Scientists at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University are attempting to understand the proteins that may be responsible for the development of Type 2 diabetes.

It is the same SNARE proteins that Botox treatment targets, as they are responsible for muscle contraction. Botox targets these proteins and effectively freezes them, therefore halting muscle contraction.

As well as in other areas of the body these proteins, called SNARE, reside in the beta-cells within the pancreas. Researchers are using molecular microscopic techniques to determine exactly what happens with these cells and insulin release.

The steady release of insulin made by these cells helps to control glucose levels in the body. When there is a consistently high level of glucose production in the body, which is what happens in obese patients, this process stops functioning properly and leads to Type 2 diabetes.

These SNARE proteins, which are the equivalent to the size of ten-thousandth of a human hair, will be observed by Dr Colin Rickman and his team of researchers. They hope that this will help to understand exactly how the beta-cells produce insulin and therefore what happens when they stop functioning. The intention is that these findings will help find a cure to the chronic condition.

The number of people with Type 2 diabetes in the UK rose by 1.5 million between 1996 and 2012, and it’s predicted that the number of sufferers will hit 5 million by the year 2025. This recent and projected growth in number is due to the rising numbers of those who are overweight and obese.

Cosmetic Courses offer aesthetic training to medical professionals throughout the UK. If you would like information on any of our training courses, please call us on 01844 390110 or email [email protected].


As a person gets older, wrinkles, age marks, and other skin blemishes become prevalent. Older scars obtained in a person’s younger years become more noticeable, such as acne scars. Volume loss in the skin, photo damage, and hyperactive muscles are other common sources of wrinkles and age lines. Women aren’t the only people looking for a way to get their younger appearance back Men are also interested in looking and feeling younger. More and more men are looking into dermal wrinkle fillers and Botox injections to get their skin looking young and fresh as it once was.

As a person ages, the natural moisture in the skin and the rate that cells renew themselves slows down. This results in skin that is dry and scaly. Wrinkles can occur when emotions reach their extremes. Emotions such as anger can cause wrinkles and furrows over time. This is due to a certain expression being held for a long time, for instance an angry scowl or frown. The muscles between the eyebrows contract during certain emotional states, and can cause furrows and creases that get deeper over time.

Botox, otherwise known as botulinum toxin A, was approved by the FDA in 2002 as a treatment for wrinkles and frown lines. This cosmetic treatment is comprised of purified protein that diminishes a certain muscle’s ability to contract. The Botox is injected directly into the muscle and prevents over-activity of that particular muscle. When first injected, the Botox relaxes the muscle temporarily, cutting off the formation of wrinkles. The skin over the muscle relaxes and softens, lessening the look of wrinkles.

Another option for younger and smoother looking skin are dermal wrinkle fillers. Dermal wrinkle fillers are injected into the deep lines of the face, such as smile lines, “crows feet” beside the eyes, and other areas where wrinkles form. Dermal wrinkle fillers can restore volume to hollow skin or an area of the face that has lost natural fat. Collagen, for example, can be injected into the lips to give them a plumper and fuller look.

Cosmetic fillers can be injected to worry lines in the forehead, and hollow areas in the cheeks or under the eyes to bring back some of the volume that was lost. Skin cosmetic fillers restore the facial skin so they look fresh and young again. Many FDA approved dermal fillers are available on the market these days to treat a man’s wrinkles and age lines.

Patients of injectable cosmetic treatments, such as wrinkle fillers and Botox, can finally rest easy. Up until now, cosmetic treatment facilities have been unregulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and patients risked securing care from providers offering less-than-quality services. But a new provider registration and quality assurance mark offered by the Independent Healthcare Advisors Services (IHAS) and backed by the Government guarantees quality care from cosmetic treatment providers.

The IHAS Registration mark separates quality cosmetic treatment providers from the unqualified practitioners, offering a safeguard to patients seeking cosmetic services. Organisations and practitioners offering injectable cosmetic treatments must register through IHAS in order to legally display the IHAS Register of Injectable Cosmetic Providers mark. Registration requirements include completing self assessment forms and submitting supporting evidence, permitting random site visit inspections with only 24 hours’ notice, and paying a registration scheme fee to support the IHAS quality cosmetic treatment initiative. The providers must prove, through assessments, inspections, and supporting documentation, that they comply with good practice standards for the cosmetic treatment industry.

The industry led initiative is fully supported by Health Minister Mike O’Brien, who stated that the registration will “…help protect the public from unscrupulous operators. It will clearly mark those who uphold the highest standards the industry can provide.” The Minister has Government offered funding to support the regulation of cosmetic treatment providers in the United Kingdom.

Large cosmetic treatment providers in the industry have already offered their commitment to supporting the quality initiative. The Harley Medical Group, Transform, and Sk:n, who together own more than eighty clinics, plan to register all of their facilities. The initiative is also highly supported by suppliers to the cosmetic treatment industry, such as Q-MED UK Ltd, the manufacturer of Restylane dermal fillers, and Dental Protection, which offers professional support and advice to a majority of dentists in the United Kingdom. The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors also announced its support of the industry regulation.

Patients seeking quality care can search the Independent Healthcare Advisors Services registration for registered cosmetic treatment providers, or simply look for the “IHAS Register of Injectable Cosmetic Providers Quality Assurance Mark” at any provider of choice. Doctors, registered adult nurses, and dentists will be registered during the first year of implementation. If the launch is successful, IHAS will consider adding standards for dental hygienists, therapists, physiotherapists, and others during a second rollout of registration year two of implementation.

Cosmetic treatment technologies continue to evolve, making beauty easier and cheaper for women to attain. This is good news for women seeking to appear younger, particularly because research has shown a correlation between attractiveness and career success. And since today’s non invasive treatments are less costly and require less recovery time than surgical procedures, more and more women are climbing on the cosmetic treatment bandwagon. But these newer treatments are temporary compared to traditional cosmetic surgery, requiring recurring visits to cosmetic treatment providers, and costs and time invested can add up. Also, experts worry that the growing fad may have societal repercussions in which younger and younger women are turning to cosmetic treatments in order to feel acceptable. And finally, little studies have been conducted to determine the long-term effects of non invasive treatments.

It’s true that cosmetic treatments are getting easier. Where cow-sourced collagen formerly required skin testing, human collagen and Botox now require no skin test. The treatments are quick and easy, with virtually no recovery time. When compared with traditional cosmetic surgery, fillers and injections are much more affordable, costing hundreds of dollars instead of thousands of dollars. But since these treatments are not permanent, women must routinely have the treatments repeated. And experts say that the non invasive treatments are simply postponing the traditional plastic surgeries, such as eyebrow lifts and face lifts. In the end, women may pay more than if they had opted for the traditional surgery in the first place. Also, traditional surgery has a longer history, so side-effects and long-term effects are well known by doctors.

But many argue against the growing fad altogether. Younger women are undergoing non invasive cosmetic treatments than ever before. Books such as “Bodylove: Learning to Like Our Looks and Ourselves, A Practical Guide for Women” by Rita Freedman and “Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation – And What to Do About It” by Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin address the negative repercussions that this fad has on society. Women see celebrities and even their peers undergoing treatments, and they feel like they don’t measure up. Indeed, studies have shown a correlation between career success and attractiveness, so it may be that the trend is already irreversible. Cosmetic enhancements may be no different than any other technology taking over the globe. Once we go there, it’s hard to turn back.