Derma Diaries: The Things I Realized In The Derma's Office
I've been struggling with acne for quite sometime. High school and college didn't give me so much breakouts as much as after graduation did. I'm guessing all the stress and worries I had during those past years somehow got accumulated and decided to burst out my face as acne.
It's only pretty recent that I went to have an actual dermatologist check my skin. To be honest I was nervous and more so, anxious and conscious cause I had to go to him without any makeup on which is something I'm not used to.
Prior to my first visit with my dermatologist, I thought I looked pretty okay at day when I'm out cause I cover my face with loads of makeup. I always had to color correct my pimples and scars before layering on foundation and another layer of concealer.
However, evening comes and I'm already tired and my deep acne scars are super visible especially in overhead lighted places (if that's even the right description). I get super conscious and even depressed with how I look especially whenever I get my period cause I get massive breakouts.
Because of my busy schedule, I tend to overlook retouches in the middle of the day only to find myself disgustingly oily you can seriously fry an egg on my face.
So I finally gathered courage (and the money) to go visit a dermatologist to consult. Luckily, I found one of my friends post about a really good dermatologist. So I went to visit him - Dr. Ian Laurel.
He is very kind. During my first consultation with him though, he sort of scolded me for not coming to him earlier. He told me how deep my acne scars have become because I already had severe acne.
From someone who never had any past experience with facials or whatnot, this was definitely something I agreed with. I was super oily that's why I was breaking out so bad.
He gave me a set of acne solving products and gave me consultation, peel, and cleaning schedules.
Man, my first facial was amazing. I never thought those tiny bumps on my face were accumulated dirt. My first peel was crazy. I looked like a fish and was super conscious at first cause I needed to regularly meet and face people with my work but eventually it smoothed my skin.
My deep acne scars slowly lifted and my cheeks are finally almost clear of acne. No longer was I having crazy breakouts when I'm on my period and my skin is totally neither oily nor super dry. It was perfect. I felt good.
I came and went to the clinic nearly every weekend to have checkups and get meds and do cleanings and I came to realize something.
When I first came into Dr. Laurel's office, I remember him asking me something that stuck to me: "Is it depressing?" He meant my acne. I was being honest when I said yes.
After I had my after-peel facial just last weekend and was left alone in the room to wait for Dr. Laurel's assistant, I realized how the constant visits to the clinic was more than just a process to heal my skin problem. It was healing my emotional being as well.
I remember when I returned after two weeks, everybody greeted me with a smile. I was slowly becoming a regular. Dr. Laurel would always tell me how beautiful I looked and complimented me on the pretty features of my face. His assistants would always tell me how impressed they are with how fast things are improving for me (which is very true cause my parents saw so much improvement real quick too).
There was so much healthy judgment. They knew how their clients tend to get depressed with their skin situation. Personally, I think that aside from the topicals and cosmeceuticals he prescribes, the place's positive energy and sense of community helps their clients heal faster.
Before your turn, you have to wait outside Dr. Laurel's clinic and there you will most definitely meet someone with the same issues as you. One of his assistants would always stay outside of the clinic and talk to the waiting clients.
One time, another guy was there who also had acne problems. You know how when some people point out your acne or pimples you get offended? These people have mastered the art of pointing it out and not making you feel bad.
The doctor's assistant told us about our shared issues and pointed out how fast we were improving and how good our skin looks already.
It was like this for me. Positive reinforcements every weekend.
So now I am just equipped with on fleek eyebrows, bold eyeliner, killer mascara, and a thin layer of foundation and minimal contouring. Finally, I can walk out of the house looking maybe like a hungover, overslept version of Gigi Hadid with clearer skin achieved in just 2 months of going back and forth Dr. Laurel's clinic. Now I'm just doing maintenance and peels once-a-month.
And so while I was sitting there. Waiting. I realized that perhaps physical healing is greatly affected by mental and emotional factors too. And that sometimes, you might need a little boost to get through depressing and embarrassing issues.
Sometimes, the way to heal is not to get through it alone but instead, together.
*You can visit Dr. Ian Laurel at the following clinics:
Tokyo Healthlink, Inc.
El Molito Bldg., Madrigal Ave., Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Tue 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Thu 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Upland Medical Clinic
Mendez, Cavite (Tagaytay)
Mon 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Healthyway Medical Clinics
2/F Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Mon 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thu 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Fri 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sat 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sun 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Meycauayan Doctors Hospital
Banga, Meycauayan, Bulacan
Wed 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Tokyo Healthlink, Inc.
2247 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
Wed 12:00 NN to 3:00 PM
Fri 9:00 AM to 12:00 NN