Having a stomach of steel is pretty much a prerequisite for being a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Although these experts have mastered the art of administering needles, pimple popping, major surgeries and just about every other face and body fix—there are still some things that make every expert wince. Here, 7 pros reveal the skincare issues that they fear most.
1. Scalp Issues
With the exception of a bizarre time that a patient got completely naked without request, nothing grosses out Dr. Dennis Gross more than doing hair regrowth injections and lice checks. “There's a scalp condition that causes a circular pattern of hair loss. The incredible treatment that restores hair growth requires injections into the scalp. Although it wouldn't be a disaster if this occurred, my phobia is inserting the needle too far and hitting the skull bone,” he said. “I would simply find that repulsive. I also examine the skin for lice for those with severe itching. On the occasions I've found that, it's made my skin crawl.”
2. D.I.Y. Disasters
When you want something done right, most times you have to do it yourself. At least that’s Dr. Josh Zeichner’s philosophy. His biggest fear is having someone other than himself apply botox and fillers...to his own face. Even though the DIY approach hasn’t always turned out well for him. "I am very particular about where Botox and fillers are placed on the face," he explains. "A patient's outcome is a direct result of the injector’s aesthetic. Because of this, I'm really cautious about allowing anyone besides myself to inject my own face. While I can give myself Botox easily, fillers have been a bit more challenging for me. The last time I gave myself fillers, I ended up with a huge bruise covering half of my face. When I had a colleague inject me, despite my faith in her, I was so nervous that I marked my own face and watched her every step of the way in a handheld mirror!”
Most people can agree that bug bites suck. Bug bites suck for pretty much everyone involved. In some cases, the bug its larvae can get stuck under the skin, leaving the task of removal to a dermatologist. It’s no wonder this procedure topped both Dr. Michelle Henry and Dr. Amy Wechsler’s lists of their least favorite procedures.
“I absolutely hate removing insects of any kind," says Dr. Henry. "I had a lovely patient return from Belize with odd sensations and multiple bumps on her scalp. After incising the bumps, I found a writhing insect that literally fought against me to stay in its new home. After a bit of a battle, I removed four bot fly larva and it was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. They look otherworldly. I remove massive skin cancers without batting an eyelash. I have removed entire noses riddled with cancer without fear; however, I almost succumbed to tiny (albeit mean) bot fly larva.”
Dr. Amy Wechsler agrees. “The only thing that has ever weirded me out it removing bugs from people’s skin," she says. "I have to wear my magnifying glasses and act calm (as always) but bugs look like monsters under magnification and I hate most bugs!”
4. Everything to do with Eyes
Even with tons of blepharoplasties (eyelid surgery) under her belt, Park Avenue plastic surgeon, Dr. Melissa Doft, still gets a bit weirded out about this sensitive area of the face. “When I first started operating as a resident, I was always nervous to work around the eyes," she explains. "There was something that bothered me about touching them and putting in eye shields. I also never liked the texture. Luckily I have not had to wear glasses yet, but I think I might still be afraid of putting in contact lenses on myself.”
5. Too Many Fillers
No one wants to clean up someone else's mess. Especially when that mess is too many fillers injected by another doctor. “One of my least favorite things to do is having to reverse a filler placement or a poorly done job by another office," says Dr. Harold Lancer. "Poor filler placement can accumulate toxicity, so having to fix that while remaining diplomatic in explaining why the patient needs to always see a trusted and of course board-certified dermatologist.”
Dr. Robert Anolik agrees, adding that it's a recurring problem. “I have new patients come in for consultations and they walk in looking artificial. Too pulled or with dreaded chipmunk cheeks and too big lips," he says. "I find it upsetting that a patient may not realize the artificiality or that a doctor would do this to someone. I always say I'd rather look older than artificial.”
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