The Guide to Seeing an Aesthetic Doctor in Singapore (2020)

Guides

Do you ever find like your skin is no longer at its best and needs improvement? I recommend finding the help of Aesthetic doctor in Singapore.

As an Aesthetic doctor, I understand the difficulty patients like you may have in finding treatment. I have written a guide on seeing an Aesthetic doctor if you do not know where to start looking.

What is defined as an Aesthetic Doctor?

An aesthetic doctor is a doctor who has completed full medical training. Together with experience in various medical and surgical specialties, doctors develop the skills and interests in aesthetic medicine to become specialists in aesthetics.

They are responsible for helping their patients improve the aspects of their appearance which bother them.

They should achieve these standards based on medical and science standards and a practical basis. Aesthetic doctors use minimally invasive treatments.

What Treatment does an Aesthetic Doctor in Singapore provide?

Much of the work of an aesthetic doctor is directed at skin improvement and enhancement with treatment modalities that include:

  • Lasers
  • Skin Boosters
  • Botox and Fillers
  • Rejuran Treatment
  • Body Sculpting
  • And more

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Aesthetic Treatments in Singapore (2020)


What Specialised Training does an Aesthetic Doctor in Singapore go through?

Formal training in Aesthetic Medicine

I must receive further training from an approved National Aesthetics Program (ADEG - Aesthetic Dermatology Education Group) before I can become certified to perform aesthetic procedures. My training scope involves the understanding of: 

  • Facial anatomy
  • Laser physics
  • Botulinum Toxin and dermal fillers biochemistry
  • Aesthetic procedures techniques
  • Potential aesthetic treatment complications
  • And more

Be Licensed

I must be certified in the field of aesthetics by the ADEG, which is accredited by the Singapore Medical Council Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee.

Note that although we have programs that certify us to allow us to practice, Aesthetics is not a recognised speciality or subspecialty in Singapore.

What are some common conditions you encounter as an Aesthetic Doctor in Singapore?

Common conditions that we see in an aesthetic practice are skin-related. I see a fair amount of uneven skin tone, pigmentation, acne, and scars.

Other patients come to me about ageing skin. They typically complain of having saggy skin, a dull appearance, dark eye bags, and double chins.

I have others who came in complaining about wrinkles. I also have young patients who want facial sculpting. For example, they want a taller nose bridge, a well-defined chin, or perhaps a higher cheekbone. 

Some patients are unsure of what they want and are looking for advice and consultation. This is where I evaluate the potential needs specific to the patient.

Acceptance 

On a large scale, I think people are much more accepting of aesthetic medicine. 10-15 years ago, people were resistant to it and wouldn't have wanted to come to the clinic.

Now people talk about the cosmetic procedures they underwent, and openly discuss and share about the clinics they have been to.

Overall, people are accepting aesthetic treatments way better, and laser treatment are as popular as facials in present days

Openness 

In terms of trends, people are moving from lasers to injectable treatments.

Like I mentioned earlier, people are more open to fillers and botox than in the past.

People have started trying different treatment modalities such as Rejuran and collagen stimulators, which have been popular in recent years. One example is Profhilo, which is a relatively new collagen stimulator that serves as an alternative or an adjunct to fillers.

Dynamic 

The aesthetic landscape is dynamic. With the popularity of social media use, people are looking at trends (“Korean look” is one such trend), actors or actresses, and social media influencers. Movies, television series or dramas that are popular now affect the type of appearance my patient desires.

What are the Unique challenges you face as an Aesthetic Doctor in Singapore?

Expectations

Firstly, managing or addressing issues my patients have is a top priority for me. I might think I have done an excellent job, but my patient might not concur. That can happen if I don’t manage their expectations appropriately. 

Secondly, patients who are very new to aesthetics tend to be more anxious or worried about the post-treatment care, even though I take the time to explain some expected post procedural side effects.

They might take a closer look at their face after the procedure and may be ‘hyper-aware’ of their appearance.

For example, they might notice a few more pigments that were there before but are now taking a look at it much more frequently, paying extra attention to them.

On top of managing expectations, the continual reassurance we give after the procedure is crucial.

This service is why I keep myself reachable at all times to address patients’ concerns because it is vital that our patients feel confident in their aesthetic doctors.

What kind of Treatments involve an Aesthetic doctor?

Energy-Based Devices

Lasers, HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound), and Thermage are some of the primary energy-based devices that are used to help enhance skin or facial appearance.

  1. Fractional laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that scans the target region to treat a fraction of the skin at a time.

    Similar to modifying pixels in images, tissues around the microscopically treated areas remain stable, thereby promoting the process of wound healing [1] [2] [3].

  2. HIFU is an advanced medical technology that uses concentrated sound waves to address tissue diagnostic and cosmetic issues.

    HIFU is unique because it can treat deep tissue layers without damaging the surface. As it does not need a break in the skin, it is entirely non-invasive.

  3. Thermage is another non-invasive tool that uses patented radiofrequency energy to induce bulk heating of collagen rich layers. This induces collagen stimulation and helps to tighten the skin of the face, giving a more youthful appearance.  


    Related: The Complete Guide to Facelift Options in Singapore (2020)

    Also read my reponse to a question: What options are there, i.e. dental, aesthetic and surgical, to augment the appearance of my jaw?

Chemical peels 

A chemical peel aims to eliminate a stable, consistent layer of damaged skin, enabling natural wound healing and allowing skin rejuvenation to occur [4].

Doctors frequently use chemical peels on the: 

  • Nose
  • Face
  • Neck
  • Upper arm

But it can be used on almost any part of the body.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that buffs away the outermost layer of the skin [5]. An aesthetic doctor will spray or rub small crystals that gently exfoliates the dirt off the top layer.

