By Mark Ballentyne, MD
The Skin Wellness Center at Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center

Myth: People tend to over moisturize, believing they are correcting their symptoms of dry skin.

Reality: Everyone is different. Most people need correction at a cellular level. When they have accomplished this, their skin has the correct moisture balance without applying a moisturizer. A risk of over moisturizing is that if you have oily or acne prone skin, moisturizers can block pores. Normal skin may not even need moisturizer. Oily skin does not need moisturizer at all. The best way to moisturize is to apply just enough to make your skin feel comfortable and no more.

Myth: If you have acne, you have oily skin.

There are commonly two types of skin conditions with acne: Normal to oily with acne and normal to dry with acne. If you treat your acne as an oily skin condition and you are actually an acne patient with dry skin, you can make your acne much worse. It is best to have skin specialist assess your skin so you know for sure which type of skin you have and how to treat it. At the Skin Wellness Center at Atlantic Plastic Surgery, we treat normal to dry skin with a moisturizer with gylcerin. We treat normal to oily skin with a lotion with either a benzoyl peroxide ingredient or a salicylic acid ingredient.

Myth: Moisturizing oily skin makes matters worse.

Reality: An oily complexion does feel moist to the touch, but oil and moisture are two different things. As you age, you need to use a moisturizer even is your skin is oily. The oiliness of your skin will seal in the moisture you have, but won’t replace the moisture that you lose as you age. Oily skin is best treated with a thorough, but gentle cleansing and an appropriate skin care regimen designed for oily skin.

Myth: You can change the size of your pores.

Reality: You can minimize the size of your skin pores, but they don’t go away. You can greatly reduce pore size by using Glycolic acids, retinols or by having a Fraxel treatment. Ask your skin care professional for their specific recommendation for your skin. Here, the use of the Visia Skin analysis provides a great assistance by clearly showing the patient their areas of skin damage and particularly if their pore size can be improved.

Myth: People believe they may be allergic to Retin A because of their skin’s initial reaction of redness and flakiness.

Reality: Retin A is a highly effective product and much more powerful than anything that can be purchased over the counter. Even if the over-the – counter product says it contains Retinol, it is not in concentrations high enough to produce the results that can be achieved through the use of Retin A and Obagi as supervised by a physician.

Myth: People believe that you should not go in the sun if you are using Retin A.

Reality: You can go in the sun after using Retin A if you use sunscreen. You are only prone to burning if you do not apply sunscreen.

Myth: People believe that tanning their skin first at home or at a tanning salon before they go on a sunny vacation, protects their skin by building up a “base tan”.

Reality: They are damaging their skin significantly more by pre-tanning. Any amount of tanning demonstrates damage to your skin. Use a sunscreen daily.

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