I recently hired some new staff in my office. This is always a good time to review our processes and procedures to improve our actions. One issue comes up frequently in our new training. We put much effort into our forms, but do patients even read the consent forms they sign?
These are times of quick convenience and efficiency. Many patients now find it an annoyance to read or sign a consent form. Most patients unfortunately sign forms without really reading or even knowing what is in them. I’ve never understood how someone can go through a serious medical procedure without even reading what the possibilities are. It is very important that this field of medicine works to change that for the good of everyone. There is no medical procedure or treatment without risks and potential benefits. Everyone knows the potential benefits because we look at those pictures or videos that show us what we want to see for ourselves. The problem is, those same videos and pictures do not show us the risks, the potential complications or who is even a good candidate for the treatment they are promoting. Those points are critical in deciding who can even get a treatment or what their potential outcome may be.
I have patients who come into my clinic now with phone in hand asking for a result they see on a video but not understanding or even wanting to understand the implications of doing that procedure. Sometimes, they are not a candidate for that treatment or cannot accept that the product they want is not appropriate for their skin. Other times, they continue to ask for something that I have already established as not an option for them. In those moments, I often think about how desperately they want something and they would sign any form that says anything to get it.
Consent forms are a formality and an opportunity that must be emphasized in our patient physician relationships. Appropriate discussions are needed to establish candidacy for a treatment before the treatment takes place. This is the reason for a consultation. It gives both doctor and patient the opportunity to ask questions and understand all the implications of a treatment before it happens. It is a valuable time to see if my goals are aligning with my patient.
Patients need to read their consent forms thoroughly, understand them, ask questions and be prepared for possible side effects. This is the nature of consenting. When we sign a consent, we have decided as an individual that the potential benefit is worth the risk of the potential side effects of that treatment. Likewise, the post care information is helpful and should be carefully followed in order to get the best outcome. There should be ample time for all of these discussions. Doctors need to assure that patients are reading their forms and spend the time addressing any concerns before a procedure takes place.
Having spent many years practicing in the field of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, I can tell you that all treatments have potential problems. No two bodies are alike or respond the same way, even in the most experienced hands. I find that some patients in the aesthetic field are so eager to get a treatment done, they do not follow the pre treatment recommendations, often are not forthcoming with their answers to important screening questions and are less than enthusiastic about following a post treatment care plan. All of these issues create an unnecessarily higher risk procedure for that person.
I hope this will help everyone create an open dialog while consulting with your physician about potential aesthetic treatments. It is perfectly acceptable to decline a treatment whose side effects are not bearable to you. Spend the time to read your treatment forms and discuss any questions with your doctor. Being prepared for a treatment enhances the experience. This is beneficial to everyone.
Dr. Valerie Schneider
I Just returned from a national conference in Las Vegas called the Aesthetic Show. I wanted to attend this conference because it is different from many other academic conferences. The technology is new, cutting edge and in some cases, not yet FDA approved. It’s kind of the “PIE IN THE SKY” conference of what is to come for our field of aesthetic medicine.
For those who need a little explanation of the term FDA approved...basically, when a product, technology or procedure is FDA approved, that means it has had medical studies to determine a correct and accurate dose, treatment protocol and best practice. When something is not FDA approved, it does not mean it cannot be done, it just means there are no studies to determine an optimal protocol for treatment.
For those who do a lot of work in our field with combined treatment modalities, trying new things together that never were thought to work, creating a new treatment or product from older technology or newer products, I salute them for being the explorers. I am glad there are people like them to test the waters before the rest of us set out to use that technology. I could not be that person but I am glad someone else is!
I’ve been cautious in life but that doesn’t mean I won’t try something new. Quite the contrary. I try new things all the time. New does not equal better. I want to see that the something new has more to offer than what is existing in order to incorporate it into my practice. Experience means something. (For example, we know and have a lot more experience with the effects of aspirin than we do with the Covid vaccine.) I want to know that there are supportive studies comparing it to the current norm. I want to see that those comparative studies show that this new item is actually better or does something additional to what we already have in place.
For example, many clinics now do microneedling. This is a common procedure now but a decade ago, no one knew what it was. I should know, I was one of those early pioneers of microneedling in our area. When I started this years ago, I could not find any other practitioners to collaborate with. Now, everyone does it. But, it is not all equal. There has been a wave of RF radio frequency devices now on the market to supposedly enhance the results of what microneedling already does. Well, guess what? There are no studies to show that RF microneedling is better than the type of microneedling we do in my office (which is different from others). Prior to Covid happening last year, I was in the process of designing just such a study! Obviously, that idea got delayed because of the events of the last year but I hope to restart that project at some point in the future.
I am optimistic that there will continue to be new techniques and devices to improve our anti- aging battles into the future. I love to be in the know, but I want to know that the treatments I will use on myself and my own patients are well established and provide a new or added benefit to what we are already doing.
