An unforeseen effect of pandemic restrictions is that more people in Malaga are opting for cosmetic surgery. From Botox to hair transplants, many have expressed an interest in procedures as we emerge from lockdown. For those who have had a chance to make savings over the past year, now is seen as the perfect time to make a change.
Indeed, the Renova Body Laser clinic in Malaga has reported unprecedented numbers of surgery applicants. Clinic director Carmen Medina notes: “We began to notice an increase after summer, but demand tripled in December”. She adds that such has been the rise in interest that the clinic is short on surgery rooms and has a waiting list until March.
Another cosmetic clinic director, Antonio Escamilla, suggests that the rise in interest is down to people seeking to get back to their old self or even to improve their appearance after the long months of confinement. This would explain increased appointments regarding Botox, lip fillers and skin rejuvenation.
The pandemic has brought many new changes to our daily lives, one of which has been the increased importance of video calling. In fact, a study from American video communications company Highfive has revealed that almost half of Spaniards have become more self-conscious about their features due to the increased time spent on video calls. And with masks now mandatory in public, Medina remarks that treatment around the eyes-the part of the face that remains visible- has become “a priority” for both men and women.
She adds: “We have taken stock of our vulnerabilities and adopted a philosophy of carpe diem” due to the events of the last year. Cecilia Sánchez, manager of the Miramar Medical Institute, suggests that the savings many have made over the past several months have made them “more likely to spend and to do something for themselves” while they have the opportunity.
Indeed, Malaga has one of Europe’s highest levels of demand for aesthetic surgery. This is particularly the case for hair transplants, which have seen a 30% rise in recent months. Teresa Meyer, a specialist in the procedure, comments that the increased popularity in Spain is partially down to travel restrictions meaning that it is now more difficult for individuals to go abroad, primarily to Turkey, to have the surgery. “This has given us visibility and led many to decide that, on weighing up quality and price, it’s better to stay in Spain,” said Meyer.
Meyer suggests that a common thread that links those opting for different procedures is that, with reduced social contact set to continue for the time being, patients feel they will be able to recover from any negative effects of their surgery before their lives return to ‘normal’. Or, in the words of Antonio Escamilla, the phenomenon may quite simply be a way for people to “put to one side” the difficulties of the past year and to focus on the future.