Many medical professionals perform cosmetic treatments. How do you choose the physician that is right for you?
What to look for:
- Check credentials. Canadian dermatologists have the designation FRCPC (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada), and have 5 years of residency training in skin health. Here is why I feel strongly about this: the health of your skin is paramount- your cosmetic doctor should be able to diagnose and treat skin disease as well as perform cosmetic treatments.
- Who performs the treatments? Does your doctor perform injections themselves, or do they delegate them to a nurse or another medical professional? I perform my injections myself because I believe this is the safest and most reliable way to deliver natural-looking results for my patients.
The initial consult:
- Your dermatologist will spend time with you to give you a thorough consultation and to fully address your concerns and answer your questions. This is a sign that they are an expert in their field, someone who understands how valuable your time is and wants you to get the most from your investment.
- An expert will assess you as a whole. Does your provider simply address your immediate concerns, or do they take the time to give you a comprehensive consultation? You might be most concerned about specific lines, but an expert will look at your entire face. Yes, during COVID-19 the mask needs to come off for a few minutes!
- Tip: Don’t be shy- tell your injector if you have had any treatments in the past. This is a very important part of our planning process to give you the best results safely.
- Seek to understand why. Does your doctor explain why they are suggesting their treatment plan, and show you what they hope to accomplish using photographs and/or a mirror? Can they break it down into a series of treatments and explain what they plan to accomplish with each one?
- Be open to being redirected. For example, you might request lip enhancement, and your doctor might feel this is not the best place to start. This means they are considering you as a whole. Maybe they have noticed that you would benefit first from treatment of your cheeks and chin, structures that are essential to support your lips. Ask them to explain their reasoning, and why they are recommending their approach. Look for an emphasis on natural-looking results.
- Expect to spend some time talking about possible complications. This is medicine, after all, and as with all medical treatments, there are potential complications that you need to be educated about. This will reassure you that your physician has an advanced understanding of anatomy and how to handle situations that could arise.
- Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good injector understands that you may have lots of them, especially if you are a new patient.
Making and following your plan:
- Is your physician sensitive to your financial plan? Treatment plans can seem overwhelming at first, but can be broken down into several visits. This has the added benefit of allowing you to make changes gradually over time.
- Does your injector suggest the same thing over and over? While injections of neuromodulators like Botox® are often kept stable, they do require periodic reassessment. Injection of fillers requires constant re-consideration to take into account facial changes and response to previous treatments. If the same treatment is suggested repeatedly, ask why. There may be a good reason; whatever the case, your doctor should be able to explain it to you clearly.
- Tip: ask how accessible your doctor is. How do they handle problems or concerns after hours? Make sure you understand how to contact your doctor if necessary.
Finally, trust your instinct. You should feel confident with the physician you choose.
This article is intended to provide general information and is not intended as a substitute for assessment and care from your doctor.