It’s a real thing! I’ve posted about the anti-aging powers of retinoids before, and I recently decided to try to start my incorporating retinoids into my regimen again. However, I’ve been getting a bad case of retinoid dermatitis, meaning red splotchy dry skin that flakes off easily as my skin gets accustomed to my retinoid! I’ve been using Differin (Adapalene) Gel 0.1% the past few weeks and my skin is just not having an easy time with it. I guess I was a little overzealous in the beginning and started with nightly application right off the bat, and I’ve been using more than I probably should.
Here’s what you need to know (and I need to follow) to avoid retinoid dermatitis:
- start off with 2-3 times per week application, increase to every other night, and then build up to nightly use as tolerated by your skin. Don’t do what I did and jump into nightly application right from the get go! Give your skin time to get used to the Vitamin A derivative.
- use a pea sized amount for the WHOLE face
- mix with moisturizer and apply to the face if you are getting too irritated
- if your skin just doesn’t handle retinoids, opt for retinol products over the counter, which may be just as effective but take longer to work
- use a thick moisturizer like my favorite the Nature Republic Steam Cream to combat extra dryness
I’ve been on the hunt for comfortable sneakers I can wear for walking around NYC, bopping around clinic, and going on travel excursions, because my athletic running shoes just don’t go with any outfits. My mom purchased me a pair of Sperry crest vibe sneakers recently, and I am in love with them! They are stylish, comfortable, and so easy to put on and take off since they are slip-ons. Mine are navy in size 5, the smallest size. Actually I wear size 4 to 4.5 in women’s, so these were too big for me. In order to make them fit, I stuck heel grips on the back; I perused Amazon and purchased the most highly rated Pedag brand leather heel grips that are comfortable and stick snugly on the shoe. I also found slightly thicker no show socks with gel cushioning at the back and sports cushioning on the bottom so the shoes fit well now.
I’m officially in my last year of residency! I’m a PGY-4, which means 4th year of residency after medical school. After one year of internal medicine (intern year) and two years of dermatology, I’ve finally arrived in my last year of training. I can’t believe the journey is almost over! I remember in medical school I looked up to the derm residents and just dreamed of a day that I would be one of them. It’s crazy that time has flown by so quickly. On the one hand I feel like I have learned so much since I started dermatology training, but on the other hand, the thought of practicing independently in just one year scares me! So because of that, my goals for the year are:
1. Soak up as much clinical knowledge as I can.
My attendings are brilliant and known around the world for their expertise in their specialties, so I want to be a sponge (we used to say this to each other in med school). I want to be a sponge in the sense that I want to soak up every clinical pearl, learning how they manage diseases and more importantly how they counsel their patients. I have been practicing counseling patients on my own these past 2 years, but this year I hope to shadow more attendings to pick up how they phrase and explain dermatologic diseases and treatments to their patients.
I also want to focus on learning and gaining clinical experience. I don’t want to just study facts for the boards; the dermatology boards are a lot of memorization and regurgitation of knowledge without being a real test of patient care and disease management. This is changing in the future years, as it should. I want to focus on honing my clinical skills so that when I’m out in the real world I will be able to confidently handle and treat patients in any setting.
2. Attend dermatology conferences and network with others in the field.
As I mentioned before there is so much to learn from my colleagues, and I’ve had so much fun meeting other dermatology residents and attendings at conferences. I want to try to break out of my shell and go to more conferences and try networking more.
3. Find a job setting in which I can continue to challenge myself to learn and develop new skills.
I’m excited to see what my next steps will be after residency, and I’ll start job hunting in a few months. I hope to share this journey with you guys!
Have a good week!