Ask a Dermatologist

With the flood of advertisements directed at women on skin care, it can be difficult to sort through all the information for recommendations and products that really make a difference.



An experienced dermatologist is a good place to start for guidance though, and here we’ve asked three doctors in our area for their answers to the questions moms often have about their skin.

My face is breaking out now like I’m a teenager. Why am I getting acne at this age and what can I do about it?

Developing acne in your adult years is very common. Many factors such as hormones, stress and changes in diet can contribute. These factors can affect oil production and create acne-causing bacteria on the skin, as well as clogged pores. As adults, hormone levels fluctuate and stress can have an effect on one’s diet. Eating foods high in trans-fat can also contribute to acne production.

To help prevent and treat adult acne, always wash your face to remove excess oil. Try using over-the-counter exfoliating products such as salicylic acid, or adapalene gel to help unclog pores. This controls open and closed comedomes (white and/or blackheads). Benzyl peroxide containing products control inflammatory eruptions (red bumps) that can lead to scarring. Natural products such as apple cider vinegar, honey and cinnamon can also help because they have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lastly, consider making lifestyle changes to reduce stress, and to maintain a healthy diet. When home remedies or over-the-counter products don’t work, seeing a dermatologist may be necessary.

Once you achieve your results, it is important to maintain a healthy skincare regimen. A healthy routine may consist of facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and using quality products at home.

Sonya Campbell Johnson, MD
Dermatology Associates, PC

 I know I spent too much time in the sun without sunscreen when I was younger. I’m worried about developing skin cancer now – what should I be looking for?  

 Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the skin. Look over your skin regularly and ask someone for help when checking hard to see places. Checking your skin means taking note of all the spots on your body, from moles to freckles to age spots. Not all spots on the skin are the same. Moles can be black, red and even blue. Pay attention to moles that are different from others that you have. If you see spots that change over time, enlarge, itch or bleed (even if they are small), you should see a dermatologist.

Any spot that doesn’t seem to heal within a reasonable time frame is cause for concern, especially if gritty, scaly or bleeding. Remember, if you see any kind of change occur in a spot on your skin, especially in areas with overexposure to the sun, a dermatologist should evaluate you.

Dr. Chris Nebesio, Dermatologist
Dawes Fretzin Dermatology Group LLC

 What can I do to reduce the look of wrinkles on my face that is non-invasive and affordable to maintain?

Reducing wrinkles is a goal for many of us as we start to see the long-term effects the sun and genetics begin to show on our face. There are numerous non-invasive treatments available, but topical retinoids, sunblock and moisturizer are the most important.

Retinoids improve the appearance of wrinkles by increasing the collagen and elastin that we lose over time, as well as thickening the dermis (deeper portion of our skin). Retinoids are available in many forms, ranging from over-the-counter, to those sold by a physician, or those requiring a prescription.

Sunblock is key to preventing more sun damage that results in wrinkle formation. Look for the active ingredients of Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide for the best protection.

Moisturizers are also a must, especially in Indiana winters. These help keep our skin barrier protected, hydrate the upper layer of skin cells to produce a more uniform appearance and allow the body to retain more water, which gives the appearance of “glowing” skin. This is an easy and affordable routine that can help with wrinkles and protect the skin for years to come.

Emily Catherine Keller, MD
IndyDerm Cosmetic & Medical Dermatology.

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