DR. LANA KASHLAN IS A BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST WHO SPECIALIZES IN MEDICAL, COSMETIC, AND LASER DERMATOLOGY. With her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern University, Dr. Lana Kashlan understands the profound psychological impact that skin disease can have on her patients’ lives. She attended University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine where she graduated with Honors. She was inducted into the James Scholar Program for Independent Study, and the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society for the top medical students in the country. Dr. Lana Kashlan completed her residency in dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. During her time in Boston, she conducted and published research focused on improving treatment outcomes from laser procedures and novel treatment options of skin cancers. Dr. Kashlan also was invited to participate in the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery’s Preceptorship Program where she spent time learning directly from some of the top cosmetic dermatologists and laser surgeons in the world. After her training in Boston, Dr. Lana Kashlan returned back home to the Midwest where she has happily been treating a wide range of patients, young and old, for the past several years. She has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences. Dr. Lana Kashlan is an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, the Women’s Dermatologic Society, and the Chicago Dermatological Society. Outside of the office, you can usually find Dr. Kashlan, an avid foodie, at one of the many outstanding restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs. She also enjoys skiing, traveling, yoga, and spending time with her family. Know more about Dr. Lana Kashlan by reading her full interview below. 1) Tell us why you chose dermatology? I fell in love with dermatology because I love being able to help people in a way that they can see right before their eyes. Skin disease carries a significant psychological burden on people and there is nothing better than seeing how happy people are when they are comfortable with the appearance of their skin. I suffered from acne as a teenager and seeking the help of a dermatologist changed my life because as my acne cleared I felt less self-conscious and was able to carry myself with confidence and I love giving that to my patients. 2) You decided to start your own practice last year. What made you go out on your own? I’m extremely goal oriented and I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself and to grow. After working in private practice for a few years, I was ready to take on something new. I wanted to create an environment where I could really build a relationship with my patients and take time to customize their skin care routines and address all of their concerns. My style of practice is more casual by design so that my consultation is more of a conversation with my patients, rather than just me writing a prescription and walking out the door. Deciding to be a business owner has been one of the biggest and most difficult challenges I’ve decided to take on, but I’m so glad to have done it. 3) What has been the most rewarding part of your work? Without question, the most rewarding part is seeing the smiles on patient’s faces after we resolve whatever their skin issue is. I love doing the “big reveal” with patients where we look at their photos before and after our treatments and evaluate their improvement. Many of my patients come in initially feeling embarrassed or self-conscious because of their skin disease and often their whole demeanor and quality of life changes as we work on improving their condition. 4) There is so much pressure on women via magazines and media to look perfect. What are your thoughts on this? There have been research studies that have shown that faces that are perfectly symmetric are actually perceived as less beautiful when we look at them. Our asymmetries and imperfections are what make us look natural, human, and interesting. To me, feeling good and enhancing a person’s natural beauty is more important than achieving some sort of external standard of perfection that is probably unattainable given the power of photoshop and digital editing. 5) Define beauty. Beauty is feeling completely comfortable in your own skin. There is nothing more attractive than a person who holds their head high and carries himself or herself with confidence. 6) What do you think is the one single thing is that women can do keep their skin healthy? SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN. Every day, no matter what, everyone needs sunscreen, even on a cloudy day! 7) What advice would you give to women who want to start their own practice/business? Do not listen to people who tell you your dream is crazy. Starting your own business is scary and full of unexpected challenges, but believe in the beauty of your dreams and keep pushing. Negotiate everything. Surround yourself with the smartest people you can find, but in the end always trust your own intuition. 8) Define powerful women. Powerful women for me are women with passion. I truly believe there is no limit to what a determined woman can accomplish. All women are blessed with an inherent resourcefulness and resilience; a powerful woman recognizes this and has faith in herself.