Call me a masochist, but one of my great fantasies in life is that I will one day be able to sit with a dermatologist and point out every single thing that drives me crazy about my skin–and then be told the one most effective solution for each problem. While it’s nice to know that there are usually several methods one can use to achieve a desired outcome, who honestly has the time and money to try this cream, that treatment, and a hundred additional procedures? Forget choice. We need simple answers. We need an expert to break it down for us so that we know exactly which treatment is the single best one to turn to in order to finally rid our skin of pimples, rosacea, psoriasis, and a gazillion other issues that drive us up a wall. That treatment may cost more than our monthly car payment, but if the choice is between paying for something that actually works versus throwing away hundreds of dollars a month on drugstore and luxury products that just do an okay job, many women will gladly save their pennies.
Luckily, I made this dream of mine a reality with the help of Dr. Jill Waibel at Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute. Here, she reveals the one most effective treatment a dermatologist can perform to address 11 common skin problems.
Rosacea: “Rosacea is a disease that has many options for treatment, but the best is a pulsed dye laser (PDL),” Waibel explain. “The PDL targets red blood vessels and causes them to decrease over time. After just one to three treatments, signs of redness and symptoms of rosacea decrease significantly, making this our best weapon to tackle rosacea.”
Eczema:Eczema describes skin conditions that cause skin to be inflamed and irritated, ultimately causing areas of skin to be scaly, itchy, and dry. To relieve the effects of eczema, Waibel suggests patients use products that will hydrate and quench the skin. “Topical corticosteroids will reduce inflammation and itching and ease soreness and irritation.”
Pimples: ” Tazorac works by affecting the growth of skin cells and helps shed the dead layers of skin to clean and unclog pores, giving way to cleaner, healthier skin,” Waibel says. “It’s also important to keep the skin clean with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil, as it can be used for all skin types and won’t further irritate the skin.”
Cystic acne: “Isotetinoin is the best treatment for cystic acne. It works by drying the skin and decreasing the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands,” Waibel explains. “Ninety percent of patients tend to never have acne ever again. The newest brand on the market is Absorbica, which doesn’t require the fatty food intake like other forms as it is absorbed easily.”
Skin tags: Skin tags don’t present any issues health-wise so it isn’t medically necessary to have them removed. However, if you find one in a particularly irritating spot, say on the neck, removal of skin tags is a quick and painless process. “All you need to do is visit a board-certified dermatologist who will snip them off with a pair of scissors or do a simple biopsy,” Waibel explains.
Hyperpigmentation and brown spots: “The best treatment for hyperpigmentation and brown spots is the use of broadband light (BBL),” Waibel says. “This treatment has the ability to repair the appearance of aged skin, and also delay and prevent signs of skin aging. This laser makes brown spots turn dark and flake off in about one week without any real downtime. One product I recommend in the days after treatment is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum as it will further enhance the skin. It helps build collagen while it also fighting photo-aging, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation. Once applied to the skin it lasts 72 hours, making it a great skin care choice.”
Loss of skin elasticity: “The Lumenis UltraPulse is a CO2 laser that vaporizes skin and causes immediate tightening,” Waibel explains. “Over the next 12 months following treatment, collagen is built back up, giving the face a restored look.”
Fine lines: “For fine lines, Restalyne Silk is my favorite product to use. It is an injectable that provides excellent results in reducing the appearance of fine rhytides in the upper lip. The addition of lidocaine allows for a comfortable experience for patients and the product provides smooth, natural results,” Waibel says.
Deep wrinkles: “TheSciton Erbium treats moderate to severe wrinkles, allowing for the wavelength to penetrate the skin to soften deep wrinkles. This is our best weapon against these deep wrinkles as it restores the face to a more youthful look.”
Wrinkles around the mouth: “A great way to treat parenthesis wrinkles around the mouth is with Juvederm, a hyaluronic acid filler,” Waibel says. “Juvederm lifts tissue that has become sunken over time to restore the mouth area. It creates a natural-looking correction that is subtle and smooth.”
Overall loss of a youthful glow: “The combination of the intense pulsed light (IPL) and Fraxel is a great option for restoring the skin’s natural glow,” Waibel says. “The IPL works to get rid of photodamaged skin, including brown and red spots, while the Fraxel helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Both significantly contribute to reversing the visual signs of aging and when used in combination help to bring back a healthy, youthful glow.”
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