We Care Skin

Acne

  • Will my acne ever go away?

    Most often, acne will go away on its own at the end of puberty, but some people still struggle with acne in adulthood. Almost all acne can be successfully treated, however. It’s a matter of finding the right treatment for you.

  • Can what I eat cause acne breakouts?

    Generally, no. The primary trigger of most cases of acne is the fluctuation of hormones. Hormones stimulate the oil glands to produce more sebum, which can block pores. Bacteria can then grow within the pores, causing them to become inflamed and break out.

    That happens at times of major hormonal change, such as during the menstrual cycle, and during the teen years, no matter what you eat. So despite what your grandmother told you, eating too many potato chips won’t make you break out in pimples.

    But there is some evidence that certain diets may have an effect on acne, says Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. Studies, such as one published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, have suggested that high consumption of dairy products raises the risk of getting acne because of the hormones in milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, subsequent studies have not supported the theory.

    Some patients do not clear after one course of treatment, and a second course of treatment may be an option. Studies show this helps some patients see clear skin. You should wait at least 8 weeks between treatments. The skin often continues to clear for a while after patients stop taking the medicine.

     

  • Should I stop wearing makeup if I have acne?

    You don’t have to stop wearing makeup altogether, but you might try switching brands or going with a different type. If you’re noticing breakouts along the sides of your temples, hair creams or gels might be exacerbating your acne, says Alexiades-Armenakas. Look for cosmetics and toiletries with the label “noncomedogenic,” meaning that they don’t clog pores.

  • Does acne mean I’m not keeping my face clean enough?

    Not necessarily. In fact, scrubbing too hard at your face can aggravate your acne, and using alcohol-based astringents can dry out the skin. Acne is triggered by hormones, and while gentle, regular cleansing with soap and warm water can sometimes help with mild breakouts, more significant acne requires more than just good hygiene.

  • Why does acne appear most often in teenagers?

    The primary trigger for acne is fluctuating hormones -- specifically, the male hormone testosterone. (Women do have some levels of testosterone.) When teenagers hit puberty, their hormones start surging -- and often, so does acne.

  • Why do some adults have acne?

    Although the hormonal fluctuations that cause acne are most common during the teen years, they can also affect adults. Women may experience hormonal swings during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause that result in acne breakouts.

    Acne can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as anticonvulsants and steroid drugs. Some people may also have a genetic predisposition to acne. One study found that 50% of adults with acne had a parent, sibling, or child with acne.

  • What acne treatments are best for me?

    That depends on many factors: your age, whether you’re male or female, how severe your acne is, and how long you’ve had it, among others. There are several options available.

    For mild to moderate acne, many dermatologists will start with a combination of a topical cream or gel containing either a retinoid or benzoyl peroxide along with a topical antibiotic. For more inflammatory acne, an oral antibiotic may be added. For more significant cases of acne, women may be placed on birth control pills or on the drug spironolactone, a water pill which also blocks male hormones.

    Severe cases of acne may be treated with the drug isotretinoin, which is very effective. However, side effects and blood abnormalities must be monitored monthly and requires registration with the FDA to obtain a prescription. There are also various types of light or photodynamic therapies available.

     

  • When should I see a dermatologist for acne treatment?

    f over-the-counter treatments, like a topical retinoid or products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, along with gentle cleansing, don’t work for you (give them a chance -- it can take 4-12 weeks to improve acne), a dermatologist may be able to help. Severe acne requires aggressive treatment to prevent scarring.

  • How do I use Isotretinoin?

    This medicine comes in pill form. You will take one or two pills a day as your dermatologist prescribes.

    Before taking isotretinoin, you must enroll in the iPLEDGE™ program. Created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this program helps to ensure that patients:

    • Do not start taking isotretinoin while pregnant

    • Do not become pregnant while taking isotretinoin

    Because iPLEDGE™ informs patients about other possible side effects, all patients must enroll in this program before taking isotretinoin

  • How long will I have to take Isotretinoin?

