Last year, UK health and beauty chain Superdrug announced that it was to start offering Botox to high street shoppers in London. However, the NHS were quick to raise concerns over the lack of mental health safeguarding measures in place, citing that Botox was being sold as ‘causal beauty treatments’ rather than as a surgical procedure. After much discussion between the two entities, Superdrug has revealed that tougher mental health checks will be carried out prior to any Botox procedure bring performed.

Highlighting body dysmorphic disorder

Superdrug’s Botox treatments will only be administered following completion of a medical consultation, questionnaire, and a mental health assessment with an “aesthetic medicine” nurse. The main aim of the mental health assessment is to look for signs of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a condition which typically stems from anxiety.

It’s estimated that 0.5-0.7% of the British population have BDD. As a result, Superdrug’s new process will involve a review of the anxiety levels displayed by patients when discussing the way they look, as well as when talking about how they want to change their appearance.

Committed to mental health

Non-surgical treatments are a £2.75 billion industry. Party-goers use Botox to treat foot pain, while others turn to it to alleviate health problems. However, despite its popularity, the UK’s second largest health and beauty retailer has taken the points raised by the NHS seriously.

“Following a productive meeting with the NHS, and as part of the ongoing development of our Skin Review service, we have added additional questioning specific to body dysmorphic disorder, in line with NHS recommendations. These inclusions far exceed current standards.”

What’s more, should a patient show signs of BDD or any other mental health disorder, the nurse will refer them to a mental health charity, MIND.

Additional protection

Besides undergoing a rigorous health check, all patients seeking Botox must be at least 25 years of age. Superdrug is also imposing a 14-day cooling-off period, meaning patients must wait two weeks following their consultation with the high street chain before the injections are administered. This provides ample opportunity for individuals to consider both the short-term and long-term effects of Botox, and to determine whether the procedure is really for them.


Receiving praise

Despite Superdrug receiving criticism last year when they unveiled their Botox plans, their new tougher checks have gained praised. Kitty Wallace of the BDD Foundation states that “We commend that Superdrug will be screening for the disorder, and referring people who are positive to their GP.”

She adds that fewer than 10% of BDD patients who have cosmetic procedures such as Botox are happy with the results. As a consequence, this results in them fixating on their body, which only worsens their condition.

Superdrug is making a conscientious effort to safeguard the mental wellbeing of their customers. This, therefore, shows the integral role that both high street stores and government organizations have when it comes to looking and feeling good.