Things you cannot tell about Dr Sylvia Ramirez just by looking at her: She has 10 years of experience in the field of aesthetics, and a combined 25 years of medical expertise in various sectors that include chronic disease epidemiology, nephrology and kidney transplantation. After practising in the US as well as in various other countries, the Harvard trained doctor joined the National University of Singapore as an assistant professor, simultaneously establishing a national kidney disease and diabetes prevention programmes for adults and children here.
Today, she enjoys rising to the challenge of research in aesthetic treatments, a field where clinical outcomes are subjective since there are no established metrics in place. As medical and scientific director at her own business, Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, she tells us about her work and why it’s important to keep things real.
WHAT KIND OF INDIVIDUALS OPT FOR AESTHETIC TREATMENTS?
More than half of our clients are expatriates over 30, and most are women, but we also have a lot of discerning male patients who are open to improving their appearance, which makes them feel good about themselves and gives them an edge in business or personal competitions.
WHAT ARE THEIR MAIN CONCERNS?
The vast majority do not want to alter their inherent features but would like to “quietly” target physical signs of age – such as wrinkles, laxity or sagging skin, and volume loss. In our clinic, most of our male patients opt for injectables – as the dosage can be easily adjusted – to reduce the look of wrinkles and folds in the middle and lower parts of the face, resulting in a refined and more youthful look.
Body contouring using the Cryolipolysis procedure is also popular among our male patients, as it is targeted at stubborn “spare tyres”, love handles, or excess fat deposits on the chest which may be difficult to address with diet and exercise alone.
WHAT MYTHS WOULD YOU LIKE TO DEBUNK ABOUT MEDICAL AESTHETIC TREATMENTS?
The first is that using Botox and fillers can make a person’s face look fake and frozen. It is true that even a slight, 1-2mm alteration in the position of facial features can appear unnatural. But our goal is to preserve the essence of the individual’s appearance.
The efficacy of collagen creams and drinks are also myths. Creams and drinks will not restore the body’s collagen because these products will either not penetrate deep enough, or will be neutralised in the digestive tract. There is no strong scientific evidence that shows these products are effective.
WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE CLIENTS WILL ASK FOR IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
Body is the new face, and body treatments will continue to increase in importance in the medical aesthetics field. On top of that, we are seeing two trends: vaginal revitalisation for women and hair transplant procedures for men. Injectables such as botulinum toxin and fillers will also continue to increase in demand.
Energy-based devices such radiofrequency and ultrasound devices are also gaining traction, due to their noninvasive approach towards improving the appearance of sagging skin. Moreover, energy-based body treatments that can target pockets of stubborn fat without surgery will continue to be among the top treatments next year.
Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, Scotts Medical Center, #08-07 Pacific Plaza, Tel: 6801 4000, www.cutislaserclinics.com