Today Acne Troubles Are More Than Skin-Deep: NY Dermatologist Joshua Fox, MD on acne-related depression and acne treatment

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Today Acne Troubles Are More Than Skin-Deep: NY Dermatologist Joshua Fox, MD on acne-related depression and acne treatment

Roslyn, NY, January 2011 – In today’s fast culture of beauty and fashion, embarrassment and frustration over appearance is common among acne sufferers. Recent studies, however, show that the emotions don’t end there.

Two Scandinavian studies published this fall link acne and depression – even suicide – in profound ways. A study of Norwegian teens suffering from severe acne showed that girls were twice as likely and boys three times as likely to report having suicidal thoughts as those with little or no acne. Another study, from Sweden, linked suicidal attempts with teens and adults who have severe acne.

“We see a lot of frustration among patients who are suffering from acne,” says Dr. Joshua A. Fox, founder and director of New York-based Advanced Dermatology and the Center for Laser &, Cosmetic Surgery. “Unfortunately, in some patients this sometimes translates into a sense of hopelessness about their situation which leaves them depressed. At 16 or 36, being incredibly unhappy with your appearance can lead to feelings of despair. It’s important to know that there are treatments – more than ever, thanks to science and new technologies – that can help.”

Affecting nearly 50 million Americans, acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Nearly 85 percent of all people have acne at some point in their lives, and by mid-teens, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne or acne scarring.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to acne intervention, but there are ways to find the treatment that is right for you,” says Dr. Fox. “Knowing when to seek help from a dermatologist, and then with that doctor finding the personalized appropriate treatment for your particular situation are key to giving yourself the best chance to get acne under control.”

Dr. Fox recommends looking into treatment when acne begins to bother you, but stresses the importance of early intervention since it can prevent permanent scarring and psychological trauma. He also warns against buying into the myths that surround acne. “Worrying about the untruths that are told about what causes acne does nothing positive for one’s self esteem nor for one’s acne,” says Dr. Fox. Acne is not caused by poor hygiene and diet.

The truth is that acne is promoted by three major factors: the overproduction of oil by enlarged oil glands in the skin; blockage of the hair follicles that release oil; and growth of bacteria within the hair follicles.

Other myths abound about what will cure acne, and desperate acne sufferers may wish they were true, says Dr. Fox. Still, getting a tan or putting toothpaste on them isn’t likely to cure pimples. And, the most common potentially harmful myth about what can scare away a pimple is that you should pop or pinch it. “In fact, this might cause you to get an unsightly scar and possibly more acne,” says Dr. Fox.

Today’s treatment options

What does work varies by patient, and fortunate for acne sufferers there are more options today for treatment than ever before. In 2004, more than $2.2 billion was spent on acne treatment, including substantial costs for prescription and over-the-counter products.

Most acne patients begin with over-the-counter topical medications that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Prescription topical ointments can include these topical antibiotics, sulfer, or azelaic acid – a natural material that kills bacteria in the skin so will help clear and prevent acne caused by bacteria. Oral medications include antibiotics that now can be taken once a day, oral contraceptives and stronger medications like Accutane that can treat severe acne cysts. Retonoids including Retina A, Differin, and Tazarac all work by stopping pimples from forming under the surface of the skin.

New prescription topical drugs came out in 2009 and 2010 that combine ingredients proven to fight acne alone for better effectiveness. These include Epiduo® gel which combines benzoyl peroxide to clear up pimples and the retinoid adapalene to prevent new ones from forming. Acanya gel combines benzoyl peroxide with an antibiotic. CLENZIderm® M.D. gel has been on the market a few years and contains a patented, solubilized form of benzoyl peroxide said to help it penetrate deep into the follicle and treat acne where it starts.

In 2009, all patients in one preliminary study who received a combination of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with a photosensitizer known as topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) experienced complete clearance of their acne. PDT works by using laser or light energy – in this case a pulsed dye laser was used – to activate the ALA, which penetrates into the oil glands and is applied to the skin one hour prior to treatment. As it penetrates, ALA binds to the oil glands and sensitizes the cells to light.

Other laser and light therapies (like blue light and smooth beam laser) have become more common in the treatment of acne, as are chemical peels that destroy parts of the skin in a controlled way so that new skin can grow in its place.

“No matter the treatment, one of the most important things to remember is to stick with the medication or physical treatment long enough to allow them to take effect, which might be six to eight weeks,” says Dr. Fox.

One acne therapy for which the jury is still out? Treatment by iPhone. This year saw the introduction of AcneApp, which purportedly zaps zits by light therapy that works by holding the phone to your skin. So far, no clinical trials prove that this works. Dr. Fox doubts that this will be effective.

About Dr. Fox:  Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., earned his medical degree from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He completed an internship at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, followed by a three-year dermatology residency at the New York University School of Medicine. A Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Fox is a leading authority in the field of dermatology, with an expertise in skin cancer, acne, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures and is the author of many dermatologic publications.  He is the founder and director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. of New York and New Jersey and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and is a spokesman for both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. He is the director of a fellowship program in Laser & Cosmetic Surgery. http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com/index.html. Dr. Fox is also the founder and President of The New Age Research Foundation, a national, non-profit [501 (C) (3)] health organization committed to improving the quality of life of those with skin conditions through research and education.

