Updates from Dr. Lucas that will keep you current in the realm of cosmetic and medical dermatology.
What’s standing between you and the radiant complexion you’d like to project? Advertisements would have you think it’s a miracle cream. Spas would suggest you need to get in a routine of receiving facials. Non-dermatologist cosmetic surgeons might suggest a peel or laser treatment (or series) as a “fix”. On a daily basis, I see patients with mild to severe expressions of three common conditions: acne, rosacea and actinic keratoses. If you have even a mild form of any of these conditions your efforts with facials, skin creams and lasers or other cosmetic procedures run the risk of being money out the window. These three conditions need to be diagnosed and managed before embarking on cosmetic treatment plans. Once active inflammation and disease is controlled, the rejuvenating process starts to work much more efficiently.
Actinic keratoses can be subtle. And they don't look the same every day. One day they're flaky and the next it's not so bad. It's easy to just dismiss it as dry skin or for it to be misdiagnosed as rosacea. These spots need medical attention and their clearance yields tremendous cosmetic rewards.
Rosacea comes in many forms and degrees of severity. In our climate, it's easily written off as windburn or sun damage. It fluctuates in response to environmental factors, diet, sleep, stress and hormones. Every time it flares it leaves some damage behind. Blood vessels enlarge and become more visible and the inflammation has a damaging effect on the skin's texture. This can be slow and subtle or more accelerated for some. Rosacea needs to be identified and managed before effort and dollars are spent on skin treatments. Therapies range from topical to oral to laser-based therapy. (Certain lasers specifically target the rosacea process while others do not.)
Acne also comes in many forms. So many acne sufferers are eager to move past it, tired of years of being on medications and hopeful for a treatment plan that uses ingredients that fight aging, not just acne. It's important to emphasize that inflammation is the second most significant factor in skin aging. (The first is sun damage.) And so any acne must be controlled in order to keep the skin young and healthy looking.
If you are considering any kind of cosmetic treatments make sure you start with a "first things first" approach. This makes sense to my patients and helps them to sift through all of the options, information and advice one comes across when seeking healthier skin.