Skin conditions come with stigmas – and DermHealth.Co is trying to change that. With a platform dedicated to #skinpowerment, DermHealth.Co is break down the barriers for those living with skin conditions through education, support and inspiration. Today, the community features podcasts, events and a powerful shop of body positivity products.
We sat down with DermHealth.Co founder Marnina Diprose to get the scoop on why the platform was created and how you can take advantage of their resources today.
LD: DermHealth.Co is a thriving space for those with skin conditions. How did you come up with the idea for the platform?
MD: The idea of Dermhealth.co came about from my clinical practice. I was consulting and treating for scar revision and found that I was often referring people to other providers outside my field. I would know where to look, but for the patient, they didn’t even know there was a solution let alone where to find it. I also suffered from acne in my teen years, all the way up to my mid-twenties. There were days I would avoid school as I felt embarrassed about what my skin looked like. It wasn’t until I started to finally take a holistic approach to my skin and health that my skin started to heal. A recent podcast guest – a podiatrist – said to me “the skin is no one’s” meaning that the treatment and support for skin is not exclusive to any one practitioner or provider. In order to achieve the best outcomes, providers must work together. This encompasses what we do at Dermhealth.co perfectly. The idea seeded 4 years ago, it took an additional 3 years to build out the platform and business model and here we are!
LD: And we’re glad you are! The heart of DermHealth.Co is really this idea of #skinpowerment. Where did that term come from?
MD: When I first started talking about the mission of Dermhealth.co I would say “our mission is to empower those with skin conditions and visible skin differences.” One day I thought of “skinpowerment” and it summed up what we do. Since then it’s just stuck!
LD: You have so many inspiring and educational resources for your audience, and you’re always rolling out new content, conferences and products. Can you tell us more?
MD: We do have a lot going on! It’s not very often I stop and reflect on all the resources we’ve developed. Our podcast, ‘heal thy skin,’ is a weekly segment where we interview experts in their field and speak about skin conditions, concerns and treatments options. We also interview those with lived experience to share their journey and provide insight and connection for others that may be experiencing a specific condition. The podcast – including our interview with Living Dappled Founder Erika Page – can be listened to on all major podcast platforms.
Events are a really important aspect of our platform. As an online organization, events allow everyone to come together for networking and socializing. At first, all our events were face to face in Melbourne, Australia. Since COVID-19, we decided to take them online. It’s actually been so wonderful because we’ve been able to connect with people all over the world that wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend the face to face events. We’re now offering virtual skin summits on specific skin conditions every 6 weeks! Plus, for those that can’t watch on the day, they can register afterwards and watch all the event presentations recorded.
The directory is where it all began. We wanted to show people that skin health has so many components and there are so many different experts that can assist people at different stages of their journey. Providers include experts in dermatology, surgery, skin cancer, nutrition, mental health, rehabilitation and the list goes on! We now have over 800 providers from different disciplines across Australia. Eventually we’d like to take this global but for now we are just focusing on getting Australia right.
LD: One of our favorite parts of Dermhealth.Co is the affirmation cards – what inspired those?
MD: Our affirmation cards are designed to bring a daily dose of ‘skinpowerment’ to your day. We observed that when someone was diagnosed with a skin condition or experiencing a sense of isolation or sadness, there weren’t specific products or gifts that their friends, loved ones (or themselves!) could purchase that were relevant, positive and not treatment specific. We incorporated our exclusive illustrations in the designs and selected 30 inspiring and encouraging affirmations that can be used as a daily mantra. They look beautiful on your counter too!
LD: What’s the ultimate experience you want users to have with DermHealth.Co?
MD: We really hope to help break the stigma of skin conditions and provide evidence-based education and support. Chronic skin conditions are often associated with elderly individuals but that is simply not the case. Whether you have acne, vitiligo, lymphoedema or skin cancer, socializing with friends, having fun and learning are all still important. There is also so much misinformation out there and we wish to help dispel myths and provide resources that are non-bias and proven so as not to mislead or confuse people.
LD: What’s one new thing on the horizon for DermHealth.Co right now?
MD: It’s hard to choose one – I often have so many ideas flying around! Our next focus will be on getting the message out about the virtual skin summits that we have coming up. People often don’t realize that our events are open to everyone. Whether you’re living with a specific condition, are a mother or caretaker of someone with a skin condition, have a skin interest or are a professional or expert in the field – these events are for you. We’d like to make our events more accessible, more interactive and even more educational!
LD: What are all the ways someone can get involved with Dermhealth.co?
MD: You can tune into the podcast each week and subscribe to our newsletter to access the latest episodes. If you have a skin interest or condition, you can register for one of our online events. If you are a health care provider or therapist, you can get in touch to join the directory or share your knowledge with the community.
Erika Page is a blogger, speaker and self-love advocate with universal vitiligo. After living with vitiligo for two decades, Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.