Skin Flaws, Correcting (cont.)

The treatment for pores includes daily exfoliation with either a scrub soap, washcloth, done gently. Next is to apply either a tretinoin product from your dermatologist (Retin A, Tazorac, Differin) nightly. Microdermabrasion by a professional is also helpful if done weekly and used with a prescription grade tretinoin. Daily use of SAL acid in leave-on lotions, as well as retinol over the counter can be helpful for this chronic condition. In all cases, we are unplugging the pore and clearing it of oil and debris, but unfortunately we are unable to shrink the sebaceous gland that lies beneath.

What can I do to hide or get rid of bug bite scars on my legs and broken capillaries on my nose?

The bug bite scars are most likely pigmentation after the bite has healed. The pigmentation on the legs is slow to resolve, compared with other parts of the body like the face, due to poor circulation.

You can try a bleaching/lightening agent that contains hydroquinone. I also suggest to my patients who are going into mosquito-infested areas to get a prescription of a strong topical steroid gel to have on hand. This medicine is helpful to apply immediately to the bite so that it will resolve quickly and be less likely to leave a dark stain behind.

Facial veins, unlike leg veins, respond beautifully to laser treatment. For best results, see a dermatologist who has either the VersaPulse Laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device. Within one or two treatments, your red facial veins will disappear.

"Melanoma is on the rise. In the 1930s one in 400 people got melanoma and today it's 1 in 70."

I have had a light-brown birthmark pigmentation on my right mid-thigh all my life. In the last two years it has changed to bright red in color, has widened in shape and now has a mass-textured feeling to it. Should I be concerned enough to visit my family doctor? What might these changes represent?

Please see your doctor as soon as possible. Moles should not change, and this one certainly has. Call today.

In general, if a mole changes in size, shape or color, it is important to have it checked by your dermatologist. If it's larger than a pencil eraser, if it went from flat to raised (even slightly raised),has gone from a round border to an irregular border or changed any in color (not necessarily black, red is also suspicious) these could all be early symptoms of a melanoma.

While we are talking about melanoma, what are the important things we need to do to avoid melanoma?

First off, be very wise about sun exposure. As much as possible, limit your time in the sun and wear a truly broad spectrum sunscreen containing either zinc oxide or avobenzone.

Never, never visit a tanning salon! In spite of the ads, these salons do not deliver a safe tan.

I also recommend to my fair complexioned patients and those with many moles, to see a dermatologist regularly, at least once or twice a year, to have their moles checked and possibly documented with photography. The key to melanoma is early detection and diagnosis.

Melanoma is on the rise. In the 1930s one in 400 people got melanoma and today it's 1 in 70. Melanoma, when caught early and treated via surgical excision, can be curable. If detected late, it is deadly. Any lesion, including a brown or black pigmented one or even a red bump that is persistent, changing or new, should immediately be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist.

What can I do for rosacea?

Rosacea is a very common condition whereby the facial skin will flush and blush. The skin will flush with embarrassment, wine, weather changes, exertion and many different kinds of foods. Simple rubbing or cosmetic ingredients can also trigger it.

The condition is also associated with acne, where pimples form primarily on the nose, cheeks and forehead as red bumps without blackheads. The acne component of rosacea can be treated with over-the-counter benzoyl peroxides, sulfur and SAL acids on a daily basis to heal and prevent the problem. Prescription medications include topical metronidiazole, Finacea, benzoyl peroxides, and sulfurs. Oral tetracycline can be used for more severe cases.

The facial redness itself, if it is persistent and consistent with blood vessels across the face, can be improved with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) light sources by your dermatologist or by using vascular lasers. It does not cure the condition, but after several treatments the baseline color of the skin can be improved with much less facial redness.

I have some age spots on my cheeks and have used NeoStrata HQ Gel 4% for one and a half years with no result. What else can I do? I am light brown and of East Indian descent, 55 years old.

"At this time a facelift is still the gold standard to take away the loose skin in the neck juncture."

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