Are you aware of these dangers? Lifting the lid on the aesthetics industry
Jessica Ward | 25th July 2023
It is a well known fact that the aesthetics industry has grown massively over the past few years. The rise in social media filters and the pressure for us to look “picture perfect” has attracted a growing number of young people towards the industry, in the hope that they too, will come away looking just like a Kardashian.
I personally have no aversion to the aesthetics industry, in fact, I think I could benefit hugely from it. As a woman in her thirties, I am beginning to notice the signs of ageing. The grey hairs are making an appearance, and since childbirth I’ve noticed a dramatic decline in my once youthful features, thanks to the postnatal hormone upheaval, and of course the child that was pulled out of my body, as well as the lack of sleep that goes hand in hand with motherhood.
So when it comes to having the odd tweakment, I am all for it! In fact, I’ve been longing for some tear trough filler for some time now, as the one area of my face I am drawn to every time I look in the mirror, is those baggy, sleep deprived eyes.
In my opinion, the term tweakment is a very light, nonchalant turn of phrase. It makes me think its just a prick here and there and voila, you’ve de-aged 5 years. As I begun to dig into the aesthetics industry and learn exactly what skills are needed to perform these “tweaks” I have to admit, the reality is far from.
Of course, the experienced medical professionals (Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses & Dentists) who have had years of medical training make it look easy, and of course when you are performing the same procedure day after day, whether it be a routine surgery or a new crown, you are going to make it look easy. But it is important to remember that just because it looks easy, doesn’t mean that it is! How many of you, after seeing a surgeon perform a surgery think, ah that looks easy, I’ll give it a go myself next time?
This is the current hot topic when it comes to aesthetics. A currently unregulated industry with a simple three day course being all you need to start your very own aesthetics business, a course open to anyone and everyone, as long as you have the cash available to part with, obviously!
Listen to Dr Natalie on Spotify.
I recently listened to the “Let’s Talk About Parenting” podcast episode with hosts Dr Ruth and Laura Curtis who interviewed Dr Natalie, a doctor and women’s health surgeon who left the NHS and set up an aesthetics practice called The Doctor & Company.
In the episode she speaks at great length on the current difficulties the aesthetics industry faces, and the sheer amount of unqualified practitioners that are putting patients at great risk.
“As a medical professional, there is a huge risk for us, as if we messed up with a patient we could have our licenses removed. It would absolutely destroy our career. There is nothing at all, legal or otherwise in place, that can be done to someone who is not regulated or licensed, for them it is totally risk free.”
“Most importantly, you cannot tell me, that someone like me, who has had over seven years medical training, with a doctorate degree and is a trained surgeon, that I am equally as qualified as Joe Bloggs who has had no medical training whatsoever, but has done a three day course. It’s absolutely ridiculous.” Said Dr Natalie.
It is worth noting that Dr Natalie does offer aesthetics training, but she will only train fully qualified medical professionals as she believes that these are the only professions that should be carrying out these procedures.
I went to visit Dr Natalie myself in her North Manchester practice. I went in as a patient, in the beginning we filled out all the necessary consent forms and I spoke to Dr Natalie about my concerns, all which felt similar to that of a doctors consultation (which it absolutely was). I told Dr Natalie my concerns about my eye bags and the general feeling that since becoming a parent, I felt that the ageing process had rapidly begun.
She looked at me, quite intently and she made a plan. She described the areas which she felt would benefit and explained to me why she was targeting the area and what it would do as a result. She only addressed the issues I brought up and although the plan involved places I would never have thought of, after her explanation I felt confident that she knew what she was doing and after hearing her speak on the podcast and on her social media videos, I felt reassured that I could put my trust in her.
Dr Natalie is all about enhancing natural features. She told me that she has declined patients before and spoke about what she does if patients come in for the wrong reasons or with unrealistic expectations.
“Quite often I get patients come in that will show me a picture of themselves with a snapchat filter on or show me a picture of an influencer and say I want to look like that. I have to very nicely explain, that I can’t make them look like that, that a plastic surgeon can’t make them look like that, and in the case of the influencer, they don’t even look like that.”
Before we got started she did explain to me the risks. I was going to have some filler in three different places. The amount of filler would be minimal and the risks associated with filler are minimal, when applied correctly. The tear trough filler is one of the trickier procedures and mine would be done with a cannula. This process reduces the risk of the injectable piercing through any veins and reduces the chance of a lumpy appearance as a cannula is more precise and controlled.
I was warned about the bruising that may happen after the procedure and with a somewhat clear diary ahead I was happy to proceed.
Jessica Ward undergoes treatment.
The procedure itself was relatively pain free. I was given numbing injections to begin with, which were probably the most painful part of the whole process. As I was lying in the chair as Dr Natalie injected various parts of my face, the importance of being worked on by a medical professional really stuck in my mind. The intricacy involved in the procedure, especially the tear troughs really surprised me. I knew that Dr Natalie knew what she was doing, and she more than had the credentials, but I couldn’t imagine letting anyone less qualified do what she was doing to me.
I just happened to be one of those unlucky few, and found that I had bruised quite a bit as the days went on, luckily, it just effected one eye.
I even sent Dr Natalie a message to ask if it was normal (she had already warned me about it, and I was 90% sure it was but, there is always a 10% worst case scenario worry that goes through my head) she understood my concerns and told me that unfortunately it is totally normal, but that it would take a few days before starting to improve. I felt instantly reassured, and I have to say she responded to me almost immediately (note, I did send the message in office hours) which I found very impressive.
One of the major benefits of having a procedure done by a medical professional is the aftercare. The dissolving agents for filler are kept on hand in Dr Natalies clinics, which you will most likely find with most medically trained aesthetics professionals.
All in all, I am very happy with the results. I am still sporting a black eye but luckily the weather is lovely so I don’t look out of place in oversized sunglasses. The other side of my face has totally settled down and I can see exactly what I will look like on the other side once the bruising is gone and the results are brilliant.
Jessica Ward before & after treatment.
It has not drastically changed my appearance in any way, but my face looks more youthful and I am no longer drawn to those baggy eyes when I look in the mirror. The treatment I had will last for 12-18 months and I am confident I will go back to Dr Natalie for a top up when the time comes.
In my book, if I can trust her to perform a major surgery, such as a c section (I had to have an emergency section with my daughter so I know all about those) which I know from speaking to her, that she has in fact done many, then I can trust her to perform on my face.
If you are thinking of having any kind of tweakment done, I implore you to seek out a medical professional. There are so many things that could go wrong, and these procedures should not be taken lightly. There is a lot that still needs to be done from a regulation point of view, so please, do your research.
For more information about Dr Natalie and the services she offers, head on over to www.drnatalie.co.uk