Why being a Doctor matters when it comes to aesthetics

stethoscope on a book

Lots of therapists are trained in beauty, but for certain aesthetic treatments having a medical background is best. There are hundreds of medical conditions that will contraindicate certain treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers.

Not knowing the names of conditions can lead to potentially have disastrous consequences. Anyone wanting Botox or dermal fillers must be treated by a medical practitioner to prevent becoming one of the horror stories that, at times, have given the beauty industry a bad name.


Why is a medical background best?

Knowing the exact anatomy of the face from experience of dissecting human bodies (which may seem gruesome) is imperative especially when injecting fillers which need to be placed at the correct level in the skin or muscle whilst avoiding other important structures such as arteries and nerves that could be damaged by an inexperienced injector with little knowledge. They always say that “you don’t know what you don’t know”, and this applies to non medical injectors.


Where did you train and what is your experience?

I did my medical degree at Bristol University and then spent another 5 years training to be a GP. My aesthetic training has and is always done at certified centres owned and run by existing plastic surgeons and aestheticians. My first training was in Botox at Cosmetic Courses owned by Plastic surgeon Mr Adrian Richards. I completed several more courses there including advanced training before treating my first patients. Continuous personal development (CPD) in an ever changing field is essential and so stimulating. The regulation and appraisal system of medical aesthetic practitioners is far more rigorous than you can imagine which is reassuring for patients but they may not be aware there is no regulation for non-medical injectors!  I am a member of BCAM and have superb training, support and appraisals through them. On top of this I am accredited as a member of the Save Face organisation which takes safety and standards to the highest level.


Why did you move into cosmetics?

I moved into aesthetics when, nearing 50, I was tired of people saying “don’t look so worried!” as I spent a lot of time frowning. I also had a lot of pigment on my face from a ridiculous amount of sun exposure in my childhood and 20s. Having sought help I was somewhat dissatisfied by my consultation before a Botox treatment, lack of follow up and the huge number of lotions and potions that I was advised to buy. I became consumed with the yearning to find out more and decided to train in aesthetics myself. My background in general practice has been invaluable as I realise what a difference being confident with oneself makes. It also means I am a safe injector and patient confidentiality is a ‘given’.


What services can you provide with this background?

With my background I am very skilled at overall facial assessments, so know which treatments will give the best results. It is all about the proportions of the face and regularly I will inject filler into the cheeks and not into the nasolabial lines (from nose to corner of the mouth) with amazing results. Patients know what results they want but need to know what treatments are available in this ever developing industry. Being full time and based in Exeter rather than being a roaming practitioner means I am available for follow up appointments and aftercare 6 days a week. Knowing what the first signs of complications are from having experience in general practice for 22 years means that on the rare occasions that action is needed I can do so promptly. My relationship with my patients is very close and we regularly talk about being on a journey together- aesthetics should not be about a quick fix but getting back healthy skin with additional injections of help at sporadic stages when, and only when, necessary.