Bottom line: You probably don’t need a doctor—specifically a skin doctor, called a dermatologist--to get better skin. Even for much improved skin, you can often use safe, at-home products for amazing results.
But (there is always a but) you need to know what is possible and what you can do safely at home, and where to find effective products for home use. And, even more importantly—you need to follow directions for every product you use, no matter how mild you think it might be.
If you are pregnant or nursing, it is best to avoid using most skin improvement products because your skin absorbs chemicals and some reach the bloodstream. Although in small amounts, most skin products are safe during pregnancy and nursing, you don’t want to take any chances and most physicians will tell you to abstain. [Read over this post on what is safe during pregnancy].
In general, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a drug requiring a doctor's prescription as a product that alters living tissue, at least to a degree that requires careful monitoring, and it also must undergo rigorous testing and clinical trials and studies to prove it is effective and safe for human use and actually does what it claims to do.
For skin creams, if it doesn't alter skin cells in such a significant way, the FDA describes it as a "cosmetic," and that cream isn't really monitored strictly, as "drugs" are. Many medications move from prescription-only to over-the-counter for a variety of reasons, for instance, when a drug has been used safely and widely for many years and the public is clearly able to self-diagnose, the FDA may allow it to become available without a prescription. And of course, there are always arguments that some medications that are prescription should be over-the-counter, or vice-versa, and sometimes the rules seem unnecessarily complex or arbitrary, but that's a discussion for another day.
There is no such thing as a cream that can lift sagging skin and underlying muscles, or erase deep lines. However, there are many wonderful products available without prescription that can change the skin moderately--or even substantially--in many positive ways. For instance, they can reduce fine lines, improve acne, even out skin tone, shrink pores, eliminate or nearly eliminate spots and discoloration, and give your skin a glowing, youthful appearance.
For the most effective at-home skin products, you do NOT want to look in drugstore or department stores because the preparations made by Big Cosmetic Companies often contain the right ingredients, but in amounts too slight to make noticeable differences in your skin.
Some of those ingredients include retinols, glycolic acids and other alpha hydroxy acids which are found in very weak products made by Big Cosmetic Company products. The reason those companies make such ineffective products is mostly because they don’t want to spend the time dealing with the public to educate them on exactly how to use them and what normal side effects—such as peeling skin—to expect. Thus, they make their products mild and general enough to be used by anyone at any time with little-to-no side-effects—and little-to-no results!
Of course, the drugstore is a good place to buy basic soaps and moisturizers, but there is no need to pay a huge price for them: Just because the Big Companies put them in pretty jars with fancy labels doesn’t make them better. Instead, you can buy Dove, Lubriderm, Cetaphil—these are reasonably priced brands found in the drug store and often recommended by dermatologists for cleansing and moisturizing.
So how can you get a hold of the stronger at-home products and peels that are right for YOU? You can get a free consultation from Platinum Skincare and/or you can read about effective products on their website. You can learn a lot in a fun and entertaining way from my book, The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin --the technical advisor was Dr. David Bank (link: https://www.thecenterforderm.com/ a well-known and respective New York dermatologist.
But when should you see a dermatologist? If you have severe acne and are considering the remarkable medication Isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane, but now sold under many brand names), you will need a dermatologist prescription and monitoring during the course of treatment.
If you want strong spot-fading creams that contain hydroquinone in percentages stronger than over-the-counter creams, you will need a prescription.
If you have spots or scars that will require laser treatments or extremely deep chemical peels—you need a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in those treatments.
And of course, for suspicious spots and moles or rashes—that could be skin cancer—you need a dermatologist.
If you have more than mild rosacea, a dermatologist can also provide treatments you can’t use at home (mild rosacea can respond well to some at-home treatments; contact Platinum Skincare for more information on that).
Where can I buy Dana's Book?
The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, available as a Kindle download or Buy paperback to buy your paperback copy from Platinum Skin Care. You can also read the first chapter--FREE--by click here to read 1st chapter.