Published on November 8th, 2016
Acne scars are the scars or pits left by teenage or adult acne. It can be disfiguring, especially when located on the face, and can significantly impact a person’s self-esteem and confidence.
Types of Acne Scars
There are several types of acne scars. The most common is the ice pick scar, which appears as a slight pit right below the surface of the skin. The boxcar scar is more angular in shape than the ice pick scar. The rolling scar is deeper and more noticeable. Hypertrophic scars are less severe and even tend to disappear after a while. The keloid scar, however, is quite large and rubbery. It often occupies more space than the original blemish and may also be itchy and painful.
What Causes Acne Scars to Form?
Picking and bothering blemishes and pimples is the most common way scarring occurs, but scarring may also happen as a result of severe acne over a substantial period of time.
Treatment and Prevention
Of course, one should avoid touching and picking acne. Good hygiene and a treatment regimen are also important. Severe acne should be treated by a dermatologist, and the treatment may include prescription medicine.
If acne scarring remains a concern, there are a couple of treatments that will greatly improve the scarring and one’s overall appearance.
Dermal fillers are a method that is especially successful on rolling and boxcar scars. Medicine is injected into the site of the scar. Popular injection brands include Belotero, Juvederm, and Restylane. Patients often experience redness and swelling for a few days, so the doctor will discuss the treatment area and injection site specifically. If there is a large area of scarring, it will need to be dealt with in subsequent visits. Additionally, a cream will be provided to ease any burning or itching. It is also recommended that there be no facials or facial massages for a week after the procedure.
Laser treatment is another method for combating acne scarring. The microbeads of the laser cause coagulation and promote the growth of healthy tissue. There are usually few side-effects with this approach and results may be noticeable in three to five days.
The severity of the scarring and other health factors will help determine if dermal fillers or laser is the best treatment for a given individual. It is important to consult with a dermatologist or dermatology provider regarding your desired goals and expectations before undergoing treatment.
Published on September 13th, 2016
A baby’s skin is very sensitive and delicate and despite a parent’s most diligent efforts, a diaper rash can develop. The skin can become tender and red, which can cause considerable discomfort for the infant. The following tips can help keep your baby’s skin healthy and rash-free.
Frequent Diaper Changes
Keeping your baby’s skin dry is the first step in preventing diaper rashes from developing. Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause the skin to become inflamed and trigger a rash to develop. Dirty diapers, even if they are just wet, should be changed as soon as possible.
Vigorous rubbing or harsh cleansers can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. When cleaning your baby during diaper changes, use a soft cloth and water, baby wipes that do not contain alcohol or added fragrances, or even a squirt bottle. If possible, allow the child to go diaper-free for a while so that the skin has a chance to air dry and heal.
Use Diaper Creams
If your child has a severe rash, where the skin remains red between changes, it is a good idea to use a diaper cream containing zinc oxide. Simply apply the cream liberally over the entire diaper area similar to frosting a cake. The cream can stay on between changes and removed at the end of the day.
Be sure to consult with your dermatologist if the rash does not go away, worsens, or develops into a serious skin infection. Symptoms of a skin infection include blisters, pus, fever or other drainage coming from the rash. If your baby becomes difficult to console or appears to be in pain or distress, it would be wise to consult with your doctor.
Published on September 13th, 2016
While it is uncommon, it is not entirely unheard-of for an individual using over-the-counter acne medication to present with a serious allergic reaction. The FDA has received more than one hundred such reports to date, with the most recent year for reliably collated reports being 2013. On average, they receive approximately three reports per year; however, these represent serious side effects, including loss of orientation and difficulty breathing. Some reports indicated that individuals experienced a tightness in the chest and throat, as well as severe swelling in the face, hands, and feet.
Each of the aforementioned reports on file implicates a drug including one of the following two active ingredients: Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid.
It is entirely possible that other ingredients can cause, or contribute to, one or more of the commonly reported reactions. Other reactions, some of which occurred independently from those mentioned above, include itchy skin and hives. Rarely, side effects may include additional outbreaks of pimples and other forms of acne.
How to Protect and Safeguard Good Health
Individuals who experience severe side effects after taking acne medication are advised to seek medical attention immediately. In particular, dermatologists recommend seeking medical assistance in the event of any of the following symptoms, despite whether or not the afflicted individual is taking acne medication at the time.
