How to use Topical Retinoids

Retinoids are compound that are chemically related to vitamin A, which dermatologists frequently use to treat skin conditions such as acne, skin aging and sun damage.  The most commonly used over-the-counter retinoid is retinol, but there are several prescription retinoids that are stronger, and may be more effective.  All retinoids lead to exfoliation, and can cause skin irritation, especially if not used properly. 

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Are Bleaching Creams Safe?

Hyperpigmentation, in which patches of skin become darker than the rest of the skin, is a common concern among my patients, and lightening creams are an important part of the way in which I treat this problem.  Most of the time, when dermatologists speak of "bleaching creams" they are referring to those products that contain hydroquinone, a naturally-occurring chemical that decreases the skin's production of pigment (melanin), and has long-been considered the "gold standard" in skin lightening.  Recently, questions have been raised over whether or not hydroquinone is safe, and I think a discussion of the risks and benefits of creams that contain this ingredient is in important.  

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Treatment of Adult Acne in Women: Spotlight on "Hormonal" Treatments

While acne is often thought of as a skin condition that affects teenagers, in many cases it either starts in or persists into adult life.  Adult acne is more common in women, in whom it is estimated that 25% of women in their 30s and 12% in their 40s still experience breakouts. Adult acne may have different features than acne in teenagers and younger women, and in some cases it requires its own approach to treatment.

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Does Hydrocortisone Cause Skin Thinning?

Hydrocortisone is a class 7 steroid; the weakest group of topical steroids available. It would be very unlikely to cause skin thinning when used properly. Steroids are hormones that decrease inflammation in many ways, including by acting on the body’s immune cells. Steroids in ointments or creams have been safely used in the treatment of skin diseases since the 1950s.

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