Valerie Schneider MD
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Additionally, our service stands out from others as we use the RejuvapenNXT, which is one of the only instruments in the field to achieve the FDA 510k clearance. Rejuvapen is an innovative and effective micro-needling system that uses a specialized “pen” containing a cartridge with nine small needles that treat hyperpigmentation and scarring caused by acne.*
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Any questions feel free to ask below, and we will get do our best to answer.
Or feel free to call us today at 925-933-3194
The new Alle loyalty program from Allergan has replaced the old Brilliant Distinctions program. Please migrate your account from old to new so you do not miss any deals! A reason this is so important is you can now get loyalty points for other procedures and purchases such as Laser, Micro-Needling, skincare & more.
Need any help with this don't hesitate to get in touch with us at 925-933-3194
Important Details Around Allergan’s National Botox Day 2020 Offer Are Below:
On November 18, 2020, Allergan is celebrating their second annual BOTOX® Cosmetic Day! This is an incredible patient offer for members of Alle℠, the new and improved loyalty program.
Lucent Aesthetic warmly welcomes Mindy Peterkinson to our clinic. Mindy is a licensed aesthetician specializing in Hydrofacials, Brows and Lashes, Microdermabrasion and much more!
See her introductory special by heading over to our events & updates area of the site. Keep your eyes peeled over there for our other monthly specials, offering, & events.
We are so excited to announce that our store has launched on the website. We are stocking everything from EltaMD Suncare Products to GlowbioticMD Skincare, HawrychMD Lash Serum, Avante Foot Peels, Omni Bioceutical Masks, Oxygenetix Breathable Foundations, & much more that can now be delivered directly to your door. This of course also includes Dr. Schneider's very own formulated Medical Grade Products, such has her Luxe Retinol, Pure Blue Hydration Serum, Clear Lip Plumper, & more.
Why leave the house to get your producnts when this option is now open & we are shipping all of our products.
Enjoy a $5.00 flat rate shipping, anywhere in the US for a limited time!
Not sure what you need? Give us a call we’ll be happy to help.
Check out the store by clicking here
Retinol, Retinoic Acid, & Retinoids
I’ve never heard a patient regret the decision to invest in a quality skincare regimen that
makes their skin look great! I used to have a lot of different items that I used but now I have a
simple regimen that focuses on the best ingredients with the most science.
Anyone who wants the best in skincare should try to incorporate a retinoid into their routine
as the effects can be significant. These compounds include retinol, retinoic acid and others that
have been studied extensively for decades. There is much validity to their use in our antiaging
skincare! The active ingredient is retinoic acid. Some over the counter formulations can be
effective but at a much slower rate even when used consistently.
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. Originally used to treat acne,
they cause skin cells to turn over faster through microexfoliation which improves fine lines and
wrinkles, unwanted pigmentation and creates smoother skin. These powerful products can also
slow down our own collagen breakdown, thereby producing thicker and more plump skin. A
few of the better medical grade retinol products are balanced by other active ingredients that
convert retinol to retinoic acid more quickly, can act as retinols themselves, promote deeper
penetration of product, limit surface irritation and even provide moisture and anti-
inflammatory action to minimize side effects. A few products are now shown to be as effective
as prescription with many extra abilities.
Retinol side effects are variable but include redness, dryness, flakiness, itching and irritation.
They are sun sensitive and so should only be used at night. Do not use retinol products if you
are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Since prescription and physician grade products are required to be extensively skin tested, I
recommend using products that are followed by a skincare expert. Start lower in strength, go
slow 1-2 nights per week and build tolerance gradually. Most of us feel our skin looks a little
worse before it starts improving. I like to recommend using a moisturizer over the retinol at
night to minimize side effects. Gradually build up to at least 3-4 nights per week or every night
if tolerated. Over the long term it will be consistency, not strength of the product that provides
Here we are several weeks into our quarantine for corona virus protection and I finally feel like I’m coming out of the fog. Those first couple of weeks were surreal…I think I was in a state of numb disbelief. Now that we’ve been at this social distancing for a while, I realize how difficult and unnatural it is. Humans are meant to be together not isolated without socialization.
I am fearful of the reality of losing my business; I think about all the hard work, training and experience it has taken to build it over more than a decade. There have been days where I would just sit in my office in disbelief of what has happened. In the midst of this angst and stress, my landlord decided to send out his rent increase.
Wow… I’ve spent my entire medical career watching how someone else’s life can change in an instant, never thinking that it would be my own.
As a doctor, it’s quite uncomfortable not being in control of a situation. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to so many of my patients while they’re at home. It’s quite unique as most conversations occur with my reception staff. Thank you for openly sharing your stories and for your support. Many have said how happy
they are to have work and how they never appreciated their jobs as much as they do now. I hope my own staff feel the same way when they get to return!
Now, I am preparing for life returning to a new normal. There may be a world of good things that emerge from this tragic event. Let’s hope that some lessons well learned will serve us all in the future. Let’s not dwell or blame for what has happened. Let’s move forward and be better than before!
Valerie Schneider M.D.