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Multi award winning doctor thrives at new Wellington clinic
Skin Institute
June 25, 2015

Dr Shona Dalzell believes in keeping it real. Whether she’s lending a listening ear to a skin cancer patient, recommending appearance medicine or carrying out therapy for varicose veins.

The multi-award winning doctor, who heads up the team at the Skin Institute’s new Wellington office, says her approach to patient care is simple; it comes from a core philosophy of respect.

“My approach in every case is to be a considerate, respectful practitioner,” says Dr Shona Dalzell. “I listen to what each patient tells me and why they’ve come and I provide them with the best quality care.”

Specialising in varicose vein treatment, appearance medicine and skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, Shona says working for the Skin Institute over the last three years has allowed her to extend all her areas of interest. She’s thrilled to be opening the new Wellington clinic, which continues to champion the Skin Institute’s multi-disciplinary approach.

“I’m passionate about sunscreen, skincare and prevention. People might come in for rejuvenation of lines and wrinkles but this will lead to a chat about skin checks or worries,” she says. “What’s so great about the Skin Institute is that we can offer them a whole package approach – from education to treatment to follow up care.

“I see patients from the very beginning of their journey, for skin cancer body assessment and diagnosis for instance. But if there is a diagnosis and more complex surgery is needed, I’m lucky enough to be able to refer on to expert colleagues at the institute so people don’t have to move from place to place.”

Dr Shona Dalzell started her career as a GP and then diversified her training into three distinct branches of medicine. She’s a member of the New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine and the Australasian College of Phlebology. She is the recipient of the Australian College of Phlebology Presidents Gold Medal for Scerotherapy and was awarded the Ralph Saxe Award for most outstanding student in both years of her training for the Diploma of Cosmetic Medicine.

Her strong interest in skin conditions including skin cancer and skin cancer surgery led her to become a member of the Australasian College of Cutaneous Oncology and she has completed further training in skin cancer diagnosis, dermoscopy and treatment.

But how does such a diverse range of skills fit within the framework of a clinic focused on skin health? Dalzell says it’s surprising how often the worlds of appearance medicine, varicose veins and skin cancer collide.

“Often those three unique areas are linked together. Someone will come in for a chat about cosmetic enhancements or varicose veins and I might spot damaged skin, which I can then talk to them about and offer education about skincare,” she says. “People come in for rejuvenation but it’s no use proceeding if they’re not protecting their skin from the sun, made aware of appropriate skin care products and the availability of skin checks, so it’s important to talk about that.”

Appearance medicine to refresh your natural beauty

Dr Dalzell is a member of NZSCM and has a post-graduate diploma in Cosmetic Medicine. She believes appearance medicine is about finding a balance.

“Appearance medicine should be safe, enhancing and rejuvenating but respect the essence of the person being treated. With the pressures of today there’s an expectation for everyone to have a certain look. That’s not where I’m coming from. Everyone has their own beauty and it’s about refreshing that natural beauty and appreciating it. Finding a balance and harmony.

I find working in appearance medicine a really enjoyable thing to do. If you do it well it makes a real difference to people and helps them feel good about themselves. Not only that, it can improve aspects of their overall health. For example I’ve seen some great results using botulinum for migraine sufferers.”

Revolutionary vein treatment is a walk in, walk out procedure

Dr Dalzell’s interest in varicose veins began when she was a GP.

“I’d often see people in practice suffering from venous disease and it was hard to get their condition moved through the public system. They’d have to wear bandages and stockings and it wasn’t great for the patient.”

The Skin Institute clinic offers Endovenous Ablation which is an up-to-date non-surgical alternative to the surgical process of ‘vein stripping’. It eliminates the affected veins and encourages the return of healthy blood flow. Dr Dalzell says the treatment is revolutionary.

“My training at the Australian College of Phlebology allowed me to be a part of a revolution in varicose vein treatment. Endovenous Ablation has all but taken over from surgery, allowing a walk in-walk out procedure, which at the Skin Institute means maps, treatment and follow up all in one place.”

The Skin Institute proposes a treatment plan based upon the history, examination and the results of a duplex ultrasound map. Patients with varicose veins are always advised to have an ultrasound map before any intervention or treatment.

Dr Dalzell says vein treatment is one of the most satisfying parts of her job.

“People put off having surgery on their veins. They think they’re being vain about their veins! But veins can cause discomfort and lead to other complications, so it’s essential to get them checked. Treating veins is so satisfying for me because I know many people have put up with that pain or discomfort for so long. After the treatment their legs feel so much better, their skin heals and they don’t have to endure that continuous ache at the end of the day. They can get out and enjoy life.”

Ultimately, Dr Dalzell says specialising in three areas has added value to what she can offer patients and allows her to make a significant difference to people’s lives.

“People suffer with, for example, venous ulcers, for a long time. Treating these and seeing the ulcers clear up and add to that person’s quality of life is very satisfying. And if I pick up a skin cancer and excise an early melanoma, I’ve potentially saved someone’s life.

Plus, when it comes to appearance medicine, I find it a really nice way to develop relationships with people. There’s time to talk, to find out what they want and to celebrate those results. They look great, feel better and it’s a really, warm positive experience all round.”


If you’re interested in booking an appointment with Dr Shona Dalzell in our Wellington clinic, please contact us.


Book a Consultation
Make an appointment

Not sure exactly who you need to see? Fill in this form and one of our team will contact you to discuss your concern and guide you as to who best to meet with.

Or call us now on 0800 754 637.