In an era when a person is judged by the outward appearance, one tends to stake out the real or hypothetical physical flaws to the point of having low self-esteem.  How does one contend with family and friends who have harped on the deformities or the culture which considers beauty treatments a taboo while yearning for that nose to be set straight or the oddly placed birth mark to be wiped out or cleared by any means?

First and foremost, it is imperative to love oneself but not to the point of being narcissistic. Similarly, looking and feeling beautiful is important as it plays a prominent role in building self-esteem and confidence, so if there are areas which need to be addressed, aesthetic medicine or cosmetic medicine is the path to follow.

From time immemorial beauty treatments are privy to all cultures in the world and men and women have spent fortunes in trying to achieve sheer perfection. Though perfection is a form of utopia, seeking the treatments offered through aesthetic medicine can enhance the natural beauty of a person, especially if the person is plagued with problems that have caused others to condemn or bully her/him to the point of endangering his or her life through depression or suicide.

In the west aesthetic medicine is considered the norm and folks are nonchalant about getting a nose job, liposuction or clearing the blemishes but it seeped into our culture through a filter mainly due to myths surrounding the range of treatments and the critical overview on being preoccupied with one’s looks.

Against the Odds

At this juncture I met Dr. Shanika Arsecularatne who is akin to a breath of fresh air as she glamourizes her area of expertise with her beauty and self- confidence. She is a lady with absolute gumption, taking on the big guns through her chosen profession. Being the youngest Sri Lankan to be qualified by the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine has paved the way for her to combine two of her passions which are beauty and medicine. Having chosen a rare career path has given her the edge above the rest and resulted in ground breaking efforts, which has brought relief to many Sri Lankans who have been ostracized due to various physical issues.

Her innate ability to draw out the best in a person makes her a star attraction to those who are yearning for something better in life. She is a Medical Aesthetician by profession but her capabilities extend to that of a caring friend and patient listener to those who ache for a shoulder to cry on. Her personalized touch does not merely rectify the superficial scars but journeys deeper to that core area and seeks to bolster the confidence of the person concerned.

Setting the Pace  

It was her mother, the famous beautician Professor Ramani Arsecularatne who set the pace for this wonder woman to reach out to people and offer them a new lease in life. “This particular field is marred by myths and ‘old wives tales’ with Doctors preferring to retain a low profile about their chosen profession but in this day and age one needs to remove the shades and look beyond the stereotypes and prejudices to determine the usefulness of cosmetology,” enthused the good Doctor who emphasized the importance of confidence building in anyone who has been the object of criticism for something that can be rectified.

“For instance some people are born with oddly shaped birthmarks or faced with hormonal imbalances which cause profuse sweating, excessive growth of bodily hair, vitiligo, dark patches, stretch marks and more or has been affected by scars, acne and dry skin. In addition we treat victims of acid attacks or burns and restore 70% or more of the looks.In this fast moving age one has to be patient with aesthetic treatments as it requires a great deal of patience unlike the ‘magic’ solutions found in certain products which can be obtained over the counter and contains harmful chemicals which are often banned in the west. We also provide fat freezing treatments for those who have a battle with the bulge and rectify the signs of aging such as crows feet, laugh lines, sagging, stretch marks and more.”

During the ensuing years aesthetic medicine has been labeled as harmful and given a bad reputation but the innovative Dr. Shanika allays our baseless prejudices and fears with her words and extensive study and fact based research of the various types of treatment and medicines. “It is important to understand that laser treatments and radiation are poles apart so it does not do justice to associate the former with any cancer causing agent. Further, we need to be thoroughly informed about the vast range of anecdotes provided through cosmetology before stipulating it as being harmful,” added Dr. Shanika.

On a broader scale how far is too far with reference to aesthetic treatments. Could a person actually get addicted to altering the image?

“Yes it could happen, which is why I take time to get to know the person prior to prescribing any treatment, as I have to broach the deeper issues concerning their lives in order to determine if the psychological scars would heal along with the external treatment, if not it would be pointless.” The support given by Dr. Shanika and her team is immeasurable and countless remarks by the satisfied clients lay claim to that fact.

Dr. Shanika in a nutshell – Her life consists of many interests such as travel, dancing, reading, music and nature photography.

She beats the type by bringing in glamour to the profession with her uber chic sense of fashion and star quality. She is also a compassionate individual who had performed hours of volunteer work at nursing homes, orphanages and hospitals for the elderly due to her membership in the Community Service Club at school. Her love for people coupled with her affinity towards beauty and fashion had enabled her to have the best of both worlds by being a Cosmetic Physician /Medical Aesthetician.

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About Rochelle Gunaratne

I believe that everyone has a story to tell and in turn, I love listening to those stories, attempting to paint a picture to my readers with my words. I may not be an artist or painter, but I believe words can create powerful images in ones mind and it is how we share our stories with others.
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