Surprising Acne Causes and Treatments


Diet and Acne

A Q&A with renowned acne expert Dr. Whitney Bowe

Advances in acne treatments have been few and far between over the years, leaving more than 50 million people in the U.S. suffering from the condition. Is it time we began approaching treatment from a new perspective? Our 3-part conversation with dermatologist and acne expert Whitney Bowe, M.D., sheds light on very new findings regarding this persistent skin condition. In Part 1 of our Q&A with Dr. Bowe we look at underlying causes of acne.

What are some of the most common misconceptions about the causes of acne?

Myths surrounding acne are almost as ubiquitous as the skin problem itself.  Many people think that dirt causes acne, which leads them to use abrasive cleansing techniques that make the condition worse.  Another common misconception is that acne is contagious; you can’t “catch” acne by getting close to someone with acne or using her makeup brushes.  Yet another myth is that wearing makeup or moisturizer causes or exacerbates acne, but that’s definitely not true!  You just have to select the right products (I tell my patients to look for words like non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic).

What role does diet play in the cause and treatment of acne?

Although initially considered controversial, recent studies have prompted dermatologists to revisit the link between diet and acne.  The strongest evidence to date suggests that foods with a high Glycemic Index (GI) can exacerbate acne.  Certain dairy products, particularly skim milk, are also linked with acne.  Some smaller, preliminary studies suggest a possible role for probiotics, certain types of fish oil, and antioxidants in the treatment of acne as well.  Although dietary modifications can make a difference in an individual’s acne, they are only a small part of the treatment plan and meant to be used in conjunction with tried and true therapies.

Tell me more about Glycemic Index and how it factors into acne.

Diets that include many foods that are high on the Glycemic Index (GI) appear to exacerbate acne.  The GI has to do with a food’s potential to increase blood glucose and insulin.  Ingestion of high-GI foods triggers a cascade of endocrine responses that may promote acne through androgens, growth hormones and cell signaling pathways.  Foods with a GI of less than 55 are Low – I encourage patients with acne to consider adding these foods to their diet.  Foods with a GI of more than 70 are High—I recommend avoiding these foods when possible.

How can dairy affect acne?

Certain dairy products may make acne worse, especially skim milk. Although the mechanism remains unclear, hormones and/or growth factors in dairy products might be the culprit.  Ingestion of milk, and skim milk in particular, is associated with high blood levels of a growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).  If a patient believes that certain dairy products might be aggravating his or her acne, I encourage that person to try some dairy-free alternatives that also have a low GI.  Almond milk has a low GI (30), is low calorie and cholesterol-free. In my patients who choose to eliminate dairy altogether, I make sure they supplement with calcium and vitamin D.

If diet is indeed linked to acne, how might gut flora relate to acne?

There appears to be enough supportive evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract itself, are contributing factors in the acne process and the maintenance of healthy skin. Here are some steps that are involved in what I like to call the “gut-brain-skin axis:”

  • Psychological distress alone, or in combination with processed foods devoid of fiber, can slow gut motility and alter the GI flora.  This has been shown to lead to increased intestinal permeability (a “leaky gut”).
  • An unhealthy or leaky gut results in a cascade of events that affects the skin.  Not only are markers of systemic inflammation increased, but substance P (a molecule that leads to inflammation and oil production) is also elevated, and insulin sensitivity is decreased.
  • This cascade is thought to exacerbate acne and result in irritated, inflamed skin.

How can probiotics help acne?

Probiotics help restore the normal intestinal barrier, decreasing inflammation and halting that detrimental cascade of events described above.  Probiotics and their metabolites also interact with what’s called the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue, or GALT.  This lymphoid tissue makes up 70 percent of the body’s immune system. That interaction is critical in how the immune system responds to pathogens, allergens or commensal bacteria in the future.  Oral probiotics have been shown to regulate the release of inflammatory molecules (cytokines) within the skin, particularly IL-1 alpha (interleukin 1 alpha).  Oral probiotics have also been shown to reduce insulin resistance, which we now know plays a role in acne.

