FLAW­LESS WITH­OUT SURGERY

Non-sur­gi­cal cos­metic treat­ments are no longer only for the rich and fa­mous. With new pro­ce­dures ap­pear­ing faster than you can say ‘Bo­tox’, Natascha Hawke asks which ones we should be look­ing to now

Friday - - BEAUTY -

Sum­mer is on its way and with it comes a list of body­con­scious con­cerns as long as Shaikh Zayed Road. As the win­dow dis­plays of The Dubai Mall’s lux­ury bou­tiques show­case the sar­to­rial plea­sures of the new sea­son, thoughts turn to “how can I wear that with these thighs?” and “would my bum look big in that?” ,whilst up­per arm anx­i­ety is in­duced at the mere men­tion of Is­abel Marant’s barely there prairie dresses.

There once was a time when these body in­se­cu­ri­ties would have been treated by get­ting Dr 90210 on the line, book­ing in for emer­gency lipo and hol­ing yourself up in a mum­mi­fied state only to emerge weeks later from your ban­daged chrysalis, a slim­mer, tighter ver­sion of yourself.

In 2014, how­ever, those look­ing for a bit of a lift can book in for a treat­ment over their lunch hour and be back in the of­fice in time for the af­ter­noon board meet­ing. The se­lec­tion of non-sur­gi­cal treat­ments on of­fer is on the rise.

“More and more people are busy, they don’t want time off work, or any com­pli­ca­tions and they want re­sults as well,” says Dr Aamer Khan of the Har­ley Street Skin Clinic in Lon­don. “Tech­nol­ogy is mov­ing on and it’s start­ing to give those re­sults.”

A re­cent UK study car­ried out by clinic com­par­i­son siteWhatClinic.com, found non-sur­gi­cal cos­metic treat­ments are worth 75 per cent of a mar­ket ex­pected to be val­ued at about £3.6 bil­lion (Dh22 bil­lion) by 2015, with anti-age­ing treat­ments such as der­mal fillers, non-sur­gi­cal facelifts and skin tight­en­ing en­ergy treat­ments see­ing no­table in­creases of up to 93 per cent, and 80 per cent in the lat­ter.

“In the cases of in­jecta­bles,” says Dr Ge­orge Le­fkovits, a prom­i­nent Man­hat­tan aes­thetic sur­geon who con­sults at Body­Worx aes­thetic clinic in Abu Dhabi (www.body­worx.ae), “Bo­tox can achieve re­sults that may not be pos­si­ble even with surgery. Fillers can also fill de­pres­sions and creases with just a few in­jec­tions. Non-in­va­sive pro­ce­dures can achieve im­prove­ment and when ap­pro­pri­ately in­di­cated pa­tients can re­turn to work, of­ten im­me­di­ately.”

The ap­peal of this type of non-surgery is also preva­lent in the Mid­dle East where the es­tab­lished clin­ics are in­tro­duc­ing more and more of these treat­ments – where no cut­ting at all is needed – due to the high de­mand, with new clin­ics show­cas­ing state-of-the-art non-sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures open­ing all the time.

Dr Rab­bia As­lam, cre­ative di­rec­tor at HC MedSpa in Lon­don, which has two branches open­ing in Dubai this sum­mer, says the growth in pop­u­lar­ity is sig­nif­i­cant and due to an in­crease in aware­ness. “Most people are now aware of how their skin looks and the im­prove­ments that can be achieved thanks to tech­no­log­i­cal and sci­en­tific ad­vance­ments within the beauty in­dus­try. Many people are scep­ti­cal of in­va­sive surgery due to health risks that we fre­quently hear about in the me­dia. So it is no sur­prise that people would opt for treat­ments that of­fer the same re­sults but are in­stead safe, ef­fec­tive and do not re­quire a long pe­riod of down time.”

