Skin care procedures can make a world of difference!

I work for a local dermatologist in Hampton Roads.  He has been practicing for over 27 years and not only is he a board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, he is also recognized as a fellow in the American Academy of Dermatology and has served as the Chairman for the Dermatology Section of the National Medical Association. In 2008 he was voted Practitioner of the Year by the National Medical Association.

I have been working at the derm practice for over 8 years, and not only am I a Medical Assistant, but I have also been trained as a Skin Care Specialist.  As a skin care specialist I see my own patients and perform skin care consults, microdermabrasions and chemical peels.  I have a regular clientele and meet new patients all the time.  It is a really great job!

One of the things I love most about my job is that I am able to make a positive difference in people’s lives.  Most of my patients are women and most of them are between 25 and 65 years old.  That is not because women under the age of 30 don’t have skin problems, but because for some reason most women don’t decide to take care of their skin until they are in their late 20’s.


Until then they have spent most of their time and energy taking care of their husbands, boyfriends and/or their kids.  For some reason we women don’t think we should take care of ourselves.  We put ourselves last and take care of every one else’s needs first. I have quite a few men clients as well.  Taking care of your skin is not just for the ladies, it is for all of us!!


Unfortunately insurance doesn’t pay for the services I offer, and the cost is out of pocket.  By the time people choose to spend the money for themselves they are usually extremely frustrated.  They have dark spots, acne scarring, uncontrolled acne, dull lifeless skin, and more.

They have tried hundreds of products, none of which solved their problem, and they have what I refer to as a “product graveyard”.  A drawer or cabinet full of products they have purchased but didn’t work,  They hang on to them in hopes that maybe they will work someday or they can pass them on to a friend.  The products don’t get thrown away because most of the time they were expensive and is seems wasteful to throw out an almost full container of something, even if it was junk.

So my job is to help these people feel better about the face they have and what they show the world.  Let’s be honest, your face is the first thing someone sees when they talk to you.  People who have dark spots, acne or acne scarring feel like that is what people are noticing because that is what they notice about themselves when they look in the mirror.  We always notice first the things that bother us the most.

To be frank, I cannot erase everything with the procedures I administer.  People may still have dark spots or acne, or acne scarring, but I will tell you with 100% certainty that EVERYONE has some improvement.  I always tell people I can’t erase everything but we can always make an improvement.  How much better each person gets is individual, but we always get to a place where they can be comfortable looking in the mirror.

acne scarring before and after microdermabrasion

I LOVE what I do, and the positive impact I am able to make in people’s lives.  I know that when people feel better about themselves their whole lives are better and the lives of those around them are better!  I am so thankful I am able to play a small part in that!!

Perimenopause and the pills that saved lives…..

I have entered into perimenopause with all of the FUN and JOY that brings  (PLEASE note my keyboard is dripping with sarcasm)……I started having symptoms last year on my 46 birthday. Yes, that is true!  The week I turned 46 my period was late and late and late.  I knew I wasn’t pregnant, so I knew I was beginning to go through THE CHANGE OF LIFE….      (insert scary scream here).

I went to my doctor to find out what I could/should do, and her answer was to carry plenty of feminine hygiene products and a spare pair of undies in case my cycle suddenly starts.  REALLY?  Years and years of medical school and that is the best answer??  Don’t get me wrong, I love my doctor.  She is brilliant. Which is why I was so dumbstruck by her response.

So I searched the  internet to find an herbal remedy that might help with all of my PMS type symptoms and help my estrogen level increase.  Nothing.
Then I went to my local Vitamin Shoppe and spent at least 30 minutes in the “Womens Health” section looking at every single bottle of menopausal relief pills and reading the ingredients until I found a bottle that had high quantities of al of the things I was looking for:  Black Cohosh, Dong Quai, and Chaste berry.  I looked and looked and finally found a product called Mensosense.

I started taking it and felt much much better within a few days…  I started taking two pills a day and it kept my cycle regular and my perimenopausal symptoms normalized.  That means I no longer felt like stabbing people all the time.
Since starting the Mensosense I only wanted to stab people once a week or so instead of every 15 minutes.  I also stopped sobbing all the time.  I tell you perimenopause is a BITCH!  One minute you are sobbing, the next you are so mad you want to choke someone.  Your cycle is late or nonexistent, OR you spot bleed for two weeks.  At night you have insomnia and night sweats, and during the day you have hot flashes, (What I call personal summers).  I truly believe if men had to go through Menopause we would either have it cured by now, or the retirement age would be 50!!

