Regulation on Cosmetic Treatment

In the UK, The Department of Health is responsible for regulating and controlling providers of healthcare services.

According to the Department of Health, cosmetic surgery means operations that revise or change the appearance, colour, texture, structure or position of the bodily features to achieve what patients percieve to be more desirable.

Non-surgical cosmetic treatments means other procedures that revise or change the appearance, colour, texture, structure or position of the bodily features to achieve what patients perceive to be more desirable.

Procedures that have no impact on the structure of body tissue as well as tattooing and piercing are not considered to be cosmetic treatments, and are therefore not included by these rules.

Cosmetic surgery

All companies who provide cosmetic surgery MUST be registered with the Healthcare Commission. The Department of Health advise that you always ask to see the hospital or clinic's registration, and that you don't have cosmetic surgery from any hospital or clinic who cannot provide details of their annual registration.

The Healthcare Commission inspects all cosmetic surgery providers and publishes reports about their findings. Healthcare Commission inspection reports can be found on the Health Commission website.

Non-surgical cosmetic treatments

When it comes to non-surgical cosmetic treatments, only some treatment types are regulated.

Laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) clinics must be registered with the Healthcare Commission, and you should always ask to see details of their current registration, before undergoing any treatment.

Injection agents containing botulinum toxin, such as Botox, Dysport, and Vistabel, is prescription-only medicine and must be prescribed by a doctor, dentist, or a Nurse Independent Prescriber.

Other forms of non-surgical cosmetic treatment are not currently regulated, and they can be carried out by anyone. Therefore it's your own responsibility to make sure that the person who's going to perform a treatment on you has the required training and sufficient experience to do this competently and safely.