21 Jun 2014

Cosmetology and Cosmetic Surgery

Looking well groomed, stylish and youngish is no more considered a fad of the elite or the posh.From toddlers to teenagers,middle-aged to the post-adults, visiting specialist stylists to make them look perfect and well groomed, is becoming more occasional and frequent too. Such specialist stylists are known as Beauticians or Cosmetologists to be more precise.

By birth or by accident, face and any visible part of the body might be deformed or superficially damaged. Such deformations or damages in shape and looks may call for rectifications through medical and surgical interventions. It may just be the case of making something, say a bad or not so good looking nose or it may be the more serious burn for being reconstructed through a complicated plastic surgery. All these are to be done by qualified surgeons through procedures called Cosmetic Surgery.

Cosmetology and Cosmetic Surgery are turning out to be the new age careers of great promise and growth.

Careers in Cosmetology

World over, the ever growing and fast evolving beauty industry demands are turning the cosmetology services into a multi-billion dollar industry with scope for a multitude of promising employment options. India is no longer an exception to this either.

Cosmetologists these days provide a variety of personal services including hair styling, manicures, pedicures, nail service, applying make-up, esthetical skin cures like facials, wraps and many others.

Depending upon the types of services provided, cosmetologists can be variously called as beauticians barbers/hair stylists & dressers, salon technicians, derma care assistants & specialists, laser treatment assistants, anti-aging treatment beauticians with advanced laser therapy electrology, skin rejuvenation treatments and others. All this may extend to consultation services on health and wellness including diet and nutrition, wellness, fitness and yoga as well.

A career in cosmetology is now becoming more culturally relevant and socially acceptable apart from being recognised as financially lucrative too. In order to get employment at upscale salons with high-paying clients and similar aforesaid specialised services, getting skill educated and trained is essential. There are schools and institutes imparting beauty-related skills and techniques guiding students and trainees to do so and post studies/training to pursue the multitude of career options/specialities available to them.

Career Options

Numerous career alternatives are available for skilled cosmetologists in this profession. Creativity, ample use of imagination, a good understanding of personal hygiene, pleasant personality, correct sense of hospitality and communication are some of the essential prerequisites for a cosmetologist. Also, one needs to keep a hawk eye on all the latest trends emerging in the fashion and beauty industry to stay relevant to the ever-changing  needs of clients. Employment in a well-off salon or spa and working for high-paying clients can prove very advantageous for the professionals of this field. To work in a salon or spa one needs to have a degree in General Cosmetology. Facials, Clean-ups and hair styling are normally managed by the beauty therapists. With a course in medical cosmetology, you can be involved in providing more advanced treatments like laser hair removal, anti-ageing treatments etc. Those with a license or certificate in skin treatment can have better career options in skin clinics.

Some representative careers options are

Makeup Artists: They are qualified professionals who take the responsibility to beautify the face with their expertise, working with various cosmetic products and experience.Aesthetically they enhance the face value immensely to get stunning results and appreciations. Some of the makeup artists are skin care specialists too; they provide consultations regarding makeup and give suggestions over the use of products and makeup techniques for the clients.

Hair Stylists:  This occupation is one of the most sought after ones in the cosmetology trade. Ample creativity is needed in this field. Maintenance of hair and providing consultations on them is the work of a hair stylist. These professionals are trained for creating hairstyles along with providing consultations for the apt hair color, hair care and hair styles. Barbers are a part of hair styling cosmetology; they are licensed cosmetologists and their main responsibility is to cut hair and do facial trims. However, now even barbers are well-skilled in hair care practices like shampooing and coloring too.

Nail Specialists: These perform nails,hands and feet treatments which generally comprise of different types of manicures, pedicures, aromatherapy, feet and hand massages. Nail specialists are skilled in trimming nails, cleaning and shaping them to make them lustrous and attractive. They specialise in performing variety of hand treatments also, such as paraffin dips and massages etc.

Aestheticians: They specialise in skin care treatments, massage and hair removal techniques.The increasing salon and spa visits by individuals have enhanced the demand for aestheticians. These professionals execute facials, hair removal and range of body treatments. They are skilled in the applications of various cosmetic products and latest equipments to be used on the client. They offer consultations and recommend beauty treatments; however, they are not trained or qualified to treat skin disorders or skin-associated problems.

Entrepreneurship: Experts start their own business by setting up a salon or spa centre and train people to execute the specialized tasks of cosmetology. They may themselves be established professionals skilled in the beauty treatments. Moreover, through an entrepreneurial venture such as this, their potential to make money is almost endless.

Careers and employment opportunities for qualified cosmetologist abound; beauty salons, beauty therapy clinics beauty institutes, spa-health resorts, luxury & star hotels, glamour and film industry are all potential employment destinations.

