The Pretty Pimple http://theprettypimple.com your skin care and dermatology resource Wed, 05 Sep 2018 17:50:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 http://theprettypimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cropped-round-mini-logo-32x32.jpg The Pretty Pimple http://theprettypimple.com 32 32 What Is This Weird Bump On My Eye? http://theprettypimple.com/diagnose-eye-bump-milia-chalazion-stye-xanthelasmas/ http://theprettypimple.com/diagnose-eye-bump-milia-chalazion-stye-xanthelasmas/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 16:06:08 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4621 You look in the mirror one morning and suddenly notice a small bump on your eyelid. What is it? What should you do about it? Is this skin issue going to stick around and mar your appearance? If you’ve ruled out pesky pimples and head trauma, there are quite a few possibilities as to what…

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You look in the mirror one morning and suddenly notice a small bump on your eyelid. What is it? What should you do about it? Is this skin issue going to stick around and mar your appearance? If you’ve ruled out pesky pimples and head trauma, there are quite a few possibilities as to what that surprise eyelid bump might be.

Fortunately, you can breathe a sigh of relief here: Most of the possibilities are common, temporary, and benign. And they won’t affect your eyesight, either. But still, some of them will hurt or bother you, and may need treatment. Plus, it’s important to know what that bump really is, and why it’s suddenly made itself cozy on your eyelid. Let’s take a look at a few common eye bumps… and how you might be able to tell which is which.

Mystery Eye Bump 1: Chalazia

When your upper or lower eyelid gets inflamed, it can result in the growth of a tiny cyst (usually no bigger than 8 millimeters). A chalazion is the official name for this baby cyst. Basically, they happen when the sebaceous glands on your eyelid get clogged. These glands aren’t like the ones that make the rest of your face and skin only, though. They’re called meibomian glands, and they produce a specific type of sebum that lubricates our eyes. When they become obstructed, a small lump can form.

Chalazia may feel soft and full of fluid, but they can also seem firm to the touch. These types of eyelid bumps aren’t generally painful, and should go away within a few weeks. If you’ve had one before, or if you suffer from rosacea, you may be at higher risk for additional chalazia.

Mystery Eye Bump 2: Styes

A stye (or sty) is also called a hordeolum, and these nasty buggers are abscesses that may cause redness, tenderness, and swelling along your eyelid. If you’ve ever had a stye, you’ll probably recognize it immediately — and know that they’re really not fun.

If you haven’t, know that styes make the edges of your eyelid red, tender and swollen, and that in some (though severe) cases, they can grow up to three inches in diameter! Styes are usually a result of a staphylococcal bacterial infection, and they are contagious. They can look a lot like those chalazion cysts we mentioned above, but styes are typically pretty painful. They eventually develop a yellow point or head, and will then spontaneously drain, which some people may confuse for a pimple but they’re very different!

A stye should resolve itself within a week or two, though some may require treatment by a physician. In the meantime, don’t pop it and don’t touch it. Keep your eyes and hands as clean as possible, and don’t share sheets or towels with anybody else.

Mystery Eye Bump 3: Milia

Does your eyelid bump look like a raised white dot? Kind of like a super tough, hard whitehead? It might be a milium. Milia are also a type of cyst, and they’re filled with laminated keratin. Come again? Basically, these tiny little bumps are filled with the same fibrous protein that makes up our hair and nails, but the protein accidentally got trapped under your skin.

These little cysts are tiny — just 1-2 mm — and they’re firm. They can pop up all by themselves, or in clusters. They won’t hurt, but they can be irritating, and the look of them does tend to bother some people.

Several specific types of milia exist, some of them erupt spontaneously from sweat glands or show up after the skin has been damaged. Milia eye bumps can be seen in newborns, teens, and adults, and they look a lot like baby acne or whiteheads. Milia should disappear on their own, but for some, they’ll stick around. You can have them removed, but a dermatologist should be doing the procedure, not you!

Mystery Eye Bump 4: Xanthelasmas

If your eyelid bump looks more like a yellowish, spreading plaque, you may be experiencing a xanthelasma. Xanthelasmas are soft to the touch and not painful, and they’re filled with cholesterol. A xanthelasma could be a sign that you have hyperlipidemia, which is a condition where someone has too many lipids, or fats, in their blood. In fact, about half of xanthelasma sufferers have hyperlipidemia. Xanthelasmas are benign (that’s just a fancy way of saying harmless), but most of the time they won’t go away on their own. If you lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, that may help them resolve over time. Generally, xanthelasmas tend to affect middle-aged and older adults.

Mystery Eye Bump 5: Syringomas

These are a type of papule that crop up around our sweat ducts, which means they can be found on the eyelids or on other parts of the body, such as on our chest or neck. They’re about 1-3 millimeters in diameter and the bump is usually yellowish or skin-colored.

Syringomas may itch when you sweat but are otherwise asymptomatic — meaning they won’t bother you or show any other symptoms. Because of the way they look and feel, they can be easily confused with xanthelasmas or milia. You’ll find them rooted in the deeper layers of the skin, and they tend to show up more in women than in men. Syringomas typically appear spontaneously (great, we know) but as with the other conditions here, they don’t require treatment except to reduce unsightliness.

Courtesy of merckmanuals.com

Mystery Eye Bump 6: Blepharitis

If your eyelids are red, itchy and irritated, you could have this common eyelid inflammation disorder. People end up with blepharitis because of either bacteria or a skin condition that affects the skin on or around their eye, such as dandruff of the scalp or rosacea. When these bacteria (which are actually commonly found on the face and lids) multiply or the lid area gets irritated by their presence, that’s when infection can occur.

Blepharitis affects people of all ages, but it’s not contagious and it won’t permanently damage your sight. The bad news is, blepharitis usually causes a gritty, burning sensation in the eyes, and for some people, it can also cause itching, redness, swelling, dry eyes or crustiness. Yuck indeed.

Be warned: touching or rubbing your eye if you’ve got blepharitis can cause a secondary infection, so keep your hands away from your eyes! You can help alleviate or prevent the condition by regularly washing your face, eyelids, and scalp, and using a warm compress to soak your eyelids. If it’s a bacterial infection that’s causing (or cropped up with) your blepharitis, a doctor may choose to prescribe antibiotics.

The Bottom Line on Mystery Eye Bumps

As you can see, most of these common eyelid conditions resolve themselves within a few weeks and don’t typically require treatment. Generally, hot compresses can help stimulate blood flow to hasten the healing process, and heading to your doctor for antibiotics and steroids may also help. If you’d like to see a dermatologist for removal, treatment options may include chemical peels, lasers, cryotherapy, or simple evacuation. Of course, everyone’s body (and eyelids!) are different, so if you’re feeling like you’ve got one of these bumps but it’s bothering you or not going on away on its own, it’s always best to make an appointment with a trusted dermatologist.

It’s also super easy to misdiagnose eyelid lesions, especially if you’re doing it yourself. Often, eye bumps are confused with other types of skin problems, and you don’t want to treat something it turns out you don’t have. So, again, if they recur, or remain resistant to treatment, please visit a doctor and ask to have a histopathological diagnosis done, to make sure they aren’t dangerous to your health.

