Medesthetics

APR 2014

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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medestheticsmagazine.com | APRIL 2014 59 treatment plan. "I started to see that dermatology, as it exists today, is inadequate," says Dr. Obagi of his years at the Chula Vista practice. "I cannot accept when someone says, 'There is no treatment for this.' If there is a problem, there should be a treatment. "I used to ask myself: OK, if I have 10 conditions, the same conditions on 10 people— some black, some white, some Latinos—and I'm giving them the same thing, how come some improve, some don't improve, some improve more, some improve less. Why?" It soon occurred to him that the different responses related to the patients' individual skin types. "I noticed that people with oily skin respond slower to treatment than people with dry skin," says Dr. Obagi. "People with thin skin respond faster to treatment than people with thick skin. So that brought the idea to my mind that I need a skin classifi cation system to orient the treatment, and to really think of the skin as a living organ that should be ad- dressed from different angles." Shifting the focus from the surface to the cellular level changed his approach to treatment. He now had a new series of steps: "We start by creating a skin classifi cation to help me adjust treatment based on skin type," he says. "Then I create a treatment protocol that allows me to go to the cells. And that required creating products that are able to penetrate." The result was the tretinoin-based Nu-Derm system, Dr Obagi's fi rst commercially available skincare product, which launched in 1985. Thanks to his new approach, he was able to offer much more effective results, "especially in the most diffi cult problem many women complain of: pigmentation," he says. A Focus on Skin Health One such case involved a patient whose skin literally turned black after a botched chemical peel. The patient—a Caucasian female—was a real estate agent, whose life came to a halt after the incident. The case garnered national publicity. "Dad, I hope she can come to you," remarked Dr. Obagi's daughter when she saw the woman on TV. Six months later, the patient did indeed connect with Dr. Obagi, and after six months of treatment, he was able to restore her skin fully. That success story created a buzz around Dr. Obagi. Suddenly, he began to receive pigmentation problems from all over the world. But since his specialty was not just in pigmentation, he wanted to differentiate his approach and put a name on it: Skin Health Restoration. "I will not do what my patient wants. I will do what is best for my patient." Dr. Obagi changed course from pathology to dermatology because "I like to talk to people," he says. B e y o n d t h e S u r f a c e M E D 4 1 4 . i n d d 5 9 Beyond the Surface MED414.indd 59 3 / 1 3 / 1 4 9 : 2 4 A M 3/13/14 9:24 AM

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