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Skin Problems Chart

Acne "Control mild acne with a gentle oil-free cleanser, such as Neutrogena Acne Wash or Dove Beauty Bar Unscented if skin is on the dry side," recommends New York City dermatologist Debra Wattenberg, "followed by a benzoyl peroxide drying gel applied to the affected area." Try one that is a low percentage, such as 2.5-5% to prevent over-drying skin. If you have more than a mild case, Dr. Wattenberg suggests consulting your dermatologist for a more aggressive treatment, such as prescription antibiotics or a Retin-A regimen.

Acne Scars "Before treating an acne scar, first determine your specific needs," says Miami dermatologist Frederic Brandt. His recommendations: If the scar is a discolored patch of red or brown, try a whitening lotion or an exfoliator with salicylic acid -- both turn over cells to reveal fresher, less discolored skin. If the scar truly marks skin depressions, a more active approach is necessary. Visit your dermatologist for an in-office procedure such as laser resurfacing to aggressively change skin texture, or collagen injection, which will temporarily fill holes.

Blackheads "Never, ever try to squeeze or remove a blackhead yourself at home," says Miami dermatologist Frederic Brandt. Dr. Brandt suggests treating the blemish -- a pore that's plugged with dirt and oil -- topically: Apply a gel that contains a retinol derivative, such as salicylic acid or beta hydroxy acid -- both help to turn over skin cells, loosening plugs. If an at-home topical treatment doesn't work, visit your dermatologist for a more aggressive approach.

Cellulite "Cellulite affects more than 90% of women," says New York City plastic surgeon Stephen Greenberg. A skin condition that is directly related to hormone variations, cellulite tends to get worse as you age. Dimpling, or that orange peel look, occurs from fat cells that push up against the skin, while fluid pulls down the skin. Unfortunately, diet and exercise will have no effect on the appearance of cellulite. Dr. Greenberg suggests attacking the problem with Endermologie, a non-invasive, deep-tissue massage. However, you will need a series of treatments that can become quite expensive before you see results. If you want instant results, try one of the new over-the-counter cellulite creams. They can temporarily tighten the skin for an improved appearance.

Chapped Lips Keep your lips lubed with a medicated lip balm, or an over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% ointment to heal and prevent chapping. Dry lips get drier when you lick them, but often that's what we do to make them feel more comfortable. And don't rely on lip gloss to smooth lips. Unless it's formulated with an exfoliating ingredient, most formulas can actually be drying.

Combination Skin "Women perceive their skin as combination when it's actually normal," says facialist-to-the-stars Regina Viotto. "The sebaceous glands in the facial area are located in the t-zone, so you should experience a bit more oil there, than on your cheeks." If you've got more than "a bit" of oil in your t-zone, try this balancing act from Regina: Cleanse twice, first to rid skin of makeup, second to deep-clean skin. Then moisturize with a product specifically designed for combination skin -- they usually hydrate where your skin needs moisture, and absorb excess oil from the t-zone area. If your cheeks are super dry, spot-treat them with a rich night cream.

Crepey Eyelids Crepey skin, or skin that sags around the eyes, is a result of aging coupled with sun damage, which breaks down the collagen and elastin in skin. Depending on the severity of your crepey skin, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Michael E. Valdes recommends these treatments: * For mild sagging, try a topical treatment such as vitamin C serum or a cream that contains skin-firming Melibiose, such as RoC Active Firming Treatment. * A light glycolic acid peel in the doctor's office may do the trick, but healing time is significant -- up to six months before redness and irritation are completely healed. * Consider a surgical approach -- a plastic surgeon can perform an eye lift -- combination of surgery with a light peel, at a cost of $2,500-4,500. Recovery time is about one week.