Advanced Dermatology P.C. Announces Opening of “SIMPLY POSH” Aesthetic Spa Featuring “BELLA CONTOUR” FDA-Cleared System Offers Advanced, Non-Invasive Body Sculpting

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Advanced Dermatology P.C. Announces Opening of “SIMPLY POSH” Aesthetic Spa Featuring “BELLA CONTOUR” FDA-Cleared System Offers Advanced, Non-Invasive Body Sculpting

Advanced Dermatology P.C., a leading dermatology practice with nine offices in New York and New Jersey and more than twenty doctors, announces the opening of Simply Posh, a medical aesthetic spa. All spa services are under the direction of our board-certified dermatologists and cosmetic and plastic surgeons and will include a full range of aesthetic spa services including facials, peels, massages, a broad range of laser and cosmetic treatments, and Bella Contour.

Roslyn, NY (PRWEB) July 23, 2012

Advanced Dermatology P.C.,a leading dermatology practice with nine offices in New York and New Jersey, more than twenty doctors, and twenty-five years of experience, announces the opening of Simply Posh, a medical aesthetic spa located at Advanced Dermatology’s new office on the Roslyn/Albertson, NY border. “Simply Posh is an exciting advance for our patients and for the general public,” says Dr. Joshua L. Fox, founder and medical director of Advanced Dermatology. “All spa services are under the direction of our board-certified dermatologists and cosmetic and plastic surgeons. We offer a full range of aesthetic spa services including facials, peels, massages, a broad range of laser and cosmetic treatments, and Bella Contour. For this innovative non-invasive body sculpting technique, we are the first to offer it on the North Shore of Long Island.”
Bella Contour provides a proven safe and effective solution for fast, targeted body contouring in common problem areas, such as the abdomen, “love handles,” buttocks and thighs. It has been used to treat more than 100,000 people around the world. The treatment is painless and delivers immediate, clearly visible and long-lasting results: a more sculpted appearance, tighter skin, reduced cellulite and reduced circumference measurements. In one study of 1,000 people, more than 90% achieved at least a 4 cm (1.57 inch) reduction in waist circumference after a series of treatments. Bella Contour has been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of cellulite. Research studies have demonstrated that it is also highly effective for body contouring and circumference reduction.

Jayme Bashian, aesthetic consultant and medical aesthetician at Simply Posh, reflects customers’ enthusiasm for results: “The Bella Contour system has been a great addition to the Spa. So many people complain about love handles, tummy bulge, arms, cellulite and saddle bags! With Bella Contour patients actually see a real change, most often after one treatment,” notes Ms. Bashian.

Bella Contour works by stimulating the fat cells, which causes the release of lipids and triglycerides that are then eliminated as part of the body’s natural metabolic process. It combines three proven fat reduction methods. First, ultrasound causes a vibration effect that promotes the release of fat from the cells. Next, interferential therapy creates electric currents that increase the permeability of the cells, allowing the lipids and triglycerides to escape through the cell wall. Finally, vacuum therapy increases blood flow in the treated area, encouraging the transport of the fats into the blood stream and then to the liver, where they become available for conversion to energy by the body’s metabolism. The lipids and triglycerides that are released during a session of Bella Contour are available to be used as energy for 48 hours post-treatment. Thus, it is advised that patients make a conscious effort to be physically active during that period for optimal results.

During a Bella Contour treatment, a transducer is gently moved across the targeted area, causing a warm, massage-like effect. Patients enjoy the feeling. The treatment lasts roughly 50 minutes. After a Bella Contour treatment, regular activities can be resumed immediately and skin looks completely normal, without any signs of treatment. Patients are advised to walk for at least 15 minutes after treatment to convert recently-released fat into energy. For best results, 8 to 10 treatment sessions are recommended, although patients may stop as soon as they achieve satisfactory results.

Dr. Fox concludes: “Bella Contour is a natural, non-surgical procedure with no known side effects. In addition to sculpting the body, the procedure also works to smooth cellulite and improve the quality of skin. We’re pleased to offer Bella Contour to our patients and to the general public as part of the full range of luxurious and therapeutic services at Simply Posh.”
Jayme Bashian is a New York State Licensed Medical Aesthetician. After receiving her Bachelors degree in education, Jayme received her aesthetic degree from the Long Island Skin Institute. Jayme comes with many years of experience working in aesthetic medical settings alongside doctors specializing in advanced aesthetics and cosmetic surgery. She remains current in the constantly-evolving field of skin care and cosmetic treatments by routinely attending workshops, journals, continuing education seminars, and by working extensively with Advanced Dermatology’s experienced dermatologists and plastic surgeons.

