Her choice of career might as well have been fate. From a young age, Marguerite Germain, MD, board-certified dermatologist in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, knew she wanted to go into medicine, and her experiences as a youth only pushed her further towards the profession. “My father was an internist and I loved working in his office, even as a young child, so it was my destiny to become a doctor,” she explains.
As she determined her professional pursuits so far in advance, Dr. Germain was able to carve out some time for a few adventures along the way. After graduating from Sweet Briar College with an Italian Studies major, Dr. Germain moved to Italy for a year. During this time, she learned the language, studied Italian arts, and was exposed to the “world’s most beautiful faces” — all of which would later act as an inspiration for Dr. Germain’s journey within dermatology. “It instilled in me an appreciation for beauty,” she says. “[Now] I approach every patient with a goal of maintaining their natural beauty while emphasizing their best features.”
Once Dr. Germain got back to the U.S., she dove into even more excitement, graduating from the University of Maryland™ School of Medicine and joining the Navy for 12 years (she even went to flight school!). “I was a Commander in the United States Navy and served at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Naval Air Station Pensacola Florida, Naval Air Station Dallas Texas, and Charleston Naval Hospital,” she shares.
If all of this isn’t enough to impress you, Dr. Germain took her career another step forward and started her own dermatology practice, called Germain Dermatology, in 2003. Here, we sat down with Dr. Germain to learn more about her military background, her passions — in and out of her career — as well as her own skincare and aesthetics routine.
Spotlyte: You have such an interesting background! Tell me more about your career in the military.
Dr. Marguerite Germain: It was truly my honor to serve in the military for over 12 years. I was a flight surgeon and a helicopter pilot, both of which gave me a wide breadth of highly skilled experience under stress. Dealing with so many different people also enhanced my sensitivity and empathy with those I help as a doctor. The experience I had in the military laid the groundwork for my commitment and dedication as a dermatologist.
Spotlyte: As a woman with her own dermatology practice now, what’s a typical day for you in the office?
MG: A typical day in the office is very interactive with a great deal of love and laughter. Everyone is totally dedicated to the care and needs of each patient. A typical week for me consists of four cosmetic days and one medical day. On cosmetic days, I perform injectable wrinkle reducer and filler injections, microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), PRP for hair loss, lasers, and CoolSculpting® evaluations. I particularly enjoy augmenting the lips with filler.
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. And learn more now by chatting with a trained aesthetic specialist.]
Spotlyte: As a dermatologist that treats a lot of patients with acne, what is the biggest misconception about acneic skin?
MG: One of the biggest misconceptions about acne is that it occurs only during the teenage years. Acne can affect adults of every age. Because the vast over-the-counter advertisements promise unrealistic results, many people spend a great deal of money and time without improvement. This causes a lot of disheartening frustration. Sometimes, by the time they see me, their self-esteem is diminished and scars have already occurred. The best solution for acne is to see a dermatologist at its onset to avoid irreparable consequences.
Spotlyte: What does your skincare routine consist of?
MG: I have a regular skincare routine that I follow daily: glycolic acid wash, retinol, vitamin C serum, antioxidant moisturizer, and sunscreen. All the products I use are from my Germain Rx™ line, and my skin has never looked better.
[Editor's note: Retinol shouldn't be used by those who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.]
Spotlyte: What’s one treatment you wish more patients knew about?
MG: CoolSculpting. I have six CoolSculpting devices in my office, and we have seen tremendous satisfaction among our patients who have tried it.
[Editor’s note: The CoolSculpting treatment is a non-invasive fat-freezing treatment that effectively reduces fat in certain self-proclaimed “problem spots” in the submental and submandibular areas, thigh, abdomen, flank, and upper arm, along with bra fat, back fat, and underneath the buttocks (you know, those bulges that just won’t go away, regardless of how much you sweat it out on the treadmill). While it isn’t a weight loss solution, fat-freezing can reduce pouches of fat. As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects, so talk to a licensed provider to see if it’s right for you.]
Spotlyte: Do you get injectables?
MG: I always try all injectables and other in-office treatments before I recommend them for my patients. This way I can explain to them exactly what to expect and [provide] good results. I get filler in my cheeks. I also get injectable wrinkle reducer in my forehead, glabella, and crow’s feet. I get injectable wrinkle reducer every three months and filler once every year.
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers should not be used more frequently than every three months.]
Spotlyte: Do you get any other in-office treatments?
MG: Yes, I do! Treatments like Dermalinfusion® and HydraFacial® help to keep my skin even and clear. I was in the military for 12 years, so I have accumulated a significant amount of sun damage, and the Halo™, BBL™, and V-Beam® lasers are good at rejuvenating the skin. Once a year, [I get] Ultherapy® to help keep my cheeks, jawline, and neck tight and lifted.
[Editor’s note: Dermalinfusion® has not been studied with the other treatments in this article.]
Spotlyte: What are your passions outside of dermatology?
MG: I support charities involved with children and animals. I am also a believer in physical fitness and being thankful for each day.
Spotlyte: Do you have any hobbies that have influenced your career?
MG: My love of painting and art have greatly influenced my entire career as a dermatologist. Having studied art in Italy, I feel very blessed with an instinctive eye for art forms and balance.
Spotlyte: What do you feel most passionate about in dermatology?
MG: I feel most passionate about helping my patients in every way that I can to achieve the best results possible. I don’t want them to look “done” upon leaving my office.
Spotlyte: What do you find to be the most difficult part about your job?
MG: The feeling that there is not enough time. Although I do give each patient my total commitment and focus, I wish there were more hours in each day.
Dr. Marguerite Germain is a paid Allergan® consultant.
CoolSculpting® is an Allergan-owned non-invasive fat reduction treatment.
CoolSculpting® Treatment Important Information
The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen and flank (love handles), along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. The CoolSculpting procedure is not a treatment for weight loss.
Important Safety Information
The CoolSculpting procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolSculpting procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions including recent surgery, pre-existing hernia, and any known sensitivities or allergies.
During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after submental or submandibular area treatment.
Rare side effects may also occur. CoolSculpting may cause a visible enlargement in the treated area which may develop two to five months after treatment and requires surgical intervention for correction.
Dermalinfusion® is an Allergan-owned microdermabrasion treatment.
Dermalinfusion Important Safety Information
The Dermalinfusion® device is a microdermabrasion device that gently removes the top layer of skin and delivers topical cosmetic serums onto the skin.
Important Safety Information
The Dermalinfusion® treatment is not for everyone. You should not have a Dermalinfusion® treatment if you are pregnant, lactating or have compromised skin quality. Tell your provider if you have any medical conditions, including allergies, and if you are using topical medications on the area to be treated.
Typical side effects include a scratchy, stinging sensation during the treatment and temporary tightness, redness or slight swelling after the treatment. Rare serious side effects may also occur and include severe skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Pro‐Infusion Serums Disclaimer
The Pro‐Infusion Serums are intended to meet the FDA’s definition of a cosmetic product, an article applied to the human body to cleanse, beautify, promote attractiveness, and alter appearances. These products are not intended to be drugs that diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. These products have not been approved by the FDA and the statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Please talk to your provider for additional information.