Botox is back, but can it make you more susceptible to COVID-19?

It has almost been two months since the idea of cosmetic medical procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, have been off the table. And it's safe to say we've seen our fair share of Aussie women (and men) panicking about the prospect of not being able to see their favourite doctor.

The restrictions, as outlined by Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA), banned anti-wrinkle injections (Botox, Dysport and Xeomin as Botulinum Toxin A) and dermal fillers, when performed for cosmetic purposes from March 31.

However, for some states it looks like those days are now behind us, and if not yet, other states are following suit in the upcoming stages of lifting restrictions, *cue the hallelujah music.*

"Today, more than sufficient PPE supplies are now available, and this is complemented by the recent easing of restrictions on elective procedures, including dental and IVF. It is now time to consider a staged return to cosmetic medicine for doctors, and the required responsibility to implement protocols for social distancing and other safety measures," the latest statement from CPCA reads.

"The safe and responsible resumption of cosmetic medical procedures is supported by the College, to the extent where it is permitted by law and while it is underpinned by strict adherence to COVID-19 infection control guidelines which is only possible at this time within dedicated medical facilities with a doctor on site."

As for who is allowing beauty services, here is the current information. However, each state's restrictions are changing rapidly, so keep up-to-date with individual websites, linked below. 

Queensland

From May 15 all beauty salons are allowed to open to 10 clients at time. This includes services for cosmetic injections, hairdressing, waxing, laser treatments, nails, eyelash extensions and facials, but spray tans are not allowed. More information, here.

New South Wales

Cosmetic injections provided by a medical practitioner at health premises are permitted for people who require medical care. However currently beauty salons may not provide cosmetic injections or any other services. They may only open to sell products. More information, here.

Victoria

Hairdressers continue to operate, however all other personal care services where there is close contact for a prolonged period are closed, with further easing of restrictions to follow in stage 2. More information, here.

Northern Territory

From May 15, many services offered by beauty therapy and massage businesses (a personal services business) in the Northern Territory will be able to resume and reopen, provided the operator has submitted a COVID-19 safety plan and put measures in place. More information, here.

Western Australia

So far all beauty salons and retail services remain closed, except for hairdressers, with stage 3 looking to resume beauty therapy services. More information, here.

South Australia

Currently hairdressers are operating, but beauty therapy, beauty salons and body modification services are closed. More information, here.

ACT

Hairdressers are currently operating in line with physical distancing rules however, all other beauty salons and spas are closed for now. More information, here.

Tasmania

Unless one of the following is a treatment or procedure performed by a registered health practitioner within the meaning of the Health Practitioner National Law (Tasmania), the following services and premises must not operate: Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, manicure or other nail treatments, ear and body piercing, tattoos, body modification and other similar services. More information, here.

As well as guidelines for practitioners, the CPCA has put together FAQs for patients. So before you grab the phone to book an appointment, it's important to put your safety first.

How do I know if staff at the clinic, including the doctor has COVID-19?

Staff who are known contacts of COVID-19 positive patients are required by law to self-isolate at home. Staff with symptoms of fever, cough and fatigue are required to stay home until well.

Should I let the clinic know if I am unsure about people I have been in contact with?

Yes, you should. A determination of each circumstance will be assessed by the medical practitioner.

Is it absolutely safe to have cosmetic medical procedures at this time?

It is safe to the extent possible, comparable to going to the hairdresser, dentist and other similar places where social distancing disciplines are observed.

Will cosmetic injections make me more susceptible to COVID-19 virus infection?

There is no evidence that cosmetic procedures make patients who are otherwise well more susceptible to disease processes, including COVID-19.

If I develop side effects from my cosmetic medical procedure, how do I know if they are not related to COVID-19?

Side effects from cosmetic medical procedures are different to the effects of COVID-19 which are primarily shortness of breath, persistent cough, and fever.

Can I bring a friend with me when I attend the clinic?

It is preferred that you come alone to your appointment, but if necessary, you may bring a member of your family if they reside with you.

My children are at home so is it ok if I bring them with me to the clinic?

Children should NOT attend with you.

If I develop a fever, a cough or feel unwell after visiting the clinic, what should I do?

It is essential that you advise the clinic should these symptoms develop as soon as they occur after your attendance.

Will I be able to contact someone at the clinic after my procedure if I have any questions?

Yes. You will have contact details, including after-hours contacts, provided to you, or simply call the office number and a recorded message will provide information on contact details.

The CPCA did make clear however, that before implementing these guidelines, doctors should check the restrictions in place in their clinic’s locality and their Medical Indemnity Insurer cover, and closely follow announcements that may affect these guidelines in the future.

View more information from the CPCA here: PDF iconCPCA-Position-Statement.pdf