Encouraging Your Loved Ones to See a Dermatologist

You may have spotted a little scaly patch on your daughter’s arm, or a mole on your son’s neck. These spots are certainly cause for concern, and there’s no question that you’re taking your kids to the dermatologist to have those skin issues looked at and treated.

But what if the issue is more sensitive than those? What if your teen has acne, and is already sensitive about his or her appearance? If you suggest going to a dermatologist, you know that the doctor can treat that acne and lessen its appearance dramatically, but your hormone-ridden child might take your suggestion as a criticism, perhaps getting dramatic about there being ‘something else wrong with me!’ A dramatic teen may be no news to you, but when it comes to a medical condition, your child’s anxiety can turn into quite a production for your entire family to deal with.

And your spouse’s wrinkled forehead. You know that he would love Botox’s smoothing effects, but you also know that he is needle-phobic and may have some preconceived notions about cosmetic treatments and vanity. The same goes, perhaps more precariously, for a good friend who you think would benefit from some Juvederm®.

Just how do you encourage your loved ones to seek out the cosmetic treatments that you know work so well? We have some tips for you:

1. Pre-research the positive results. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so go to your dermatologist’s Before and After image gallery to print out some clear photos of the kinds of improvements that can be achieved via dermal fillers, laser treatments and acne treatments.

2. Use good timing. You know when your spouse is distracted, like when he first comes home from work and needs to decompress, and when he’s more likely to hear what you’re saying. You know when your teen can hear you (i.e. when he’s not playing video games or doing homework.) In these prime times, you have more of a chance to get your encouraging message to your loved ones.

3. Open the conversation well. The first line you come out with will determine if you will be able to help your loved one to improve his or her skin issues. For instance, if you were to say, “I know you’re sensitive about your acne” to a teenager, that could be like touching a raw nerve, and your teen may tune you out. It can be far better to just say, “If you’d like to improve your skin, I know of a terrific doctor who can prescribe more powerful medication than what you’re using now, and I’d be happy to take you for an appointment.” Your teen might pause in that ‘thinking what to do’ stance, not insulted but still being guarded. That’s when you invite them to your laptop to view the Before and After photos you found on the gallery, saving precious time by going right to the image pairing that looks the closest to your loved one’s skin. This is no time for browsing, or you’ll lose his or her attention. Just show the photo…

4. …and put it in their hands. Not the photo, but rather the decision. “Just think about it, and let me know if you want to check it out.” It might take a few days, or a few weeks, which will require your patience, but you’ve planted a seed, and not oversold. Which can add up to success.

5. Avoid telling stories, like ‘So-and-so said that her daughter got acne laser treatments, and it worked so well!” Your teen won’t like that you discussed her skin with your friend, and those walls are going up. The same goes for your husband. He won’t appreciate his wrinkles or his acne scars being the topic of discussion at your book club.

And of course, sometimes the best way to motivate others to see a dermatologist is to see one yourself, come home with fresh, radiant, line-free skin, and when your friends and family compliment you, simply say, “You know, this is way less stressful than I thought, and I think you’d be very happy with laser treatments/chemical peels/dermal fillers too. What do you think?” Again, you’ve planted the seed, and shown them by your example just how easy it is to get rid of those skin flaws and love the way you look.

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