Treating Acne Scars

Do you struggle with acne breakouts despite having tried several over-the-counter products? Maybe you tried an acne-free skincare routine you saw online, only to still have stubborn spots?
While some people experience breakouts that come and go without leaving a trace, sometimes acne can leave scars that may take weeks or months to fade–if they fade at all. Acne breakouts can be frustrating enough, but the scars they might leave behind can be even more aggravating.

Fortunately, just like acne, even the most stubborn acne scars are treatable. With today’s medicine, there are many treatments available that can help to remove and fade blemishes, making them less noticeable. However, before treating acne scars it is important to have your acne under control to avoid future scarring. Though there are hundreds of over-the-counter products available to help, it is easy to forget that acne is not merely cosmetic. Acne is a medical condition best treated by professionals. Our dermatologists are experts in skincare and know that with the right treatment and skincare routine, anyone and everyone can achieve clear skin.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne scars typically form from acne penetrating deep into the skin and damaging the tissues beneath the surface. Acne is an inflammatory condition and scarring occurs depending on the extent and duration of inflammation. Scarring generally occurs when there is either too little or too much collagen produced during the healing process of the breakout. Acne scarring can be worsened if the acne lesion is picked, popped, or manipulated. Our dermatologists recommend to not manipulate your acne lesions.

Type of Scars

There are a variety of acne scars that develop, but all can generally be broken into three categories:

  • Depressed Scars, also known as atrophic scars, are scars that sit below the surface of the skin and develop from a lack of collagen during the healing process or from thick collagen pulling the skin surface downward.. These depressions can vary in shape and depth.
  • Raised scars, also known as hypertrophic scars, stand above the surface and are caused by an overproduction of collagen during the healing process. They are generally red, purple, or skin-colored enlarged, firm growths.
  • Dark spots are scars left behind once the zit has cleared. They can range in colors from light tan, dark brown, red, and purple and often fade on their own after several months to years.

How Do Dermatologists Treat Acne Scars?

Before we can treat your scars, it is important to have your acne under control and treated. Additionally, it is also good to know what type of acne you have and what type of scars are left as a result. Each type and color of acne scars responds to treatment(s) differently and some treatments may be better suited for particular types of acne. Your dermatologist will conduct a thorough examination of your skin, noting where the breakouts occur and what type of acne and acne scars are present.

By undergoing this exam, we will be able to determine whether you have acne or another skin condition and create a treatment plan customized for your individual needs. We will also take into account your lifestyle, age, skin type, diet, stressors, and previous treatments you may have tried to ensure successful treatment. Your treatment will be unique to your skincare needs.

Treatment Options

Some acne scars may fade over time. For those that remain even after trying over-the-counter products, professional treatment by your board-certified dermatologist can help. Treatment will depend on the type of scar and severity. In some cases, several types of treatment may be needed for the patient’s desired results. Common acne scar treatments may include:

  • Laser or light energy resurfacing
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Microneedling
  • Microneedling with Radiofrequency treatment
  • Topical prescription medication
  • Chemical peels
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Dermal fillers

Most treatments are successful in reducing the size and visibility of acne scars. As dermatologists, we can help you to find the treatment option for your needs so you can get back to looking and feeling like the most confident version of yourself. For more information on acne scars and our treatment options or to schedule a consultation, contact The Pearl Dermatology today.

Fight Off Winter Lips

Fight Off Winter Lips

Fight Off Winter LipsThe cold,dry, outdoor air combined with indoor heating can cause your lips to become severely dried out and chapped. Add in harsh winds to a cold day and your lips are at a higher risk for ending up chapped, dry, cracked, and red. Though chapped lips are common during the dry winter months, that doesn’t mean you have to wait for spring to have supple, smooth lips. The delicate skin of your lips needs extra care during winter to stay hydrated, so use these tips to keep your lips hydrated and supple this winter.

Combat Chapped Lips

Lip Balm

Make a habit of using a hydrating lip balm daily. Reapply throughout the day as necessary and once before going to sleep. A lot of people sleep with their mouths open which can dry out the lips.

There are many lip balms to choose from, so you may need to experiment and find what works best for you or ask your dermatologist for suggestions. We recommend products that use petroleum jelly or shea butter to lock in moisture and heal cracks.

Hydrate

The most common reason for chapped lips is a lack of moisture. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body and lips hydrated.

Don’t Bite

We understand that dry lips can cause flaking and peeling which may be uncomfortable, but it’s best not to bite or pick at the peeling skin. This can irritate your lips more leading to cracks, splits, bleeding, and sores. Instead, use a heavy ointment-based balm to heal your lips.

Don’t Bite

We understand that dry lips can cause flaking and peeling which may be uncomfortable, but it’s best not to bite or pick at the peeling skin. This can irritate your lips more leading to cracks, splits, bleeding, and sores. Instead, use a heavy ointment-based balm to heal your lips. You can even try making a “lip mask” by applying Avene Cicalfate cream to the lips in a thick layer and sleep with it on all night.

