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Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd is a board certified dermatologist specializing in the treatment of pigmentation disorders. She completed her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and later earned her medical degree at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed her training in dermatology at the University of Miami where she also served as chief resident.

In 2002, Dr Woolery-Lloyd made history when she was appointed the Director of Ethnic Skincare at the University of Miami, heading the country’s first official cosmetic ethnic skincare department at a university.  As the Director of Ethnic Skincare, Dr. Woolery-Lloyd specializes in the treatment of cosmetic concerns common in skin of color. Doctors from across the country refer their most difficult cases to this specialized clinic.

As a specialist in hyperpigmentation, Dr Woolery-Lloyd set out to fill a void that she noticed was missing in her own practice as well as the overall skincare market. In 2010, she created Specific Beauty skincare, a highly effective skincare line with products free of hydroquinone and infused with natural ingredients that deliver radiant, even skin. Specific Beauty skincare has been honored with numerous prestigious awards including beauty awards from Prevention, People, Essence and Real Simple magazines.

In addition to running her business and her practice at the University of Miami, the board certified dermatologist sees patients in private practice.  The dedicated wife and mother of two loves spending with her family and giving back to her community through the Codella initiative which she helped found. This pioneering organization focuses on teaching under-represented girls 21st century skills in computer programming and introduces them to careers in science.

Here are the answers to your skin-related questions: 

What is cystic acne?

Cysts are large tender nodules the face that are sometimes filled with pus.

What is adult acne caused by?Adult acne is often hormonal in women.  Hormones increase oil production and cause the pores to become clogged, causing acne.

What can you do about blackheads?

Start with an over the counter salicylic acid wash like Specific Beauty Acne Wash. Gentle exfoliation can also help. See a dermatologist if blackheads don’t improve for prescription options.

Any recommendations for a remedy for facial warts?

See a dermatologist. There a treatment called Aldara that sometimes helps with warts.

What can you do about blemishes on the face and body?

Dark spots can be treated with Dark Spot Correctors. A great option for the body is Specific Beauty Dark Spot Corrector Pads, because they can treat large areas like the back and shoulders

Is hydradentitis a form of acne? And how do you get rid of it?

It is associated with acne.  It can be treated with topical and oral antibiotics. And you can try an antibacterial soap like Dial Antibacterial Soap. 

For those of us with hormonal problems what can we use?

See your primary care doctor or an endocrinologist. Birth control pills can help manage hormonal acne. There are other treatments like spironolactone that are extremely effective.

What about acne on the cheeks?

Acne on the cheeks is common. Start with a medicated wash that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid like Specific Beauty Acne Wash. An excellent option for the dark spots is Dark Spot Corrector Pads by Specific Beauty because they can help even skin tone and smooth the texture. If no improvement, see a dermatologist for a topical retinoid like Retin A that can help with this problem.

What does it mean when you get acne inside your ear?

Acne in the ear is due to very oily skin.  Usually these are blackheads and can be improved with a treatment that contains salicylic acid.  If there’s no improvement, see a dermatologist for prescription options.

What is the difference between a mole and a blackhead?

Blackheads area raised bump with a black center. With moles, the whole bump is dark in color.

What about acne on the chin for men?

Acne on the chin in men may be due to shaving irritation. See a dermatologist for a topical antibiotic like Clindamycin lotion that can help with this problem.

What about acne under the armpits?

Try an antibacterial soap such as Dial Antibacterial Soap  If no improvement, see a dermatologist for a topical antibiotic like Clindamycin lotion that can help with this problem.

If you have acne, how many times a day should you wash your face?

Twice daily.

I am 52 years old and menopausal on hormone therapy. What could be the cause of acne on my chest and upper back?

Unfortunately, up to 12% of women in their 50’s still experience acne.  Start with a medicated wash that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid like Specific Beauty Acne Wash. An excellent option for the dark spots on the body are Dark Spot Corrector Pads by Specific Beauty, because they can treat large areas like the back and shoulders. If no improvement, see a dermatologist for a topical antibiotic like Clindamycin lotion that can help with this problem.

What effect does raw black soap have on the skin?

It is an excellent cleanser and some people report it can help with breakouts.

Are chemical peels recommended for people of color?

Yes salicylic acid peels  with concentrations of 20 and 30% are safe for people of color.

What about acne produced by in-grown hairs around the chin?  I know tweezers, and picking are a BIG no-no, but what do you recommend to remove the hairs and stop the acne?

Consider laser hair removal with the Nd:YAG, laser which is an excellent solution for darker skin.

What do you think about long term use of bacterial acne meds, like Minocycline?

They do work well but I like to switch to topical treatments for long term maintenance and use the antibiotics by mouth only when needed.

Why do women grow hair under their chin and on their face as theyh get older?

Hormones can cause facial hair with age. Consider laser hair removal with the Nd:YAG laser.

I get blackheads on my knees and thighs. How do I treat and prevent them?

