Being a dermatologist is skintastic. The skin is the largest organ of the body. Everyone has skin. Skin is our window to the world. Helping people to have more beautiful skin and to love the beautiful skin they have been given is my favorite. Treating diseased skin is so rewarding. However, it is so frustrating when we are not able to help patients with their skin when they are suffering. Fortunately, medical breakthroughs are occurring at an incredible pace. When I started twenty years ago, we had very few treatments for psoriasis. Now, I can’t watch a television show or read a magazine without seeing an ad for a new treatment for psoriasis—it is so exhilarating that we have so many options. It is also exciting that people are becoming aware (albeit through advertising) that there are treatments for their conditions. It is also so exciting because we have been involved with the research for some of these medicines. At Johnson Dermatology, we are performing clinical trials (and offering not yet available medicines) for acne, rosacea, warts, psoriasis and eczema. I love my job.
Recently, two patients really touched my heart and have renewed my energy and zeal for skin. For convenience, I will refer to both of them as women in their mid-forties since I was totally able to relate to both of them on so many levels. The first patient suffered with eczema her entire life. She was always itchy and was treated with so many topical and systemic (by mouth) steroids that her entire body has side effects. She participated in one of our clinical trials and for the first time in her life had clear “normal” skin. She was able to sleep normally. It was amazing to watch her skin and personality transform. It really was similar to watching a butterfly emerge out of a cocoon. Simply breathtaking. Now, that product is available for everyone and she is able to continue using this medicine. She is a new person. Seeing her suffer for many years without having many options for her was extremely frustrating. Being able for her to participate in a clinical trial and get better was so rewarding for her and me. She taught me to always smile through adversity and never give up. She inspires me.
The other patient who touched my heart recently suffered with debilitating TMJ or jaw pain for a few years. She was so depressed from the pain. She said she had seen a variety of dentists and doctors to no avail. She had tried numerous and various treatments to no avail. She was considering surgery as her last resort. One of her friends talked to her about Nina and me injecting Botox. She did not know that botox injections were an option but made an appointment to talk. She decided to be injected with botox. She called 2 weeks after her injection to let us know that she was “without pain for the first time in a long time”. She returned recently because she noticed the pain was returning and wanted another treatment. She said she slept better and felt better about life. She taught me to always appreciate life and not to take good health for granted.
There are many other patients who inspire me and teach me. Every patient teaches me something. I am thankful and grateful for every patient who trusts the JD team for their care. I hope we always exceed your expectations.
Have a skintastic day,
Sandra Marchese Johnson MD, FAAD