The other day, we discussed the surprising lack of regulations surrounding who can operate cosmetic laser, light, and energy devices. Well, a similar problem exists for the facial injectable market, which includes products such as Allergan's well-known BOTOX Cosmetic.
 
Similar to cosmetic procedures such as laser hair removal, facial injectables have emerged as an extremely lucrative and easy-to-perform procedure. As a result, a wide variety of practitioners have jumped on board and are offering these procedures in addition to the ?core? practitioners (dermatologists and plastic surgeons). So far, these ?non-core? practitioners have included everyone from dentists, to nurses, to OB/GYNs. (I don?t know about you, but I think if my OB/GYN offered to inject anything into my face, I?d be highly skeptical. Nonetheless, some people seem to be ok with it.)
 
One interesting key difference between the laser, light, and energy device market and facial injectables is that dermatologists and plastic surgeons have been very vocal about how regulatory bodies and manufacturers should restrict sales to only core practitioners. It's easy to suspect that the motivation here is purely monetary, but there are definitely cases of untrained practitioners using injectable products messing up the procedure pretty badly. Events like the PIP breast implant scandal probably brought some further scrutiny on this situation, even though it isn?t exactly the same class of products.
 
As a result, some regulatory bodies are considering tightening the regulations to limit the use of facial injectable products by non-core practitioners. For example, the UK recently closed a loophole that had been allowing nurses to inject botulinum toxins. They?re also considering a similar move for dermal fillers, preventing nurses and many aestheticians from legally administering these treatments.
 
A crackdown on the non-core practitioners will certainly impact the facial injectable market. After all, one of the main reasons behind the fast growth of this market is the fact that these procedures are so widely accessible. When and exactly what the impact would be, however, is still too far off to guess. If similar changes are made in other markets, such as the laser, light, and energy device market, there could be a major shift in dynamics in the aesthetics industry as a whole.

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