Natalie Suarez

Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant at Sunset Dermatology, says sweat on your face can lead to accumulate a bacterial growth in the skin.

She recommends either washing your face or taking a shower after your workout. “Actually, the recommendation is to cleanse it before and after your workout,” she says. Ditching the makeup and putting your hair back during exercising are other tips to take care of your face skin. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant at Sunset Dermatology, says a pimple is an overproduction of oil, bacteria and dead skin that clogs up the hair follicle. There are different types of pimples, such as whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.

Suarez explains nodules and cysts tend to be more serious, because they can lead to some significant scarring of the skin, but the most common ones are blackheads, whiteheads and papules, which are those red inflamed ones. More than 70 million people in the US have suffered from a skin condition at some time in their life. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant at Sunset Dermatology, says her biggest population at the practice are teenagers but she also sees a lot of adults presenting with acne that started during the adulthood.

“During puberty you have an increase in androgens, those are male hormones that are circulating through your body and those hormones are playing a very strong role on the oil gland causing it to produce excessive amounts of oil which starts to clog of the hair follicle leading to the production of acne,” she explains. About prescription medication to fight acne, Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant at Sunset Dermatology, says antibiotics are very frequently used for acne purposes, they help to reduce inflammation in the skin.

“It’s really not so much to kill bacteria, but that’s something that you don’t want to be taking long term because you can run into some issues with potential antibiotic resistance which can be a big problem,” she explains.

She recommends patients to be compliant with the instructions, because acne is a chronic condition and if you are not consistent with the treatment, it won’t go away. Age, hormonal changes, family history, greasy or oily substances, friction or pressure on your skin and stress are risk factors for acne. “Hormonal changes are a huge thing, especially in adults, hormones are playing a very big role, they’re influencing the skin and the oil glands,” says Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant at Sunset Dermatology.

She also explains a lot of times this acne is presenting in adulthood. Acne could be thought as something only for teenagers, but there are a lot of women and men in their twenties, thirties and forties dealing with acne. Changing hormone levels, taking certain medicines, wearing greasy makeup and heredity are factors that can cause acne. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant at Sunset Dermatology, explains the difference between teen acne and adult acne: “When teenagers are getting acne, puberty is playing a big role in that, but when an adult presents with acne and they never had it as a teenager, the distribution of the acne will differ,” she points out.

In teenagers the acne will be along the T zone (forehead, nose and chin), and in an adult female, the acne will be concentrated on the lower half of their face, sometimes extending down into the neck. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant at Sunset Dermatology, says acne tends to be more prominent where you have the most oil glands (face, upper chest, upper back area).

“Teens will have it along the T-zone area, women will tend to have it along the lower half of the face and men can really get it anywhere, face, chest and back,” she points out.

According to her, the Sun has some anti-inflammatory properties, some patients will notice an improvement in acne after having been out in the Sun, but it can be an issue, because as the Sun is drying the skin out, those dry dead skin cells can be clogging that hair follicle and causing some acne. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant with Sunset Dermatology, explains the diagnose of rosacea is made clinically, with physical exams and history taking of the patient. But, a lot of the times, it can be confused with other skin conditions, like lupus or an allergic dermatitis.

She points out fair skin patients are more sun sensitive, and because sun is one of the triggers from rosacea, they have an increased incidence. Nose, cheeks, chin and forehead are the most common locations of rosacea. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant with Sunset Dermatology, says it is most common in the middle-aged group population, between the ages of 30 and 50.

She also explains females are at an increased risk of developing rosacea; but when men get it, they get it more severe. She points out genetics does not play a huge role, but they are finding more evidence that patients with family members with a history of rosacea have increased incidence of rosacea. Persistent redness and skin thickening are diagnostic signs of rosacea. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant with Sunset Dermatology, explains it looks like the patient has a sunburn all the time. It is typically on the cheeks, the nose, and the forehead.

She also says skin thickening is more common in patients who leave rosacea untreated for many years, and the nose becomes very large and glandular. The major signs of rosacea are flushing, bumps and pimples, visible blood vessels, and eye irritation. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant with Sunset Dermatology, explains rosacea is a very complex disorder, and its causes are unknown; but there are a lot of proposed theories about what could be causing it. One theory says it is a disorder or abnormality in the immune system.

Some of the common triggers of rosacea are sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, and hot baths. She recommends protecting your skin from the sun, because sun exposure can cause flushing of the skin. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant with Sunset Dermatology, says the most important thing regarding treatment is setting realistic expectations, because rosacea is not a curable condition. She points out sometimes it takes four to six weeks to start seeing an improvement in the skin.

She explains one of the first steps in managing rosacea is establishing a good healthy skin barrier with gentle cleanser, moisturizers, and some prescription products. There are four types of rosacea: vascular, inflammatory, phymatous, and ocular. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant with Sunset Dermatology, says vascular rosacea is when patients are presenting with that persistent facial redness, episodes of flushing and visible blood vessels in the skin. The inflammatory rosacea is when patients are also developing an acne like an eruption.

She explains the phymatous rosacea is when the skin becomes thickened and it can cause the skin to look very bumpy in appearance. And the ocular rosacea is when patients get what looks like conjunctivitis, it is redness of the inside of the eye and on the eyelid margin. Cleansing face twice and moisturizing daily, protecting your skin from the sun, choosing rosacea friendly products, testing the products, and being gentle are tips to take care of rosacea. Natalie Suarez, Physician Assistant with Sunset Dermatology, says testing products is important, because a lot of patients with rosacea do not tolerate products well.

She recommends testing it on the neck and not on the center of your face to see the reaction to it. She also explains when patients have redness in the skin, the first thing they want to do is getting the biggest foundation they can find and cover their skin up, but they are harming themselves because it is aggravating their rosacea. She suggests using products geared towards sensitive skin.

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