    One course of treatment generally takes about 4 to 5 months. You may need a shorter or longer treatment time.

  • How does Isotretinoin work?

    This is the only acne treatment that attacks all four causes of acne—excess oil production, clogged pores in the skin, too much of the bacteria P. acnes, and inflammation. This makes isotretinoin very effective.

  • Do I need to take any precautions while using Isotretinoin?

    Yes. You will need to learn about the potential side effects before you decide whether to take isotretinoin.

    If you and your dermatologist decide that this medicine is right for you, you will need to do the following:

    • Enroll in the iPLEDGE™ program

    • Return to your dermatologist every month for a follow-up appointment

    • Immediately report any possible side effect to your dermatologist

    • Do not wax to remove hair while taking this medicine, and for 6 months after you stop taking isotretinoin

    • Protect your skin from the sun and do not use a tanning bed, sun lamp, or other indoor tanning device

    • Do not donate blood while taking isotretinoin and for 30 days after you take your last pill

    • Female Patients who can get pregnant also need to take the following precautions:

      • Take the required pregnancy tests

      • Use two approved forms of birth control

  • What are possible side effects?

    A number of possible side effects can occur while taking this medicine. It is essential that a woman who is taking this medicine is not pregnant and will become pregnant. Isotretinoin can cause:

    • Severe birth defects

    • Miscarriage (baby dies before birth)

    • Premature birth

    • Other potential side effects include the following.

      • Depression: A connection between taking isotretinoin and developing symptoms of depression/anxiety has been suggested. Dermatologists take reports of depression seriously. Results from some studies, however, show that sometimes patients treated with isotretinoin have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. These patients also have improved quality of life.

      • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): There have been reports of patients developing IBD after taking isotretinoin. IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. To date, research has not found strong evidence to prove this. Results from a recent, large-scale study that looked at this possible connection suggest otherwise. In this study, which involved thousands of patients, taking isotretinoin did not increase the risk of IBD.

    The risk of developing IBD may be linked to having severe acne. More studies are required.

  • Other serious side effects that have been reported include:

    • Bad headache

    • Blurred vision

    • Dizziness

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Seizures (convulsions)

    • Stroke

  • More common and less serious side effects are:

    • Dry eyes

    • Dry skin

    • Chapped lips    

    • Nasal passage so dry that nosebleeds occur

    • Diminished ability to see in the dark

  • Is it safe to remove hair with wax while taking Isotretinoin?

    No waxing, please. Waxing can cause permanent scars in people taking Isotretinoin. To avoid scarring, you must not wax while taking isotretinoin and for six months after you stop taking Isotretinoin. This applies to hot wax and cold wax.

  • Does Isotretinoin increase risk of sunburn?

    If you plan to spend time outdoors, it is important to know that Isotretinoin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You can sunburn unexpectedly and quickly. To protect your skin, dermatologists recommend that people taking isotretinoin:

    • Seek shade when outdoors

    • Wear a shirt, wide-brimmed hat, and pants

    • Apply sunscreen to all skin that will be exposed

    The type of sunscreen you use is important. Be sure to use sunscreen that offers:

    • Broad-spectrum protection (bottle may say “UVA/UVB protection”)

    • An SPF of 30 or greater

    • Water resistance

    Because isotretinoin can make your skin more sensitive, it is especially important that you not tan. This includes not using indoor tanning (sunlamps and tanning beds) while taking isotretinoin.

Melasma

  • What is Melasma?

    Melasma is an increased pigmentation in sun-exposed areas due to overproduction of melanin. It appears as irregularly shaped grey-brown or dark brown patches on facial skin. Most often symmetrical-matching on both sides of face usually seen on cheeks, forehead, nose-bridge, upper lip and jaw line.

  • Does Melasma re-occurs?

    Yes, melasma recurs. Especially, when we are still exposed to the risk factors like sun exposure, use of cosmetics with harmful ingredients, hormonal changes (use of contraceptive pills, intake of HRT, use of anti-seizure drugs) and genetics.

