New cosmetic laws address who can administer procedures


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and Photojournalist JOHN FISHER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 7:40 PM

AUSTIN -- From Botox to laser treatments, customers can be unhappy with their cosmetic procedures. Doctors say it's been going on for the last half decade.

Complaints prompted the Texas Medical Board and the Texas Legislature to change the law. The bulk of complaints zero in on facilities that don't require doctors, nurses or physicians assistants to administer those cosmetic procedures.

Amy Zinn has been happy with the treatment she's gotten at Westlake Dermatology. A year ago she was not a happy camper. That's when she elected to get some injectable facial fillers at an Austin med-spa.

"There was not a physician on staff," said Zinn. "I had a procedure done. Unfortunately I got less than optimal results."

Zinn was understandably upset.

"When something does goes wrong in a place like that, you don't want to go back to have it fixed," she said.

Fortunately for Zinn, what happened at the med-spa did not stay that way.

"Luckily it was correctable and temporary," said Kyle Coleman, M.D., a dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology. "Some things are not (correctable and temporary), especially with more aggressive laser devices. We've seen some cases where people have scarring for life, dyspigmentation, where their skin color is discolored forever."

It's those kind of horror stories that prompted the Texas Legislature and the medical board to streamline the authority of doctors and address rules that even doctors say were somewhat vague.

"The new regulations really spell that out," said Coleman. "You should be seen by a doctor or a nurse practitioner or a physician's assistant first before having treatments."

Coleman says now no matter where a patient gets their cosmetic treatment, the new rules stipulate if complications arise there has to be qualified medical personnel on site to handle them.

"It's a boon for patient safety, and that's the main thing," said Coleman.

Zinn agrees. Having experienced a less-than-pleasing procedure without medical supervision, she realizes the importance of the new rules.

"There are some things that can go seriously wrong," said Zinn. "You only have one set of skin. Once that happens, there's no turning back in a lot of cases."
The laws went into effect Nov. 1. The Texas Medical Board's rules go into effect Nov. 7.  So by the end of this week, all facilities offering cosmetic procedures will have to operate by the new rules.