Acne occurs with the pores of our skin, and comes in many forms, from blackheads to horribly scarring inflammatory cysts and nodules. Yet all forms are called “acne”! Despite its commonality, acne is extraordinarily complex- involving sebum, skin cell shedding, bacterial activity, and inflammation to various degrees- which accounts for the picture of acne being so diverse! Because of this, there is no single treatment or treatment program that works for everyone. Acne is not caused by a dirty face (in fact, over scrubbing can induce acne!), nor is caused by foods (although certain foods or medications, can aggravate). Rather, acne has a genetic predilection and is greatly influenced by hormonal fluctuations, such as stress, menses, or menopause.
While acne is often seen in our teenage years, it is not uncommon for acne to start or persist well into adulthood. At any age, acne can have a profound psychological effect if not treated, ranging from low self-esteem to anxiety, and depression. Acne can even discourage people from pursuing certain careers or social activities.
The good news is, virtually every case of acne can be controlled by experts familiar with the complexities of this disease. Because every case of acne is different, treatment programs need to be designed specific to each individual, and your provider will need to monitor your progress and make adjustments periodically.
Milia is often called a “whitehead” acne lesion, although technically these lesions are not true acne. They are small white microscopic cysts that occur in the follicle, which (as many find out for themselves!) are difficult to extract without special instruments. These lesions occur genetically, or from excessive sun exposure, or the use of products making skin cells “sticky” and not shed properly. Milia are best treated with topical prescription retinoids and letting your doctor extract them in the office.
It is important to treat your acne at any age, and regain the confidence that comes with healthy and beautiful skin… get back to Happy Skin today!
Rosacea is a common skin disease which often begins with a tendency to blush or flush. Over time, people who have rosacea may see permanent redness in the center of their face. The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead, chin, neck and chest. In addition to redness, rosacea can cause acne-like breakouts, visible blood vessels on the face, and dry, irritated eyes, and sometimes nose enlargement. A co-condition of rosacea is enlargement of the oil glands, which leads to both pore enlargement as well as small yellow-pink bumps called sebaceous gland hyperplasia.
Rosacea is extremely common, and is a genetically based hyperirritability of the blood vessels of the head and neck region. There are many different triggers of rosacea, with the most common being sun exposure, heat, stress, and certain foods and beverages. Rosacea tends to become more noticeable in our middle years and beyond, because our skin has become thinner and more prone to the triggers.
As with acne, rosacea can have a profound psychological effect on the person suffering, and it is important to work with a provider who is familiar with this disease and the many ways that are available to lessen the impact, and bring your skin back to being Happy!
Seborrheic Dermatitis is the medical name for “dandruff” which can affect the scalp or face and ears. When the face/ears are involved, there is a dry or greasy flaky, sometimes itchy pink rash which occurs on the eyebrows, skin around the mouth, cheeks and chin, ears, eyelids, or hairline. The condition waxes and wanes typically and may be worsened by stress or barometric pressure changes. This condition occurs in all ages, including infants, when it is called “cradle cap”.
Speak to your dermatologist on how to best treat and return your skin to Happy!
Eczema is a common genetic form or dry itchy sensitive skin, coming in lots of clinical forms. One common condition running in families with eczema is called keratosis pilaris, which feels like rough bumps on the upper outer arms and sometimes in other locations such as cheeks, thighs or back. For best treatment, it is recommended patients with eczema, KP, or sensitive skin, see your dermatologist and get your skin Happy!
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) most commonly occurs on the hands, feet, or armpits, and can not only be highly embarrassing but can ruin clothing, interfere with job performance, and cause social avoidance. Get control of this condition- speak to your dermatologist, and get Skin Happy!
Calluses are sometimes called corns, and are painful thick skin growths on the sole of the foot. Talk to the staff at SkinHappy MD about a novel way to manage this pesky condition!
Recurrent cold sores are caused by a virus called Herpes, and is very common. Typical outbreaks occur on the lips or genital region, and are brought on by stress or sun exposure. Talk to your dermatologist about how to speed the progression of the outbreak, and get your skin back to being Happy!
Research shows that there are, in fact, two distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit is called intrinsic (internal) aging. The other type of aging is known as extrinsic (external) aging and is caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to the sun’s rays.
