Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
Like many other medical
professions, dermatology is a demanding career path. Dermatologists spend years
attending medical school and have to pass a number of rigorous exams before
becoming licensed. Yet, just because a dermatologist (or any doctor for that
matter) has these two important letters (DR.) before his/her name, this doesn't
mean you should take their suggestions without questioning why.
Medical science has it
rules, and luckily there has been an upward trend in doctors attempting to
personalize treatments. Yet, this practice is still rather an exception,
not a rule.
Your dermatologist may
not always be aware of your personal situation, beliefs, and goals for
treatment. Asking questions before committing to a particular acne medication
may provide the solution to this problem. If you're unsure about the right
questions to ask, here are 6 important ones that can get the conversation
started. In addition, even when you get your answers, remember to look for
additional information through trusted sources.
There are a number of
acne-fighting products available today that are quite effective at getting rid
of breakouts. Unfortunately, these products often contain harsh, synthetic
chemicals that can do just as much harm as good. Before you agree to try a new
product, be sure to ask your dermatologist about whether there are any
ingredients in it that can potentially cause side effects, short and/or long
Yes, you can find out
how many of his or her patients have taken it with success, but you need to
more importantly find out how safe it is for YOU to take. With some
treatments, they are only supposed to be taken at a certain dosage for a
certain amount of time. Yet, your doctor may increase the dosage and length of time for
your particular case. Question this!
about ingredients is a must for people with allergies. What might be a perfectly safe product for
most people could be deadly if you have an adverse reaction to it.
You might not know it,
but acne actually starts much deeper than the skin. While the most visible
signs of acne appear on the surface, the trouble actually begins with your
hormones. When there is too much androgen in the blood, your body sends signals
to your skin's sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This excess oil clogs your
pores and sets the stage for acne-causing bacteria.
When it comes to acne
products, there are two basic varieties - those that treat the symptoms and
those that treat the cause. While symptom-treating products can improve the appearance of
your skin, without something addressing the internal causes of your acne,
you'll never see the
lasting results you want. You may decide that treating the symptoms is enough
for you, but that's a decision you can only make if you ask your dermatologist
what problems the product addresses.
Even if you ultimately
decide to go with the product in question, you should know about any
alternatives that may be available. Often times, there will be at least one
natural alternative that will be gentler but just as effective as the original product,
and it's important that you be made aware of them.
Sometimes the right
decision about whether or not to use a product won't be completely clear to
you. In this event, it may be a good idea to get a personal opinion from your
dermatologist by asking if they would use the product in question themselves.
may be perfectly content to recommend products that are costly or come with
significant side effects, but that doesn't always mean they would risk their
own skin on them. Like the rest, this question alone won't give you all the
answers you need, but if a dermatologist can't vouch personally for a product,
that's a good indication that maybe you shouldn't risk it either.
Many of the most
prescribed treatments on the market are designed to treat the most severe cases
of acne. Does that mean because you have mild or moderate acne that it
will work quicker or faster? Not necessarily. This scenario is the same
as sunscreen. Just because the potency is higher doesn't mean you need
all the extra chemicals that come with it.
Side note: our AcnEase users don't even
have to worry about this since AcnEase is a personalized natural medicine that
gives you EXACTLY what you need, when you need it.
If you ask this
question, don't be surprised if your doctor tells you to ask your pharmacist,
however, still push the question and tell them what you're currently taking
because you never know what information you might be able to get from
them. Don't just tell them about any medications you consistently take or
are currently taking short term, but also list supplements (zinc, vit B) and
vitamins or any natural medicines.
There is very little
if any published evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of many acne
medications in patients younger than 12 years of age. The American
Academy of Pediatrics has quite clear standards for what should not be used as
acne treatment for pre-teens as they are not safe. Those guidelines exclude
most adult acne prescriptive products such as antibiotics, Isotretinoin
(Accutane and generics), oral contraceptives, retinoids (Vitamin A derivatives)
and most of over the counter products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl
peroxide or phytoestrogens.
Additionally, if your
teen is using a birth control prescribed for acne treatment, this is an
off-label use - meaning it's not approved for the use of acne. Using a birth control can come
with a host of other issues.
you're visiting the doctor to eliminate symptoms or to prevent acne from
coming, you want to make sure that what they're prescribing is SAFE for your
Please ask this
question to your doctor: What
pregnancy rating does this have? You want to use something with a
pregnancy rating of A. Anything below that, you may want
to seriously reconsider. Learn more about safely
treating acne during pregnancy.
With a promise of
clear skin, Dr. A