Dr. Brittany Blaise, a dermatology resident at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU), helped contribute to the accuracy of this story.

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TLC Season Finale: Dr. Pimple Popper’s Behind The Scenes Commentary http://theprettypimple.com/tlc-season-finale-dr-pimple-poppers-behind-scenes-commentary/ http://theprettypimple.com/tlc-season-finale-dr-pimple-poppers-behind-scenes-commentary/#respond Thu, 16 Aug 2018 02:41:58 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4624 Here it is… my recap of the season finale of our first TLC season! I’m SO EXCITED to tell you guys that we’ve been signed for a second season, and those new episodes will air at the beginning of 2019! So THANK YOU for all your love and support, I know it seems like forever…

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Here it is… my recap of the season finale of our first TLC season! I’m SO EXCITED to tell you guys that we’ve been signed for a second season, and those new episodes will air at the beginning of 2019! So THANK YOU for all your love and support, I know it seems like forever to wait until then, but here’s a little something to tide you over!

Patient 1: John

I’ve met lots of characters on this TLC adventure, but John is definitely one of the biggest characters of them all. It cracks me up how much he calls his lipoma a boob and loves to make boob jokes, but I know that the growth really affects him. He’s been living with this C cup-sized third boob for 20 years! Even though it’s not physically painful for him, I actually found out from talking to John that his growth has gotten in the way of one of his passions and hobbies, which made me so sad for him! I had to remind myself exactly this term, but John is a LARPer, which stands for Live Action Role Playing, and it’s when people act out role-playing games, usually the fantasy kind. So he loves to LARP and wear metal and iron outfits (just like in Game of Thrones!) but he hasn’t been able to wear all of the costumes beause of this boob that’s grown on his side.

Here’s what John’s side looked like almost immediately after surgery – the swelling on his incision will definitely decrease as it heals!

Helping John, who was so scared to come to a doctor and be operated on, it really shows me and reminds me how important it is to do this for my patients. I think sometimes these procedures become so routine for me, I don’t always realize just how appreciative people are when they have a benign condition. Just because something isn’t life-threatening or painful doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect their life, and that’s a real, different kind of pain, even if they brush it off.

I will also say, that was one gorgeous lipoma! Did you guys see how beautifully it came out, too?!

John brought me a copy of the Maui news, and he also had me sign his wrap bandage, which was very sweet!

Patient 2: Noelle

For many years, Noelle had huge gauges in her ears. It’s not an uncommon trend to stretch your earlobes, but just like many people, she has definitely outgrown that phase of her life. She’s just not that person anymore, and I totally get and respect that.

I know you guys see so many cysts and lipomas and dramatic bumps, but ear repair surgeries are actually one of my favorite procedures! I mean, just look at these results!

To me, helping someone to fix their stretched ears is like this really fun puzzle. It’s like Tetris or Jenga, and it becomes this challenge to fit all the skin back together and repair the earlobe with as little scaring as possible. It’s a creative surgeon’s challenge!

It’s never easy operating on someone that close to their face, let alone their ear, but Noelle was such a trooper! So happy she can wear her hair up and she’s no longer self-conscious about her earlobes!

Patient 3: Taylor

I know that I’m probably not supposed to pick or choose favorites, but Taylor is definitely one of my favorite patients of the season, although I feel like I could say that about a lot of the patients this first season on TLC!!

Taylor’s “Lizzie” lump is actually a condition that really is so much more complicated than just an embarrassing bump on her behind. You guys probably just call this area her booty or butt crack, but the official name for this area is the gluteal crease, which is the top of the gluteus maximus.

I’ve never seen this type of growth in person on an adult before. Although come to think of it, I’ve never seen it in a child either, and that’s because usually the diagnosis of a growth like this is made at birth or within the first few years of someone’s life, so it’s usually seen by a pediatrician. When this type of growth is diagnosed during childhood, it’s what we call a “marker” for a possible case of spinal dysraphism. This could be a sign that she has a congenital abnormality, and it’s perhaps something that occurred during fetal development.

So how did I know that a lipoma in this area is a marker for spinal dysraphism? I actually distinctly remember it from my dermatology textbooks and reading about it while doing my residency and preparing for my board examination. All that schooling really does come in handy!!

Hands down, without a doubt, this is something that should have really been caught by other doctors, well before Taylor saw me. It’s actually pretty shocking to me that various other physicians have seen her throughout her life and never questioned the fact that she has had this bump since birth. Those two words were all she had to say for me to hear alarm bells in my head. But of course, as a good doctor, I really never want to show deep concern to my patients until I do more research and know what’s really going on.

So, as you guys saw, we ordered an MRI, and it was confirmed by the radiologist that this is a lipomeningocele. That’s a fancy word for what is basically a little tiny strip of a lipoma inside her spinal canal. It’s actually creating a tethered cord, meaning Taylor’s spinal cord (which normally free floats in the spinal canal for all humans) is being pushed to the side by this lipoma and is now stuck to the side of her spinal canal. The radiologist said it was an absolute miracle that she wasn’t showing any negative signs because of this… damage to your spinal cord in this area can create bowel and bladder problems, nerve function, even difficulty in walking… and all that could be permanent!

To me, it’s CRAZY that it took a dermatologist to discover this, but on the other hand, I’m pretty proud of this discovery and getting to the bottom of Taylor’s problem! Becoming a board-certified dermatologist required extensive training, and we are SO much more than “pimple poppers”!  I didn’t finish my training until I was almost 34 years old – and this is pretty much the norm for a board-certified dermatologist.

Anyways, giving Taylor such stressful news was so tough, it’s just the worst part of my job, always. But I was so, so happy I could help her at least with the cosmetic aspect of this growth. Debulking is such a funny word, but that’s really what I was doing for her!

Also, I LOVE this little clip of her checkin’ out Lizzie post surgery. She is too cute! 

Here’s a photo of the area healing – there’s still a bit of swelling, but it’s much flatter than it was before!

I’m also SO happy to report that now she is connected with a neurosurgeon where she lives in St. Louis and will likely be moving forward with having spinal surgery. This type of surgery will help Taylor to fully address the lipoma within her spinal canal, which is super important so that she can prevent any problems that may occur in the future! I truly adore her and wish her the best of luck!

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Behind The Scenes, Exclusive Recap: Dr. Pimple Popper Episode 5 on TLC! http://theprettypimple.com/behind-scenes-exclusive-recap-dr-pimple-popper-episode-5-tlc/ http://theprettypimple.com/behind-scenes-exclusive-recap-dr-pimple-popper-episode-5-tlc/#comments Thu, 09 Aug 2018 02:41:28 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4602 Here it is – my behind-the-scenes thoughts and the inside scoop on the latest episode of my TLC show, Dr. Pimple Popper! If you haven’t been able to watch the episode yet, you can watch it on the TLC website! And now, without further ado… Patient 1: Belinda What. A. Sweetheart. I cannot express to…

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Here it is – my behind-the-scenes thoughts and the inside scoop on the latest episode of my TLC show, Dr. Pimple Popper! If you haven’t been able to watch the episode yet, you can watch it on the TLC website! And now, without further ado…

Patient 1: Belinda

What. A. Sweetheart. I cannot express to you guys what a giving person Belinda is, taking care of absolutely everyone around her and ignoring herself and her own pain. It truly broke my heart to see that she was so affected by her neck lipoma and the way it was pushing her neck forward.

