How To Look For The Right Skin-care Specialist


The extreme makeover

Need to tighten loose skin on your face or lose those bags under your eyes? Cosmetic surgery is no longer served up for just the rich, famous and hollywood celebrities. It has been made available for the masses, thanks to media awareness, greater public acceptance and new innovative technology. 

These days, there have never before been so many non-invasive treatments that can literally erase years off our faces. But selecting the right specialist that will help to achieve the best result for us is more complicating and challenging than ever before. There are so many different options including dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, nurses, GP and even beauty therapists. I would not recommend that you go to a beauticians for in-depth skincare advice or treatments. Their facials might be soothing, but as they are usually not medical trained, their advice may not be correct.

It is therefore essential to ensure that before you embark on any sort of cosmetic treatment or surgical procedure you need to know exactly what it is that you hope to achieve and that you have realistic expectations as to the likely outcome.

The first step

To start, do your homework and be an educated consumer before making an appointment, especially if you’re considering having an advanced procedures done involving needles, lasers, or peeling. 

How to spot a good doctor

A good cosmetic dermatologist/surgeon will evaluate your skin, discuss your options, suggest to you on which products will work the best for your individual skin needs and which products won’t. In the long run, it will save you not only thousands of dollars, by helping you improve your skin with the right use of tested and effective ingredients and procedures.

Truly, a good dermatologist/surgeon will need to know when to say no and also to tell patients that the look they’re requesting is not feasible or practical. All treatments have different risks and complications may happen. All you want is to be sure you’re under experienced and safe hands especially not by a GP or nurse. If you have specified cosmetic procedures in mind, it is advisable to see a cosmetic dermatologist/surgeon who specializes in those treatments. While some dermatologists/surgeon concentrate on pigmentation or wrinkles, but there are some may good on treating acne, for instance. Check around before you make an appointment.

Singapore has just announced new rules for aesthetic procedures. Doctors who practised in 25 established aesthetic procedures such as chemical peels and skin-plumping botox injection can continue to do them if they have enough practice with good results under their belt. But those without a good track record, or any newcomer, will now need the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) to verify that they are qualified to perform the procedures before they can proceed. The final guidelines on aesthetic practices for doctors begin on 1st November 2008. The guidelines provide a detailed reference to the qualifications doctors must have in order to perform the 25 established procedures. They will have to submit proof, for example, certificates from courses approved by the SMC, that they can do such procedures. – Articles from The Straits Times dated November 1st 2008 

Before you see the doctor, make sure you do the following :

  • Identify exactly what it is about your appearance that make you unhappy.
  • Is the doctor trained in dermatology? Is he or she certified in a specialty?
  • What is his preference and specialty? Some are more focused or prefer to use certain procedures than others, e.g. lasers. Or is he or she just claims to be a specialist in the skin and cosmetic procedures, yet is not trained or qualified to carry out many of the procedures.
  • Is the doctor up to date and aware of the new advanced techniques.
  • Ask to see any of the previous patient’s before and after photographs.
  • Is the treatment recommended by the doctor safe, effective and what kinds of results are to be expected?
  • How many treatments are needed, on average? How about maintenance?
  • Will there be any allergic or side effects?
  • Take your time during a consultant, and if is necessary, go for second opinion before making a decision on the right doctor.
  • Be honest and realistic as to your hopes and concerns about the procedure.
  • What is the recuperation and pain factor?
  • And most importantly, what is the cost? Any hidden fees?

It is important to get as much information as possible, and be mindful not to overdo it. Whatever is done (wrong), it is unlikely to be undone. You have to know your limit. Don’t overdo it. Know when to stop. 

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