  • How to treat Melasma?

    Please understand that treating melasma will really take time. It's a skin disorder found at the deeper layers of the skin, which is why the solution must start from within, hence the need to take capsules. Topical creams only act on the skin's surface, but in order to treat melasma, you need to address the deeper layers of the skin, where hyperactive melanocytes cause overproduction of melanin, the skin's pigment.

  • What are the risk factors of Melasma?

    Sun exposure is the major risk factor, Hormonal changes: (pregnancy, taking oral contracentive pills), Phototoxic cosmetics (mercury, salicylic acids), Phototoxic medications: (antibiotcs, anti-epilepsy drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

  • What is Chloasma?

    Chloasma is a skin condition that can affect 50-70% of pregnant women. Also known as melasma or 'the mask of pregnancy,' chloasma is characterized by symmetrical patches of dark skin, commonly seen on the cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin, that can resemble a mask pattern, almost like a raccoon. People with darker complexions who tend to tan well are more likely to develop this condition. Chloasma occurs most often during the summertime, due to increased sun exposure.

    The exact cause of chloasma is a mystery. What is known is that ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun causes melanocytes, or pigment cells, to overproducemelanin, which is what gives skin its distinct color; the more melanin present, the darker the skin color. Think of it as adding food coloring to icing; the more you add, the richer the color of the
    icing.Hormone fluctuations are also partially to blame for chloasma.Moms-to-be aren't the only ones susceptible to chloasma. Women who are taking hormone replacement medication and/or contraceptives can also develop this condition, and some men do, too. In fact, approximately 1 in every 4 women and 1 in every 20 men will develop chloasma.The good news is that chloasma generally fades away a few months after a woman gives birth or discontinues hormone medication. In some cases, repeated pregnancies can intensify chloasma. Similarly, even if you don't develop this condition with your first pregnancy, it can still occur with subsequent pregnancies.

Acne

  • Will my acne ever go away?

    Most often, acne will go away on its own at the end of puberty, but some people still struggle with acne in adulthood. Almost all acne can be successfully treated, however. It’s a matter of finding the right treatment for you.

  • Can what I eat cause acne breakouts?

    Generally, no. The primary trigger of most cases of acne is the fluctuation of hormones. Hormones stimulate the oil glands to produce more sebum, which can block pores. Bacteria can then grow within the pores, causing them to become inflamed and break out.

    That happens at times of major hormonal change, such as during the menstrual cycle, and during the teen years, no matter what you eat. So despite what your grandmother told you, eating too many potato chips won’t make you break out in pimples.

    But there is some evidence that certain diets may have an effect on acne, says Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. Studies, such as one published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, have suggested that high consumption of dairy products raises the risk of getting acne because of the hormones in milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, subsequent studies have not supported the theory.

    Some patients do not clear after one course of treatment, and a second course of treatment may be an option. Studies show this helps some patients see clear skin. You should wait at least 8 weeks between treatments. The skin often continues to clear for a while after patients stop taking the medicine.

     

  • Should I stop wearing makeup if I have acne?

    You don’t have to stop wearing makeup altogether, but you might try switching brands or going with a different type. If you’re noticing breakouts along the sides of your temples, hair creams or gels might be exacerbating your acne, says Alexiades-Armenakas. Look for cosmetics and toiletries with the label “noncomedogenic,” meaning that they don’t clog pores.

  • Does acne mean I’m not keeping my face clean enough?

    Not necessarily. In fact, scrubbing too hard at your face can aggravate your acne, and using alcohol-based astringents can dry out the skin. Acne is triggered by hormones, and while gentle, regular cleansing with soap and warm water can sometimes help with mild breakouts, more significant acne requires more than just good hygiene.

  • Why does acne appear most often in teenagers?

