Growing older is inevitable, but we should make the most out of it, and look the best for our age. Prevention plays a big role in this and it is a good thing that an increasing number of patients come to us with the idea of making themselves feel better in their skin. I prefer minimally invasive treatments and natural appearance, says aesthetic medicine specialist, doctor Aleksandra Aničić Tošović.
As a relatively new branch of medicine, aesthetic medicine efficiently deals with the demands of modern-day society when it comes to looking as good as possible. “Lately, we have been having a lot of patients coming to see us for prevention purposes, as well as some minimally invasive treatments that will improve their appearance” says doctor Aničić Tošović.
1. What are the most frequent reasons (psychological, emotional) that patients come to see you?
Physical appearance and psychological/emotional aspect are closely related. Certainly there are patients who want to compensate their dissatisfaction in the psychological or emotional plane by changing their appearance, and that is not unusual or new. Only a few years ago, when aesthetic medicine was not available to us to such a degree as today, we often heard women, for instance, changing their hair colour or having a new haircut after the breakup of emotional relationship. Every doctor of aesthetic medicine must be a good psychologist too. First of all, they have to have a detailed conversation with the patient, evaluate the psychological aspect, set goals and make a plan to mutual satisfaction. The aim of aesthetic medicine is to achieve a psycho-physical balance, and that patients feel good in their skin.
2. How big is the psychological impact of interventions that patients have and depending on the procedures you use, is there a limit to them?
Thank you for this question. I have a strong interest in this issue and this is something that I deal with as a psychiatric specialist. The psychological impact of aesthetic medicine procedures is high. On one hand, there is a positive effect that patients feel because they are satisfied with the achieved change, while on the other hand, there is patient dissatisfaction which can have consequences for mental health, and repercussions on all segmentss of life, especially if we are talking about a unbalanced person.
3. Although beauty is in the eye of a beholder, how can we deal with the imposed standards of beauty today? Is there an expert definition of beauty (e.g. dimensions, proportions, relations)?
We are witnesses that with the ever-increasing popularization of social media and perfectly staged selfies, which are put through numerous filters, certain standards of beauty have been imposed on us. The most vulnerable population is certainly young people.
How can we fight against this? By talking and explaining that the aim of aesthetic medicine is to get the most out of the looks that we already have, that the only successful intervention is one that is not too visible, and that it is absolutely vital to maintain one’s own individuality.
The universal definition of beauty does not exist as such, but of course there are different guidelines that we adhere to – above all, respecting the anatomical proportions and not destroying the balance of facial features.
4. As a psychiatric specialist, you are probably best equipped to know the needs of your patients. Is there an age limit (lower) in terms of the psychological consequences of interventions on young people?
Yes, there is a lower age limit which is set at 18. However, I consider maturity to be much more important, because if the result is not exactly what this young patient has imagined, it can indeed leave far-reaching psychological consequences.
I think that youth is beautiful as such and that, when you are young, some other things should be the priority. I am a mother of a girl, and I cannot even fathom her re-doing her cheekbones or lips while she is still in high school. That would be a failure on my part, as a parent.
If you ask me, I would definitely move the age limit to twenty something years.
5. Speaking about the latest trends, are there new trends in the industry at all in 2019?
Trends exist everywhere, even in this area. What really excites me is that now prevention takes precedent, as well as favouring the natural look. I think the time of overinflated lips is far behind us.
6. Do you cater to as many men as women, and what are the most common procedures among men and what among women?
Yes, men are becoming an increasingly frequent patients at aeasthetic medicine clinics. Of course, their number if far lower than women’s. The very approach to man’s face differs to that of a woman’s. Men usually want procedures that highlight their masculinity and these are usually the procedures done on the lower third of the face. The most sensual parts of female face are cheekbones and lips. If they are oversized and loose their feminine appearance, then we have a completely opposite effect. As far as female patients go, these are the most requested procedures.
The good thing is that more and more patients give advantage to treatments that stimulate skin cell growth and increase collagen synthesis. Growing older is inevitable, but we should make the most out of it, and look the best for our age.