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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.”

We now also have five promising steroid-free prescription medications:

· Tacrolimus ointment;

· Pimecrolimus ointment; and

· Atopiclair®, and

· Crisaborole Ointment (Eucrisa®), a new steroid-free medication based upon boron research.

· Opzelura® Cream, a new Janus kinase inhibitor that works on the Interleukin system involved in itching.

In 2017, Dermatologists also began using a new injectable agent called Dupixent® that acts upon the immune system to decrease what is called cytokine signaling between the white blood cells. We also have a new injectable medication - Adbry® (tralokunumab), targeting the Interleukin 13 inflammatory molecule.

And in 2016, I incorporated a company called Big River Silk Skincare Inc., to manufacture and distribute three lines of helpful lubricating agents (moisturizers) containing an Alpha-Hydroxy chemical called Glycolic Acid: GLYCOSHEA® Hand&Body Cream/Standard Strength (1 oz: $19.95; 2 oz: $29.95; 8 oz: $89.95); GLYCOSHEA® Hand&Body Cream/High Strength (1 oz: $29.95; 2 oz: $44.95; 8 oz: $139.95); and GLYCOSHEA® Facial&Neck Cream (1 oz: $39.95/2 oz; $59.95; 8 oz: $179.95). GLYCOSHEA is helpful in both moisturizing the skin and decreasing the appearance of fine lines in the skin, promoting skin smoothness, making it into an Anti-Wrinkle Cream.

Big River Silk also manufactures a special gentle moisturizer for babies, senior, and those with especially sensitive skin, a hypoallergic moisturizer: HypoShea™ Moisturizer Cream (1 oz: $12.95; 2 oz: $18.95; 8 oz: $39.94).

So if you or family members are suffering from a facial condition like Acne or Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis), consider getting your condition properly diagnosed. My own Dermatology practice – with Rheumatology and Dermatology – is in Cordova TN. Or you can find a Dermatologist close to you by going to the American Academy of Dermatology web site, to the “Find a Dermatologist” tab: just plug in your zip code, and you’ll get a list of Board-certified Dermatologists close to you.

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


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