Charleston Dermatology Blog

Cosmetic-Quarterly-Dr. Gwynne

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From new treatments to skin care routines and skin issues brought about by COVID-19, Dr. Mackenzie Gwynne takes us through this edition of Cosmetic Quarterly and talks about what she foresees and recommends for healthy skin this year!


What are some trends you’re seeing in 2021?

I have seen in general an increase in interest in cosmetics in the year 2021. Cosmetic dermatology is always a hot topic and a booming industry, but I have noticed more patients curious about cosmetics. Many colleagues in dermatology offices from across the country have also seen cosmetics “trending.” This may be a reflection of the COVID 19 pandemic. I think that people are not traveling,  focusing more on themselves, and have increased awareness about their skin’s appearance from spending time on platforms like zoom. Given in this context, patients are seeking more cosmetics treatments. I think also there is more awareness of cosmetic dermatology and what dermatologists have to offer. People are understanding that botox and filler as well as lasers really can benefit just about anyone and that injectables are not meant to change anyone’s appearance but overall create a more well-rested, best version of yourself. 


What are some cosmetic practices to stop doing? 

I usually counsel my patients to stop doing anything that is irritating or that causes trauma to the skin. This includes but is not limited to using harsh exfoliators or having an aggressive scrubbing routine. Irritating routines may cause a brief period of radiance and clearance of the skin but in the long term it causes inflammation under the surface that can contribute to acne or overall dulling the texture of the skin. 


With increased time wearing face masks, what are your recommendations to combat “maskne”?

I recommend washing the area twice daily with a mild cleanser. The other part to this is to make sure you have good barrier protection. “Maskne” occurs over time with sweat, moisture, and occlusion that causes our skin’s barrier to break down which causes inflammation and allows bacteria into the skin that may contribute to acne formation. The way to make your skin work for you is to make sure its barrier is intact. We do this in dermatology with moisturizes. The moisturizer that I generally recommend is Cerave. This moisturizer has a protein in it called ceramide which is part of the skin’s barrier thus it helps recreate the skin barrier.


What types of treatments are you seeing more of and what should patients consider before doing them? 

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) or the “vampire facial” is becoming more popular in the US. PRP is 3-step process that involves having your blood drawn and then centrifuged to separate a cell called platelets from the rest of the blood which is then applied/re-injected onto the surface of your skin. The thought behind this is that platelets hold growth factors and other factors that may help rejuvenate the skin. However, please consider the following direct quote from the American Academy of Dermatology website: “Few studies have been conducted [on PRP] because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require the large, complex studies necessary for new drugs. Since PRP uses needles and a centrifuge, the FDA classifies PRP as a medical device. The rules for medical devices are less demanding.This also means that dermatologists have some unanswered questions about PRP.” 


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