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Back to School Skin Care - Advice From a Sarasota Dermatologist

Summer ends bringing that time of year when students all over the country are going back to school. I have found one of the things on a student's worry list is how their skin looks, especially the skin on their face.

Here are some tips to help prevent breakouts and clear them up as fast as possible:

Keep Your Skin Clean

Cleansing is an important step to skin care, especially for teenagers. You should wash your face twice a day with a warm water and a mild soap or cleanser.

Teens prone to acne should use a wash that includes salicylic acid to control oil production and/or a benzyl peroxide to treat pimples. We carry NeoCeuticals Antibacterial Facial Cleanser, a moisturizing, soap-free, foaming gel that is especially suited for use on oily and acne-prone skin.

Teens with more sensitive or skin that is a bit on the dry side should use products with more soothing ingredients like aloe vera. Abrams Dermatology has Neostrata Facial Cleanser, an oil-free and soap-free, non-drying cleanser that we make available to our patients. You can also go to your local department or drug store and find other mild less drying soaps like Dove, Neutrogena Dry Skin Formula (unscented), Aveeno Cleansing Bar for Dry Skin, and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

Protect Your Skin

Products that treat acne can cause your skin to dry. It is important to use an oil-free moisturizer to replenish your skin's moisture balance. It is always best to use a moisturizer that contains an effective sunscreen, especially for the face. Neostrata Oil Free Lotion - SPF 15 is a oil-free moisturizer with sunscreen that we have available for patients.

Don't forget sunscreen!!! The sun is very damaging to anyone's skin and can cause skin cancer. Teenagers should always use sunscreen before heading outdoors. It's a good idea for teenagers to get into the habit of applying sunscreen everyday as part of their morning routine.

Dermatologists usually have available samples of many skin care products to give to their patients. Feel free to grab a few the next time you have your skin exam.

Acne Treatments

There are a number of effective acne treatments for mild to moderate acne. I always recommend you see a dermatologist to ensure you receive the proper treatment for your acne. As a dermatologist, I offer a variety of treatment options, like medication, products, facials and laser treatments that can usually clear up even the most stubborn cases of acne.

One new product offered by Obagi is CLENZIderm M.D., a prescription-strength acne therapeutic system available at Abrams Dermatology. This three-step system, CLENZIderm M.D. uses a smaller liquid form of benzoyl peroxide to effectively penetrate the skin. Ask your dermatologist if CLENZIderm M.D. is the right treatment option for you.

Do's and Don'ts


Pop a pimple! Popping a pimple can lead to scarring.
Use a harsh soap to wash your face.
Stay in the sun without proper protection.
Worry too much. Everyone experiences an occasional breakout.


Keep your skin clean.
Ensure you use an effective sunscreen.
Watch for and treat pimples correctly.
Eat a healthy diet that includes fruit, vegetables, and plenty of water.
See a dermatologist to receive proper skin care treatment.


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