- There is a thought provoking article entitled "This is how I’d look with tweakments — but I’d never freeze my face" by Anna Murphy, Fashion Director at The Times, in this week's The Times Magazine. Sadly though it is not an entirely balanced one.
- That Anna is fearful of needles and toxin is a common and understandable emotion. However, it is a personal feeling. To only use examples of extreme or bad work is convenient, but arguably misleading for many people looking for guidance in this area. There are many examples of women and men who have injectables to a positive effect, avoiding the scary bot look. I fully agree with Anna that this is becoming a worrying norm, that many people sadly aspire to.
- Ultimately, it is the duty of the practitioner to agree responsible treatment goals. This is why the proposed new regulation of the industry in the UK is welcome, long overdue and fully supported by many relevant organisations including the British Beauty Council.
- Botulinum toxin is an essential and unique treatment in a multitude of therapeutic clinical settings. It is literally a life-changing treatment for a huge number of people. That it also has a number of aesthetic indications now, if delivered by an appropriately trained professional, can have a hugely positive effect on both appearance and mood.
- Additionally, there is an ever-growing body of robust research demonstrating this positive effect. If this means in certain individuals they can avoid the potential myriad side effects of antidepressant medication, it is yet another helpful therapeutic use of toxin.
- Medical advice often varies from one professional to another and to state that toxin cannot be continued over 60 years of age is incorrect and misleading. Stating that modern hyaluronic acid dermal fillers create ‘gaps’ in your skin is also inaccurate.
- The first hyaluronic acid based biomedical product, Healon, transformed many aspects of ophthalmic surgery. It has also been used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee as a joint fluid supplement, with many other well established and safe clinical uses.
- There is also a group of patients that require dermal fillers (often in large volumes) to address and improve facial disfigurements and deep scarring, once surgical options are no longer possible. These conditions require long term and repeated treatments and reading unsupported comments like this will inevitably create unnecessary anxiety.
(The comments section for this article on The Times website has been disabled but I would be happy to discuss this topic with Anna Murphy in more detail.)