With the rise in aesthetic centres in India, it goes without saying that the treatments, too, are witnessing a spurt. Gone are the days when these centres were merely frequented for Botox fillers and laser hair removal. Today there is a plethora of treatments available and a lot many doctors are bringing in international expertise and experience to the table
In the early 1990s, the trend for aesthetic centres was almost negligible in India. Back then, we would not be exaggerating when we say that most of the celebrities and women from super wealthy families visited clinics abroad if they had to undergo any cosmetic procedure. Was there no appetite for cosmetic treatments then or was it that there were not enough avenues back home which led people to travel abroad? Whatever the case, the reality is that the mushrooming of aesthetic clinics in India is just a decade old phenomena. It was in 1994 that Dr Jamuna Pai took a bold step and launched her Blush Clinic in Mumbai. The centre then just had six people, but then having the fi rst mover advantage, Dr Pai managed to win a loyal set of clientele within a year who went ahead to patronise her clinic and make it a must-visit for women who were looking at solutions from – acne treatment to international facials and more. Within four years, she launched two more clinics in Mumbai. It was in 2000 that Dr Pai went ahead to introduce Botox in India for the first time and need we even mention the response she garnered? In 2002, she went ahead to introduce laser hair removal and then came in Thermage and skin lightening peels.
The wheel for aesthetic centres spread across the country has since then been spinning non-stop with a lot many doctors opening their speciality clinics. Just as there is an increase in the list of clinics, so is the rise in the number of treatments. In order to capture a pie in the rising Indian aesthetics market estimated to reach $178 million by 2015, Bausch & Lomb India has plans to foray into this segment with a range of equipment targeting cosmetologists, including dermatologists and plastic surgeons. As part of its foray, the company will make available an array of world-class aesthetics products, namely, Thermage, Fraxel, Clear+Brilliant, Liposonix, Vaserlipo, Vasershape and Isolaz. All these are available in all the metros of India.
From a doctor’s diary
If we look at the diaries of various doctors in terms of tracking the introduction of various treatments at their centres, we shall get an idea of what has been in trend and growing over the years. Pulling a page from Dr Apratim Goel’s diary, from Cutis Skin Studio, she cites, “I started in July 2004 mainly with laser hair removal with the world renowned Light Sheer Diode Laser. Also since acne is a big problem, we launched acne treatments. However within one year of practice, I realised that there was an increased demand for fairness. Everyone wants to get fairer and fairer. Though we had skin polishing and chemical peels right from the start, my clients demanded a no-downtimeand-instant-results treatment. In 2006, I started with the QS NDYAG laser for skin lightening called Laser Facial. We were also fortunate to be the fi rst in India to get the Dermaroller technique for scars and fine lines in 2006. However, the problem of acne scars and stretch marks remained, so in 2007 we got the Fractional Erbium Laser for scar resurfacing.
This took care of the superficial acne scars and stretch marks, but the problem of deep scars still remained. Our Medispa section was totally overhauled on 2008 by the introduction of medi cleanups and medifacials for acne, wrinkles, dry and pigmented skin. Cutis was the fi rst clinic in India to start the Laser Peel treatment with remarkable results in 2008. In 2009, we brought in the gold standard laser called fractional CO2 Laser for scars. At the same time, we got the fi rst painless laser hair removal in 2009 called Soprano, which helped build my laser hair removal practice.” Adding further on the journey, she shares, “Just when we thought that we were fully updated with the latest technology, the Summum Diode Laser from United States came up and we launched it and it revolutionised my hair removal practice. From 2009 to 2011, we made a big leap in skin tightening and medispa where we started using Titan Infrared technology from the United States for skin contouring and tightening. The next milestone was 2011 when we got the Korean technology called Helios Laser which is a gold standard for skin whitening and skin pigmentation. 2014 saw the launch of the world’s most advanced skin tightening and contouring technology called Ultraformer, which is a HIFU (High intensity focused ultrasound) from Korea. This treatment is a single session remarkable skin treatment with no pain, no downtime and instant results.”
