This week, we spoke to the lovely Dr Harmony of Dr Harmony Aesthetics, who spoke about her love of being able to offer aesthetic treatments outside of the NHS that help make people feel better about themselves, and shares one of the most uplifting, positive results she’s been a part of.
Practitioner Spotlight: Dr Harmony
Hi Dr Harmony! What’s your background, and what led you into aesthetics?
I’m a medical doctor, so I’ve completed six years of university training, with further training in head and neck themed surgical rotations. Our faces are the most visible part of our body, and our most identifiable feature. It’s how we identify others and communicate with the outside world. I’ve met so many patients who have had head and neck conditions, and it certainly has a huge psychological and social component as well as a physical one.
It was through head and neck surgery that I learnt about facial reconstruction and aesthetics, and it was whilst working in a specialist head and neck hospital, in our facial reanimation clinics, that I’d meet patients who had skull-based tumours. Despite successful surgery, they had been left with a permanent facial asymmetry as a result of the tumour. For these patients, this was a constant reminder of the hardship they had been through. With Botox treatment, facial symmetry was improved, and the impact was quite significant. They felt looked after through the whole treatment journey and restored back to their previous self.
It was when I moved through my surgical rotations that I came to understand how difficult it was for patients to access what can be seen as aesthetic treatments, on the NHS. I wanted to be able to help these patients by providing them with the options for treatment should they wish to have it.
I believe aesthetic treatments should always be performed by someone from a background in healthcare; who has a good understanding of the procedures, products and complications so they can safely manage the patients throughout. In my surgical training, we are used to explaining to patients the risks and benefits of treatment, which is absolutely essential to ensure patients can make an informed decision as to whether a treatment is right for them or not.
We feel the same way at Glowday! What do you love most about working in the industry?
It’s so rewarding to treat aesthetics patients and I feel very lucky. Aesthetics is a very personal thing, and people are not always so forthcoming or willing to talk about concerns they have with their faces or bodies. I want to be part of changing the conversation, moving from the negative association of aesthetics to using these treatments to help a person’s exterior reflect their true selves.
I have been very lucky to have had lovely patients throughout my aesthetics experience. I enjoy the work is all elective, creating bespoke treatment plans for each individual patient, importantly, with what is achievable to get the results they want and deserve.
And everyone loves to feel good about themselves! What’s a typical working week like for you?
It can be quite varied! As I’m pursuing a career in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, I’m undertaking an additional degree in London and work within the NHS as well as my aesthetics clinic.
With Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, there is a strong aesthetic consideration at all times. Before you perform any operation on a patient, you need to think about how it’s going to affect them: not only in the acute phase to get over the injury or infection, but also in the future, to make sure they will still look and feel like their otherwise well self. Nothing beats the feeling of helping someone though their struggles and getting them back to a place where they feel themselves again.
What’s your favourite treatment to perform?
One of the most immediately satisfying procedures, for me personally, are lip fillers. Our lips are a central feature of our face, and along with our eyes, what we spend a lot of time looking at. Results are almost immediate, and so patients often enjoy this treatment too. There is a good way to do lip fillers, and then there’s a generic way to do them. Tailoring lips to fit with the rest of a patient’s facial architecture is rewarding and interesting thing to do.
Many patients’ priorities have also changed to skincare recently. I’ve had quite a few people come to me looking for a way to treat their acne or hyperpigmentation and, again, they’ve managed to get the results they’ve been looking for. It’s all about getting the right results for the right patient. It’s amazing how aesthetic treatments and skin care can, so often, positively impact how someone feels about themselves.
Do you have any standout examples of this?
I think one of the most significant ones was a young lady with quite severe hyperpigmentation around her cheek area and chin. Her concern was that she was finding it difficult to conceal it and couldn’t get a foundation to hide it. She felt like it was ageing her beyond her years and her friends were picking up on her tired appearance. She wasn’t keen on trying injectable treatments, but she wanted to see what medical grade skincare could do for her. Understandably, she was sceptical as she had tried various over the counter products over the years and had almost lost all hope of her hyperpigmentation improving. It felt like this was a last attempt to resolve it. However, within 12 weeks of starting a treatment course, tailored to her skin type and condition, she saw a significant improvement.
Seeing her confidence grow was really rewarding. Her treatment paved the way for her to have more ownership over her general health and wellbeing, and she started caring for herself in a more holistic way with a much more positive outlook on the future at subsequent appointments. It’s was great to feel like you’re part of the catalyst to help people feel more empowered and in control of their life, not just in controlling their skin care and tailored aesthetic treatments, but in the holistic approach on how they view themselves, their health and their future.
I can definitely understand why you must love it! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Dr Harmony. And good luck with the rest of your studies.