Why it is important to use a doctor for injectable cosmetic treatments

Why it is important to use a doctor for injectable cosmetic treatments
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Many clinics offer cosmetic injectables in Australia, including beauticians, laser clinics, and hair salons, as well as highly trained cosmetic dermatologists (like ENRICH Clinic).

Why would you go to a hair salon or inexperienced beautician to get potentially dangerous substances injected into your face or body? Well, hopefully, you wouldn’t. Here’s why.

Australia is a world leader in medical standards

As cosmetics consumers, we rely on Australia’s stringent medical standards, including for our injectable cosmetic treatments. Unfortunately, the cosmetic injectables industry has sometimes fallen short, meaning some of these high standards have not been adhered to as strictly as we might like.

The Australian cosmetics industry has been seen as a cash cow, with little oversight or consequences for breaches in standards up until 2016. This lack of oversight has meant a clinic only needs to employ a registered nurse (possibly only on an hourly basis), have the nurse undergo the relevant injection training, and boom, you have a qualified injector.

Not to denigrate our fantastic cosmetic nurses! Nurse practitioners are an invaluable asset to any clinic and are crucial to administering laser treatments and other minimally invasive treatments. For injectables in and around your facial muscles, tissue and nerves, nothing beats the training or clinical experience of a doctor.

At ENRICH Clinic, only our highly trained and experienced doctors do cosmetic injections. We wouldn’t have it any other way. It may cost us more in the long run, but our results and safety profile speak for themselves.

Don’t accept less than the bestinjectable treatment by a doctor

Our doctors had over a decade of medical training behind them before entering cosmetics as a specialist area.

Our cosmetic doctors love what they do, putting their vast wealth of knowledge and experience behind every injection. They intimately know muscles, skin, the blood and nerve supply networks, but they also know faces and the nature of the liquids they inject.

Having a detailed understanding of facial anatomy means our cosmetic doctors get the most out of every drop of your injectables, but they do it safely. This knowledge and experience are incredibly important to us.

Any clinic offering cheap injectables is usually skimping somewhere along the line. It’s likely to be on either the qualifications and experience of the person giving you the injections or the quality of the product. Whom would you prefer?

What are the rules on who can inject?

In 2015 the Medical Board of Australia did an investigation and published a detailed set of guidelines that the Board is now taking measures to enforce.

You can, right now, go to a laser clinic or beautician in Australia and get muscle relaxant or dermal filler injections without seeing or speaking to a doctor at any point. In some cases, a nurse practitioner can prescribe cosmetic injections; however, it’s best to check the qualifications and training of your practitioner before you start.

The guidelines issued in 2016 are pretty specific. A patient must have ‘a mandatory consultation before a medical practitioner prescribes schedule 4 (prescription only) cosmetic injectables, either in person or by video consultation’. Also, only a trained medical practitioner can do your injections, which means a nurse or doctor.

What is a Schedule 4 medicine?

Muscle relaxants and most dermal fillers are Schedule 4 prescription-only medications. This scheduling means that these injections are considered a potentially dangerous drug or medicine, and so injections must be supervised by a medical practitioner – a doctor or nurse practitioner.

It doesn’t mean that the doctor has to inject the substance; a trained nurse can do that. The doctor should be overseeing the patient in some way and have at least spoken to the patient if the nurse is not qualified to manage the whole procedure.

A clinic or group of clinics may have one doctor providing oversight to multiple trained nurse injectors. In some cases, a nurse may be driving between clinics doing injections, and a doctor may do a video consultation.

Interestingly, many dentists are starting to offer cosmetic injections as part of their services. Dentists have a unique perspective on facial anatomy, being jaw-driven professionals; however, they are not medical doctors and are not specifically trained in cosmetic procedures.

Aren’t muscle relaxant and dermal filler injections safe?

The two types of treatments being lumped together under ‘cosmetic injections’ is a little misleading in terms of what the procedures involve.

Muscle relaxants are used for a variety of medical and cosmetic purposes, for example as a treatment for migraines, pelvic floor dysfunction, and of course cosmetically for reducing wrinkle formation.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are considered as a medical implant injected into the space between the skin, muscle and blood vessels. Dermal fillers come in many shapes and sizes, for example, permanent dermal filler versus temporary dermal filler that absorbs over time.

If dermal filler of any kind is injected into a blood vessel by mistake, serious side-effects can occur, including blindness. Side effects can occur when the dermal filler is injected into a blood vessel feeding the eye, causing a blockage that prevents blood from reaching the eye. The eye tissue then dies due to lack of oxygen.

This occurrence is a preventable mistake that an experienced injector won’t make. There have been over 100 cases of filler-related vision loss globally, and with the increase in cosmetic treatments every year, these numbers may rise. In Australia, we have, fortunately,  have not had any cases such as this but inexperienced or poorly trained practitioners are more likely to make these kinds of devastating errors.

Injectables Quick Facts

  • A doctor must prescribe cosmetic injections.
  • Registered nurses can inject cosmetic injections under the supervision of a medical doctor and only after appropriate training.
  • It is illegal for a non-doctor or non-nurse to prescribe or administer cosmetic injections in Australia.

But doc, what could possibly go wrong?

Muscle relaxants are considered to be relatively noninvasive when injected by an experienced, trained practitioner. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing ever goes wrong – it can and does.

Sometimes adverse events aren’t a reflection of the skill of the practitioner but result from an underlying allergy or another unforeseen factor. Having someone trained to manage these types of emergencies is critical. You never know if it’s going to be you.

Possible side effects of muscle relaxant injections:

  • Swelling, bruising or pain at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • A drooping eyelid or eyebrows
  • Dry eyes or excessive tearing

Rarely, the muscle relaxant travels to other areas of the body, causing more severe symptoms such as muscle weakness, vision problems, issues talking, swallowing or breathing, or a loss of bladder control. These more serious effects can occur hours or weeks after injections.

Possible side effects of dermal filler injections

  • Injection of filler into blood vessels
  • Blindness
  • Stroke

If the dermal filler goes into a blood vessel, this is a medical emergency and must be dealt with appropriately immediately. Dermal fillers derived from particular acid that is a naturally occurring substance in the body, can also be dissolved quickly if any issue arises.

The risks of doing injectable treatments at home or an untrained salon

You can indeed get hold of unlicensed muscle relaxants and dermal filler injections or invent your own concoctions. It’s easy to get hold of syringes, and it might seem like a good idea to give these injections a try at home for a fraction of the price.

Just don’t. The risks of administering injectable treatments at home are unacceptably high.


Here’s a checklist by the Australian Government on what to look for in a reputable clinic.

Find a trained, experienced cosmetic doctor who has spent many years perfecting their craft. Come to ENRICH Clinic! We have the best in the business.

We are cosmetic injection expert doctors.
Contact us for a consultation – with a doctor!


Please Note:

*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Surgeries such as liposuction have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.

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