We also recommend using a humidifier in your home, especially at night, if your house is dry from the heat. Don’t forget to cover your lips when you bundle up to brace for the cold outside!

Try to add these lip care tips as part of your morning, bedtime, and outdoor routines to fight off chapped lips this winter. For more information on chapped lips or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today.

Face Masks and Your Skin

Face Masks and Your Skin

Masks play a vital role in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. However, these masks can also irritate your skin, clog pores, and cause flare-ups and breakouts. This reaction can be more than just a few pimples as patients are also reporting peeling skin, rashes, and raw skin as a result of wearing masks frequently. To help reduce your risk of developing mask-related skin problems, we recommend these steps to protect your skin.

How do face masks affect our skin?

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that everyone wear a mask while in public areas and caused many to notice the toll of wearing a face mask daily. However, even before the pandemic it was widely known from healthcare workers that the constant use of a face mask can cause skin irritation.

There are three main ways that your face mask can damage your skin, including:

  • Rubbing – Masks can irritate your skin through friction leading to chafing and exposing raw skin, similar to a rug burn. The areas that are most commonly affected include the bridge of the nose and where the bands rub behind the ears. Over time, tight-fitting masks can cause the skin to break and become inflamed.
  • Irritation – Aside from contact irritation, your mask may also absorb natural oils or debris from outside that can irritate your skin leading to skin sensitivity or dryness. Residue from detergents or fabric softeners may also cause inflammation or irritation as the skin on your face can be more sensitive to chemicals. Those with skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema may experience occasional flare-ups as a result of wearing face masks frequently.
  • Clogged Pores – Facial mask also can limit the breathability of your pores increasing the risk of them becoming clogged and leading to breakouts. Masks can also create a perfect humid environment for bacteria to grow which can also contribute to breakouts and clogged pores.

What makes a good mask?

The CDC recommends that healthcare workers wear surgical masks and N95s, while the public wears cloth masks. The material of your mask affects how well it can protect you from the virus as well as how well you can breathe through it.

The best choice for your skin is a tightly woven natural fiber such as cotton as it is effective while still being gentle on your skin providing an excellent balance of protection and comfort. Your mask should fit snugly over your nose and mouth, but also comfortably.

Treating mask-related skin problems

If your skin is experiencing the effects of a face mask, here is what you can do for the most common problems.

Dryness and peelings can be the first signs of mask irritation. Over time your skin can become sensitive, red, and inflamed. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face after each use and don’t forget to apply a moisturizer and/or ointment afterward to rehydrate and soothe your skin. Applying moisturizer or petroleum jelly before wearing your mask can also help to provide an extra layer against friction, chafing, and dryness.

If you begin to notice raw skin, breaks, or fissures, apply an over-the-counter ointment and dressing bandage to the area before putting your mask back on. This will help to prevent further skin damage. Remember to also apply the ointment at night or when you are not wearing the mask to protect and heal your skin.

Mild breakouts can often be treated with classic over-the-counter acne treatments, so most patients will be able to continue using their go-to products. Keep in mind that both prescription and over-the-counter acne remedies can be irritating to the skin due to frequent mask usage, even if you didn’t experience irritation in those areas before the pandemic. In these cases, you may need to use your treatment less frequently or adjust the amount used to help your skin.

If you are unable to find relief with these methods or if the symptoms worsen, please contact our office to schedule an appointment so that we can help you find the right treatment option for you.

Ways to prevent mask-related skin issues

As masks continue to be an essential part of our daily attire, here are some helpful tips to prevent skin problems from developing underneath your mask.

  • Avoid wearing makeup beneath your mask as multiple layers of product can clog your pores or soil your mask leading to breakouts.
  • Continue to follow your treatment plan if you have prior skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis unless otherwise advised by your dermatologist.
  • Don’t start a new skincare routine unless otherwise instructed by your doctor as wearing a mask even for a short time can make your skin sensitive and react adversely to new products leading to irritation or breakouts.
  • Regularly clean your cloth masks to prevent bacteria, dirt, and debris from building up on your mask. Keep a rotation of masks on hand and wash them after every use.
  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser daily and always apply a moisturizer formulated for your skin type after.

For more information on how to handle mask-related skin conditions or to schedule an appointment with our office, please contact The Pearl Dermatology today.

Acne Cosmetica

Do you ever find that though you often wear makeup to help enhance your features, you end up having worse skin than if you had gone without wearing any? It is true that some cosmetics can cause acne, and we usually refer to this kind of acne as acne cosmetica. However, not all makeup is bad for your skin. The key to enjoying the art of makeup and maintaining healthy skin is finding a product that is right for your skin type and contains ingredients that are not harmful to your skin.

