Aesthetic clinics relieved to resume treating those with skin problems
Aesthetic clinics and their customers are both trying to cope with restrictions during phase one of the economy reopening
Aesthetic clinics are adjusting to phase one of the easing of coronavirus curbs, during which they are allowed to provide only services that treat chronic and inflammatory skin conditions, in compliance with Ministry of Health guidelines.
With such limited appointment-only services beginning on June 2, establishments The New Paper spoke to were still relieved they can now provide patients suffering from worsening acne, eczema and pigmentation some much-needed relief.
A spokesman for Novu Aesthetics told TNP: "These skin issues usually do need regular treatments to control melasma or sebum since hormones, stress and environmental factors come to play."
Dr Siew Tuck Wah from Radium Medical Aesthetics said he has seen high demand for services that treat acne and pigmentation. "Many patients have developed acne from wearing masks," he said.
"In addition, because they have not had their pigment treated for (the past) three months, some of the pigmentation, such as melasma, worsened."
Clinics have also had to work around safe distancing measures by reducing patient intake and spacing out appointments, as well as rejecting or postponing rejuvenative procedures such as those involving botox, fillers and other injectables.
Novu Aesthetics now runs on 20 per cent of its usual capacity. Each patient is permitted to stay inside for only 30 minutes and only a maximum of 10 people - including staff members - are allowed inside at any time.
Not being able to offer non-urgent aesthetic procedures has affected both parties.
Dr Ivan Puah from Amaris B. Clinic said: "We keep stocks of the products for injectables and thread lifts, hence prolonging the resumption of such services may result in product disposal, (and) huge losses to bear."
Radium has been conducting teleconsultations for patients who are not allowed to visit the clinic, as a "stop-gap measure", but deferring certain treatments may have repercussions.
Dr Siew said: "For example, delaying maintenance lasers will cause our patient's skin to deteriorate and be less youthful. Delaying skin lifting treatments will increase sagging, and when that happens, it becomes more difficult and expensive to treat their skin conditions later on."
He added that one service which has not been allowed to resume is the treatment of bruxism, or teeth grinding, with botulinum toxin injections.
He said: "Some patients with this condition, which can cause severe headaches and even broken teeth, expressed distress."
Dr Kevin Chua from Dr Kevin Chua Medical & Aesthetics added that as its skincare treatments are being "paused for an unexpected period of time", it means "outcomes may not be as optimal".
He also had to postpone tattoo removal appointments.
"This may impact a person's mindset or mood and affect some of those seeking new jobs.
"Some parents may also be concerned for their children whose schools have required their tattoos be removed," he said.
Although postponing non-essential services has significantly reduced business revenue and directly affected some clients' self-esteem, Dr Justin Sii, resident doctor at S Aesthetics Clinic, said they have been "extremely understanding".
"Doing what we can in our capacity to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission should absolutely be prioritised at this point of time," he said.
"Some jokingly tell us they do not need these treatments now because no one can see their face with their mask on."
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