Aesthetic treatments have become increasingly popular over the years, with millions of people around the world opting for procedures that range from non-invasive treatments like Botox and dermal fillers to more invasive surgeries such as facelifts and liposuction.
The reasons why people have aesthetic treatments are complex and varied. Some seek to enhance their physical appearance, while others hope to boost their self-confidence and improve their mental health. Others may be looking to correct physical imperfections caused by injury or ageing, or to keep up with the demands of modern society.
Whatever the reason may be, the world of aesthetic treatments has continued to evolve, offering a wide range of options to those who are seeking to improve their physical appearance and well-being. Below, we will explore some of the most common reasons why people have aesthetic treatments and the benefits that these treatments can offer. So join us as we explore the fascinating world of aesthetic treatments and uncover the reasons why so many people are choosing to invest in their physical appearance and mental health.
With all aesthetic treatments, it is important to have a consultation regarding the aesthetic goals you have. Commonly there is a particular area of the face, of maybe the skin itself, that someone is not happy about. However, underlying the aesthetic goal, there are often much deeper reasons for seeking treatment, whether psychological or social. Aging leads to less confidence and issues with self-esteem over time for some people, that can be due to physical or mental health reasons, not just aesthetic reasons.
The impact of ageing
One issue as we age, is that we get downturned mouth and lines around the mouth called marionette lines. This can make us look quite sad. Static lines in forehead or frown lines can also make us look angry. This can change how people interact with in our day-to-day life. Some people notice that people don’t initiate conversations with us like they used to. They don’t share a laugh and joke with us, or treat us differently because they think we look miserable. When we look in the mirror, we see someone who looks miserable or angry, and that doesn’t reflect how we feel inside. We are still the happy, content person we always were, but our face tells a different story.
This can lead to a mismatch between how we feel and what we look like. In turn this can result in issues with confidence, self esteem, self worth and well-being. This is why it is important to encourage conversation about this with your loved ones, if they are doubting the reasons for you having treatment. It is not about vanity and goes much deeper than that.
In fact, there is now considerable evidence that having anti-wrinkle treatments can reduce depression, even in those where medication has failed to work. There have even been head-to-head comparisons between antidepressant medication and anti-wrinkle treatment, showing that the antiwrinkle treatment had the same effect on depression and resulted in less side effects. Having dermal fillers to smooth out deeper folds and replace lost volume in the face, helps us to feel refreshed without changing our face too much. The confidence that brings can be life changing for some people.
Other people really work hard on their health, they get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat a really healthy diet, keep hydrated, keep their stress levels down, but still have signs of aging. Again, this causes a mismatch with what they feel. Inside they feel vibrant, fit and young, but the outside doesn’t quite reflect that. So as part of a consultation we will go through all of these very important psychological and social factors driving the decision to have aesthetic treatments.
The impact of skin conditions on psychological well-being
We know that conditions such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis can have a considerable impact on confidence, self-esteem and well-being. Some people have been unfortunately enough to be bullied at school or work, have people staring at them in public, told they must be ‘dirty’ to have skin like that, and so on. Of course this is not acceptable and it is clear this can completely undermine their self-worth and confidence. Treatments such as chemical peels, microneedling and skin care can have a good impact on this, and whilst they may not result in perfection, have a significant impact of clearing most of the skin, allowing the person to feel better about interacting socially, working in public facing job and general psychological well-being. Practitioners also know when a person requires a dermatologist and the guidelines around this such as NICE. In this way they can signpost them to the most appropriate care.
How to approach conversations with friends and loved ones.
Generally speaking, people can have partners and friends who are really supportive, saying things like ‘I love you anyway’, ‘you look fine’, ‘we are all getting older, it’s nothing to worry about’ and try to help them feel better about these issues. However, those sorts of comments can feel like being dismissed and not fully understood, which doesn’t really help with improving confidence. Confidence after all comes from internal, not external, validation. So, if you are someone who has a loved one that is feeling less confidence because of how they look, an alternative to this would be that you say you are sorry they feel like that, and ask them more about it, how do they feel they can move forward about this?
Others can be very dismissive and be quite opinionated about these treatments being all about vanity, it being stupid and saying things like ‘why can’t you age gracefully’. So, this is why people hide treatments, and then of course they may have a bruise or complication, and the partner or loved one may find out. This doesn’t help your relationship, because they will perceive this as being distrustful and secretive. So, it is important to try to open a dialogue about what you are feeling, the impact this is having on your psychological well-being and how you feel treatment with improve this.
The issues around body image
For some younger patients who haven’t aged as yet, the influence of social media can be a problem. There are many celebrities and influencers having more and more treatment which others try to emulate. Sometimes they are not being honest about how they have achieved this look, having surgery and not having non-surgical treatments. This can lead to some people constantly striving for perfection and leading to an obsession about how they look. Over time this can become unhealthy. In some cases, people do need professional psychological help because they have significant body dysmorphic disorder – a condition where the person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance which are often unnoticeable to others. Having aesthetic treatments if this is the case, will often not help, and commonly make the person feel worse.
This illustrates the importance of having a consultation with a responsible practitioner who won’t just sell you these treatments but have your best interest at heart.
Overall aesthetic treatments such as filler, skincare, microneedling, anti-wrinkle treatments and facials can help someone feel more like themselves, help to match how they feel on the inside with the external person they see and improve confidence, self-esteem and well-being. This in turn can change how someone interacts with their friends, family, work colleagues and generally change their life for the better. Some patients have said how it helps with courage to go on a date, or go for an interview which they otherwise may not have gone for. It can truly be transformative.
So if you have been wanting to try some different treatments but have questions and feel uncertain about them, why not book in a consultation with an expert at our clinic in Crystal Palace.