How to choose a Cosmetic Practitioner or Clinic.

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There are a huge variety of options available when it comes to choosing a cosmetic practitioner or cosmetic practice, so how do you know which practitioner or clinic is right for you?

Qualifications and Experience.
In Australia, injectable procedures can be performed by doctors, registered nurses, nurse-practitioners and in some states, enrolled nurses under supervision. Unfortunately, there is currently no recognised training pathway to become an accredited injector, so the majority of patients are unaware of the qualifications of their injector.

For this reason, it is a good idea to ask how experienced your injector is. I believe it takes a minimum of 2 years to develop the necessary skills to be a good injector and to develop a good understanding of facial aesthetics.

Does your practitioner regular attend educational and up-skilling events such as conferences and workshops?
It is important to stay abreast of new developments, attend educational events and workshops to constantly improve and refine skills. Medical education is a continuous process, many of us never stop learning and this allows us to achieve better and safer outcomes for our patients.

Word of mouth
This is an excellent way to find an injector. If your friends or colleagues look natural and refreshed rather than overdone, ask them who they see? Most people are happy to recommend their favourite cosmetic practitioner, particularly if they are happy with their results.

Aesthetic ideals and values

  • Do the aesthetics of your practitioner match your own?
  • Do they and their staff have the look you want to achieve?
  • If you want to look natural and not “done”, it’s probably a good idea to choose a practitioner who shares those values.

Does your practitioner have before and after photos of their own work to show you?
Before and after photos of real patients are a useful tool to see your practitioners work but can also be used to give you an idea of realistic results.

Consultation and treatment planning

At your initial consultation, your practitioner needs to get to know you, find out about your medical history and history of cosmetic treatments and find out what you are wanting to achieve with your next cosmetic treatment.

We then need to do an assessment and develop an individualized treatment plan. Your treatment plan often includes skin care and laser for skin quality, anti-wrinkle injections for dynamic facial lines, and dermal fillers for volume loss and deeper lines.  This is why we insist on an initial consultation, and rarely treat on the same day.

Remember, injectable procedures are medical procedures with potential risks and side effects and should not be rushed. Planning around social engagements may also be necessary. You should not feel pressured to consent to treatment on the day.

Range of services offered

  • Does your practitioner or clinic only offer injectables?
  • Do they have skincare?
  • Do they have a range of devices to treat all your skin issues?

While it is not essential to offer a wide range of services, we believe that in order to achieve the best outcomes for our patients, it is important to treat the skin holistically. Injectables alone, may not give optimum results if skin imperfections and skin quality is not also addressed.

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All of us have a budget in mind when we are having aesthetic treatments, but unfortunately discounted medical aesthetic treatments rarely achieve the results you are looking for.

Instead, it is better to have a treatment plan and be fully aware of the costs involved, so you can plan and budget for treatments appropriately over time.

Be aware that you are not just paying for the product or service you are receiving, but you are paying for the skills and experience of your practitioner and the backup and support they can offer you.

While a clinic may be able to offer you a cheaper price, you have to ask yourself why? This may be a ploy to get you in the door, and then they will try and upsell you on their other services. This is common for chain or shopping centre clinics, who catch your eye with an A-frame outside offering cheap injectables, then upsell you a hair removal laser package or similar. Newer practitioners may also offer cheaper prices to attract new clients.

Aftercare and follow-up
Once you have chosen a practitioner and had a treatment, it is important that the practitioner or clinic has appropriate aftercare and follow up arrangements in place. These are some of the factors to consider:

• Have you been given clear aftercare instructions?
• Do you know what to do if you experience side effects?
• Do you have after hours contact arrangements if something doesn’t look or feel right?
• Is medical support available if your practitioner is a nurse?
• Have you been given an appointment to follow-up and check your result after the treatment?

All of these factors can impact your choice of practitioner and clinic, so the experience is as enjoyable and safe as possible and delivers the results you are looking for.

Author: Dr Jenny Kimmins