    The primary trigger for acne is fluctuating hormones -- specifically, the male hormone testosterone. (Women do have some levels of testosterone.) When teenagers hit puberty, their hormones start surging -- and often, so does acne.

  • Why do some adults have acne?

    Although the hormonal fluctuations that cause acne are most common during the teen years, they can also affect adults. Women may experience hormonal swings during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause that result in acne breakouts.

    Acne can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as anticonvulsants and steroid drugs. Some people may also have a genetic predisposition to acne. One study found that 50% of adults with acne had a parent, sibling, or child with acne.

  • What acne treatments are best for me?

    That depends on many factors: your age, whether you’re male or female, how severe your acne is, and how long you’ve had it, among others. There are several options available.

    For mild to moderate acne, many dermatologists will start with a combination of a topical cream or gel containing either a retinoid or benzoyl peroxide along with a topical antibiotic. For more inflammatory acne, an oral antibiotic may be added. For more significant cases of acne, women may be placed on birth control pills or on the drug spironolactone, a water pill which also blocks male hormones.

    Severe cases of acne may be treated with the drug isotretinoin, which is very effective. However, side effects and blood abnormalities must be monitored monthly and requires registration with the FDA to obtain a prescription. There are also various types of light or photodynamic therapies available.

     

  • When should I see a dermatologist for acne treatment?

    f over-the-counter treatments, like a topical retinoid or products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, along with gentle cleansing, don’t work for you (give them a chance -- it can take 4-12 weeks to improve acne), a dermatologist may be able to help. Severe acne requires aggressive treatment to prevent scarring.

  • How do I use Isotretinoin?

    This medicine comes in pill form. You will take one or two pills a day as your dermatologist prescribes.

    Before taking isotretinoin, you must enroll in the iPLEDGE™ program. Created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this program helps to ensure that patients:

    • Do not start taking isotretinoin while pregnant

    • Do not become pregnant while taking isotretinoin

    Because iPLEDGE™ informs patients about other possible side effects, all patients must enroll in this program before taking isotretinoin

  • How long will I have to take Isotretinoin?

    One course of treatment generally takes about 4 to 5 months. You may need a shorter or longer treatment time.

  • How does Isotretinoin work?

    This is the only acne treatment that attacks all four causes of acne—excess oil production, clogged pores in the skin, too much of the bacteria P. acnes, and inflammation. This makes isotretinoin very effective.

  • Do I need to take any precautions while using Isotretinoin?

    Yes. You will need to learn about the potential side effects before you decide whether to take isotretinoin.

    If you and your dermatologist decide that this medicine is right for you, you will need to do the following:

    • Enroll in the iPLEDGE™ program

    • Return to your dermatologist every month for a follow-up appointment

    • Immediately report any possible side effect to your dermatologist

    • Do not wax to remove hair while taking this medicine, and for 6 months after you stop taking isotretinoin

    • Protect your skin from the sun and do not use a tanning bed, sun lamp, or other indoor tanning device

    • Do not donate blood while taking isotretinoin and for 30 days after you take your last pill

    • Female Patients who can get pregnant also need to take the following precautions:

      • Take the required pregnancy tests

      • Use two approved forms of birth control

  • What are possible side effects?

    A number of possible side effects can occur while taking this medicine. It is essential that a woman who is taking this medicine is not pregnant and will become pregnant. Isotretinoin can cause:

    • Severe birth defects

    • Miscarriage (baby dies before birth)

    • Premature birth

    • Other potential side effects include the following.

      • Depression: A connection between taking isotretinoin and developing symptoms of depression/anxiety has been suggested. Dermatologists take reports of depression seriously. Results from some studies, however, show that sometimes patients treated with isotretinoin have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. These patients also have improved quality of life.

      • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): There have been reports of patients developing IBD after taking isotretinoin. IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. To date, research has not found strong evidence to prove this. Results from a recent, large-scale study that looked at this possible connection suggest otherwise. In this study, which involved thousands of patients, taking isotretinoin did not increase the risk of IBD.

