Aesthetic Medicine
Aesthetic Medicine



Aesthetic practitioners asked to help distribute vaccine

Aesthetic doctors and nurses are being asked to lend their skills to supporting the Government’s roll out of the coronavirus vaccine scheme in the UK.

The Telegraph revealed that The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had “expressed a strong interest in using cosmetic doctors and nurses” to help administer the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Many clinics and practitioners have already signed up to the scheme, including The Cosmetic Skin Clinic, headed up by Dr Tracy Mountford and owned by parent company The Private Clinic Group, whose 100+ doctors, surgeons and nurses have volunteered to administer the vaccine across its 16 sites.

The Private Clinic Group chief executive Valentina Petrone told The Telegraph: “…We have contacted the Government and offered our full support to all of our NHS colleagues and friends at this hugely challenging time. “The nature of our business also puts us in the fortunate position to already have inhouse technologies which allow us to test our staff and patients daily for covid-19.”

Other cosmetic doctors and aesthetic nurses have expressed their interest in signing up for the vaccine distribution effort or have already applied, including British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) president Dr Uliana Gout. She commented: “Our members have a wealth of medical experience and expertise that is of great value during this unprecedented national emergency and we’re delighted how many members have promoted the vaccination campaign and have applied to be vaccinators.”

BCAM is encouraging all its members to sign up. The College emailed its members with a link to the NHS website and suggested they could also contact their local GP surgeries to offer assistance, as Primary Care Networks are organising at a local level with the Clinical Commissioning Group.

The knowledge and skill required to dilute and mix botulinum toxin means aesthetic practitioners are well placed to help deliver the vaccine, as evidenced by BCAM member Dr Teri Johnson of Cheshire Lasers Clinic, who said: “Who would have thought that mixing Botox means we have this skill off to a fine art! Fortunately, I am still a GP and was able to do a session at the local nursing home on my day off.”

There are both paid and volunteer roles available for those currently working in the NHS and retired clinicians, as well as for members of the general public, in different capacities.

Moderna vaccine found to interact with HA dermal fillers, causing mild side effects

The coronavirus vaccine from Moderna has been found to cause side effects in people with hyaluronic acid facial dermal fillers.

When reviewing the vaccine in a trial, the FDA advisory committee noted that several participants experienced temporary facial swelling localised in the areas they had filler in their face after receiving the vaccination. One of the participants had filler two weeks before the vaccination and another, six months prior. FDA medical officer Dr Rachel Zhang said that in Moderna’s own phase 3 trial three people developed facial or lip swelling after receiving the vaccine. Two had filler in their cheeks within six months of vaccination and the other had lip filler two days after receiving the vaccine.

However, in all cases the reactions were small and easily treated by medical staff with the administration of steroids or antihistamines, and shouldn’t stop people with filler taking the vaccine, said the doctors on the FDA trial committee.

Dr Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist, told Health: “A filler is a foreign body and when your immune system is switching on due to the vaccine it would make sense that areas that have foreign bodies that aren’t normally in your body would also have inflammation – this is because your immune system is designed to counteract any foreign substance.”

This kind of inflammatory response in people with dermal filler has also been known to happen with vaccines against other viruses, though it hasn’t yet been reported with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The reaction isn’t guaranteed to occur in everyone who has HA filler and receives the Moderna vaccine.


Study finds vascular occlusion less likely with cannulas

A study has found that vascular occlusion may be less likely to occur when dermal fillers are delivered with a cannula compared to a needle.

The retrospective cohort study, by Dr Murad Alam and colleagues from the department of dermatology at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in the US, looked at 1.7 million injections among 370 dermatologists, evaluating injection practices and volumes and prior intravascular occlusion events. The research group found one occlusion per 6,410 injections with needles compared to one occlusion per 40,882 injections via cannulas.

This indicated a 77.1% lower predicted instance of occlusion with a cannula compared to a needle injection. The study also found that dermatologists with more than five years of experience had a 70.1% lower chance of causing occlusion.

In terms of type of filler, no significant association was identified between cannulas and the type of product used when occlusion did occur. However, multivariate analysis found poly-L-lactic acid had 72.5% lower odds of occlusion than hyaluronic acidbased filler when used with a needle.

“Cannulas appear to be less likely to be associated with occlusions than needles,” said the authors. “But based on the data analysed, it appears both types of instruments are safe, with occlusions occurring in, on average, fewer than one per 5,000 syringes when injections are performed by dermatologists.”


New service allows patients to receive botulinum toxin injections at home from practitioners

A first-of-its-kind at-home toxin injection service has launched in London. UNNDOO operates from an online platform that allows patients to book botulinum toxin treatments to be administered at their home. The service was founded by dental surgeon, qualified facial aesthetics practitioner and chief medical officer of UNNDOO Dr Pujaa Patel; and her partner Vishal Ladwa, chief executive of the company.

