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Spring into Summer with 15% off DermaFrac
The incredible four in one skin rejuvenation treatment


04 July 2019
Epionce Summer Skin Tips
Protect from common skin concerns all Summer

18 June 2019
Honest review from fashion & lifestyle blogger Alice Marsh

07 May 2019
The Importance of Sunscreen
Tip of the month from Epionce


We are delighted that our doctors, Dr Hilary Allan and Dr Mervyn Patterson, are regularly featured for their expert advice in the national press and glossy magazines. We also have regular blog posts here from the doctors discussing anything that may be affecting you, information on treatments and conditions plus any topics that have been discussed in the media. 

A Merry Christmas from the team at Woodford Medical

07 December 2017


On behalf of Woodford Medical, Dr Hilary Allan and Dr Mervyn Patterson would like to wish you all a very......


As normal this Christmas, instead of sending cards we have chosen to make a charitable donation. This year we have chosen AGE UK.




Christmas Gift Vouchers now available!

01 December 2017

Christmas Gift Vouchers

Looking for the ideal gift to give a loved one this Christmas? Why not treat them to one of our brilliant gift vouchers for them to use on a treatment of their choice. We have values of £25, £50, £100 and £200. Collect from your local clinic today or call us on 0845 602 1161.

Christmas Gift Vouchers available in Essex, London, Cambridge, Leamington Spa and Belfast


New Treatment Launch - Dermaplaning

09 November 2017

Dermaplaning Vellus Facial Hair Removal and Exfoliation treatment

What is Dermaplaning ?

Dermaplaning is a safe, non-invasive treatment that removes peach fluff technically known as vellus hair on the face.  It has the added bonus of removing a superficial layer of skin cells providing a really thorough exfoliation creating pathways for the absorption of skin peels and products more effectively.

Why choose Dermaplaning to remove Vellus hair?

This type of hair is unresponsive to many lasers hair removal systems due to the very nature of the light tone and fine texture. Waxing this area of the face can be quite brutal and lead to ingrowing hairs as can depilatories. Dermaplaning is a careful and gentle hair removal method and in the right hands provides a safe, non-invasive way of dealing with this unwanted hair.

How does Dermaplaning differ to Microdermabrasion for exfoliating the skin?

Both Dermaplaning and Microdermabrasion are forms of physical exfoliation which effectively remove dead skin cells and open up congested pores. Microdermabrasion can be really helpful at unclogging pores in difficult areas such as the nose whereas Dermaplaning has the additional benefit of removing fluffy facial hair too.

What does the treatment involve?

The face is double cleansed to remove all traces of make-up and then any surface oil is removed with Epionce purifying toner. A sterile medical blade is used to glide across the skin in an upwards direction until the whole face has been treated. After all the vellus hair and superficial skin cells have been removed Epionce SPF 50 is applied to ensure that the newly revealed glowing skin stays safe.

To further improve skin texture Epionce Lite Refresh Peel or Growth Factor Peptide serum can be applied immediately after this process as absorption of peels and serums is much more efficient leading to a truly glowing hair free appearance.

There is minimal if any downtime associated with this treatment.

Where is Dermaplaning available?

Dermaplaning is available in Danbury and London clinics.



27 September 2017

Parabens and why we should try to avoid them


Every so often yet another health scare hits the newspapers but Parabens have been hitting the headlines for over a decade now so how come we still don’t really understand what they actually are, how to avoid them and how they might impact our health adversely.

So what are Parabens?

Parabens are a mixture of chemical compounds which combine to make a type of preservative to keep ingredients fresh and bacteria free for long periods of time. This means that the shelf life of the products that they are introduced into have a shelf life which is significantly longer.

 The five most commonly used Parabens are:

·         Methylparaben

·         Ethylparaben

·         n-propylparaben

·         n-butylparaben

·         isobutylparaben

Fortunately for us all manufactures are compelled by law to list all the ingredients in their products on the packaging so knowing what to look for is vital if you want to avoid these chemicals.

What products are Parabens commonly used in?