Identifying the culprit

Acne cosmetica is usually characterized by small bumps on the cheeks, chin, or forehead, and some experience whiteheads and pimples. Identifying the products used around the affected area is key to finding the culprit(s) of your acne. Take note of any changes in the products you are using, as it can take anywhere from a few days to 6 months for a reaction to occur. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep a skin care diary so you can accurately determine any patterns and make note of the ingredients in each of your products. If blemishes seem to reappear and seem to worsen, discontinue wearing makeup for a while. Oftentimes the makeup you use to cover the blemishes can make the inflammation and irritation worse.

Recovering From Acne Cosmetica Breakouts

In addition to discontinuing the use of those makeup products that seem to be the culprit of your breakout, follow these tips to help clear up your skin:

  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser at least twice a day, and after exercising or any activity that would cause you to sweat. Be sure to use a cleanser that includes the words “oil-free”, “won’t clog pores”, or “non-comedogenic” on the label. Avoid any abrasive tools used to clean your face. Instead, just use your fingertips and rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Always remove all makeup before going to bed with a gentle, oil-free makeup remover and then wash your face.
  • If you choose to continue wearing makeup, apply it very gently. Consider using makeup brushes to help control the force you use during application.
  • If you use makeup brushes, clean them on a regular basis and do not share them with others.
  • Do not share makeup.
  • If irritation continues, consider using an over-the-counter medication to help treat and heal the affected area. Look for products that contain one or more of the following ingredients:
    • Benzoyl peroxide (fights acne-causing bacteria)
    • Salicylic acid (helps unclog pores)
    • Adapalene (helps unclog pores)

If acne persists, you will want to see your dermatologist here at The Pearl  Dermatology to help sort out other factors that could be causing your acne.

For more information about acne cosmetica or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Bug Bites and Stings

Bug Bites and Stings

With warmer weather and summer on the horizon, it is important to go over proper skincare. In addition to our usual concern for protecting our skin from the sun’s rays, we also need to be aware of some threats we may encounter in the great outdoors such as bug bites and stings.

Though many of the bites and stings can be bothersome, they are mostly harmless, however, certain bugs can spread infectious diseases such as Zika Virus, Lyme Disease, Dengue fever, and Malaria. Whether a bee sting or mosquito bite, it is important to understand what to do to properly treat and prevent these irritations.

    Identifying common bug bites

It can be tricky telling what insect bit you if you weren’t aware at the time. Here are some ways to help pinpoint what summer bug might have bitten you.

  • Bed Bugs leave large circles of bites often in groups of three’s that cause itching, redness, swelling, and even blisters. Bed bugs can live in beddings, chairs, couches, curtains, and many other fabrics, including clothing.
  • Chiggers are not insects, but a common summer pest found in the outdoors. They are painless biters, but produce itchy raised red bumps that appear on the lower legs.
  • Fire Ants have both a bite and sting. These usually have a red center surrounded by lighter colored rings. Pus may develop inside the bites.
  • Fleas are common if you live with pets. Their bites begin as an itchy rash of tiny bumps often on the lower legs. The area may swell or turn white when touched.
  • Mosquito bites can be severely itchy and cause mild to moderate swelling of the skin. Mosquito bites typically have a small puncture at the center. Mosquitoes often lurk in humid, shaded areas near bodies of standing water such as pools, ponds, and lakes.
  • Ticks can pass numerous illnesses. If bitten, be sure to remove the tick if possible and watch for symptoms such as rashes, headaches, or fever which may be signs of tick-related diseases.

    Common symptoms

Symptoms can vary depending on the type of insect that bit you, however common bug bites or sting symptoms may include:

  • A small raised or red bump(s)
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Blistering

Some people may develop an allergic reaction to bug bites or stings, which is most common in stings from bees and wasps. Others may develop a more severe reaction that may require immediate medical attention. Signs of severe reactions include:

  • Difficulty breathing, chest pain, or increased heart rate
  • Hives on areas of your skin where you were not bitten
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Nausea, cramps, or vomiting
  • Swelling of the tongue, throat, lips, or face

Symptoms felt as a result of a bite or sting typically resolve within a few days if treated properly. If symptoms worsen or you do not experience relief after treatment, contact your doctor.

    Prevention Tips

Use Bug Repellent
Protect against bugs by using an insect repellent that contains at least 20-30% DEET. Spray the repellent on exposed skin and clothing. Follow the instructions on the label and reapply as
directed. Avoid using sunscreen that contains insect repellent as sunscreen must be applied liberally and often as opposed to insect repellent which should be applied sparingly.

You can pretreat clothing with insect repellent ahead of time if you plan on being out in the woods or after dark. Follow instructions carefully and allow clothes to dry for at least 2 hours before wearing them.

Wear Appropriate Clothing
If you are going into wooded areas or spending the day outside, wear the right type of clothing.

Wear light clothing that is moisture-wicking to prevent overheating, and cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toed shoes. For additional protection, pull your socks over your pants and tuck your shirt into your pants. If possible, tie back your hair or cover your head with a hat.

