Aesthetics clinic helps young patients Glow Up with reduced rates
SW1 Clinic's scheme aims to build confidence in teens, young adults at low rates
Local medical aesthetics doctor Low Chai Ling has been treating a 15-year-old boy who wants to get rid of a birthmark that looks like a "chocolate stain" near his lips that his classmates tease him about.
For a series of three laser sessions that usually costs upwards of $600 a session, he just has to pay an all-inclusive fee of $98.
He is among the 30 patients so far who have benefited from Glow Up, SW1 Clinic's latest non-profit initiative to build self-confidence in teenagers and young adults who may not be able to afford professional treatment for skin problems.
Dr Low, 43, is the founder of the aesthetics, plastic surgery and medical spa centre that opened last year on the 13th level of Paragon Medical.
Her team of six doctors - including her husband, Dr Kenneth Lee - and two plastic surgeons sees 40 to 50 patients a day and often stays back to attend to Glow Up patients.
Since SW1 started the initiative last month, she has seen young patients with issues ranging from cystic acne to hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in palms and soles of the feet).
The mother of two children aged 11 and 13 told The New Paper: "Some patients told me they wished they had access to aesthetic clinics when they were younger, so they could seek treatment earlier, so I wanted to fill in that gap."
She added: "Being a young adult can be daunting, especially when you are just coming into your own. It is easy to brush aside these concerns, but you would have to walk a day in the shoes of a young person with a skin problem to understand."
Dr Low feels Glow Up is also a good way to prevent young people from hurting their bodies by taking dubious medication or trying skin cream that may worsen their conditions.
The usual consultation charges ($88 to $128) are waived, and three to four trial-sized skincare products ($30 to $40 for a one-month course) and a spot treatment (upwards of $600) such as laser, if required, are also offered at the significantly reduced fee of $98.
"People think that you have to be very needy to receive help, but we are hoping to give help to those who fall through the cracks," Dr Low said.
SW1 Clinic is actively involved in various corporate social responsibility projects. These include pro bono work for patients with disfiguring and urgent skin conditions, such as those who need to undergo ear reconstruction surgery and operations due to birth deformities. It also provides employment to the disabled.
Mr Gary Woon, 43, was unemployed for seven years after a traffic accident, in which he became a tetraplegic.
Trained in Web design, Mr Woon was hired in 2003 and is the clinic's sole Web designer.
Dr Low sponsored his online lessons to help him improve his skills. Later on, she gave him an iMac to help him with his work.
In 2014, she employed Miss Ng Poh Peng to help curate content for the blog of her former clinic. The latter left after a year to pursue other interests. Miss Ng made headlines in 1991 as she was born with congenital ichthyosis, a rare and incurable hereditary skin disorder that causes skin to flake off, exposing raw-looking wrinkled pink skin.
Dr Low said: "It is not about the physical capability these people possess, it is about their hunger to learn and mental capacity."
She said the opportunities to help those in need gives her a sense of satisfaction.
"When we help them, we hope they will pay it forward and help others around them too," Dr Low said.