I was talking to one of my patients last week and she said “My best friend wants to have some treatment to look younger, but she doesn’t know where to start”.
I’m not surprised. There are so many companies and clinics promoting so many treatments or products, often with outrageous claims, the whole area of cosmetic medicine has become a confusing minefield.
There’s anti-wrinkle injections, fillers, thread lifts, HIFU, peels, lasers, radio frequency, IPL, and a plethora of skin care products, just to name a few.
So where do you start?
The simple answer is that you are best to have a talk to someone who has many years of experience in cosmetic medicine and who offers a number of these treatments themselves.
It is only from working in cosmetic medicine for many years that you can develop the experience and knowledge to properly assess a patient’s face and work out the right treatment or treatments to give them the result that they want.
If a practitioner only offers a limited number of treatments, then they will naturally attempt to treat everybody with these options. Basically “if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail”.
Having said that, I do have a few suggestions to answer the question “where do I start?”
For most patients I would suggest starting with a treatment that is fairly minimal. Try some anti-wrinkle injections, or a treatment like IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to improve the complexion in a meaningful way.
Having had a proper assessment, and tried these types of treatment, many patients then have the confidence to take the next step, maybe with some dermal filler for the face or body contouring / spot fat reduction with Coolsculpt.
Others realise that just that first treatment is giving them the improvement and boost that they were looking for, and don’t wish to do anything more at this stage.
One useful way to think about “where do I start” is to consider the three main areas of ageing for a face.
- The first is skin complexion. Pigmentation, sun damage and vessels.
- The second is lines and wrinkles, particularly frown lines and crow’s feet.
- The third is volume loss and the shape changes that occur with a face with ageing. Is there one of these three that bothers you more than the others?
If so you should properly start with a treatment to address that area of concern.
I always start by asking a new patient an open question such as “what can I do for you?’ or “what would you like to discuss?”.
It’s obviously most important to find out what the patient would like to achieve.
Most of the time it’s a concern that I would suggest treating in any case. But it’s also important that you, the patient, are open to suggestions from your practitioner.
They should have the experience and knowledge to be able to suggest options that you may not have considered.
Having said all that, my main advice is still to see and experienced cosmetic practitioner, and probably to start with a minimal treatment.
At Envisage Clinic we offer free, and obligation free, consultations for all patients, so please call us on 07 5539 4000 to book a chat today.
Article by Dr Christopher Leat – Medical Director Envisage Clinic Benowa
|Dr Christopher Leat – Medical Director Envisage Skin Clinic Founder and Director.Dr Christopher Leat has 33 years’ experience in Medicine and is a member of The Royal College of Physicians of London. Dr Leat has devoted the last 18 years to Cosmetic Medicine and is recognized throughout Australia as one of the most experienced doctors in the field of Cosmetic Medicine.|