Having a good look is now within the reach of all of us. As the years go by, ageing can start to bother people, and that is where aesthetic medicine comes in with a set of procedures that can slow down the ageing process and give you the look you deserve.

Unlike plastic surgery, aesthetic medicine offers a range of non-invasive procedures such as facial rejuvenation, chemical peels and botulinum toxin. Almost pain free, an easy recovery with no need to stay at the hospital, and high quality results are some of the reasons why people seek these approaches.

With the partnership between Up Clinic and the HPA Health Group, these treatments are now available in the Algarve, not only at hospitals, but also in several of the clinics that are spread throughout the Algarve, which makes it even closer to the patients.

Actually, it was in one of the HPA Health Group clinics, in Vilamoura, that I met Dr Ricardo Graça, General Practitioner, and also specialist in Aesthetic Medicine. As he told me, it all starts with an initial consultation, where doctor and patient can discuss the details of the further medical procedures.

What’s the best age?

From the age of 25, people can start doing some procedures in order to prevent wrinkles because "from the age of 30 we often start treating certain wrinkles, which are already there and will remain unless we fill them in," he said. However, the age of clients seeking these procedures is very broad.

As for gender, "there are still more women than men, but we are also starting to see men. For example, botulinum toxin is seen in both situations", he said. Also, in terms of nationality, he noted that foreigners are generally better informed than the Portuguese and more open-minded. "We see that foreigners already have a history of procedures. For them, it is a more natural idea."

The natural-looking trend

"The concept of beauty also varies greatly from person to person and doctor to doctor," he reminds us. However, most patients are usually looking for a natural look, which the doctor said is perfectly possible. "We try to come to an agreement with the patient and understand what they want," he said.

Medical procedures outside clinics

Unfortunately, in recent times, there have been reports of schemes using botulinum toxin outside the medical environment. In this regard, Dr Ricardo is concerned about the consequences of this practice.

There are many beauticians who do this under the shadow of the law, and despite the health risks, many people, for money reasons, end up seeking this type of treatment.

"There is a very unfair battle in this regard because the prices out there are very cheap and do not pay the real price of the product. We don't understand how they can make those prices. We have had several patients come to us with adverse reactions after having these procedures done outside clinics," he said, warning of the importance of always seeking medical professionals when deciding to have a procedure done.