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Memphis Dermatologist: Tune-Up for Facial Acne&Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis):

by George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (02/13/2022)

With Valentine’s Day Monday February 14th, 2022, now’s a great time to get your facial skin conditions tuned-up by a Board-certified Dermatologist. So let’s take a quick look at what’s new in Acne and Eczema (Atopic dermatitis), my perspective being that of a Memphis Dermatologist, practicing in Cordova TN since 1993.

Acne results from clogging of the openings of the Sebaceous Glands (oil glands) to the surface of the skin, with comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), bumps, and cysts. It often starts in the pre-teen or teen years, but can continue into middle age, affecting one’s self-image.

Traditional acne treatments include topical medicines (for use on top of the skin), such as tretinoin cream, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, dapsone, and benzoyl peroxide. 2022 has brought newer oral antibiotics, including Seysara®, a newer form of tetracycline, and also a two new topicals: Winlevi (Clascoterone) and Aklief® (Trifarotene cream). More severe cases sometimes are treated with oral sprironolactone, or an oral drug - Accutane (isotretinoin) - through Accutane requires close lab monitoring and strict avoidance of pregnancy while on treatment.

Eczema is an itchy rash that develops on the arms and legs, but also the face, neck, or body, affecting 3% of the population. It runs in families along with asthma, hay fever, and food allergies.

Sometimes allergies to certain fragrances, dyes, preservatives, or components within latex or certain metals can cause attacks of itching in patients with Eczema. As a member of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, at Rheumatology and Dermatology I offer extended Allergy Patch Testing to help search for trigger chemicals. This type of testing can lead to a “cure” from the itching of Eczema, by identifying the trigger factor.

In 2022, Dermatologists have a growing arsenal of medications for Eczema. We have the topical steroids, of which there are over 30 available, most of which are by prescription only. Topical steroids must be used carefully, to minimize thinning of the skin, and stretch marks. Dermatologists also sometimes use oral agents like prednisone or injectable steroids like methylprednisolone to help with an “Eczema crisis.”