The First Step to Aging Gracefully? Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Author: Dr. Bobby Buka

There are a lot of concerns surrounding the aging process. People worry about their financial stability, their health and their ability to stay independent.

But there’s one fear that people don’t need to have, if they are able to just ask for help: what to do about the effects of aging on skin.

In the world of dermatology there are now literally dozens of ways to mitigate some of the more visible changes that occur as a person ages. Thanks to medical and cosmetic advances, there really is no reason to fear “looking old.”

There’s also no age requirements for wanting to combat the effects of age on skin. It doesn’t matter if a person is 30 or 60, there are options for every age and stage.

So, why don’t people reach out to professionals, that is, board-certified dermatologists, and ask: what can I do about these wrinkles, my softening jawline, or the spider veins in my legs?

It could be that a person is proud, and while they’d like to make a change, they feel it’s something they shouldn’t want. “I’ve lived with this mole for 40 years, another 40 shouldn’t bother me.”

Or, they may be worried about being seen as vain.

In a recent Psychology Today article, author Christopher Bergland discusses his own reactions to statistics about cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.

“My knee-jerk reaction was to be critical about the uptick in vanity-driven surgery. I had the urge to get on my soapbox and profess the importance of “self-acceptance” and loving oneself “warts and all.” But then I realized that choosing to have plastic surgery, or any cosmetic procedure, is a deeply personal decision that has the potential to boost self-confidence and feelings of self-worth by making someone feel more comfortable in his or her own skin.

People who are, literally, uncomfortable in their skin, or with the appearance of their skin, shouldn’t buy into the thinking that it’s taboo to reach out for help. Once concerns about pride, and vanity, are set aside it’s easier to reach out to a dermatologist and ask for help.

What kind of help?

First, it’s advice from a sympathetic and knowledgeable source. Everyone knows that sun protection and staying hydrated are good first steps, but dermatologists can offer other advice beyond what’s found in magazines.

Second, a good dermatologist will take the time to discuss a patient’s goals and desired outcome and then make suggestions based on that conversation. How much change does a patient want to see? What medical and treatment options exist to address a specific concern?

Take the basic “lines and wrinkles” problem. Maybe a treatment that that plumps or fills, like Radiesse® Wrinkle Treatment, is a better option than Botox injections.

Once a patient knows their options, dermatologists can set up a game plan that will work.

Finally, remember, there’s a reason the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” has been used by everyone from Carl Sagan to Dear Abby: if a question goes unasked, there’s no possible chance of getting it answered. So when a patient meets with a dermatologist, it’s the best possible time to ask all the not-dumb questions about aging and skin.

If the fear of “looking old” is beating down all the joys that can accompany getting older—confidence built, great stories experienced and shared, business successes, starting a family–then it’s more than time to take the first step.

So, ask for help! For New Yorkers, The Dermatology Specialists is a great place to start. Schedule an appointment on ZocDoc today!