is their medical background?

What training have they undergone? If so, for how long? (Some only do weekend courses or video learning)
What support will you be provided with have after treatment? (This is critical if your injector is a nurse,especially in chain clinics in shopping centres. Don’t be afraid to ask the name of the prescribing doctor if you’re being treated by a non-doctor)

What exactly is being injected and what is the dosage?
How often have they injected that product into that area of the face?

What are the dangers of going to an ‘anti-wrinkle party’?

At a social party, treatment is most likely being administered by people who have not been properly trained, and it’s not a medical environment. In addition, you won’t be receiving a formal evaluation explaining your facial structure, nor is there any documentation if something goes wrong. Lighting maybe poor, hygiene sub optimal, and usually alcohol is consumed, which increases side effects and also affects your judgement (which is critical in the initial consent process).

What are the dangers of consulting with a prescribing doctor via Skype or Face-Time?

Medical history, complications, current medications, formal evaluation and skin treatment plan are just a few key reasons why a face-to-face consultation is so important. Skyping a doctor offers very little support and means there’s no documentation if something goes wrong. You should always choose to visit a cosmetic clinic where the injector is fully accredited in cosmetic medicine and they inject everyday on many faces. There should also be an experienced cosmetic doctor onsite.

It is actually quite difficult to assess someone via standard video technology and analyse someone’s face in 3D, which is what aesthetic doctors do in a face-to-face consult/examination.

How do you know if you’ve found the right person?

Ideally, your injector should be a cosmetic physician, cosmetic surgeon, dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon that has medical practices devoted to cosmetic surgeries and treatments.

Their colleges or societies have logos that look like the following:

Cosmetic Physicians College of Australia ANZ Society of Phlebologists The Royal Australian college of general practitioners AHPRA


These colleges/societies are the leading bodies in non-surgical cosmetic medicine in Australia.

What is the best thing to do if you have a disappointing result or complication?

If something goes wrong, it’s important to know your options. The best initial step is to visit your injector/practitioner and express your concerns and devise a management plan together. If your injector was a nurse, you will need to speak to their prescribing doctor/supervisor as well.

If this doesn’t alleviate your concerns, seek a second opinion from an experienced cosmetic doctor from one of the big cosmetic colleges, as described above (e.g. CPCA ).

The take home message with cosmetic injectables is to do your homework and conduct due diligence. Not all injectors are the same. Most importantly,don’t shop on price alone, as it can end up costing you a lot more than money.