The demand for beauty treatments abroad has increased significantly compared to the previous year. In Ecuador, although there has not been an overall increase, the demand for specific anti-aging and weight loss procedures has increased.
In countries with high purchasing power, including Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea, the demand for these procedures has increased overall.
In the United States, a survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 49% of respondents were open to having surgery for cosmetic reasons.
The Zoom effect
“One of the things I have seen the most is that by having their face reflected on a screen all day long, people realize the state of their face,” explains Viveka Tinoco, aesthetic doctor and president of the Ecuadorian Society of Medical Aesthetics (SEEM).
In your practice, you have seen an increase in demand for anti-aging treatments. Wrinkles around the eyes are one of the biggest concerns for patients, according to Tinoco. Sagging and imperfections are also traits that one seeks to combat.
This is reflected in the 15% of new patients he has received since the reactivation of the center he runs. However, there has been a decrease in the total number of patients he treated before the pandemic.
Paola Guevara, dermatologist specializing in facial dermatoesthesia, also observed a decrease in the number of patients in general consultation, compared to before the pandemic. However, he has seen an increase in the demand for cosmetic treatments.
The sale of services such as nanopeeling, used to reduce acne marks and remove blemishes, increased by 50%. Anti-aging procedures, including botox injection, had the same increase.
Verónica Bravo, cosmetic doctor, says she has noticed a decrease in the number of patients, mainly in her center in El Recreo. The northern branches and Los Chillos were also affected, but the stability is greater.
“In May and June, people were looking for small treatments that they could access despite the crisis,” he says.
Among them, preference has been given to those with rapid recovery or home recovery such as bichetomia, a procedure that helps to slim the cheeks; double chin reduction and CO2 laser, used to remove scars, reduce wrinkles or fight spots.
Overweight and obesity are worrying
30% of the Ecuadorian population is overweight or obese. Ecuador is the third Latin American country to face this problem, behind Mexico and Chile. “These figures are on the rise,” explains Tábata Tinoco, a surgeon specializing in bariatric surgery.
This is due to the fact that during the pandemic several factors impacted this problem. Lack of physical activity, anxiety and boredom are some of these.
The surgeon now has twice as many patients looking for alternatives to lose weight, compared to the months before the pandemic.
The specialist explains that if the patient is overweight and obese grade 1, he is a candidate for treatment with a digestible gastric balloon. This is a minimally invasive technique where the patient takes a pill which is then inflated with 550ml of fluid in the stomach.
Tinoco ensures that until before the pandemic, 15,000 digestible gastric balloons had been placed around the world. This number has doubled in the months of the pandemic.
For people with grade 2 or 3 obesity, there are three surgical alternatives: gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and single anastomosis bypass. Each alternative is chosen based on the patient’s medical history.