About 75% of health and beauty products sold in our shops tody contain Parabens. If you check their list of ingredients you will almost certainly find one or all of the names above listed. The list of health and beauty products concerned are endless but include the very common ones of toothpaste, sunscreens, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, mascaras, moisturisers, foundations, body creams, face cleansers, soaps and lipsticks.  So virtually every product that we use on a daily basis has these Parabens in and the same goes for the products that our men and children use in daily life too.

What makes Parabens bad for our health?

According to the Breast Cancer UK website the most common Parabens which we listed above possess the ability to mimic the action of the female hormone oestrogen creating an endocrine disrupting chemical.  They go on to explain that all Parabens have been shown to bind to human oestrogen receptors and increase the expression of oestrogen-responsive genes in human cells and increase the growth of the cells. In layman’s terms this means this could lead to an increased growth of oestrogen-responsive human breast cancer cells.  Certain cancers including breast cancer can be triggered by elevated oestrogen levels initiating an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours.

As far back as 2004 a British study found traces of five Parabens in the breast tissue of 10 out of 20 women studied. The study did not prove that the Parabens can cause cancer but identified that the Parabens were able to penetrate the skin and remain in the breast tissue.

Breast Cancer UK supports the phasing out of all Parabens from all cosmetic products and also from those products which are applied to the skin.

Are there any other health issues associated with Parabens?

Recently Reuters Health published a report linking Parabens to low testosterone levels which may contribute to male infertility.  Seemingly the Parabens can also affect the shape and speed of a man’s sperm so combined with the lowered testosterone level can damage a man’s fertility.

Researcher carried out a laboratory test at a fertility clinic in Poland to try to determine the problems that the men were having with reproduction.  The lab took samples of the men’s urine, saliva, blood and semen to analyse.  They did a comparison between men who had high levels of Parabens in their urine against men who had low levels and found that the group of men with high levels of Parabens had a larger proportion of abnormal sperm commonly thought to contribute to infertility.  The high levels of Parabens found in their urine were also associated with a damaged DNA in the sperm and a decreased sperm motility too all of which could contribute to infertility.   

A study by the U.S.National Institute of Health also seem to back this up when they discovered that Butylparaben was associated with an increase in the percentage of sperm with abnormal size and shape as well as a decrease in motility. Eythlparaben  was also found to effect size and shape.

Research continues on the effects of Parabens and male fertility and for the time being scientists have not proved categorically that a ban should be placed on these chemicals.

Parabens and the environment

One final nail in the coffin for the use of Parabens could also be their effect on the environment. Another scientific study reported that Parabens have been found for the first time in the bodies of marine mammals. Researchers believe that it is likely these Parabens come from products we use daily that are washed into the sewage system and released into the environment.

How can I avoid Parabens and their associated health risks?

If you decide that you would like to avoid using health and beauty products that contain Parabens then do spend some time doing your research. Google Paraben free ranges to help you avoid the range of Parabens that we listed earlier in the article. Finding products without preservatives in the form of Parabens should not mean having to compromise on the shelf life of the product either.

So it’s a matter of weighing up the pros and cons of Parabens and if you decide that you would prefer to err on the side of caution and research then visit Woodford Medical’s website and look at our skincare section. Our ranges of Epionce and Colorescience can take care of all of your skincare and mineral make up requirements and best of all are PARABEN FREE!

Vitamin D - are you getting enough?

30 August 2017


Recent scientific studies have made new discoveries of the medical benefit of Vitamin D and the quite striking effects that a deficiency can have.

Vitamin D is vital for assisting with the absorption of Calcium into the body which in turn promotes strong bones and prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia (softening of the bones) in adults in certain vulnerable groups.

 It has major benefits for the skin in that it contributes to skin cell growth, repair and metabolism. It optimises the skins immune system and helps destroy free radicals (pollutants) causing premature ageing.

It can also be helpful in preventing type 1 and 2 diabetes and Hypertension (high blood pressure) and reduces the risk of heart disease.

