I love to problem solve and I love to help. I know that sounds cheesy, but I believe I was born to do it. All the personality tests, job surveys, astrological readings over the years, and, most importantly, my happiness in my professional life as a dermatologist point to my love of caregiving and problem-solving.
I picked dermatology because you can see what you are up against and your patient can, too. There is an immediate bond that is established between the two of you against the problem. Even better, you get to make the problem go away and witness the happiness that brings to the patient! Of course, not all dermatology problems can go away, but my practice is surgical and focused on addressing the more complex surgical problems general dermatologists do not typically address. In other words, I get to come in and say, “Yes, I can help!” to people who have been said no to over and over. I spend my days making unwanted skin lesions go away be it skin cancers, cysts, moles, lipomas, scars, wrinkles, blood vessels or age spots using my surgical skills, lasers, injectables and topical treatments to optimize outcomes. I absolutely love it.
I enjoy being very busy but it can build up into too much, so I have settled into a few self-care hacks that make things more sustainable and fun. I keep to a strict schedule during the week, where I am in bed at 10 p.m. and up at 6 a.m. When at the clinic, my amazing front desk makes sure I have food on my desk every three hours. I’m not picky, it just needs to be easy to eat because I do not take lunch. I know working out is so good for my body and brain. I make time for it on the weekends and maybe once or twice during the week but there is still a lot of room for improvement here. My evenings are about my family until the kids go to bed and then often there is a bit more work to be done before curling up with my husband for a show or a book.
And of course, there’s skincare. My daily skincare routine is easy and science-based. I have to take very good care of my skin, as it is the "proof" that I know what I am doing as a dermatologist. I also happen to have incredibly thin, sensitive skin. There is so much out there that can hurt and so little that can help. I had to make my own skincare line because I am so selective about my skin and my patients' skin.
In addition to using serums, creams and sunscreen, I’m a big fan of taking ingestible collagen. Every morning, I add Vital Proteins Original Collagen Peptides to my morning cup of coffee. The Original Collagen Peptides is in that small group of things that can help! As a woman over 40, a 10% improvement in skin elasticity, hydration and dermal collagen density makes it well worth it, which is why I take it every day.
For my patients who are motivated to combat the normal aging process, I encourage sunscreen and a topical vitamin C serum to help slow the breakdown of the skin’s collagen and tretinoin at night to help rebuild it. I also suggest they take ingestible collagen to improve this production of new collagen. For any patient that I am doing aggressive resurfacing procedures (like C02 lasering), I encourage them to take collagen supplements for at least 3 months after to aid in the production of new collagen during the healing process. Personally, I take it every day because it’s an easy way to boost my collagen intake — I just add one scoop to my coffee! — and help support my skin health.