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Acne News

The Skin Doc

Acne is tricky. Just when you think you have it under control, it outsmarts your medication. Or better yet (tongue in cheek) your medication doesn't even mount a useful attack against your facial foe. I came across a paper this past weekend that I found interesting. Truth be told, I find something interesting about EVERY paper I ever read, but since this was applicable to everyone with acne, I wanted to share. In the study, researchers used a microscopy technique to "watch" what happened to a comedone a week after it was removed. Previous research has shown that comedones have a cyclical nature, either forming into inflammatory acne, re-appearing, or resolving. Based on clinical experience, this cycle was estimated to take between 2-6 weeks (due to the amount of time for normal physiologic skin turnover). However, no studies had been done that provided direct evidence for this timeline. A week after...

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What is Differin?

Differin is a topical acne treatment which contains a synthetic retinoid called adapalene. Adapalene is considered to be a third-generation retinoid and it’s actually fairly different in chemical structure when compared to tretinoin (Retin-A) or other retinoic acid compounds. However, like other synthetic retinoids like tazarotene (Tazorac), adapalene activates the same receptor targets in the skin like retinoic acid receptor (RAR) β and γ and retinoid X receptor (RXR). Adapalene is more stable than tretinoin and can be used in with benzoyl peroxide. It is also more lipophilic (fat “loving”), so more can accumulate within the sebaceous unit.

Differin for Acne

When compared head to head, 0.1% adapalene gel was more effective than a 0.025% tretinoin gel...

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Over my morning cup of Earl Grey tea (yes, I'm old school with my taste in tea) I was perusing my e-mails and something caught my eye:

"FDA Investigating Hair Conditioner Product After High Number Of Complaints."

Truth be told, I never just read the headlines because more often than not, the claims are simply to create media buzz, or the snippet of data they include isn’t even applicable to real-world people, but I digress. Back to business! So after reading the article on NPR, I ended up reading the entire 29-page FDA complaint (please don’t waste your time, I promise, it’s not that interesting). In summary, it’s drafted in the standard lawyer lexicon, intermixed with anecdotal complaints from consumers who experienced similar concerns over the use of the WEN® cleansing conditioner. Specifically, the complaint states, "The FDA is investigating reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash associated with the use of WEN®...

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If you have ever survived an Arizona summer, you can certainly understand how unrelenting the sun can be. If you are reading this, hopefully you are already diligent about your use of sunscreen, however, in the event that you aren’t, here is your friendly reminder! When it comes to sunscreen, I have one hard and fast rule, use SOMETHING! I often get asked, what’s the best sunscreen? Well, that depends on a lot….and while sunscreen can be downright confusing with terms such as "all natural," "organic," "broad-spectrum," "water-resistant," or "non-nano" just to name a few, I try to make the world of sunscreens not so nebulous to patients. So then, what’s my answer to the question about the "best" sunscreen? Actually, it’s really very simple…ready?...the best sunscreen is simply the one you will wear…period! That means no matter the brand, the formula, the ingredients, the cost, the smell, or even that fancy retail packaging, ANY use of sunscreen...

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A study conducted recently shows that the consumption of a common cereal companion was positively associated with acne among youth. Healio (7/5, Demko) reports, "Consumption of low-fat or skim milk, but not full-fat milk, was positively associated with moderate acne among adolescents,". The findings of the 225-participant "case-control" study were published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Why does research suggest milk causes acne?:

-"There is abundance of a hormone called IGF-1 in milk, which is really good for baby cows, but not for you. IGF-1 is a growth hormone. It makes baby cows grow up big and strong, but in humans, it tends to make your acne grow big instead. IGF-1 is one of several factors that cause inflammation in humans, and which eventually lead to acne (the ugly redness and swelling that makes acne so annoying). 

-Milk and dairy products cause an insulin spike in humans that cause the liver to produce even more...

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