The 3 Most Common Skin Complaints Derms Are Hearing Right Now—And How to Treat Them

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After months of experimenting with skin-care, increased mask-wearing and watching the effects of stress take a toll on their complexions, patients around the country are finally flocking back to their dermatologists to ask about every skin-care concern they’ve noticed in the mirror. Turns out, the concerns have, generally, been pretty similar. Here, what top dermatologists are hearing in their exam rooms, and the solutions they’re offering up to patients.

Increased Hyperpigmentation
News flash: hyperpigmentation from blue light is real. According to San Antonio, TX dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD, we have increased blue-light exposure to thank for new brown spots she says patients are continuing to notice. If you’ve noticed a worsening of existing melasma or new hyperpigmentation creep up, it’s likely due to the double screens you have up in your home office.

The solution: “Always wear SPF, even if you’re not leaving the house,” stresses Dr. Bucay, who is partial to mineral options that keep skin clear. If you’re in the market for something new, here are our favorite tinted sunscreens that are good enough to replace your foundation.

Acne Flares
According to Denver, CO dermatologist Joel L. Cohen, MD, increased occlusion and pressure points from the masks we’re wearing all day is manifesting as acne flares. “We’re seeing this around the perimeter of where the mask sits and behind the ears where the mask hooks on,” he explains. Aside from this increased friction, Dr. Cohen says this “maskne” can very well be due to the saliva and nasal secretions likely be living on your mask if you haven’t washed it in a while.

The solution, along with using disposable masks if you can, or washing your reusable mask after each use, is washing with a benzoyl peroxide cleanser in the shower—Dr. Cohen suggests using a white towel to keep any acids from fading your linens. His favorite: PCA Skin BPO 5% Cleanser ($39).

Damaged Skin Barrier
Houston, TX dermatologist Suneel Chilikuri, MD says the majority of the  skin concerns he is treating can be boiled down to one primary cause: a damaged skin barrier. “This can manifest itself as dry, red skin,” he explains. Dr. Bucay adds that this can also be seen as irritation or chafing, which is what she’s seeing a lot of around the perimeter of masked areas, plus dry, chapped lips, too.

Dr. Chilikuri’s solution: use a healing, calming product to help the skin self-regulate itself over time. His favorite: PCA Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum ($115), which he recommends to patients post-peel for quick healing. If you’re seeing chapped areas around the nose or lips, Dr. Bucay suggests using a healing ointment to keep the area hydrated.

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