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The type and severity of scarring needs to be assessed based on a number of factors including age, skin colour, presence of ongoing acne, etc. A dermatologist is the best person to discuss this with. Acne treatment options include laser (the new Fractionated Lasers have shown nice results, or you can use smoothbeam or another resurfacing laser), subcision or punch excision of scars, and a more modest benefit with chemical peels (remember, the deeper the peel the better the outcome, but it will mean more downtime) and microdermabrasion. Injectable fillers such as Restylane are sometimes used as well to plump out indented scars. It's critical to make sure that any acne is cleared up before going after the scars. You need to stop the fire in the house before rebuilding.
2. What's the best way to treat discolored skin?
It needs to be determined by a dermatologist why the skin is darker or discoloured in that particular area. We need to know if there was a rash or eczema, or another problem in that area. What medications have been used, (some medications can darken the skin.) The skin can be lightened with hydroquinone creams or Vitamin A acid creams (Tretinoin, Tazarotene), or a combination cream. Other times, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments can be beneficial. The use of a good daily sunscreen (minimum SPF 30, ask your dermatologist for which ingredients to look for) is also important as the sun keeps pigment from fading.
3. I have what is called milia under my eyes (tiny white pimple like bumps). Is their any product that will cover them without damaging under my eyes?
Milia seems to be more common in people who have dry skin and while it is difficult to cover up any bumps on the skin, COVERFX and Dermablend make great cover up solutions. Milia are also easily extracted with no scarring by a dermatologist with special extraction tools and minimal discomfort.
4. I started getting small bumps on my face, which appear to be kind of like blocked pores and they won't go away. How can I get rid of them/prevent them from happening?
What you're describing sounds like comedones (whiteheads and/or blackheads). Salicylic acid washes that are available over the counter can be beneficial, but often a topical Vitamin A acid (Tretinoin, Tazarotene, Adapalene) is required to keep the spots at bay. If there are numerous lesions and they are slow to respond to creams, oral Isotretinoin (Accutane) is usually successful, but usually reserved for moderate to severe acne. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can help as well.
5. I'm still young but I have a lot of deep lines and wrinkles. I've tried many creams but they don't work. What can I do?
Most over the counter creams are only modestly beneficial. Prescription creams with Vitamin A (for example Tazarotene, Tretinoin) in particular have been shown to help with fine wrinkles and other signs of sun/photo-damage in numerous studies. Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) is very popular, effective and safe, and it is particularly helpful for dynamic wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. As well, fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm are very useful for lower face, static wrinkles, especially the smile lines. Resurfacing lasers can also be tried. Surgical options are less in vogue, involve more downtime and have more potential risks. Again, a dermatologist, the only skin expert, is your best bet for more information.
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For more information on Dr. Benjamin Barankin or The Dermatology Centre in Toronto, please visit their website www.unlockyourbeauty.com or phone 416-922-9620.