MUDr. Alim Amirim
LET THE BAKER EAT HALF THE BREAD
Aesthetic medicine and plastic surgery are rapidly evolving fields. Where is the boundary that we shouldn’t cross? And how should we perceive our bodies? We discuss this with Ali Amiri, a renowned dermatologist and the owner of Prague Aesthetic Clinic.
This millennium is characterized by a cult of the body…
Perhaps so, but it’s understandable. Look at where people are employed. A factory worker doesn’t have any competitive advantage in terms of aesthetics, but a bank clerk or a manager does. Looking aesthetically appealing increases your value in the job market. Today, most people work in professions that require communication and personal interaction. If, twenty years ago, it was the norm to be well-groomed with light makeup and neat nails, it’s no longer sufficient today. People are now starting to address their entire bodies. Notice that in the media, you see full-body shots of celebrities much more frequently than just their faces. Yes, it’s somewhat a cult of the body. But when investments in aesthetics and health help achieve better results or even higher-paying positions, it’s understandable. However, it’s not normal when an 18-year-old receives a voucher for plastic surgery.
When we talk about aesthetic medicine,about aesthetics, we will definitely come to the conclusion that ideals change. Can we say what the current beauty ideal is?
This is a complex and interesting question. The truth is, everything changes so rapidly that it’s very difficult to pinpoint the ideal. That’s why I stick to the concept of proportion, which I consider the foundation of aesthetics. And it’s not just my impression; many studies confirm that we perceive faces with proportionate features more positively. Symmetry is important; it’s the basis of aesthetics. However, from time to time, unfortunately, fashionable trends emerge, like “Russian lips” in recent times. Huge lips don’t suit every face. In fact, this is a topic of discussion at various congresses, and I always say that one model doesn’t fit everyone. I believe that as experts, we need to be mindful of these matters and work with them. If some of us do things incorrectly, we will ultimately have a population with deformities.
Yes, everyone wants to have big eyes, a small nose, and full lips. How do you deal with that?
I don’t do anything I don’t like. If I’m not convinced, I won’t do it. When a lady comes in and I know that if I give her the lips she wants, she will look like a duck, I won’t do it. I try to explain and dissuade her.
Can she go elsewhere?
She can, but I can’t control my colleagues. We apply the same concept in plastic surgery. To be completely honest, I don’t want to create monsters. It’s a reflection of my work. You can find many examples on Instagram of what not to do. Personally, I believe that these are people who are mentally fragile and believe that fulfilling their dreams will help them. But that’s not true. They don’t realize that such interventions set them apart dramatically. You don’t see the personality; you see the lips.
In such cases, a doctor or surgeon who accommodated their wishes may have, in fact, abused the situation. Fortunately, at our clinic, we all share the same opinion. I am convinced that this is the only possible approach.
Are there any new trends we should be prepared for?
What we discuss at conferences today becomes outdated tomorrow. Development is incredibly fast. One of the most recent methods is plasmalift, a technique that addresses skin appearance, including tiny wrinkles. There are non-invasive methods that can solve what used to require surgery in a short time.
When you perceive people in your everyday life, do you see them as an expert on beauty?
I try not to see people through the lens of an expert. I don’t focus too much on aesthetics, and I don’t judge. Only occasionally, when I see something really problematic, I take notice. But it’s typically with genuine issues that I can’t help but notice. If I’m speaking with someone and I notice, for example, that they have excessive sagging eyelids, I try to offer advice. That’s a deformity, and I often encounter this issue, especially with moles, which is my main specialization. When I see a cashier at a supermarket with a mole on their hand that might be dangerous, I always ask if they’ve had it examined, suggesting that it should be treated. You see, it’s not impolite. I’ve seen many people who neglected such moles, and it had catastrophic consequences.
Can you recognize a dangerous mole at a glance?