It’s actually a pretty common area to have a lipoma, right on the back of the neck – I’ve seen lots of patients with lipomas right on that spot! It’s always a bit of a challenge because you never know how intensely a lipoma can get wrapped around the muscle and nerves in the body. But OMG did you guys SEE that beautiful pop?! Belinda’s baby twins came right out, it was so, unbelievably satisfying!

Also, it seriously touched me that she brought me that beautiful bracelet! I loved that loves to craft, and that she wanted to do something for me before I could even remove that lump! Love, love, love that she can drive and neck jive and not be so dependent on her son.

Here are some photos of Belinda’s healing process!

Patient 2: Nicole

Nicole is sassy just like me so we clicked pretty much instantly. I loved working with her! She had this third, little mini boob, which we officially diagnose as accessory gynecomastia. This actually isn’t breast milk, which is what she originally thought. Instead, this lump happened when a small amount of breast tissue traveled to her armpit at some point during her life, and then it expanded after she got pregnant.

The key for me was that I just needed to remove enough tissue to make sure that area was not so much of an obvious pooch. Enough so she would feel confident in a wedding dress! I was able to cauterize her fat tissue to make sure to shrink that puffy area, but I’m really proud of the stitches I put in, I think they’ll heal really nicely.

Nicole is such a great person, she really made me laugh, and I truly hope she is happier with her third boob gone! Seeing her post-surgery scenes just brought me so much joy… she has so much personality, she really deserves this!

Patient 3: Adela

These hundreds of “moles” that Adela has are diagnosed officially as seborrheic keratoses, but I love to call them wisdom spots! I’m telling you guys, Adela must be seriously wise, LOL! They’re called this because they’re usually associated with getting older, and even though they’re mistaken as moles or warts, they’re officially seborrheic keratosis or SKs. She’s also got some DPN, or dermatosis papulosa nigra, which is a condition in people with darker skin, and it’s characterized by small brown or black spots around the cheekbones and eyes.

There are lots of ways to remove seborrheic keratoses, and because Adela had so many of them, I decided to use multiple methods on the different areas and sizes. For some, we used liquid nitrogen, which literally freezes off the spots. For others, we used numbing and then just snipped them off! For a bunch of the ones on her neck, we used the KTP laser, which is a green light solid blasts the SKs with heat. Then, for others, we used Eskata — this is a topical concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide that does a really good job removing these stubborn spots.

The thing to know if you’re someone with seborrheic keratoses is that these spots can grow back, and Adela may get some new ones. Some of the ones that I treated may actually need another treatment or two, but after a few zaps, she should see a really significant improvement!

We used so many removal methods, and Adela was quite timid and sensitive, so it wasn’t always easy for me to remove her SKs, just because she was a bit scared of what I was doing. She was super brave though, and I’m glad we were able to attack so many of them for her – I could tell how happy she was after all those removals!!!

Patient 4: Nick

You guys. NEVER, EVER, EVER remove your own lipoma. It doesn’t matter how many of my lipoma videos you’ve watched or HOW big of a popaholic you are… it is just NOT a good idea!! This is a real, medical procedure and I went to school for many, many years to know how to do this. PLUS I’ve done this type of surgery hundreds of times. Trust me. Never a good idea to do surgery on yourself.

Nick got really lucky, using something like an Exacto knife and no numbing… Honestly, it’s probably a good thing the rest of his lipomas were on his back and out of reach!!

But, despite all that, I have to admit that Nick is a sweet, sweet guy. I really hope he just comes to me next time if he has another lipoma! And I hope that the process taught him that going to a doctor doesn’t have to be scary!

He really was a big popaholic, and that piece he 3D printed me was seriously so cool — I have to give him props for being such a do-it-yourself guy! And of course, that little baby chicken he named after me is too cute!!!

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So You’ve Got Keratosis Pilaris… Now What? http://theprettypimple.com/how-to-deal-with-keratosis-pilaris-solutions/ http://theprettypimple.com/how-to-deal-with-keratosis-pilaris-solutions/#respond Thu, 02 Aug 2018 14:47:58 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4588 If you’ve got dry patches of rough bumps on your skin, chances are, it’s been a frustrating journey to get to the bottom of what’s causing them. Bumpy like acne but dry and itchy like eczema, keratosis pilaris is often mistaken for a number of different things. But if you’re here, reading this, and it’s…

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If you’ve got dry patches of rough bumps on your skin, chances are, it’s been a frustrating journey to get to the bottom of what’s causing them. Bumpy like acne but dry and itchy like eczema, keratosis pilaris is often mistaken for a number of different things. But if you’re here, reading this, and it’s very clear you’ve got keratosis pilaris, that means you’re already on the right track to finding a treatment to alleviate those symptoms!

Am I doomed now that I’ve been diagnosed with KP?!

No, no, no! First of all, Keratosis pilaris is super common… it’ affects up to 50% of people in the United States, and nearly 80% of adults experience some form of KP at some point in their lives.

Now, just as important to know, is that aside from the occasional itchiness that sometimes comes with these patches of rough dry skin, keratosis pilaris is not something you need to stress yourself out over. Easy to say when you’re not itchy and uncomfortable, we know, but just know that KP is not contagious or super serious AND the symptoms can be treated if clear skin is a priority for you!

Okay great, how do I treat keratosis pilaris?

First thing’s first — it should be known that there is no real cure for keratosis pilaris. Ugh, sorry! The good news, however, is that the symptoms can be treated.

So, what can we do about these bumps? In order to rid the skin of those dry, goosebump-like protrusions, you’ll need to get that build-up of keratin out of those pores so your skin can get back to being smooth and supple.

The best way to do this? Regular exfoliation. Exfoliating is a good practice to keep for all skincare routines as it rids the surface of the skin of dead skin cells, which can lead to dullness, dryness, and clogged pores. To slough your skin of that dead weight, you can approach the matter in two ways: with physical exfoliation, or chemical exfoliation.

Which exfoliating products are best for keratosis pilaris?

We’re glad you asked! Physical exfoliation is what comes to mind for most people when they think of exfoliating. That apricot scrub you probably used all the time in high school? That’s a prime example of a physical exfoliant. They scrub the skin with the help of gritty abrasives, like beads or shell fragments, and you can find countless varieties on the shelves of drug stores and beauty supply shops. Using physical exfoliants can be a great way to deal with dry flakes and stubborn keratin spots. For some people, however, scrubs or exfoliating treatments like microdermabrasion can sometimes lead to too much dryness or irritation — that’s especially true for people with already dry or sensitive skin.