The platform works with doctors, dentists and nurse prescribers with a minimum of two years’ experience and evidence of having provided at least 50 toxin treatments. The website allows users to book treatments with these aesthetic professionals by filtering by postcode radius, appointment date and time and desired treatment. Each practitioner’s background and PRSB number is also displayed on the site for prospective patients to check.

With safety the primary concern of the service according to Patel and Ladwa, every practitioner arrives to their appointments equipped with a kit containing a single-use, sealed kit, EpiPen, antihistamine medication and a disposable sharps bin, which is collected by UNNDOO post-treatment and treated as clinical waste. Patients receive three post-treatment calls from their practitioner – after one day, three days and one week – and are provided with an emergency hotline number should they encounter any problems. The same practitioner visits the patient again after two weeks should a top-up treatment be required.

Treatments available include toxin treatments on the frown lines, laughter lines, bunny lines and forehead, as well as an eyebrow lift and gummysmile reduction treatment and injections for jaw slimming, teeth grinding and excessive sweating. A face-to-face consultation takes place prior to every treatment, in which the practitioner carries out a mental health assessment and discusses the pre-completed medical history form, potential side effects and aftercare with the patient.

Dr Patel commented: “We are very excited to be able to offer our busy clients clinic-standard treatments in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. We’re 100% committed to providing these services in a safe and hygienic way – it is always at the top of our agenda, alongside providing the best, most professional procedures possible. We have received such positive feedback from our clients so far – they are thrilled not to have to travel to undergo regular treatments, enabling them to manage their time more efficiently.” 

Destination Skin branches out into at-home teeth-straightening

Aesthetic clinic group Destination Skin has announced a new venture. Destination Smile is an at-home teeth-straightening service and the group’s first expansion into dentistry.

With “smart and affordable treatment plans” customised by orthodontists, the service allows patients to start and complete their treatment remotely with clinical oversight from GDC-registered dentists.

Patients purchase a kit to take impressions of their teeth which are then reviewed by Destination Smile’s dental team. A personalised treatment plan is created with customised clear aligners delivered to the patient’s home. The treatment is then controlled by the patient with progress monitored by said in-house dentists. Also included in the treatment cost is a video consultation, X-ray review service, aftercare retainers and home teeth-whitening kit.

Destination Smile is also planning to expand the service with in-personal consultation and management appointments at 16 clinics in the UK, pending covid-19 restrictions. Anders George, regional manager of Sk:n Clinics, which owns Destination Skin, commented: “We’re thrilled to launch Destination Smile as part of our growing family of brands, allowing us to delve into the dental industry, offering our customers that sparkling smile that they’ve always dreamed of.

“...We have great confidence in the future of the industry, and we look forward to giving our clients an enhanced experience in and out of clinic, once it is safe to do so.”


Aesthetic nurses welcome new members organisation

A new membership organisation has launched for aesthetic nurses. Founded by independent nurse prescriber and Healthxchange clinical lead Amanda Wilson, ICAN (International College of Aesthetic Nurses) is designed exclusively for nursing professionals in aesthetic medicine and focused on ensuring members are unified, ethical and maintain the highest standards of practice.

There are two levels of membership available – Beginners (£200 per year) and Advanced (£250 per year). Beginners receive access to a shadow programme with ICAN’s team of expert nurses, free conferences, revalidation support, a prescriber buddy list and use of the ICAN logo. In addition to these, benefits for Advanced members include discount on courses with training provider partners, discount with other partners and access to regional networking and social events. Non-prescribing nurses or those new to aesthetics will also receive mentorship support on their V300 prescribing course.

An online conference will take place on 23-24 February, split into two agendas for beginner and advanced members. Speakers include Dr Nestor Demosthenous, Healthxchange’s Dr John Curran, Aesthetic Medicine editorial board member Emma Davies, independent nurse prescriber Lisa Whiting and Patricia Goodwin, medical advisor to Sinclair Pharma.

The group currently has 100 members since launching in December 2020, and membership is free until April 2021 in light of the financial restraints placed on many by the pandemic. 


Mesoestetic gets a new look

Spanish cosmeceutical skincare and aesthetic treatment brand Mesoestetic has revealed a rebrand.

Designed to reflect “the values and philosophy of our pharmaceutical company”, the brand says its new visual identity and motto – “the element for skincare experts” – encompasses its values and highlights its scientific origins.

Mesoestetic is also in the process of restructuring its portfolio of products based on indications and channels, with new packaging to clearly define the products’ intended usage already being rolled out. Clinic partners will receive new marketing materials reflecting the new image.

“We exist to provide scientific rigour to the industry of professional cosmetics and cosmetic medicine, and to meet the needs of the most demanding professionals and consumers. Therefore, today we redefine our world image, through which we can show the world all what we are”, commented Fernando González, Mesoestetic marketing director.

Sales of weight-loss balloon doubled in 2020

Sales of the Allurion Elipse weight-loss balloon increased 50% year on year in 2020, reflecting a wider demand for weight-management services and treatments influenced by the pandemic.

