A positive experience with a dermatologist in high school ultimately led to a career in dermatology for Dr. Allison Jones, a dermatologist at The University of Tennessee Dermatology. When she was a teen, a dermatologist helped her improve her teenage acne. That interaction inspired Dr. Jones to pursue a career in medicine and to help others in the same way. Today, she is not only a practicing dermatologist, but she is also an assistant professor at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Department of Dermatology. We are delighted to introduce you to today’s FACE of Memphis, Dr. Allison Jones.
Where were you born and what was your upbringing like?
I grew up in a small town in North Mississippi called Houston. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are the countless hours spent in the backyard playing softball with my dad, family beach vacations with my parents and younger brother, playing with cousins at my grandparents’ house and shopping trips with my mom. I am grateful for a very loving and supportive family who played a huge role in helping me become a dermatologist.
What made you decide to become a doctor, and in particular, a dermatologist?
During high school, I realized I had an interest in math and science. Around the same time, I began struggling with teenage acne. After experiencing the positive impact my dermatologist had on my life by improving my acne, I wanted to use my skill set to help others in the same way. I also enjoy the nice mix of medicine, surgery and cosmetics that the field has to offer.
Where did you go to med school?
I attended The University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson, Mississippi. After receiving my undergraduate biochemistry degree at Mississippi State University, I wanted to stay in the state of Mississippi to pursue my medical training. While I had a wonderful experience during medical school, I am still a Bulldog at heart.
What has been the most exciting part of being a dermatologist? What has been the most challenging?
The most exciting part of being a dermatologist is the joy of helping other people. I greatly enjoy listening to and building relationships with my patients. One challenge I am faced with as a dermatologist is convincing patients of the importance of sun protection and the dangers of tanning bed use.
Describe your typical day.
A typical day at the office for me varies throughout the week. One thing that is consistent is starting the day with a cup of coffee (or maybe two). I am currently located at three different locations across the city and see patients of all ages, and I love the diversity of the patients with whom I interact.
What are your top three words of advice on keeping skin healthy?
No. 1 is sunscreen: To help your skin age well, it is important to use a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater, applied more frequently when outdoors.
No. 2 would be skin exams: Regular self-skin exams are recommended to help detect skin cancers early. I recommend alerting your dermatologist to any skin lesion that is changing, itching or bleeding or looks different from your other skin lesions.
And lastly, avoid tanning beds: If you enjoy the tanned look, I recommend applying self-tanning products and avoiding tanning bed use. You can get the look that you like while dodging the harmful effects of tanning beds.
What are your predictions for the cosmetic dermatology industry in the next 10-15 years?
It is difficult to predict which specific treatments and services will be available in 10-15 years. However, given the constant advances in the field of cosmetic dermatology, let us hope there will be a cure for wrinkles! While the search is on for this cure, at our clinic, we currently offer cutting-edge cosmetic services such as various chemical peels, fillers, Botox and microneedling to help improve skin texture, wrinkles, dark spots and acne scarring.
Why did you choose Memphis as your home?
Residency training initially brought my husband and me to Memphis. The opportunity to work in an academic setting was appealing, as well as the abundance of family-friendly activities, our church and the great barbecue!
How do you find balance in your busy schedule? What do you do when not in your lab coat?
I strive to have a good work-life balance by completing most, if not all, my work at the office as opposed to bringing work home with me. As a family, my husband, 3-year-old son and I enjoy going to local kid-friendly venues like the Memphis Zoo and Children’s Museum of Memphis, enjoying the great food that Memphis has to offer and attending Mississippi State athletic events.
What is the first place you take out-of-towners when they visit you?
Finish this sentence: If I had a superpower, it would be …
If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
Tanning beds are bad. They cause wrinkles, age spots and skin cancers.
What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We dated seven years before getting married and will be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary next year.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Some of my proudest accomplishments are being accepted into and finishing medical school, matching into a dermatology residency, passing my dermatology boards and ultimately, having the privilege to apply my knowledge to take good care of my patients.
What is your best piece of advice?
Surround yourself with good mentors, both professionally and throughout your daily life.
With the exception of faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
Coffee, chocolate and shopping
Thank you to Micki Martin for today’s photos of Dr. Jones.
Meet more amazing Memphis women in our FACES archives. Click here, and prepare to be inspired!