Superdrug offers Botox and filler treatments

High street beauty retailer Superdrug has begun offering toxin and filler treatments at one of its London stores, with plans to roll the service out nationwide.

The ‘Skin Renew’ service, in partnership with Botox manufacturer Allergan, will offer the non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments at prices starting from £99.

However, cosmetic practitioners have not welcomed the move by the UK’s second biggest health and beauty retailer.

High street setting

‘I don’t think it’s a good idea at all’, Dr Dirk Kremer from London’s Harley Street Aesthetics told

‘Even though Botox and filler treatments are considered non-surgical, they are in fact invasive and can cause more damage than the layman thinks.

‘When undergoing these so-called “blind” procedures, needles or canulas are penetrated through the patient’s facial skin and muscles to place the Botox or filler in the right places.

‘The practitioner can’t see where he or she places the needle and the product, hence the name.

‘You can imagine that if the needles are inserted in the wrong place, nerve damage can be caused, leading to skin necrosis, blindness or paralysis of the muscled causing deformation of a patient’s face.

‘This might be temporary but it can also be permanent.

‘These treatments should still be considered as medical, and I can’t see a cosmetic doctor, nurse or even plastic surgeon working in such a unprofessional setup.

‘Offering these procedures in a drugstore lowers an invasive procedure to the same level as a product being sold.

‘The customer can then underestimate the risks that accompany Botox and fillers.’

Questions were also raised over whether a high street store provides a clinically hygienic environtment for carrying out cosmetic procedures.

‘Will a drugstore with the traffic of thousands of people per day will be able to guarantee their patients a sterile environment?’, questioned Dr Kremer.

‘An infection is one of the complications that can occur after having one of these procedures, and as a clinician I place a great deal of importance on having a sterile setting to work in.’

Quality of care

Furthermore, Dr Munir Somji, chief medical officer at Dr Medispa, expressed concerns that Superdrug’s plans could reduce the overall quality of care in non-surgical cosmetic treatments, which could cause a rise in revision treatments.

‘The provision of Botox and fillers follow very strict guidelines, such as requiring a face-to-face consultation prior to administration and being regulated by the Care Quality Commission’, Dr Somji said.

‘You also need to have medical qualifications to provide this service, not only for the initial procedure but also to handle any potential complications such as blindness, stroke and skin death.

‘I worry that with this service there will be no standardisation of care, so patients won’t get all get the same quality of service.

‘Twenty per cent of my practice is correcting mistakes from unqualified or “just qualified” practitioners, and this can represent an further strain on the NHS.

‘Overall, I think this is a huge undertaking for Superdrug to offer such a service safely and responsibly.’

Meeting demand?

Superdrug commented that its Skin Renew service is a response to increasing demand for cosmetic treatments from customers, caused in part by the influence of TV shows such Love Island, where numerous contestants had verified that they had undergone toxin and filler treatments.

Superdrug sponsors Love Island.

‘We’re listening to what people are telling us they would like, which is the reassurance that if they choose to have aesthetic treatments then it will be administered by highly qualified nurse practitioners in a private consultation room’, commented Caris Newson, head of health and wellbeing services at Superdrug.

‘Our minimum age for this service is currently 25 to ensure that, when supported by a full clinical consultation, our customers are able to make the best decisions about engaging in aesthetic treatments.’

Customers wishing to take advantage of Superdrug’s Skin Renew service must first book over the phone and attend a consultation with a qualified nurse before receiving treatment.



Author at Aesthetic Dentistry Today

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