I’ve seen so many of them that I can definitely recognize when something isn’t right. Of course, a histological analysis is necessary because only that can determine whether a mole has the potential to develop into melanoma or if it’s already melanoma. Many moles have the potential to become melanomas, but they need exposure to the sun for that to happen. In places like Australia or Africa, it might only take two years, while it could take longer here. Moles have their characteristics, and they tell us very precisely which ones need to be removed and which ones don’t.
At what age should a person start caring about skin problems?
This is highly individual. Skin is not just the outer covering of the body; it’s a relatively complex organ and, in fact, one of the largest. Most people don’t pay much attention to it for the time being. We tend to view the skin as the body’s surface, the outer shell. Some people do take care of their skin, but as a society, we haven’t fully embraced the idea of skin as an organ. However, as medical professionals, we see the skin as an organ, and it’s a different perspective. The skin’s functions are interconnected with many other aspects, like the lungs and heart. Sleep, diet, the environment you live in—all of these factors can influence your skin.
And, of course, genetics play a significant role. That’s why some people may have wrinkles at the age of thirty, while others don’t get them until they are in their fifties. Up until our mid-twenties, most of us are in a similar state regarding our skin, and we don’t face many issues. However, as we become more independent and establish our own lifestyles, differences start to show. Therefore, it’s a good idea to visit a dermatologist occasionally after turning thirty. Personally, I believe that dermatology will become a specialization akin to dentistry in the future. Just as having a dentist is considered standard, having your own dermatologist will also become the norm.
But aging naturally is beautiful…
I agree with that, and I practice it myself. Except for creams, I don’t really use any products or methods that are commonly used. At my age of thirty-four, I embrace wrinkles, and I want to age gracefully. I don’t feel like I should look like a twenty-year-old boy.
In other words, it’s important to take care of your body primarily for health reasons and consider aesthetics in the context of minor improvements, while respecting real proportions.
Everyone wants to look good, but naturally.
IN 2006, HE GRADUATED FROM CHARLES UNIVERSITY WITH A DEGREE IN GENERAL MEDICINE. HE LATER SPECIALIZED IN DERMATOVENEROLOGY, SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING HIS CERTIFICATION ABOUT SIX YEARS LATER. HE WORKED AT THE BULOVKA UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL IN PRAGUE AND THE PRAGUE DERMATOLOGICAL CENTER. HE ALSO GAINED EXPERIENCE FROM HIS PRACTICE IN THE SINA HOSPITAL IN ISFAHAN, IRAN. UPON RETURNING TO PRAGUE IN 2014, HE FOUNDED THE PRAGUE AESTHETIC CLINIC, A PRIVATE CENTER FOCUSED ON AESTHETIC MEDICINE AND PLASTIC SURGERY. HE IS AN EXPERT IN SKIN CARE, AESTHETIC AND CORRECTIVE DERMATOLOGY, AND, MOST NOTABLY, IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF VARIOUS SKIN MOLES AND MELANOMAS. HE HAS EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN USING RADIOFREQUENCY AND LASER DEVICES AND DIAGNOSING VARIOUS SKIN CONDITIONS. HE IS A MEMBER OF THE CZECH MEDICAL CHAMBER, THE CZECH DERMATOLOGY ASSOCIATION, AND THE EUROPEAN DERMATO-VENEREOLOGY ASSOCIATION
Good and better. But it’s essential to realize that nothing is free. Botox is miraculous in its way, but when I start applying it to someone in their twenties, by the time they reach their forties, their muscles will react differently, requiring larger doses. Botox essentially interrupts communication between the muscle and nerves. And if this interruption is long-term, it has its effects. It bothers me a bit when aesthetic medicine is practiced in many other fields…
What do you mean?
Arabs have a saying. If you want bread, let the baker bake it, even with the risk that they might eat half the bread. It’s still better to have half a loaf of good, honest bread for your money than to get a whole loaf of something that’s far from being bread. An ophthalmologist can do eyelids for you, but they shouldn’t do noses. I’ve encountered such cases. However, nose surgery is one of the most challenging procedures in our field, not all surgeons can do it, and some don’t even want to. The skin in the nose area has completely different sensitivity and heals differently.