    The risk of developing IBD may be linked to having severe acne. More studies are required.

  • Other serious side effects that have been reported include:

    • Bad headache

    • Blurred vision

    • Dizziness

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Seizures (convulsions)

    • Stroke

  • More common and less serious side effects are:

    • Dry eyes

    • Dry skin

    • Chapped lips    

    • Nasal passage so dry that nosebleeds occur

    • Diminished ability to see in the dark

  • Is it safe to remove hair with wax while taking Isotretinoin?

    No waxing, please. Waxing can cause permanent scars in people taking Isotretinoin. To avoid scarring, you must not wax while taking isotretinoin and for six months after you stop taking Isotretinoin. This applies to hot wax and cold wax.

  • Does Isotretinoin increase risk of sunburn?

    If you plan to spend time outdoors, it is important to know that Isotretinoin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You can sunburn unexpectedly and quickly. To protect your skin, dermatologists recommend that people taking isotretinoin:

    • Seek shade when outdoors

    • Wear a shirt, wide-brimmed hat, and pants

    • Apply sunscreen to all skin that will be exposed

    The type of sunscreen you use is important. Be sure to use sunscreen that offers:

    • Broad-spectrum protection (bottle may say “UVA/UVB protection”)

    • An SPF of 30 or greater

    • Water resistance

    Because isotretinoin can make your skin more sensitive, it is especially important that you not tan. This includes not using indoor tanning (sunlamps and tanning beds) while taking isotretinoin.

Melasma

  • What is Melasma?

    Melasma is an increased pigmentation in sun-exposed areas due to overproduction of melanin. It appears as irregularly shaped grey-brown or dark brown patches on facial skin. Most often symmetrical-matching on both sides of face usually seen on cheeks, forehead, nose-bridge, upper lip and jaw line.

  • Does Melasma re-occurs?

    Yes, melasma recurs. Especially, when we are still exposed to the risk factors like sun exposure, use of cosmetics with harmful ingredients, hormonal changes (use of contraceptive pills, intake of HRT, use of anti-seizure drugs) and genetics.

  • How to treat Melasma?

    Please understand that treating melasma will really take time. It's a skin disorder found at the deeper layers of the skin, which is why the solution must start from within, hence the need to take capsules. Topical creams only act on the skin's surface, but in order to treat melasma, you need to address the deeper layers of the skin, where hyperactive melanocytes cause overproduction of melanin, the skin's pigment.

  • What are the risk factors of Melasma?

    Sun exposure is the major risk factor, Hormonal changes: (pregnancy, taking oral contracentive pills), Phototoxic cosmetics (mercury, salicylic acids), Phototoxic medications: (antibiotcs, anti-epilepsy drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

  • What is Chloasma?

    Chloasma is a skin condition that can affect 50-70% of pregnant women. Also known as melasma or 'the mask of pregnancy,' chloasma is characterized by symmetrical patches of dark skin, commonly seen on the cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin, that can resemble a mask pattern, almost like a raccoon. People with darker complexions who tend to tan well are more likely to develop this condition. Chloasma occurs most often during the summertime, due to increased sun exposure.

    The exact cause of chloasma is a mystery. What is known is that ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun causes melanocytes, or pigment cells, to overproducemelanin, which is what gives skin its distinct color; the more melanin present, the darker the skin color. Think of it as adding food coloring to icing; the more you add, the richer the color of the
    icing.Hormone fluctuations are also partially to blame for chloasma.Moms-to-be aren't the only ones susceptible to chloasma. Women who are taking hormone replacement medication and/or contraceptives can also develop this condition, and some men do, too. In fact, approximately 1 in every 4 women and 1 in every 20 men will develop chloasma.The good news is that chloasma generally fades away a few months after a woman gives birth or discontinues hormone medication. In some cases, repeated pregnancies can intensify chloasma. Similarly, even if you don't develop this condition with your first pregnancy, it can still occur with subsequent pregnancies.