Friday, September 5, 2014

SkinTrends, answer to acne problems

Acne, though part of growing up, can be very dangerous when not treated well.  For most people, acne comes and eventually goes, there is thus seemingly no need to treat it. The reality though is that acne when treated improperly or worse, simply allowed to “run its course”, does permanent, long term damage to skin that will be extremely difficult and expensive to repair. To ensure that acne does not cause expensive long term damage, it should be treated, and treated properly, not just at any clinic, but at an acne authority, like Skin Trends. 

The key to minimizing the damaging effects of acne is to treat it early, right at its onset. Conventional wisdom and the prevalent practice of acne sufferers is to let pimples “ripen” before attempting any sort of intervention; this is a damaging misconception. If you wait for more than 2 days before having cystic or pustular pimples treated, chances are, they will have already burst beneath the skin surface, and the resulting pus will have damaged the collagen which will have resulted in deep acne scars.

Not all acne scars are deep scars though. On the nose and chin, acne scars are raised lesions called hypertrophic scars or baby keloids. This is why in those areas where pimples appear and eventually vanish the area of the skin remains raised after a long time even if it isn’t red and painful anymore. 

No hopeless cases only unfinished treatments 
The great thing about acne is that it is absolutely controllable. Acne is in fact a disease; it is an umbrella medical term that includes blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules and cysts. The only reason many seem unresponsive to acne treatments is that they don’t comply with their dermatologist prescribed regimens. Acne is a slow responding disease that requires weeks or even months of religious treatment. Those seeming “hopeless cases” are just people who began treatment but who didn’t see it through for one reason or another. 

No substitute for expertise 
The right age to treat acne varies from person to person; some individuals suffer from acne even in their pre-teens. Dr. Joy Gonzales-Mongcal, owner and head dermatologist of Skin Trends, one of the country’s premiere acne treatment clinics says that the ideal time to treat acne is when the first blackhead or whitehead appears. 

Because of the nature of acne, there is no automated treatment modality, and as yet no machine can take the place of an expertly done manual pricking for blackheads or whiteheads. At Skin Trends Dr. Mongcal personally trains her staff. After rigorous training, applicants have to pass 3 sets of tests: oral, written and practical. After they have passed this battery of tests, the last hurdle is actual pricking with Dr. Mongcal as the patient. Dr. Mongcal has acne prone skin that requires occasional pricking. She uses her “flaw” to her advantage and is her own “guinea pig”. Before a trainee is allowed to handle paying patients, each one needs to prick Dr. Mongcal’s blackheads and whiteheads and when necessary, even her milia. 

Redefining the customer experience 
As a result of Dr. Mongcal’s stringent standards, an expertly done pricking at SkinTrends is significantly less painful than at an ordinary clinic. Pricking at the whitehead or blackhead stage also prevents acne scars. If even the reduced pain of a SkinTrends treatment is too much for a patient, SkinTrends offers a treatment with topical anesthesia option for a premium. 

SkinTrends recognizes that it is bad patient experiences that result in aborted acne treatments, that’s why SkinTrends devotes thought and resources into improving the patient experience in every way possible. Apart from being the only dermatological clinic that invests in long and expert training for all its attendants, unlike other clinics that treat patients in crowded wards, SkinTrends clinics feature roomy private cubicles. 

Aside from being highly customer centric, the SkinTrends approach is both thorough and meticulous. Dr. Mongcal stresses: “At Skintrends, we treat acne in a holistic manner. First we have to rule out any gynecological causes of acne in female patients. We send these patients to a Gynecologist for a work up. If there are findings that point to a hormonal cause, these underlying causes are corrected. Patients are also advised of lifestyle changes with regards to their diet and sleeping patterns.” 

Ultimately, acne itself is not the real issue, the real problem is the long term scarring it causes, as this will be extremely difficult and costly to repair in the future. A full cycle of treatment early will mean the long term preservation of young, glowing, beautiful skin. SkinTrends has clinics in Fairview, Quezon Avenue, Eastwood, Cubao, Festival Mall in Alabang, and two in Sta. Rosa Laguna.

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