An excellent option for this problem exfoliating washes or polish such as Specific Beauty Dark Spot Corrector Polish. Then apply the Dark Spot Corrector Pads by Specific Beauty, because they even the skin tone and treat large areas like the knees and thighs. Finally, apply lotion that contains lactic acid such as

Amlactin 12% lotion.

 What about acne on my scalp? What can I do for that?

Acne on the scalp may be due to an infection of the hair follicle.  See a dermatologist for a topical antibiotic like Clindamycin lotion that can help with this problem.

What is the best over the counter or home remedy for eczema? For all ages?

Aquaphor ointment every night  and hydrocortisone 1% ointment twice daily.

Do you think a diet high in protein and less carbs will clear up acne since some carbs are a source of sugar?

Yes, a low-glycemic diet that is low in carbs that spike insulin may help with acne.

What’s the best cleansing product for teenage boys?

Try Panoxyl 4% creamy wash.

Does estrogen cause acne in post- menopausal woman? I’ve found that when I take hormone supplements with estrogen, I break out more.

Yes, definitely.

What can I do for dry skin?

Try Aquaphor ointment for the body or Specific Beauty Specific Beauty Professional Moisture Complex for the face.

My daughter is 19 and in college. She has a large bumps on her cheeks, forehead and around her jaw. It is very embarrassing for her. She uses cleansers and takes antibiotics and it’s not doing any good. 

Hormonal therapy with birth control pills or spironolactone can often help young women with resistant acne. In the most severe cases, a medication called Accutane can be used but it has many side effects, so you need to discuss this with your dermatologist.

I’m a dark- skinned lady in my 40’s. What can I do about black spots on my

face? Will fade creams help? I’m reluctant because I don’t want to break out. 

An excellent option for the dark spots is Dark Spot Corrector Pads by Specific Beauty because they can help even skin tone and smooth the texture. These pads are excellent for people with oily skin and dark spots from acne. They are also helpful for sensitive skin because they do not contain a lot of preservatives.

What about skin tag removal?

See a dermatologist. These can easily be removed in the office. Unfortunately, this is not covered by insurance.

I’m 45, female, and have had acne since I was 10, mostly in my jaw/chin area.

but also on my back. I do not wear tight clothing, as the doctor said this may be a

cause (mostly walk around the house half-naked when home). What else can cause

back acne?

Back acne can be challenging and sometimes we cannot identify a cause.  Avoid supplements with creatine or DHEA as muscle-building supplements can also cause back acne. For treatment, start with a medicated wash that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid like Specific Beauty Acne Wash. An excellent option for the dark spots on the body are Dark Spot Corrector Pads by Specific Beauty, because they can treat large areas like the back and shoulders. If no improvement, see a dermatologist for a topical antibiotic like Clindamycin lotion that can help with this problem.

Does a lack of sex result in pimples or hot bumps in teens? Fact or myth?

Myth.

What effect does raw black soap have on the skin?

It is an excellent cleanser and some people report it can help with breakouts.

I have a red discoloration between my thighs since I started menopause.

Every cream my doctor has given me helps but does not get rid of it. Any

suggestions?

Try CeraVe lotion.  It can soothe irritated skin in this sensitive area.

 

A few fast facts about acne: 

Acne is the most common dermatologic diagnosis in people of color. 

A survey of nearly 700 million physician visits between 1993 and 2009 found that, among visits to dermatologists, acne was the most common dermatologic diagnosis in skin of color patients (22% in African Americans, 19% in Asians or Pacific Islanders, 22% in Hispanics) and the second most common diagnosis in Caucasians.

It is a myth that acne only affects teenagers.  In fact, most people who seek treatment for acne are adult women. 

In an analysis of health claims data for approximately 9.6 million unique patients captured from over 80 public and private healthcare plans in the US in 2004, 62% of those seeking treatment were over the age of 18 and 65% were women. Hormones can exacerbate acne because androgens increase oil production and clog pores. Severe acne and facial hair may be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome, a common hormonal disorder that is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.

Diet plays a role in acne. A high glycemic diet is associated with acne. A high glycemic diet includes foods that cause insulin to spike like sugar and simple carbohydrates. A low glycemic diet may help acne (vegetables, fish, whole grains).

Don’t be afraid to use a moisturizer if you have acne. Recent studies show that moisturizers that contain ceramides often help improve results when patients are being treated for acne.

(Example of moisturizers with ceramides: Specific Beauty Professional Moisture Complex or CeraVe lotion).

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2 thoughts on “Get Well Wednesday: Dr. Heather Woolery Lloyd Answers Your Skin-Related Questions

  1. Hi Dr. I am 42 years old and I have bean dealing with Ancanthosis nigracans on my cheeks, forehead, and chin for 8 years and no Dr. Has been able to help me. I was wondering if there is a topical cream or pills that would work. I have hypo thyriodism. That’s why I have this on my face can you help me doc

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