Dr GudmendsenDo you find yourself being confused with all the offerings and options out there for skin care, treatment and rejuvenation? Wonder what would be best for you?

Dr Gudmundsen, Dermatologist, is the ONLY AHPRA approved skin specialist in the North Coast / Northern Rivers region. We caught up with him at North Coast Medispa for the lowdown.

Do different treatments suit different skin types? Ie. are fillers suitable for all skin types, or can everyone have a chemical skin peel, or Intense Pulse Light or laser therapy? Additionally, Is there a danger of particular skin types reacting in an adverse way to any treatment?

Dr G:
Skin types are a good starting point for determining what treatments are suitable for an individual. Darker skin types are more prone to adverse reactions such as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) that is very difficult to treat once it occurs.

There are many other factors that can influence the modalities chosen to address skin concerns safely and effectively. Genetics, underlying medical conditions or medications you’re taking may affect how your body reacts to the skin trauma from treatments. Lifestyle factors are also important, particularly sun exposure and your general health.

At North Coast Medispa, we take all of these factors into consideration and will tailor a treatment plan that is suitable for you and your skin. If you’re prone to adverse reactions, we can still treat you but we will take a more cautious approach and it may take longer to see the results you expect.

What is the most popular treatment or procedure that you perform at North Coast Medispa, and why do you think this is?

Dr G:
The most popular treatments are cosmetic injections. Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers are done daily in our clinic.

Their popularity is likely because they’re so effective at treating the most common signs of skin ageing – wrinkles and loss of volume. The treatments can be customised specifically to each individual’s needs and they are a very safe procedure when performed by a well-trained injector.

Which is your personal favourite treatment or procedure to perform, and why?

Dr G:
My favourite treatment is the one that gives the client the outcome that they will be most happy with. To achieve this I talk to and listen to the client, and hear what they want to improve. Next I examine the client, and based on my experience, I can make a judgement on what I think they need. Together with the client, we make the final decision on the treatment they want or need.

How important is it to complement any treatment or procedure with great skin care, and do you recommend any particular brand?

Dr G:
An ongoing at-home skin care routine with high quality products will allow for optimal results from any in-clinic treatments and help keep the skin healthy between treatments.

North Coast Medispa stocks several brands to suit a variety of needs but we prefer Obagi Medical products as they have a proven history of efficacy. We also prescribe medicated creams to target specific concerns like photoageing and pigmentation.

Following on from this, do different skin care products suit different people? Are there any ingredients consumers should look out for and avoid or is everyone different?

Dr G:
The effects of skin care products really vary and what works well for one person may not be suitable for another.

Some people really do have facial skin that is very sensitive to creams, that is to say they have skin which for unknown reasons is easily irritated by many different products. We try to detect these people in our consultations and offer products that are specifically made to be less irritating, and also ease them gently into any regime we suggest.

There are well documented ingredients proven to have clinical benefits, such as tretinoin, nicatinomide, vitamin C and others which we prefer to promote. It is important that these are incorporated in creams and lotions by reputable companies such as Obagi.

We advise clients to steer away from < fad > products that gain unwarranted popular word-of-mouth appeal, which unfortunately don’t actually have any rigorous testing to back up the claims or prove their safety.

For those who aren’t aware, Dermatologists are required to be fully fledged Doctors first and then do an additional four years training in order to become a Dermatology Specialist. Do you think there is a naivety among the general public that Dermatologists are actually specifically trained doctors? Especially considering the flood of “Cosmetic Practitioners” into the anti-ageing, aesthetics cosmetic market alongside Dermatologists?

Dr G:
We’re typically referred to by General Practitioners to see patients with the most serious skin concerns (i.e. skin cancer, psoriasis or severe acne) and there is a perception in Australia that Dermatologists are seen as a last resort rather than a preventative option or as part of a regular health check up.

Many people are still not aware that our specialist knowledge of skin means we are very appropriately skilled to perform advanced skin treatments for cosmetic purposes. Our training and experience with skin means a higher degree of safety and efficacy with these procedures and we have access to Medicare rebates and medications that can only be prescribed by a Specialist Dermatologist.

North Coast Medispa is uniquely placed to bridge the gap between access to specialist skin care and aesthetic treatments. No referral is required to see our nurses who are trained in dermatology nursing and are able to identify serious skin or health concerns that require specialist intervention.

How has Dermatology changed (taking into consideration all the devices and technologies now on the market for anti-ageing) in the last few years?

Dr G:
With the popularity of anti-ageing and other cosmetic treatments growing over the years, we’re now seeing Cosmetic Dermatology (specialist skin care for aesthetic purposes) as a genuine sub-speciality. New technology and treatments are becoming available all the time, making the field more diverse and interesting.

Light-based treatments, such as Intense Pulsed Light and laser machines, are now well-established effective modalities for treating a wide range of skin cosmetic problems. These include excessive facial redness and visible blood vessels, freckles, blotchy pigmentation, depressed scars, excessive hair growth, surface leg veins and so on.

Other approaches are with skin needling, red and blue LED lights, and radiofrequency waves. It is important to seek treatment from well-qualified and ethical practitioners, and those with equipment that is able to achieve results without needing an inordinate number of treatment sessions.

North Coast MediSpa has 2 locations on the Far North Coast of NSW – Ballina & Lismore. You can’t go past them if you’re looking for a quality practitioner for your skin health and cosmetic procedures.


Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn't mind a little bit of 'help' from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.

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