Most of my patients ask for microdermabrasion to rejuvenate the face and neck, but an aesthetic doctor may perform the treatment on other skin areas if deemed suitable.

Injectables

Injections such as Botox, Fillers, Skin boosters, Rejuran, and Profhilo are common injectables provided by aesthetic doctors. 

  1. Botox is the brand name for a drug (Botulinum Toxin) injected into the skin that suppresses muscle contraction, and it helps to prevent the creation of or deterioration of wrinkles. 
  2. Fillers reduce the presence of facial lines and wrinkles, preserving a youthful look. This is the perfect treatment for those who wish to remove the signs of ageing - but are not ready to undergo drastic surgeries such as facelift.

    Fillers work by filling up parts of the face that are vulnerable to deterioration to
    restore volume and fullness. While not having lasting benefits, it offers a more accessible, healthier, and inexpensive way to look younger.


    Also Read: Botox VS Dermal Fillers: All You Need To Know About The 2 Alternatives To Non-surgical Facelifts

  3. Rejuran Healer is an injectable polynucleotide (PN). Rejuran Healer improves tissue regeneration
    My patients love the impact of collagen on tissue regeneration as well as other sugars (glycosaminoglycans) essential for skin moisture.
  4. Profhilo is a skin-based injectable anti-ageing medication made from hyaluronic acid that loses its elasticity and firmness with age. Doctors can use Profhilo on the Nose, Back, Decollete, Shoulders, Hands and Knees.

Or other parts of your body where the skin displays noticeable signs of ageing. Such signs include the reduction of, and changes in, skin colour, hydration, firmness, and wrinkle presence.

Profhilo can provide lifting by enhancing collagen and elastin, with the ability to hydrate and relieve mild to severe skin laxity [6].

How much does an Aesthetic Treatment cost in Singapore?

Here is the cost for aesthetic treatment in Singapore [7]:

Procedure

Cost in Singapore

PICO lasers

$200 - $500/session

Fractional C02 lasers

$500 - $1000/session

Lasers for pigmentary disorders

$250 - $400/session


$200 - $450/tattoo per session (varies depending on size)

Lasers/IPL for hair removal

$120 - $280/session

Radiofrequency (RF), ultrasound (US), infrared treatment

Thermage: $2500 - $3500/session

Ultherapy: $3000 - $5000/session

Chemical peels

$150 - $350/session

Microdermabrasion

$70 - $150/sessions

Filler injection 

$500 - $900/syringe

Rejuran

$600 - 1,400/session

Profhilo

$1,200 - $1,500/session

 

When should I visit an Aesthetic Doctor? 

You may consider visiting an aesthetic doctor:

  • To assess your skin condition and develop a suitable treatment plan
  • To begin anti-ageing treatment early 
  • To enhance facial features

What can I expect on my first visit to an Aesthetic Doctor in Singapore?

Be prepared to answer your medical history questions

Just like a typical visit to a clinic, the doctor will ask about your medical and aesthetic history.

A thorough consultation will be performed to understand your needs, followed by tailor-made treatment recommendations. Typically, I prefer to combine treatment modalities to achieve better outcomes.

Your skin will be checked

Even if you presented to the clinic with a specific skin concern (e.g. uneven skin tone), your aesthetic doctor is here to assist you with all aesthetic concerns including others you may not be aware of before the visit.

It is a journey that my patients and I explore to come up with a treatment plan.

Expect to be treated politely

I will explain the procedure I will use to you, talking about details like [8]:

  • The procedure details
  • Alternatives available
  • Risk involved
  • Complications that can arise
  • Outcome expected
  • Duration of treatment
  • Expenses involved

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Aesthetic Clinics in Singapore (2020)


What should I consider when choosing an Aesthetic Doctor?

An excellent initial move is to list the qualities that matter to you [11]. 

  • Get referrals
  • Research the doctor’s credentials
  • Consider the doctor’s experience
  • The gender of the doctor might be a factor for you
  • Research clinic quality
  • Consider communication style
  • Surveys on patient satisfaction

Also read this: What should I look out for in choosing an aesthetic clinic in Singapore?


Are Aesthetic Treatments Medisave claimable?

Most, if not all, aesthetic procedures are not Medisave-claimable.

For treatments to be Medisave-claimable, they have to be a medical problem; essential for health and well-being.

For example, for patients with droopy eyelid caused by Dermatochalasis or Ptosis and blocks their vision to a certain extent, the treatment becomes Medisave-claimable. 

Conclusion

You now know what to consider before allowing an Aesthetic doctor in Singapore near your face! From getting referrals from someone you know, to what treatments are available, you are well equipped to make the right decision for the most important person, you!

Be sure to be comfortable with the aesthetic doctor before you agree to take the treatment. I wish you all the luck on your aesthetic journey!


Dr Vincent Tan is fully accredited by the Singapore Medical Council’s Aesthetic Practices Oversight Committee (APOC) to perform a variety of aesthetic procedures such as Botulinum Toxin injections. He has an interest in injectables and practices evidence-based aesthetic treatment.


 

References:

1. Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Medical Lasers. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Published 2019. Accessed February 25, 2020.

2. Ahrari F, Heravi F, Hosseini M. CO2 laser conditioning of porcelain surfaces for bonding metal orthodontic brackets. Lasers in Medical Science. 2012;28(4):1091-1097. doi:10.1007/s10103-012-1152-x

This article was written by Dr Vincent Tan and published on Tuesday, 31 March 2020. Dr Vincent Tan medically reviewed the article on Tuesday, 31 March 2020. The last update was made on Friday, 23 October 2020.

Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the author and not to the platform.

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