The other way to get rid of that build up of dead skin is to look to chemical exfoliants like acids (we know that sounds scary but we promise, they’re not!) to lift that layer and cleanse your skin. Chemical exfoliants are divided into two categories: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). One of the most common chemical exfoliant is salicylic acid, which is a BHA found in many acne products from cleansers to creams. And then there’s glycolic acid. To put it simply, glycolic acid is the easiest and most effective way to treat keratosis pilaris. That’s because it’s an AHA with a small molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate the skin’s surface to break up all those rough, dry cells that are blocking things up. It’s also safe enough to use every day, and it’s a humectant, which means it retains moisture in the skin — a must for anyone hoping to treat dryness.

The best part? Glycolic acid is found in a number of different kinds of skincare products designed to treat the face and body, from cleansers to toners to serums.

One of the best keratosis pilaris treatments out there (in our humble opinion) is the Body Smoothing System from SLMD Skincare. The SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Scrub is a combined physical and chemical exfoliator — it’s got tiny little scrubbers, plus glycolic acid, lactic acid, and willow bark extract. Then there’s the SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Lotion, which uses glycolic acid to gently shed skin cells and shea butter to further hydrate dry areas and lock in moisture.

As with any new skincare product, be sure glycolic acid works well with your skin by doing a patch test before applying it to larger areas, and increase use slowly over time to reduce the risk of irritation. That KP will be gone in no time!

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Here Are 7 Easy Ways to Add Glycolic Acid Into Your Skincare Routine http://theprettypimple.com/easy-ways-add-glycolic-acid-skincare-into-routine/ http://theprettypimple.com/easy-ways-add-glycolic-acid-skincare-into-routine/#respond Wed, 01 Aug 2018 14:50:18 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4574 If you’ve heard about glycolic acid and have been itching to give it a try, you’ve come to the right place. Not sure exactly what glycolic acid is, and if you should be using it? Fear not, we’ve got that info for you too. The bottom line is, what’s the best way to get your…

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If you’ve heard about glycolic acid and have been itching to give it a try, you’ve come to the right place. Not sure exactly what glycolic acid is, and if you should be using it? Fear not, we’ve got that info for you too. The bottom line is, what’s the best way to get your glycolic acid fix? We’ve got you!

What is glycolic acid?

Only one of the best exfoliators and skincare ingredients around! Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that’s used to treat a ton of different skincare concerns, from dullness to fine lines to ingrown hairs… and a ton of stuff in between. Like other AHAs, glycolic acid is a naturally occuring substance found in fruits, cane sugar, and milk, which makes it a gentle on the skin and safe for just about every skin type. It’s usually found in products like toners and cleansers, but also packs a punch when used in lotions and treatments, like fruit peels.

And what exactly makes glycolic acid so great?

For starters, it’s one of the most gentle and effective exfoliants you’ll find out there. Unlike physical exfoliants, which are made with beads or gritty sand-like materials to slough at the skin, chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid remove those dead cells without the harsh scrubbing. Thanks to its small molecular structure, glycolic acid is able to penetrate the top layer of skin to break down dirt, sebum, keratin, and dead skin cells, revealing brighter and smoother skin. On top of all that, it’s also a humectant, which means it retains moisture in the skin, making it a fantastic option for anyone looking to shed old skin without drying out.

Okay, got it. How should I be using glycolic acid?

Now that we know the deal with glycolic acid, how can we incorporate it into our routine? Well, that all depends on what you’re aiming to treat. But luckily, glycolic acid is found in a ton of products that are both effective and easy to use.

In an all-over body wash or scrub

Glycolic acid doesn’t just treat skin above the neck. In fact, many people use its powerful exfoliating properties to scrub the skin on their bodies, which is quite a bit thicker than the dermis found on the face. Glycolic acid can also be used to treat ingrown hairs, which makes it the perfect shower companion for anyone who tends to get ingrowns, whether they’re in their under arms or bikini area. To scrub skin without irritating it, look to a gentle glycolic acid body product.

We are super into the SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Scrub, which specifically targets keratosis pilaris, dull/dry skin, and ingrown hairs. All you have to do is apply a small amount of scrub to wet or dry skin and massage it in with your fingertips. Then, rinse it away and pat dry with a clean towel.

In a toner

Toners are a great way to remove makeup, dirt, or oil from the skin while keeping pH levels balanced. By adding glycolic acid as an ingredient, toners can be used to gently exfoliate the skin as well, which makes the skin better at absorbing any ingredients you apply afterwards. If you’re using glycolic acid to treat dry skin, just make sure your toner is alcohol-free to prevent over drying.

We’re obsessed with the Pixi Glow Tonic To Go Pads, which are infused with 5% glycolic acid and can just be swept over your skin to deliver all that exfoliating goodness. With any other toner, apply a small amount to a cotton pad and wipe it gently over clean skin — either your whole face or just affected areas of the skin. Just make sure you follow up with your usual moisturizer for the best results.

In a treating-meets-moisturizing lotion

Yes, that’s right. Exfoliating and hydrating are a beautiful pair. And remember how we told you that glycolic acid is a humectant? That means it helps pull water into your skin, and then the moisturizing ingredients in your lotion will lock in that hydration. Plus, lotion with active ingredients is a skincare option that keeps working so you don’t have to, like while you sleep! Glycolic-infused moisturizers are especially good options for anyone looking to treat symptoms of acne, dryness or irritation. That’s especially true for conditions that affect larger areas of the body, like keratosis pilaris.

We can’t get enough of the SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Lotion right now. It’s a gentle body lotion that smooths and hydrates because it contains glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and rich shea butter to moisturize. To use, just apply it to your skin and let the lotion do all the work.

In a facial cleanser

Most people wash their face at least once a day (everybody should be cleansing twice a day, but that’s another story altogether), which offers more than enough opportunity to witness the benefits of glycolic acid. If you’re someone who relies on regular exfoliation for soft skin, or if you have trouble remembering to dedicate a few minutes a week to sloughing away those dead layers, make life easy on yourself by keeping a glycolic acid cleanser on hand.

To get the best results, swap your usual cleanser with a glycolic acid formula a few times a week. We’re a fan of the AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser from Murad, which has a trio of exfoliating acids.

In a treatment serum

Serums and other treatment products containing glycolic acid are usually go-to’s for anyone looking to treat their acne or slow down the hands of time. Glycolic acid delivers results by encouraging cell turnover through exfoliation, which reveals a youthful, healthy glow. It also pulls debris out of your pores, making it a great acne fighter.

Effaclar Serum from La Roche-Posay is a great option that isn’t too pricey. To use it, or any serum containing glycolic acid, apply a light layer to the affected area and gently pat into your skin. Because serums tend to be more concentrated, start this regimen every two or three days, at night before bed. Then, increase use once you know your skin is responding positively to it.

dermatologist or PA applying a chemical peel

With an at-home mask

Have yourself a mini at home spa treatment and treat your skin to a dose of glycolic acid. Generally speaking, AHAs are most effective when they sit directly on our skin, so treatment masks are a perfect way to really get a good dose of glycolic onto any problem areas. That said, make sure an at-home mask isn’t the first time you use glycolic – you may notice some pretty seriously tingling with a glycolic mask, and that will be a pretty intense feeling if you’ve never used this acid before.