Vote Advanced Dermatology for the Best of Long Island 2013!


Vote Advanced Dermatology for the Best of Long Island 2013!

Advanced Dermatology has been chosen in 5 categories as a finalist for “Best of Long Island 2013” by the Long Island Press! We greatly appreciate your vote for us in the following categories:

  • Botox: Advanced Dermatology PC
  • Cosmetic Surgeon: Jason Applebaum, MD/Advanced Dermatology PC
  • Day Spa: Simply Posh Spa Albertson
  • Dermatologist: Joshua L. Fox, MD/Advanced Dermatology PC
  • Laser Treatment Center: Advanced Dermatology PC
  • Plastic Surgery Group: Advanced Dermatology PC
Vote for us at:

Excimer lasers work more than skin deep

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Excimer lasers work more than skin deep

Advanced Dermatology medical experts on the newest approach to treating vitiligo and psoriasis.

October 02, 2012
October 2012 – Before his tragic death, some people thought Michael Jackson tried to lighten his skin. In reality, the star battled with vitiligo, an auto immune condition in which the skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines the color of skin, hair and eyes. If the cells that produce melanin die or no longer form melanin, slowly growing white patches of irregular shapes appear on the skin. According to Dr. Joshua Fox, founder and director of Advanced Dermatology and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, “vitiligo affects all races, but it is especially devastating for persons whose normal skin color is brown or black because the whiteness is accentuated by the patients’ contrasting color.”

Dr. Fox adds, “similar to vitiligo, psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans annually.” This non-contagious condition often appears on the skin as red, scaly patches that itch and bleed. Up to 30 percent of people with the disease develop psoriatic arthritis, and recent studies indicate that patients are also at increased risk for other associated health conditions, including heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.

Psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system that speeds up the growth cycle of the skin. In normal skin, new cells surface about once a month, but with psoriasis, new cells surface in just three to five days. These cells build up into thick patches that have a silvery, flaking crust. Stress is a common trigger of psoriasis, along with diet, medications, cuts, scrapes, and allergies. Psoriasis frequently occurs between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can appear at any time. Treatments ranging from topical to systemic can clear the symptoms but it is incurable.

New Laser treatments for psoriasis and vitiligo
Today, using a specific laser that emits a narrow 308 wavelength of ultraviolet light B (UVB) is an effective treatment for psoriasis and vitiligo. There are two types of UVB treatment, broadband and narrowband, which release a smaller range of ultraviolet light that penetrates the skin and slows the growth of affected skin cells “Several studies indicate that narrow-band UVB clears psoriasis and vitiligo faster and produces longer remissions with less risk,” says Christopher Byrne, MPAS, RPA-C of New York-based Advanced Dermatology and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. “It may also be effective with fewer treatments per week than broadband.”

The Excimer laser, approved by the FDA in 2000, emits a high-intensity beam of UVB. According to research presented at the spring conference of the American Academy of Dermatology, this narrowband device is used in vitiligo patients with less extensive disease on the face. One major advantage says Byrne is that you only treat the affected areas and the unaffected areas are spared.

“Narrowband UVB therapy is widely viewed as safer and more effective than broadband UVB therapy,” says Dr. Joshua Fox, founder and director of Advanced Dermatology and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. “Because the focused laser beam avoids unaffected skin, much higher doses of UVB can be administered.” Until Excimer therapy arrived, certain areas like the scalp, palms and soles, where often resistant to treatment.

“Millions of people worldwide suffer with vitiligo and psoriasis,” adds Dr. Fox. “The good news is that with newer lasers therapies, people are seeing more relief today than ever before and we are hopeful for continued developments in new therapies for even better results for patients.”

Joshua Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., founder and director of New York & New Jersey-based Advanced Dermatology, PC & the Center for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery.
Christopher Byrne, MPAS, RPA-C Physician Assistant with Advanced Dermatology and the Center for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery.

Advanced Dermatology P.C., the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is a premier medical practice with eight locations throughout Long Island, Queens, Manhattan and New Jersey. The practice provides cutting edge medical, laser & cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery services. Each board certified physician in the practice is recognized as an expert in his or her specialty. Collectively they are active lecturers, media guests, authors and researchers.