For Immediate Release - September 08, 2004

State Warns Consumers Against Cosmetic Medical Procedures at Beauty Salons

Salon Licensees Reminded of Prohibitions, Violators Face Enforcement

The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure, in conjunction with the Board of Registration in Medicine, is warning consumers not to undergo Botox ® injections or any other medical procedures in cosmetology salons. The warning follows the temporary shutdown last week of an East Boston salon where it is alleged that mineral oil injections for physical enhancement were offered as a service to patrons.

Anne Collins, Director of the Division of Professional Licensure, warned salon licensees that investigators would move quickly if similar services were being offered and performed elsewhere. "Just as with piercing and tattooing, our Cosmetology Board prohibits the use of syringes or performance of cosmetic medical procedures in salons," said Collins.

The state's Cosmetology Board establishes sanitary standards for salons and those standards do not provide for a level of sterilization necessary for offering medical procedures. Injections of any kind within a salon are prohibited due to concerns associated with the possible transmission of blood-borne disease, risk of infection from skin piercing, risk of an adverse emergency medical outcome as well as concerns for the disposal of medical waste.

"Cosmetologists are not trained in these areas and their businesses are not equipped to handle these medical concerns. These are practices that will not be tolerated," Collins reiterated.

Nancy Achin Audesse, Executive Director of the Board of Registration in Medicine, reminded consumers that physician licensees also have responsibilities in the delivery of these procedures. "Clearly, administering Botox® or other substances outside of a professional medical setting is incompatible with the high standards that the medical profession has established."

Audesse added, "Physicians may provide medical procedures only after they have entered into an explicit and informed doctor-patient relationship. The administration of Botox ® or any medical treatment presupposes that a physician has conducted a thorough medical exam of the patient and taken a complete history. Physicians must also be equipped to handle any emergencies that may arise in the delivery of treatment."

Both Director Collins' and Audesse's concerns over the apparent rise in casual administration of invasive beauty treatments are supported by an April 2002 statement from the American Academy of Dermatology which said that "a casual social activity for the purpose of administering botulinum toxin, such as a 'Botox® Party,' is an inappropriate and a potentially dangerous setting for performing medical procedures of any kind."

Consumers are urged to make sure that anyone offering such procedures is properly licensed to do so and that treatments are being offered in a compliant, professional setting. Consult the following state websites to verify licensure:

Board of Cosmetology: www.mass.gov/dpl

Board of Registration in Medicine: www.massmedboard.org

Consumers are asked to report any potential violations by cosmetology salons to investigators with the Division of Professional Licensure at (617) 727-7406.

UPDATE: Krystal Beauty Salon, East Boston

The Cosmetology Board has scheduled a hearing for September 21, 2004 for Krystal Beauty Salon operator Diana Alzate. The Board alleges that from approximately 2002 until last week, injections were administered to customers for stated cosmetic enhancement. Investigators sent to the salon on August 31 st found unsanitary equipment and conditions as well as syringes, anesthesia and tattoo needles. Investigators also determined that the salon was operating without a valid license.