The Top Questions to Ask Your Dermatology Provider in 2020
Achieving healthy, beautiful skin takes knowledge. Your relationship with your dermatology provider should be an ongoing dialogue where you gain a deeper insight into the best ways to take care of your skin. Arm yourself with these questions before you step into your dermatology provider’s office.
Ask Your Dermatology Provider: Why am I breaking out?
As you’re likely aware, acne can occur at any age. While teenagers are most often the ones dealing with acne, adults can suffer from breakouts, too. Adult women tend to get acne during periods of hormonal fluctuation. This can occur during their 20’s and 30’s, during pregnancy, or later in life during their perimenopausal period. It’s important to speak to your dermatology provider to determine the best course of action to treat your acne, plus to determine which lifestyle factors might also be contributing to your breakouts.
Ask Your Dermatology Provider: Should I be using a retinol product?
Regular use of topical prescription acne medications, such as a retinoid, can help to control perimenopausal acne flares. Additionally, retinoids help to improve the appearance of the skin and prevent wrinkles, which also concern women during this period of their lives. “Retinoids, such a tretinoin or adapalene can improve skin health by evening out skin discoloration, improving size of pores and, if used over the long term, can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles,” says Dr. Deirdre Connolly of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Garden City and Amityville, New York. “Prescription strength retinoids are uniformly more powerful than those available over the counter. Not everyone can start a retinoid (for instance, those pregnant or breastfeeding), so talk to your dermatologist about this option.”
Ask Your Dermatology Provider: Can I use moisturizer if I have acne?
Many people believe that drying out the skin is the best way to treat acne lesions, but the opposite is true. When you over-dry the skin, it tries to make up for it and produces even more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture on the skin’s surface, we call this “rebound oil production.” Avoiding a moisturizer can actually have the opposite effect than the one you are going for. In fact, applying an oil-free moisturizer before and after your prescription acne medications (a technique called “sandwiching”) can cut down on irritation and redness.
Ask Your Dermatology Provider: Do I really need an eye cream?
The answer is yes. Moisturizer does not offer the same benefits as many eye creams. “Because the skin nearest to the eyes is very delicate and is prone different problems in aging and environmental exposure than other parts of the face and body, it does justify using a separate product for this area beyond a simple moisturizer,” says Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group. For your morning routine, look for an eye cream with SPF. “When looking for an eye cream with SPF, the most important thing is to find a sunscreen that uses zinc oxide as the active ingredient,” says Dr. Jeremy Fenton. “The reason why zinc is particularly important around the eyes is because the skin around the eyes is very sensitive, and you always run the risk of getting the product in the eyes. Zinc oxide is much less likely to irritate the skin or the eyes than a chemical sunscreen.”
Ask Your Dermatology Provider: What treatments do you recommend to help my skin look its youngest?
We are fortunate to have some groundbreaking new cosmetic tools plus some tried and true antiaging methods to help your skin look its youngest and healthiest. From chemical peels and microneedling to Ultherapy, fillers and Botox, the dermatologist’s office is the best place to go for a suite of non-invasive treatments to rejuvenate, lift, tighten and tone the skin.
Ask Your Dermatology Provider: Am I using the correct skincare products?
“With the endless supply of readily available beauty products, I see many patients with skin irritation from using too many different products, some of which are known to induce adverse reactions such as contact dermatitis,” says Dr. Connolly. “Run your regimen by your dermatologist to see if any of the products you are using might lead to issues with your skin.” Also remember that with any skincare product results are not seen immediately. “It takes time for the skin to respond to the ingredients and show an obvious clinical improvement,” says Schweiger Dermatology Group’s Dr. Rachel Nazarian. Speak to your dermatology provider about the appropriate product for your skin, and then be diligent about using it for a few months before judging its efficacy. “