Although it’s not possible to beat time completely, there are plenty of ways to minimise the effects of ageing, writes Dr Lisa Chan.
Youth is associated with good health, fertility, and the excitement of knowing that there are many new and joyous experiences yet to come. With advances in medicine and technology, and the trend towards healthier and more mindful living, people’s life spans keep increasing, yet their external bodies sometimes fail to reflect the joie de vivre they feel on the inside. Patients often show me photos of themselves from several years ago, and ask whether there are ways to turn back the clock without going under the knife and risking its associated complications. In many cases, the answer is yes.
Botulinum toxin can help to reverse and minimise wrinkle formation, while hyaluronic acid fillers and biostimulant injections can make up for the loss of fat and collagen that occurs over time. Both treatments can last from three months to two years, depending on patient lifestyle, type and location of injection. Thread lifting, which is the insertion of dissolvable surgical threads under the skin, can tighten and firm up sagging areas. For those with double chins, there are also injections that can permanently dissolve excess fat.
Needle phobics need not despair, as there are other options that utilise radiofrequency and focused ultrasonic energy to lift up areas such as droopy eyelids, sagging jowls or loose skin over the neck and chest. Lasers and intense pulsed light treatments can also reverse the signs of sun damage, smoothen out unevenly pigmented skin and create a glowing, healthy complexion.
The above treatments can significantly slow down ageing, enhance patients’ quality of life, improve their psychosocial wellbeing and social engagement levels. They’re also known as minimally invasive treatments, as they can often be performed under local anesthesia and completed within minutes to an hour, and require little to no downtime.
Occasionally some swelling and bruising may be involved, but these tend to be mild and resolve within a week or two. Some of my patients even schedule treatments during their lunch breaks and return to work straight after.
Aesthetic procedures are elective, and I always advise my patients not to rush into anything without thinking it over. It’s important to do your research, find a doctor you can trust and have a good rapport with – one who takes the time to understand your lifestyle and treatment goals. You should also be aware of the side effects and range of options available to you.
Age has its own beauty, and the goal with rejuvenation should always be to look as natural as possible. Seeing the sparkle return to my patients’ eyes and watching them walk out of the clinic with a new spring in their step are some of the best moments of my day.