In Conversation with Aesthetic Physician Dr. Laaiba Sheikh

  • 10 Jun - 16 Jun, 2023
  • Wajiha Jawaid
  • Interview

Dr. Laaiba Sheikh is a renowned Aesthetic Physician practicing in Pakistan and Dubai. She did her schooling in Dubai before moving to Pakistan to pursue a degree in Medicine. After completing her MBBS, she got a diploma in Aesthetic Medicine from the American Board of Aesthetics to become a certificated Aesthetic Physician. She also took training from Beverly Hills for Aesthetics by the prominent Plastic Surgeon Dr. Jonathan Syke. She has also done a Master's in Dermatology from Cardiff University. In an exclusive rendezvous with MAG, she shared her secret of making people look beautiful. Excerpts:

What inspired you to be an aesthetic physician?

I wanted to become a pilot or a CSS officer but it was my mother’s wish to pursue a career in the field of Aesthetics and I have done it for her.

Describe your day as an aesthetic physician.

It’s a new experience every day as I get to learn something new each day. There are plenty of consultations and procedures - mostly about Botox, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) fillers, and many other treatments. Each day brings a new case, a new treatment plan, or discussions with retained patients.

Tell us about your experience working with Dr. Jonathan Syke.

It was an experience I think I can never forget in my life. He looks for perfection in everything and as his student I found it fascinating to see him doing all the procedures with accuracy. I learned a lot from him. He taught me to prefer quality over quantity.

Can you describe the range of treatments that your clinic offers, and what types of skin concerns you specialize in?

My basic domain is injectables but the clinic offers mostly all the treatments such as laser hair removal, brightening lasers, tattoo removal, wart removal, tightening procedures, threads, Micro-needling, mesotherapy, and PRP.

Can you tell us about a particularly challenging case you have worked on, and how you were able to successfully treat the patient?

I take every case as a challenge. However, if you are asking about any particular incident once I treated a patient with a wrong thread life treatment. She came to me to get it fixed. When I tried to take the thread out, the patient’s skin started swelling and bruising and she lost her sensation in that area. It was a stressful experience but I dealt with it sensibly and prescribed her medications that helped in her case. She is now my regular patient.

What are four common skin problems in Pakistan and how do you address them?

Pigmentation is one of the major skin problems we encounter in our clinics daily. To deal with it, I suggest my patients to properly follow their skin care regimen. If that doesn’t work, then I ask them to visit the clinic and get treatments done such as laser and chemical peels etc.

Hair loss or hair fall is another big issue. First, I try to find the root cause of the hair fall and try to fix the underlying issue. If it doesn’t help then we offer treatments in the clinic such as mesotherapy or PRP and stem cells. Acne is another common skin issue. Here too we first try to find the underlying cause of it and put them on an Accutane course. A few patients are hesitant towards it so we then offer them topical medications and treatments.

People also come to us for brightening procedures. Usually, I discourage patients from the whitening injections but if someone insists then we have to give treatment for it too.

How do you approach skin care for patients, and what advice do you typically give for maintaining healthy skin?

It is very important to use sunblock and top it up after every two hours. I also tell my patients to start using products with collagen or anti-aging after the age of 25. Use a good hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated. Vitamin C serum is Important to keep skin bright and help with sun damage. The use of retinol is prescribed to prevent aging.

What treatment do you love performing the most?

As I told you earlier, injectables such as Botox and fillers are my core areas of interest. I love doing threads as well – it gives instant results.

What’s the best advice you can give to those planning on getting fillers/Botox?

Please don’t overdo anything, keep it subtle. Artificial doesn’t look good and go to the right practitioner for treatment.

On your insta feed, I saw you performing Hair PRP treatment. Does it help in hair growth?

Yes, it does. However, the results vary from person to person as in it we use patient’s blood so we can’t predict how their body will respond to it.

In the last couple of years, awareness about derma and skin care has increased. But there is an influx of information and sometimes a person gets confused due to it. As an expert in the field, what advice would you want to give to people in this regard?

It is good that people are now more aware of skin-related issues and doing thorough research before opting for any producers. However, at times patients come to me with severe reactions to their skin by using the products recommended by a blogger. All the products are not for everyone, one product doesn’t suit all skin types or conditions. It's always better to get information and confirm it from your doctor before applying it to your skin.

What are the aspects of your cosmetic clinic that make it stand out from others?

The field of cosmetic surgery has got highly commercialized and we have often seen cases where practitioners force patients to opt for surgical treatment. At our clinic, we make sure not to force our clients. We prefer to give them the right guidance in a friendly and comfortable environment so that they can take decisions wisely.

What is the future of beauty look like?

Amazing! It is getting better and better with a lot of advancements in treatments and products.

What is the best skincare routine for Summer in Pakistan?

I recommend to invest in a good sunblock, a light moisturizer, and a foamy cleanser. They can also opt for serums depending on their skin type.

What level of SPF should one wear?

They can take SPF30 but the best coverage comes from SPF50

What should people do to keep their skin healthy?

Drink water, sleep well, use sunblock, and clean your skin properly. Use collagen, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, Niacinamide, and Retinol and of course, have your vitamins.

Any specific treatment that you think the bride-to-be should take before her big day?

A bride should properly look after her skin at least six months before her big day. It is good to take brightening treatments such as mesotherapy, PRP, and brightening facials. However, the best treatment is to stay happy and don’t take stress, sleep on time and eat a lot of fruits – this will eventually give her a natural glow.