Beauty | Cosmetic surgery, anything but a trivial act

(ETX Daily Up) – Impossible to miss the phenomenon. The acts of medicine and cosmetic surgery are booming almost everywhere in the world, to the point of giving rise to trends on social networks. But we don’t redo our noses – or buttocks – like we change T-shirts, and this unprecedented craze is not without risk. The illegal practices brought to light by the profession, as well as the regrets assumed by many personalities, prove that these acts are by no means trivial.

Between the questionable practices observed on social networks in recent months, and the regrets expressed by several personalities, aesthetic surgery and medicine do not have a good press. And yet, practiced by informed professionals, in the best conditions (therefore), these acts are in no way considered dangerous. Still, it is important today to respect certain rules – or recommendations – and to approach each of these acts with common sense and consideration. Any physical transformation must be thought out, analyzed and carefully considered. And it is the professionals themselves who recommend it.

Something to take into account at a time when aesthetic and cosmetic procedures continue to increase from year to year. In 2019, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) reported a 7.4% increase in these procedures worldwide. Injections of hyaluronic acid, tummy tucks, liposuction, buttock implants… Many are the interventions that have a crowd of followers, especially among the youngest. To date, the hashtag #plasticsurgery has accumulated 12 billion views on TikTok, compared to 4 billion a year earlier. That’s how common these acts have become.

“In France and around the world, social networks have developed in an anarchic way with serious consequences for the health of young patients. Injections under or in the skin are medical acts, which must be carried out by trained and qualified doctors. Young patients should do their research. Any cosmetic procedure, even minimally invasive like injections, involves breaking the skin, and has possible complications, including bruising and infection. And this goes for all procedures intended for to reshape the face or the body, fillers”, explains Dr. Catherine Bergeret-Galley, plastic surgeon and vice-president of the French Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (SOFCEP) and general secretary of the National Union of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics (SNCPRE).

Stop the ‘fake injectors’

Faced with the rise of certain excesses on social networks, the SNCPRE met in January in France to alert the public authorities to the dangers linked to ‘fake injectors’, these unauthorized and therefore unqualified persons, to perform botulinum toxin injections and other fillers that are rampant – most often – on social networks. A mobilization intended to highlight the many serious adverse effects that can result from these practices, and to stop illegal injection activities.

“The big problem with this craze for medicine and cosmetic surgery on social networks is that they are currently offered by non-physician injectors or even bloggers or Instagrammers who are not allowed to inject. Influencers , the new media stars for young audiences, are even promoting these injectors who practice or promote the illegal practice of medicine, and it’s truly shocking.For 3 years, we’ve seen the results of this explosion of no -professionalism: serious complications”, warns the health professional.

Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have already tackled the problem head-on. After prohibiting the administration of botox and other fillers for cosmetic purposes to minors, the British government has decided to toughen the legislation. It would be a matter of imposing a license on practitioners carrying out this type of treatment to avoid abuses. In France, the response from the public authorities is struggling to come, according to professionals in the sector.

“In France, nothing is happening for the moment. The government, thanks to the action of our union, is finally starting to notice the horrible complications for which the illegal injectors are responsible. Since our warning in January, the union is still waiting for the appointment at the level of the Ministry and the General Directorate of Health. It is obvious that the free sale of filler injection products to non-doctors must be stopped to protect patients from these fraudsters”, continues Dr. Bergeret-Galley.

Practiced by informed doctors, the acts of surgery and aesthetic medicine are not subject – or very rarely – to complications, recalls the professional. Pending better supervision, patients – especially the youngest – are called upon to do the necessary – and essential – research to find the right specialist, a plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive and aesthetic surgery or a dermatologist trained in skin physiology and anatomy. The answer is not on social networks, but on very specific platforms (Sncpre.org or surgeons-esthetics-plasticiens.com, for example).

Do not rush

Beyond these fraudulent practices, many personalities have followed one another in recent months to express regret about acts performed too young, or with excess. Courteney Cox recently bemoaned too many surgeries in her life – “I look really weird with all these injections and everything I do to my face,” she ended up saying recognize – when Bella Hadid regretted the rhinoplasty performed at the age of 14, in a long interview with Vogue magazine. “I would have liked to keep the nose of my ancestors,” said the young woman, now 25 years old.

The two global icons are not the only ones to express such regrets. In another register, Linda Evangelista shared her suffering on social networks, after being disfigured by aesthetic treatment. Even the stars of reality TV, although accustomed – for some – to injections and other acts of cosmetic surgery, are more and more numerous to pour out on the subject, warning their many followers about such excesses. Jessica Thivenin notably regretted having used it too soon for her chest, while Maeva Ghennam spoke of her too many injections, which caused a “bloated face”, now advocating more naturalness. Testimonials that aim (also) to make the youngest think about the importance of such interventions, which should not be carried out in haste.

“The ‘stars’ are also often young people whose decisions can be dictated by fashion pressure, their own over-operated icons, and the whole system of ‘stardom’. over-injected hyaluronic acid, with raised cheeks, protruding chins, bulging foreheads, giant lips, ideally straight noses… Some faces that we see on reality TV today no longer look like humans,” says Dr. Bergeret-Galley.

The professional reminds us that it is important to think about your decision before taking action: “You have to resist this fashion, take time, get information, take several opinions… Any change in physical appearance must be done with precaution and with duly qualified practitioners, who can improve certain aspects without taking away your personality, who know how to avoid and treat complications and who will give a professional opinion based on the morphology of the patient, the quality of his skin, etc. Medicine and cosmetic surgery must be well thought out and analyzed by the patient and his doctor”.

This also applies to those who wish to look like their favorite star. A phenomenon that is also exploding around the world. Any act, and whatever the reason, requires reflection, research, and dialogue with a health professional. A golden rule to follow to experience any physical transformation in the best possible way, and never regret.

Christine Pellissier

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