PETALING JAYA: Cosmetics procedures are becoming more popular among Malaysians who want to maintain their youthful looks or be more attractive, with the number of aesthetic clinics in the country increasing at least seven-fold in the past 10 years.
An increasing number of Malaysians are paying for cosmetic surgery to enhance their features and reduce wrinkles or improve their body shape.
Among popular procedures that women and even men go for are injecting botulinum toxin (or Botox), fillers and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into their faces to reduce wrinkles, and laser treatments to lighten dark spots.
The cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine industry is growing in Malaysia due to increased public awareness of such treatments, said Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Malaysia president Dr Steven Chow.
He said this growth was reflective of the higher number of plastic surgeons being trained, coupled with the Government’s efforts to promote health tourism.
Malaysia Society of Aesthetic Medicine (MSAM) president Dr Hew Yin Keat said many aesthetic clinics were being set up not only in the Klang Valley, but also in Penang, Johor Baru, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak.
“Aesthetic medicine has always been popular among the middle and older age groups. However, these days more young people are also willing to spend on such procedures,” he said.
The most popular procedure among young adults are dermal filler injections to create a sharper nose or longer chin for a V-shaped face.
“For those in the older age group, we see a trend of using threads for face-lifting,” added Dr Hew.
MSAM immediate past president Dr Chin Shih Choon said while there were more female than male clients now, the latter were “fast catching up”.
Dr Chin said PRP jabs were becoming popular in the past five years, with its cost ranging from RM1,800 to RM2,500 per treatment.
However, while the demand is increasing, psychiatrists warn that these cosmetic procedures can be addictive and may only temporarily boost a patient’s self-confidence; those planning to go for cosmetic procedures have been advised to seek a medical expert’s opinion first and to make sure they are aware of the side effects or risks involved.
Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advised Malaysians to seek qualified plastic surgeons.
“In recent years, aesthetic medical practice has gained popularity and as it is a consumer-driven service, the public needs to be protected,” he added.
Those interested in going for the procedures should also ensure that aesthetic medicine practitioners have the Letter of Credentialing and Privileging (LCP) from the Health Ministry, which is required before a doctor can practise aesthetic medicine in Malaysia.