This Glycolic Peel Mask from Caudalie is a good option — just layer it on thick and wait 10 minutes. As with any at-home mask, make sure you follow the instructions carefully!

With a professional skin service

Over the counter formulas that include Glycolic Acid typically only have between 1% and 20% glycolic acid. Skin care professionals, like your dermatologist or esthetician, have products that contain upwards of 70% glycolic acid. For a serious glycolic acid treatment, like a chemical peel, talk to your derm or favorite facialist about your skin concerns and the results you hope to see, and work together to determine the right option for you and your skin.

A few things to keep in mind…

As with any skincare product or ingredient, you should only use what appears to be effective on your own skin, and that works to treat whatever skincare concerns you’re hoping to tackle. For most people, glycolic acid is gentle enough for everyday use, but it’s always best to spot test before using and start with a slow introduction before gradually increasing use over time. If glycolic acid seems to tough on your skin, consider a gentler AHA like lactic acid, which is similar to glycolic acid but tends to be a little gentler on the complexion.

Most cleansers containing glycolic acid use relatively low amounts of the ingredient, which makes it safe enough for everyday use. If you’re just getting to know glycolic acid, however, it’s best to start slow and work your way up to more frequent use.

And last, but very importantly, never skimp on the SPF when you’re using glycolic acid! Because AHAs like glycolic acid tend to make the skin sensitive to UV rays, always be sure to follow up with a sunscreen or SPF-infused moisturizer to prevent sun damage or sunburn.

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What Are These Rough, Bumpy Patches on My Skin? http://theprettypimple.com/rough-bumpy-patches-skin-keratosis-pilaris/ http://theprettypimple.com/rough-bumpy-patches-skin-keratosis-pilaris/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 15:21:08 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4582 Do you have dry, rough, itchy patches of skin on the backs of your arms? What about tiny, rough pimple-looking things on your legs or butt? Bumps that look and feel like permanent sandpaper goosebumps? What is this stuff all over my skin?!! If all of these questions seem very on-point, what you’re dealing with…

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Do you have dry, rough, itchy patches of skin on the backs of your arms? What about tiny, rough pimple-looking things on your legs or butt? Bumps that look and feel like permanent sandpaper goosebumps? What is this stuff all over my skin?!! If all of these questions seem very on-point, what you’re dealing with may look like acne and itch like eczema, but chances are, those patches of bumps you’re dealing with are keratosis pilaris.

What could these bumps be?

There are so many things that could cause itchy, dry, bumpy patches on your skin, but the most common are eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris, contact dermatitis, and folliculitis. It could also be acne, though acne tends to be more painful than itchy.

Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is caused by inflammation, and it shows up on the skin as a dry, flaking, red, itchy rash. The key word here is itchy — everyone’s eczema looks different, but it’s almost always itchy.

Psoriasis appears as a result of an overgrowth of keratin and skin cells and creates these overgrown scaly areas that are red or almost silver in color. When you have psoriasis, it means your skin is overproducing keratin way too quickly, and your body can’t shed them fast enough or keep up.

Contact dermatitis is in the same family as eczema, but it happens when your skin comes into contact with something that was irritating or that you have an allergy to. Anything from poison ivy to fragrant soaps to jewelry can cause this one.

Folliculitis is an inflammation of your pores (aka hair follicles) and involves small red bumps or bumps that look like white-headed pimples.

Keratosis pilaris is what we’ll be focusing on in this story, and it’s what all those questions up top referred to. Dry, rough, patches of skin that look like permanent goosebumps and feel like sandpaper. Sometimes these bumps are flesh-colored, other times they’re red and itchy and angry.

Image Courtesy of First Derm. Getty Images
Image courtesy of Healthline.
This person has a case of keratosis pilaris.

Of course, this list is meant to help you determine what’s going on with your skin, but the best way to be sure what skin condition you have is to schedule a visit with your doctor or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis so you can get to work on getting clear skin that makes you feel great!

Okay, so what’s the deal with keratosis pilaris?

If you think you have keratosis pilaris, don’t worry! It’s a benign and harmless condition that’s very treatable, and you’re definitely not alone! Keratosis pilaris is said to affect up to 80% of the population at some point during their lives, and some people begin witnessing symptoms as early as two years old.

Keratosis pilaris is a common condition that shows up as these itty bitty bumps on the skin. Sometimes referred to as “chicken skin” for its resemblance to a plucked chicken (gross, we know), the symptoms of keratosis pilaris are usually dry and rough skin. These patches of sandpaper-like skin typically appear on the arms, legs, butt, and sometimes on a person’s face. For some people, the bumps are flesh-colored (like below) and for others, they’re red, itchy, and inflamed (like above).

The rough, bumpy patches that people who have keratosis pilaris see on their skin are caused by clogged hair follicles or pores. While acne symptoms appear as a result of excess sebum and dead skin cells blocking up a pore, keratosis pilaris symptoms occur when excess keratin, a skin-building protein, plugs up hair follicles and becomes trapped under the surface of the skin.

But, you may be asking, why do I have this condition? According to medscape.com, up to 50% of people with keratosis pilaris have a family history of the condition, so if you’re wondering why you have these bumps, you may just have genetics to thank. Sometimes, keratosis pilaris can result as a side effect of another medical condition, like eczema, asthma, or obesity. Researchers are still not entirely sure what causes keratosis pilaris, but luckily, the symptoms are treatable, and many people end up finding relief from those pesky bumps.  

Okay, how do I deal with my so-called chicken skin?!

We’ll start with the bad news: sadly, there is no known cure for keratosis pilaris. The good news, however, is that it’s totally harmless! Aside from occasional itchiness, this condition isn’t really anything you need to stress yourself out about. That said, while keratosis pilaris isn’t really concerning from a medical perspective, the symptoms and look of KP can have some people feeling embarrassed or self-conscious. If this is the case, you can rest easy knowing that the symptoms of keratosis pilaris are totally treatable and can be minimized and that you can eventually have the skin you deserve by taking just a few easy measures.

So, what are the best ways to treat keratosis pilaris? To put it simply — exfoliation. In order to smooth out those bumps, you’ll need to get that excess keratin out of your hair follicles. One way to exfoliate is with a physical exfoliant, like a scrub, which works for some people, but may be a little too rough for some skin contending with this condition.

The other way to slough is with a chemical exfoliant, namely, acids. Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid are all tried-and-true skincare staples that work to break down that top layer of dead, dry skin to treat conditions like acne and aging, and can be found in a ton of common products ranging from cleansers to creams. Glycolic acid is a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin because it penetrates the surface to exfoliate without irritating, thanks to its small molecular size. Even better, because it’s a humectant, it can hold water and pull it into the skin, which can alleviate symptoms of dryness that often occur as a result of keratosis pilaris.

