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Lasering in on Lorraine Avanessian

I’ve had the good fortune to know Lorraine Avanessian since our sons could not even sit up on their own, with dribble running down their chins as they cut their first teeth, and often a bit smelly.  Babies poo a lot.  We met at story time at a local library, and here we are, seven years and two additional sons later.

Like many mothers, Lorraine had a career pre-children.  I am often surprised when fellow moms are in the midst of a conversation about sleepless nights, tantrums, and never-ending laundry, when something about their former occupation crops up.  I remember asking Lorraine something about my son’s teeth, and she responded in a way that wasn’t typical of a mom.  She responded as someone who knew teeth.  I mean really knew teeth.  It is then that I found out she had worked in the dental field for the last 20 years.

Having taken time out to raise her two sons, Lorraine is now back in the saddle, albeit a different saddle.  After spending several years in the world of dentistry, Lorraine has expanded her passion for aesthetics.  Always fascinated by skin, she decided to embark on a “skin journey” by enrolling in various skin health and management and laser treatment courses.  She is now a certified laser lady, or as my son likes to say, “She could be in Star Wars like Anakin and Darth Vader.”  Well, sort of.

I asked Lorraine if I could interview her to find out what exactly she does and why she does it.  Below is an excerpt from this interview.

From enamel, dentine and pulp cavity to unwanted hair, thread veins and stretch marks – what made you decide to transition from a career in the dental field to one in laser treatments and cosmetic dermatology?  I have always been fascinated with skin, and like most people, battled with a problematic complexion in my younger years.  Having already a clinical background and plenty of experience with people in a medical environment, it was a natural step to learn about skin health and treatments.

We all have heard about laser treatments, but what exactly are they?  Laser treatments are just part of what I do.  Whether laser or IPL (intense pulse light), it is basically a light that applies heat energy at different intensities and different depths.  This allows the clinician to target specific areas of the body.  Therefore it is possible to reduce or eliminate hair follicles, spider veins or pigmentation.  It can also cause heating of the deeper layers of the skin resulting in tightening and skin rejuvenation.  All of these treatments are virtually pain-free and non-invasive.

I assume it’s not a one size fits all practice?  Not at all.  Each treatment is tailored to the individual client because we are all different, and some clients are not suitable for certain treatments.

Is there a consultation first or do patients receive treatment during the first visit?  A full detailed consultation will always be carried out first.  Otherwise the correct treatment cannot be carried out efficiently and safely.  This involves obtaining as much information as possible about the client’s lifestyle, medical history, diet, current skin care regime, previous treatments, past and present skin issues, and most importantly, the client’s expectations of the outcome of the proposed treatment.  By the end of the consultation, the client should have a clear understanding of how the skin works in relationship to the treatment.

Are there any guidelines patients have to follow before starting treatment?  When dealing with skin rejuvenation, a good daily skin care regime must be established first.  A change in diet, reduction in alcohol intake, stopping or moderating smoking, and protecting the skin from UV rays and pollution with the use of antioxidants will make a huge difference to the skin for starters.  And any rejuvenation treatment following this will produce much better results.

What sort of skin issues benefit from laser or IPL treatment?  There is a wide variety of treatments, including permanent reduction of unwanted hair, thread veins, rosacea, ageing skin and pigmentation.  As well as laser and IPL, my Sharplight Ominmax system also provides infrared and radio frequency, and these applications provide treatments for skin laxity, cellulite and stretch marks with great results.

Thus far, what have the majority of patients come to you for?  Hair reduction is a very common treatment among both men and women, as well as skin tightening, but the majority of clients are interested in improving the health of their skin.

Why would a patient come to you rather than opting for Botox, fillers or cosmetic surgery?  People are more aware now of the side effects and complications that these invasive treatments can produce.  The treatments that I provide work with the natural potential of the skin to repair and rejuvenate itself, resulting in a more harmonious and natural looking outcome.

About how long could a patient expect to see results after treatment?  It depends on each client and how unhealthy or sun damaged the skin is.  Treatment is carried out over a course of several visits but even after completion it carries on improving.

Will patients look like Samantha a la Sex in the City after her “freshening” peel when they leave your office?  I can’t remember what she looked like, was it good or bad?  In any case, I hope she applied her sun factor 50 soon after.  Strongly recommended!

As it’s becoming more popular for male clients to enjoy skin treatments these days, Lorraine Avanessian is offering a Father’s Day treat at a promotional rate of £65 (normal price £95) for a skin assessment consultation which includes a city recovery facial – perfect for the city dwelling man.

 

Snapshot on Suzy Flood

Having been exposed to the work of photographer Suzy Flood and thinking it something very special – beautiful, sublime, haunting, timeless – I found myself asking her to photograph my son Enlai.

Her photographs of young children stayed on my mind days after looking at them.  I could see these children’s faces everywhere I looked.  Their gazes seemed to be fixed, and collectively, it seemed as though the children were amongst a group that perhaps lived in the woods, laughing, playing, singing, running around barefoot and climbing trees.  And they only stopped long enough to take a photo for Suzy.  Because of this, I imagined she had some sort of magical power over them.

Of course the children she has photographed are not Children of the Woods, nor is Suzy a magician.  What she is is a photographer who knows what she’s doing and, upon meeting the child, realises the image she wants.  She gets a feel for the child, allows him/her to reveal themselves and is patient for that revelation.  I asked Suzy if I could interview her to gain insight into her and her practice.  Below is an excerpt from this interview.

Despite W. C. Fields’ advice to never work with animals or children, you have chosen to.  What made you decide to start photographing children?  Crazy, I know but I think that’s the draw for me.  The challenge, the unpredictability and the amazing little people I discover during the process.  Kids are just incredible.

Can you remember what initially made you decide to try your hand in photography?  My mother had an old brownie camera and I was completely fascinated by it.  Most photographers say it was the magic of the image but for me it was all about the machine, the rest came later.

Do you think having a child had an impact on your approach to photography and the subjects that you chose to photograph?  Completely.  If you showed me a crystal ball ten years ago (my daughter is now six) I wouldn’t have believed what I saw — me photographing children?  Life is very funny. Read the rest of this entry »