Specialist Plastic Surgeon and CEO at The Nova Clinic & Aesthetics, Dr. Jaffer Khan discusses a skincare first approach.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

Recently, because I am far more focused on wellness and following some of the protocols of functional medicine, I try to wake up and start by drinking a liter of water along with supplements like NAD which help to kick start the day. I will then do around 20 minutes of floor exercises which includes some abdominal workout and stretching. On most days, I will usually then miss breakfast and fast except Monday when I am operating.

Nova skincare clinic Jumeirah

Tell us about your career to date.

I would say that largely my career has been in the UAE much more than in the United Kingdom where I trained and left as a Consultant. I came here in 1998 and set up the Plastic Surgery department at the Welcare Hospital and then used to cover at the American Hospital for emergencies until about 2000 when I launched my own private practice. Since then, the practice has moved from hand surgery, burns and reconstruction to largely aesthetics surgery and skin cancer work which I do a lot of until now. When I came here, there were only three Plastic Surgeons and now there are over 350 so it has been very interesting to see how both Dubai and the specialty have grown over the years. It has indeed been a very happy and professionally rewarding career here in the UAE. As mentioned, previously the reconstructive aspect of it has largely gone away per se because of the demands of the market. We still do reconstruction post skin cancer excision, and I would even classify aesthetics surgery of the breast as a form of reconstruction although it is aesthetic reconstruction so to speak. With regards to burns and hand surgery, it is something that one can pick up again if one needed to but obviously you would have to read the recent literature and feel comfortable that you are up to date with the recent developments and as I don’t have much time for that, I have pretty much stopped that practice.

Thread lifts have previously been a popular treatment – is this something which is safe?

There are two aspects to facial ageing. One is gravitational and the second is volume loss. Largely if these two are addressed along with the skincare routine, we can actually rejuvenate the face quite nicely. The thread lifts are a form of anti-gravitational therapy under local anesthetic. Threads with cones so to speak which engage the pullback on the skin itself and create a fresher look in the face. It is important to use the right type of threads and also to have a thoughtful technique driven process. Patients should be aware that really, we shouldn’t look for more than one year of improvement at very best and that this is a procedure which is meant for those who are possibly not going to consider surgery and do not mind a local anesthetic.

What are the latest skincare treatments that customers in the Middle East are leaning towards?

For me the ones that are gaining the most popularity right now are the radiofrequency and micro-needling procedures. These are energy delivery to the skin through a needling process which creates more collagen deposition and skin tightening. Also quite popular now are broadband light treatments (BBL) which is an exceptional machine and creates much better skin tone and texture, reducing red lines as well as pigmentation. And also, in most recent times have been described as changing the genomics of the skin so true anti-ageing so to speak.

Dr Jaffer Khan Nova

Botox works as a preventive anti-ageing tool – what are the key precautions to be aware of?

Botox has been around for at least half the century now and generally speaking, is considered safe. It works for the dynamic lines, those that are caused by the movement of muscles and creates creases on the skin which result in collagen loss and hence fixed lines. The key precautions are essentially to be able to target the muscles we want to and to prevent migration of the Botox into muscles that we don’t used to treat. This however can happen, and it is more common (of the order of 1 percent) on the forehead when treating the frown lines. There can be some migration on the eyelid muscle, which is the muscle that is responsible for keeping the eyelid open and this can cause and result in a droopy eyelid. This is called Ptosis. Patients are always warned about possibility of this and if it happens however the effects are transient and will most likely resolved in approximately three weeks’ time. Good thing about Botox is ultimately it wears off and there are no permanent side effects from the treatment.

What advice would you give to those considering plastic surgery?

I believe that the most important thing when considering it is to educate yourself. We all have some aesthetic concerns and sometimes these can be addressed with a low risk to benefit ratio. What I mean is that although risk exists in every treatment, the benefits are great because the indications for the surgery are right. In this case, when you have understood potential side effects and also make sure that if it is something affordable to you, it would be sensible to go ahead, if what you want and what the surgeon can deliver are aligned. Therefore it is important to talk to a couple of surgeons when considering a major decision to have any face or body surgery.

How is Nova Clinic advancing its offering in an ever-moving industry?

Nova Clinic is investing heavily in good quality machines with a proven track record. We invest in training the staff as well as maintaining quality standards of hygiene and ensuring that these are all done in a relaxing, calm and quality surroundings. We are always trying to be as innovative as possible and to be ahead of the curve when implementing new technology.

What are the key skincare treatments that the clinic has to offer?

Starting from surface of the skin to deeper, we can offer Broadband light, carbon dioxide laser, erbium lasers as well and Moxi treatments. We have two micro needling systems, Infini and Morpheus and we also have devices for ultrasonic energy delivery to tissues resulting in skin tightening and these devices are ultra-former and Ulthera. We are doing number of combined treatments with HydraFacial to optimize skin cleansing and we emphasize on having a healthy skin, also by advising on diet and exercise. We also recently have introduced Exosomal treatment and Stem cell treatment for the skin of the face and neck as well as the hair.

Nova skincare

This is ‘The Skin Issue’ – talk us through your skincare routine.

Interestingly I have been asked this question a few times. Really, I don’t do very much. Obviously in the industry that we are in, we are often inundated different samples of creams, gels and liquid to help improve skin tone and texture and although I try this from time to time, I have only routinely ever used aloe vera gel. Recently we have formulated a cream derived from plant-based stem cells which I’m liking quite a lot but generally I myself don’t have a fixed routine in skincare regime however, that does not mean one should not have it. I believe that avoidance of too much sun as well as adequate hydration and peeling the upper layers of the skin as well as some form of collagen stimulation, all result in a much healthier glow to the skin.

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