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Atena Shirafkan: Evolution of beauty through Facial Aesthetic Injector

Unlike what we are used to seeing in other interviews, when we ask Dr. Atena what she likes to do in her free time, she says that she likes to learn, develop and further her knowledge. For her, beauty is the key word of every day, but in this interview she shares with us some tips on how anyone can improve their image, but always in the right proportion with the professionalism and the latest word of medicine. For Atena every woman is beautiful, so the interventions are only to bring out the best in them. Today, as we have seen and heard everything, the doctor says that medicine, but also the patients themselves, have returned to nature.

-Among all the branches that medicine has, why choose Facial Aesthetic Injector?

Once I completed my doctorate at university and had spent a few years as a general dentist, I had a solid foundation in facial anatomy, human health, as well as surgical skills in order to learn about injectables when the opportunity arose. At the time, the profession was still in its early stages with not many treatments available, and not many providers.

I have always had a keen interest in providing high quality care for my patients, I enjoy working with my hands and having the opportunity to be creative, and so working in aesthetics appealed to me. I also enjoyed making people ‘happy’ and taking immense pride in patient satisfaction. As time went on my patients requested more new and advanced treatments and so I carried on building my repertoire of skills in the field in order to meet the demand.

-How were your beginnings, your first fears when you had the injections in your hands?

With any new learnt skill there is always initial fears during that phase. At university there was always something new to learn in my five years of training, both in theory and practically speaking, so by the time I was training in injectables I had a lot of experience working intricately with my hands and overcoming initial fears. I believe in having a measured step-by-step process in order to build on a skill and the confidence required, so never encountered any issues. As clinicians we learn to always work within a safe framework, even when learning new skills, and always have patient safety at the heart of everything we do.

-Can you tell us a little bit about patient requests, what do they ask for the most?

Over the years I have seen aesthetic injectables enter the mainstream, with both men and women, of all ages seeking out these options in order to achieve an ideal they have in mind.

Fortunately, there has been a lot of medical product development in the field and there are many options out there for those looking for something specific, including but not limited to tightening sagging skin, plumping lips, re-growing hair, rejuvenating the skin, or improving scars etc.

There are trends and fashions in this industry that come and go, younger patients are usually looking to achieve a look they have seen such as on a celebrity, others are looking to enhance features they already have. More mature clientele are predominantly interested in having a ‘refreshed’ and ‘natural’ aesthetic.

There are also patients seeking non-cosmetic treatments, such as Botox injections to help with jaw pain (TMJ disorder), migraines and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Fillers and PRP can also be used for treatment of medical disorders such as scarring or alopecia. The objective for this group of patients is to correct something that may be bothering them visually or physically (pain relief).

-As a woman, but also as a professional, how much do you think the improvement of her image affects the self-confidence of every woman?

I’m a believer that true beauty and self-confidence come from within, but can see that making small cosmetic changes to oneself can give women the boost to externalise the beauty that lives within all of us.

I see non-invasive treatments such as cosmetic injectables as an extension of other methods of ‘improving’ one’s image, such as makeup, hair styling, or dressing fashionably. Women, and men have always used external means to enhance their beauty and aesthetic throughout human history;  from makeup in ancient Egyptian times, to the wearing of corsets in Victorian times. Non-invasive aesthetic injectables are now yet another option available to people who wish to achieve a desired look, and boost one’s self confidence. 

-How do you see the evolution of facial interventions today, but not only? Besides the positive sides, what are the negatives?

The trajectory of aesthetic treatments with time has been to become more natural and less surgically invasive; people are holding back on surgery for as long possible with the use of injectables. As such there will be more growth in the development of further medical technologies to aid us along this path with more options coming on to the market in the years to come. These will also compliment current existing treatments in order to treat patients completely and holistically.

Unfortunately, not everyone providing these procedures are licensed clinicians and so there has been many cases in the media of complications post treatment leading to blindness, facial paralysis, necrosis of tissues and sadly loss of life. Along with this there are also products on the market which are not ‘genuine’ and these can also lead to unwanted side effects risking patient’s health and well-being. Patients looking for a clinician need to find someone trustworthy who is a licensed healthcare practitioner, certified and insured, where all products are prescribed and genuine.

-How is your life away from work and commitments? What takes you the most time?

When I’m not working, I’m continuing to expand my theoretical and practical knowledge of new treatments, learning is a lifelong commitment and doesn’t end with the completion of university.

I believe it’s crucial to prioritise personal health and well-being, keeping fit and active, spending time in nature, meditation, and reading are some of my past times. I am also an avid amateur artist, and enjoy life-drawing classes.

In my ‘free’ time I’m usually spending time with my young family, and enjoying all the arts and culture London has to offer.

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