My new skin care regimen is irritating me. What should I do?

Dr. Irwin, My dermatologist just prescribed acanya gel, benzoyl peroxide wash 8% for morning use and I apply aveeno sunscreen moisturizer SPF 30 after cleansing, then for night she recommended a gentle cleanser (I use Shu uemura) and then apply differin lotion, then a moisturizer (I use Olay regenerist). I have been on this regimen for a few days and my skin has become red,flaky and putting a moisturizer hurts. Is there any oil free moisturizer you can recommend for me for both day and night that won't sting when I put it on? I have combination skin (oily T zone) and my cheeks are incredibly sensitive right now, it hurts when I put anything on it. I also live in a place where the summers can get very humid. thanks so much!

You sound very uncomfortable!!  Please call your dermatologist and let them know what happened.  They should suggest a break and then a different regimen.

But if you can’t get through on the phones, first stop everything and use a calming regimen for the next week or so to let your skin heal.  Try Cetaphil Lotion Cleanser, followed by Cetaphil Lotion and your current sunscreen in the am.  Use the same things at night minus the sunscreen and add hydrocortisone 1% cream for the first 3 nights.  These are all drugstore products.

Once your skin is healed, start adding the new prescription products back one at a time about a week apart so you’ll know which one caused the reaction.  Make an appointment with your dermatologist about 8 weeks or sooner from your first appointment.  Hope this helps!  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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