A Versatile Woman - Dr Shuba Dharmana talks with You & I

Arenowned dermatologist and the founder of LeJeune Medspa, LLP, Dr Shuba Dharmana is known for her celebrity clientele and is also a fitness specialist. From working in the UK and establishing her own business to becoming one of the top 10 dermatologists in India, her journey has been inspirational. You & I brings you her side of the story, and her helpful insights into a solid skin care regime.

What inspired you to become a dermatologist?
I have always been passionate about skin and hair. During my time in the UK, whilst I was working as a general practitioner, I saw how seriously skin problems affected my patients. It undermined their confidence, self-esteem, and isolated them from social activities. My background in beauty and the modelling industry also attracted me towards cosmetology, and towards helping correct skin issues.

What are your future projects?
I just moved into a bigger clinic in Bengaluru and formed an LLP with my business partner, Dr Sushma Yadav. We’ve invested in state-of-the-art lasers like Ultherapy, which is a high focused ultrasonic facelift that is done without surgery; Fraxel for skin resurfacing, acne scars reduction; and many other rejuvenating treatments. We are also launching another branch in Vizag in August.

You’ve been ranked as one of the top 10 dermatologists in India. How do you feel about it?
I didn’t know about this until a few of my clients told me about this ranking. They had researched the best dermatologist in town and came across the page. I was amused and highly grateful, but I don’t take any of these rankings seriously. I strive to do the best for my clients and am always happy to go the extra mile to satisfy them and make them happy. Yes, rankings and awards are great for team inspiration and help provide visibility to the clinic. But for me the greatest satisfaction is when the client loves his/her results and walks away with a smiling face.

Tell us about your LeJeune Medspa initiative.
I started the Dr Shuba Skin and Laser Clinic in Hyderabad in 2012, which soon grew to become popular among socialites and celebrities. But I had to relocate to Bengaluru after marriage, and so I opened another clinic there, in the heart of the city, and called it the LeJeune Medspa. I rebranded the company but people still misunderstood the meaning of medspa. I then changed the name of the clinic to ‘LeJeune Skin Clinic and Hair Transplant Centre,’ but the company is still called LeJeune Medspa LLP. An evangelist is a person who builds support for a specific technology, and here at LeJeune Medspa, we believe in changing the perception of well-being by supporting skin and hair health, not only with treatments but also with nutrition to achieve lovable skin.

You’re a proud recipient of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 award. How difficult has it been to simultaneously manage the duties of a dermatologist and an entrepreneur?
When you are a dermatologist and you have your own clinic, you are already an entrepreneur. The dream of owning your own business is not easy to implement, and once you own it, the cycle is non-stop. There are financial burdens of paying salaries, meeting your operational costs, paying taxes, marketing and sales, and so on. However, it is a continuous learning process that lets you develop and become creative in ways you never imagined. It is extremely challenging to perform the duties of a doctor while also managing your business; as a doctor your duty might end with a shift, but as a business person, your shift never ends. Although I am passionate about my business, I have never put financial goals ahead of my clients. My clients’ satisfaction is the most important and I would never sell a treatment or medicine that is of no potential benefit to them.

When it comes to lasers and skin peels people are often concerned about side effects. Is this valid?
If performed by a proper dermatologist, there is a reduced chance of any side effects. It is necessary to go to a dermatologist who can analyse your skin and talk to you about possible benefits and risks of any treatment. A lot depends on the skill of the surgeon, the laser technology used, and the post-care instructions that the client has or has not followed. Patients are asked to sign a consent form for most procedures, and should take their time to check on the possibility of risks, how common or uncommon they are, and how acceptable the procedure is overall.

Give us one essential mantra for flawless skin.
Skin health has a lot to do with your general well-being, and by this I mean correcting your lifestyle. By eating healthy, working out, and following some basic skin care principles, everyone can have the best skin possible.

What is your personal skin care routine?
I cleanse and moisturise my face every morning and night. I always make sure to remove makeup at night, no matter how tired I am. I exfoliate once in a few weeks and use sunscreen every day, whether I’m outdoors or indoors. My skin usually behaves quite well, and whenever I feel it needs a little boost I may indulge in a peel or a fraxel treatment to resurface and maintain skin tone. I usually eat well and work out six times a week.      --- as told to Sneha