What I learned from my dermatologist...

As part of what I do for a living, I try out lots of lotions and potions and products galore. I have the Foreo, the Tria, the Nuface and others I do not even know the name of?! I slather on serums day and night with all kinds of interesting sounding ingredients (snail mucin and snake venom to name a few). I moisturize a.m. and p.m. and layer on eye serum and eye cream-day and night! Before bed, I add body and neck creams to the process. Sometimes I think I'm going to slip right off the bed! When possible, I "mask" once a week. Is all this worth it? 

Retinol Gel, Collagen, Vitamin C, E, Biotin, Antioxidents... these are the current buzz words, but do they actually help, or is it all just a big waste of time and money? After trying to research online and coming away more confused and dubious than ever, I finally decided to talk to an expert. What follows is my interview with Dr. Megan Cherry, MD, FAAD, a highly respected and revered dermatologist in Birmingham, Alabama who was kind enough to answer my questions. 

WHAT IS THE DAILY TREATMENT REGIMEN YOU RECOMMEND?

Sunscreen for all, retinoid for most (don't use when pregnant or nursing), antioxidants (vitamin C for example),  growth factors (to stimulate collagen), and hydrators (moisturizers) for anyone willing to do everything they can.

CAN A PERSON EXFOLIATE TOO MUCH? WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND? IS A CLARISONIC OR SIMILAR DEVICE NECESSARY?

Yes, too much exfoliation can irritate and inflame the skin, but a Clarisonic can be very helpful to aid in complete removal of dirt, oil, and makeup.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HOME TREATMENTS LIKE NUFACE AND TRIA DEVICES?

Nuface is most helpful in allowing the skin to better receive hydrators. If home laser treatments (like Tria) are used often enough, they can be effective. However, most patients will not complete home treatments due to time constraints, and in-office treatments are much more powerful and effective.

SPEAKING OF IN-OFFICE TREATMENTS, WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR ONES?

Botox, fillers and lasers.

ARE THERE ANY EXCITING NEW TREATMENTS OUT?

Kybella-it treats "double chin" and has been out for just over a year. It has changed the way we treat the neck by providing a non-surgical option. Volbella is the newest filler-out last month. It's used for lips and fine lines. It smoothes and lasts up to a year longer than previous lip fillers.

CAN YOU RECOMMEND A BODY LOTION THAT REALLY WORKS FOR SKIN AFFECTED BY HORMONAL CHANGES AND OTHER FACTORS? I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TRIED SO MANY BUT NONE REALLY WORK.

Ceremide containing products such as Cerave cream are not greasy and are deep moisturizers. Barrier creams like Epionce can restore lost moisture. Hydrators with hyaluronic acid are particularly helpful to lock water in the skin.

CAN DRINKING WATER HELP MOISTURIZE THE SKIN?

Water consumption can keep the cells plump and healthy. It doesn't directly moisturize if you are hydrated, but it does correct signs of dehydration, i.e. chapped lips.

I AM OFTEN ASKED ABOUT TREATMENTS FOR CELLULITE, THIGH AND BELLY ISSUES. ARE THERE ANY EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS FOR THESE AREAS AND CONDITIONS?

Cellulite is something that most everyone has; we just have to live with it. For fat reduction, targeted noninvasive treatments such as Cool Sculpting are safe and effective. Tightening can be achieved by radiofrequency devices.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CAREER?

I love that dermatology allows me to have a mixture of surgeries, medical visits, and cosmetic procedures. I can start my day removing a skin cancer from the grandfather, then Botox and filler on the mother, then discuss acne with the teenager. I get to treat multiple generations of families this way!

 

I want to thank Dr. Cherry for sharing her knowledge. I have already started my list of questions for our next talk:  What is the most effective treatment regimen for dark spots besides staying out of the sun? Does Biotin really help skin and hair health? Are there any questions you want to add to this list? Send them in!! I'm going to get busy trying the skin hydrators she suggested, and I will keep you posted! I'm also going to get serious about using the Tria, but not until after the holidays. Also, when I hear about new treatments, etc., you all will be the first to know! I started this blog to answer questions, so please feel free to send them. Thank you to all those who have already! Stay tuned for my next interview. It's with my hairdresser and should have some helpful info as well.Until next week.... xoxo

Alison Bruhn