What a weird and confusing time we are living in! The global financial crisis, the credit crunch , the banking collapse, stocks and shares plummeting as fast as a lead balloon….. In the past week the FTSE 100 share index and the DOW JONES index have fallen at the fastest rate ever and words like “unprescendented” and “recession” have become ever present.
I am laughing at myself while I write this, because up until 3 weeks ago I didn’t know much about any of this financial jargon, and yet just like a lot of you, I am rapidly becoming an expert! Whereas before when I had a gap in between patients, I would click onto the BBC SPORT website or check my emails, I now click directly onto the FINANCIAL pages.
Why do I do this? Is this going to affect us all? Is this in part due to a media hype and frenzy causing a lack of confidence? Will house prices plummet even more as a result? Are our pensions safe? Will we see a quick recovery , or will bread queues be a part of our normal daily lives in the next few years? Will we have money to go on that skiing holiday this year? Will we have enough money to go for our botox and restylane treatments?
Even the biggest experts don’t seem to have any answers, but I have always been an optimist, and apart from a slightly tough 2009 I am sure that everything will recover slowly but surely, and I am sure that most of us will not affected by this fundementally. And put it this way, as a result of this turmoil, we will have cheaper petrol to buy, lower interest rates and banks which will have to act much more responsibly in the future under the guidance of the government and probably a new Cameron government at that.
So lets answer the most pertinent question of this blog: “Will the credit crunch affect the aesthetic and cosmetic medicine industry, and will people stop going for their botox, dermal fillers etc?”
Well the answer is a pretty certain no it will not! (as certain as you can be in these crazy times!) And here are the reasons why. During the toughest times throughout the human history people have always wanted to look at their best, the great depression of the 1920s being a great example. Back then men and women wanted to cover up their inner toil and still wanted to look good despite their financial troubles. They would buy expensive clothes, wear expensive hats and continue to wear expensive make-up. People will cut corners and make savings elsewhere when things are tough, they might not go on holiday, they may drink less expesive wines and enjoy some fine home cooking instead of going to expensive restaurants, but they will continue to look after themselves, they will continue to want to look good.
I had a patient who visited me the other day who said and I quote: “I will no longer buy clothes in Louis Vuitton it’s just too much of a luxury, and in any case Zara makes beautiful looking clothes. No no I will have to cut out luxuries like that, but I am definitely carrying on with my botox and dermal filler treatments , they are a necessity.” And I couldn’t have put it any better, these non-surgical rejuvenating procedures have become a part of every day life, a necessity to many, and not a luxury as it may have been 10 years ago.
I spoke to my colleagues at The Harley Medical Group about the effects of the credit crunch on our industry, and they tell me that the aethetics industry has never really been that affected by previous economic downturns, and in fact that this industry sometimes thrives during such times. They also told me that enquiries for plastic surgery procedures are indeed statistically going down at the moment, but that there is an actual increased demand in the non-surgical sector, and that botox enquiries are actually rocketing to an all time high, and this certainly reflects what I have been seeing in my clinics. So patients are choosing the more affordable option of non-surgical procedures, and lucky for them really as in the long term they will definitely get better value for money and more natural and risk free results.
The bottom line is, that when we look good we feel good despite any other problems we may have. So there is good news for all of us, for you my readers as you will probably continue enjoying the benefits of the aesthetic industry, and for cosmetic doctors such as yours truly as we will hopefully continue to be very busy indeed!
See you soon!