According to Dr Goel, in the last three years there has been a steady increase in hair removal and laser skin whitening. Throwing light on the current industry dynamics, Dr Mohan Thomas, Chief Surgeon and Medical Director of The Cosmetic Surgery Institute Private Limited highlights that cosmetic surgery has been practiced in India for a long time, but has gained considerable importance and popularity in the last 10 to 15 years. He shares, “A significant increase has been noted in the Indian cosmetic or aesthetic surgery mainly because of the increasing demand for aesthetic procedures from people in the urban cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Chandigarh. This has caused a mushrooming of the aesthetic centres across these cities and also among tier II cities of India.”
Dr Thomas has brought the latest technology to his centre which includesworld-class hair removing and full spectrum of lasers as well as radio frequency technology to provide non-surgical facial rejuvenation. Techniques to tighten loose skin non-surgically by stimulating the body’s own mechanism as well with help from applications without cutting the excess skin have been pioneered in this centre. Hearing it directly from him, “Vaser and Laser liposuctions to give the body the ultimate 5D defi nition is being used routinely. This is India’s only centre which has the ability to visualise areas during and after liposuction as well as fat grafting. Areas of fi ller injection can be directly seen using the latest navigation techniques so that a real time analysis of the area injected can be observed for the most perfect result. Use of US FDA approved implants have brought many international patients to India for consultation and surgery thus giving it the status of the foremost cosmetic Institute of India and Asia.”
Dr Vivek Mehta’s Pulastya Delhi Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser centre that was launched in 2007, too, saw an organic growth led by demand from his clients. As he explains, “As we were seeing patients with routine dermatology concerns, we found a profound interest in patients for aesthetic procedures. I began with simple procedures like laser hair removal and chemical peels. Since we handle lot of
patients with acne and hormonal imbalance like PCOD, we had lot of women having excessive hair on face and marks left by acne on face which led us to introduce peels and laser hair removal. With growing aesthetic consciousness, change in lifestyles and growing willingness to spend on treatments to improve the appearance, we introduced procedures like anti-wrinkle injections, dermaroller, mesotherapy, microdermabrasion, laser tattoo removal and fractional laser resurfacing. In 2013, we had introduced new treatments like skin tightening, body shaping and laser toning. Recently we have introduced thread lift as well.”
Dr Deepali Bhardwaj from Dr Deepali’s Hair and Skin Clinic in Delhi began her journey with acne scar surgeries, Botox fillers, hair transplant and more, but like the other doctors, she gradually added to the portfolio based on the changing market demands and the requirements of her clients. As she elaborates, “Merely in a year of inception, I could bring in Smart Xide2 by Déka and I was first one to do so in North India. It is the best laser for all scars, stretch marks and vaginal reshaping from Florence, Italy. After that almost every six months I have introduced a new laser, like Q switched Nd:Yag for tattoo removal, then various facial machines were brought in like oxy facial, hydrafacial, medifacials. In early 2014, I brought RF for anti-ageing purposes and this has been quite a hit for us. I was also amongst start up doctors to offer PRP for hair and skin both in 2012.” To add further on Dr Bhardwaj’s journey, in 2013, she introduced whitening injections containing Glutathione and she also shares that she is one of the few doctors to give skin booster with Vitamin C and Glutathione for Facial rejuvenation and instant tightening.
As for a sneak peek into what shall be in demand in the future, Dr Thomas shares, “With more and more people wanting changes on the go, undergoing major surgical procedures with an associated downtime would be left to the end. If current growth rates continue into the next decade, the future demand in cosmetic surgery will be driven largely by non-surgical procedures.” Revealing what can be expected from Cutis, Dr Goel shares, “The new treatments that I will be launching are hair re-growth lasers and more effective skin rejuvenation technology; in my medispa add more relaxing and rejuvenating treatments; launching our personalised peels and skin care products and lastly, an effective, painless, no downtime weight loss technology.”Dr Kumar strongly feels that with the booming economy and increased awareness about the cosmetic procedures, Sculpt Aesthetic and Cosmetic Clinic would expect to see an annual 30 per cent growth. He points out, “Now self-indulgence is not considered sinful. All these procedures are found to be quite safe if done properly under medical guidance. New treatments for body sculpting with no touch radio frequency with definite inch loss are the future for body contouring. For facial aesthetics, the mile stones are set, but with modified combinations of PRP and fillers for vampire face lifts.”
Dr Bhardwaj gives some food for thought when she shares that other services like men cosmetology has definitely increased many folds. Also full body care is coming up now rather than mere facial beauty.