Our favorite way to treat KP? The SLMD Body Smoothing System. It’s a gentle but effective body scrub and body lotion that can be used daily, and are filled with all sorts of active and soothing ingredients to help your keratosis pilaris. Start by tackling your symptoms in the shower with the SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Scrub, which uses glycolic acid, lactic acid, and willow bark extract to exfoliate the skin. Then follow up with a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer that won’t clog pores: SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Lotion, which treats as it hydrates.

Before you start going HAM using glycolic acid products, be sure to start slowly and increase use over time, and spot test in a small area before you apply it elsewhere to reduce the risk of irritation. Glycolic acid is definitely gentle enough for everyday use, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you already have skin conditions and concerns to contend with.

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5 Simple Ways to Soothe Your Keratosis Pilaris at Home http://theprettypimple.com/easy-ways-to-soothe-keratosis-pilaris-treatments-at-home/ http://theprettypimple.com/easy-ways-to-soothe-keratosis-pilaris-treatments-at-home/#respond Mon, 30 Jul 2018 16:57:46 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4519 Do you struggle with “chicken skin”? Do you have small, rough bumps on your thighs, arms, cheeks or butt that you just can’t seem to get rid of? You’re not alone! Many people who have these types of bumps don’t realize that KP is an actual skin condition… and that it’s treatable! Keratosis pilaris is a…

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Image courtesy of WebMD.

Do you struggle with “chicken skin”? Do you have small, rough bumps on your thighs, arms, cheeks or butt that you just can’t seem to get rid of? You’re not alone! Many people who have these types of bumps don’t realize that KP is an actual skin condition… and that it’s treatable! Keratosis pilaris is a real, chronic skin condition that affects 30% to 50% of people in the U.S. And while it definitely doesn’t look pretty, the good news is that keratosis pilaris is relatively harmless.

When you realize you’ve got a skin condition, it’s definitely important to see a dermatologist if you can. But it’s good to know there are also ways to soothe those dry, red bumps without resorting to a doctor. Here are five easy ways to help keep your KP in check!

1. Wash your skin the right way.

When you’re washing your KP-affected skin, make sure you’re doing it right. For starters, stay away from hot water. Instead, use warm, or tepid water, which will unclog your pores without stripping your skin of all those hydrating oils it naturally produces. Use mild, fragrance-free soaps without alcohol (more about the importance of ingredients later!), which will clean your skin without further irritating or stripping it.

And lastly, but just as importantly, take your time when you’re sudsing up. Using your fingertips, rub your skin with circular motions. Once you’re done, make sure you rinse off really well so there’s no leftover soap or any oily debris. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Do this at least once a day — more if you sweat.

2. Exfoliate to reduce keratin buildup.

It’s important to not intensely scrub your skin because that will probably make KP worse. But you should gently remove all those built up dead skin cells with an exfoliating product or loofah. An effective exfoliator will help remove that top, dead layer of skin to stimulate circulation. Our favorite option is the SLMD Skincare Glycolic Acid Body Scrub. It’s got physical and chemical exfoliants to get rid of all those sandpaper-like bumps, but it’s still gentle and hydrating enough to be used regularly.

One note: If your KP is super red and irritated, you may want to avoid physical exfoliating products and stick with just chemical ones.

3. Hydrate and moisturize your skin.

Yes, those two are different! Hydrating brings water into your skin, moisturizing locks in all that hydration so it stays sealed in your skin.

Anyways, hydrating and moisturizing is always important, but it’s even more important for the KP sufferer. That’s because dry skin makes all those goose pimples that much more obvious. For this reason, KP often clears in the summer and is worse in winter. Like we explained, moisturizers create a barrier between your skin and the air to seal in water and rehydrate the top layer of skin. They can also help alleviate itching or dryness. You can find some moisturizers that include medicated agents to treat the KP. Our favorite is, you guessed it, the SLMD Skincare Glycolic Acid Body Lotion. It’s an awesome option because it has Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid, both of which are AHA chemical exfoliants that are also humectants, aka they pull water into your skin. It’s a shea butter base, which then locks that hydration into your skin.

Whatever moisturizer you choose, make sure you apply it right after you shower to seal in the max amount of moisture, and massage some into your skin at least once, if not several times, a day.

4. Pick the right products.

Plain and simple, if you’ve got KP you should avoid harsh ingredients that can irritate skin. That includes alcohols, comedogenic products that block pores, and anything that will spur excess oil production.

That said, there are tons of super helpful ingredients that can improve your skin’s texture. Look for shower gels, moisturizers, lotions, skin sprays, and other products with the following ingredients:

Glycolic Acid

The smallest of the AHAs, Glycolic Acid is considered the most effective at regenerating collagen, thickening the epidermis, and evening skin tone.

Read more about glycolic acid in our Ingredient Spotlight!

Lactic Acid

This AHA is awesome at dissolving keratin to improve skin texture, firmness, and smoothness.

Read more about lactic acid in our Ingredient Spotlight!

Salicylic Acid

A BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that softens and sloughs the top layer of skin cells, Salicylic Acid is excellent for deep cleaning and exfoliation.

Read more about salicylic acid in our Ingredient Spotlight!

Urea

It sounds like a weird ingredient, but urea is a hero that hydrates skin and breaks down keratin to decrease skin thickness.

Retinoids

Otherwise known as retinol, adapalene, tazarotene, or tretinoin, all versions of retinoids can unclog pores, clear acne, treat oil production, and reduce inflammation.

Read more about retinoids and retinol in our Ingredient Spotlight!

5. Watch your diet.

There’s always a big debate about whether or not what you eat affects your skin, but for some people, their diet can make a huge difference. If you want to rejig your diet in hopes it’ll help your KP, try to eat Omega-3s and get more vitamin A. General advice says to stay away from dairy and trans fats.

While scientists don’t exactly know why KP develops, some early researchers believed that it was a form of vitamin A deficiency, since it was seen in certain cases of malnutrition. Additionally, dairy proteins from cow’s milk have been associated with allergies that cause forms of atopic dermatitis and acne, while trans fats increase hyperkeratosis, and that can lead to the irregular thickening of the skin. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, reduce inflammation. The DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in these fatty acids boost hydration and delay the aging process.

The bottom line

While we wish this was the holy grail of keeping your KP in check, everyone’s KP (and their body in general!) is different. So, you may have to try a few different remedies to find one that works best for you. Just know you may not completely rid yourself of KP, as doctors often find it difficult to treat. This is a lifelong condition that can go into remission or become worse under certain circumstances, such as puberty or stress. And clearing KP takes time, so be prepared to maintain your routine for the long haul.

