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New Program Teaches Female Dermatologists to Consider the Whole Body When it Comes to Skin Health

The Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) has recently launched the Total Women’s Health Through the Dermatology Gateway, a program that aims to teach dermatologists about how to approach women’s skin health through a whole-body perspective.

This is the WDS’s first continuing medical education initiative. Happening this month, their debut event includes leadership and mentoring programs and workshops featuring female physicians from other specialties such as cardiology, gynecology, and psychiatry. Other sessions will focus on skin cancer management and updates in alopecia and dermatitis.

“These women will spend the morning talking about the total women’s health issues we see and address in our patients through the dermatology gateway via discussions with our patients and referrals,” said WDS President Pearl Grimes, MD. “It’s about addressing the needs of the total woman rather that just her skin care needs. We don’t expect dermatologists to be cardiologists or psychiatrists, but they need to get a sense of where she is and let her know you’re an integral player on her team.”

On Saturdays, Gateway participants are also providing dermatology services to underserved women in shelters in Los Angeles and Lafayette, Louisiana, and they have plans to open up 10 to 13 more shelter programs during the year. Dermatologists talk with women about how to create a skincare regimen on a budget and the importance of sunscreen and vitamin D. They also discuss healthy eating and how to avoid genetically-modified foods and canned products with toxins.

“Every component of this program is geared toward building self-esteem in women in shelters so when they re-emerge into the real world, they’re re-emerging with a much stronger sense-of-self, self-esteem, and empowerment,” said Dr. Grimes.

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