Stick with Science Not the Fluff
Musings from the recent American Society for Dermatological Surgery (ASDS)
I love being able to “sit at the feet” of my derm surgeon luminaries. These are the ones quoted in professional journals, popular magazines, newspapers and often on the early daily news shows. They, like myself, are committed to the science behind products and techniques and achieving proven, effective and safe results for patients.
When the first comment shared at the Maximizing Products and Procedures to Benefit Your Patients session at the recent ASDS meeting I attended was “none of my bottles match”, I was vindicated! Over the years I have noticed the same phenomena on my product shelves. These products were chosen as I learned the science behind them and are replaced, or added to, only when I find something better. I focus on the scientific process and effectiveness of the products to confirm the value of my time to personally use the product or to recommend it to my patients. Yet in our day and age, there is the temptation of companies to change the ‘look’ of the product and promote this as ‘new and improved’. Too many times “hope in a bottle is in the hand of the vulnerable”. Those TV commercials are convincing with the impressive results of the beautiful models, who are beautiful in the first place.
So, what’s a person to do? You may ask your hardware store person for plumbing advice then later your plumber asks ‘well why in the heck did you do that’? It’s much the same when seeking advice on skin care and products. It may be convenient to ask the person at the drug store for advice, but what is that person’s training and knowledge on the scientific evidence of the product.
As dermatology professionals, our job is to educate regarding skin questions and skin care products. Our training supports this – with four years of medical school, one year of general medicine and three years of dermatology residency study. I freely admit it, I’m a science junkie! I want to know the science behind why a product works and see the research that provides the evidence of its effectiveness. I want this for myself, and for my patients. And, along those lines, I want to leave you with this proven fact – the best anti-aging cream is a very good sunscreen applied frequently.
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