Dear Savvy Derm Diva,
Can you recommend the best protocol for adolescent acne? My daughter not a fan of meds, yet she needs something to protect against scarring while in her teens.
A Father’s Acne Concern, Joe K.
Dear A Father’s Acne Concern,
How sweet of you to be proactive with your daughter’s skin transition into adulthood. First of all, basics are essential, such as cleansing and moisturizing two times a day and wearing sunscreen. Depending on the type of acne your daughter is experiencing can also drive the type of treatment she needs. I will give a basic OTC recommendation to start to help prevent the congestion of pores that can lead to larger acne bumps. Neutrogena’s Salicylic acid wash one time a day in the morning is a great one to start with. You can use a gentle cleanser such as CeraVe gentle wash in the evening. As I mentioned, moisturizer is essential no matter your skin type, and using a non-comedogenic moisturizer such as CeraVe PM or our Ultra-Lite moisturizer two times a day would be perfect. In the evening, after washing your face with a gentle cleanser and patting dry, use Differin gel 0.1% by applying a pea-size amount to the entire face, follow this up with a moisturizer. If the skin feels greasy or oily throughout the day, you may add our Alpha/Beta Pads to do a quick wipe down of the skin. Don’t forget the sunscreen. A DIVA favorite for Acne-prone skin is EltaMD UV Clear.
1. Remember to be patient with your regimen and compliant. You may get a purge of your acne when the treatment starts.
2. If you are not getting better after at least 4 weeks of use, schedule an in-office or virtual appointment with me.
Dear Savvy Derm Diva,
Can you please educate me more on the importance of Vitamin D?
Curious About D, Anna M.
Dear Curious About D,
Vitamin D is a hot topic now as researchers are pointing to people with increased risk of COVID may have low levels of VitD3. Though there is controversy about what is thought to be a normal level (i.e., above 20ng/mL vs. above 30ng/mL), it is always good to get it checked at your doctor’s office by a simple blood test. Vitamin D is known to help calcium absorption up to 10X, which we know is important for bone strength. It is estimated we get about 20-40% from diet and around 40-70% from solar. Though I tell people to wear sunscreen because the harm of UV exposure outweighs the benefit, some people do not wear SPF regularly and are still deficient. It is always good to check your level, and if your body needs more Vitamin D then at least 800 IU of Vitamin D Supplementation a day should give you levels above 20ng/mL. Again, other factors could decrease levels, such as chronic illness and even darker skin complexions, so make sure you know your level before starting any supplements.
Diva Tip: Vitamin D is made in the body, which starts as a precursor form that eventually converts to the most abundant circulating form of Vitamin D known as 25(OH)D. This is what is measured with a laboratory test via the blood. Always consult with your physician or PA-C/NP before starting any dietary supplements. To check yours, Schedule HERE! See Daily Vitamin D updates here.
Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skincare. Ask Savvy Derm Diva is a monthly column answering your skincare related concerns! Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! You can make an appointment with her via TeleMedicine or in person at Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC, or TEXT to 847-802-9667.