Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loving The Skin I'm In

People with lupus know the disease can affect various parts of their body, both inside and out, in a variety of ways. Though lupus is known to affect the joints, kidneys, heart and lungs, more often than not, one of the clearest signs that a person has developed the disease is the way it affects the skin.


Lupus had (in my opinion) had taken my beauty. My face was on display for everyone to give me that side eye and saying " what the heck happen to you??" Although my family and friends assured me that I was beautiful and it was "ok"- I felt like that ugly duckling. A dear friend of mine ( First lady of Blue Line Productions - Rana) sent me a message one day that read " I miss your pretty face". She was referring to not seeing me out and about at local functions in the DC metro area, I started balling- because I literally MISSED MY PRETTY FACE! I'm 6"2 and wear 5 inch stilettos ( well I use too, until lupus started affecting my joints and my feet- damn him!) and I would walk in a room LIKE I OWNED IT-( at least like I paid the light then came the red sores, the black scares, and the discoloration in my face- and my obsession with Dermablend!!!!! I would pack that stuff on like my life depended on it. I was hiding... and worse of all- I hated the skin I was in......

** wearing full coverage Dermablend makeup **

My physician gave me a referral to see Valerie D. Callender, M.D. to assist with my skin condition

Dr. Valerie Callender is an internationally recognized Board Certified Dermatologist, who is known for her expertise in Pigmentation Disorders and the medical and surgical treatment of Hair Loss in Women. Dr. Callender has written twelve (12) textbook chapters and many articles for academic journals. She has recently co-edited a textbook on the Treatment for Skin of Color

Dr. Callender office is located at 1220 Annapolis Road, Suite 315, Glendale, MD (301)249-0970. Her office offer a range of facial treatments, cosmetic procedures, & body treatments. On my appointment date- the office was PACKED! The ladies at the reception area were very nice and & courteous. My wait wasn't as long as I expected ( I waited maybe 15 minutes before I was taken to the examination room). Dr. Callender's assistant took a quick assesment of my medical history, and my concerns. 10 minutes later enter in Dr. Callender herself. We chatted a bit, she tried to lighten the "mood" ( I was very tense and nervous). As soon as Dr. Callender put on her gloves and started examining my face, the tears started to flow. She immediately stopped and comforted me. She continued her examine, speaking in a calm voice and re assuring me that all was going to be ok. I advised her what I had been doing, what products I'd been using, and just blurted out " I hate the way I look, I don't look good and I don't feel good". We discussed treatment plans, and she tried to assure me that she would help me. She asked me to trust her- she told me SHE WOULD NOT GIVE UP - MY SKIN WILL BE CLEAR AGAIN! At the end of the examine, I ask- " what makeup brand would you recommend for me?" she looked up at me ( dead in the eyes) and replied " NONE- when I get through, you wont need makeup!" ** what did she just say.. I wont need make up ... whoo freakin hooooooo!!!! let the treatment begin!!!!** {insert laughter from myself and Dr. Callender}

Below is my daily routine prescribed to me by Dr. Callender ( she actually wrote this down for me- including the steps!!!!)

** yes, my clarisonic is PURPLE in honor of my daily fight with Lupus**

Cleanse (w/ clarisonic brush & Neutrogena Forming Face Wash)
SPF 70 ( all over face)
apply hydroquinone (4% strength) to dark spots ( using a qtip)
optional: apply makeup

Cleanse (w/clarisonic brush & Neutrogena Foaming Face Wash)
Apply thin layer of Differin Gel ( all over face)
apply hydroquinone (4% strength) to dark spots ( using a q-tip)

I have been following this routine for 4 weeks. Look at me now!!!!!

No Makeup
**Excuse the pink hair rollers, I was setting my hair for a braid & curl out**

LOOK AT ME NOW AFTER 4 WEEKS!!!!!!! My skin is in the best shape right now. I owe it all to Dr. Callender!!!!! I'm positive that with a few more weeks of treatment I will be back to my beautiful dewy CLEAR skin " I loved before Lupus". As a physician, the most valuable thing Dr. Calender did was LISTEN!!!!! She allowed me to express my concerns and cry. She did a though examination and a though assessment of my skin care regimen( jotting down my current routine, noting the medications/creams previously used ( side effects, etc), eating habits, water intake, etc). She even gave me a "goodie bag" filled me with samples before I purchased full size bottles/tubes of the prescribed products. There's nothing more rewarding than a doctor that LISTENS to you and your concerns, and give you a "specific" treatment plan for your issues. I give Dr. Callender a A+ for a job well done, and she will FOREVER BE MY GO TO DERMATOLOGIST!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about people looking at us sideways and wondering why you (we) look as we do! I'm going to demand my dematologist prescribe the same meds to me to clear me up, I am also looking my hair and I have a good length too. . . . won't cut it cause I'm still in denial. I'm praying for you my Lupie Sister, be Blessed!


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