Dermatologists Weigh-In on the Trends in Skin Aging
Choosing a Treatment
Given the armamentarium of aesthetic treatments available, patient education is an important first step. A recent study8 that looked at patient interest in and familiarity with antiaging therapies found that patients are largely unfamiliar with most treatment options and are more likely to pursue treatment after receiving treatment information from a dermatologist.
Dr Day said, “Patients are pseudo-informed with social media and magazines and some come in with unrealistic expectations. It is not like an outfit you can change, you have to live it [results from aesthetic treatments].”
However, Dr Kirby said he is seeing a trend in education in both patients and dermatologists. “With aesthetic dermatology, it is just crazy how knowledgeable patients are now these days in a really positive and optimistic way. “I think the biggest change is patients are their own aesthetic dermatology advocates.”
Before discussing treatment options, Dr Day does an assessment and asks the patient to note their best “hero features.” “It is about seeing the beauty in themselves and enhancing it, instead of seeing the flaws and trying to diminish them,” she explained. The assessment also includes a discussion on skin care, sun protection, lifestyle, stress, and other contributors that can affect aging. “This gives patients an opportunity to contribute and have an impact on their own aging process.”
Figure. Bobby Buka, MD, JD.
Pearls of Wisdom
The dermatologists we spoke with offered pearls of wisdom for new dermatologists entering the field. “Don’t become star-crossed with all the new technology. You don’t have to start out the gate with every bell and whistle,” offered Dr Buka.
“Listen to your instincts. Don’t let patients talk you into providing a treatment,” said Dr Day.
To augment with their medical training, Dr Kirby said new aesthetic dermatology training is available via written materials, videos, and in-person training. Dr Day added the importance of attending educational meetings offered through various organizations and societies. She recommends that dermatologists consider joining the ASDS (https://www.asds.net). Dr Day, who is on the board of directors for ASDS, said, “They are hungry for young members.” Membership in ASDS provides access to education, resources, networking opportunities and other tools to enhance your practice.
New dermatologists should also seek out mentoring opportunities. Both Drs Kirby and Buka said they enjoy mentoring. “[As a mentor] you would be surprised when you extend a hand how it lifts them up,” said Dr Kirby.
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