27 June 2007

My Trip to the Dermatologist

I waited three months to see a dermatologist.

I have complained and talked about my skin before in this blog. For those of you who do not know, I don't have the greatest skin. It is not as bad as before (it was terrible when I was 14 and around 21 years of age) but I still have slight scarring from hormonal cystic acne break-outs. Around PMS, I will have the occasional cystic acne...but as I mentioned, it is not as bad as before. In fact, my skin doesn't look that bad compared to years ago. With age, it is beginning to look pretty good. However, I'm 30 years old and it feels like my face is still 15 - haha. I'm sick of breaking out and I'm sick of the slight scarring. All I want is nice skin for once.

I waited three months for this appointment with the dermatologist.

I pretty much figured that my options were slim as I don't want to go on birth control pills, Accutane, or anti-biotics as suggested when I was 14 and going to the dermatologist. I thought, however, that there might be some other options to explore as it's been over ten years since I saw a dermatologist.

I waited three months to see this dermatologist and I felt like such a number. I was in and out of his room in a matter of minutes. He never asked me about my skin or what medications I have tried in the past, he did not tell me anything about my skin, or even ask "how are you today?". He asked me what I wanted, he took a look at my skin, and wrote a prescription. I seriously waited longer to get fast food compared to the time I spent in the doctor's room. I felt so rushed that I did not get the chance to ask him about another skin concern or a general question about heat rash (my partner is suffering from this at the moment). And I understand that I do live in Quebec but the guy could barely speak English.

Why is that I have to wait three months to see a specialist when he only gives me three minutes of his time? It doesn't seem fair especially when you think of how much money he makes out of my three minute visit!

He gave me a presciption for tetracycline and two different topical gels. Chances are, I won't use this prescription. He never told me what the side effects of these medications are, he never told me if they can be used with the thyroid medication that I am on, and he seemed defensive when I told him that I was on anti-biotics when I was a teen and it didn't work.

I can say this - when I was a teen, I saw a really wonderful dermatologist. He took the time to talk to you, he cared, and he thoroughly explained medications and skincare to you. You could tell he had children of his own. He was warm and gentle and professional. He did not rush you out in a matter of three minutes after a three month long wait to see him.

Anyway, my friend manages a health store. She suggested a number of things that I will look over when I go back home for a little holiday. Maybe I'll ask my family doctor for another referral to a different dermatologist too.

Or maybe I'll just have to live with less than perfect skin as I have been doing since I was 14 years old. Sigh!

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