How to treat acne, sensitive skin, and darkening
I love all of your questions and it’s so great that you are being proactive!
1. Acne and “irritable” sensitive skin. How to treat this?
This is always a tough situation because most acne medications are developed for really oily, pretty tough skin. And you’re right of course, acne products can really irritate if you have acne and sensitive skin. Start with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil or CeraVe cleanser both morning and night. The “acne” cleansers are usually too irritating for sensitive skin. Then add the most gentle hydroxy acid (think 2% salicylic acid or lactic acid) both morning and night. You’ll need to go to the drugstore or online and read the ingredients on the back. You don’t want anything too strong. If you are doing well with those after about a month, then you can trying stopping the hydroxy at night, and try adding the Differin cream at night instead. Just do a test area first on one cheek to make sure you’re not allergic. Please remember it takes 4-10 weeks to really see a difference with acne. Please go back to your dermatologist if you are having problems! Sometimes staying away from white sugar, white flour products and deep fried foods is helpful also.
2. How to keep your skin from darkening when you’re traveling.
If your skin is darkening when you’re traveling or living somewhere else, it’s almost always that you’re getting more light on your skin. Please remember that it’s the daily exposure to natural light, not just sun that can cause skin to darken. If you use 2 layers of sunscreen on your face and neck, and a hat then that should do it. If you wear a hajib, then it’s almost impossible to wear a hat also. So the 2 layers of sunscreen are super important plus one for the eye area, unless you always wear sunglasses. Here’s how! Use an 18% zinc sunscreen (tinted ones are nice too) as the first layer. Then put a mineral powder over that. The two layers should really help! Also, if you do get a bit darker, it won’t last forever, once you are out of the natural light again.
3. Monster zits on the lower back and buttocks.
Here are some non prescription things to try which should help! Buy some Cln Body Wash and use it daily on the area. Cln also makes one called a Sport Body Wash which some patients like even better. Then at night before bed, apply to the whole area (not just the spots) Neostrata Smoothing Cream or some Glypro Daily Firming Lotion. These are hydroxy acids that help to prevent the pores from reclogging. After you’re cleared up up, just use the hydroxy cream on any new spots or areas. It helps to not wear tight clothing that rubs on these areas.
Hope this helps, Dr. I