Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
Dr. Arianne Shadi Kourosh is a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from the University of Virginia with numerous honors and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, receiving the institution’s Excellence Award in Dermatology.
Dr. Kourosh is well-known for her commitment to patient advocacy and solving public health problems for patients with skin disease. Her accomplishments include development of the Skin Advocate iPhone App, a free iPhone application that connects patients with patient advocacy organizations for their skin conditions; published articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), JAMA Dermatology, Dermatologic Clinics, and Dermatology World Magazine and serving as Editor-in-Chief of Dialogues in Dermatology, an AAD sponsored international educational series for physicians.
BITB spoke with Dr. Kourosh about her passion for dermatology, skin treatments for each decade of life and what products she uses to keep her skin looking and feeling healthy.
1. When / how did you first become interested in working in dermatology?
During medical school, I volunteered on Saturday mornings in a free clinic that was held in the basement of a church in a poor area of Dallas, and there was a dermatologist who volunteered there and took me under his wing. After working with him for two years, and learning how we could make a difference for people with skin diseases, it inspired me to become a dermatologist as well.
2. What treatments to do you see trending among patients in their 20s, 30s and 40s, 50s+?
For patients in their 20s, I think the emphasis is really prevention and slowing the aging process through a good skincare regimen and healthy habits such as regular sun protection, avoiding smoking, excessive drinking and tanning beds, as well as exercising, maintaining a good diet and drinking lots of water. These aspects of lifestyle that promote health from within actually have a profound effect on the skin and aging process, which becomes more and more apparent over time. They are true at any age, but those who start earliest have the most benefit.
In the 30’s some patients will add dermatologist office treatments such as chemical peels and laser treatments to help remove discoloration and fine wrinkling from sun damage and the early signs of aging. Botox can also be helpful for these patients who have overly active facial muscles in some areas causing deep furrows around the eye area or frown lines. Relaxing these muscles a little can release some tension in the face, which some patients find actually feels better and also can help slow aging-related changes in the face due to muscle contraction.
In the 40’s and 50’s stronger treatments are often added to address more noticeable effects of aging, such as laser resurfacing and filler injections to remedy deeper wrinkling and loss of volume in certain areas of the face. Skin tightening and contouring treatments can also be helpful to rejuvenate loose or sagging areas on the face and body.
For each individual patient, it is important to tailor a regimen to address the specific changes and goals for that person. Also, different skin types cannot tolerate all the same laser and cosmetic treatments. I have had patients come in who have their skin burned at spas by treatments that were not right for their skin type. So it is important to seek the advice and treatment of a board-certified dermatologist who understands the science, medicine, and anatomy that is at the foundation of how all these treatments work in order to have the safest and most effective outcome.
3. What is in your makeup bag and bathroom shelf?
I am actually constantly trying different products in order to have informed answers for my patients. I have fairly sensitive skin, so it’s generally a good way to test if a product will be ok for my patients with sensitive skin, and my patients can be assured that I never recommend a product that I haven’t tried on myself first.
You can always count on me having a fragrance-free hypoallergenic facial moisturizer and zinc-based sunscreen in my bag. I also always carry a thick fragrance-free hand cream or ointment to moisturize my hands a few times a day since as a doctor I have to wash my hands frequently.