Dark Patches Medically known as hyperpigmentation, dark patches can be diminished with creams or gels that contain hydroquinone, kojic acid, or glycolic acid compounds -- all of which help to bleach the skin -- followed by a light peel to uncover fresh skin. "Beware. The darker your natural skintone, the more difficult treatment will be because a peel can cause further hyperpigmentation," says Miami-based dermatologist Frederic Brandt. Dr. Brandt also stresses vigilance with sun protection after diminishing dark patches to guard against future skin darkening.

Dry Skin "Dry skin, unless it's on a mature woman who's past menopause, is usually dehydrated," says facialist-to-the-stars Regina Viotto. The treatment is two-fold: First work on hydrating your body from the inside out, by drinking 10-12 glasses of water a day. Then quench your skin's thirst. Regina recommends exfoliating daily with a mild, chemical exfoliator that contains alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids, which digest dead skin cells with little or no irritation. Your fresh skin will be ready to absorb moisturizer morning and night.

Facial Hair Get rid of unwanted facial hair with a gentle depilatory such as Sally Hansen Cream Hair Remover for the Face, or try a lasting solution such as EpiLight. EpiLight is a high-tech, pulsed-light hair removal system available in dermatologists' offices and day spas that works best on people with darker hair.

Fine Lines Fine lines can result from dehydration and lack of rest, so be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and get 8 hours of sleep. To temporarily plump up fine lines for an aesthetic correction, facialist-to-the-stars Regina Viotto suggests smoothing skin with a cream or serum that contains hyaluronic acid, soy protein, or vitamin C -- all help to build collagen beneath the skin surface after sloughing off dead, dry skin cells with a gentle alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acid-packed exfoliator.

Flaky Patches Flaky patches, especially around the nose and eyes (occasionally spreading to cheeks) are almost always caused by a skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. "Since flaky patches aren't a result of dry skin," says Miami-based dermatologist Frederic Brandt, "moisturizer won't do the job." Dr. Brandt recommends treating flaky patches with a topical over-the-counter cortisone cream or ointment, and washing your face with a cleanser that contains zinc, which helps to heal seborrheic dermatitis. Don't try to exfoliate flaky areas -- since they're caused by inflammation rather than dry skin, exfoliation will only further irritate skin.

Freckles Fade freckles and other hyperpigmentation with a bleaching (or "whitening") lotion or serum that contains hydroquinone or kojic acid, such as Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. Prevent freckles from emerging by keeping skin coated with a broad spectrum physical sunblock (look for Z-cote, micro-zinc oxide, Parsol 1789, or titanium dioxide under Active Ingredients), which guards against harmful UVA, UVB, or IR rays.

Large Pores Pores can get stretched and take on a larger appearance when they're filled with dirt, oil, or excess sebum. Cleanse with a salicylic acid-packed product to help keep pores clean and ultimately looking smaller. Sun damage also can break down collagen in skin, leading to larger pores -- so protect your skin from UVA/UVB rays with a sunblock. The newest pore remedy, according to Miami-based dermatologist Frederic Brandt, is the Non-abalotive Laser, which can increase collagen in the skin, filling in large pores.

Millia Millia are white bumps that are easily confused with whiteheads, but they exist only in the superficial layer of skin (not under the skin like a zit,) and are hard to the touch, making it impossible to clear them. Millia occur when a sweat duct (usually around the nose) gets occluded. Prevent millia by using non-comedogenic products that won't clog pores, and applying a moisturizer that contains retinol to encourage cell turnover. Once you have a millia, visit your dermatologist for extraction.

Oily Skin "Oily skin is a good thing," says facialist-to-the-stars Regina Viotto. "It means you're producing enough natural moisturizing factors to ultimately protect against premature aging and wrinkling." Keep oil that clogs pores, leading to breakouts, at bay, by exfoliating often -- day and night. Regina suggests this pro treatment: Remember, oily skin needs moisture. Get the moisture you need with a light, oil-free moisturizer that contains the chemical exfoliant beta-hydroxy acid applied in the a.m., then manually exfoliate skin with a grainy scrub before bed.

