The plastic surgery industry boomed the epidemic

SingaporeNg., 27, a Singaporean, usually travels to Malaysia three times a year for firming, botox and filler injections.

Sometimes, she moves to further countries such as Thailand. “Prices in Johor Bahru are cheap and I shop there too. Trips to Bangkok are like holidays, I enlist some treatments,” Ng. share.

She said that cosmetic costs in Malaysia and Thailand are 20-30% cheaper than Singapore. But last year, when Covid-19 broke out, people like Ng. must seek out local hospitals. Domestic plastic surgery service has suddenly exploded. This is a phenomenon that is not unique to Singapore.

In Korea, the industry grew 9.2% a year, reaching revenue of 10.7 billion USD in 2020. In the UK, the number of plastic surgeries, from breast reduction to liposuction, increased to 500 % of the time of blockade. But social marginalization isn’t the only factor driving the industry’s performance. Covid-19 itself leaves a series of new problems for those who are important in appearance.

Long time wearing masks causes acne. Some worry about uneven skin color because of the need to use the laptop for long periods of time. Eyelid surgery has become more common, as people try to improve the only part of the face that shows the outside of the mask.

Gabriel Tan, resident doctor at Dr. Beauty Salon Cindy in Singapore, says mask acne treatment is popular. Many people are willing to have invasive surgery because they know they can stay at home for a long time waiting for recovery. Matthew Yeo, associate professor of audition at Nanyang Technological University, has the same opinion.

A woman preparing to have nose lift surgery at a beauty salon in Seoul. Image: Reuters.

“Cosmetic surgery is becoming more and more popular because people everywhere wear masks and work from home. They can conveniently hide post-operative bumps. People who have never had prior surgery intention also catch colds. See this as a good opportunity to experiment, “he said.

More and more customers seek treatment for pigmentation, says Dr. Gabriel Wong, medical director of SL Aesthetic Clinic. This is because women don’t wear sunscreen less often when working from home.

“Sitting near a sunny window, they are still exposed to more UV rays when they go to work at the office. The buildup of ultraviolet rays causes pigmentation problems like freckles, age spots and pigmentation,” he said. explain. “At home, we see more of ourselves, especially through online video meetings, and can be shocked at the signs of aging neglected during busy times.”

The demand for plastic surgery increased at the same time the government issued a travel restriction that led to people like Ng. There are few options, forcing to seek local treatment. According to Dr. Gabriel Wong, before the pandemic, Thailand and Malaysia attracted people who wanted low-cost surgery. Meanwhile, Korea is an ideal destination for those who like the country’s popular culture and want to try a novel approach, not available in Singapore. The key tips here are also cheaper.

According to Dr. Gabriel Tan, Singaporeans who travel abroad for plastic surgery often seek invasive services, because they are significantly cost-effective compared to smaller procedures. Some carry out unapproved treatments in water, such as stem cell therapy. Others want to see doctors with expertise and high skills. Associate Professor Matthew Yeo has seen patients come to the US, UK, and Hong Kong to have plastic surgery.

One of them is Evelyn, 30 years old. In 2018, she went to Taiwan to lift her nose, cut eyelids and graft herself, although it was more expensive in Singapore. After consulting with friends, she thought the doctors here were professional and reliable. Evelyn currently uses domestic services because they are more convenient during a pandemic. She is also not sure if she will return to overseas clinics when Covid-19 is over.

A doctor is doing nose surgery at WooAhIn Beauty Institute in Seoul on December 17, 2020.  Photo: Reuters.

A doctor is doing nose surgery at WooAhIn Beauty Institute in Seoul on December 17, 2020. Image: Reuters.

According to Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Bank, the social exclusion order leaves many Singaporeans more than enough money to spend on luxury goods and services, including plastic surgery. They also have the psychological effect of “spending money”, ie spending money heavily as if to celebrate after the period of blockade. Mr. Song noted that the country’s retail sales excluding cars increased by 42.8% MoM. The boom will continue as more and more people learn about domestic beauty salons.

“When people are not allowed to travel, they will go to the domestic clinic more. It’s the ‘chicken and egg’ scenario. The more people come to see, the higher the effect of word of mouth, eventually it becomes.” consumption habits, “Song explained.

Dr. Wong also foresaw a sustainable trend. Air travel, he noted, will be expensive and complicated in the long run, even after countries open their borders.

For Ng., Domestic treatment instead of going to Malaysia and Thailand costs more, but the results are “amazing”. She has saved travel time, airline tickets and hotels.

“I feel that the extra money I have to pay is worth it, even though the procedures abroad are cheaper. I am also assured that the (aesthetic) industry in my country is better managed,” she said.

Thuc Linh (According to the SCMP)


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