Many of them start off in these places as interns/ helpers/ assistants to the more experienced cosmetologists or doctors or managers and progressively move up the ladder to operate more independently at higher positions. In fact there is a paucity of trained and educated cosmetologists as compared to the growing demand.

Medicare aestheticians, not involved in any medical procedure, but specialised in skin care (especially facial skin care) have good opportunities in hospitals and with dermatologists. They also have opportunities in self employment too as they can examine the skin conditions, recommend skin cases and provide pre and post-operative skin upkeep and care services.

Growing number of spas, wellness clinics such as Kaya, VLCC, Med–spa, hospitals providing para-medical Aesthetic services (Apollo, Maxhealth, Fortis and Others)show that  demand for cosmetologists are on the rise.

Salaries and Compensation

The start-up salary of a cosmetologist can range from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 7,000 per month. However, money is no hindrance if one attains experience and goodwill in the industry. A minimum of three years experience is sufficient to make one earn Rs. 50,000 per month. The income of medical cosmetologists is higher than the non-medical ones. Besides expertise and skill, networking is very important in this industry to strengthen the clientele base for getting attractive lumpsum earning.

Courses to get good job offers in cosmetology:

You have to get educated and trained in good courses and schools/ institutions.Following are some of these courses and schools/colleges

  • Certificate Course in Beauty Therapy
  • Certificate Course in Hair Dressing
  • Certificate Course in Trichology
  • Diploma in Beauty Therapy
  • Diploma in Hair Dressing
  • Foundation Course in Beauty management
  • Intensive course on Styling and Beauty
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Beauty Technology and Cosmetology
  • Special Course on Chemical Hair Processes

Schools and Institutes

  • Anoos International Beauty School, Hyderabad
  • Pearl Academy of Fashion
  • Indo-Canadian National Academy, Mumbai
  • CRIMSON Institute, Mumbai
  • International Polytechnic for Women
  • VLCC Institute, Kolkata
  • VLCC Institute, Hyderabad
  • V Cares Global Institue of Health sciences, Chennai
  • Slender Gender (Academy of Beauty Therapy and Hair Dressing)
  • Lakme Training Academy, Mumbai
  • Online courses on cosmetology are offered by many overseas and Indian Institutes and Universities.

Careers in Cosmetic Surgery

In recent years, Plastic surgery has become one of key contributors in propelling the health sector.

Plastic surgery has two branches, which are Cosmetic Surgery and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. As both the branches are aimed at improving the aesthetic aspects of appearance, a faint difference exists between them. Cosmetic Surgery is only adopted to enhance the existing appearance, while plastic surgery involves reconstructing distorted facial and body parts due to birth disorders, trauma, burns and diseases.

Cosmetic Surgery is defined as the medical practice for enhancing the look of people through surgical and medical techniques. It can be performed on all body areas including head, neck, eyelids, nose, breasts and so on. It is usually performed by a variety of medical practitioners such as dermatologists, face plastic surgeons, general surgeons, gynaecologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ophthamologists and doctors from various other fields. Some of the most commonly used cosmetic surgeries include:

  • Adminoplasty: Reshape and firm up abdomen
  • Blepharoplasty: Reshape eyelids
  • Breast Augmentations: Reshape breast sizes by shape-alter techniques such as grafting, saline and silicone gel techniques
  • Breast Reduction: Restructure breast sizes
  • Chemical Peel: Enhance look and feel of face by minimizing scars, acnes or chicken pox marks
  • Rhinoplasty: Reshape the nose
  • Liposuction: Remove fat deposits in abdomen, thighs, necks, arms, breasts etc. with traditional, ultrasonic, laser and other methods
  • Chin Augmentation: Restructure chin by silicone methods
  • Cheek Augmentation: Reshape cheeks
  • Laser Skin Rejuvenation and Resurfacing: Reduce facial wrinkles and other irregularities using concentrated pulsating beams of light; removes the irregular skin layer by layer
  • Laser Hair Removal: Remove unwanted hair on the body. Done by applying intense pulsating beams of light onto individual’s hair follicles. Intense light damages the hair follicle and also inhibits the future growth of hair.

Cosmetic surgeries can be surgical and non-surgical. Surgical types include breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, abdinoplasty and breast reduction, while laser hair removal and laser skin resurfacing processes are non-surgical.

Cosmetic Surgery in India: The footprint of plastic/cosmetic surgery in India is traced back to 800 BC when skin grafts were used for reconstructive surgical work. In recent times, Cosmetic Surgery has grown by leaps and bounds. According to surveys, most Indians opting for cosmetic surgery go for breast implant surgery, liposuction and rhinoplasty. Laser hair removal process is also said to be preferred by most people. Also India has become a favorite destination for foreigners for Cosmetic Surgery, because of the cost factor compared to their countries. Reports say that India has been registering more than a million medical tourists seeking cosmetic surgeries every year in the recent times.

