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The aesthetics industry is taking mental health seriously

Charlie Morris, Senior Account Manager in our Consumer Health & Beauty team, recently attended the Clinical Cosmetic Regenerative (CCR) Expo to hear from leading cosmetic organisations and found mental health is high on the industry’s agenda.

Amid exciting demonstrations of the newest innovative technologies and available treatments, the subject of mental health in aesthetics was pertinent. Several of the key talks at CCR made a clear point of acknowledging the important role that mental health plays, and the responsibility of professionals to be considering this within their practice moving forwards.

Body Dysmorphic Syndrome (BDD) is a condition that has been identified in two per cent of the adult population₁, which is no surprise given the ever-increasing focus on appearance and beauty thanks to the evolving influence of social media. Worryingly, it has also been found that up to 70 per cent of people with BDD have sought cosmetic procedures in the past, and of those, half have received treatment.

At CCR, industry bodies such as the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) revealed their ongoing governmental campaigns which include, campaigning for dermal fillers to become prescription-only to increase regulation, and implementing compulsory mental health screening pre-treatment by all clinics registered to the JCCP.

NHS England’s medical director Professor Stephen Powis said of these recent developments: “Cosmetic firms bringing in tighter controls to protect young people’s mental health is a major step forward”. However he also emphasised: “Voluntary steps on their own, mean mental health too often will still be left in the hands of providers operating as a law unto themselves”.

It is important that aesthetic companies continue to uphold high training standards for their clinicians to be able to recognise at-risk individuals, and to ensure patient mental health is safeguarded.

It is promising to see influential cosmetic clinics such as Dr Rosh’s KLNIK in Cheshire, creating a position in their team for a dedicated ‘aesthetics and holistic wellness manager’. The role will be an integral part of their practice to ensure the wellbeing of not only the clinicians administering treatment, but also their patients.

It will be interesting to see how the government responds to pressure from the public and industry in the next 12 months, as they call for further regulation and protection of mental health in the aesthetics and cosmetic industry.

https://hamiltonfraser.co.uk/knowledge/body-dysmorphic-disorder-in-aesthetics/

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/23/faking-it-how-selfie-dysmorphia-is-driving-people-to-seek-surgery

₃ Awareness and identification of body dysmorphic disorder by aesthetic surgeons: results of a survey of american society for aesthetic plastic surgery members. (Sarwer DB, 2002)

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/27/cosmetic-clinics-to-assess-mental-health-before-offering-botox