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Questions Posed to Advanced Dermatology P.C. and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery P.C.
By Ann Lloyd, RPA-C
Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D.
1. Does acne result from eating “junk food”?
There is no truth to the fact that junk food causes acne. However, if a certain food seems to precipitate a flare of acne, that food should be avoided. Also, foods with a high iodine or bromide concentration may cause flare-ups.
2. Will washing my face more often help my acne?
Although good hygiene is important, it has no significant bearing on the development of acne. Frequent washing, especially with harsh soaps or scrubs can make acne worse and even promote scarring.
3. Will using a buff puff or washcloth help my acne?
Any abrasive material used on the face has the potential of scarring the face and should only be used with appropriate training and recommendation of a dermatologist.
4. If my parents had acne, does that mean I will develop acne?
There are contributing factors to developing acne including (1) genetic predisposition, (2) hormonal aspects, (3) environmental exposures, (4) emotional distress (5) cosmetics.
5. Does stress cause acne?
Although stress does not cause acne, it can frequently make it worse.
6. Should I get “facials” for my acne?
Scientific studies to date have not found “facials” beneficial and may in the wrong hands, make it worse. For many people “facials” make them feel good and make their skin temporarily shiny and/or taut. However, broken blood vessels may be a potential side effect.
7. Is it all right to pick my pimples?
No. Picking your pimples often results in scarring which may be permanent. When you see your dermatologist, he/she will perform sterile acne surgery. This ominous sounding procedure is simply the opening and removing of acne lesions (i.e., papules, pustules, open and closed, comedones, and cysts), with specific instruments. This procedure in combination with prescription medications (both topical and/or oral) has been shown to be most effective in lessening marks and/or scarring.
8. Are Alphahydroxy acids good for acne?
Alphahydroxy acids are fruit acids which have minimal side effects (occasionally, mild temporary irritation). In recent studies, it has been shown that the use of alphahydroxy acids often lessens the need for oral antibiotics. Our patient’s have found it also smoothes the skin and improves the complexion.
9. As a female is the reason I have acne because I have too much male hormone?
The hormone you are talking about is an androgen. Some of the signs for androgen excess are: hirsutism (excessive hair), irregular menses, late onset acne, severe and/or therapy resistant acne. At Advanced Dermatology P.C. and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery we recommend a work-up for androgen excess in the appropriate age group. There are special treatments for this problem.
10. My acne is terrible and has not gotten better despite using every medication imaginable-is there hope?
Accutane is often the answer for this problem (cystic acne). Accutane is used when other conventional treatments have failed. This 20 week therapy consists of careful monitoring of patients. The results often appear miraculous