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Dr Mansi Mukherjee, Medical Innovation Head, Kaya Skin Clinic, talks about how early treatments can ensure youthful skin

Celebrity bloggers have to write responsibly as their advice is sometimes blindly followed and young minds are very impressionable.

- Dr Mansi Mukherjee, Medical Innovation Head, Kaya Skin Clinic

When is the right time to start looking into aesthetics?

It depends on the condition. We actually start aging the day we are born. With changing food habits and lifestyle, conditions such as acne, seborrhea, facial hair-related to hormonal changes are seen early. Treatment in such cases could be just topical but should be initiated early to prevent scarring.

However preventive treatments for ageing can be started post 20 years of age depending on the skin condition. Ageing has a huge genetic component and thus treatment has to be individualised. It starts with the knowledge of a proper skin regime of cleansing and sunscreen usage. Early treatments are focused towards superficial exfoliation and hydration.

Are there any age ranges that are too old or too young for certain types of treatments?

I think it completely depends on the skin condition. Acne for example occurs at puberty and may need earlier treatment. Laser hair reduction can be started post 15 years of age.

Minimally invasive collagen remodeling procedures can be started by 25 years of age to prevent collagen loss and prevent ageing. This can be done using lasers, ultrasound, micro-needling and radiofrequency, but needs to be individualized based on age and skin type.

However, I also see younger clients, some as young as 12 and 13 years old, coming in for aesthetic procedures such as lip fillers. These I completely refuse. It’s important for us as dermatologists to educate these young minds and not push them into procedures. They are driven by peer pressure and social media, however they are still immature to understand the consequences and their bodies are still developing. As physicians, we should not follow what the patient wants, but do only what the patient needs.

Nobody is too old to take treatment, however if there are comorbidities such as diabetes or hypertension, certain procedures are contraindicated.

What’s sparking the push towards cosmetic treatments at a younger age?

Social media, peer pressure, early puberty and a young working population. Celebrity bloggers have to write responsibly as their advice is sometimes blindly followed and young minds are very impressionable.

How can people know if they need a procedure?

Ideally, only a doctor should decide when the patient needs a procedure. It’s best not to decide to do a procedure based on half knowledge from the internet or social media. That said, we still know ourselves well. We know when our skin looks dull or aged and it’s important to seek treatment early to prevent further damage.

What do people need to know before getting a treatment done?

Every skin type is different and there is no one size that fits all. Just because it helped a friend then the same can be applied to all. Seek the right doctor, the right place and the right treatment. Remember, procedures can have side effects if not done properly, so beware of cheap deals.

Understand the procedure you are undergoing. Ask the right questions. Do not go for permanent treatments. Nothing is permanent, but it can have side effects later in life. You wear your skin every single day of your life and it deserves investing in the right treatment.

Is Botox preventative? Can someone in their 20s get it done?

Yes. Dynamic lines on the face or neck tend to develop as bone resorbs, and we lose collagen. Treating early prevents these dynamic rhytids from becoming static and permanent.

What are some of the popular preventative treatments and what do they do to prevent getting invasive procedures in the future?

Collagen remodeling procedures such as micro-needling, non-ablative and ablative laser, radiofrequency, ultrasound such as HIFU and Ultratherapy — all of these can stimulate the production of the collagen and tightening the skin which leads to a more youthful and supple looking skin. Other than that, lifestyle matters, opting for healthy diet, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking as well as following a proper skin regime.

Mouth is the clearest giveaway of work done too early? How can we get lip fillers that are not too obvious?

Lip fillers are overrated. Social media and peer pressure are driving individuals to do lip fillers. Most want lips like someone else’s. Some look for permanent fillers. Most of them look for cheap deals. They are immature. It’s important for us as dermatologists to counsel these patients properly. Lips should match the aesthetic characteristics of the face and it cannot be one size fits all. I think, here, we have a higher responsibility than the clients and it’s OK for the dermatologist to say no when more shouldn’t be done.

Do it right! Don’t push the doctor. Sometimes less is more.

How do you manage people’s expectations before and after treatment?

Proper counselling, photography and post care.

— For more information, call 800 5292