Tag Archives: acne

8 Facts About Rosacea

Rosacea is a common, chronic auto-inflammatory skin condition that causes red facial flushing and acne-like bumps. Even though nearly 16 million Americans have the condition, many of them are completely unaware of it. People often tend to attribute their constant rosacea blushing to sensitivity, allergies or rashes. Let’s take a closer look at rosacea so people can better identify the condition:

  1. The main symptoms of rosacea include: red or pink flushing of the facial skin (predominantly the nose and cheeks) from dilated blood vessels, small bumps and cysts or rashes.
  2. The tiny red lines that appear on the faces of many rosacea sufferers are called telangiectasias. Telangiectasia is a prominent feature of other types of skin conditions such as scleroderma as well.
  3. Rosacea cannot be cured but it can be easily managed with medications and creams such as antibiotics. Laser surgery may help in some cases.
  4. Other complications or characteristics of rosacea may include: an enlarged, bulbous nose, intermittent facial inflammation and frequent eye problems such as conjunctivitis.
  5. Rosacea ‘flares’ are often brought about by certain triggers such as medications, temperature fluctuations, alcohol, certain foods (like strong spices) or stress.
  6. Famous people that have rosacea include former president Bill Clinton, Renee Zellweger and Prince William.
  7. Rosacea predominantly occurs in fair-skinned people. It strikes women more often, but men more severely. Rosacea can hit at any age but it most often surfaces between 30 and 50.
  8. Though it is most often an independent condition, there have been correlations drawn between rosacea and various autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. It has also shown links with such disease as heart disease, depression and high cholesterol.

That concludes our closer look at this widely misunderstood skin condition. If you have questions about rosacea or any other medical inquiries, our board-certified DocChat physicians are standing by 24/7/365. Thanks for visiting!

10 Tips for Healthier Skin

Your skin is your largest (and most exposed!) organ, so it is important to take care of it so it stands the test of time. Not only that, but millions of Americans struggle with skin problems like acne, eczema and rosacea. So what can you do to keep your skin fresh and happy, as well as tame or avoid some of these issues? Let’s look at a few tricks:

  1. Go herbal for a glow – try some natural products such as witch hazel for inflammation control and rejuvenation, aloe vera for its calmative properties, or oats which have been FDA approved for treating dry or eczema skin.
  2. Learn from the Type B’s out there Stress can have catastrophic effects on skin (and rest of the body) when it amps up too high. So, a word to all you stressers out there, practice good self-care and learn to relax so you can bring those chronically soaring cortisol levels back down.
  3. Stay active. Exercise is beneficial to keep your whole body running smoothly, and your skin is no exception. Working up a sweat helps eliminate the toxins that pollute your skin, leaving it healthier and cleaner. Exercise also releases mood boosting endorphins and helps lower stress.
  4. Hands off! Our hands come in contact with millions of germs daily, some of which can be harmful and may cause issues with the sensitive skin on your face, so it is best to avoid biting your nails, touching your face or rubbing your eyes in order to help protect your skin from unnecessary microbes.
  5. Kick the habit. Smoking is terrible for not only your overall health, but that of your epidermis as well. Smoking exacerbates your skin’s natural elastin and collagen, contributing to early wrinkles. Smoking also causes the tiny blood vessels in your face to constrict, decreasing blood flow and causing blemishes.
  6. Rescue your skin from rays Most of us know that too much solar exposure can be harmful to the skin, but are you aware just how harmful it can be? It can cause sun spots, burns and premature wrinkles, not to mention the scariest of all potential side effects: skin cancer. An American dies of skin cancer every hour, totaling over 10,000 people yearly. What can you do to prevent this, as well as to avoid getting sun-damaged skin? Check out some of our sun skincare tips.
  7. Keep shower-time cool – hot showers tend to dry out your skin (and hair) as well as strip natural oils that are important for skin health. So try for short, lukewarm or chilly showers on the reg, limiting hot showers to the occasional treat!
  8. Slather it up – moisturizer should be a central part of your skincare regiment. You may need to switch to heavier moisturizer in the winter, as the air dries out the skin quicker. Also, be sure to watch the ingredient labels carefully. Try to avoid products and makeup with too many unpronounceable ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin. Try for noncomedogenic products which will be less likely to cause acne.
  9. Exfoliate more than your face. It is important to routinely remove dead skin cells in order to freshen your skin, and help your complexion. There is no need to stop with your face, treat all your skin to the same TLC by using a loofa or specially designed shower mittens to remove dead cells all over for healthier skin.
  10. Check yourself – Another way to keep skin healthy and disease-free is to catch any problems before the arise, such as skin cancer. By performing regular head-to-toe skin checks, you can keep an eye on any issues in the earliest stages.

    That’s all for now, thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any skin problems like acne and are looking for an experienced doctor, our board certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365!

