Medical aesthetics is becoming an increasingly important part of our beauty repertoire and it’s not surprising why. While topical products are an integral part of skincare, aesthetics treatments can give us an impactful boost especially in maintaining a youthful-looking complexion.
Because the aesthetic medicine field is constantly evolving, we wanted to know what the trends will be like in 2019. We spoke to Dr. Lam Bee Lan for her expert take on the topic. Dr. Lam helms Ageless Medical, a respected aesthetic clinic, and has 20 years of experience in the medical profession, in which 14 years was spent in aesthetic medicine.
4 key trends in medical aesthetics field
Dr. Lam has identified four key trends that will be big in the medical aesthetics field in 2019.
1. Regenerative medicine:
It rides on the principle of activating the body’s own ability to regrow, repair or replace damaged, diseased or ageing cells, organs or tissues, stimulating collagen production. There will be an increasing use of regenerative medicine to aid in anti-ageing rejuvenation from the inside out.
A treatment that falls under regenerative medicine, Dr. Lam says, is the Rejuran Healer. More colloquially known as “baby skin injections” (婴儿针) because of how it is used to help achieve baby-smooth skin, this treatment may have been made popular in Korea three to four years ago, it is relatively new in Singapore. Ageless Medical only brought in the treatment in May 2017 and Dr. Lam was one of the first few doctors in Singapore to start administering this treatment.
Rejuran Healer is a minimally invasive injectable treatment that delivers DNA extracts into the skin to repair damaged skin cells and stimulates skin’s regenerative power. It is recommended as an anti-ageing reatment, as well as to treat acne-prone skin.
In fact, Rejuran Healer was the most popular treatment at Ageless Medical in 2018.
“It is really an all-in-one treatment that targets many common skin symptoms,” Dr. Lam says.
Another regenerative medical treatment is the Regenera hair re-growth treatment. Dr. Lam explains that in this treatment, healthy hair follicles are taken from the patient, and treated to become more absorbable portions and then injected into the areas of scalp that are experiencing hair loss. In other words, this technology is about using your own hair follicle cells to stimulate areas that are losing hair.
2. Fast, and effective aesthetic solutions with no or very little downtime:
“The demand for face and body treatments with fast results and no downtime has always been there,” says Dr. Lam, “and the trend is here to stay due the increased awareness regarding safety and effectiveness of non-surgical procedures for aesthetic improvements and the availability of more and more high-efficacy treatment modalities with minor to no downtime.”
Treatments that are popular with patients at Ageless Medical include HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) that delivers good results with no to little downtime, injectables like fillers, botulinum toxins, which Dr. Lam described as “quick solutions to wrinkles, fine lines, and facial volume loss, and/or for re-modelling facial features to look ‘naturally’ good.”
These treatments can typically be completed within an hour or less.
3. Vagina rejuvenation:
While the treatment isn’t new, Dr. Lam shares that there is a rise in interest for such treatments.
“More women are willing to seek treatments to address issues like vagina laxity and the loss of vaginal lubrication due to childbirth, hormonal changes, and ageing,” says Dr. Lam.
“I noticed a rise in interest of vaginal rejuvenation since 2015,” Dr. Lam adds.
She said that local women have become more pro-active towards self-care and managing sexual health. “Being internet savvy and well-read, they become more aware of the increasing availability of treatments for sexual dysfunction or just to improve their sexual satisfaction,” she says.
Vaginal rejuvenation through non-invasive, non-surgical treatments like radio frequency and lasers is known to improve the health and vitality of vaginal tissue. Its benefits go beyond improving sexual function and sensation – it can also help to treat urinary incontinence due to menopause.
The latest, advanced treatment is the use of high intensity electromagnetic pulsed stimulation to improve women’s health. EMxpert Intimate Wellness programme is one of such treatments. The programme utilises deep electromagnetic pulsed stimulation technology to create 17,000 pulses in 30 minutes, stimulating contractions and relaxation of the nerves and pelvic floor muscles. This helps to improve bladder control and tighten the vaginal wall. In each 30-minute treatment session, the volumetric forced muscle contractions are equivalent to doing 17,000 Kegel exercises but at a much faster rate.
4. Body contouring:
Non-invasive body sculpting treatments that have zero downtime will be a huge trend, Dr. Lam says, because they are suitable for individuals of all sizes, including those who are on the slimmer side and are looking for a leaner and firmer physique.
She says that increasingly busy schedules are preventing individuals from dedicating hours in the gym. This is why body contouring is sought after as an easier way to attain a toned and slim body, and it’s popular because it has zero downtime and is non-invasive.
One of the non-invasive body sculpting treatment that you can look out for is EMxpert Body Contouring, which helps build muscles and burn fats using deep electromagnetic energy to deliver on-target 17,000 muscle contractions in 30 minutes, allowing muscle building to be effortless yet effective.
“The treatment improves the tone and shape of one’s stomach or buttock without breaking out a single sweat as 30 minutes of the treatment is equivalent to 30,000 sit-ups! Ageless Medical is one of the first few clinics to bring in this new technology in Jan 2019,” says Dr. Lam.
How should we go about ensuring we receive the best treatment?
When it comes to picking the right treatment, Dr. Lam says that we have to first identify our immediate concerns. After that, consult an experienced and trusted doctor for direct advice.
“You should expect the doctor to discuss with you a customised treatment plan tailored to your desired skin concerns, skin ideals and financial budget. The doctor should then break down the cost of treatment, the expected results, the treatment duration (for example, if more than one treatment session is needed) and if there is any downtime.
“There may be more than one way to improve your conditions,” Dr. Lam shares. She encourages patients to do online research to gain some prior knowledge of key treatments they are looking at.
To find a doctor that you can trust in, Dr. Lam says you have to first understand the procedure of the treatment, then you may ask the doctor to show you before-and-after photos during personal consultation so you can have the confidence whether he/she can do the job well.
“A good doctor should be able to produce natural-looking results customised to suit the individual and patients should not look ‘frozen’ after treatments,” she says.
“Also, do not be shy but ask the doctor the brand of the equipment or injectables the clinic offers. Although some cheaper alternatives can produce the same result, there might be side effects that you may not be aware of. Be discerning and find out more before you decide on a treatment you think you deserve,” she adds.
She also warns against deciding on an aesthetic clinic just based on price alone.
“Authentic aesthetic treatments by experienced doctors do not come cheap. Don’t be afraid to go for a consultation with the doctor to find out more about their experience in the treatment you are interested in,” she advises.