Look Good

We ask Dr Helen Marsden your questions

Our Expert in Residence answers all your concerns about facial rejuvenation and anti-ageing treatments, acne scarring, how injectables can treat chronic migraines and how to stop grinding our teeth.

Written by High Life North
Published 20.04.2021

Created in Partnership with Dr Helen Marsden Aesthetics

Could you tell us more about how you can help those who suffer from migraines?

I treat Chronic Migraine syndrome with a prescription-only drug (that is also used to treat lines and wrinkles), injected at key points on the face, head and neck. Treatment involves a series of injections, repeated every three months, with a full assessment of the response after three treatments.

This is best reserved for those who have frequent and troublesome migraines, who have seen their GP and had their headaches assessed, and who feel that large chunks of their life are being affected. A good way of assessing the impact on our quality of life is to consider the number of ‘crystal clear days’, where patients feel well and totally migraine-free.

This treatment is life-changing for many patients. Unfortunately, the waits are long for NHS clinics – something which has only been made worse with the pandemic. Around 80% of patients will receive a significant improvement in their quality of life and increased ‘crystal clear days’, while approximately 30% will be super responders, with symptoms almost disappearing.

If you think this is something that is suitable for you, please get in touch by calling 0191 5804004. I would always want to discuss this with you well in advance of any planned treatment, to assess your suitability.

I’m interested in some treatments but I’m scared of looking unnatural. How can I make a natural look work with your treatments?

I specialise in facial rejuvenation and restoration, with most (but certainly not all) of my patients being over 40. The majority of them share your concern. My challenge is to provide transformative treatments that are invisible! My patients want everyone to notice their wellness and glow, but no-one to know they’ve had any treatments at all.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We all age differently and are subject to a range of internal and external factors. I assess the face to look for key signs and areas of ageing. Some people need some skin rejuvenation, others need volume loss replacing and some need both.

A popular term at the moment is ‘tweakment’, and I like that. There’s never a rush to have any treatments, and certainly never a rush to have lots done at once. Start gently. This allows for you to trust your aesthetics doctor and their skills, to trust the products they use and have increased confidence as you see results. A gentle and steady approach also allows for the follow-on improvements that occur with facial treatments.

When you get to where you want to be, in terms of your confidence and feeling your best self – and this differs from person to person – then small and regular ‘tweakments’ can maintain a natural, rejuvenated look.

I grind my teeth when I’m asleep. I hear you can help?

Teeth grinding is a real problem for lots of people. It can damage teeth and cause considerable pain in the jaw and surrounding area. I’ve been treating a lot more patients with jaw pain and muscle spasms recently, as access to NHS clinics is currently limited and waiting lists are growing.

The treatment involves a series of injections (usually three on each side), into the muscle overlying the jaw. Treatment is with a prescription-only medicine, often used to treat lines and wrinkles. It’s highly effective for many patients, resulting in less muscle pain, less spasm and, in certain cases, less asymmetry of the face. This treatment can also be used cosmetically to ‘slim’ the jawline in those with bulky muscles overlying the jaw, giving them a narrower, more feminine jawline.

Did you also know that similar injections are used to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)?

I don’t know what I need, but I want to look younger. I’m over 60 and I have lines around my mouth and forehead, and my neck isn’t as tight as it used to be. What would you recommend?

I discussed Profhilo in my last HLN article – it’s a fabulous and gentle rejuvenating treatment to tighten and brighten skin and underlying connective tissue by stimulating your own collagen and elastin. It’s not a dermal filler and doesn’t volumise, and it’s great for the face and neck – resulting in firmer, hydrated and less-creased skin with a fabulous feel-good glow. Profhilo can be used alone or in combination with a ‘shape & restore’ dermal filler to add some lift and improved structure.

Lines around the mouth are a common problem as the face ages. They’re commonly (mis-)called ‘smoker’s lines’ and can regularly occur in non-smokers. I prefer to call them ‘lipstick lines’, as they usually run down to the lip and cause lipstick to bleed from the lip-line. I have some fabulous and natural techniques for this area around the mouth. Here it’s important to avoid creating a pout or a ‘shelf’ above the top lip – something no-one wants! A combined approach is used to gently restore any volume loss and improve skin density to give optimal results.

Why not book a consultation and let me assess your face? I will then be well-placed to guide you through some treatment options.

I have acne scarring on my face – how can you help me get rid of this?

Acne scarring is a very common problem. I regularly treat acne in my role as a GP too. Usually, treating scarring requires a combined approach to improve and then maintain the skin.

My daughter had bad acne scarring and her skin responds well to in-clinic treatments as well as at-home skincare. In-clinic treatments include chemical peels and skin resurfacing, followed up with regular WOW fusion treatments – these are micro-needling and mesotherapy treatments, with a hyper-personalised skincare cocktail to stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. This can also be used to treat the hyper-pigmentation often associated with scarring.

At-home skin care involves using a high-quality cleanser, prescription-strength serums and moisturiser to calm and repair the skin barrier. My daughter now uses a Vitamin C moisturiser, which brightens and evens out her skin tone and stimulates new collagen production.

I am always happy to consult and advise. Please don’t hesitate to book an appointment via my website or by contacting me on 0191 580 4004

Other stories by High Life North

The 10-year home renovation project in Teesdale

High Life North
Claudia Winkleman style

Traitors-core is the unexpected winter trend that everyone is wearing

High Life North

Day to night makeup with blogger Virgit Canaz and make-up artist Laura Oddity

High Life North
The Crown: Shop the style of Princess Diana’s iconic looks

The Crown: Shop the style of Princess Diana’s iconic looks

High Life North
Laura Kingston editor High Life North autumn style staples

The autumn staples our editor is buying right now

High Life North
The Watcher Naomi Watts fashion style

The Watcher: Shop the style of Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock

High Life North