This month, we’re giving a warm welcome to Dr. Janet Ip as she joins the #PSfamily at our Vancouver location. Dr. Ip will be accepting new patients and has a special interest in acne and rosacea, pigmentation and melasma, and cosmetic dermatology concerns such as mole removal and cryotherapy.
We’ve put together a Q&A to help you get to know Dr. Ip and learn about her approach – read on to find out more!
Hi Dr. Ip! Inquiring minds want to know – what made you choose to join the Project Skin MD team?
The Project Skin MD team was already familiar to me; Dr. Bill McGillivray, Bev, Jeannie, Janice and I worked together for several years at Pacific Derm in the past. Bill is so experienced and distinguished in this field that I knew it would be an incredible opportunity for mentorship. Project Skin delivers natural results in aesthetics with a very careful and thoughtful approach to each individual which really aligns with my philosophy in medicine.
What can patients expect when they come to see you for a consultation?
It is important to me that each patient feels heard, respected, and at ease during my visit. Skin problems and aging of the skin are highly sensitive issues that can negatively impact self esteem and make someone feel self conscious and embarrassed. I like to educate my patients about their skin, skincare, how to use prescription medications and their side effects, and also provide all of the different options for treatment so that they can make well informed choices that they feel confident about.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your career?
Definitely the patient relationships I have formed. The trust we build with our patients as physicians is so special. What is particularly gratifying about treating skin is that we can see immediate results, through excising skin cancers or bothersome lesions, or injecting dermal fillers. Patients are truly grateful when their acne or rosacea clears after struggling for many years. One of my favourite parts of the job is chit-chatting with my patients during their procedures, whether it be about their kids, pets, jobs or travel!
You have quite the artistic streak – do you find this comes into play in your medical practice?
I have always loved photography and film, and I think other than the story telling I am also drawn to the visual aspects and fine details of what I am seeing and watching. I think this is what fuels my desire to treat skin – to help patients recapture their youthful and most beautiful self.
Do you find there are any common misconceptions people have about skincare or treatments?
Yes, one common misconception is that chemical sunscreens are dangerous, and it alarms me when these patients admit to not using any sun protection. The actual risk of skin cancer and premature aging far outweighs any theoretical risk of applying chemical sunscreens topically to our skin. Fortunately I can tell them about the excellent mineral sunscreens now available that don’t leave us looking like clowns!
The other one is that “all natural” skin products are safe. Some of the worst, blistering, infected contact dermatitis reactions I have seen have come from tea tree oil. And many people with eczema seem to be using scented body washes and lotions with natural fragrances which are likely triggering their flareups. Fragrances are a common skin allergen and we recommend unscented soaps and creams for these patients.
Why is it important to invest in your skin?
We only have one chance to take the best care of our skin, so we must protect and maintain it! It is far more costly to try to repair the damage after the fact, whether it comes to photoaging (freckles, wrinkles), or acne scarring. Sunscreen, vitamin C serum and topical retinoids are a must for all of us who want our skin to look its best and to delay the effects of aging. Seeking early medical treatment for acne is a must, before scarring takes place. Looking at my young daughters’ smooth, soft and flawless skin is a daily reminder for me.
Can you share some of your favourite treatments or types of products?
I love the effects of IPL and Picoway laser for freckles and skin tightening – these treatments are fairly painless with minimal down time and highly effective. I have oily combination skin that is sensitive and easily prone to breakouts so finding the right products has always been tricky. I use Skinceuticals Serum 10, Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 sunscreen and Retinol 0.3 night cream.
One last thing – what do you love most about living in Vancouver? Any favourite spots?
I was born and raised in the Prairies so honestly I still find the scenery in Vancouver breathtaking. Rollerblading along the seawall is one of my favourite activities. Coming from suburban Winnipeg where we had to drive everywhere, I love Mount Pleasant where I can walk to great cafes, restaurants and shops. Even better that I can bring my Jack-a-Poo, Seymour, nearly everywhere with me when I run errands. Some of my favourite dining spots are Ahn and Chi, Seiza, Acorn and Savio Volpe. I also love shopping at Barefoot Contessa (clothing), and Vancouver Special (homewares).