It has been shown to help Seasonal Depression known as SAD syndrome by boosting beta endorphins which improves the feeling of well-being. This also helps with unexplained fatigue syndrome and has been shown to reduce cognitive impairment (confusion) in the elderly.

In addition Vitamin D in sunlight stimulates various other chemicals in the body which help to modulate the immune function to reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases.

Interestingly people with skin types V (Asian) and VI (black) who live in the UK are the most likely groups to have a deficiency. This is because these skin types are very efficient at blocking the UVB rays but as a by-product also blocks the process in the skin that produces Vitamin D.

All in all the benefits of Vitamin D seem to be many so what sort of intake should we be aiming for and how best to get it?

Doctors recommend that if you are in the 50 – 70 year age group the daily intake should be 10mcg (400 IU) and the over 70’s more at 15mcg (600IU).

 Food sources which can help in a moderate way with naturally occurring levels of Vitamin D include oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and tuna. Good quality beef, cheese, egg yolks (free range preferably) fish liver oils and mushrooms.

Vitamin D is now routinely added to foods such as breakfast cereals, yoghurt, orange juice, milk and margarine and again this can be moderately helpful.

However a recent study in the British Journal of Dermatology shows that by far and away the most effective way of getting adequate doses of Vitamin D is also the most natural – the sun. It involves a series of chemical reactions triggered by sun exposure .It takes between 5 and 30 minutes of sun exposure twice weekly for skin types II to III to keep Vitamin D to its optimum level. The exact amount is dependent on the strength of the sun in various seasons.  It also needs to be sun exposure without SPF as this can reduce absorption by up to 95%.  Protecting the face with a high SPF is still vital but leaving arms or legs exposed to moderate sun for such a small amount of time will provide the necessary boost without the risk of sun damage. Darker skin types IV to VI will need more sun exposure than fairer skin types to get the same benefits.

 Also just in case you think that driving in your car on a sunny day will suffice be aware that sunlight through windows almost completely blocks UVB light so therefore it is totally ineffective at boosting Vitamin D levels.

So to conclude, a little sun exposure is extremely good for us and by far and away the most effective way of getting that all important Vitamin D boost. As long as we take care to apply  good sun screen protection to our face and limit our unprotected time outside to just a few precious minutes we can get all the Vitamin D that we need.  So it’s an excellent excuse to take a walk or your sandwich outside at lunchtime knowing that we are giving ourselves that all important Vitamin D boost.

It’s Mother Nature’s gift to us so let’s all enjoy it.



Family Wedding Bells for Linda

24 August 2017

Dr Allan tells us how she made her client Linda look and feel her very best for her son's wedding.

Linda was a vivacious friendly lady who has frequented the clinic for about 15 years. Life had thrown a variety of difficulties at her which she had always risen above with hard work and cheerfulness. On this occasion there was a spring in her step and a beam on her face. 'My son is getting married' she said 'and I want to look my best ' further questioning revealed that her ex-husbands new wife would be there. Suddenly this became a challenge.

Up until this point I had only used Botox to soften and relax her features but I had always been keen to address the lack of volume in her face and in particular her hollow cheeks. This was the perfect occasion. A life of hard work and physical activity meant that Linda was decidedly slim and trim. She had a figure that many of us would envy but this lack of extra padding had taken its toll in particular on her face.

With advancing age and the damaging effects of the sun not only does the skin become saggy, lined and sprinkled with brown pigment spots and tiny veins but the fat pads that support the structures of the face disappear. To top that the bones over which skin and muscle are draped shrink. The effect is that of a deflating balloon.

Volume and padding lead to a healthier and more youthful appearance and one which we all covert.

My job was to recreate the Linda from years gone by not to create a new unrecognisable person.

With the advent of volumising fillers several years ago and in particular Voluma a new chapter in aesthetic work commenced.

As an Aesthetic physician I was now able to sculpt her face renewing and restoring and ultimately producing a softer, lifted and freshened appearance.

Next we addressed the issue of the sun damage. My aesthetic therapist Kerys used Intense Pulsed Light to gently fade away pigment spots and fine veins and stimulate new cell turnover to create a truly rejuvenated complexion.

