Less than a decade ago, medical aesthetic clinics were few and far between and aesthetic treatments were reserved only for the rich.The situation is different today: aesthetic clinics and spas have sprouted up at every corner of the island – These range from reputable clinics opening new outlets to fly-by-night establishments. According to the Singapore Medical Council’s annual report, there was a 19% increase in the number of plastic surgeons in Singapore from 2011 to 2015. Doctors offering non-invasive and minimally-invasive aesthetic procedures are also gaining popularity. Despite this, many people often find it difficult to choose a trustworthy doctor to obtain impartial information about the treatments.
The divide between spas and medical clinics is becoming unclear because many spas are offering pseudo-medical treatments – often illegally – at a fraction of the price. Aesthetic clinics are waging ferocious price war to bring in more clients. Quality of treatments is compromised to improve their bottom line. Unfortunately, customers will bear the brunt of this competition.
With this in mind, Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics provides 5 important tips when it comes to aesthetic treatments.
Tip 1: Don’t Base Your Decision on Cost
There is absolutely nothing shameful about wanting to get a bang for your buck. The truth is, good and effective medical aesthetic treatments don’t come cheap. It should set off alarm bells if an establishment is offering treatments that are a fraction of what most are charging. You should be wondering how good this establishment is if the only way to attract more customers is to wage a price war and compete with cost. Also, you should be doubting the authenticity and efficacy of the treatment. Nothing is more important than making sure that the treatments you get are legitimate. You have only one face, one body, and it deserves the best.
Tip 2: Aesthetic Treatments are Best Done by Certified Doctors
The boundary between beauty salons and registered medical clinics is becoming ambiguous. In recent years, we see a surge in beauty salons providing services that used to be exclusively offered by registered doctors. Services such as High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) treatments, laser treatments and injections that involve delivering products into the skin are carried out by therapists in beauty salons. Although these services are priced at a fraction of what medical clinics offer, such services are best done in a medical clinic.
While a beauty therapist can probably give you a good facial, they don’t have the extensive training of a medical practitioner – and there are many important differences between the two.
Spending some money to treat your face by a therapist may seem harmless, but do you take time to learn more about the qualifications of the person who’s going to treat your skin? You should. Mistakes made by unqualified therapists can be costly. Poorly administered treatments can damage or even cause permanent scarring of your face.
The intensity and power of the treatments offered by medical clinics are much higher. Medical practitioners are allowed to carry out medical-grade aesthetic treatments to treat a medical condition but a beauty salon therapist is not allowed to do so.
The most important difference is that a medical doctor goes through five years of medical school and a further two to three years of residency training. You would want someone who is knowledgeable about treating different skin conditions to administer laser treatments for you.
The end goal of all aesthetic treatments is to get a clear, beautiful and lifted skin. So why not leave it to an expert?
Tip 3: Read Up and Research About Aesthetic Treatments You Are Interested In
The internet is a very powerful platform to share information with people around the world. Read up, do your research and understand more about the treatment before you decide if you want to give it a try. Take time and invest in consults with a medical doctor that you are comfortable with. Find out more about their qualifications and trainings they received.
If you are happy with the above and have built a good rapport with your doctor, you are ready to start your treatment process with a peace of mind knowing that you are in good hands.
Tip 4: Choose a Doctor with Experience and an Eye for Beauty
Aesthetic treatments are about making you look good. A doctor with a keen eye for beauty is a pre-requisite in order to improve the appearance of a person. “To me, medical aesthetics is not only a science, but an art. It is important to choose a doctor who is patient to listen to your needs and someone who appreciates beauty.”, says Dr. Siew, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics.
“Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to show you some before and after pictures that he did. It is like going for a job interview. You need to see their CV to be convinced that he/she is capable of doing the work.”, he continued.
Tip 5: Choose a Clinic That Gives Back To Charity
As humans, we all strive to make lives better for people around us. Corporate charitable giving provides employees a platform to champion a cause they believe in and give back to their communities. As consumers, you want to know that your money is well-spent and it goes into supporting a sustainable charitable cause.
For us at Radium Medical Aesthetics, it all seems to come naturally. Dr. Siew is also the President of SOSD, one of Singapore’s largest and most active animal welfare charity in Singapore (www.sosd.org.sg). Philanthropy is in the genes of the people at Radium Medical Aesthetics so organising regular campaigns for SOSD comes naturally to us. “Even though our clinic was only a month old, we managed to raise close to $5,000 for SOSD with our first fundraising campaign. I am very touched that there are so many supporters believing in our cause and coming forward to fundraise for SOSD.”, Dr. Siew said.
Nothing feels better than knowing that part of your money spent on beautifying yourself goes supporting a local charity. Guilt-free indulgence, I’d say!