5 Tips for Visiting your Dermatologist
If you suffer from acne, you know the drill.
You visit your dermatologist only to be given an acne diagnosis and a series of prescriptions that sometimes help, sometimes make it worse – but your acne never completely resolves.
I have treated thousands of acne patients over the past 14 years as a Naturopathic Doctor – and I even spent over a decade working in one of the busiest dermatology clinics in Toronto. I was usually given the most difficult patients – those that had tried every prescription without success.
These patients usually came to me full of frustration and hopelessness because they believed they had ‘tried everything without success’. Many of them actually believed that they were destined to live with acne, which was heart-breaking.
My approach was radical to many of these patients who had never considered that acne could be due to imbalances in their body. Many of them believed thought that acne was merely a skin condition. As I worked with my patients, I saw their initial deep frustration and hopelessness slowly turn into empowerment and relief as I helped them heal their acne from the inside out.
The truth is that acne is a symptom, not a diagnosis. As a Naturopathic Doctor I view acne as a sign that there is an imbalance within your body, and once you solve that imbalance acne will disappear for good.
But modern dermatology views acne differently. Most dermatologists view acne as a symptom that needs to be managed – and they have an arsenal of medications and treatments ready to manage acne. These treatments only suppress acne – they don’t get rid of it for good.
So how do you navigate your way through a dermatology visit? How do you get the most from them and avoid spending months and years taking medications that never completely solve your acne?
5 Tips when Visiting your Dermatologist
1. Be educated on the root causes of acne. There is now a ton of research that confirms acne is the result of dysregulated insulin, poor stress management, poor gut health, poor detoxification and dietary choices. Ask your dermatologist to help you discover what is really causing your acne.
2. Insist on doing bloodwork. Have your dermatologist investigate your insulin regulation, any markers for PCOS, your cortisol levels, your gut health and basic vitamins and minerals. Just testing for progesterone and estradiol levels is not enough – we need to know why these hormone levels are disrupted.
3. Once you have identified what may be causing your acne, ask your dermatologist the best way to treat the underlying cause. Remember, their tools (prescription drugs, lasers, skincare, etc.) are much different than mine (I use diet, supplements, lifestyle and stress management). Be educated on how long it takes the treatment to work, the side effects, and what happens when you stop the treatment. Assess if this is the correct route for you.
4. Insist that the recommended skincare does not leave your skin red, raw or irritated. Even though dermatologists don’t always use natural products, they do have some great products that can really help. Ask for their help healing and protecting your moisture barrier – and do not use any product that irritates your skin. If something they prescribe irritates your skin, ask to try something different.
5. If your dermatologist is not interested in helping you solve your acne for good consider switching doctors or visiting a Naturopathic Doctor that specializes in acne. There is too much amazing research out there that explains the underlying causes of acne – it cannot be ignored or dismissed at this point. You can and should have clear skin, as long as you take the steps necessary to balance your body for good.
I hope that these tips help. I know how frustrating acne can be and I want to minimize the stress and frustration that acne can cause.
For a deep dive into what actually causes acne and how to solve it, check out my best-selling 7-Week Clear Skin Program which has helped thousands of women all over the globe heal their acne. Click here to get on the waiting list – you will be the first to know when the program is available again!