Commonly Asked Questions About Cosmetic Medicine

NZSCM Censor in Chief Dr Teresa Cattin answers the following questions.


What exactly is “Cosmetic Medicine”?

Cosmetic Medicine or Appearance Medicine as its also known covers all of the cosmetic medical treatments that do not involve surgery.

The most well known treatments are probably Botulinum Toxin and  dermal fillers. These are all injected and are regarded as “lunch time “ procedures in that there is very little if any downtime.

Other procedures such as laser, vein treatments and peels are also appearance medicine procedures.


Who can perform the injected treatments like Botulinum Toxin and dermal fillers?

As these are prescription medicines only a doctor or a registered nurse working under the doctor’s supervision can perform them.


Most consumers do not know about NZSCM, can you explain what this group is?

The New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine (NZSCM) is the recognised “gold standard” for Cosmetic Medicine in New Zealand. NZSCM offers a 2-year postgraduate diploma for doctors wishing to work in this field. NZSCM also has an annual conference with international experts, ensuring that our members are up to date with the latest global trends.


Why then should consumers go to an NZSCM doctor for cosmetic medicine treatments?

The field of cosmetic medicine is rapidly expanding internationally as the demand for safe, effective and affordable cosmetic procedures increases. In general, techniques are becoming more complex requiring a greater level of skill by the practitioner. Furthermore some of the products available now are not well tested for either safety or effectiveness.

By choosing an cosmetic medicine physician who is a member of NZSCM the consumer can be confident that they are in safe and competent hands. NZSCM only endorses products that have been clinically proven to be safe, effective and fully registered by a regulatory body such as Medsafe, TGA or FDA.

All doctors belonging to NZSCM have achieved a Diploma in Cosmetic Medicine, ensuring they have reached the highest level of competence in this field.

What is the process for a Doctor to join NZSCM?

It is not possible to just “join” NZSCM. A doctor must firstly have fully qualified as a General Practitioner (been admitted as a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners) and may then apply to NZSCM to undertake the 2-year Diploma in Cosmetic Medicine. The diploma course involves training workshops, lectures, and written and practical examinations.


Does NZSCM give the consumer any special guarantees?

In cosmetic medicine as in cosmetic surgery there are no absolute guarantees regarding outcomes. However by choosing an NZSCM doctor the consumer can be confident an extremely well trained and competent practitioner using safe and effective products is treating them. Prior to having a treatment the consumer will be made fully aware of the any possible side effects, the details of the procedure and what they can realistically expect as far as results go. In this way the consumer will be fully informed before deciding on a treatment option.


When making an appointment for treatments how do I know I have booked with a NZSCM doctor?

Click here for a full list of all NZSCM doctors and their contact details. We also suggest you ask the clinic before booking in, consumers have a right to enquire about a doctors level of experience and training regardless of the field of medicine or treatment involved.


Do you have another question that is not answered here?

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