The rise in popularity of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox, lasers, and fillers has led to a surge in the number of providers to keep up with demand. Unfortunately, not all of these providers are qualified. Almost everyone has heard of completely untrained individuals injecting dangerous substances such as cement and super glue for so-called "cosmetic purposes." But what you might not know is that doctors, nurses and estheticians, who are otherwise fully licensed, may be providing cosmetic treatments without adequate training. In some cases, such treatments may even be illegal.

For example, the California Medical Board has this to say about Botox:

"Physicians may inject Botox, or they may direct registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, or physician assistants to perform the injection under their supervision. No unlicensed persons, such as medical assistants, may inject Botox."

What this also means is that a nurse who has a practice on her/his own, without physician supervision, is acting outside her/his scope of practice. Therefore, be sure that there is a physician available should complications or any concerns arise from your cosmetic procedure. If you choose to have a laser procedure, be aware that the California Medical Board has specifically stated that only physicians, or a registered nurse or physician assistant under the supervision of a physician, may perform such treatments. The exact quote is below:

"Physicians may use lasers or intense pulse light devices. In addition, physician assistants and registered nurses (not licensed vocational nurses) may perform these treatments under a physician's supervision. Unlicensed medical assistants, licensed vocational nurses, cosmetologists, electrologists, or estheticians may not legally perform these treatments under any circumstance, nor may registered nurses or physician assistants perform them independently, without supervision."

In general, asking the right questions can really help you make the right choices about your face, your beauty, and your health. Don't be fooled into having your next procedure done by an unlicensed, untrained, or otherwise unqualified individual, no matter how persuasive they may be!