Use A Bed Net
During the spring and summer, many of us may consider spending the night outside. Whether in a tent or cabin, protect yourself as you sleep with a bed net. Purchase a net that has been
pre-treated with insect repellent. If it is not large enough to reach the floor, secure it underneath your mattress.

    Treatment Tricks

Sometimes despite our best efforts on prevention, bug bites may still occur. Thankfully though, most bug bites and stings can be treated safely at home.

For painful bites or stings, we recommend taking an over-the-counter pain killer, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Be sure to always follow the instructions and use the correct dosage.

Bites that itch can be some of the most bothersome, so in these cases you can apply an ice pack to the area or an over-the-counter anti-itch cream such as hydrocortisone. Another option can be to take an oral antihistamine bought from a local store.

Swelling is a common symptom of bug bites and stings and a cold compress can reduce pain and swelling.

For more information on how to prevent and treat bug bites and stings, please contact The Pearl Dermatology today.

Rosacea During the COVID-19 Crisis

by Jennifer Deaver Peterson, MD, FAAD
The Pearl Dermatology, Houston, TX

April is Rosacea Awareness Month. Rosacea, also known as acne rosacea, affects 16 million Americans. It occurs in men, women, all skin tones, and is characterized by facial redness, flushing, sensitive skin, broken blood vessels (telangiectasias), and/or acne-like lesions. Rosacea is best controlled with a combination approach of gentle skincare, prescription medications, laser/light therapy, and minimization of triggers.

Treatment

Many rosacea patients also have sun-damaged skin in the form of brown spots (lentigines). The Lumenis M22 intense pulse light (IPL) uses a spectrum of wavelengths of light to simultaneously reduce facial redness, telangiectasias, and lentigines. These treatments have the benefit of minimal to no downtime and are performed in a medical office. Not all IPL devices are created equally and not all can be used safely in patients with Asian, Hispanic, Brazilian, Mediterranean, and olive skin tones. The Lumenis M22 has enhanced safety features such as contact cooling, multiple sequential pulsing, optimal pulse technology, and longer wavelength filters to allow for treatments in patients with a variety of skin tones.

Choosing the Right Skincare Products

Sensitivity to facial skincare products is a common trigger in rosacea. Those suffering from rosacea should use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner such as CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser or Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk and gently pat dry. Some may be tempted to try at home peels, scrubs, or masques; however, these have the potential to worsen facial redness and cause burning, stinging, and irritation. For patients looking for home treatments, we recommend soothing and calming masks such as SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque and Avene Antirougers Calm Soothing Repair.

Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen!

Although we are staying at home during the COVID-19 crisis, most of us are still getting outdoors for fresh air, exercise, and/or playing with our children. The sun is a trigger for the majority of rosacea patients and results in increased facial redness. Therefore, sunscreen must be an essential part of the skincare regimen. Mineral (zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide) sunscreens are preferred as they provide broad-spectrum UV coverage and are less irritating than chemical sunscreens. New, cosmetically elegant mineral sunscreens in cream, lotion, powder, and stick based formulations are available and blend beautifully into the skin. Some excellent options include Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50, Colorescience Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50, and Coola Mineral Sun Silk SPF 30.

Other Triggers

There are many potential triggers for rosacea. Heat can exacerbate facial redness. Therefore, it is important to keep cool and limit activities such as saunas and hot yoga. Food and alcoholic beverages such as spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, red wine, beer, bourbon, gin, vodka, and champagne are common triggers but vary from person to person. Fumes from some household chemical cleansers can also act as exacerbators for many rosacea patients. Finally, stress can trigger a flare of rosacea. Taking a careful rosacea diary for a week can be helpful to pinpoint triggers. While it is not possible to eliminate all triggers from a daily routine, limiting exposure to triggers will aid in the management of rosacea.

Treatment During COVID-19 Crisis

At certain times during the COVID-19 crisis we have been unable to perform cosmetic procedures. However, we can still help control our patients’ rosacea by utilizing gentle skincare, continuing prescription medications via telehealth, and minimizing triggers and stress. While there is no cure for rosacea, there are a variety of effective topical and oral prescription medications available to control and manage rosacea. Many of rosacea treatments are directed towards reducing the acne-like (aka papulopustular) lesions of rosacea and require long-term usage. Another class of topical medications called alpha-adregeneric agonists work to reduce the facial redness of rosacea for up to 8 hours.

Soon we will be back in our offices and have the capacity to re-establish our combination treatment protocols. In the meantime, with gentle skincare, minimization of triggers, prescriptions, and telehealth we can help our rosacea patients navigate the COVID crisis with success.

Spring Skin Care and Rehydrating Your Hands

Spring Skin Care and Rehydrating Your Hands

It’s a new season, so it’s time to talk about new skincare! Spring is a time of renewal, and after months of alternating between hot and dry indoor air and the wash cold outside your skin is ready for a change. Your skincare needs to change every time the weather or season changes, so we have put together some tips on how to achieve your most glowing, radiant, and healthy skin this spring.