Several sessions later Linda was over the moon with her new face. She had always hated her hollow cheeks, but had learnt to accept them as part of her. Improving this feature gave her the new found confidence that she needed to face all those family members and friends that can often be so supportive but so critical.    


Before   After
cheek volumisation  cheek volumisation




Botox for Men

26 July 2017

Martyn revisited Woodford Medical clinic in Danbury this week for another Botox treatment with Dr Patterson and it was time to catch up with Martyn and find out if his migraines had continued to improve. This is what Martyn had to say.

I have been amazed that the migraines have continued to stay away. They have been so dibilatating for so long that I had forgotten what if was like to be headache free for weeks at a time.Until you have suffered from Migraines you have no idea how ill they make you feel and so I can get on and enjoy my family life without worrying about bringing one on.

Also I have the added benefit of looking refreshed and relaxed with the Botox easing out my frown lines and crows feet"


Read the first intalment of Martyn's visit to see Dr Patterson

Martyn Robinson is a 33 year old married man with three children and works as a personal trainer at Virgin Active Chelmsford.

Martyn has suffered migraines for many years and finds working in the gym a particular trigger as the strong lighting affects his eyes and makes them feel very sensitive. Martyn normally suffers with one migraine at least every 2 weeks.

Although not usually too concerned with his appearance, when he is working at the gym surrounded by mirrors, Martyn would often find himself looking at his reflection becoming more conscious of his looks, noticing lines and wrinkles that he didn’t have before.

 “When weight lifting I have found that you put a lot of strain onto your face and neck by tensing and straining,  that’s when I can see how deep my forehead lines are and then once I have stopped lifting they don’t disappear.

Training in the gym and lifting heavy weights causes your face to create more dynamic lines than usual as the tension of lifting shows simultaneously during the workout. These dynamic lines will eventually settle into lines and wrinkles.

Martyn had heard about Botox through his best friend who has it done regularly and would always say to Martyn that he should have it done, as it also has the added benefit that it can help with his migraines.

“I kept thinking that I should definitely look into having Botox, but I am absolutely petrified of needles which really put me off. My friend talked me into at least going for a consultation at Woodford Medical and to see how I felt once I had spoken to Dr Patterson.”

After booking a consultation at Woodford Medical Martyn decided to go ahead with the treatment and had it done that day.

“After having my consultation with Dr Patterson I felt no concerns at all about having the treatment done. I explained how I suffer with migraines and I dislike the lines on my forehead and around my eyes."

Dr Patterson explained how Botox works for migraines and how he can also soften my forehead lines and crows feet, with the reassurance that the needles are very small and virtually pain free. He also went onto explain that Botox for a male client is very different than for a female client and for men it’s all about giving a “totally natural” improvement in a very discreet way. The frozen look is definitely not required for our female clients so is a complete no-no for our male clientele.

 After the treatment Martyn was pleased to note

“The treatment itself was indeed virtually pain free and over in a few minutes, I was so surprised at how quick it was.”

Martyn went on to explain,

“I went back to work after my treatment and no one had even notice I had anything done, it was great.”

The full effect of Botox takes between 4 – 14 days to develop and gives a smooth, wrinkle free appearance for approximately 3-4 months. We advise 3-4 treatments in the first year after that the affects may then start to last longer and the time between repeat treatments may increase.

We offer all Botox clients a two week review to ensure they are completely happy with their treatment. Martin returned to Woodford Medical after two weeks and was thrilled with the results and also as to how much it has helped his migraines.

“I am so pleased with the results, the wrinkles in my forehead have gone and I feel I look much younger and fresh faced. Also since having Botox I haven’t had a migraine and I don’t find my eyes so sensitive to the lights in the gym. I was telling my brother-in-law all about it and he has booked in to come and see Dr Patterson. I will be back again in three months for my next treatment!”


