It’s that time of year when the weather is getting nicer and we want to be out more to show our fabulous selves. With basketball, golf, NASCAR and tennis sporting events on the horizon, stepping out this spring with great skin is a must. However, if you suffer with acne, sometimes going out is the last thing you want to do.
Women from all backgrounds and skin types suffer with acne. It is a common annoyance for many women, and for those with hormonal, cystic acne like me, it can be downright depressing. To get answers, I reached out to Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a board certified dermatologist practicing in Manhattan and New Jersey to get to the truth about acne. She dispelled many myths and provided information to help us get clear, beautiful skin:
JGS: Adult acne almost seems like an oxymoron, yet it’s so prevalent among women. What is the root cause of adult acne?
RB: Acne is caused by clogged pores, bacteria, and hormones. Adult women have all three causes, but it’s thought to be the hormones that really drive the cystic acne.
JGS: What are some of the things women should not do during a break out?
RB: Never pick at the breakout-it makes marks and scars that take a long time to heal. Scrubbing also is ineffective and can make things worse by irritating the skin.
JGS: Is there any link to particular foods that can cause breakouts? Are there any foods that can help minimize breakouts?
RB: In some patients, foods do play a role. Often alcohol, chocolate, spicy foods, cheese, especially if the breakouts are around the mouth. I am unaware of any foods that help breakouts go away.
JGS: With hormonal acne, will something more than topical agents be necessary to curb breakouts?
RB: Yes, often we need birth control pills, and or spironolactone which is another pill, but many of my patients don’t want to take these medicines. We can also use oral antibiotics which are extremely helpful. Sometimes patients will need or want to take Isotretinoin or Accutane. We also offer laser or light therapy which is useful such as Photodynamic Therapy, Isolaz Acne Treatments, Smoothbeam laser, as well as chemical peels. For individual cysts, injections done by a good board certified dermatologist can shrink the break out quickly.
JGS: What should women do during break outs?
RB: Topical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide can help dry up a pimple. Call your dermatologist and get in for an injection to reduce the cyst. Oral antibiotics are helpful. For true adult cystic acne you need a great dermatologist who is willing to squeeze you in for injections whenever you need them.
JGS: How can women minimize breakouts?
RB: We minimize break outs with a great skin care program. Washes, creams/gels, oral antibiotics, birth control pills, etc. If a woman is on a good program the breakouts will be minimal and she will have a plan to treat the breakout such as increasing her antibiotics, calling and going in for an injection if needed.
JGS: Are there specific skin care regimens a woman should follow based on ethnicity?
RB: Not in my opinion for adult acne. Darker skin types should be careful with some of the topical creams to use them uniformly because they can lighten the skin and we don’t want the skin looking patchy.
JGS: Can cosmetic procedures such as laser treatments help or hurt acne-prone skin?
RB: Occasionally, a laser procedure can make someone’s acne worse. There are so many different laser procedures, it really depends on the laser. For example, we use Fraxel laser to treat acne scars all the time, but I have my acne prone patients on antibiotics to prevent a breakout. There are lasers that are FDA approved for acne such as Smoothbeam laser, and the acne usually gets better, not worse.
JGS: Talk about the skincare product line. How does it differ from others?
RB: We have large skin care product line, but I believe you are referring to our acne kits which come in level 1 and 2. They are an easy twice daily program with great chemicals that help exfoliate, kill bacteria, and fade marks. The exfoliating pads are for the morning or after the gym, and there is a great wash for twice a day and gel to use at night. It also comes with a light moisturizer that will not make you break out. Our program is a lot stronger than many of the over the counter kits and products that our patients buy. Ours is not for very mild acne or sensitive skin. Its really for moderate to severe acne, and its best to be used in conjunction with other treatments such as lasers or peels or pills or lights if the acne is bad enough.
*NOTE* – I had the opportunity to try the acne kit and I must say it’s amazing! Not only does my skin feel smooth, but it’ is clear, and it is the first time in a long time that I didn’t have a nasty breakout around the time of my menstrual cycle. The wash seems to have exfoliating properties and the cleansing pads work great to refresh my skin and pick up any dirt I may have left behind. The strength of the product means I don’t have to use as much to get good results. It’s definitely a must-have!
JGS: As women now will be out more, to games, etc. what are the daily must-do’s for skin care?
Wash twice daily, avoid the sun, use sunblock and a hat, reapply your sunscreen. If you have skin problems, see a great board certified dermatologist.
Dr. Rebecca Baxt specializes in acne. To order her acne product line check out: www.cosmedical.com. You can also reach Dr. Baxt via social media:
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/cosmedicalnj
If you live in the New Jersey and/or New York City area, check out her offices:201-265-1300 x5 351 Evelyn Street/ Paramus, NJ 07652 ***********
New York Office
635 Madison Avenue 3rd Floor/ New York, NY 10022
We’ll continue our discussion with Dr. Baxt talking about the cosmetic procedures available to keep skin beautiful!
Stay tuned Jersey Girls. We’re on our way to beautiful!
Your Jersey Girlfriend,