Rolling Meadows, Ill. — A recent California case in which a patient died after being treated by an unlicensed practitioner using a non-approved injectable should serve as a red flag for consumers, according to a statement issued recently by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS).
While acknowledging that the California case is an “extreme example of what the wrong product in the wrong hands can do,” ASDS officials are urging consumers to check physicians’ qualifications and credentials before undergoing any procedure. The officials say serious side effects, such as infection, scarring, pigmentation disorders and as in the California case, even death, can occur following procedures performed independently by non-physician practitioners who lack the medical training to diagnose and treat the ailments and adequately combat complications if they occur.
The ASDS advises consumers to take the following precautions before undergoing any cosmetic procedure:
- Make sure a doctor is on site.
- Check credentials to be sure the doctor performing or overseeing the procedure is board certified in dermatology or another specialty with equivalent training and experience.
- Ask questions no matter how minor they may seem.
- Be sure a medical history is taken.
- Insist on having an initial evaluation by a dermasurgeon to determine if the treatment is appropriate for skin type.
- Ask the doctor to talk about pain-management options.
- Ask to see the product. Many companies are now adding safety features directly to their products, so that consumers know what is being used and who manufactured it. For example, Allergan has added a holographic film to its Botox vials with the Allergan name clearly visible to physicians and patients.