The Doctor Is In – Cosmetics Magazine January/February 2007
Text size:

Working with severe skin conditions

By Alix Fuller

Cosmetics: Are severe skin imperfections like vitiligo, rosacea, acne scars, burns and tattoos removable through dermatological procedures? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Yes, although they differ. 

Cosmetics: Can you describe them? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: For vitiligo, topical medication is generally prescribed. Laser treatment or Intense Pulsed Light is best for rosacea. For acne scarring, I recommend Erbium laser resurfacing, and burns and tattoos also respond well to laser treatment. 

Cosmetics: Are these long-term, expensive treatments? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Not necessarily. Sometimes only one is needed for good results, like acne scarring (although it depends on how bad it is). Usually, the other conditions do require a series of treatments. With a tattoo, for example, it depends on whether it was done by an amateur or professional, how deep the ink is and on the colour. They tend to be black, green or blue, although some are red so, we use different wavelengths of light for each colour. fu for the expense, it varies according to what needs to be done. However, anything to do with a laser is more expensive than a topical cream or cosmetic cover-up. 

Cosmetics: Under what circumstances would you suggest a corrective foundation product? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: If the condition wasn’t all that severe, or if the cost was prohibitive. 

Cosmetics: How effective are they? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: There are a lot of different ones on the market and provide a cheap, fast way to cover up a skin problem. But remember, it’s nor being treated, just hidden and some things, particularly vitiligo and rosacea, can worsen without treatment. 

Cosmetics: Can foundations irritate the skin? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett:  There’s always the chance that something you put on the skin will irritate it, resulting in scaling, redness or blisters. 

Cosmetics: How would you choose one that won’t be irritating? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett:  Basically, try before you buy and make sure you’re happy with it before you take it home. Look for something with a sunblock, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide that will protect skin while covering up your imperfections. And, avoid anything with formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers (a group of chemicals that act as preservatives) as they can be irritating. 

Cosmetics: What do you do if you find your makeup is irritating? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett:  First, stop using it and try something else. If you get a really bad reaction, like blisters, go to a dermatologist who can prescribe medication (usually a topical steroid) to solve the problem. 

Cosmetics: Should you change your foundation as you age? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett:  In general, your skin gets less oily as you age so you might find you need a richer product for added moisture. And you really shouldn’t use a powder as that’s best for oily skin.

Email a friendEmail a friend PrintPrint FeedbackFeedback  |   Bookmark and Share