An­other rea­son for this sig­nif­i­cant growth is the large num­ber of flaw­less, age-de­fy­ing celebri­ties who cham­pion such pro­ce­dures, rang­ing from the now morecom­mon-than-not Bo­tox and fillers, to the slightly more ex­treme and the down­right bizarre. Thanks to Kim Kar­dashian’s en­dorse­ment of the Drac­ula Fa­cial – the graphic de­tails of which were aired on her re­al­ity TV show last year – Platelet Rich Plasma Fa­cial Re­ju­ve­na­tion treat­ments, where your own blood is in­jected back into

your face, saw a whop­ping 807 per cent in­crease in the last quar­ter of 2013 alone. And these treat­ments are some­thing Dr Mau­r­izio Viel of the Lon­don Cen­tre for Aes­thetic Surgery, with clin­ics on Har­ley Street and in Dubai’s Health­care City, per­forms with in­creas­ing reg­u­lar­ity.

“In re­cent years, both the UK and Mid­dle East saw a surge in Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP),” Dr Viel says.

“Fa­cial Re­ju­ve­na­tion treat­ments use the pa­tient’s own blood, which gives a nat­u­ral boost to the skin and the re­sults are su­pe­rior com­pared to other ex­treme fa­cial treat­ments.”

It is thanks to walk­ing bill­board celebri­ties such as Kim Kar­dashian, that the treat­ment has come to the at­ten­tion of the pub­lic, re­sult­ing in a higher de­mand and not just amongst the af­flu­ent.

“Cos­metic surgery has re­ally changed a lot in the past 15 years,” says Dr Viel. “In the 1980s and early 1990s it was re­ally a lux­ury for the rich and fa­mous. Now with more com­pe­ti­tion and bet­ter tech­nol­ogy around the world, prices have come down and it has cer­tainly be­come more af­ford­able to the masses.”

With this af­ford­abil­ity and in­creased knowl­edge has also come a new gen­er­a­tion of client.

“Pa­tients are seek­ing treat­ments much ear­lier,” says anti-age­ing ex­pert Re­becca Tre­ston, founder and man­ager of Re­becca Tre­ston at Euromed Clinic in Dubai. “I have many com­ing to the clinic in their early 20s and they are tak­ing a proac­tive ap­proach to skin­care and de­fence against age­ing.”

This is a trend also seen by Dr Viel, who has no­ticed the dif­fer­ence in the aver­age age of clients be­tween Dubai and Lon­don seek­ing treat­ments. “Most of our pa­tients in the UK range from about 25 to 65 years with the aver­age aged around 42 years. In Dubai, there isn’t much of an age­ing pop­u­la­tion due to the ex­pat life­style and turnover. We see pa­tients from 23 to 55 years of age with the aver­age aged around 37. When my brother, Roberto, and I started on Har­ley Street over 20 years ago, women started plas­tic surgery in their late for­ties and early fifties. Now, pa­tients re­alise that it is bet­ter to do more preven­tion work at an ear­lier stage to cre­ate a more nat­u­ral look than to start too late, so we see some pa­tients who come for reg­u­lar Bo­tox start­ing around 27 or 28 years old, depend­ing also on the na­tion­al­ity and ge­net­ics.”

With the UAE be­ing a coun­try of such di­ver­sity is there a dif­fer­ence in the type of non-sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures be­ing re­quested de­pen­dent on na­tion­al­ity?

Re­becca be­lieves there is, but only marginally. “In my ex­pe­ri­ence, I have found hair re­moval and pig­men­ta­tion [treat­ments] are a must in the Arab re­gion, along with fillers and Bo­tox. For theWestern com­mu­ni­ties hair re­moval is not as im­por­tant and due to the skin’s pathol­ogy many pa­tients tar­get photo re­ju­ve­na­tion.”

Phys­i­cally, how­ever, Dr Viel has seen a more no­table dif­fer­ence in what is aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing to dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties. The main tar­get for Bri­tish clients is, “of­ten to be as thin as pos­si­ble. Western­ers re­ally look to have smaller hips, bot­tom, in­ner and outer thighs, larger but nat­u­ral-look­ing breasts and some pre­fer to age with a few wrin­kles show­ing.

