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What to ask your practitioner about skin treatments – so you know you’re getting the best.
Skin Institute
June 26, 2020

Most appearance-medicine treatments involve powerful medicines and delicate procedures, so it’s important that the practitioner is qualified and experienced.

While there are regulations overseeing the New Zealand industry, they don’t cover everything. It means that you still need to take care when looking for a safe, reputable practitioner.

There are five questions to help you make the best decision.

  1. How much training have you had, and how many patients have you performed this procedure on?

In New Zealand, the best training for doctors is the two-year NZ Society of Cosmetic Medicine (NZSCM) course, which includes over 40 hours of lectures. NZSCM is the only organisation recognised by the NZ Medical Council to train and regulate cosmetic doctors. This training means that a NZSCM-accredited doctor is a safe pair of hands.

As yet, there’s no formal course for nurses in the cosmetic-medicine industry. Generally, a nurse will have done a mix of short formal courses, as well as spent time observing trained doctors.

You can also ask about recent conferences they’ve attended, and especially if they were present at the NZSCM conference in Queenstown.

  1. Can you please show me before and after photos of your patients?

Good practitioners will have a portfolio of their clients and treatments. It’s especially important to see their style for injectables such as Botox® and dermal filler. If you want a natural look or something bolder, view their previous work and see if their style suits your needs.

  1. Ask nurses if they work closely with their supervising doctor.

It’s not true that nurses can work independently of doctors. Only doctors can prescribe botulinum toxin or the dissolving enzyme that is essential for safe dermal filler treatment. While there are excellent nurses who can carry out these treatments, you should still be meeting your doctor in person regularly.

  1. How much downtime should I expect with this treatment, and is there anything I should avoid afterwards?

This information should be provided to you as a matter of course, but asking this will also let you check your potential practitioner’s level of understanding. It will also mean you’ll be more likely to follow directions exactly, so that you get the best result.

  1. Are there any rare or serious adverse effects to the treatment, and how are these treated?

A quality practitioner should already have given you this information. There is always a chance for rare but serious events happening, such as the tiny risk of blindness as a result of dermal filler treatment. You should be informed of these risks and how the effects would be treated at the consultation stage.

If your intended practitioner hasn’t given you the full run down, they may not understand the process themselves, or they may be trying to increase the chances of you undergoing the procedure.

At Skin Institute, we take all risks very seriously and have systems in place to minimise the likelihood of occurrence, and quickly treat any unwanted side effects. Skin Institute are proud to support industry initiatives and regulations.

It is important to take time before the treatment to discuss not just the intended outcome, but also to answer any concerns you have. This is why Skin Institute has a thorough consultation first, to make sure the outcome is optimal and you are safe from side effects.

Ask questions so you know you’re getting expert care

There are a lot of practitioners out there – asking questions can help you find the right one. Start by asking them about their qualifications and how they stay up-to-date with the latest technology and innovations. Find out how many patients they have had, and take a look at some of their results. Make sure they understand, and can clearly explain the treatment, outcomes, and any side effects.

Once you’re happy with your treatment provider, then you can get started, but if anything they say makes you uncomfortable in any way, you can back out at any time.


Contact us at Skin Institute to arrange a cosmetic consultation with our qualified practitioners, if you have any concerns or doubts.