Contributor: Komal Javaid
Dr. Praveen Buddiga, a board-certified immunologist, is the founder of the BUDDIGA Family Allergy | Skin | Immunology practice. This practice specializes in allergic disease, asthma, and immunology treatment for patients of all ages. He is a highly sought-after medical expert who advises on the most up-to-date immunology research and therapies and gives frequent lectures in the U.S. and abroad.
Dr. Buddiga earned the California Medical Association’s 2014 Ethnic Physician Leadership Award and has been featured in national media, including newspapers, National Geographic, major TV networks, and most recently, as a guest expert on FOX-TV’s Good Day L.A. Among all these achievements, Dr. Buddiga focuses on spreading awareness about how important it is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because it protects our health as well as others around us.
What interested you in immunology?
The science of immunology is what interested me to specialize in this area. Our iimuce system forms the foundational mechanism of defense against invading organisms. However, as I progressed in my career treating many immune diseases at the patient bedside, I observed that most conditions had an exclusive external skin manifestation to them. This is when I pivoted towards a holistic, science-based, and more comprehensive approach to my patients, which I termed “Skin Immunology,” whose science helps us enrich, nourish, and maintain a healthy SkinImmune™ Firewall.
Can you talk about your feature in Thrive Global and being given the title “Hero of the COVID Crisis”?
I am humbled to have been given this recognition for serving my community against this horrible pandemic that has shattered and touched every household throughout the globe. I have injected hundreds of families within my community with the vaccine and provided aftercare and answers to numerous questions that arise from this voluntary effort. As a frequent media educator and regular health expert guest contributor on multiple media platforms, my objective was to dispel any wrongly interpreted science about the vaccine and the importance of achieving herd immunity rapidly to eradicate this viral attack on the human way of life.
What aspects of practicing medicine did you find most challenging this past year with COVID-19?
You stated that the vaccine is critical to fight the pandemic. Do you think it is essential that those who are vaccinated still get tested?
This is a great question! When we start school or a new job at a healthcare or public facility or travel to different countries by boarding a plane or ship, we need to disclose our immunization status. This is not a new concept. I believe this is the value of testing: to give peace of mind to the other people around us that we are not carrying or transmitting the virus, especially in close quarters such as classrooms, public transportation, airplanes, etc.
Schools will reopen this fall and most likely at full capacity. Is there any advice you can give parents on keeping their kids healthy this upcoming school year?
I advised many school boards in my community on the importance of masking children, teachers, coaches, and administrative staff during this ongoing pandemic.
Masking has been shown to decrease the transmission rate by up to 97%, so I believe it’s a simple “ask” to millions of people returning to schools, jobs, and the new normalcy of daily life. Also, clinical trials for the age group 5-11 years are underway, and hopefully, we can get positive FDA Emergency Use Authorization by mid-autumn 2021.
As you mentioned, immunological conditions can reduce the quality of an individual’s life. What advice do you have on staying healthy and ensuring that we live the best quality of life that we can?
As we all know, good health starts with good hygiene. We brush our teeth several times a day; similarly, we need to care for our skin’s first line of immunological defense by hydrating, moisturizing, and applying a sun protective factor (SPF) barrier every day.
My favorite medical school and continuing medical education class or seminar every year is the topic of “skin manifestations of clinical disease,” which shows that most medical problems have some externally visible skin changes for detection. Skin is the first thing people notice when they meet you. It’s the first impression that others have of you. And as people begin to live even longer lives, they naturally want to have great skin that protects them throughout their lifetime.
To address this quest for healthier skin and strengthen the immunological barrier of skin protection at this critical time juncture, I recently launched a new division called BUDDIGA Skin Aesthetics, which is part of my prominent northern California-based BUDDIGA Family Allergy | Skin | Immunology practice. As a medical expert, immunology clinician, and scientist, I bring a novel perspective to skincare and approach to anti-aging. What makes my approach to skincare so unique is that where dermatology specializes in just the skin and hair on a more localized level, and estheticians provide services focused solely on the cosmetic appearance of the skin, I apply an entirely holistic, immunology science based, and more comprehensive approach to patient skincare.
Overall, Dr. Buddiga emphasizes the importance of taking care of yourself and your health. Self-care will help ensure that you’re living the best quality of life while doing what you love.
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