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6 Reasons You Should Be Using Glycolic Acid http://theprettypimple.com/reasons-you-should-be-using-glycolic-acid-skincare-routine/ http://theprettypimple.com/reasons-you-should-be-using-glycolic-acid-skincare-routine/#respond Sun, 29 Jul 2018 16:00:04 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4557 You’ve probably heard of glycolic acid. It may even be in a skincare product that’s already in your bathroom. If you haven’t, you might think that skincare ingredients with the name “acid” in them sound kind of scary, but this one is actually super gentle. And when glycolic acid is used correctly, it’s a superstar…

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You’ve probably heard of glycolic acid. It may even be in a skincare product that’s already in your bathroom. If you haven’t, you might think that skincare ingredients with the name “acid” in them sound kind of scary, but this one is actually super gentle. And when glycolic acid is used correctly, it’s a superstar at treating a whole slew of skincare conditions and woes. And luckily for you, it’s more available than ever! Read on to find out why glycolic acid is a gentle giant and all the reasons you should incorporate it into your skincare routine.

Okay, first of all, what is glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant that’s found in many skincare products and treatments. It’s a member of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, which is a group of exfoliants that are naturally found in fruits, milk, and cane sugar. Glycolic acid is naturally colorless and odorless, and it’s gentle enough for almost every skin type. It can be used to treat a number of skin care concerns, ranging from acne to aging and a ton of stuff in between.

Super effective, easy to use, and featured in a wide variety of products from cleansers to toners to lotions, glycolic acid has become a holy grail skincare staple for so many people for one main reason: it does what it says it’s going to. Not sold yet? Here are the six main reasons why you should be using glycolic acid.

1. It’s exfoliating.

Exfoliating is such an important aspect of skincare, and because glycolic acid is a real-deal exfoliant, it’s only appropriate that this one belongs at the top of the list. Glycolic acid works by penetrating the top layer of skin to break down and dissolve dead skin cells, dirt, and oil. So, if you want to get soft, bright skin in one step, glycolic acid has got you covered.

2. It’s gentler on your skin than other exfoliators.

Exfoliants fall into two categories: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants are those sand-like cleansers that use gritty particles to scrub dead skin cells away. Physical exfoliants do a great job ridding the skin of old growth so the new stuff can show through, leaving you looking bright and refreshed. However, because they can have a rougher texture, physical exfoliants can be a little harsh for anyone with skin concerns like inflamed acne, eczema, or sensitive skin.

The safest bet for most people is going the chemical route with an AHA like glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is able to break down dead skin without irritation thanks to its small molecular structure.

If you’re not sure where your skin stands on the issue of physical vs. chemical, look for a product that delivers a little bit of both, like the SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Scrub. This body exfoliator uses glycolic acid, lactic acid (an even gentler AHA), and willow bark extract plus small granules to exfoliate the skin without stripping it of the moisture and oils it needs to function properly.

3. It treats a ton of skincare conditions and concerns, from keratosis pilaris to dark spots.

Acne and dull, rough skin are the most common reasons to treat with glycolic acid, but its powers don’t stop there! Thanks to those exfoliating properties, glycolic acid can be used to treat just about anything trapped under the surface of the skin.

This can be particularly helpful for anyone looking to rid their skin of dark spots or acne scars, which have resulted in pits or pockets tough to conceal. It’s also ideal for the rough, bumpy symptoms of keratosis pilarisGlycolic acid is great for ingrown hairs because it reduces dead skin buildup and inflammation.

That’s why SLMD formulated their KP-fighting, dry skin-banishing Body Smoothing System with Glycolic Acid! 

4. It’s safe for just about anyone to use.

Among the other pros, glycolic acid is great for pretty much any skin type. Of course, as with any new product, it’s best to always start with a patch test to see how your skin reacts and start slow, working your way up to more frequent use. To be extra safe, start with weekly use, then slowly increase to every other day. If your skin reacts well, increase use to once a day to turn those cells over and reveal bright, healthy skin.

Pro Tip: Always use a sunscreen when using AHAs or BHAs, and try not to overdo it and use too many acids at the same time, as you’ll increase your risk of irritation.

5. It hydrates.

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Sure, it exfoliates, and yes, it’s gentle, but perhaps most surprisingly — glycolic acid is hydrating! Glycolic acid is a humectant, which means it helps pull water into the skin to retain and preserve moisture. This is so important for any skin type, from extra oily and acne-prone to dry and flaky, and anything in between. 

Looking for a way to treat and moisturize any dry, rough skin on your bod? You may want to consider a moisturizing cream like the SLMD Glycolic Acid Body Lotion, which is great for regular use because of the humectant properties of glycolic acid and the super moisturizing properties of shea butter. Plenty of facial creams and moisturizers have glycolic acid in them too!

diagram of collagen in skin

6. It boosts collagen.

In addition to scrubbing the skin, glycolic acid is also known for its anti-aging effects. A good slough already goes a long way in achieving a youthful glow and can reveal a brighter, more even skin tone, but glycolic acid’s effect on collagen is what really sets it apart from the rest. Because glycolic acid can increase collagen production over time, using it can help improve the skin’s texture, eventually revealing a smooth, healthy surface.

And there you have it — all the reasons to incorporate glycolic acid into your routine! Ready to get started? Check out the SLMD Body Smoothing System!

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TLC Dr. Pimple Popper Episode 3: Special Behind the Scenes Recap! http://theprettypimple.com/tlc-dr-pimple-popper-episode-3-special-behind-scenes-recap/ http://theprettypimple.com/tlc-dr-pimple-popper-episode-3-special-behind-scenes-recap/#respond Thu, 26 Jul 2018 15:31:09 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=4532 I hope you guys have been watching my TLC show! It’s been such a wild ride helping patients with all their mystery growths… this third episode was no exception! Here are some of my thoughts and a little behind the scenes info from the show this week… plus lots of pictures, of course! Make sure…

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I hope you guys have been watching my TLC show! It’s been such a wild ride helping patients with all their mystery growths… this third episode was no exception! Here are some of my thoughts and a little behind the scenes info from the show this week… plus lots of pictures, of course! Make sure you watch the episode if you haven’t already!

Patient 1: Mary

Mary has a really interesting condition where she seems to only gain weight on one side of her body, and this was something that I had never seen before. It’s fascinating though, that’s for sure.

I did do some liposuction for Mary, which was helpful in the short term but unfortunately, it’s not a long-term fix for her. I didn’t do extensive liposuction for a couple of reasons, but mainly because the area where she wanted to have fat removed was just too large of an area to perform liposuction safely on during one single visit. Generally speaking, some people try to rely on liposuction as a quick fix, and I’m always wary of that.

Of course, we first needed to get to the bottom of what was going on with Mary.  I consulted with one of my mentors, Lucinda Buescher, MD, who’s a board certified dermatologist at SIU Dermatology in Illinois.

Once we were able to figure out that Mary’s condition wasn’t life-threatening, I wanted to talk with her about a diet and exercise plan. I would really love to see Mary make these lifestyle changes — I think that will make her feel like she has the power to take control of her life. I have a feeling that if she can somewhat control her weight, she will see a more symmetrical shape to her body.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know definitively what Mary has, and further genetic tests need to be done. These kinds of further gene studies will also potentially help us to figure out whether there are ways that she can control this one-sided weight gain without surgery. I’m really hopeful that she’ll see an expert in that area soon.

Patient 2: Anthony

As you guys could see from watching the episode, Anthony’s cyst was seriously affecting his confidence and his self-esteem.

