Ask the Experts: Acne Q&A

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It’s that common problem that, for many of us, never went away since we hit out teen years:  ACNE! But fear not; with the right treatment, you can keep acne under control. But what’s the best acne treatment for you and your lifestyle?   Read on for helpful tips from NYC dermatologist  Anne M. Chapas,  M.D. Dr. Chapas is Director of  Union Square Laser Dermatology and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at NYU Medical Center.

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  1. What exactly is acne, and how is acne most commonly caused?

Acne is common disease that is caused by 3 factors…a clogged pores, excess oil or sebum, and bacteria proliferation.

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2. How much does diet play a part in causing acne? I mean, will eating greasy french fries cause me to break out?

A well-controlled study from Australia showed that a high glycemic diet (unrefined sugar, white processed flour) contributes to acne formation. Changing to a low glycemic diet improved acne in this group.

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3. What advice can you give in reading skincare ingredients when choosing products to treat acne?

I advise all my patients to look for products that are “oil free” or “non-comedogenic”. This label indicates that they will not stimulate more acne.

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4. Salicylic Acid vs. Benzoyl Peroxide– which one gets your vote and why?

Both. Salicylic acid unclogs pores while benzoyl peroxide kills acne causing bacteria.

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5. I’ve heard of some blue light systems used in-office that are used to help control acne. How does this technology work?

By inactivating the acne-causing bacteria’s energy center, blue light leads to bacteria elimination. Blue light needs to be a high dose in order to efficiently kill acne-causing bacteria. My office light and the TRIA Skin Perfecting Blue Light deliver the same effective dose needed to eliminate acne-causing bacteria.

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6. It seems like there are so many products that have at-home blue light technology, but what things should I keep in mind when choosing one to purchase?

Any home device should be FDA cleared (like the TRIA Skin Perfecting Blue Light). Also, look for one that has been extensively tested and published in peer reviewed medical journals. Finally look for one that delivers effective energy in a convenient time frame.

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Cristal

Cristal

Online Editor, Beauty Writer at Beauty-Goodies
As a New York City-based registered nurse with backgrounds in pharmacology, medical research, medical spa aesthetics, and cosmetic dermatology, Cristal became interested in the ways people go about achieving beauty. When she's not working full-time at Cornell Medical Center or performing aesthetic treatments at a midtown NYC medical spa, she daylights as a beauty writer, and has a penchant for scoring sample sale treasures, bellydancing, playing dress-up, and of course, chatting about beauty goodies.
Cristal

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