We all need somewhere we feel safeEmma Thompson
In this post I’ll be discussing safety in facial aesthetics. From finding a practitioner to consultation to treatment. Hopefully this will provide some guidance to an often confusing and worrying industry.
Not all aesthetics practitioners are the same. Shock. It is so important to find the best person for your treatment. Make sure you so your research! Here are some top tips for finding your soul mate practitioner.
- Social Media: This is the natural first step! Take a look through previous work that a practitioner has performed and see if the style and results are what you are looking for. Some practitioners perform more subtle and muted results and others provide the more obvious results. There is no right or wrong option for this, it is entirely what results you are looking for as a patient.
- Who are they? I think it’s so important to know who the person is ‘behind the treatment’. I always chat to my patients via digital consultation prior to booking any treatment in as it gives a chance to make sure that you can talk about treatment, but also to meet me and make you feel more comfortable if you decide to go ahead with treatment.
- What qualifications do they have? Aesthetic medicine is so much more than a ‘beauty treatment’. Yes, we do make people more beautiful, but the treatment of injecting product into tissues is medicine. The understanding of anatomy as a dentist is essential and transferable to facial aesthetics.
The consultation is the keystone of any treatment plan. At Ametrine we offer digital and also face to face consultations prior to treatment. During the consultation we will discuss treatment options, outcome of treatment, method of treatment, anaesthesia options and potential complications. It is essential to discuss this prior to treatment as this forms consent.
- Digital Consultation: We offer these on every Monday evening and every other Friday Morning. These consultations focus on your concerns and treatment desires. We gather as much information as possible via Zoom. (Zoom/ teams/ google meet face IS REAL). We take a £10 deposit for the consultation of which we donate £5 of this to Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter.
- Face to Face Consultation: When a digital consultation isn’t appropriate in some cases we recommend a face to face consultation. Treatment such as tear troughs depends on careful assessment of skin quality and anatomy that often can only be assessed face to face. In addition for treatment plans that are complex and progressive, we may suggest a face to face consultation to discuss a plan in detail and demonstrate what we can achieve.
We will also follow up any consultation with an email outlining the cost of treatment, options for treatments, what to do before treatment and what to do after treatment.
Medical History: A medical history should be taken and checked prior to any appointment or treatment. A medical history is important to ensure we can identify any contraindications to treatment or anything that may increase risks of complications of treatment. A few examples can be:
- Pregnancy/ breastfeeding: providing any injectable treatment to expectant mothers or new mums holds too much risk.
- Immune System conditions: When injecting the skin this increases the risk of infection, and also the risk of an immune response. If your immune system is weakened, this may affect how you respond to treatment.
- Blood thinning treatment: During injectable treatment one risk is bleeding and bruising, if you take medication or have a condition that increases bleeding, some treatments may be inappropriate for you.
- Allergies: Even if it’s to dogs we need to know! If you become poorly during an appointment any health care professional is trained how to manage an allergic reaction.
Safety in treatment starts before you walk into the studio. This is to reduce complications and ensure that your treatment goes as smoothly as possible.
- No Alcohol 24 hours Before: Alcohol thins the blood, therefore with any injectable treatment this increases the risk of bleeding and bruising. Also we will not treat you if you have had any alcohol in the 6 hours prior to treatment as this may affect your ability to give valid consent.
- No NSAIDS 24 Hours Before: Medication such as Ibuprofen and Asprin also thins the blood so avoiding taking these prior to treatment as this will increase bleeding and bruising risk.
- Arnica: Arnica tablets can help to reduce the risk of bruising after treatment.
- COVID Vaccine: There is research that shows that having injectable treatment too close to the covid vaccine can cause post-treatment inflammation and swelling.
- Makeup: Avoid wearing make up before your appointment. This is for a number of reasons: 1/ The practitioner can assess your face appropriately, diagnose and treatment plan accordingly. 2/ Ensure that the treatment area is clean of bacteria. 3/ Spot any complications; if you’re wearing some really good foundation and bronzer, it is so much more difficult to spot any problems such as paleness or bruising or irritations.
- Eat something: Some patients become quite worried and stressed before their appointment (by the way if this is you TELL US!) and forget to eat. This naturally lowers the blood glucose and increases the risk of feeling poorly during treatment. Go and treat yourself to a lush big bagel from King Baby Bagels before you come to see us.
- Give yourself time: Make sure that you give yourself bags of time to get to your appointment. You don’t want to be rushing round, increasing your blood pressure which in turn can lead to complications!
- Drink Water: Being hydrated is the key to good skin anyway!
- Take normal medicine: As we will have already checked during a consultation that you are appropriate for treatment, make sure you take all your normal meds before you come to see us!
When it comes to treatment, there are a number of safety factors to discuss, and this depends on what treatment you’re having. From toxin treatment to peels, there are different aspects to ensure are being managed correctly.
- Skin Preparation: At Ametrine we use Clinisept skin preparation. This is a non irritating skin cleanser that removes any dirt or bacteria from the skin. This is essential to ensure no bacteria is passed from the skin to the underlying tissues during treatment which could cause an infection
- Skin Marking: In 90% of cases skin marking with a white pencil is essential to mark out the anatomy, safe zones for treatment, safe muscles for toxin treatment and symmetry. The white marks guide the practitioner in the safest possible method and technique.
- Occlusions: An occlusion is an occurrence where some dermal filler, which is a gel, is injected into a blood vessel, this can block the blood vessel or travel within the blood vessel which can cause complications. In the case of an occlusion, this can stop the blood supply getting to the place it needs to be and cause the skin to loose it’s oxygen supply and so begin to die.
- Cannula Use: A cannula is a blunt ended tube that treads through the skin of the face. A cannula is mainly used in dermal filler treatment, but also can be used in fat dissolving and other treatments. Cannula treatment decreases risk of an occlusion during dermal filler treatment. Because the cannula is blunt there is more chance of the blood vessels to be pushed to the side rather than punctured. This technique is used more and more often to reduce risk.
- Aspiration: In cases where cannula use isn’t appropriate or needed needle technique will be used, it is essential to try to ensure that product is not injected within a blood vessel. Aspiration relates to pulling back of the plunger of the syringe for 5-10 seconds to check that the tip of the needle is not within a vessel.
- Product Choice: The correct product needs to be used for the correct tissues, if too thick then the tissues look overfilled and hard, if too thin then the product will not make any difference to the tissues. Ensure that your practitioner is using a reputable company and ASK! It is SO important to know what product is being injected into your body, ensuring it has good a scientific base behind it and that if anything were to happen you can get rid of it.
- Emergency Kit: When performing aesthetic medicine it is essential that your practitioner can manage complications appropriately. No practitioner should be injecting dermal filler without having hylase with them.
- Hylase: Or Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid, the main component of most dermal fillers. This can be injected in an emergency situation where there is an occlusion to ensure that the tissue keeps alive (tissue vitality)
Once treatment is completed your practitioner should discuss with you aftercare instructions dependant on what treatment you’ve had. They should also provide you with a way of contacting them should any complications occur. At Ametrine we send out via email aftercare instructions that have an emergency number to call. Patient’s know that they can call this number, leave a voicemail and follow up with a text to alert Bryony they need help.
- Infection: Don’t touch, or wear makeup for 6 hours after treatment to reduce the risk of bacteria getting into the puntures.
- Use Arnica: Using arnica balm can help reduce any swelling or bruising.
- No exercise: 24 hours, this can increase your blood pressure and increase your risk of bruising and swelling. Also in the instance of toxin treatment increasing the temperature of your body can decrease the effectiveness of the treatment.