To book your consultation with Dr Allan or Dr Patterson call us today on 0845 6021161 or email

Open House - 4th July 2017

14 June 2017

Hello Magazine names Woodford as "Best in the Business" for Botox

18 May 2017

CREDIT: HELLO magazine 22nd May 2017 issue


Dr Hilary Allan and Dr Mervyn Patterson were delighted to be listed in this week’s Hello Magazine “Best in the Business" for Botox.

The article was written by Beauty Editor Nadine Baggott. Well known and respected in the Beauty Industry with over 25 years of experience her recommendations are only given after intense andthorough research.

The article celebrates 15 years of Botox (a muscle relaxing and face smoothing injection treatment) revolutionising the way Aesthetic Doctors treat their clients. Since its first cosmetic use Botox has blossomed into a treatment that has literally changed the face of the Beauty industry today. Experienced practitioners have honed their skills to make this treatment a safe and natural looking solution to fine wrinkles and unwanted furrows.

Nadine’s advice for anyone keen to try Botox was to ensure that they choose a qualified Medical Professional and take their pick from her A-List of Practitioners. Dr Hilary Allan and Dr Mervyn Patterson from Woodford Medical were proud to be included in the “Best in the Business” list.

 Dr Hilary Allan commented “It’s always rewarding to be mentioned by journalists respected in the beauty industry and after treating thousands of satisfied clients it is recognition of many years of putting our expertise at Woodford Medical to great effect”

Vacancy for a Client Treatment Advisor

01 May 2017

Click on our recruitment page to read more.

How Epionce changed my skin

20 April 2017

It’s always really rewarding when a client takes time out to write or email to us about a treatment that they have had at the clinic that they have been particularly pleased with. We thought that we should share Alice’s email with you and the life enhancing experience she has had.

Here is Alice’s story:

“After suffering with acne from the age of 15 years old I thought that by the age of 28 after years of antibiotics, the pill and Roaccutane, I would have grown out of it. Unfortunately I was wrong.

I decided to come off the contraceptive pill and soon after doing so the acne had come back. Within four months my skin was highly congested with tiny spots under the skin spanning my cheeks and chin. I also suffered from deep painful blemishes which left my skin red, sensitive and sore. These appeared everywhere – my jawline, neck and cheeks. Not only was it impacting on me physically but it left me feeling extremely low and unconfident. I would not ever leave the house without applying several layers of makeup.

With a wedding less than a year away I started to panic and sought advice from as many friends as I could. One of my friends recommended trying Woodford Medical and how glad I am that I took their advice. After a really thorough consultation with Aesthetic Therapist Carla I swapped my skincare regime to one specifically tailored to my skin condition by their leading dermatologist founded skincare range by Epionce.

I also began to have Epionce peels every four weeks and had a total of six peels and some were combined with microdermabrasion. By the fifth peels the results were speaking for themselves and now writing this after the sixth peel, I am glowing inside and out and wondering why I didn’t visit Woodford Medical sooner.

Thank you to my expert therapist Carla for restoring my confidence and happiness back”


Mother's Day Competition

15 March 2017

To enter all you need to do is simply head over to our Facebook page, like us and comment with your answer.

Competition closes on Friday 24th March - Good Luck!

How to get rid of acne?

16 February 2017

Dermatologist reveals which treatments you should be trying

By Lauren O'Callaghan

Acne sufferers looking for a cure to their problem skin can be confused by the myriad of options, from creams to pills to treatments that remove spots and ease scarring.

But what actually works? Express.co.uk spoke to Dr Mervyn Patterson, cosmetic dermatologist at Woodford Medical, to find out the definitive guide for treating acne.

Explaining what acne is, Dr Mervyn said:

 “Acne results from a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells in the entrance to the skin pore. The skin starts to mount an inflammatory reaction to the area which leads to a pimple forming which can then develop into a full blown spot. Those with oily skin types are much more prone to acne as they tend to have more sebum and therefore pore blockage. Switching makeup to a mineral makeup line is sensible as the lighter coverage from the minerals avoids clogging pores and therefore doesn't aggravate the condition.”

However, if the issue cannot be cured at home, Dr Mervyn does not recommend going to the GP as a first port of call.

