Dr. Megan Mahoney and Megan Murphy, RN, recently purchased K-MD Aesthetic Medicine and its Main Street location from Dr. Kay Hamrick Dawson who owned and operated the practice for the past six years. Given Mahoney and Murphy’s shared name — Megan means “pearl” — their new practice is called Pearl Aesthetic Medicine. They officially opened for business on Thursday.
A former professor of medicine at the universities of Iowa and Minnesota, Mahoney has been a family medicine doctor since 1995. Since moving to Telluride in 2012, she practiced in Naturita and Norwood before becoming interested in aesthetic medicine.
“My practice has always been heavy on procedures. I’ve done a lot of women’s health and obstetrics where I’ve used injections, dermatology procedures and lasers,” she explained. “So this is a natural transition to aesthetics.”
Murphy moved to Telluride five years ago from Kansas, where she’d been an oncology nurse since 1996. She’s also no stranger to injections, procedures and lasers.
“I met Dawson because I had my own skin issues that I was wanting to address,” she said. “And the first time I met her, she said we must work together.” So for the past year-and-a-half that’s what they did.
The Megans met through Telluride Choral Society, where they are members of the adult chorale and chamber singers. When Dawson decided to retire this summer, it was a perfect opportunity for them to work together in medicine.
“I was very particular about who would carry on the tradition,” Dawson said. “I had a lot of people interested but I wanted someone who lived here, would be in the community every day and be able to deal with follow-up issues.”
The Megans will continue to offer the same services that Dawson offered, each performing procedures.
The most popular service they offer is application of neuro-modulators — Botox and Xiamin — which weaken the muscles in the face that create wrinkles. One application lasts about three months, depending on metabolism.
They also offer fillers — a process Dawson refers to as “Photoshopping” the face — which last about 18 months. By injecting filler in areas that have lost volume due to the natural aging process, other areas in the face appear younger.
Maintaining a Total Face Correction policy — a more natural approach to fillers — the Megans don’t just treat cheekbones or lips, rather they look at the whole face to determine how they can address features that bother a client.
This summer the Megans acquired a Sciton laser, a handmade medical-grade laser that Dawson calls the “Maybach of lasers.” Pearl is the first practice in Colorado to own the newest Sciton model, Joule X.
The laser and its broadband light (BBL) modality treat scars, acne, pore size, sun damage, pigment issues and freckles. Murphy explains that with BBL, there’s an 80 percent reduction in the incidence of basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
“So there are preventative health benefits to these treatments and at our altitude with the lack of ozone coverage and the sun being so intense we are much more prone to sun damage,” Murphy said. “It’s not all about aesthetics. It’s also about taking care of pre-cancerous lesions.”
Given that skin is the largest human organ, Murphy points out that they can treat anywhere on body with BBL. There’s a modality for hair reduction and another called “skin tight,” which rebuilds collagen in the skin to tighten the lower neck, abdomen, arms and thighs.
The Sciton also offers the Halo system, the world’s first hybrid fractional laser.
“Halo has been shown to produce new skin that shows DNA that’s approximately 10 years younger than skin that has not been affected by Halo,” Mahoney said.
Pearl offers three lines of skin care products that can only be carried by physicians’ offices. Elta MD Skin Care brand — a gentle and hypo-allergenic line sold at a competitive price point — contains transparent zinc, the best sun protection available. Pearl also offers select “bread and butter” products by Skin Medica and NeoCutis.
Because their practice offers medical services that local spas and aestheticians don’t, the Megans refer clients to local practitioners for services like facials and lash tints.
Mahoney said they don’t compete with Telluride Regional Medical Center either. In fact, they refer people to medical center and vice-versa.
“If we see a skin lesion that’s concerning, we’ll say to the patient, this needs a biopsy. We don’t do that and we will send them to the medical center or to their dermatologist,” Mahoney said. “We’re always watching with trained eyes.”
The Megans maintain all the records and products for Dawson’s previous clients enabling a seamless segue for those patients, many of whom they worked with prior to Dawson’s retiring.
“It’s a great practice and I’m glad to pass it on to two women who I think are going to do a great job,” Dawson said. “I’ll be going to them myself, so …”
Pearl Aesthetic Medicine is located at 126 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 202, above Sublime. Consultations, treatments and product purchasing are by appointment only by calling or texting the office cellphone at 970-708-7979.