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Rash "There can be tons of reasons behind a rash," says Dove Advisory Council dermatologist Debra Wattenberg. "It can be viral, a result of contact dermatitis caused by an external source, or an irritation from a product." To rid the rash, Dr. Wattenberg suggests switching to a gentle cleanser and an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or ointment until the rash disappears. If the rash persists, visit your dermatologist to pinpoint the cause and learn the recommended course of action to get rid of the rash.

Razor Burn New York City dermatologist Rena Brand offers some razor burn remedies: Always use a clean blade. Razor burn occurs most often to dry, sensitive skin, so keep the area moisturized with a non-comedogenic lotion. If the problem still occurs, treat it with an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, such as Bacetracin, twice a day. Dr. Brand also suggests treating irritation and itching by applying a small amount of over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

Red Bumps on Arms and Legs Groups of tiny red bumps on the upper arms and legs are not just unsightly -- they can also be itchy and uncomfortable. Dr. Debra Wattenberg, a Dove Advisory Council dermatologist, advises this treatment for the bumps, which are caused by a chronic condition of eczema around the hair follicle: Apply an alpha-hydroxy acid body lotion to the area day and night -- it will help to clear the skin around your arm and leg hair. Be sure to follow up with an SPF 15 sunblock as exfoliated skin is more susceptible to sunburn.

Redness Redness is most common in those with fair, sensitive skin. To diminish the red, Dr. Debra Wattenberg, a Dove Advisory Council dermatologist, suggests this pro treatment: Apply a cool compress soaked in milk that is diluted with water to the affected area, then smooth on a cream that contains a soothing botanical extract such as chamomile or lavender. Both have anti-reddening properties.

Rosacea "Rosacea -- characterized by a red flush across the cheeks and nose that's sometimes accompanied by acne -- is a genetic condition, but it can be controlled," says Dove Advisory Council dermatologist Debra Wattenberg. "Avoid spicy foods, red wine, and caffeine, which can cause flare-ups. And don't rely on over-the-counter cortisone products, which might temporarily normalize redness, but won't control the situation in the long run. See your dermatologist to design a personalized regimen."

Rough Skin Patches Caused by environmental influences -- especially extreme cold or dry air -- rough skin patches are very common and easily treatable. Dr. Rachel Grossman, RoC skincare expert, suggests switching to a moisturizer specially formulated for dry skin, and applying it day and night to balance your complexion. Don't spot treat rough areas as doing so might hamper the natural balancing process.

Sagging Skin Gravity plays a huge role in sagging skin, which occurs when the skin's infrastructure -- composed of collagen and elastin -- is broken down, leaving the top layer without support. New Jersey dermatologist Rachel Grossman recommends an eye cream and moisturizer that contains Melibiose, a sugar derivative that has been proven to firm skin, such as RoC Active Firming Treatment. Products that contain retinol or topical vitamin C will also help to firm and plump skin since they help build collagen beneath the skin surface.

Sallow Skin Sallow skin looks dull and lifeless. Exfoliate daily with a grainy scrub to uncover brighter skin cells and give yourself a gentle facial massage every morning to stimulate blood flow to the face, encouraging a pink glow

Sensitive Skin Stick to one routine of mild fragrance-free products to keep sensitive skin from getting irritated. Exfoliate every few days with an extra-gentle micro-grain scrub and invest in a cream that contains hydrocortisone, lavender, or chamomile to soothe and diminish redness should it occur.

Spider Veins Spider veins -- those tiny red or blue lines on your legs -- are caused by the stress of being on your feet all day, engaging in high-impact exercise, or walking far distances in high heels or ill-fitting shoes. The standard treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy, where a solution (salt solution is the safest and most common) is injected into the vein, destroying its lining. However, sclerotherapy cannot be performed on very small or thin veins. Dr. Michael E. Valdes, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, suggests VascuLight, a new laser treatment, as the ultimate way to get rid of spider veins of any size.