I was taking the pills, and doing fine.  The trouble came when I was almost out, and the closest Vitamin Shoppe was 30 minutes from my house. I will tell you that I knew I needed a refill because during the time after I bought them I did miss taking them a few times.  After three days of not taking them, I knew for sure that I needed them because I spent the day alternately crying or wanting to kill people. My kids even started asking me if I had missed taking my pills if I seemed crabbier than usual. It was then I knew I was completely hooked on Mensosense…..and needed my pills like a caffeine junkie needs coffee…..wait, I need caffeine too.

My new best friends!

So I needed to buy more pills, but didn’t want to drive the 45 minutes to Virginia Beach to get some. Then I had a brilliant idea! Where I live there has been quite a bit of retail development and a GNC store opened up recently.  I thought, “I will just pop over to the GNC store and see if they carry Mensosense”.  I went over to the NewYorican’s house, and bribed her to come with me by promising I would take her to lunch.  After all, what are BFF’s for??  So she came with me, and off to GNC we went…….

The NewYorRican wanted to wait in the car, so I parked and walked into the GNC.  Upon entering I noticed there were two men working.  Interestingly they were not young muscle bound men, but middle aged paunchy men.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not discriminating. I myself am a bit paunchy, and I am also middle aged.  I am merely pointing out that usually at GNC stores you see youngish people who look like they work out and use the products sold in the store.

I will admit that it is possible that underneath the gray sweater vest and cardigans, these two dudes were muscle bound and extremely fit, but my first impression was that there were not…just sayin’.

If the GNC dudes looked like this I might have been having fun!!

I walked over to the women’s health area, trying to be inconspicuous, however since I was the only customer, one of them saw me and swept in like a hawk for a kill:

He, (AKA Sweater Vest Dude):  “Can I help you ma’am?”
Me:  “Yes, I am looking for a product called Mensosense.”
He:  “Mensosense??  What kind of product is that?”
Me: (squirming a bit) “It is a product to help with perimenopausal symptoms.”
He:  “Hmmm, I don’t know if we carry that.”  Then he hollers across the store, “Hey Mike, do we carry something called Mensosense??  It is for Menopause type symptoms.”

At this point I am VERY sorry I walked into the GNC, and even more sorry I need the pills because I have been off them for two days and am a bit twitchy and agitated.  Not good for Mike and Sweater Vest Dude.  Mike proceeds to call someone (YAY, let’s get even MORE people involved in my health issues…..) I hear him saying, “Yes Mensosense, it is for menopause symptoms.”  I spell it for him “M-E-N-S-O-S-E-N-S-E-.”

Sweater Vest Dude is standing next to me, and he proceeds to grab a GNC product off the shelf and says, “Well, this is a GNC product for menopausal symptoms.”

Okay, now I am starting to feel really twitchy…… hellooooo, you can’t just use ANYTHING!!

Me: “Well, I spent 30 minutes looking at every bottle and reading the ingredients in the store where I bought them. Mensosense has the most milligrams and the most variety of different herbs that help stop perimenopausal symptoms.”

Sweater Vest Dude is looking at me like I have just spoken in a foreign language, which apparently I have.  Meanwhile Mike has concluded his conversation with the person on the phone and walks over and says, “No, I am sorry we don’t carry that product.”  No shit sherlock….

Me:  “Yes, I can see that.  It is made in Canada, so it needs to be imported.”

Sweater Vest Dude: “Oh, well that explains why we don’t carry it.”  Of course he said it in that sing song voice you use when trying to convey something to a kindergartener…..twitch….twitch…twitch.

Me: (Trying to ease my anxiety and lighten the mood) “Well, I guess I will just have to drive back out to Virginia Beach to get some.  I need them.  They keep me from stabbing people.” I smile and laugh……..

Dead silence.  The dudes don’t smile.  They don’t laugh.  Apparently Sweater Vest Dude and Mike don’t find me or my perimenopausal symptoms amusing.
I leave and run out to the car where the NewYorican is waiting.  I tell her my story and she starts laughing so hard she is crying.  She: “Did you really tell them you would stab people?”  Me: “Well, yes, but I don’t think they understood that I was joking. I am not sure they believed that.”  She: “They probably locked the door after you left, and are waiting for you to leave the parking lot before they will unlock it”

She then proceeded to pull put her iPhone and in true BFF fashion found me a Vitamin Shoppe closer to us than Virginia Beach, and offered to go with me to get some more Mensosense.  I guess she thought her NewYorican ass could keep me from killing people….

My BFF the NewYorRican and her youngest.

That is a true BFF.  Someone who will ride as a passenger with a twitchy, agitated, herb deprived woman to the store to get more pills for her perimenopausal symptoms.

Needless to say I did get more pills.  I bought two bottles, and will find out how to order them online so I can have them delivered directly to my door.  Thank the Goddess for internet shopping and thank the Goddess for Mensosense!!!!