But first, a little bit more about that triangle of death that I mentioned! Imagine drawing a line across your mouth, and then diagonal lines up from the corners of your mouth to the area right smack in between your eyebrows — this is the triangle of death. And behind this area, tucked under our brain, is what we call our cavernous sinus. It contains blood vessels that feed into our brains and the veins for our eyes. Basically, any infection that starts in this area has the risk of spreading to our cavernous sinus, which could cause swelling or blood clots or all sorts of other not-so-fun things.

This is probably part of the reason why those other doctors that Anthony saw were so hesitant to operate on his cyst — not only was it so close to his eye, but it’s right in that area where, if anything goes wrong, it can be a pretty major risk.

But I did feel, with all my experience, that I could successfully remove Anthony’s cyst. And let me tell you guys, it made me so happy to see Anthony’s personality change SO dramatically after surgery.

He went from being a person who didn’t really look at me in the eye very often to someone who was smiling and really engaging with me. Having that growth gone and seeing him so happy and confident was such a wonderful thing.

Here is Anthonys incision area right before I removed his stitches.

Patient 3: Shane

I love the bromance between Shane and his buddy Shawn… they’re like lipoma buddies in crime! It was great that I could help him to get BOTH of his friends off his back! 😂

That was one serious brain of a lipoma, that’s for sure.

A month after Shane’s surgery, I took a look at his scar. It was a little hypertrophic, which means it was raised and swollen. This can happen in this area of the back because it’s under such high tension. To help with the healing process, I injected the area with a little intralesional steroid injection, called Kenalog, which should help to flatten it down and make it look even better

Patient 4: Brandi

This lipoma on Brandi’s chest was quite the fighter! Isn’t it crazy how different her lipoma looks compared to Shane’s?!

It was definitely a tough operation. Part of the reason for that was because Brandy had never had any sort of surgery before, so she was pretty nervous. But it was also because her lump was in an area that was so close to her face.

It’s really hard to have a procedure like this on your upper chest, the patient truly has a front row seat to me poking and prodding and pulling, and this can be really disconcerting. But Brandy was a trooper, she persevered, there was no puking, and now she looks really great.

Love this picture I took right after surgery, look how flat that area is compared to before!

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Understanding “Chicken Skin” aka Keratosis Pilaris http://theprettypimple.com/understanding-keratosis-pilaris/ http://theprettypimple.com/understanding-keratosis-pilaris/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2018 06:38:57 +0000 http://theprettypimple.com/?p=1430 Characterized by small, rough bumps on the surface of the skin, keratosis pilaris is a common, yet harmless skin condition. In fact, medscape.com cites that up to 80% of adolescents and 40% of adults are affected by keratosis pilaris, sometimes called KP. This, of course, doesn’t stop the feelings of frustration and embarrassment that come…

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Characterized by small, rough bumps on the surface of the skin, keratosis pilaris is a common, yet harmless skin condition. In fact, medscape.com cites that up to 80% of adolescents and 40% of adults are affected by keratosis pilaris, sometimes called KP. This, of course, doesn’t stop the feelings of frustration and embarrassment that come with having red, itchy bumps and a condition that’s nicknamed chicken skin.

Curious about keratosis pilaris, or think you may have it? Learn more about this skin condition and how it’s best treated.

Image courtesy of Healthline

What are the symptoms of keratosis pilaris?

Most often, keratosis pilaris presents as small, hard bumps on the skin’s surface. The bumps can look almost like tiny pimples and feel rough or dry — they may also be itchy and uncomfortable. These bumps tend to be lighter or redder on fair skin and darker on more pigmented skin, but can appear to be white, red, pink, light purple, brown, or black depending on the person’s skin tone.

Keratosis pilaris got its nicknames of “chicken bumps” and “chicken skin” because the affected area of keratosis pilaris can look like the plucked skin of a chicken.

The condition most commonly appears on the upper arms, back, thighs, butt, or face and can appear as just a few spots or it can overtake an entire area, looking almost like a rash.

An arm affected by keratosis pilaris

Why do people get keratosis pilaris?

Technically, dermatologists don’t know exactly why people get KP. But they do know what it is.

When excessive amounts of keratin — the protein that protects our skin — build up at the surface, it clogs our pores (also known as hair follicles) and creates hard, rough patches of skin.

It’s generally believed to be a genetic condition, as it runs in families, and it’s more common in kids and adolescents. If you’ve got eczema or super dry skin, that tends to be a sign that your body is more likely to have that buildup of dry, dead keratin. And that means, you guessed it, you’re more susceptible to KP, too. People who have asthma, obesity, hay fever, or ichthyosis vulgaris (another skin condition that causes extra dry, flaky skin) are also at risk for KP.

Watch our founder, Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, talk all about keratosis pilaris!

Who gets Keratosis Pilaris?

The condition usually appears in young children (under the age of two) and teenagers. While it can continue as you get older, most cases clear up by adulthood.

Those who have dry skin or eczema are more prone to keratosis pilaris, and it can also be a side effect of asthma, obesity, hay fever, or ichthyosis vulgaris.

Image courtesy of WebMD.

Are there different types of keratosis pilaris?

Yes, keratosis pilaris has a few variants, based on how the condition presents and where on the body it’s found. But the two main kinds you need to know about are keratosis pilaris and keratosis pilaris rubra.

Keratosis Pilaris 

Yes, the main condition is simply called keratosis pilaris, and it can be anything from asymptomatic (that means it shows no symptom of illness) flesh-colored bumps that are rough to the touch, to red, irritated and itchy bumps.

Keratosis Pilaris Rubra

This the most common variant of KP, and it’s most commonly found on adolescent boys. KPR is still those signature rough, goosebump-like, flesh-colored patches that we’ve been describing, but the skin that surrounds and is behind these bumps is a patchy, bright red.

How do you treat KP?

Let’s start with the bad news… there’s no cure for Keratosis Pilaris. But the condition is technically benign and harmless, even though it may be itchy or annoying to look at. Don’t worry though, there are lots of treatment options to help alleviate the symptoms and appearance of the condition.

The best way to treat keratosis pilaris is with chemical exfoliants — alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids. These are ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid that are super effective and remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and helping to restore smoothness.

SLMD Skincare has a Body Smoothing System, which includes a Glycolic Acid Body Scrub and Glycolic Acid Body Lotion, that were specifically formulated to treat Keratosis Pilaris!

Vitamin A-derived retinoids can also be helpful for clearing hair follicles and preventing those annoying bumps from forming.

If the condition persists, ask your doctor about the possibility of microdermabrasion, light therapy, or laser treatment, all of which have been known to ease the appearance of keratosis pilaris.

Remember to always consult your doctor, and have patience — we know KP is frustrating, but it’s important to remember that it’s a harmless condition that you don’t need to worry too much about. And luckily, there are lots of effective exfoliants out there to help you scrub away your KP!

Ready to give your KP the one-two punch?! Check out the SLMD Body Smoothing System!

Dr. Betty Yan, a dermatology resident at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU), helped contribute to the accuracy of this story.

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