6 things your dermatologist never told you!


Chocolate doesn’t cause acne, but milk might:

There are very few studies showing the association between food and acne. People think that the greasy foods — like chocolate, pizza and fried foods — somehow clog their pores and the oils get secreted onto their skin. In fact, acne is caused by the gland getting clogged by skin cells and bacteria. Recent studies have shown the possible link between milk and other dairy products with the development of acne. It is thought that hormones and other bioactive molecules may stimulate the glands causing acne. I usually recommend limiting but not eliminating dairy.

Antiperspirants can be made more effective by applying them at night:

People often complain about their antiperspirant not working. One trick of the trade is to apply the antiperspirant to a dry underarm just before heading to bed. You can still apply it again in the morning. In addition, for those excessive sweaters, you might want to see your dermatologist to have Botox injections. These last for six to nine months and essentially eliminate sweating in the area they’re injected.

Flat moles can be skin cancer:

People often come in if a mole or spot is raised, but for some reason the public tends to ignore flat lesions. Unfortunately, not all skin cancers are flat. Look for the ABCD’s of skin cancer —lesions that are Asymmetrical (one half doesn’t match the other), have an irregular Border or irregular Color, and Diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser (5 mm).

Acne medications should be applied to the entire face, not just to pimples:

Most people apply medication — both prescription and over-the-counter products — to the acne pimple but forget about the rest of the skin. Most medications, however, are designed to prevent tomorrow’s breakout, not just dry up today’s pimple. They are most effective at destroying the bacteria that cause acne.

Covered wounds (cuts, scrapes, etc.) heal faster than open ones:

Everyone covers a wound immediately with a Band-Aid, but after a day or two, most will uncover to “let it dry out.” Actually, studies have shown that wound healing is more effective in a moist environment. Therefore, apply an antibiotic ointment like Bacitracin or Neosporin and keep it covered with a Band-Aid until it is completely healed.

Vitamin E prevents wounds from healing:

This is completely opposite to what most people think. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that will help to prevent oxidative damage to the skin, but it has never been shown to help with healing. In fact, studies have shown that it actually slows down healing. Silicone gel sheeting has been shown to be effective.


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