Please Explain: Skin Care

Friday, April 09, 2010

On this week's Please Explain, we're looking into skin care and skin care products. There are numerous lotions and potions that promise to restore youthful skin, but us there any truth to the claims they make? Dr. Michelle Hanjani, assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center joins us, along with Dr. Jessie Cheung, Associate Director of Cosmetic Dermatology and Assistant Professor of Dermatology, NYU Dermatologic Associates, NYU Langone Medical Center.


Dr. Jessie Cheung, and Dr. Michelle Hanjani,

Comments [66]

Dena from LA

Sorry, my previous comment contained an invalid link and was also in response to a comment from 2010, I read the forum upside down!

The link should be

Mar. 15 2013 05:58 PM
Dena from LA

I've not personally heard of coconut oil as a vitiligo treatment, so I'm unsure as to the effectiveness of the oil. I'm a firm believer in lifestyle changes to bring your body and diet back on track with those of our ancestors and less reliant on processed foods.

A cure doesn't yet exist for vitiligo, but you can use creams as treatments, some of which are discussed on this website vitiligo cure info.

Many skin conditions are brought on by poor lifestyle situations and/or stress, by cutting down on the factors which cause this or by limiting their overall effect, I believe most conditions can be improved if not cured.

Mar. 15 2013 05:47 PM
mary Jenkins from manhattan

There were many important questions asked in your comments section - where are the answers. Is your comment section just a list of what is asked or said.

Why no references to sources that relate to the subject - Please explain should have more info rather than some rapid responses.

Apr. 09 2010 03:11 PM
anonymous from manhattan

thanks for the vit d tip kathleen, that's a reasonable solution worth trying!

Apr. 09 2010 02:53 PM
Deniise Sarcona from Demarest NJ

When can I listen to please explain skin care online?

Apr. 09 2010 02:07 PM


Try the ipod/iphone app, "Shazam," or something similar. It will listen to the music and return artist/title. Pretty amazing.

Apr. 09 2010 02:04 PM
Mary Read from Brooklyn

what about Proactiv?

Apr. 09 2010 01:57 PM
Hy from Forest Hills

I've had a problem with a weird dryness of skin around my shins and a little bit up the legs. I was told garlic oil could cure it, and I tried it, but not diligently. If I put it on religiously for a week or two, do you think that would solve the problem?

Also on a different topic: PLEASE I must know who those artists are that play the music between segments and breaks on your show. I've found Blue Mitchell, Pepper Adams, and Donald Byrd, but I'm just dying to know who those other artists are. Please send me an e-mail or put it somewhere on your website. Thanks!

Apr. 09 2010 01:56 PM
Bret from SoHo

Great Show Everyone. Will you please post what we should be looking for / and avoiding when buying sunscreen.

Apr. 09 2010 01:56 PM
June from Montclair, NU

What can be done for dark circles under the eyes?

Apr. 09 2010 01:56 PM
nancy from NYC

does laser eliminate black spot on the face for ever...

Apr. 09 2010 01:56 PM
Estelle from Austin

Does sunscreen prevent your body's manufacture of Vitamin D?

Apr. 09 2010 01:55 PM

What is night cream? And does it make a difference when you apply creams to your face. Can wrinkles be cured

Apr. 09 2010 01:55 PM
Sean from Brooklyn

I've struggled for about eight years with dandruff, with little or no meaningful results from both over-the counter and prescription treatments, all of them. Is there a dietary correlation that I might have missed? I've also heard about a fungus being a causative. If so, what is the species, and are there any newer findings we should hear?

Apr. 09 2010 01:55 PM
John M. from NY, NY

Is Thermage treatment safe?

Apr. 09 2010 01:53 PM
Nancy from New Jersey

I have serious bags and dark circles under my eyes, and nothing I have tried has helped. It makes me look much older than I am! I get lots of sleep, so it's not sleep deprevation. Any suggestions?

Also, do glutathione and peptides help firm the skin?

Thank you.

Apr. 09 2010 01:53 PM
Kathleen from manhattan

I had rosacea and found that 1000 IU of Vitamin D totally cleared my skin.
I starting taking this after realizing that my skin was better in the summer. Ask your doctor!

