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There are a few very basic recommendations and practices that should be included in any basic skin care regimen. Appropriate moisturization and exfoliation, protection from harmful UV radiation, and avoidance of the significant damage caused by harsh toxins such as those found in cigarette smoke. And certainly, especially in patients with lighter skin tone, the use of topical retinoids.
Retinoids are a class of chemical compound commonly found in cosmetic creams and have long been used to treat various skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
A study published in this month’s Journal of Drugs in Dermatology explores the efficacy and tolerability of two topical treatments for photoaging, photodamage, and fine lines/wrinkles on the face. The study compares two commonly used retinoid compounds, retinol and tretinoin.
Retinol is an over the counter compound found in many cosmetic creams marketed to treat wrinkles and to rejuvenate the skin. Tretinoin is a similar but much more potent compound available through prescription only. It is also frequently harsher on the skin then retinol and causes more burning and dryness.
The results of the study were impressive, with patients noting significant improvement in wrinkles and brown spots. The study found that the cream containing retinol was just as effective as the prescription strength tretinoin cream in treating sun damage as well as fine lines and wrinkles and brown spots.
While this can motivate discussion on multiple levels, the take home message is clear. Not only is good skin care important for your health, but it will also improve your appearance. The study used products from SkinMedica, a skin care line that we at Advanced Dermatology have supported and sold for some time now, because it works.
Take care of your skin. You only get one face. Treat it well.
Dr. Smart was born in Salt Lake City and grew up climbing and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and must have enjoyed the harsh winters of the upper Midwest so much that he decided to stay in nearby Chicago to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. With a particular interest in laser and cosmetic medicine, as well as general dermatology, Dr. Smart is excited to join the Advanced Dermatology team as the laser and cosmetic fellow.