Our Top 3 Spring Skin Care Tips

1. Remember to exfoliate 

The winter often makes our skin feel dry, flaky, and dull. You’ll want to get rid of that feeling and the dead skin cells before spring arrive, and for that we recommend exfoliating. Exfoliating helps to remove the dead surface skin cells and reveal fresh layers of skin. Not only do you achieve healthier and clearer skin, but your skin is also better prepared to absorb products more effectively allowing you to achieve that flawless spring look.

For your body skin, use an exfoliating body scrub in the shower or bath once or twice a week paying close attention to those areas that are prone to developing rough patches such as your arms, elbows, hands, feet, and back.

Remember that most body scrubs are too rough to use on your face, so use a gentle product designed specifically to exfoliate your face and always remember to follow-up with a moisturizer after exfoliating.

2. Lighten up

While the winter required us to slather on thick, heavy products and moisturizers from head to toe, using the same products during the spring can leave you with greasy skin and clogged pores. Choose lighter skincare products such as lotions and gels to keep your skin healthy and hydrated without weighing you down. Look for products that contain hydrating ingredients which will help to add a natural glow to your complexion.

3. Protect your skin

UVA rays penetrate through windows, so make sure to apply sunscreen every day and remember to reapply.  We recommend using an SPF of at least SPF 30 on a daily basis. For patients interested in antiaging and sun protection, we love Neocutis Journee SPF 30 and MicroDay SPF 30. Both products contain ingredients to boost collagen and antioxidants to repair the damage.

Look for using a sunscreen with SPF >45 if you have a history of melasma and/or if you will be in the sun for longer periods of time.  For patients with melasma, Colorescience EvenUp SPF 50 is a great option. It contains mineral-based sunscreen, antioxidants, and skin brighteners. Remember to stay hydrated, wear loose clothing as well as hats and sunglasses, and reapply sunscreen every 1.5-2 hours if you are outdoors.

Keeping Your Hands Hydrated


Though we understand many of us may not be spending a great deal of time outside enjoying the spring weather due to certain circumstances, we would still like to offer our help this season. Many of us are washing our hands more often now that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has continued to emphasize that washing our hands can greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, the constant washing and bathing of our hands in soaps and sanitizers can lead to dryness and even deep cracks in our skin allowing bacteria to freely enter our bodies. Fortunately, there are many ways to help keep your hands clean, hydrated, and healthy this season!

When we wash our hands, the natural barrier of protective oils on our skin is washed away by soap and as a result, leaves our skin unprotected and dry. With over-washing your hands, the effect can be tenfold causing people to experience redness, bleeding, scales, itching, flaking, and cracks or fissures in the skin. Those with pre-existing dermatologic conditions such as eczema can develop worsening symptoms.

How to combat dry hands from frequent washing

  • Use a mild, fragrance-free soap.  While antibacterial soaps and harsh sanitizers seem like great options, in overuse they can be severely damaging to your skin.
  • Wash your hands with warm water for at least 20 seconds each time. Not only is hot water uncomfortable but it can dry out your hands even more.
  • After patting your hands dry, apply a moisturizer. Your hands don’t have to be completely dry as moisturizing slightly damp hands is best and it helps to lock in that extra moisture.
  • We recommend using thicker hand creams with the key ingredients of ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Ceramides are a type of lipid in our skin which helps maintain our skin barrier and seal in moisture. Hyaluronic acid works to bind water and increase skin moisturization. Some of our dermatologists’ favorites include CeraVe cream, Aveeno eczema care cream, Aveeno intense moisture repair, Avene Cicalfate, and Neutrogena Norweigan formula hand cream.
  • If possible, treat your hands overnight by applying a thick moisturizer to your hands and then wearing cotton gloves as you sleep. This will help your hands absorb the moisture and heal them as you sleep.
  • Using a humidifier is also helpful to reduce overall dry skin.

For more information on spring skincare or how to combat dry hands from frequent washing, contact The Pearl Dermatology today.

Preparing Your Skin for Wedding Season

Wedding season is almost here, and our dermatologists at The Pearl Dermatology have put together a plan to help you look your best for your special day. Ideally, it is best to meet with your dermatologist at least 6 months before your wedding day, as some treatments may take longer than others to achieve your desired result. During your initial consultation, it is important to address all of your skin concerns with your doctor as well as the goals you would like to achieve from treatment. This will help us to create a plan & timeline as to when you should come in for each specific procedure. Over the years we have helped so many brides achieve their fairytale look, and we have compiled a list of the most common conditions that women like to have corrected or treated before their big day. Below you will find examples of the treatment we can provide to help you look and feel your best depending on your specific goals and skin condition.

