Topical retinoid creams (such as Retin-A, tretinoin, Tazorac, and Differin) are commonly prescribed by dermatologists. As most of us product junkies know, topical retinoids are the MOST EFFECTIVE anti-aging topicals on the market.
Topical retinol/ retinoids work by regulating skin cell turnover, making them excellent medications for treating acne , preventing wrinkles , and even clearing psoriasis . The problem is that many people, particularly when using retinoids to treat acne or prevent wrinkles, find retinoids too irritating to use. Luckily, when used properly, nearly everyone can use a retinoid cream. The trick is to follow the directions below on how to use retinoids, in order to get the full benefit from this excellent medication, without dryness and irritation on the skin.
Hair loss is a very common complaint in both men and women. I am often asked by friends, and colleagues if any doctor can really help with hair loss. The resounding answer is a dermatologist can definitely help — we have special expertise in the prevention, medical and surgical treatment of hair loss!
Generally, the dermatologist will perform a physical exam of your scalp, hair, and nails to determine the underlying basis for the hair loss. There are many potential causes of hair loss including familial pattern hair loss, stress and dietary factors, thyroid dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, medications, and autoimmune conditions. The dermatologist may do some blood test to test for any abnormalities. In addition, depending on what is seen on the physical exam, a small scalp biopsy may even be performed.
Early treatment of hair loss can definitely help slow down or even reverse the process. I would suggest consulting with a dermatologist sooner rather than later if you have any concerns about hair loss. Your hair will thank you!View Thread
Dr. Mohiba Tareen Tareen Dermatology, Roseville, Minn Castle Connoly's America's Top Cosmetic Dermatologists Adjunct Assistant Professor Univ of MN Dept of Dermatology www.TareenDermatology.com
You are brilliant and correct-- when the skin senses cold, it is very difficult to detect itch at the same time. I often suggest ice packs or even putting OTC or prescription cream in the refrigerator and applying it cold.
Bacitracin can lead to an allergy in about 5% of patients. Solaraze helps remove precancer spots and can be irritating.
Definitely stop both of them (as you have) and try 1% hydrocortisone ointment, as well as your ice packs. Please keep us updated.
A common complaint among my brown skin patients are new "moles" that develop on the face and neck. Typically, these lesions look like tiny, little brown bumps. These lesions are not actually moles, but a benign condition referred to as dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN). The cause of DPNs remains unknown but they are thought to be genetic. In fact, DPNs are estimated to occur in 35% of African Americans. It is unknown what percent of desis are affected by DPNs, but it is higher that the caucasian population.
Many of my patients state that DPNs make them look and feel older and less confident. As a confession, I admit that after the age of 30 I developed DPNs around my eyes. They made my skin look less clear so I had a colleague of mine treat them with excellent results! Lets explore more about this condition:
How can we treat DPNs? There are many effective ways to treat DPNs:
Electrodesiccation: This involes the use of a special electricity device to lightly remove the raised brown bumps. If done correctly, only the raised lesions are removed and the underlying skin is not damaged — thus no scarring will result. There is a risk of transient discoloration so your dermatologist will suggest sun protection. Depending on your skin type, after removal your derm may also suggest temporary use of a lightening cream such as hydroquinone. This is the method that I chose for my DPN removal. After 2 -3 days of slightly red irritated skin at the site of the removal, it healed beautifully.
Laser resurfacing: This involves using a specialized layer to gently remove the top layer of skin cells. Laser resurfacing is typically more expensive than electrodessication but is better suited for the very flat DPN lesions.
Surgical removal : For larger DPNs a dermatologist can numb and superficially remove the lesions. Again, care must be taken to only remove the DPN and not the underlying skin to prevent scarring.
Is there anything we can do to prevent DPN? Unfortunately, there is nothing yet that has scientifically been proven to limit the production of DPNs. DPNs are histologically related to another benign skin growth that develops as we age- seborrheic keratoses. Treatments to prevent both types of growths are in the pipeline so stay tuned â€¦
Summary DPNs are common in brown skin people but can easily be treated. If your DPNs make you feel less confident, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist that you trust for removal.
There are many different categories of acne medications that are currently available either over-the-counter (OTC) or by prescription.
Let's begin with one of my favorites: benzoyl peroxide (BP). BP is a topical acne medication used for decades (an oldy and a goody!).BP is in many OTC and prescription acne medications.
Why is BP so effective? BP is super effective because it treats two of the main causes of acne:
BP kills the acne causing bacteria (Propionibacteria acnes). P. acnes cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment. Benzoyl peroxide works by bringing in oxygen to the skin pores, killing the P. acnes. When the number of P. acnes bacteria is reduced, the number of acne breakouts is reduced as well. In particular, those large red, infected appearing acne bumps are reduced.
BP is a 'keratolytic.' This means that it works to break down and exfoliate dead skin cells. BP also helps eliminate oil (scientifically known as "sebum"). By reducing dead skin cells and oil, less blocked pores and acne bumps result. The caveat is that occasionally BP can dry the skin too much leading to redness and irritation. One way to minimize the irritation is by using BP as a FACE WASH! By utilizing BP as a face wash you get the benefits of reduced bacteria and oil, but minimize the irritation and dryness. (A little secret- the Proactiv Renewing Cleanser is just a BP wash!)
Why is BP great for patients with skin of color? BP is a terrific product for quickly reducing new acne outbreaks. This is key for brown skin patients: we need to quickly stop NEW acne, so less brown marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) results. There is a slight risk with desi patients and BP though—if too much irritation results, this can actually lead to more darkening of the skin! Thus, for most of my brown skin patients I do suggest a BP WASH in a creamy base to protect against irritation.
What are some good products containing BP? —My favorite BP washes include: Pan Oxyl creamy wash and Clean and Clear BP wash. (Of note, BP washes are no longer prescriptions; they are ALL over-the counter) —Topically, a few prescription acne medications that are very effective include:
Epiduo: this contains BP and a gentle type of retinoid called Adaplane.
Acanya or Benzaclin: contain BP and clindamycin
What are some of the side effects of BP? The most common side effect is redness and irritation. BP also bleaches clothes, towels etc. Occasionally, allergic reactions can result from BP use.
Summary: Overall, our goals in treating acne are two fold: treating the active acne and preventing new breakouts. BP accomplishes both of these goals and is a great medication to incorporate into your daily regimen!