Thursday, April 25, 2019

Skipping the Pharmacy With Alpha Medical

My skincare/beauty routine has always been a priority for me, but I find myself taking it more seriously now that I’m in my 30’s. Having a solid routine that I stick to, as well as using products that are good for my skin is essential in not only treating my skin, but maintaining it as well.

Since high school I’ve struggled with acne. I’ve been on just about every prescription under the sun to treat my cystic acne (yes, I said it … cystic acne… it’s the worst), and it wasn’t until I was 18 that I finally went on Accutane (awful drug to go on, but did the trick for me… or so I thought). However, fast forward to graduating college and I still found myself battling acne. I was scheduling dermatologist appointments almost weekly and was getting cortisone injections into my cysts, as well as taking prescriptions (both orally and topically). I was feeling insecure and without a doubt hopeless. I found myself having to go on Accutane yet again and was not only embarrassed, but was extremely frustrated that I was in my early twenties STILL having to deal with acne (I mean, when is it supposed to stop?!).

Now that I’m in my 30’s I’ve been lucky to be able to keep my acne at bay. However, I still have my hormonal breakouts that can sometimes make me feel super insecure again. Being a long-time blogger, I’ve had the luxury of trying skincare and beauty products from hundreds of different brands, ranging from all different price points – from super affordable to outrageously expensive. I’ve learned what works best for me and my skin and I’ve especially learned what to steer clear form.

I see a dermatologist pretty regularly. I go once a year for an annual check-up, but I go every 3-5 months for Botox on my forehead (to treat my fine lines) and/or a refill on my prescription of Tretinoin gel (used to treat my hormonal acne breakouts). As much as I love staying on top of my appointments and getting that one-on-one attention from my physician, it’s stressful when I’m trying to balance my daily 8-5 job and raising two little ones. Using PTO or having to flex my time for a doctor’s appt can get pretty frustrating. So, when I was introduced to a new way to get my skin evaluated and treated, a way that didn’t involve making appointments, visiting a doctor’s office and pharmacy, and having to fit it all into my busy schedule, I was more than game.

Let me introduce to y’all Alpha Medical. It’s nothing like I have ever tried before and my first experience had me asking: “where has this been all my life?” Alpha Medical is a website where you can get an online consultation with a licensed physician and get products prescribed and shipped to you without having to wait for you rX to be sent to your nearest pharmacy AND without having to go and pick it up (I mean, that alone… need I say more, y’all?). The products range from Latisse (used to help grow longer, fuller lashes), to birth control (from pills, to the patch, and the ring and all with or without insurance), to prescription and over-the-counter skincare. I decided I would focus on skincare, since that is my utmost concern.

All of the skincare prescriptions from Alpha Medical that are prescribed are dermatologist approved. The Alpha Medical process makes it easy to get customized anti-aging and/or acne treatments in less time than it takes to call and schedule an appointment at your nearest doctor’s office.

My consultation process started with the selection of the conditions that I felt I needed treatment for -- ranging from acne, to dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, and skin texture. After making my selections I was prompted to create an account, which only took a few minutes. I entered my e-mail address, created a password, and consented to Telehealth.

Then I was asked a few more questions, the state I would like my medication shipped to, my birthdate, and my birth gender. Next, I chose what image best represented my acne – clear or almost clear, mild, moderate, or severe. Then I consented to the Acne Vulgaris Treatment Consent Form. It was simple to read and easy to understand.

The next set of questions that I answered were all pertaining to my skin. What I wanted treated – Acne, Anti-aging, or both. How I would describe my skin – Normal, Oily, Dry, or Combination. What areas of my body I was looking to treat – Face, Shoulders, Neck, Back, Chest, and/or Other. How old I was when I First developed acne? Do other members of my family have acne? What signs of skin aging would I life to address – I chose Fine lines or wrinkles, skin texture or tone, and Acne scarring. Then I answered if I had ever had any cosmetic procedures done (my botox). Then I checked the boxes to reflect the skincare products that I currently use – Toner, Moisturizer, Eye cream, SPF, Makeup, and Other. Next I answered what type of sun protection that I use (SPF 30 or above), how I’ve tried treating my acne in the past (Retinols, Retinoids, AHAs and BHAs, etc), if I currently use any vitamins, minerals, or herbal treatments every day, what allergies I may have, if I have a history of any conditions, if I am pregnant/planning to become pregnant/breastfeeding, how many days apart are my periods, if my acne worsens with my period, if I have excessive coarse hair growth on my body, if I have hair loss, and anything else I felt the clinician should know about me.

The above questions may seem like a lot when reading them, but honestly it was so quick and easy. I did it all on my phone! I just clicked through from question to question with ease. Once I completed the questionnaire, I then typed in my contact info – to include my full name, shipping address, and phone number. Once that was all complete, I was able to see what Alpha Medical was suggesting as my prescription. I was prescribed Tretinoin Cream 0.25% which really proved to me that this questionnaire was legit because that’s exactly what my Dermatologist has prescribed me and is what I currently use. My initial thought was “Wow, Alpha Medical is SPOT ON!” My cream cost me $10.00 (I saved $25.00) and the shipping was FREE (so good, right?)! Upon checkout I had the option of choosing a different pharmacy other than Alpha Medical, but the free shipping, automatic refills, discreet packaging AND ongoing access to a doctor was the reason why I chose Alpha’s Network Pharmacy. The final steps in the process involved me snapping a photo of my face (at a few different angles), as well as my driver license, and that was it! The interview was complete and took me less than 10 minutes. I couldn’t get over how fast and easy it really was.

The very next day I received a message from my Alpha Medical Nurse Practitioner, Elizabeth. She said that after she reviewed my images she wanted to know if I had ever been diagnosed with rosacea. My mother and grandfather actually both have rosacea, though it isn’t anything I’ve ever been diagnosed with. I don’t have broken capillaries or extreme redness on my face, but I did notice that I had just washed my face prior to taking my photos and my face did/can look a little red immediately after washing. I explained all of that to her and she decided that the Tretinoin would be best to treat my acne and help with anti-aging. Although I wasn’t diagnosed with rosacea, the fact that Alpha Medical’s Nurse Practitioner was so focused on my images and answers that she wanted to diagnose me/treat me appropriately gave me such peace of mind that Alpha Medical is real and it works.

My Tretinoin cream arrived within 2-5 business days. My Nurse Practitioner had sent me all the information regarding my rX, informing me of possible side effects and risks, as well as how to use the treatment and what exactly it would be doing for my skin. It was thorough and really felt personal and not like I was just some random online user that was going to be sent some run-of-the-mill product. My experience was nothing short of authentic and was so beyond easy to use.

Another great thing about Alpha Medical, that I haven’t shared yet, is that they are 100% female focused! Alpha helps women take control of their healthcare in a quick, easy and effective way. So, whether you’re coming to Alpha Medical for birth control, to improve your skincare routine, or to help grow long lashes – Alpha Medical is gearing their focus to helping women feel empowered and in control… and, c’mon ladies, what’s better than that? ESPECIALLY when you think about how busy we are and how much the average woman juggles in a day. It’s a no-brainer. ;)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Alpha Medical. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


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