My consult with a derm
What it’s like to get a consultation with an expert dermatologist
I have an embarrassing problem.
I am in my 30’s but somehow I have developed bacne. I thought my acne days were long gone, and that my next skin issue would be wrinkles. Wrong. Now I’m battling the early signs of aging AND acne all over my back. Seriously this seems unfair.
I tried different shampoos, conditioners, body washes and some overpriced gel stuff that I bought at a hotel spa: all with no luck. I tried lightly exfoliating, and applying over the counter topical acne treatments, but still, nothing seemed to work.
Feeling hopeless, I booked a consultation with expert dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett who has an impressive clinic in the heart of Toronto’s upscale Yorkville district called DLK on Avenue. If you haven’t already heard of Dr. Lisa Kellett or DLK on Avenue, I’m figuring you’ve been locked up in the pen’s solitary confinement for the last 20 years!
Upon arrival I was warmly greeted and offered the choice of room temperature or chilled water. “We’re big on hydration” the patient services rep at the front desk informed me. I was given a form regarding my health history and skin concerns to complete. Next, I was taken to meet Dr. Lisa Kellett in her private office. Talk about smooth perfect skin! This woman, definitely knows what she’s doing! Her private office highlights why she is the best. Its walls are covered with Medical Dermatology degrees, sub-specialty Cosmetic degrees, Laser degrees and a bunch of other degrees with big Latin words. Ahh! she’s human too! I spotted a couple of children’s crafts and a family photo with a hunky husband tucked behind her desk!
The consultation was very professional. She took a look at my skin and nodded with a comforting ‘hmm’ sound. With Dr. Kellett’s experience, just looking at my face, I figure she already knows how I use sunscreen, my genetic makeup, my college smoking thing and that I had two and a half glasses of wine last night. “OK Doc, break it to me. I can handle the news.” She took some “before” photos, wrote me a prescription for a body wash, and recommended blu light treatments. Now, I’m making that comforting ‘hmm’ sound!
What in the world is blu light? From the esthetician working the machine, my simple take is that the blu light treatment kills the acne-causing bacteria that is deep in the skin and reduces the existing redness and inflammation. This means that the existing acne is less visible and new acne is less likely to make an appearance.
To prep, my back was cleaned with a mild cleanser that smelled wonderful. Then I was given yellow goggles to wear, and instructed to keep my eyes closed as the blue light is very bright and can be hard on your eyes (hence the protective safety goggles just in case I did open my eyes). The light was placed close to my back, switched on, and then all I had to do was lie there for 30 minutes.
Apart from a very slight warmth, I wouldn’t even have noticed the light at all which made me even more skeptical that it was doing anything at all. Once the treatment was done, my back was cleaned with alcohol, and then I was sent on my way.
I looked at my skin when I got home but didn’t see much improvement. Boo.
Then, the next morning, I checked out my back again and was shocked. My bacne had reduced a lot, the redness almost completely gone, and the bumps were now flat! I’m thrilled!!
That morning, I picked up my prescription body wash and I have begun using it as directed. Both Dr. Kellett and the pharmacist told me it would take a bit of time, so I am happy that I went in when I did. With promising results already, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my skin will soon be tank-top ready for summer. I’m going back for more!
I’ll keep you updated, but in the meantime, I would love to hear your skin stories below in the comments!
Reporting for The Skiny,