- Difficulty breathing (including tightness of the chest or throat)
- Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint; severe disorientation
- Swollen hands or feet; also, swelling of the eyes, tongue, face, or throat
- Intense itching, redness or burning of the skin (may or may not be accompanied by hives or pimple outbreaks)
It is particularly important to see a doctor if these symptoms occur in combination, as they may represent a severe allergic reaction. Whether it is due to acne medication or to some other factor, such a reaction requires urgent treatment.
Seek Advice from Your Dermatologist
Many patients have questions about pimples, acne, other common skin conditions, and the medicines which are used to treat them; however, they aren’t sure about when they should seek professional medical advice.
Individuals in the following circumstances should consider consulting a dermatologist:
- Planning on using an acne medication that is non-prescription initially
- Planning on changing non-prescription acne medications
- Planning on taking a new non-prescription acne medication after previously suffering an allergic reaction (of any level of severity)
Please note that severe side effects are extremely rare from over-the-counter acne medication. Actual life-threatening conditions are rare. In the event that symptoms are presented, it is simply good advice to seek medical assistance.
Published on August 1st, 2016
Spending too much time in the sun without protecting the skin can lead to a sunburn. Sunburns can cause the skin to become red, sensitive to the touch and blister. A history of sunburns can even lead to skin cancer. To keep discomfort and skin damage to a minimum, it is important to treat a sunburn as soon as possible. The following tips can soothe the sting of a sunburn.
Keep the Skin Cool
Taking a cool bath or shower is a quick way to temporarily relieve the burning and tingling of a sunburn. Leaving the skin slightly damp will allow the air to continue to cool the skin.
Moisturize Sun Burned Skin
Lotions containing soy or aloe vera are soothing and can help trap moisture in the skin to prevent drying.
Apply an Over-the-Counter Cream
Nonprescription hydrocortisone creams can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation from sunburns. It is best to avoid benzocaine or other “caine” products since they can exacerbate skin irritation and cause an allergic reaction.
Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
If needed and recommended by a pharmacist or physician, ibuprofen or aspirin can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
A sunburn can cause dehydration by drawing fluid to the surface of the skin from the rest of the body. It is important to replace these lost fluids by drinking extra water.
Leave Blisters Alone!
Skin blistering is a sign of a second-degree sunburn. The blisters provide an important barrier against infection while the skin heals, so they should never be popped.
Protect the Sun Burned Skin
It is important to shield the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays when outdoors to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF is the first step in preventing precancerous skin lesions, skin cancer and other forms of sun-related skin damage. Tightly-woven clothing with long sleeves can also serve as a physical barrier against UV rays. For more information on treating sunburns and preventing potentially cancerous skin conditions, consult with your dermatologist.
Published on July 17th, 2016
It is common for a new mother to experience noticeable hair loss shortly after giving birth. This phenomenon is known as excessive hair shedding and is different from true hair loss. This excessive hair coming off is temporary, while it is due to the decrease in estrogen levels. In most cases, a woman will find that her hair returns to normal within a year or sooner. In the meantime, the following tips can help make your hair appear fuller.
Use a Volumizing Shampoo
These shampoos contain protein and other ingredients that coat the hair and add fullness and body. It is best to avoid “conditioning” shampoos since they can make hair appear heavy and limp.
Choose a Formula for Fine Hair
These shampoos and conditioners are lighter, so they will not weigh down the hair. It is best to steer clear of anything labeled “extra-moisturizing” or “intensive conditioning” as they tend to be extremely heavy.
Use the Right Technique
Applying conditioner to the scalp and the entire length of the hair can weigh down the hair and make it appear limp. Try to apply conditioner only to the ends of your hair.
Opt for a New Haircut
A short hairstyle can add body and volume to the hair. A short style is also easier to manage, which can be a plus for a busy mom. An experienced hairstylist can offer tips for choosing a cut that will be both flattering and easy to manage.
A Word of Caution
Although rare, a stray strand of hair can cause a hair tourniquet. This occurs when a strand of hair falls out and becomes wrapped around a baby’s body part such as the newborn’s finger, toe, or foot. This can cut off circulation and even cause infection. If this should happen, try to find the loose end and unwind the hair. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a small pair of scissors to carefully cut the hair away.