Health News on Losing the Post C-Section Bulge Today: Dermatologist Dr. Mohiba Tareen Explains Non-Surgical Fat Removal Technique and Describes Its Success on Her Own “Cesarean Pouch”.

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Health News on Losing the Post C-Section Bulge Today:  Dermatologist Dr. Mohiba Tareen Explains Non-Surgical Fat Removal Technique and Describes Its Success on Her Own “Cesarean Pouch”.

Roslyn, NY (PRWEB) January 5, 2011

With the cesarean section rate on the upswing in the United States, also growing is the number of women seeking ways to reduce the “c-section bulge” that often sits just above the scar. A new safe and fast fat removal technique may be the answer, says Dr. Mohiba Tareen, clinical instructor in Dermatology at Columbia University and cosmetic dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology of New York and New Jersey, who recently used the new laser system herself.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, nearly one third (32%) of all births were cesarean deliveries, a number that has been growing steadily for the past two decades. Many women who have had c-sections complain about a bulge or pouch just above their surgical scar that is very resistant to diet and exercise.

Until recently, in fact, the only sure way to remove that extra fat was through surgery, liposuction or a tummy tuck. However, says Dr. Tareen, the Zeltiq Cool Sculpting system shows promise in helping women regain their pre-pregnancy shape. “As a board-certified dermatologist on staff at Columbia University, I am sometimes skeptical of claims made by manufacturers of the new laser systems for skin tightening and weight loss,” Dr. Tareen says. “However, I am pleasantly surprised by Zeltiq. I underwent a one-hour treatment on my abdominal area, on the area above my c-section incision, and within four weeks I began seeing excellent results.

“It is a ‘dirty little secret’ that women often develop a little pouch of tissue above their cesarean scars due to tissue laxity. This area is quite difficult to treat even after all of the pregnancy weight has been lost. I treated this area and am seeing a great flattening and tightening effect,” Dr. Tareen says. “Zeltiq has accomplished what I could not do with diet and exercise, including weekly two-hour abdominal exercise classes. This new procedure, which is safe, non-surgical and affordable, gives hope to all the other mothers who have had c-sections.”

Zeltiq is one of only two non-invasive fat-reduction methods to be approved by the Food & Drug Administration. The procedure’s CoolSculpting device uses controlled cooling (selective cryolipolysis) to essentially freeze fat cells in the area being treated. The cold causes the fat inside the cells to crystallize, which kills the cells and allows them to be reabsorbed into the body. According to Dr. Joshua Fox, director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. of NY and NJ and a spokesman for both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, fat cells, like all other types of cells in the body, die naturally on their own. “Zeltiq speeds the process, reducing the number of fat cells in the area being treated and reducing the overall mass of fat in that area.” After about three or four months (the time it takes the cells to die and disappear), you’ll see a slimmer bulge, he says.

About the size of a fat paperback novel, the Zeltiq device is attached to a small hose that delivers suction. During treatment, the doctor skillfully places the device over the area to be treated, where it pulls the bulge into place and administers a dose of fat-freezing cold; a treatment lasts about an hour. “Most people report little to no pain or discomfort,” says Dr. Fox. “You’ll feel a slight tug and your skin getting cold, then going numb as the cells are frozen.” Following the procedure patients might see some redness or rarely bruising, but most patients say they don’t see any negative effects. Although most patients get significant improvement with just one treatment, the area can be retreated for more dramatic improvement.

Dr. Fox says that while Zeltiq just may be the answer new moms are seeking to help them look and feel better about their appearance, women should consider the following when considering a Zeltiq removal procedure:

  • Do you have a noticeable bulge above your c-section scar that you would like to reduce?
  • Do you want natural-looking results without surgical intervention?
  • Do you want a procedure with minimal pain or discomfort?
  • As a new parent, do you need a procedure with no downtime?
  • Do you prefer a natural process over drugs, chemicals or surgery?

About Dr. Mohiba Khan Tareen: Dr. Tareen is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She continued her post-graduate studies at the University, where she earned her medical dregree and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Tareen completed her dermatology residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. During this time she also lectured extensively and has had her work published in the medical literature. She is currently a clinical instructor in dermatology at Columbia, where she actively teaches the dermatology residents. Dr. Tareen completed a Cosmetic and Laser Fellowship in advanced aesthetic techniques. She is a member of the American Association of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the Women’s Dermatologic Society.

About Dr. Fox: Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., earned his medical degree from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He completed an internship at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, followed by a three-year dermatology residency at the New York University School of Medicine. A Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Fox is a leading authority in the field of dermatology, with an expertise in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures. He is the founder and director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. of New York and New Jersey and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and is a spokesman for both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. He is the director of a fellowship program in Laser & Cosmetic Surgery. http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com/