Many may regard dermatology as a lesser specialty in medicine as it deals with the “superficial” – the skin, hair, and nails. But, it is serious science. The science of dermatology is considered one of the most relevant specialties in medicine today. It is life-changing and transformative, to say the least.
“Aesthetic Dermatology became a focus when I saw how it impacted the lives of my patients. Confidence, self-esteem, and socialization are all affected by some skin conditions like severe acne, eczemas, dandruff to name a few,” says board-certified doctor, Irene Gaile C. Robredo-Vitas, a Philippine Dermatological Society fellow.
Initially, Dr. Gaile was drawn to Ophthalmology, as she strongly wanted to understand a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis pigmentosa, which starts with night blindness and then leads to total blindness. This eye condition is in her family history.
But when she was exposed to Dermatology, Dr. Gaile realized this is the right path for her.
“It seemed like a better fit. Since I also planned on starting a family and wanted to strike a balance between work and life, I chose dermatology because it was one of the few medical specializations that allowed this,” shares Dr. Gaile, a Medical Director of dermHQ Makati and partner at Beautique MD in BGC.
Dr. Gaile believes in science and evidence-based products and treatments. She only offers those that come from companies and brands that invest in research and clinical trials. dr. Gaile says that this level of effort gives practitioners peace of mind when using these companies’ machines or prescribing their products.
Early on in her practice, Dr. Gaile was exposed to lasers and injectables such as botulinum toxins and fillers. These became her passion which led to the doctor-vlogger’s search for learning as much as she could, doing further training, speaking about these procedures, and sharing her knowledge with her colleagues. She is a clinical instructor in a dermatology training institution, and an international speaker and trainer of laser and energy-based devices, injectables, suspension threads, and dermatology-related products.
The pandemic gave Dr. Gaile an opportunity to both learn and teach. She started a YouTube channel hoping to share her dermatological expertise on many topics and conditions. Her vlog talks about beauty and aesthetic tips, procedures, and products, and offers professional medical advice to those in need. She shares information, busts myths, and misconceptions, and lets her more than 80,000 subscribers into her personal experiences
“Training is very important not just to understand how to do procedures correctly on the right patients but of course to learn the science of how things work, what to do in case there are complications, and to be prepared for anything undesirable that might happen,” says Dr. Gaile, adding that it is very dangerous for a practitioner not to know the worst-case scenarios for a treatment.
Since Dermatology is indeed serious science, choosing a dermatologist is serious business, too. Dr. Gaile actually thinks that choosing a dermatologist is similar to selecting a lifelong partner.
“You should investigate, ask, and understand. Trust your skin to someone who sees you, not just your skin. Do not trust those who overpromise and oversell, in my opinion, these have no place in true care. Sometimes, it’s not about a complete overhaul but a subtle tweak that aligns with your lifestyle and habits.,” ends Dr. Gaile. — Robbie Pangilinan
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