In the US, it all starts with a one-hour consultation at the first visit and full 30-minute follow-up visits.
My initial consultation takes two hours reviewing skin, skincare and lifestyle and I follow up with a deep cleanse (45 minutes) on a monthly basis.
The new approach in the US dermatologist practice entails:
- An in-depth visit that can make a difference – the typical doctor visit has become rushed with the average dermatologist seeing 6-10 patients an hour.
- Flexibility in approach – for some patients, following a set recipe doesn’t work and their needs aren’t being addressed
Acne isn’t a minor issue and its impact can be devastating well beyond the formative teen years.
- Teenage Self-Esteem. “What happens to you in middle school and high school impacts you as an adult; it can stay with you forever. It is crucial for teens to get the right care so they are not introverted. That issue is never addressed..”
- Adult Acne in Women. While the number of teens with acne has remained rather static over the years, there has been an increase in the number of adult females with acne; the number of cases of women with adult acne is increasing 20% a year..
“You need a long-term treatment plan”.
The newly opened dermatology practice will employ a raft of tools – topical and oral medications, laser and light therapy and physical modalities such as injections and medical facials. Not all treatments are alike or appropriate for every patient e.g. antibiotics work extremely well, but they must be used correctly.
Antibiotics work exceedingly well in the treatment of acne; however, in the past decade, medical professionals have come to realize that perhaps antibiotics work so well at treating acne because of their anti-inflammatory properties, not because they are acting as true antibiotics.
I practise under a Beauty Therapy License and cannot prescribe antibiotics. I work with the client’s GP as and when required. Nowadays, many skincare products have excellent anti-inflammatory ingredients that can alleviate inflammation and act as a preventative measure for the acne-prone skin.
The centre is open to more Eastern techniques that incorporate supplements, meditation and yoga; a regimen that’s designed to relieve stress throughout the body. Classes in meditation and other stress reducing techniques as well as dietary and supplement education will be on offer.
“There is no data that stress is a big cause of acne, but it can be assumed that acne is exacerbated by stress not caused by it.”
I discuss relaxation and stress-relieving techniques at length, as well as food diaries, dietary supplements and probiotics. As there is only empirical evidence for these as a stand alone interventions, it is the combination personalised to the individual that make the difference.
The aftercare in the US centre includes:
1) makeup classes to teach cover-up techniques and improve self-perception
2) cooking classes will teach low glycemic index, low dairy recipes as well and
3) advice on personal care product use – cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens and cosmeceuticals. The US centre do not recommend specific products as they find it ethically conflicting. They require skincare to deliver tolerability with enough efficacy to do the job well enough so that the patient keeps using it. Favourite ingredients include ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Patients are cautioned to overuse salicylic acid that can dry skin (too much), whilst emollients [such as cocoa butter and shea butter] can clog pores.
I also work independently, across all brands [recommending approximately 20 of the best both natural and pharma brands] as no one skincare brand can address all needs. Clinically and ethically this is the correct approach – bearing in mind that the majority of beauty salon revenue comes from selling skincare.
Patients are the focus at the new US centre and they will also be conducting research on new topical agents, and the roles that diet and stress play in skin care diseases as well as engage in education.
The US are pioneering in healthcare and dermatology, however, there is still a gap between understanding the benefits correct skincare routine can bring to an acne patient. The research carried out within the skincare industry has not been fully translated to the dermatologist’s or GP practice so far. Investment into a larger scale, evidence-based integrative centre in the UK would be of benefit to many acne sufferers.