1. Wrinkles in the Upper Face

Regardless of how old you are, wedding planning can age you. Between the stress of planning all the last minute details and the anticipation of your big day, you may be looking in the mirror and feeling less like a glowing bride and more like a tired woman. Whether you have lines between your eyebrows or unwanted crows feet that you would love to get rid of, we have you covered. We typically recommend Botox or Dysport for these skin imperfections, and treatment should be performed 2-3 weeks before your big day. These products are especially effective in treating wrinkles in the upper face as well as relaxing and smoothing lines on the forehead and between the eyebrows. Results tend to last 3-4 months (depending on how fast your body metabolizes the product), so you will still be looking fresh throughout your honeymoon! If this is your first time trying Botox or Dysport, we recommend coming in 3-4 months before your wedding for a “test drive” of the product so that we can determine how your body responds to the treatment and how much product you need to achieve your desired result.

2. Excessive Underarm Sweating

Between the stress leading up to your big day and the excitement, dancing, and even the weather during your wedding and reception, sweating can quickly become an unwanted issue. Sweating under the arms can be particularly bothersome as it can cause staining on your gown as silk repels water rather than absorbing it. It also retains body odors more than other types of fabric, which could make dancing and socializing in close quarters a little uncomfortable and embarrassing. Fortunately, Dysport and Botox can be beneficial treatments for this condition as well. Botox injected into the underarms can help reduce sweating in the area for up to 6 months. Our board-certified dermatologists recommend you come in 2-3 weeks before your wedding for optimal results. There may be a slight risk of bruising and swelling that can last up to 3-7 days, but will be long gone before your big day.

3. Dull Skin

Everyone wants that newlywed glow on their wedding day, and often you need more than just makeup to achieve this look. The Spectra “Hollywood Laser Peel” is our go-to treatment to help remove dead cells that accumulate on the top layer of the skin which can often create a dull appearance. Within hours, your skin can appear softer and more radiant. Not only does the Spectra treatment help to create a radiant and healthy glow, but each treatment can also help improve the appearance of melasma, acne, acne scarring, reduce pigmentation, pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles. We recommend coming in a week before your event to prepare your skin for your big day and more importantly, your makeup artist. Give your skin a fresh new glow that will make all the difference on your big day, and come in for a Spectra Hollywood Laser Peel!

4. Submental Fullness or Double Chin

Having a double chin in wedding photos can be a fear for many brides, especially if you have a stubborn pocket of fat under your chin. With the help of Kybella, Coolsculpting, or AccuTite products and a skin tightening treatment such as Ultherapy or Morpheus, we can get you in picture-perfect shape in no time. During your consultation, you can discuss the various products and treatment options with your dermatologist so that together you can create a customized treatment plan. Usually, this needs to happen 6 months prior to the wedding, but specific treatment options will vary and are listed below.

  • Kybella– Kybella is injected in a series of treatments ranging from 2-5 treatments. These results of fat reduction with Kybella are permanent; however, the final results can take 2-3 months after the final treatment to be seen. ⠀
  • Coolsculpting– CoolSculpting is a noninvasive, innovative way to contour your body by freezing unwanted fat away with no surgery, scalpels or downtime. It can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks to see results, so it is recommended that treatment be done 3-4 months prior to the wedding.
  • Accutite– This treatment option is minimally invasive and is able to address hard to reach areas of the face and body without the need for surgery or unwanted scarring. It is great for precision fat reduction and skin contraction and can be done quickly in our office. Results can take 6 to 8 weeks to be noticeable, so it is recommended to come in 3 to 5 months prior to the wedding for treatment.

For patients with skin laxity, we recommend adding Ulthera, Morpheus, and/or AccuTite to your treatment regimen to produce a skin tightening effect. Talk to your dermatologist about which options are right for you.

5. Brown Spots

Similar to redness, pigmentation and sunspots on the face and body can be treated using IPL, also known as Photofacials. For more intense pigmentation and/or photodamage, your doctor may recommend a fractionated 1927 nm thulium laser (LaseMD, Fraxel DUAL, or the Clear and Brilliant Permea) alone or in combination with IPL. It is often necessary to have multiple treatments depending on the desired result. As discoloration or brown spots can occur commonly present on the face, neck, and chest we recommend treating all three areas to create a smooth, even appearance. This is something very important to consider if you’ve chosen a strapless gown! Treatment should occur 3-4 months before your big day, so be sure to keep that timing in mind when scheduling your consultation.

6. Redness and Wrinkles

Redness on the face can be difficult to cover up with make-up alone for women. Men can find it even more challenging as coverage and concealing options are more limited. Whether it is caused by stress, heat, or a skin condition called rosacea, redness can be reduced significantly by using laser & light treatments such as those used a Photofacial. We typically recommend a series of 3-5 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart depending on the amount of visible redness. It is important to consider visiting your dermatologist at least 3-5 months in advance to allow plenty of time to squeeze in a few treatments and achieve your best results before your big day.

