Dr. Lizette Altieri of White Pearl Medical Spa is a walking billboard for how natural and beautiful one’s skin can look with noninvasive skin care treatments. She is also a dedicated physician whose thoughtful approach to the beauty business reflects her philosophy. She explains that as a physician, her first duty is “to do no harm.” Dr. Altieri explains her commitment to her patients with her mission — to help them “look good on the outside and feel good on the inside.”
Dr. Altieri was trained in internal medicine in Puerto Rico. She worked in the Valley for a year and then transferred to the Southwest Texas Medical Group in San Antonio. After taking a break from medicine to raise her family, she saw the tremendous growth of medical spas in San Antonio and realized there was great variation in their quality: “Some medical spas had a bad reputation because many were not licensed or did not follow licensing requirements.” She knew that if she were to get into the business, she would need to ensure that her facility was first-rate, not just in terms of the products used, but in terms of the care offered to every patient. She came to White Pearl Medical Spa in 2008 and took over the facility as sole owner in 2012.
Education of Clients is Key
Dr. Altieri and her nine-person staff work hard to educate patients before performing any procedures on them. “Education is the key to success,” she says. She does not charge for an initial consultation because she believes strongly in the value of a well-educated client. White Pearl provides patients with a menu of options ranging from laser hair and tattoo removal to microdermabrasion and body sculpting. Currently, the doctor is most excited about Ultherapy ™, the noninvasive face-lift that takes care of lines and wrinkles from the top of the forehead all the way to the décolletage. Dr. Altieri advises that for Ultherapy ™, and for all procedures she does in-house, it is vital to continue with a wonderful skin care regimen at home.
When looking for a reputable medical spa, patients are cautioned by Dr. Altieri to do their research. She says she is always walking a fine line, trying to have the latest in technology, but also ensuring that the products she uses have more than just FDA approval. “I am constantly going on PubMed and looking for peer-reviewed studies that show me that the therapies and services I am offering are the best and the safest in the business.” She encourages her clients to do the same. “Social media has been the best and worst thing to happen to us. Facebook, Instagram and the big culprit, the ‘selfie,’ allow us to constantly scrutinize our faces, looking for flaws. Rather than simply looking for which spa has the cutting-edge technology, look for a reputable spa that does its research, uses the best products and considers the success rates of the technologies it advertises,” she recommends.
As medical spas continue to proliferate, patients will have to become increasingly knowledgeable about finding which spas are best. “Patients are getting savvier about navigating the range of procedures and products available to help them look and feel their best today and for years to come,” says Dr. Altieri. “It isn’t necessarily about transformation. We never let a patient dictate the treatment. Beauty is something we all have inside of us. We can bring it out here, but it is already inside every one of us.”
By Jennifer Bartlett
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELIZABETH WARBURTON