Beauty Bootcamp 103: When to Seek Pro Help for Your Skin

Today's bootcamp focuses on when you may need to see a pro for help. It's easy to say, "it's just a spot of bother," or "it'll go away in a day or two," but sometimes you really do need to see a pro for some help. Of course, it depends what the question is. Common sense plays a big role here, but if you aren't sure, let me break it down for you.

So first, let's talk about who is a pro. (Answer: Not me.)

A skincare professional is someone who has had extensive training in dealing with skin and skincare. This could be an esthetician that you trust, with whom you've had a relationship with for more than a few visits.  This shouldn't be someone behind a makeup counter or a blogger, unless they are also a dermatologist (Nicki Zevola is the only one I know of who openly talks about being a derm and a blogger). So why not trust other bloggers with potential medical questions? We aren't doctors. Those of us who have sought out education to learn about skincare (I have!) know enough to be dangerous. Others may just be dangerous. Of course, the best option is always to see a licensed dermatologist.

Here are some reasons you should see a dermatologist:

1. If you need treatment for adult acne beyond what OTC cleansers and potions can do.

2. If you have a skin irregularity. What do I mean? Do you have a spot that has developed that is a different texture from the rest of your skin? Are the borders irregular? Did it just appear? A doctor needs to take a look to rule out anything serious. If it is something serious, they'll offer the best course of action.

3. If you have a skin condition, like rosacea.

4. If you want anything injected into your face. Botox, Restalyn, Juvederm or anything else that requires something piercing your skin should be done by someone who has a license to inject your face. At the very minimum, you'll want to make sure they are overseen and trained by a doctor.

5. If a skin condition develops suddenly, you should see a doctor. It can often be a sign of something more than a rash and you will want a doctor to make sure you are treated properly.

It's totally ok to ask your esthetician about any of the above items, but most of them will give you their opinion and suggest you see a doctor.

What can your esthetician help with?

1. Changes in how your skin reacts to changing weather or seasons.

2. Skin blockages. If there is one thing most estheticians love, it's extracting milia, blackheads and other pustules of things that make skin lumpy, bumpy or uncomfortable.

3. Figuring out the best skincare regimen for your needs.

4. Offering peels with moderate amounts of down time. Ablative peels (peels that go deeper by wounding the skin) should be done with caution or by a doctor.

5. Offering help with moderate acne.

6. Offering guidance to help slow the aging process.

7. Offering guidance in getting the best skin possible.

If you want help finding a dermatologist in your area, check out this directory of board certified pros. My dermatologist is Dr. Noelle Sherber, and I make it a habit to see her at least once a year. Got questions? Leave a comment or send me an email and I'll do my best to get you an answer!

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  1. I totally need to see a derm but it seems to be such a pain in the arse finding one in my area. Plus I need to see my reg dr first to get a referral. I guess I should stop whining and just do it though!

  2. Your insurance sounds like mine! It's easier once you get started. And you never know, a small thing that bothers you can be wiped out really quickly when you treat it appropriately. My derm has saved my hide, several times last year.

  3. Good post - I think it is important to use the professional opinion of a dermatologist with your own natural skin care knowledge and take everything "with a grain of salt". Sometimes you might need a prescription, but I mostly stay away from any oral antibiotics for skin problems. Always look first for natural, organic treatments for your problem and have beautiful skin naturally. Thanks!


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