Do you have more than one issue that needs to be addressed? No problem! Many of our patients seek to simultaneously reduce redness, fine lines, and/or shallow acne scars. To address all of the issues, we offer combination therapy with Photofractional therapy. During this treatment, an IPL is performed using the Lumenis M22. Immediately afterward, a light resurfacing laser called the Resurfx is performed to stimulate collagen. Downtime is minimal with a few days of mild redness and swelling.

There are many options when it comes to rejuvenating your skin before your magical day. In addition to the treatments already mentioned, we also offer fillers that can help restore volume and reduce facial lines. Fillers need to be injected 3-4 weeks before the wedding for the best results. These may be an appropriate form of treatment depending on your specific skin type, condition, and goals, which you can discuss with your dermatologist during your consultation. Contact The Pearl Dermatology today for more information and to schedule a consultation!

Summer Skin Rehab

Pearl Dermatology skincare for fair skin

As summer comes to an end, it’s time to start focusing on how to repair sun damage and pigmentation that has accumulated over the past few months. It is also time to rehydrate our skin as the cooler temperatures begin to bless us with their presence. So, where do we even start? Our board-certified dermatologists here at The Pearl gives us the inside scoop on what to look for, where to begin, and what products to consider.

First things first, start by revamp your skin care regimen.
During the summer months, most of us tend to use products that help us control oil and shine and commonly contain active ingredients such salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and other neutralizing agents. These products can still be used as part of your regimen, but should be alternated with a more calming cleansers or products. These products will keep your skin looking hydrated and dewy instead of matte and dull.

We recommend having a daily regimen that consists of the following products: gentle cleanser, antioxidant/vitamin c, moisturizer, skin brightener, and a powerful facial sunscreen. If needed, switch your daily cleanser from a normal gel base to a cream cleanser to help restore moisture and protect your skin from the weather changes that can cause dry skin. We recommend always using an antioxidant such as SkinCeuticials Phloretin or CE Ferulic. These two antioxidants serums protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, blue light from our screens, heat, and helps diminish the appearance of discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles.

It is also a great idea to transition to a thicker moisturizer in the fall and winter months. Look for active ingredients such as peptides, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and fatty acids. These ingredients help rehydrate, soothe, and replenish dry looking skin. We love combining SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier followed immediately by their Triple Lipid Repair.

If you have developed some pigmentation from repetitive sun exposure, it may also be beneficial to consider using a skin brightener. Skin brightners work to lighten the appearance of these new sun spots. Two of our favorite skin brighteners include Neocutis Perle and Glytone Brightening Complex. Skin brighteners are also a great way to begin prepping your skin for future laser treatments. By using skin brighteners before laser treatments, pigmentation can be further diminished than using just lasers alone. Consult with your doctor on which skin brightener would best suit your individual needs.

Consider lasers to help lighten pigmentation.
Our Doctor’s prefer to recommend procedures such as Photofacial, Photofractional or LaseMD. Patients typically need about 3-5 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart to improve the appearance of pigmentation, sunspots and photoaging accumulated over the summer months. If needed, these lasers can also be used to treat other areas of the body such as the neck, chest, arms, hands and legs. Some patients notice that as we begin to treat the face, their neck and chest become more noticeable aged. By treating multiple areas at the same time, we can create an even appearance with less pigmentation, improved texture and tone as well as an overall healthier appearance.

Don’t forget your SPF
A common misunderstanding in skin care is that you only need to wear sunscreen when you are out in the sun. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of our sun damage is accumulated from daily commutes and outdoor activities. We recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 40 or higher on the face and an SPF of 50 or higher on the body. Some of our favorite brands include EltaMD, Revision, and Neocutis which offer daily facial sunscreens with tinted options and built in moisturizers.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water every day helps keep your skin looking hydrated from the inside out. Even as the temperature drops and the air becomes drier, our bodies require us to rehydrate ourselves. A humidifier in your room at night is also beneficial. Remember, the secret to achieving radiant and healthy skin is having a good, consistent regimen that you use daily. If you would like to have one of our board-certified dermatologist take a look at your current skincare regimen or create a custom skincare regimen, contact our office at 713-497-1417. To learn more about the different services we offer, please visit our website at www.thepearldermatology.com.

