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Expert Q&A: Five Questions You've Always Wanted to Ask a Dermatologist

Total Beauty

Posted 07/16/10 at 11:30AM by Total Beauty's face it. In these crazy times, when you're barely able to squeeze in a Starbucks run, let alone a half-hour wait in a doctor's office, seeing a dermatologist can feel on par with sailing off on your yacht or taking the helicopter to work. (Translation: way out of yours, and our, realm of possibility.) But, just because we can't make it to a dermatologist, doesn't mean we don't have tons of essential skin questions on our minds. To save us all some time, we asked New York City-based dermatologist, Ariel Ostad, M.D., the top five questions submitted by our readers. Check out his answers below and maybe you can save yourself another co-pay fee and just catch up on your "Prevention" magazine reading at home.

Question 1: What are some ways to get rid of under eye puffiness and dark circles without spending a lot of money? -- Allie

Answer: Ostad says some skin care products that have been successful in reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness contain Green Tea, Peptides, Kojic acid and Arbutin. So check labels for these ingredients when you're out shopping.

A few to consider: Olay Total Effects Eye Cream + Touch of Concealer, $18.99, Peter Thomas Roth AHA/Kojic Under Eye Brightener, $52, or Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Lift & Lighten Eye Cream Advanced Technology (with Arbutin), $60.

Question 2: What are the best acne ingredients to use in your 30s? I want to fight both acne and signs of aging. -- Danisha

Answer: Look for products containing Glycolic, Salicylic acid or Retinoic acid, says Ostad. These ingredients are all chemical exfoliants, so they'll get rid of the dead skin clogging your pores and help with cell turnover to reduce fine lines and discoloration.

Try SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, $56, DDF Glycolic 10% Exfoliating Moisturizer, $50, or Olay Total Effects + Blemish Control (with salicylic acid), $7.

Question 3: What are some treatments for Eczema and Rosacea? -- Heather and Lacie

Answer: Eczema can be a chronicproblem, Ostad says. To really keep it under control, you should see a dermatologist regularly. He or she will likely prescribe topical steroid creams for severe cases. But, Ostad warns that at-home remedies are not recommended, other than regular use of deeply hydrating, fragrance-free moisturizers (try Olay Quench Advanced Healing Body Lotion, $8.99).

For Rosacea, proper cleansing andmoisturizing can help reduce redness. Look for products containing Niacinimides and Green Tea (try Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, $12.19). For more severe cases, Rosacea can also be controlled with lasers and peels done at a dermatologist's office.

Question 4: Are there any way skin tags can be prevented? -- Jennifer

Answer: Unfortunately, not really. Ostad says skin tags are caused by a few factors, but mostly genetics (thanks mom and dad!). This is, of course, out of our control. Sometimes weight gain can also contribute to them, so staying at a healthy weight may help.

Question 5: Are there any ways to firm sagging neck skin -- without surgery? -- Deborah

Answer: Depending on the just how much sagging there is, Ostad says a Thermage treatment may help. Thermage is a non-invasive procedure (it uses radio-frequency energy that penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate collagen production) that can be performed with no down time at all. You may need up to three sessions to see obvious results. Treatments cost $1,000 to $2,000.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 13 Comments

  • Posted by EricaC123 on 12/30/12 at 01:43pm

    I don't have any tags but I'd really love to know if that stuff called "Tag Away" works....

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  • Posted by BlondeBabe on 04/04/12 at 01:52pm

    Wonderful Article-Much information given but I would like to add my comment-see a dermatologist if you have a problem and do not go to a med-spa-met a woman (who was once very good looking with half of her mouth drooping from botox at a medspa. So ladies-Buyer Beware. See your doctor only. We could also pray to the god of eternal youth-we wish.

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  • Posted by powerwoman033 on 03/12/12 at 11:43pm

    Thank you for some new ideas.

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  • Posted by taryn.romero on 10/06/11 at 11:28am

    Great questions, especially about which products to use to combat aging and acne in your thirties.

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 07/15/11 at 08:12pm

    I agree with @jewelrydesigner! This is one of the most helpful totalbeauty articles that I've read--it DID ask and answer questions that I had, and listed affordable treatments.

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by lea_m_gibson on 04/22/11 at 04:53pm


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