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Transparency You should be looking for total transparency in a practitioner; one who leads and presents with their qualifications. The government has proposed new regulations with a standardisation of training, one of them being a Level 7 in Aesthetic Medicine. This means that practitioners would be regulated and rigorously examined to a certain standard. Look for this level of qualification in someone that is a non-surgeon or non-doctor. Clinical Environment The procedure should always be administered in a clinical environment, that is sanitary and hygienic with practitioners that are candid with their level of experience. It really is in your best interest to plumb the cosmetic waters for a fully licensed practitioner; non-surgical does not mean nonmedical. Abroad with caution! Avoid the cheaper clinics abroad. The proliferation of cheaper clinics poses a significant risk to impressionable men and women. Dr Somji lamented that medical tourism is here to stay, and that there’s a worryingly increasing number of unscrupulous providers, working overseas and in the UK aesthetics industry, who are offering cheaper prices for counterfeit, unregulated or diluted products. These are then administered by untrained, unqualified people. Their alluring price tags preys on the vulnerability and naivety of young people who blindly follow advice online (and celebrity endorsements on Instagram). Aftercare If you’ve spent the time and money on a procedure, why would you want to ruin it by poor aftercare? “One of the most frustrating things,” he says, “that medical tourism presents, is the lack of aftercare.” When you’ve had a procedure abroad, typically you fly back, and even the flight alone can pose significant risks to your aftercare. Once you’ve arrived back in the UK, there are very few clinics that can manage these complications, so inevitably, the NHS and emergency services then have to bear the brunt of the pressure associated with it. Aftercare should always be discussed as part of the initial consultation and considered thoroughly beforehand, and given in a written format.

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