The skin's secrets revealed

PUBLISHED: 15:48 16 June 2009 | UPDATED: 08:56 21 February 2013

Julie Drennan Arnold

Julie Drennan Arnold

Skin disorders such as acne and rosacea can seriously affect a person's wellbeing. Colin Clark visits a clinic in Leamington which treats medical skin problems and enables patients to escape the impact of disfiguring skin conditions.

Skin disorders such as acne and rosacea can seriously affect a person's wellbeing. Colin Clark visits a clinic in Leamington which treats medical skin problems and enables patients to escape the impact of disfiguring skin conditions.

She once made people look temporarily beautiful as a make-up artist working in Los Angeles. Now Julie Drennan Arnold is dedicated to performing medical treatments that last a lifetime. Beauty is still important but the benefits from much of Julie's work are far more than simply skin deep - they can actually transform people's lives. And Julie knows, from personal experience, just how important that can be.

From her Bio2Clinic in Leamington Spa's Waterloo Place, which is actually registered as an independent hospital, California -born Julie enthusiastically describes the sort of work she does and talks proudly of her many success stories.

"We are problem solvers dealing with the medical side of beauty. What we do is based, first and foremost, on the promotion of healthy skin. We don't offer people a 'quick fix', we want them to have healthy skin and if it takes longer than people think to achieve that goal then that's how it has to be.

"There is no magic wand, you just have to start at the beginning and put in the hard work. When you do get the results you are after then it really is an amazingly satisfying feeling. To have patients tell you that you have given them back their confidence and self esteem really makes everything worthwhile."

And when you hear of some of the treatments carried out at the Bio2 Clinic you realise that this isn't about beauty for beauty's sake - vanity is not an issue.

"We do a lot of work on acne and acne scarring. You can't begin to imagine just how acne can wreck the lives of young people, shake their confidence, and affect their character, their school life and their friendships. It is a cruel thing to happen to a youngster and the scarring it can leave can have an effect on the rest of their lives.

"Now we can do something about it. We can treat the acne, we can reduce the scarring, in some cases eliminate it completely. When you see how a teenager after successful treatments it just makes you realise how important this sort of medical cosmetic work really is.

"One patient was a beautiful girl but, because of acne around the chin area, was always hiding the bottom of her face. She had become self-conscious and shy. Once the treatments started taking effect you could see the sparkle come back into her eyes and the smile back on her face. When treatment like this is available it is a shame that anyone has to suffer from acne at all."

Julie knows first hand the effects of various skin complaints, several members of her family suffered from acne and lupus and Julie, along with her brother and sister had rosacea (a skin disorder that causes redness of various parts of the face).

"Let me tell you that it can be 'socially challenging' to say the least. It can have a deep psychological effect on sufferers and yet it is something that can be treated relatively easily. I still suffer from rosacea but I am able to minimise the effects and contain the symptoms," she says, with a big smile.

Julie started studying medical aesthetics in 1991 and opened her first salon and skin care centre in San Francisco while she brought up her son and daughter. It was very successful but Julie decided she wanted to do much more and looked for somewhere she could learn many more medical techniques.

She found herself working with severe burns survivors in order to achieve her Cosmetic Rehabilitation Certificate and then flew around the USA taking courses, wherever possible, to increase her experience and qualifications. Her travels led her to various medical cenrtres where she learned treatments designed to get badly damaged skin ready for plastic surgery and developed protocols for cosmetic surgeons dealing with post operative skin.

Now considered an expert, and with the qualifications to prove it, Julie found romance playing a major part in her life when she met her English husband Damian on a romantic weekend in Paris. "We met and we fell in love and that was it. I moved to England and the rest, as they say..."

"Pathways open up and I follow them," she says." I felt strongly that there was something I had to do here in England and do it well." So, she made Leamington her base and, to use her own words: "opened an office and hung out a shingle." It's an American expression meaning she just let people know she was open for business.

So successful was the business that, just over a year ago, Julie moved to her new premises in Waterloo Place. The move, along with a major investment in some of dermatology's most cutting-edge equipment was just another sign of her commitment both to her profession and to Leamington Spa. She still does consultancy work in London and America but it's Warwickshire she now calls home.

So how do her English clients differ from those 'across the pond'? "People here are more sceptical, they want proof that something will work and they want to know what is happening at every stage of the treatment. They ask lots of questions and I like that," she replies.

"We are results orientated. If we didn't think I could help someone we would tell them that. If the treatment necessary will take a long time we tell them that. We are completely honest with our patients, it is the only way we can build relationships."

Julie still visits America regularly, to carry out consultation work but mainly to visit her large and very close family, including two grown up children and her three grandchildren. No, she doesn't look old enough to be a grandmother but that's one of the fringe benefits of someone who has spent a lifetime caring for skin.

For further information on Bio2 Clinic and the treatments available visit or call 01926 424666.

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