We love working with and learning from women's health and skin experts, making today's guest, Dr. Lily Talakoub, particularly thrilling. As a board-certified dermatologist and a fellow of the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Lily knows skin. Spoiler alert: she also intimately knows intimate skin. We are impressed. Dr. Lily has received multiple awards in the fields of surgery and dermatology. She is an expert in diagnosing and treating all adult and pediatric skin disorders, skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. Dr. Lily brings the perfect alchemy of expertise and passion to everything she does.
On top of it all, Dr. Talakoub founded Derm To Door, a customized online skin care experience where getting expert advice has never been more effortless! Lady Suite is among the carefully curated offerings at Derm to Door, and we are SO grateful that Dr. Lily Talakoub is a champion of intimate skin care + wellness. Get to know Dr. Lily Talakoub with us!
1. I can out-ski anyone! Before I went into medicine I was a competitive downhill racer.
2. My five-year-old daughter can rattle off the different layers of the skin
3. I started a business from scratch with no background or experience and now employ 30 amazing talented women
I love skincare and understanding the ingredients, chemistry, and how everything reacts with the skin. I noticed that most of my patients did not know how to care for their skin or use products correctly. I think everyone deserves to feel confident in their own skin.
The issue is, nobody talks about intimate care. Many of my patients say their gynecologist doesn’t know about intimate care or talk to them about intimate wellness. Intimate care is skincare, it's part of our body. I believe there shouldn’t be a taboo surrounding it, we have to learn about it and take care of it.
Definitely not. When I did my Derm training I remember having maybe one lecture on it. About 90% of dermatologists don't even look at the vulva skin as part of a skin exam! I had to learn through talking to women and listening to their concerns.
About 15 years ago I researched how hormones affect lubrication and female sexual function. At that time, all the existing research was about male sexual dysfunction, and libidio. There were limited studies around women. We did research on how estrogen and androgen decrease as you get older. The less hormones you have, the drier the skin around and on your vulva becomes. 20 years have passed, and I still feel like there is still a lack of research around intimate female wellness. We talk more about oral health than we talk about intimate health, and I think that needs to be changed.
The skin is different in thickness which means it can break down faster. Rubbing the vulva can make it irritated. Products can cause allergic reactions because the skin is thinner and has less oil glands to protect it. The Vulva has a mucosal lining, just like the inner lip which means that products and irritants penetrate faster than on regular skin.
The vulva skin also has hormone receptors. As you age and lose estrogen, you also lose hydration, lubrication, and elasticity.
Dryness is the biggest factor. Dryness causes the area to become more susceptible to irritants. This makes the vulva more sensitive to products, clothing, and even intercourse. Dryness can be genetic, due to medications, and lack or decreasing amount of estrogen.
Ingrown hairs and razor bumps usually occur around the bikini or thigh area, since the skin is thicker and prone to razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
The misconception that there's nothing out there to treat it. Our culture has not defined a category of things to look for in respect to intimate care.
My top tip would be to minimize overwashing, especially with harsh cleansers. Then, improve moisturization with an oil or lubricant. If the vulvar skin is sensitive or dry, decrease shaving and waxing the area.
Probiotics can help because if you deplete the area of its natural bacteria with either an antiseptic or antibiotics, the normal bacteria that helps maintain the integrity of the skin also disappears!
Most of their training is focused on the female reproductive tract, what's inside. I think the true issue is, why aren't there more dermatologists talking about vulvar skin.
Definitely, similar to facial skin types. There are dry, sensitive, normal, and oily.
I haven't yet, but I'm sure I will in the future. The vaginal area ages just like the face ages, and I’m getting older.
Yes, we talk about and educate, and as a result we receive more questions every day.
You have to fail. If you haven't failed you haven't learned.
I can’t live without SPF, I would bring the tinted SkinKure SPF 50 and an Avene Compact which is a sunscreen in compact form. I would also pick Bioderma micellar water and the Skinkure Retinol which transforms discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles.
We have so many things coming up! We are launching teledermatology at the end of the year! Look out for prescriptions and dermatology visits all at the tap of your fingertips!
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