Dr Lerato Masemola is the owner of Thari Health Excellence, a Johannesburg practice that specialises in both medical and aesthetic treatments. She shares some of the innovations and inspirations behind it
My interest in medicine was largely spurred by my parents. I feel as if they made me do it. Much as I love it now, their message was clear: “Black child, go and be a doctor!” I studied medicine on a government bursary and my first job was at a Polokwane public hospital with very few resources. I had to climb a tree to get cellphone reception. Those conditions chiselled me into the kind of doctor I am today.
I’d describe myself as disciplined and rigorous. A lot of who I am today came from medical school, including my endurance and discipline. I completed the Comrades Marathon this year – a big accomplishment for me!
I became interested in aesthetics after numerous queries from my patients. Moms would ask about acne treatments for their teens, for instance. These were relationships essentially based on trust and convenience. Among my patients’ most prevalent concerns are acne, scarring, weight loss and requests for fillers.
When it comes to facial treatments, trends are definitely moving towards enhancing and anti-ageing treatments. My advice is based on individual concerns, but a chemical peel is often a good starting point. Clients then continue the programme at home with scientifically formulated products. I’m a big fan of the Obagi Clenziderm range, a three-step acne treatment that’s had amazing results. It’s especially good if you don’t want to go the route of Roaccutane and antibiotics. Slimming treatments have come of age with BTL Vanquish Me, a fat-dissolving machine. It basically uses radio frequency to break up fat cells which, once broken, are essentially dead and gone. My patients see a reduction in centimetres and also tightening of the skin to a certain degree. It’s great for body contouring, although I recommend that overweight patients try to lose the bulk of the weight before doing the treatment. It’s best for people with a moderate number of centimetres to lose, such as bulges, love handles or bra rolls. It’s not cheap, but the results are almost immediately visible. It gives gym bodies hyper-definition and works to counter cellulite, as well as post-pregnancy fat. However, a good diet and gym regimen are recommended to keep the weight off. It’s no quick fix.
Intravenous therapy is also popular, from vitamin C drips for acne-sufferers to glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant. With this therapy, you walk out feeling better instantly – which can only be a good thing!
The three-step Obagi Clenziderm range – acne treatment with a punch
Ericson Laboratoire Fat Shock Gel Cellulit’ VIB, a perfect anti-cellulite treatment that activates enzyme systems to loosen the adipocytes which are visible on the surface of the skin.