Your skin is delicate and needs attention and protection to stay healthy. That means eating well, staying hydrated, using quality products and also seeing your dermatologist regularly. Dermatologists not only examine the health of your skin during annual cancer screenings, they can also take the time to work with you to improve the appearance and texture of your skin with cosmetic dermatology. Below, Drs. Lisa Anthony and Channa Ovits, who recently joined Westmed, are here to help you decide the type of appointment you should make with your dermatologist to get the results you are looking for.
How often should I see my dermatologist?
Dr. Lisa Anthony: Consider seeing a board-certified dermatologist at least once a year, particularly if you have risk factors for skin cancer, such as numerous moles, excessive sun exposure, and a personal or family history of skin cancer. Additionally, most dermatologists offer cosmetic evaluations and procedures, and can treat your “whole skin health” using their knowledge and experience.
Dr. Channa Ovits: For cosmetic appointments, depending on your needs, your regimen and your desired outcomes, I recommend coming in to see our team at different intervals. If you are planning on coming in for fillers (like Juvaderm, etc.) I suggest a cadence of at least once or twice yearly, quarterly for neuromodulator (botox) injections, and/or monthly laser rejuvenation treatments- whatever fits your lifestyle and goals.
How do I work with my dermatologist to assess my skin-health needs?
Dr. Lisa Anthony: Patients often ask me about specific products or procedures, and I always ask them to instead tell me what exactly bothers them about their skin, and what they are looking to improve. Then we work from there to develop a cosmetic treatment plan. Understanding a patient’s whole medical history and history of skin issues is also important.
Dr. Channa Ovits: When you come for a cosmetic visit, bringing a picture of your younger self can be helpful to me as a provider to best assess how to restore that youthful glow. Knowing your desired endpoint is helpful as well, though if you’re unsure, we can discuss what is possible and in what timeframe. At a medical visit, knowing what medications you’re taking- both oral and topical- is also quite helpful for the most productive visit.
What kinds of procedures can my dermatologist use to make me look younger?
Dr. Channa Ovits: Helping rejuvenate and refresh my patients is a pleasure for me and the plan is individual to each patient. Tools at my disposal include neuromodulators like botox, to soften the lines of the face (including the dreaded 11s of the forehead, the crow’s feet and more), fillers to restore the volume of the face and hands that is lost with aging, and laser treatments to improve the appearance of fine lines, skin texture, discoloration, sun spots, redness – the list goes on and on! As the artist, these are the paints in my palette and the choices are specific to you and your needs .
Dr. Lisa Anthony: Depending on our goals, there are a variety of treatments available to achieve those goals, and I often use them in combination. Neuromodulator injections such as Botox improve skin lines that form from the movement of facial muscles (i.e. frown lines, forehead lines), while filler injections improve static wrinkles and loss of volume (i.e. smile lines, cheeks and lips). Chemical peels and laser treatments can help pigmentation, redness, wrinkles, unwanted hair, scars and more. My team and I can also recommend skincare products including sunscreens, moisturizers, antioxidant/vitamin serums, and anti-aging creams. Most importantly, I work with each of my patients and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs.
Are there any procedures I absolutely MUST see my dermatologist for as opposed to a cosmetologist or esthetician?
Dr. Channa Ovits: Your skin is precious and what you present to the world. A dermatologist is a medical doctor who has attended 8+ years of medical and dermatologic training so as to be best prepared to treat you and your skin. Lasers, fillers, and neuromodulators can all have serious complications if done improperly. Seeing your dermatologist for these treatments is the way to feel secure that your skin is getting the best and safest possible care.