Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dermatology, skin care & 2 sets of belief systems

My dermatologist told me it didn’t matter what I used on my skin. Is that true?

My first question would be does that make sense to you? How can it be possible that what you are using on your skin isn’t affecting it? The products you are using are either helping to maintain healthy skin, or they are helping to cause problems. There really isn’t much room for anything else to be occurring. I suppose a product could just be sitting on your skin doing nothing, but this would be possible only if you had perfect, no problem skin and if the product was inert or inactive.

You may think these are old beliefs that don’t hold true today, but just the other day I was talking to a client whose dermatologist told her that facials were a waste of time. Ten years ago that statement wouldn’t have surprised me, but to hear it now was somewhat disappointing. So many dermatologists nowadays have joined the bandwagon and have aestheticians on staff at their clinics. I believe this is more fiscally motivated than based on a belief that facials are beneficial, but you can’t ignore the fact that dermatology and aesthetics are now holding hands.

Having a dermatologist you like and trust is very important, and I highly recommend that you begin to build a relationship with one in your area. Usually, skin problems need immediate attention, and if you are experiencing a reaction or have a strange-looking mole you want to get looked at, it’s better to already have someone on board to help you.

I also recommend getting a baseline mole check if you haven't done so already. You and your dermatologist can and should work together to decrease your chances of skin cancer. I believe it’s not a matter of whether you will develop some form of skin cancer, but when. Sun damage is so unpredictable, and having a qualified doctor monitoring your skin irregularities and moles is a good idea. I hope you will take my suggestion and if you don’t already have one, find a dermatologist.

How do I go about finding a dermatologist? It seems like everyone I know has one but me! What do I need to look for?

Finding a dermatologist is no different than finding any doctor. You want to find someone whom you trust and who offices in an area that is convenient for you. Not all dermatologists are alike, but there does seem to be a common thread that runs though many of them. I know this from my own experience and from hearing countless stories from my clients over the years.

Dermatologists tend not to spend a whole lot of time with you. Typically a dermatologist will come in, take a quick look at your skin, and either prescribe something or otherwise diagnose the problem and send you on your way. Because of this, I always encourage my clients to have a list of questions with them and get answers before they leave the office. I know when I’m at the doctor’s, I tend to lose my train of thought and forget the questions I may have wanted to ask.

I also recommend that you have your dermatologist check your moles even if you are seeing them for something unrelated. Skin cancer is preventable and curable if caught early, so don’t pass up an opportunity to be looked at from head to toe.

Another commonality I have found in the field of dermatology is there isn’t a lot of emphasis on nutrition as it relates to skin problems. In fact, I ask my clients to pose the question “Do you think diet affects the skin?” to their dermatologists, and nine times out of ten, the answer is no. If this is the case, know you are probably dealing with a doctor who chooses to look at the symptom alone, without considering the body as a whole.

As you probably know, I believe the body must be looked at as an entire machine, although it may be only one part that is in need of repair. If your dermatologist is progressive and understands this wholistic approach, consider yourself lucky. As with any doctor or health care practitioner, if you don’t feel comfortable or confident in someone you go to, listen to yourself and find an alternative next time. 

Touching back to the original question of what you use on your skin doesn’t matterit does! If you have no-problem skin, you can get away with using less expensive products or products that a problem skin would have issues with. In most cases, it matters what you use. There are dozens of articles on this blog for sensitive, problem, acne and even no-problem skin types to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of product sales.   

For more information, see: