10 Things You're Doing That Make Dermatologists Cringe

We asked top derms from all over the country about the things that make them cringe most while treating patients. Here, ten common offenses (that we’ll certainly keep in mind before our next appointment).

1. “When people come in for full body skin exams completely sunburnt.

Also, when they don’t believe me when I tell them the expensive products they are using are just hype (and they refuse to stop using them).” —Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of New York and Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute in Miami, Florida

2. “When patients use alcohol on a rash or breakout.

All this does is dry the area out and cause more irritation. Also when they try to pick off their own moles or skin tags or try to squeeze their own cysts."—Dr. Ritu Saini, NY Medical Skin Solutions in New York City

3. “Coming in for a full skin check with a face covered in thick makeup.

It’s like going to the gynecologist and leaving on your underpants (counterproductive).” —Dr. Rachel Careccia, Florida Medical Clinic in Tampa, Florida

4. “When they don’t fully disclose their medical history or prior treatments.

Your medical history is important and plays a role in treatment options, which may be presented, so be truthful with your doctor. (We can see that you have had filler or botox and scars are an obvious indication that you have had surgery.)"—Dr. Brooke Jackson, Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates in Durham, North Carolina

5. “When a patient goes to tanning beds and sees me for an anti-aging routine.

Tanning beds not only increase risk of melanoma and non melanoma skin cancers, but they also accelerate aging and will counteract any cosmetic treatments you’re doing.” —Dr. Lauren Levy, Loucas Dermatology in New York City

6. “When they put hydrogen peroxide on open cuts and surgical wounds.

This actually impairs proper wound healing and can leave a prolonged scar.” —Dr. Danilo Del Campo, Chicago Skin Clinic in Chicago

7. “When they come in for a laser treatment with a tan.

This can compromise the results in some cases.” —Dr. Avnee Shah, The Dermatology Group in Morristown, New Jersey

8. “Coming in with newly dyed hair when you want us to check your scalp for moles or lesions.”

—Dr. Rhonda Klein, Modern Dermatology in Westport, Connecticut

9. “One of the things that makes me cringe is when patients don’t use their prescribed medications.

For example, I always tell my acne patients that a sure way their acne won’t change is if they don’t use what I prescribed. When I put it that way, they get the picture.” —Dr. Mariana Atanasovski, Allure Medical in Shelby Township, Michigan

10. “Not wearing sunscreen because they’re ‘never out in the sun.’

If you leave your house, you’re out in the sun.” —Dr. Rey Hamidi, Comprehensive Dermatology in Long Beach, California

These Are the Most Effective (Nonsurgical) Beauty Procedures, According to Dermatologists

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023
Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
read full bio