Friday, 11 February 2011

Clinic Essentials - What You Need To Know!

Skin Deep – February 2011
South Warrington News

Welcome to ‘Skin Deep’ – This month’s feature looks at ‘Clinic Essential’s – what you need to know before treatment’. Any questions, as always – just ask Dr. Angie Winnington-Sharp or 01925 263660 & 07967 481594. 
Next month we’ll be looking at ‘Acne – Causes and Treatments’.

When booking in to a new clinic for a non-surgical treatment such as laser hair removal, thread vein treatments, acne, scarring, stretch marks, chemical peels etc the most frequent first question is ‘how much will it cost?’.  Although cost is certainly an important consideration, and should form part of your initial research and comparison information, it isn’t necessarily the first or only question that you should ask.  Here is a list of a few other things that people frequently forget to ask and hence sometimes end up paying for unsatisfactory results:
·         How long has the clinic been open? – With so many new ‘franchise establishments’ popping up, ensure that you are going to a clinic that hasn’t just appeared overnight as there is a good chance that it will disappear just as quickly, leaving you without a point of contact and possibly ‘mid-treatment course’. This could mean that you’ll essentially have to start from scratch when searching for an alternative venue.
·         Who will be treating me? – Many clinics offer an initial consultation with a qualified clinician, but then substitute in a beauty therapist to perform the treatment. If this is the case you should ensure the therapist is fully qualified, has read your notes and establish how long they have been using the treatment procedure tools to prevent disappointment. If you are not happy, do not proceed further.
·         What are the payment options? – You should not be expected to pay for a full course ‘up front’.  Some clinics may entice you to do this as a way of ‘saving money’. However, many laser based treatments vary dramatically from one individual to another.  The average number of treatments may be quoted as 6-8, if you pre-pay for 8, there may be a tendency to ensure you keep attending for at least 8 by lowering the treatment parameters to below the minimum required for success in order for you to complete the course.  Most professional clinics will offer discounts off the treatment course as you proceed so that if you only need 4 treatments you still get discounts in the same way that someone needing 10 treatments would get them. Staggered payments also ensure that you can book in a schedule that suits you and you aren’t encouraged to have all 8 ‘squeezed in’ to a certain time period.
·         If in doubt ask! – This is the most fundamental point, always ask about anything that you are unsure of. There should be a section of your consultation dedicated to miscellaneous questions to address this point and ensure everything has been covered. This is the ideal time to check qualifications of the person actually treating you and also, if the practitioner is not based on site, ensure that they attend regularly to avoid you arriving for an appointment only to find that the ‘visiting hair removal specialist’ hasn’t turned up.