Snail slime is believed to have an anti-ageing effect on human skin and some cosmetics are already sold with essence of escargot. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: A younger age group of patients in Dubai is opting for cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures, said a cosmetic surgery expert at the Dubai International Health Tourism Forum (DIHTF) on Tuesday.

Dr Jaffer Khan, director and head consultant at Aesthetics International in Dubai, discussed the change in the concept of anti-ageing treatments during a session title ‘Anti-ageing and the principle of ageing gracefully.’

“When I first arrived here in 1998, I was seeing more of the older age groups, but now over 50 per cent of my patients are between the ages of 20 and 35. I cannot call it anti-ageing anymore — I call it structural form on the face. Many patients come to me for wrinkles, cheeks, chin and lifts, and I see younger and younger patients,” said Dr Khan.

He pointed out that we live in a world where longevity and the fight to end ageing is constantly being addressed. “We all want to live longer and more people want to live their life with the reduction of the physical manifestation of ageing — in other words, they want to look better,” he said.

There is an increase in spending in the cosmetic surgery industry that continues to grow each year, with estimates predicting it to reach $330 billion by 2031.

Dr Khan pointed out that facial aesthetics amounted to 43 per cent of procedures in the US in 2016, with Botox treatments ranking as the most popular non-surgical treatment with a total of $10 million in the US alone.

He said Botox is increasingly becoming common as it relaxes muscles and facial expressions, reduces facial wrinkles dramatically, and has an effective modality in treatment for people who want results naturally and quickly.

“This is because the first place we see and the world perceives as the physical manifestations of ageing is in the face,” said Dr Khan.

Recalling different aspects of anti-ageing, Dr Khan referred to stress, diet, exercise, genetic make-up and the environment as factors that play a role in physical signs of ageing.

He referred to consumer test results of skin care products such as eye creams and wrinkle creams and serums as “not entirely convincing,” with many showing limited effectiveness and changes.

“The most effective product is sunblock, as people who use sunscreen daily show 24 per cent less ageing than those who do not,” said Dr Khan.

He listed products that include Retina A, kojic acid and quinones, vitamin C, as well as hydrating products that are hyaluronic, acid based, as beneficial for the skin.

Meanwhile, other popular non-surgical treatments include fillers, and stem cell treatments.

“There is a stem cells laboratory in Dubai, where we harvest 20cc of fats from a patient, and send it over to them. Within 10 days, we can get 80 million stem cells and reinject them into the hair, face and neck to stimulate growth,” he said.

However, when it comes to the principle of ageing gracefully, it could differ from person to person.”

Dr Khan described it as doing whatever is necessary “to stride into your older years with confidence.”

“For some, graceful ageing means avoiding plastic surgery, while for others it means taking steps to match your outside with the way you feel on the inside,” he added.