As per ISAPS – International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery – India ranks fourth with 5.2% of nearly 9 lakh procedures done worldwide. The global market is estimated at 36 billion dollars. India can have 5% share worldwide.

Jobs in Cosmetic Surgery: Individuals who are willing to serve in the Cosmetic Surgery domain get to work in a variety of roles. One can become a nurse, anesthetist or surgeon in the field. Some of the roles existing in the sector are given below.

Cosmetic Surgeons: Cosmetic Surgeons are the most prominent in the Cosmetic Surgery industry. They should have knowledge in anatomy, physiology, pathology and basic medical sciences. They are the key persons for operating patients through surgical and non-surgical treatments, such as liposuction, augmentation, face lifting and other types.

Eligibility and Courses 

The basic eligibility criterion to enter this field requires the candidate to get a basic MBBS degree and during the internship, candidates should opt for some super specialization courses in Plastic Surgery. Then they have to apply for a Master of Surgery course, which is for a period of 3 years, where these medical professionals will be attached to hospitals for getting to know more about the practical aspects of surgery. Again these individuals might opt for a superspecialisation for a period of 3 years in neurosurgery, cardiothoracic, pediatric and plastic surgery and can become Master of Chirurgiae (M. Ch). After these specializations, one has to work in hospitals under the supervision of a Senior Surgeon.

Career Options

In the initial phase of their career, these surgeons may move to work in clinics or hospitals. But as they gain experience, they can become supervisors or managers based on their work experience and knowledge. After some time, they can also opt for private practice. They can also become academic lecturers and researchers in the Cosmetic Surgery. Cosmetic Surgeons are highly paid individuals due to their educational qualifications and expertise. Their salary can go up to several lakhs or even crores of rupees per annum, based on the type of surgeries they conduct.

Cosmetic Nurse:

These nurses are also known as aesthetic or plastic surgical nurses, who help in the pre and post operative care of patients. They also usually assist doctors with cosmetic procedures. Based on experience, the role of Cosmetic Nurses can be of a Circulating Nurse, Scrub Nurse or Registered Nurse First Assistant. The eligibility criterion requires the candidate to have pursued a course in Nursing.

Circulating Nurse: These nurses do not participate in surgeries, as they are only well versed in executing appropriate hospital policies and safety guidelines. Some of the functions of these nurses include:

  • Monitor, change bandages and administer medications to patients as prescribed by doctors
  • Confirm patient identity and verify consent forms filled by the client or his/her family members
  • Discuss with surgeons on allergies that might arise in future for the patient
  • Act in liaison with Anestheologist to put the patient on the bed for treatment
  • Supplying additional operational tools or equipment based on the needs

RN First Assistant: These nurses are employed to provide direct patient care. They usually watch the complication of patients by monitoring their vital signs such as heart rate, pulse and respiration. They are also responsible for alerting surgeons in case of emergencies such as bleeding. These professionals usually have several years of surgical nursing before getting promoted as RN First Assistant.

Anesthesiologist: Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who administer anesthesia to the person being operated upon. Their role is the same in their capacity as general anasthetics.

Institutions offering courses in Cosmetic Surgery

Some of the major institutions offering Cosmetic Surgery courses in India are –  

The Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Mumbai/Goa: This institute offers one-year fellowship programme in Cosmetic Surgery. The course deals with several areas of Cosmetic Surgery such as Facial, Breast, and Body Surgeries. The course also teaches pre and post patient care strategies. The eligibility criterion requires the candidate to be an MBBS graduate with specialization in Plastic Surgery.

Institute of Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Treatment, Mumbai: This institute offers modular courses in the areas of Advanced Hair Science, Advanced Face and Skin Treatment, Advanced Weight Loss Therapy (non-surgical) and Diet and Nutrition (which is an online course). Graduates and postgraduates from the streams of medicines such as Allopathic, Homeopathy, Ayurveda and Naturopathy fields and candidates from Dentistry can apply for these courses. The institute also offers special courses in the areas of Art of Medical Practice, Body Piercing and Advance course in Laser Science and Therapy. Candidates can also opt for more than one course based on their needs. The course can be completed through correspondence, direct or online methods.

There are also programmes organized for people who want to know more about Cosmetic Surgery. ICMAS organizes such conference programmes, conducted by reputed Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons. The programmes are aimed at educating doctors about the basics of liposuction, face lifts, body shaping, laser treatments, skin toning and rejuvenation and so on.

In conclusion, with necessary skills, education and experience, persons aspiring to be part of cosmetic surgery teams can look for better and brighter career prospects as days go by.

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