Dermatologist for Acne?

I don’t always post from other blogs but lately I have been hearing so many people talk about their experiences with a Dermatologist for acne. This post was written so well I didn’t think it was necessary to write my own.

Updated 8-31-17  I originally posted this 3 years ago and I still hear the same things from clients. Learning HOW to take care of your skin and using the right products for YOUR skin is what is best. No matter what.

WHY I REGRET GOING TO DERMATOLOGISTS FOR ACNE

It seemed so obvious at the time. My whole family is oily and acne prone. My siblings were both on Accutane. Dermatologists are seen as the first stop for acne problems. It was covered by insurance. After the Proactiv failure, it seemed like the next logical step.

What actually happened was a series of disappointing appointments. In each five to ten minute session, after hours in the waiting room, I was asked what skin care I was using (Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, nothing else), given a few expensive prescriptions, and sent to the pharmacist. When I told them I was getting cystic acne, they didn’t believe me because it was never present at the time of the appointments. I was never asked about my diet. I was never asked about my usual sun exposure, just vaguely told that the medications could make me more sun sensitive. I never had a proper skin analysis. I was never told what my skin type was (combination dry, not oily). I wasn’t asked how often I washed my pillowcase (not enough). I wasn’t asked whether I picked (I do).

At this point, I don’t even remember all of the different expensive medications they gave me over the years. I remember Benzoyl Peroxide, Differen, Tazorac, Retin-A, Cetaphil, and some sort of liquid blotter in a bottle. I know there were more. My skin only got worse when using any of them. I saw no decrease in acne and a sharp increase in redness, peeling, and shininess. I was mocked incessantly about how shiny my face was by the other students in elementary school. They were right- my giant forehead (fivehead) reflected like a mirror and was even more prominent than usual, something I was very self conscious about. .

The shine was a combination of raw skin and product buildup. The top layer of my forehead skin had peeled off early on and never seemed to grow back. I kept using the products, constantly hearing, “It has to get worse before it gets better.” Except it never got better. It got worse and worse and worse. My horrible tendency to pick at the flaking skin did not help at all, and I now have plenty of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This wasn’t at all helped by the 30 minutes of sun exposure at prime sun hours during recess every school day and full days on weekends. I was told to “avoid excess sun exposure,” which in my 11 year old brain meant “don’t lay out in the sun” which I didn’t do anyway. They did not make it clear to me that any sun exposure on my glow in the dark complexion was both counterproductive to my acne and would make every inflammation problem I was having far worse. Eventually I stopped using all of the prescriptions and just let them sit in a drawer untouched.

Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of cases where dermatologists have helped dramatically. There are many that I’m sure do thorough consultations, many who truly help acne and rosacea cases. Accutane was very effective treating the deep cystic acne of my siblings. I have personally told many clients to see a dermatologist for suspicious spots, at least two of which have been diagnosed as skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma). Dermatologists help with diseases and cancer. They are indispensable.

However, as a nurse practitioner puts it, “Their product toolboxes are too small.” Beautification of skin is the entirety of what an Esthetician does. Appointments are generally an hour or more. A good Esthetician will ask in depth questions about a client’s routines, lifestyle, history and issues. Skin care routines will be recommended, adjusted, perfected. Treatments are done not only to beautify the skin but to calm the mind and body. The stress cycle will be explained and discussed. Exfoliation, extractions, and hydrating masks can be done to speed up the improvement of a new skin care routine.

Lauri Shea, LE

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Will it Work? Truth Talk

So many myths and remedies that have been around for years and a lot of people don’t know if they work or of they should try it. Here is a list of some popular “tips” I read and hear about all the time that you should AVOID!

1. Toothpaste– It can dry out your skin and actually darken the areas that you apply it.

2. Benzoyl Peroxide– This is an effective spot treatment and can be used EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE but this is why I don’t think it should be used all the time… a. Drying to the skin   b. Can thin the skin   c. Makes your skin photo-sensitive   d. Can make your skin sensitive         e. Can make your Langerhan Cells go dormant- these are responsible for killing foreign viruses/molds/bacterias.

3. Biore Strips– These don’t work even though they appear that they do. The black stuff you are seeing is the top of the blackheads but the strip is not actually removing anything under the skin, where the the build-up is trapped.

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4. ProActiv– I’m sorry but I’m not a fan. And while this may work temporarily, it is not fixing the problem. It usually dries out the skin and after awhile, it stops working altogether.

5. Tanning (the sun or in a bed)- I know that people love this “remedy” but it just isn’t true. Tanning causes your skin to increase cell production which, in turn, creates more dead skin cells. That is what we are trying to avoid, right?

