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  • Savvy Derm Diva

Ask the Diva!

Updated: Sep 18

June 2020:




Dear Savvy Derm Diva,

Now that I have been wearing a mask to protect myself from COVID-19, I have noticed an increase of acne flares to my jawline. I usually do not have issues with acne, and this is so frustrating. So not only am I wearing a mask to prevent the coronavirus, I need it to hide all of my pimples. Please help!

-Masking Flares. Amber B.



Dear Masking Flares,

You bring up an excellent topic for Acne Awareness Month happening in June! I am sorry to hear your frustrating acne flares, as they occur when dust, oil, germs get trapped, and the skin is continuously getting rubbed by the mask. This scenario causes clogging and an inflammatory response that can lead to developing pimples. The best thing you can do is use a salicylic acid product such as a wash or a leave-on such as an OTC Neutrogena product. You can also get our Alpha Bata pads which have both salicylic acid and glycolic acid to wipe your lower face, chin, and neck area daily to prevent further breakouts. Lastly, it is always so important to wash your face before going to bed to remove the debris that has accumulated to your skin. If flares continue despite your OTC attempt, it is best to see a Board-Certified Dermatologist. Telemedicine appointments are available to address your concerns straight away.

Diva Tip: The Alpha Beta Pads are great to use during the day for that extra wipe down. 💋


Dear Savvy Derm Diva,

HELP! I am in my 50s and still experiencing painful cystic acne flares that take days to weeks to resolve. A lot of them remain under the skin, usually with a tender nodule. Is this even acne or something else I should be concerned about that is happening?

-Combating Pimples Forever. Karen T.


Dear Combating Pimples Forever,

It appears as if you are experiencing hormonal flares that can be a result of several factors such as stress, menses, menopause, and even foods with a that are high in sugar content. These triggers can have an impact on increased oil production and an inflammatory response that can lead to painful pimple flares you are experiencing. The best approach is to make sure to treat your skin from the outside in and inside out. The smartest thing you can do is to visit a Board-Certified Dermatologist who can evaluate your situation to confirm that there is nothing else happening. There are quite a few oral medications that can help control hormonal flares that can ultimately lead to scarring, which can be very difficult to treat. These therapies range from prescription treatments such as supplements to prescriptions that can control the hormones that can lead to the breakouts, even a short course of oral antibiotics. Oral medicines, along with topical medication, provides a synergistic approach that aimed at your skin type, so it does not get off balance, such as too dry or too oily, which can make things worse.

Diva Tip:  Aerolase treatments every 2-4 weeks in conjunction with your RX regimen will help to smooth out your complexion and increase elasticity!💋


Renata Block, MMS, PA-C is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skin care. 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.

MUAH!💋

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