In a celebrity-hungry world that can’t get enough of the Kardashians, and with every budding Instagram star striving for perfection, we are all too aware of the universal desire to look good…. and for longer, writes Johanna Bolhoven
Digital innovations have changed how we work, date, socialise and shop, and they/re now having an ever-increasing influence on how we expect to look and feel. Put simply, people want to look like their Instagram-filtered selves…. and have the self-confidence to boot. Who wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to the chance to select the most flattering filter to disguise our hangovers, wrinkles and extra pounds?
This phenomenon could easily be dismissed as a curse of the younger generation, and, yes, digital vanity might be most extreme among the under-forties (next year Kim Kardashian will release Selfish, a compendium of her favourite selfies, no really!) but no generation is immune.
Seven in ten people in the UK now own a smartphone, according to research from Deloitte, giving them instant access to a world that looks better through Valencia-tinted glasses (that’s an Instagram filter for those of you not in the know).
We’ve all seen television programmes chronicling just how bad cosmetic surgery can be; with behind-the scenes access to the surgeons who fix disastrous surgeries, and it’s anything but pretty.
There is obviously an urgent need for regulation of an industry that has seemingly lost its way and is in danger of spiraling out of control.
So, I felt I had connected with a kindred spirit when I had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Prestbury resident, Dr Nyla Raja, founder and medical director of cosmetic clinic, The Medispa, Wilmslow, and a woman who is, quite clearly, on a mission.
While procedures such as facelifts and Botox are all perfectly good treatment options, in the right circumstances, and they continue to be the most ‘asked for’, Dr Raja is keen that her clients are made aware of treatments that work with the body’s natural resources, such as the production of collagen, a structural protein which can revitalize and enhance an appearance, without damaging the upper layers of skin.
During our chat I was shocked to learn that due to outdated laws in the UK it’s easy for practically anyone to set-up shop as a ‘skin expert’ and administer treatments.
Dr Raja told me: “I had to go through education and training that is internationally- recognised as some of the most extensive and rigorous. I spent six years at university; three of which were spent studying the anatomy of the face, using cadavers to understand the distribution of facial arteries, to ensure that every procedure I administer is absolutely perfect…..and safe.”
It is clear Dr Raja is incredibly passionate about patient care. As she told me: “…[Patient care] lies at the heart of everything I set out to do at the clinic; I am a GP first and a cosmetic dermatologist second. The doctor–patient relationship is central to the practice of ALL healthcare and a patient must feel that they can confide in their physician.”
And judging by the stories of patients regularly seeking her out, outside of office hours, a high level of trust clearly exists between her and her clients.
Dr Raja openly admits to being frustrated by the fact that any beauty salon can offer really quite complex and potentially high-risk skin treatments. “I spent years researching all the available treatments before making any decisions about what to offer at my clinic in Wilmslow.
For me this is not simply a financial investment, but reputational and, of course, whatever we do will affect the lives of the men and women who come here.”
It is this level of care, patient respect and trust that has resulted in an extensive client database and an eight-week waiting list at the Wilmslow clinic.
Dr Raja meets and consults with every single client. They know they’re dealing with a qualified doctor, bound by the rules of her profession, and a team that undertake extensive doctor-led training courses for every treatment on offer.
Drawing on her own personal experiences it was always Dr Raja’s dream to establish a bespoke clinic that caters for non-surgical cosmetic concerns.
At her clinic you can choose from the very best, state-of-the-art face and body treatments, all designed to give you back what we lose fastest as we age – our self-confidence.
The state-of-the-art Medispa offers twelve consulting rooms, all to accommodate the very latest technologies for skin rejuvenation and body contouring treatments, including the world’s first fractional non-ablative laser the Hollywood lift, the FDA approved Coolsculpting treatment,
The MediSpa Wilmslow is one of only two clinics in the North West that offer this treatment, and the skin lifting and tightening world renowned Ultheraphy.
In the last year, Dr Raja has also introduced a specially created skincare range that offers bespoke solutions based on your particular needs.
Dr Raja is in the process of setting up a new clinic in Dubai and she has had to undertake the most rigorous training to ensure she’s a Board Certified cosmetic doctor, which again begs the question of why we don’t have the same regulatory requirements in the UK?
Having delivered more than fifteen thousand treatments with demonstrable results, Dr Raja has gained the admiration and respect of CEOs, TV personalities, celebrity figures and some of Britain’s most familiar faces.
Not only is she a highly respected and much sought after Cosmetic Dermatology GP, Dr Raja is funny, confident, passionate, determined and sympathetic to the needs of her patients; she is most certainly someone you want on your side if you should choose to go down the cosmetic surgery route.