The one thing I noticed when visiting dermatologists over the years for my acne was that they all had clear skin. Not just clear skin, but beautiful skin. Initially, this gave me hope as I thought that they would help me get that same clear and beautiful skin. However, as time went by it became pretty obvious that I was heading in exactly the opposite direction. The dry, red, cracked, itchy and bumpy skin was not exactly what I was looking for. They had some tricks up their sleeve which they were clearly not sharing with their patients.
I was pretty sure they were using products that they would never recommend to their patients. However, here are some things which if they had told me, my skin would have healed a long time back.
1. Diet has a major effect on your skin
Believe it or not figuring this one out on my own, after 20 years of fighting acne made me feel really stupid. After all the money I had spent on various products and clinics, it was something I was eating that was giving me acne. All of these products and clinics were not cheap. I could have saved a lot of money but just changing my diet.
Thinking about it, it makes sense. What we eat sustains us and gives us energy. It always has an effect on our body. So it makes sense that certain foods may be giving us acne.
While I am pretty sure that diet is not included as a part of acne treatment in medical journals, doctors and dermatologists do know that it has some effect on your skin. However, because no conclusive studies have been done, they never tell their patients about diet.
2. I never use the products I prescribe you
When trying to get me to take Accutane one dermatologist told me “I would take it if I had to.” I knew she was lying through her teeth. If Accutane helps someone and cures them permanently I have absolutely no problem with it. What I have a problem with is trying to convince a patient by lying, that too to someone with acne who may already have self-esteem issues. Worse is doing it with a drug such as Accutane.
Once, while buying Clinique products, the salesperson got a call. I heard her refer to the person on the other end as Doctor. Curious, I hung around and spoke to her for a while longer. She told me that it was a dermatologist at the very clinic I had visited for my acne. I paid exactly the same amount at the clinic as I did at the Clinique counter. What I got from the products the dermatologist prescribed was dry, inflamed skin. Clinique products actually made my skin heal a bit.
3. Antibiotics and BP are hit or miss solutions
Not everyone with acne will be cured by these standard solutions. From what I have learned over the years every case of acne has something different causing it and something unique will be able to cure it. For some, it was Zinc supplements, for another Vitamin E supplements. Some people have good results by avoiding sugar, dairy and gluten, either one or maybe even all 3. Some even cured their acne by just changing their pillow cases every day.
I wish dermatologists would change a patient’s treatment when it did not work instead of ramping up the dosage. If it does not work in a month it is not going to work.
Sometimes using antibiotics and BP is like treating the body and skin like a war zone. Nothing good can come out of it. The skin reacts by getting red and inflamed.
4. Left to itself your skin can heal on its own
If you have a minor cut on your hand do you need medical intervention? No. Even deeper cuts are stitched so that the healing takes place properly. The body does the healing. Provide a good environment for your skin and it can and will heal the acne on its own. Today if I see the signs that I am going to get acne, and I have no time to use my regular honey masks, I just leave it alone. I drink a lot of water and if pressed for time just take a Vitamin C supplement. I would normally drink water with lemon juice or eat vitamin C rich fruits. The acne does not even form.
However all said and done, some people do get a lot of help for their acne from dermatologists. If you do visit one make sure you use your instincts and realise when a treatment is not working and if it is actually making things worse.