Stretch Marks "Stretch marks, caused by skin expanding and 'tearing,' are usually permanent," says New York City-based plastic surgeon Stephen Greenberg. However, laser treatments or microdermabrasion may help to lessen the appearance of marks. Check with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon

Sunburn A sunburn can lead to fine lines, hyperpigmentation like freckles, and even skin cancer -- so protect yourself from sunburn by always wearing a full-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen. Soothe an existing sunburn with topically applied aloe vera gel. Take an aspirin to reduce inflammation. And rub the contents of a vitamin E capsule directly into the sun-damaged areas to boost your skin's defenses against antioxidants.

Undereye Bags/Puffs Water retention around the eyes is caused by slow circulation combined with external factors such as sleeping in a flat position or with your face pressed into a pillow. RoC skincare expert Dr. Rachel Grossman recommends the following treatment: Sleep on your back with your head propped up on at least two pillows to encourage water drainage while you sleep. In the morning, lightly pat on cold-from-the-refrigerator eye cream to smooth eye area contours.

Undereye Circles Visible blood vessels -- more prominent due to sluggish circulation, which can result from inadequate sleep -- are the culprit behind undereye circles. The newest beauty ingredient to help zap undereye circles is vitamin K, the wonder vitamin that helps constrict blood vessels to diminish dark circles as well as broken capillaries on the face. Look for vitamin K as an ingredient in an eye cream (such as St. Ives Dark Circle Diminisher) and pat it on gently, morning and night.

Uneven Color
Uneven color is environmentally influenced -- a result of sun damage. Prevent uneven skintone by always wearing a full spectrum UVA/UVB sunblock that contains a physical sunscreen active ingredient such as micro-zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or Parsol 1789. Even out your skintone with exfoliation by using an alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid-packed moisturizer to gently slough away sun-damaged skin cells to reveal brighter, smoother, more even-colored skin.

Varicose Veins Varicose veins result when the valves that control blood flow are damaged, creating a pocket of "backed-up blood." This usually occurs when the vein is under serious pressure -- pregnancy or serious weight gain are just two common causes. "The newest and most effective method to diminish varicose veins," says Dr. Michael E. Valdes, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, "is a laser method called VascuLight, which targets hemoglobin in blood so it is easily digested by your body. However, if your valves are completely shot, this method won't do it. See a vascular surgeon to discuss your options."

Warts Caused by a virus that affects the superficial layers of the skin, warts are extremely common. Rachel Grossman, a New Brunswick, New Jersey dermatologist, recommends removing the outer layers of skin that are affected. First try an over-the-counter wart remover, but if that doesn't work, your dermatologist can perform cryotherapy, in which liquid nitrogen is applied to the wart to freeze off the virus-infected area.

Trying to extract a pustule yourself can result in scarring -- so you shouldn't try to squeeze a whitehead yourself at home. But, if you must, facialist-to-the-stars Regina Viotto suggests this treatment: After a bath or shower when the warm, steamy air has softened pores, wrap a tissue around both index fingers, then gently apply pressure on either side of the whitehead until it's clean. Disinfect the area with a toner that contains alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid, or witch hazel, such as Elizabeth Arden Refining Toning Lotion. And change your pillowcase, or bacteria is likely to reinfect the pore.

Wrinkles Topical wrinkle creams may help plump up lines temporarily, but they won't make wrinkles disappear. "The first line of defense to diminish wrinkles," says Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Michael E. Valdes, "is to fill them with collagen." While collagen from animals needs to be replaced every 4-6 months, Dr. Valdes' method of choice is a new treatment, Facian (about $250 per syringe), which injects human collagen, facia, into wrinkles. After three treatments, the body starts forming its own new collagen around the facia, making this method most efficient as a long-term solution. If your wrinkles are very deep grooves, consider a surgical approach.

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Thanks! 2 questions- the one for crepey eyelids, would the same treatment work for crepeyness under the eye? Also, for the flaky skin one, I have that bc of RA use. I don't want to stop using the RA, so what would you recc.? Much appreciated.
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