Skin Concerns: How Age Plays a Role

Teens

During our teen years, coming of age often brings along with it many skin concerns. Our teenage years are when many of us develop acne and along with that comes oily skin. The T-zone is of particular concern and may seem to produce a never-ending supply of blackheads. This is when washing our face twice a day is introduced and teens often peruse the drug store isles seeking out the nicest smelling face wash. When good skin care advice comes from a dermatologist, teens tend to pay attention and start to make good decisions for themselves. Your dermatologist may also recommend a light chemical peel or treatment with a light source for an in-office approach to acne treatment. Acne scarring may also be of concern as a teen. Our dermatologists are experienced in both laser resurfacing and micro needling for the treatment of acne scars, in addition to several other procedures that can improve the skin’s texture. Hearing about the importance of sunscreen from a dermatologist can ease the pressure a parent may feel in educating their children about sun protection. Establish care with a dermatologist as a teenager and watch your skin concerns evolve over the years.

our 20’s

In our 20’s, life is busy and we have a lot going on! We may not appreciate the nice smooth, tight skin we have. If we start a good routine early, good skin habits are ingrained in us and become less of a chore down the road. If you are not already using sunscreen daily, then it is time to start. For routine daily usage we recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. This is the time to add a topical vitamin C serum into your skin regimen, which works as an antioxidant and reduces inflammation caused by UV rays, infrared rays, and ozone pollution. IPL (photofacial), chemical peels, and micro needling can all exfoliate, clean out pores, and stimulate low levels of collagen.

After puberty, our skin may still suffer from hormonal acne and be on the oilier side, thus finding a daily sunscreen may be a challenge. Even though wrinkles are usually not of big concern, this is the time getting in a good routine, sun protection, and daily sunscreen will make all the difference in the years to come. Many of us don’t realize skin cancer is the most common type of cancer for people in their 20’s, making it ever so important to have a dermatologist you trust early on.

our 30’s

Our 30’s is when reality sets in…we will not stay young forever. This is when some insecurity may begin. This is the time when the aging process of the skin begins to speed up. Did you recently notice your first wrinkle? While the skin is still producing collagen and elastin, some wrinkles may become evident, skin texture may begin to change, and skin care concerns shift. Our eyes are usually the first place we start to notice signs of aging. Dark circles under eyes and crow’s lines become evident as our bone structure begins to change and we may think we look “tired”. Brown spots may accumulate if we weren’t great about sun protection as a child or teen.

Regular use of a retinoid slowly builds collagen and starts to bank it for later. Topical antioxidants (Vitamin C & E) and sunscreens are essential to our skin care regimen. IPL (photofacials) are a nice low-down time procedure to eliminate brown spots and help any rosacea that may be brewing. A touch of neurotoxin (Botox or Dysport) is also a good idea, as we now know neurotoxin can prevent the formation of deep lines down the road. Fillers, such as Restylane or Juvederm, can correct under eye dark circles, plump lips, and maintain good facial volume. This is the time when focusing on prevention is key, aka prejuvenation. The time is now to create a reservoir of collagen in our skin with procedures such as Ultherapy, which is safe in all skin tones.

our 40’s

Our 40’s is when we really start to feel like we look our age. Wrinkles become deeper, volume loss is more obvious, skin texture changes, and skin laxity starts to creep in. Thus, by our 40’s we should be using a good anti-aging skin care regimen with a retinoid, antioxidant, peptides, and growth factors. Laser skin resurfacing and injectable fillers (Sculptra, Voluma, Restylane, and Juvederm) can really help to refresh our look and neurotoxins continue to play an important role in further prevention and correction of lines. Regular skin tightening procedures such as Ultherapy are optimal for prevention of skin laxity. Fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing can be used to tighten skin on the upper and lower eyelids. Maintenance is key!

our 50’s

Our 50’s are a time of direction and comfort; however, we may feel the need to look as good as we feel. We may also feel insecure in the work place and want to keep up appearances with our younger colleagues. Some concerns in our 50’s are deeper lines, volume loss, skin laxity on the face and body, and leg veins. With these concerns thankfully come solutions. We can offer the best of facial re-volumization with fillers such as Sculptra, Voluma, Restylane Lyft, and others. Skin tightening with Ultherapy and pairing Ultherapy with Sculptra can turn back the clock on the aging décolletage, face, neck and even the buttock, thighs, and arms. Neurotoxins continue to be effective and can be injected into the neck’s platysmal bands for smoothening. More aggressive laser resurfacing with a CO2 laser may also be appealing starting in the 50’s.

Our 60’s & 70’s

In your 60’s & 70’s you may be delighting in the joy of retirement. But just because you are taking it easy, doesn’t mean you want to look retired. In your 60’s, your skin is noticeably lax, thinner and drier than in years past. The natural aging process takes a more visible toll on the body, but with the help of experts, you can rejuvenate your skin and take years off your appearance! It is a great feeling to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself.

Some of the most frequent concerns expressed by patients age 60 and older are saggy, creepy, dull sallow skin. Wrinkles, thin lips, eye bags, and volume loss are continued concerns. Full face fractionated CO2 lasers can literally iron out wrinkles and give you back creamy healthy looking skin. Ultherapy tightens the face and neck and lifts the brows. Fillers and neurotoxins continue to keep you looking fresh. Our board certified dermatologists can skillfully select a combination of services to give you the best possible outcome in the shortest period of time. A long-term plan with maintenance is the key to keeping you looking great in the years to come.

Please contact our offices for more information or to schedule your appointment.