Botox, officially known as the botulinum toxin, is a prescription only medicine, regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Unlicensed treatments are illegal and can potentially put customers at risk of facial scarring and permanent disfigurement.
There are currently only 3 brands of botulinum toxin which are licensed for use in the United Kingdom for cosmetic procedures, known as anti wrinkle injections, namely Azzalure®, Bocouture® and Botox®.
However, some practitioners are known to offer cheaper, unregulated alternatives and they may not be being prescribed by medical professionals as the law dictates they must.
A face to face pre-consultation should always take place with a prescriber of the Botox Botulinum product, where they will go through a customer’s medical history and suitability for the treatment.
People are being urged to use the following checklist when meeting with a practitioner:
- Check the name of the product and whether it is licensed, and how and where it is made - products such as Botulax, reNTox and Innotox are not authorised medicines for use in the UK
- Check the practitioners’ qualifications, experience and whether they are trained to deliver aesthetics, such as injectables
- Check what insurance cover the practitioner has
- Check that the product vial is unopened before use, and that the product is used solely on the customer it has been prescribed for
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said: “We have information to suggest potentially dangerous, unlicensed, cheap anti wrinkle treatments are taking place in Wolverhampton and the wider Black Country.
“This is illegal and is being done by unscrupulous individuals who are putting people at risk of permanent disfigurement to make a quick buck. We would urge anyone with any information or concerns or indeed any practitioners who want additional support to contact our environmental health team without delay.”
The warning comes after the government announced their intention to introduce a licensing regime for non surgical cosmetic procedures, such as Botox and fillers, in a bid to crack down on unregulated cosmetic procedures.
The licensing scheme would aim to bring in consistent standards that people carrying out non surgical cosmetic procedures must meet, as well as setting out hygiene and safety standards for premises.
Any member of the public with any information or concerns, or any practitioners who want additional support, can contact City of Wolverhampton Council’s environmental health team via Environmental.Health@wolverhampton.gov.uk