Statistics collated by Allurion from Facebook and Google both demonstrate an increase in searches for weight-loss solutions and products to support a healthier lifestyle. Facebook reported that 55% of consumers are more interested post-covid-19 in products and services promising health and wellbeing, while Google found a 20% increase in interest across the weight loss category search after countries left initial lockdowns.

Dr David Eccleston, clinical director of MediZen, which offers the Elipse balloon, commented: “With obesity being a risk factor for heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes and cancer, but also as a predictive factor in the potential severity and outcome of covid-19 infection, now is the time to make 2021 the year in which you finally reach your weight goal.”

Big spending on beauty treatments predicted for 2021

UK consumers are planning to spend £31 billion on beauty treatments in 2021, according to new research, which also found that 40% of people view the coronavirus lockdown as a good opportunity to enhance their appearance while not in the office. The research by teeth alignment brand Smile Direct Club found that the average person is set to spend around £1,515 on beauty treatments in 2021, with just under half (47%) of those surveyed saying they want to invest in weight loss and keeping fit this year. Other popular treatments include teeth whitening (47%), teeth aligner therapy (26%) and anti-ageing treatments (22%), the report found.

Men are more concerned about improving their looks for screen time on Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams compared to women, with 15% of men wanting to look better on video calls and 7% of women, the data discovered.

When it comes to aesthetic procedures, breast enlargements are on consumers’ minds (11%), as well as hair transplants (11%), liposuction (10%), nose reshaping (8%) and lip fillers (8%).  


Merz Aesthetics releases free business webinars

Aiming to help aesthetic business owners through a difficult period, Merz Aesthetics has released a library of free business webinars on Vimeo. The series is not product related and is presented by independent marketing and brand consultants Adam Haroun and Eimear McManus. Topics include patient segmentation, pricing methods to maximise turnover and enhancing patients’ experiences.

Sinclair Pharma teams up with practitioners on new website

Sinclair Pharma has launched an expert-led website for consumers called Aesthetic Insider. The website aims to educate prospective patients with impartial information about the myriad of aesthetic, health and wellness treatments available through sharing insights from world-renowned aesthetics practitioners. The content also forms the basis of an alphabetised library of broader topics about health and wellness.

Allergan appoints CoolSculpting celebrity brand ambassador

Television and radio presenter Lisa Snowdon is Allergan’s new celebrity brand ambassador for CoolSculpting, after she underwent a programme of the non-invasive fat-reduction treatment on her inner thighs. She commented: “CoolSculpting approached me following my treatment that I had personally organised and paid for... I had a positive experience with the treatment, and I have been very happy with my results… I believe in the treatment and I want men and women to know this option is out there for them!”

Celluma offers Light Therapy Certification programme

LED light therapy-device manufacturer Celluma has joined up with Wynyard Aesthetics Academy to offer an online Light Therapy Certification programme. Taught by independent nurse prescriber Pam Cushing, the course is titled The Science Behind Light Therapy and its Clinical Application, and is split into three segments – The Science, The Clinical Application and Q&A. Courses will run on 15 February and 15 March. Delegates who complete all three segments will receive an accredited Certificate of Attendance with CPD points from Wynyard.

BMLA appoints new executive board member

Aesthetic laser practitioner and regular Aesthetic Medicine contributor Kerry Belba has been voted onto The British Medical Laser Association (BMLA) committee as an executive board member, making her the first nonmedical practitioner to be voted onto the board. She joins a committee dedicated to informing national policy and ensuring continual improvement of safety and education standards in the field of medical and aesthetic lasers.

BTL opens office in Ireland

BTL Aesthetics has opened a new Dublinbased office. The BTL Ireland office will cover both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and will be headed up by Dee Mac Mahon. With 15 years’ experience in the aesthetic industry, Dee brings expertise across a breadth of aesthetic specialities. “BTL Ireland will offer leading expert service, training, and support to all our valued customers, and I am so excited to get started,” she said.

Lynton launches masterclasses

Lynton Lasers has launched three new masterclasses: Skin Rejuvenation, Body Sculpting and Fungal Nail, Warts and Verrucas, offering a detailed insight into specific areas. The aesthetic device manufacturer has also appointed Dr Ahmed El Houssieny as a new brand ambassador to provide promotional, educational and support materials in accordance with the Lynton Lumina device. Meanwhile, Steven Newell has been promoted to export manager. Newell, previously a business development consultant, will oversee the expansion of the Lynton brand and portfolio globally.

Harpar Grace expands team

Aesthetic brands distributor Harpar Grace has expanded its digital, marketing and strategic support for customers with the appointment of Spiritthoula Koukoufikis, who joins Harpar Grace as strategic development manager, while Lindsay Burden joins as marketing manager. Koukoufikis joins to leverage marketing, sales, PR and account development opportunities. Burden will be responsible for developing and implementing integrated marketing and activity plans.

This article appears in the February 2021 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine

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This article appears in the February 2021 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine