“Media attention is often about favours to beauty editors and a good write up and rarely do other folk receive such due care and attention or strength of products or treatment.”
Dr Ismat Nasirruddin debunks scaremongering and hype in IPL treatment.
There have been many interesting media reports this past year on non surgical skin treatments, despite the recession a rapid growth area!
One newspaper challenged a clinic to beat a traditional facelift with non surgical input. The team did a great job, albeit at a high price (total cost 4.5k about 1/2 the cost of the face lift). They were cross examined about the longevity of the fillers and Botox they had to pump in to give effects similar to a surgical input. They argued that the skin laser work provided long lasting change and the fillers were simply a form of upkeep to be continued biannually.
The Independent wrote a piece on frightening superficial burns a journalist had received after undergoing IPL treatment at a "spa". The follow up she chose to access was conducted by a well known private doctor who took the opportunity to promote his own skin products and steroid creams to essentially treat skin burns. Whilst scaremongering about only medics being allowed to perform IPL, he still undertook a further course of IPL treatment for the journalist!
As both an NHS and private doctor with a special interest in women's health for the past 15 years, I work with a variety of experts in their specific medical fields and am well placed to comment on available treatments and practitioners in all areas.
IPL is a fantastic treatment there is no question about that. Yes, as with almost any procedure, in the wrong hands damage can be done. Equally, the treatment can be suboptimal and totally disappointing if carried out by an inexperienced practitioner.
Initial huge enthusiasm was displayed by many beauty clinics/spas because the machines can be pre calibrated so that effectively "anyone" could use them.
In truth a skilled practitioner who understands the physics and mode of action of the light and science of both the light and the skin can wield a force as powerful as Anakin's light sabre!
Whilst many people are now aware of the potential problems going to a spa or even some rapidly set up branches of clinics for a treatment, many are still lulled into a false sense of security by a Harley Street address, or a media personality.
Media attention is often about favours to beauty editors and a good write up, and rarely do other folk receive such due care attention or strength of products/treatment. Furthermore an address, be it a renowned London department store or Harley Street plush clinic says nothing about the skill or experience of those working within it.
As a woman with a love of beauty products and dermatological advances I have tried most treatments on the market both from a patient/user perspective and a medical delivery slant.
Myself and Sheila MacLean (a highly experienced ex ITU nurse) were around at the forefront of the development of the first batch of machines and understood the actual physics and working of the process having worked alongside the scientists and doctors involved in making and trialling the earliest products both privately and within the NHS.
Even I have been duped into paying a fortune for a suboptimal treatment. I chose the convenience of a local clinic believing the power of the machine would override the performance and lack of experience of the operator. The treatment was disappointing to say the least. It did not even touch a freckle. Believe me my angst was high, as I knew better than most the capabilities of the machine and rightly chided myself for foolishly thinking.
I was saving time by going to a local clinic for a treatment. It is not as simple as "making sure a doctor does your IPL". Most top dermatologists do not themselves perform or use the IPL frequently unlike their often excellently trained and skilled nurses who hone their skills day in and out through years of work on them. I have been horrified at the skill and training of the doctors some of the "best" clinics have hired to run their injectable and laser units.
Ultimately the practitioner should have a clinical background nurse/doctor but nothing beats a true understanding of the machinery they are using and years of experience and testimonies to the same. I always knew having worked with Sheila directly some years ago that I would travel to her for IPL and would not get such fantastic results from any other practitioner world wide.
Sheila wields the probe like the expert she is, fine tuning the machine and controlling it, rather than simply pre calibrating it and letting it master her, hoping for the best. A treatment from Sheila is tailored and individual as is the skin she is working with and the results speak for themselves. She can transform sun damaged skin or skin with broken vessels and pigmentation problems. Skin literally glows and the results are long term. Medically and professionally I would have no hesitancy in rating her as one of -if not the -top IPL practitioners in the country.
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