Patron observed sterile treatment for botox & other skin-piercing beauty treatment
|POST for botox & other skin-piercing beauty treatment
|1. Avoid skin-piercing procedures
||Find out if there are alternative types of treatment that do not involve skin-piercing. It may be possible to find oral or topical (applied to the skin) treatments that are equally effective and that are safer. For example, there are oral and topical tanning treatments available.
|2. Use new disposable instruments
||(a) Make sure the equipment you use is new, that it has not been used in any way, that it has not been tampered with. The packaging should be unbroken. It is better to buy the product just before you intend to use it. If the vendor is a trained health professional, such as a pharmacist, ask for further advice on usage and safety.(b) Do not share products that involve skin-piercing with others. The product itself, as well as the equipment used to administer it, may become contaminated.
|3. You sterilize the instruments
||It is safer not to attempt to sterilize your own equipment. If you keep reused syringes and needles at home, even if you boil them after use, it is easy for them to pick up germs from hands, cloth, and air. This can lead to infections and abscesses. So: use new disposables.
|4. Ask providers how they sterilize instruments
||Botox and other skin-piercing beauty treatments should be available in pre-filled syringes, so there should be no need to prepare or reuse anything. Check that your provider is using a fresh product and new, unused equipment, that is removed from the packaging in front of you. Also look around the facility and ask the provider about hygiene and safety. If they are not willing to answer questions, do not have the treatment there.
Additional information on beauty treatments that involve injections and other skin-piercing procedures
There is more information on injections available throughout the Don’t Get Stuck With HIV site; healthcare risks aside from injections are discussed here. There is also information on risks from other cosmetic treatments, such as tattooing, piercing, manicures and pedicures and hair styling and shaving. However, beauty treatments that pierce the skin may be more risky than some of these other cosmetic treatments because instruments such as needles go deeper below the skin than tattoo needles, for example.
A recent article on the BBC website draws attention to the concerns of a health watchdog about the safety of botox injections in the UK. They are also questioning the safety of anabolic steroids, tanning agents and dermal fillers. These treatments can be obtained in salons, or they can be self administered. The article warns that sharing equipment can carry a risk of infection with HIV, hepatitis or other blood borne diseases. The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently preparing guidelines on these issues.
Botox is a prescription only drug. However, an Australian news network ran an article late last year about a ‘backyard botox’ clinic, a specific clinic in Western Australia where infection control practices were found to be lacking, highlighting some of the health risks involved. It is said that the risk of infection with blood-borne diseases is small, but nevertheless real. Some practitioners may offer such treatments in the home, where conditions are likely to be unsuitable.
In 2008, the BBC reported that a growing number of people in the UK are injecting themselves with an unlicensed hormonal tanning drug called Melanotan. It is possible that this drug is being sold illegally online, in salons, in gyms and in health centers.