Telemedicine for Acne Care and Maintenance

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, afflicting over 50 million people. Luckily there are many self-care and medical treatments available, as well as different continuing care options such as telemedicine that can help with acne maintenance. Some personal practices that can help acne include:

  1. The National Institute of Arthritis, Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMD) suggests using a mild cleanser and cleaning skin very gently several times a day, such as after a workout. Do not scrub as it can worsen acne.
  2. Be careful shaving
  3. Keep germy fingers off your face! Hands are a breeding ground for germs because of all the contaminated surfaces we touch between hand-washings over the course of a day, these germs can make acne worse by causing infections in already inflamed and irritated hair follicles.
  4. No matter how uncomfortable, do not pick, squeeze, scratch or pinch your pimples or you are likely to develop much worse scarring than someone who doesn’t pick their acne.
  5. Makeup and skincare products can also clog pores making acne worse. The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) suggests searching for products with acne-friendly labels that include “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic”, or “non-acnegenic” ingredients.
  6. If your hair is oily, shampoo it often with gentle, nonacnegenic shampoo
  7. Be careful with astringents and exfoliants as they can dry out the skin.

Treatment Options For Acne

There are many treatments on the market for acne care and maintenance, depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend a combination of treatments. Some of the more common acne treatments include:

  • Topical medications such as retinoids (derived from vitamin A), antibiotic creams to reduce germs and redness and Dapsone gel which is usually prescribed to be used with retinoids.
  • Hormone treatment such as combined contraceptives (birth control pills) have shown great promise in reducing acne in females.
  • Oral medications including antibiotics or Isotretinoin, a severe medication reserved for extreme cases of acne or for moderate cases that don’t respond well to other treatments.
  • Blue light therapy, according to the Mayo Clinic, has been used successfully to treat certain cases of acne. Patients can gain access to a handheld blue light device for convenience.
  • Extraction – dermatologists can extract troublesome whiteheads and blackheads using tools.

Unfortunately, the skin is slow to warm up to many treatments, so don’t give up on a course of treatment too quickly as it may take as long as 12 weeks to start taking effect (but usually starts working in 6 weeks). Try to at least give your treatment plan a month before making changes.

Telemedicine For Continued Acne Care

As we’ve mentioned previously, telemedicine can handle up to 78% of all medical issues and complaints, included on the list of these manageable conditions is acne (and other skin disorders). Here at DocChat, we have handled many cases of acne care and management, helping with advice, medication adjustments as well as helping deal with flare-ups. In our HD video consultations, DocChat physicians can examine the person’s skin along with progress photos the patient shares. We may have a jump on brick-and-mortar medicine for conditions like acne because you can access one of our highly knowledgeable DocChat physicians anytime, day or night, 265 days a year which comes in handy when you have a spontaneous flare-up and don’t want to go to the ER or wait weeks for an appointment with your primary care physician.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Feel free to sign up today to start your first video consultation with one of our board certified physicians!



Understanding Acne (Part 1)

Acne is the most common skin condition in America, afflicting over 50 million people. Acne can effect anyone, but is most commonly associated with adolescence and young adulthood. Because of its prevalence, we wanted to take a peek behind the scenes of acne – what causes it? What worsens it? What treatment options are available? Read on to find out!

Acne Facts, Tips and Myths:

  • The term ‘acne’ encompasses pimples, boils, cysts, whiteheads, blackheads and other similar inflammatory skin issues.
  • 85% of adolescents and young adults will experience at least one minor bout of acne.
  • Acne is a product of hair follicles becoming blocked with a mixture of sebum (natural skin oil), dead skin and dirt.
  • Bacteria called Propionibacterium Acnes also helps cause and worsen acne.
  • Acne can show up virtually anywhere on the body but primarily effects the face, neck, back or arms.
  • People of all ages can develop acne – even babies! However, it usually first appears around the onset of puberty.
  • This skin condition can last for a few months, a few years or can intermittently afflict someone much of their life.
  • Treating acne early hails the best results and less scarring – treatments include topical prescription creams, oral medications or a combination of both.
  • Things that can worsen acne include: changes in female hormones, certain medications, pollution or humidity, squeezing, picking or irritating your skin.
  • Contrary to popular belief, stress does not cause acne but it can exacerbate the condition.
  • Acne can be comorbid with psychological issues such as anxiety or depression as it can adversely impact confidence and self image.
  • Twin study research seems to point to a genetic component with acne, but it is unclear just how strongly genetics factor into the equation.
  • Medical scar reducing procedures such as chemical peels and dermabrasion are often used to treat and minimize bad acne scarring.
  • Be careful in the sun if you have acne, the powerful UVA and UVB rays can further aggravate the condition.
  • There are 3 levels of acne severity: mild, which consists of a few surface-level pimples and blemishes that aren’t inflamed; moderate, which consists of deeper acne, some wound-like blemishes, soreness and redness; and severe acne which is usually very inflamed, infected, multiple cysts and pain or soreness.
  • Some acne medications can cause unwanted side effects or complications, such as problems for pregnant women, so it is important to thoroughly explore your options with your doctor or dermatologist to make sure you choose the right method for you.
  • There are certain myths surrounding acne such as: poor hygiene causes acne, acne will clear up without treatment or you can catch acne from someone. All these are 100% false. Don’t believe everything you hear!

There you have our fast facts on Acne! Keep an eye out for our next post, Acne Part 2 – Skincare Tips and Treatment to read about how telemedicine can effectively handle acne maintenance care. Tanks for visiting DocChat!