Blog with Dr. Irwin

How filler injection lip bumps can occur
Hello I had Juvederm in my lips 2 months ago and now I have a hard lump on my top lip. I have been massaging for a week now, however it's not going away. My question is, Why do lumps occur? Many thanks Emily (22 years of age)
I’m so glad you asked this because it’s a very common problem. The below pertains to hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers only, and NOT Sculptra. Please avoid little plastic beads (Bellafil & Artefill), Radiesse (calcium based) or silicone (avoid!). If a bruise is...
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Would a TCA peel or an erbium laser treatment be better?
I am 64 years old and contemplating either a TCA Peel or Erbium Treatment. What are the pros and cons or what would you recommend. Thanks, Jeanne
I appreciate your question and here are some ideas about how to evaluate this! The answer really lies in what you’re trying to improve with a TCA peel or erbium laser treatment. First things first: What are you trying to...
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Are human or plant stem cells in skincare products worth it?
Will human stem cell products add collagen and also help to repair acne scarring as well as deep wrinkles?
We don’t really know because studies in petri dishes in a lab, or in animals don’t always translate into changes in humans. Human studies are small and not well controlled as of now. Most “stem cells” in skincare products are...
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What skin scrubbers should you be using?
Hi Dr. Irwin! I wanted to chime in on the recent chatter about ways to alleviate or improve wrinkly skin on hands, arms and legs. A few years ago on my own I started using an exfoliating glove in the shower to remove dead skin. After watching an infomercial sponsored by a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon I "upgraded" my glove to a pot scrubber I purchased at the local grocery. Yes! I use the pink sponge scrubby with the green abrasive back side. It's probably only slightly less abrasive than a brillo pad! With continued use I've seen marked improvement in the skin on my arms and legs (not so sure about my hands). In fact now I even take it with me when I travel because I've noticed going even one day without using the scrubby my skin almost immediately starts returning to it's previous state. I understand that this may be an extreme remedy for some women and if you have very fragile skin then you need to start an exfoliation program like this very slowly. All that being said, I was wondering about your opinion on this type of rather harsh physical exfoliation. I do swear of all the things I do to improve my skin (retinol, alpha hydroxy, sculptra & botox) this one ranks right up there with them all and I don't ever plan to stop doing it. I even scrub my face on a daily basis with the same green sided sponge. Thank you for your blog and website. There are a lot of doctors out there who offer a lot of skin care advice, but I've been trusting your website for many years to keep me informed about what and what not to use. Thanks for your professional honesty and integrity.
Ok, I’m loving your creativity on this, and I’m going to ask you to reconsider! The key sentence, for me, in what you wrote is… “I even take it with me when I travel because I’ve noticed going even one...
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The dangers and complications of microneedling
I am 43 and had one session of microneedling a year ago. My face became inflamed and I have been battling severe facial burning ever since. My previously smooth skin is now scarred all over with lines, huge pores and a strange texture. I have been to a few dermatologists who have no idea what to do. I am desperate for some good advice.
My heart goes out to you and thank you for sharing this.  It will help others contemplating this procedure. First, let’s talk about the different types of problems that can arise after microneedling. Please remember that it’s often NOT the...
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Can skin color change?
Hi. I am thirty two years old. The past 4 - 5 years, I have noticed a very gradual darkening (orangey tone) of my face, especially around my mouth and chin. I am baffled. My face is now noticeably a different shade from my neck if I am not wearing makeup. I have done a handful of peels in that time, to address acne and pores. Could that have somehow contributed to this issue?
This is a really interesting question. If you look in a dermatology textbook, there is a small section on “chromoderma.” There are several diseases that can cause the color of the skin to change, and some of them are listed....
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Can you “heal” the effects of sun damage from the past?
Hello Doctor, I am currently in my early 30’s an practice very safe sun protection. Organic and natural high spf, hat, cover up, always under an umbrella, the works! I even get teased that I come back one shade lighter after all of our beach holidays! Unfortunately, this was not always the case. I grew up in New York and I’m sure like many of people, I spent lots of time outdoors playing sports, bike riding around town, hanging with friends at the beach etc. Basically I would be outside all day until night usually just sticking on sunscreen if I remembered. I have light brown/very dark blonde hair, blue eyes and skin that naturally tans quite easily and no moles just several freckles on my body. I really can’t remember a bad burn in my life, (maybe some redness at some point) but certainly not one that peeled like many of my friends experienced. Looking back, I wish my parents, or myself, was stricter on sun protection because I now find I am showing some signs of damage like lines on my forehead and some minor freckles/pigment on my cheekbones. My mom used to say that since I didn’t burn I didn’t need to worry! Things have certainly changed! Luckily, around the age of 17 I became very strict and went into overdrive of no sun! I look back at my overly tanned self and certainly wish I could go back and slather myself up with cream, but since I can’t I want to get your opinion, what do you recommend to do in order to heal the damage done nearly 15 years ago and is there anything I can do going forward? How long after sun damage does it usually show up? Since it’s Been over a decade since my “sun worshipping” type days, will the damage start to slow? I know to check for skin cancer but after a certain amount of time will the skin be healed enough to that of someone who wasn’t always in the sun or is the damage now done for good? Kindest regards, Victoria
This is a good question. The answer is that much of sun damage CAN be undone, but it takes a little time and effort. The older you are when you start, the more effort it takes. Makes sense though. Here’s...
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Improving the appearance of crepeiness on the arms!
Is there a topical, supplement or other type of treatment to improve or get rid of crepey skin on inside of arms?
Today’s focus is “skin on the arms” and how to lessen the appearance crepeiness. No lying though. Extra fat under the arms will hang! A tricep muscle (the muscle on the back of the arm) that is toneless and too small...
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Cost of removing moles, lumps, and bumps?
Hi, I just came from my derm to look at few "moles" on my legs which were not cancerous or bothersome, just unsightly. She said they were part of the skin tag family, as well as from the sun, and were hereditary. She said she could freeze them, but they won't be covered by insurance and would cost over $200 a piece. I am a 55 year old female. With that being said, do any of the over-the-counter skin tag remedies work or anything else I could try to get rid of them? Thanks, Kare
I wonder if she was saying that freezing the moles (with liquid nitrogen (LN2)) would be $200 for all of them? But you bring up a good point, which is that prices vary a lot, depending on the clinic. Most...
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