Why less really is so much more when it comes to botox treatments
"I'll be lucky to be able to get my own Botox done before Christmas, I'm so busy doing everyone else's" laughs Dr Danielle Meagher ruefully.
For Dr Meagher, business is booming at her Dublin clinic Dermaface where the 31-year-old administers facial anti-ageing treatments to a broad female clientele.
Despite the ongoing difficult economic climate, Dr Meagher's customers remain loyal due to what she believes is an "almost neurotic" approach to privacy.
"Despite the fact that we're very busy at Dermaface, aesthetic medicine is still very cloak and dagger in this country," she explains.
"Husbands don't know their wives are getting it! Because of this, our address is not listed on our website and there are no signs on the building – it's nameless, faceless.
"We do have a huge amount of celebrities and VIPs, although in my mind every patient that comes to my clinic is a VIP and the red carpet is rolled out. I'll be honest – I'm more interested in the women travelling from all over the country than any celebrities.
"Patient appointments are spaced out, and we go out of our way to make sure they don't cross over. We have three suites, so when they arrive they press a button and are asked to confirm their name before being escorted to their own private waiting area.
"This is bigger than discretion. You assume clinicians will abide by their governing oath, and in my clinic, my non-clinical team signs confidentiality agreements. I have a zero-tolerance policy."
Dr Meagher completed a degree in dentistry at Trinity, but realised her real passion lay elsewhere. "As soon as I qualified I completed a graduate diploma in aesthetic medicine, along with doing other training and qualifications in the area.
"Now my practice is limited to Botox, derma filler, lip filler, that sort of thing. I'm possibly looking at opening a training centre in the New Year, as I think it's come to the point where I want to share my expertise with colleagues. We'll review this idea at the end of January, but it looks like the way it's going to go."
The reason Dr Meagher is so interested in training other doctors is that she's concerned about keeping industry practices at such a high level. "It's illegal for nurses to administer Botox in Ireland, but I've heard of nurses training doctors to administer certain other treatments which I feel is letting the industry down.
"I was thrilled earlier this year when website daily deals for treatments were banned, as there is no such thing as discounted Botox – it's a prescription with a set price across the board, and if you get a deal on it it's either not Botox or it's heavily diluted. This industry is heavily regulated, and we welcome these standards with open arms as it's all about safety.
"I urge people to go to proper clinics with an after-care service. We have a post-treatment protocol in place, but we probably only get three after-care queries a year. However I don't do fixer-uppers on other's bad work any more – I don't want to get dragged into those situations."
Dr Meagher's passion and commitment is evident, as is her love of the job well done. So, what's the secret to natural looking treatments?
"Less is more. Relax the upper half of the face with Botox to diminish wrinkles, and re-volumise the cheeks and lower face with filler so you look fresher, younger and brighter.
"Don't freeze faces, relax them – and above all, be safe."