He said: “Sometimes people turn to their GPs for help but often courses of antibiotics are prescribed and lots of evidence now shows that they are losing their effect in acne. Doctors can prescribe topical creams containing various combinations of antibiotics and antibacterial. Retinoids have their use but can be irritating and difficult to tolerate. Ultimately one can get a referral to a dermatologist for Roacutane (Isotretinoin) which although very successful in treating acne, the list of potential side effects can be off-putting.”

One beauty blogger claimed baking soda cured her acne, but those who have tried facial washes or creams at home without success and do not want to move on to medication just yet can try a range of cosmetic treatments.

Discussing the options, Dr Mervyn said: “Microdermabrasion and light peels are beneficial as they loosen material that is blocking the pores and help treat the underlying cause. DermaFrac is a new treatment option that combines microdermabrasion, gentle microneedling under vacuum, infusion of salicylic and lactic acids and LED light therapy. One can see very dramatic responses to acne with the DermaFrac as one is removing all pore blockages, delivering salicylic to combat infection and inflammation and the LED component provides blue light therapy to treat the bacteria contributing to the acne.”

Those suffering with acne scarring should try lasers, as Dr Mervyn explained: “IPL and lasers can have some benefit for people suffering from acne particularly if the acne has left red marks and scars. Deeper scars can respond to microneedling and fractional lasering but clearly it is better to treat the condition early so as to prevent the skin becoming scarred in the first place.”

If you are suffering from acne or have unwanted blemishes and scars from a breakout then book in for a free consultation with our Aesthetic Therapists on 0845 602 1161 or email us.

Turmeric - the new super spice?

03 February 2017


The benefits of the spice Turmeric have been known to a select number of people interested in holistic and herbal remedies for some years, but now doctors and scientists are getting very excited about the results of recent scientific research into the benefits of including this unassuming little root into your daily diet.

 Research is on-going but various tests are being performed at Newcastle University, Leeds General Infirmary and University College London into the potential improvement of asthma, eczema, anxiety, depression and even some forms of cancer. It seems that Turmeric (which contains the wonderful compound Curcumin) has an ability to control inflammation and as many common diseases have an inflammatory origin if this can be kept at bay then this would really be an exciting development.

So how can we best use Turmeric? – well tests seem to show that it is best used in powder form and most useful when combined with black pepper (containing the compound Piperine) and cooking oil – both of these ingredients help to effectively carry the Curcumin in the Turmeric into our bodies. These three ingredients could easily be combined into any curry and or warming spicy dish and many people make a milky “tea” drink (omitting the oil).


Epionce skincare developed by top US Dermatologist Dr Carl Thornfeldt, is formulated with a blend of active ingredients that work together and combine a highly effective delivery system with botanical antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. One of these ingredients is none other than Turmeric.

The mysterious root is gaining popularity for its anti-inflammatory benefits on the skin. This knobby plant is found in Epionce MelanoLyte Pigment Perfection Serum. Like Date, Turmeric is one of several key botanical sources that work synergistically to reduce the visible appearance of dark spots and help improve the appearance of skin brightness.

So however you decide to use Turmeric it’s good to know that this humble spice is packed full of wonderful benefits that can help your skin, body and mind.


19/1/17 11:30am - Technical Fault with Emails

19 January 2017

Unfortunately we have been experiencing a technical fault with our emails. If you have emailed us and not received a reply or have tried to email and it has bounced back we do apologise. We are working on fixing the problem and we will update you as soon as we are back up and running.

In the meantime please do call us on 0845 6021161 and our Treatment Advisors can deal with any enquiries over the phone.

19/1/17 3:15pm - Technical fault with emails now resolved

19 January 2017

GOOD NEWS our emails are now back up and running and you can get in touch with us as norrmal using the contact form found here.

If you have sent an email and not heard back from us please do send it again or call us on 0845 6021161 as unfortunately we can't retrieve emails sent whilst we had a fault.

Many thanks


OPEN HOUSE 2nd Feb 2017

01 January 2017

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