Health: Why needle with your looks?

From unimaginable treatments to going under the knife, people across the globe have been investing in their looks since ancient times. Renee Zellweger’s recent public appearance stirred another hornet’s nest on this debate. the guide investigates why looks matter, and if morphing an ugly nose or removing forehead lines is worth it, after all

Then & now

Renee Zellweger Actress Renee Zellweger attends the 2014 Couture Council Award Luncheon Benefit in New York City.
Zellweger performs on the set of the movie, Me, Myself & Irene in 2000. Zellweger and Actress Renee Zellweger attends the 2014 Couture Council Award Luncheon Benefit in New York City. Pics/Getty

Saying 'YES' to surgery
"Cosmetic treatments can be done for various conditions such as pigmentation, acne scars, rosacea, fine lines and wrinkles, tightening of skin, facial contouring and hair loss," advices Dr Apratim Goel, consultant dermatologist and laser surgeon at Cutis Skin Studio.

Dr Viral Desai
Dr Viral Desai

On the other hand, Dr Viral Desai, aesthetic and cosmetic surgeon at hair restoration organisation, DHI India and cosmetic clinic CPLSS feels that cosmetic surgery is a non-essential one as it is mainly aesthetical in nature.

Dr Apratim Goel
Dr Apratim Goel

"Cosmetic surgery can either enhance or correct your features. If you look into the mirror and are not happy with what you see, chances are that it can be changed," Dr Desai shares.  

The risk factor
"The risk of plastic surgery is like any other surgery," remarks Dr Desai. Going through the process step-by-step, he underscores that anaesthesia exposes one to the risk of respiratory problems; other areas of concern would also be infections, skin diseases, scars and damaging the wrong nerves that can cause paralysis.

When undergoing breast enhancement procedures, rupturing of the implant or having the foreign body enter the exposed area is a problem. Dr Goel interjects by giving the downside on short-term treatments, "For instance, redness, swelling, and bruising are some common side effects of fillers whereas crusting, redness, edema are of CO2 laser.

Both dissolve in seven days and are temporary." There is also the risk of getting a botched nose-job, irregular body shape with liposuction and lumps when the surgeries aren't carried out properly. The bottom line is choose your doctor carefully. "If you observe Koena Mitra's too slender or sharp nose or Shabana Azmi's arched eyebrows, you would know they have gone wrong," reveals Dr Desai.

Common pitfalls
If you are undecided, the first and foremost step is to consult a doctor and understand if he/she shares the same opinion about your physical features. In case it's only paranoia, don't give in to pressure and undergo something you'd regret later.

Second of all, always know what you want when you go to the doctor. "If you come to me with Angelina Jolie's photograph and say that I want lips like hers, I can manage. But if you want to be a replica, that's not possible as everyone has their own shape and size," says Dr Desai.

Though plastic surgery is said to enhance confidence, overdoing it is a big no-no. "Courteney Cox has overstuffed her face with Botox. It's like being prescribed half a tablet for a sleeping disorder and you take 10, you know what happens."

For those who are weary of the knife, Dr Goel suggests non-surgical procedures such as ultrasonic lipolysis and radiofrequency machines be used to tone and slim the body non-surgically — they help in fat loss and inch loss as well. "Mesotherapy, stem cell and platelet rich plasma treatments are available for hair restoration.

Botox and fillers and non-surgical thread lifts are available for anti-aging. Vampire facelifts are also popular for rejuvenation," she adds.

Graceful over the years

By Hollywood standards, I guess I’ve already taken a big risk in not having had a facelift.

Dimple Kapadia and Julia Roberts
Dimple Kapadia, 57 years; Julia Roberts to You magazine, 47 years Pic/AFP

Aesthetic success

Jennifer Aniston and Shilpa Shetty
Jennifer Aniston, 45 years pic/getty; Shilpa Shetty, 39 years

They got it wrong

Michael Jackson and Koena Mitra
Michael Jackson and Koena Mitra

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