Your Toughest Skin Questions, Answered

Q: Are there products that help with discolorations from mosquito bites?A: Yes, there are products that can help. There are many categories, but hydroquinones work the best.The over-the-counter hydroquinones (fade creams) are Ambi and Esoterica. These are both 2-percent hydroquinones. Prescription hydroquinones start at 4 percent and go up.  EpiQuin Micro and MyBody Sledgehammer Intensive Skin Lightener are examples of prescription strength fade creams that your doctor can give you.Dot these products on the dark mark left from a mosquito bite twice a day, using sunscreen during daylight hours, and be sure to reapply the sunscreen throughout the day.MORE: Sun-Damaged Skin Looks OlderIf fade creams do not work, these patients should seek the help of a board-certified dermatologist. They may need doctor-strength chemical peels or even laser treatments with the Fraxel Re:store laser.Q: I am 41 and have little bumps that look like whiteheads on my chin. Could it be from hormones?A: Yes, the little white bumps on your chin could be due to hormones.  At 41 years old, you could be shifting into perimenopause (welcome to my world). Jawline acne in general is usually stress related or hormonal.I would recommend you seek the help of a board-certified dermatologist. He or she can assess you, confirm that it is acne and give you proper prescriptions to treat these breakouts and prevent scarring.Some of the popular prescriptions to treat perimenopausal acne include:Aczone, Finacea, Differin and Veltin. Occasionally, acne can be more difficult to treat and may require oral antibiotics or even Accutane.I also recommend chemical peels with glycolic or salicylic acid, not picking your pimples and using oil-free makeup, sunscreen and moisturizer.MORE: Can Food Cause Acne?Q: I have extremely oily skin. If I wash my face now, within the next five minutes, it starts to get oily again. What can I do to reduce it?A:  As you obviously have extremely oily skin, you should seek the help of a dermatologist. You may need a prescription for a facial wash for oily skin. These include benzoyl peroxides or sodium sulfacetamides.MORE: How Your Skin AgesYou need to only use oil-free sunscreen during the day and skip the moisturizer.  Additionally, you must use oil-free makeup as well.Blot pads, mattifiers and drying topical anti-acne medications may also help.Finally, get your hormone levels checked by a dermatologist or an OBGYN—you may have issues with your androgen levels that are leading you to be so oily.Q: Is there any way to permanently remove wrinkles?A: This is a tough question. It depends on where the wrinkles are and how deep they are. It also depends on how old you are and how long you have had them.Everyone is unique, so I would recommend a cosmetic consultation (with me, if you are nearby New Jersey!) or one of my peers. We dermatologists love to assess faces—this is what we do for a living. If the lines are just starting between your eyebrows, the answer is absolutely yes! We can use Botox every three to four months for years.  Botox is not permanent, as we all know, but when used properly you will never get the wrinkle!QUIZ: How Healthy Is Your Skin?“Permanently” removing wrinkles can sometimes be performed by doing a full face lift.  Again, you must be assessed by a plastic surgeon and after you have a face lift, you will still get more wrinkles.Be sure to adopt good habits, which include daily sunscreen, not smoking, proper diet and exercise. This way you can put your best face forward.Q: I have vitiligo. Someone recommended laser treatments, and I was wondering if that helps. Also, I have tried a lot of cover creams, but is there one you recommend?A: Vitiligo is very difficult to treat. Laser treatment with the Excimer laser may work in some cases. Multiple treatments are required.Topical products used to treat vitiligo include protopic ointment 0.1 percent, which may work as an immune stimulator.My favorite cover-up creams include Dermablend and Cover FX.

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