6. Dry Out Your Skin– I know people with oily skin want less oil. This is possible without drying out your skin. You need oil so it’s about finding a way to balance it. When you strip all the oil from your skin (most OTC products do this) then your skin produces more oil because it needs the moisture. It cannot produce water so you are left with oily skin. If you only use products that treat and replenish your skin, then you will find the balance.

www.PSBLounge.com

Accutane is Scary

Replacing One Problem for Another??

Doesn’t it look like her face hurts in that picture?

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Why can’t products just fix the skin without causing another problem? Why are so many Dermatologists and Estheticians prescribing methods that aren’t healthy for the skin? Over use of products can be just as damaging as the skin issue itself. I always knew the acne medications and OTC acne products dried out the skin but let me give you a list of problems my clients have traded…

1. Softer fine lines and wrinkles using Retin-A for many, many years- Now has thin skin and is super sensitive to a lot of products limiting her ability to fix or stop any other issues. (this is a VERY common one)

2. Keeping acne/breakouts to a minimum by using salicylic acid on her skin, overnight and Renova (Tretinoin)- Now has red, raised bumps on her face from the reaction of using the two together…she hasn’t been told to stop yet! (well, I suggested she did 🙂 )

3. Using a cleanser with Glycolic Acid in it once and sometimes twice a day for clearer skin- Now has thin skin and reacts to pretty much everything unless it is SUPER mild. And with this one, you may not know you are reacting until you have the side effects.

4. Applying straight Benzoyl Peroxide to the skin, every night, and leaving it on to help get rid of acne- Now has super dry skin and acne!

These ingredients/products also make you more sensitive to the sun. Well, if you live in southern California, that is a pretty hard thing to avoid. If you live an active outdoor lifestyle, it is even harder to avoid. Sunscreen is never an option but when using this stuff, you CANNOT go a day without it.

All of the above will force your skin to AGE FASTER. It will BREAK DOWN THE COLLAGEN AND ELASTIN (you know, the stuff that keeps the skin firm). I don’t blame my clients or the customers at Target for doing the wrong thing or choosing the wrong products. I blame the industry for misleading them. Retin-A can be fine, for a short time but not for the rest of their life. And, it seems, most are not educated on what these ingredients can do long-term. Clients should know what a product is going to do, good and bad, so that they can decide if it is worth it.

I don’t think I know everything about skin and skin care ingredients but I do care about my clients and their skin. I just want their skin to be healthy without misleading them and without making them spend a fortune. I am very honest. If someone asks me how they can get rid of their age spots on their face, I ask about their outdoor activity level first. If the sun is your friend, that’s ok, but that means you probably have to live with those spots. I will not age someone faster so that I can fix something. I only want to help the skin improve.

www.PSBlounge.com

 

 

Winter is Here- How’s Your Skin?

As the seasons change so do the needs of our skin. Our skin can get drier, more oily, we can have more breakouts or maybe just more sensitivity. Don’t panic! It’s most likely not your products that have suddenly stopped working for you, it’s the weather that has changed your skin. All it means is that you need to change how you use your products. So much easier, right? And a money saver! Here are some ingredients with their side effects that may affect your skin differently in the winter. Change accordingly if you needed.

Retinol– A derivative of Vitamin A, this can be drying to the skin. You may not notice it as much during the summer but in the winter when our skin gets drier, this can wreak havoc on our moisture level. You don’t have to stop using this, just use less.

Salicylic Acid– Great for acne and breakouts but extremely drying for the skin. When I recommend this product, I do not suggest using this everyday (for most of my clients) because I do not want to dry out the skin as the acne goes away. I usually have them use it every other day or only 3 times a week. If you find your skin seems flaky or dry, cut it back a bit, maybe just once and go from there. You still want to use the product and get the effectiveness but not as much. Sometimes even one less use can make a difference.

Vaseline– This seems like an odd choice to be on this list, right? Well, in the winter this seems to be the go-to product. A lot of people use it on their chapped lips, hands, feet, etc. Here’s the thing…it’s occlusive. That means it can’t penetrate the skin and will only sit on the surface. It will not moisturize the skin but it will protect it. Great to put over lotion on the hands and feet for extra hydration (it will lock in that moisture) and also for the nose area when you have a cold. It has no healing benefits though. It can clog pores on the face since it can’t penetrate so use with caution.

Benzoyl Peroxide– Same as salicylic acid but even more drying. Hopefully you are only using this as a spot treatment. The severe drying side effect can actually age your skin. Whatever the season, use with caution. In the winter, think twice.

Hand Sanitizer– Although this is not for the face, I thought I would throw it in here anyway. 🙂 The alcohol and lack of water can really dry out your hands. Try washing your hands like we used to…with soap and water and then moisturize.

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These are guidelines and suggestions. What works for one person may not work for another. Some may not be able to change their routine so that means you will need to add to your regimen so you can get more moisture. You need to compensate for the water being pulled out of your skin because if you don’t, your skin will start to produce more oil.

www.PSBLounge.com