“For Arab pa­tients, they like rounder shapes but they just want to be in pro­por­tion so they want to re­duce their tummy size and flanks – es­pe­cially af­ter hav­ing chil­dren.”

Whilst not im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous, the ben­e­fits of non-sur­gi­cal treat­ments can also ex­tend to skin colour, ex­plains Dr Khan, “One of the things about Mid­dle East­ern skin, Asian skin and darker skin is that it doesn’t scar well, they don’t heal well, so min­i­mum-scar surgery is re­ally the way ahead.”

It is also not just women who are be­ing se­duced by these types of treat­ments, and in­ter­est amongst men is on the in­crease.

“For decades, the aes­thetic in­dus­try has been re­stricted for men, but over the past 10 years this has started to change and we are see­ing more male clients in our clin­ics,” says Dr As­lam.

“The most com­mon pro­ce­dures re­quested by men at HC MedSpa are Bo­tulinum toxin in­jec­tions [such as Bo­tox] and laser hair re­moval.

“Men are be­com­ing more aware of their im­age and ap­pear­ance… from eye­brow thread­ing and be­spoke fa­cials to more ad­vanced pro­ce­dures such as laser con­tour­ing.”

THE PROS AND CONS As with any­thing that in­volves mess­ing with your face or body, there are al­ways lim­i­ta­tions and safety mea­sures that you should ad­here to, to en­sure that you get the best pos­si­ble re­sults. Re­becca Tre­ston stresses you must do back­ground re­search on who you are trust­ing with your skin and your health. “Non-sur­gi­cal treat­ments are great in the right hands but they can lead to worse com­pli­ca­tions in neg­li­gent ones so make sure your aes­theti­cian is a rep­utable one,” she says.

It is also es­sen­tial to un­der­stand that ex­perts are only able to work with what you give them and they can­not per­form mir­a­cles. “I need to work with the pa­tient’s nat­u­ral physique and pro­por­tions to im­prove and make al­ter­ations, but as surgeons we can­not over­haul the nat­u­ral body shape,” says Dr Viel.

Non-sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures es­pe­cially have lim­i­ta­tions on who will re­ally see re­sults, de­pen­dent on the scale of treat­ment re­quired, amount of fat to be re­moved and so on.

Dr Khan says, “In­va­sive surgery has the ben­e­fit that you can lose a lot of fat, you can take the skin away, you can take tis­sue away. How­ever, the risks are very high. With the non­sur­gi­cal way the ad­van­tages are the risks are very low and you have no down­time, but you can only take away a lit­tle bit of fat at a time.” Dr Viel agrees, say­ing non­sur­gi­cal, “is an op­tion for those who have mi­nor in­di­ca­tions or for those who are re­ally afraid of surgery. “How­ever, if the pa­tient has three litres of fat to re­move this is just not pos­si­ble with non-sur­gi­cal treat­ments cur­rently.”

In all cases, Dr Le­fkovits be­lieves it is best to con­sult only trained surgeons, for both sur­gi­cal and non­sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures. “When pa­tients con­sult with non­plas­tic surgeons such as der­ma­tol­o­gists who are not trained in surgery they will be of­fered only non-in­va­sive pro­ce­dures, which may re­sult in limited re­sults. A plas­tic sur­geon has the train­ing and skills to per­form surgery, when in­di­cated, and is able to of­fer the pa­tient the full spec­trum of in­va­sive and non-in­va­sive treat­ments.”

What all ex­perts agree on is that it is all very well to have non-sur­gi­cal or sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures, but if you don’t adapt your life­style by tak­ing reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and eat­ing a healthy diet, you are wast­ing both your time and your money.

BEAUTY

BEAUTY The ben­e­fits of non­in­va­sive surgery are be­ing em­braced in the UAE

The ex­perts can only work with what you have

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