Intrinsic aging, also known as the natural aging process, is a continuous process that normally begins in our mid-20s. Within the skin, collagen production slows, and elastin, the substance that enables skin to snap back into place, has a bit less spring. Dead skin cells do not shed as quickly and turnover of new skin cells may decrease slightly. While these changes usually begin in our 20s, the signs of intrinsic aging are typically not visible for decades. The signs of intrinsic aging are:
Genes control how quickly the normal aging process unfolds. Some notice those first gray hairs in their 20s; others do not see graying until their 40s.
A number of extrinsic, or external, factors often act together with the normal aging process to prematurely age our skin. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure. Other external factors that prematurely age our skin are repetitive facial expressions, gravity, sleeping positions, and smoking.
The Sun. Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish patches of skin), and skin cancer can all be traced to sun exposure.
“Photoaging” is the term dermatologists use to describe this type of aging caused by exposure to the sun’s rays. The amount of photoaging that develops depends on: 1) a person’s skin color and 2) their history of long-term or intense sun exposure. People with fair skin who have a history of sun exposure develop more signs of photoaging than those with dark skin. In the darkest skin, the signs of photoaging are usually limited to fine wrinkles, freckles/sunspots, and a mottled complexion. A special, genetically prone, form of photoaging is MELASMA. This distressing form of pigmentation occurs in patches or wide sheets of grey-brown or muddy brown pigmentation, typically seen on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, chin, and neck, but also sometimes seen on the forearms. Aggravated by hormones (pregnancy, birth control pills), this condition is critically influenced by sun exposure and genetics. It is a particularly difficult form of sun-induced pigmentation to treat, as it occurs at 2 levels in the skin. Dr. Kenner is expert at managing this disease.
Photoaging occurs over a period of years. With repeated exposure to the sun, the skin loses the ability to repair itself, and the damage accumulates. Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. The sun also attacks our elastin. Sun-weakened skin ceases to spring back much earlier than skin protected from UV rays. Skin also becomes loose, wrinkled, and leathery much earlier with unprotected exposure to sunlight.
Gravity constantly pulls on our bodies, particularly so as our facial structure (bones, fat pads and muscle) start to diminish over time. Much like a tent with the poles shortened, or a beach ball with some of the air released, gravity causes the cheeks to drop, the temples to hollow, the tip of the nose to droop, the ears to elongate, the eye sockets to hollow and eyelids to fall, jowls to form, the chin the shrink, and the upper lip to disappear while the lower lip becomes more pronounced.
Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate aging. Research shows that a person who smokes 10 or more cigarettes a day for a minimum of 10 years is statistically more likely to develop deeply wrinkled, leathery skin than a nonsmoker. It also has been shown that people who smoke for a number of years tend to develop an unhealthy yellowish hue to their complexion. Additionally, a study conducted in 2002 showed that facial wrinkling, while not yet visible, can be seen under a microscope in smokers as young as 20.
These signs can be greatly diminished, and in some cases avoided, by stopping smoking. Even people who have smoked for many years, or smoked heavily at a younger age, show less facial wrinkling and improved skin tone when they quit smoking.
While you cannot stop or even slow down the intrinsic aging process, you can prevent signs of premature aging by protecting your skin from the sun, quitting smoking, and eliminating facial exercises.
As we age, we notice changes to the density of our hairs in different locations. The hairs on our scalp, as well as other locations such as our eyelashes and eyebrows, undergo a miniaturization and show up as a loss of density of the hairs (these miniature hairs become invisible to the naked eye). The pattern of this thinning or balding, is different in men and women, but happens in both sexes. While men can go completely bald at the crown of the scalp, women never completely bald, but can get severe thinning. It is important to see your doctor to determine if the thinning you are experiencing on your scalp or brows is genetic, or whether they may be an internal disease causing this. If Dr. Kenner determines that the cause is genetic, she has several effective treatments to offer you, some of which are specially compounded and cannot be found elsewhere. If she determines your problem is from an internal disease state, she will guide you to get the most appropriate care and restore your health as well as your hair.
Much like losing hair as we age, we can also often gain hairs in unwanted locations such as the chin and mustache area. Although this is normal to some degree, it can also be a sign of internal disease, and it is important to have Dr. Kenner examine you to determine. If there is no other cause other than genetics and aging, Dr. Kenner will guide you to best managing this distressing cosmetic condition.