How safe are cosmetic dermatology house calls?
We thought about entitling this blog post what you should know about at-home cosmetic dermatology treatments but it may be more accurate to say what little we know about the safety and efficacy of such procedures in that setting.
Most often they involve Botox injections or other dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, and sometimes other cosmetic dermatology treatments. I hope we’ll never see laser treatments done this way because patients must have a qualified doctor within reach when these high tech medical procedures are being performed; one who understands the benefits and risks involved. Patients receiving laser treatments for dermatological conditions should have the same confidence in the quality of those procedures as they do when they undergo other medical care. Because using lasers constitutes the practice of medicine, safety guidelines are a must and Washington state law spells them out including where these treatments must be performed and by whom.
The bottom line: there’s a significant and important distinction between having cosmetic dermatology treatments done in a medi-spa or at-home versus a medical office. Namely, who is treating you? At Olympic Dermatology it’s a Board Certified Dermatologist or his personally trained Physician Assistant, Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Esthetician, all with many years of relevant dermatology experience and expertise. This is critical to patient safety, effective treatments and quality of care.
There’s a reason most liability insurance companies don’t cover cosmetic dermatology treatments outside the clinic setting, such as Botox parties. Also, there should be concerns about proper sterile technique and the proper storage of medical products in an at-home setting. We know there are just too many variables outside the medical professional’s control regarding safety including airborne molds, pets and pet dander, children and more. And what about the lack of proper lighting, positioning and ergonomics associated with these procedures? In a medical office we’re also able to maintain a consistent environment and temperature control for injectable products, such as Botox, Juvederm, Radiesse or Sculptra; again very important to patient safety and treatment effectiveness.
We also wonder whether performing cosmetic dermatology treatments outside of a medical office degrades the service and encourages patients to be nonchalant about important aftercare. When a service is done in a clinical setting, patients are more likely to take it seriously and can count on medical staff to help them understand and comply with pre and post procedure instructions.
Finally, when a complication from a service or treatment done outside of a medical office setting does occur, how is it handled and how quickly? Who does a follow up visit and when? In a medical office like Olympic Dermatology we’re able to address it immediately. For any cosmetic dermatology procedure, follow these smart recommendations for safe and effective treatment. Make sure:
- A board certified dermatologist is performing or overseeing any cosmetic dermatology treatments, and that the medical professional involved has sufficient years of experience, training and expertise.
- Your medical history is taken and there is a meaningful discussion with you about your expectations and what a reasonable outcome would be from the recommended procedure.
- You understand the alternative treatment options and any risks associated with the procedure, and that all your questions are answered before you give your consent to begin.
- You realize if the price sounds too good to be true, it is. Remember you’re paying not only for product used in a treatment, such as Botox, but the expert provider’s time and other costs associated with a medically safe, fully insured setting in which to have your procedure.
Remember, cosmetic dermatology treatments are medical procedures so expect professionalism and excellence in the quality and standards of care. You should have peace of mind knowing you’re in good hands and in the right setting. It’s no wonder the top three reasons cosmetic patients choose Olympic Dermatology are consistently: experienced providers, medical excellence and a positive reputation.