Apr. 09 2010 01:52 PM

It's frustrating to hear her say, "Use gentle so and so" - could she talk about how one can find precise names of products or precise names of procedures or precise names of doctors? What are some reliable books, online sources, etc?

Apr. 09 2010 01:52 PM
a. g. from hudson county nj

wnyc-are you people capable of having a segment on science/medicine, without inviting the traditional institutional mainstream POV folks? are you afraid or allergic to competent "alternative voices"?

Apr. 09 2010 01:52 PM
Carol from New York, NY

I've had athlete's foot between my pinky and 4th toe on both feet for 2 years. I've been putting Ketoconazole creme on it morning and night since then. It will get better occasionally but it never goes away completely. What can I do!?

Apr. 09 2010 01:51 PM
matthew from brooklyn

aren't some of the ingredients in sunscreens bad for the skin and or body

Apr. 09 2010 01:50 PM

Should we trust "organic" sunscreens?

Apr. 09 2010 01:49 PM
listener from Brooklyn NY

Itching seems like it could be a segment all of its own.

Any comments on causes, treatments? Why do we itch where we can't scratch (for pure physical reasons, like the back, or for social propriety reasons)?

Apr. 09 2010 01:48 PM
Jay from Forest Hills

How harmful are nicotine patches? What about extended use?

Apr. 09 2010 01:48 PM

Re: Elizabeth I

Most of her facial damage was due to peels using lye(!)

Most upper class Elizabethan women started using these peels in their 30s. The peels would work for a time, but would do so much damage they would have be used with increasing frequency, as faces, like Elizabeth's got incredibly wrinkled. Much damage was also done to their teeth and breath, reportedly.

Apr. 09 2010 01:48 PM

Why do some foods cause pimples, and why do some foods cause pimples in a similar location every time.

Apr. 09 2010 01:47 PM

how about reducing acne scars on the face? how do i know if fraxel is better than pulsed light, etc? (few doctors do dermabrasion any more - how would I know if a doctor knew what they were doing? the best one in New Orleans doesn't do it any more because the right resources aren't available to him any longer.)

Apr. 09 2010 01:46 PM
Ann from Riverdale, Bronx

I work on airplanes where the humidity is very low and there is not much moisture in the air to keep my skin moist.
What do you recommend as a moisturizer in such a dry environment?

Apr. 09 2010 01:46 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Ellen [3]--not exactly what you asked, but it does save money: If you don't dry your skin before putting on moisturizer, you can use a lot less of it. I remember there was some brand a few years back that mentioned this in their ads but hyped it as though it were some wonderful advance unique to their product!

And when you "lather, rinse, repeat" w/shampoo (on the hair, not the body!), you don't need to use nearly as much of it on the repeat as the 1st time. Might be because it doesn't all rinse out? Anyway, I get more lather the 2nd time w/less shampoo.

Apr. 09 2010 01:46 PM
Joe from Charleston

Emergent research implicates vitamin D as an important component of health and wellness. Where do the physicians stand on the balance between sun exposure, which generates robust and healthy levels of endogenous vitamin D, and sunscreen application which reduces UV damage?

Apr. 09 2010 01:45 PM
brian from babylon

I've just had nasal reconstruction surgery involving my nose, ear and cheek. Is there anything that is effective in reducing scarring.

Apr. 09 2010 01:44 PM
h l from bkln

does shaving the face (on women) cause the hair to grow back thicker? For electrolysis, they say don't tweeze, just shave or cut the hair.

Apr. 09 2010 01:44 PM
Elaine from Baltimore

Re chemicals being absorbed, how dangerous are parabens which I find in many skincare products?

Apr. 09 2010 01:44 PM
Steve Lazarus from E. Village

I'm not pleased that "sunblock" and sun avoidance are being trumpeted here as beneficial to patients. The sun is the number one provider of Vitamin D3, which is shown in the literature to be a huge immune boost and health boost. The country is horribly low in D3 testing, optimally it should be at 60-100, while too many test, if at all, at <30.

Apr. 09 2010 01:44 PM
sandy from Timbuktu

Do they know what chemicals are in the strip on razor blades that is wears away with usage?

Apr. 09 2010 01:44 PM
seldon yuan from brooklyn

I was wondering if those biore nose/skin patches are effective/or bad for the skin

Apr. 09 2010 01:43 PM
richard from brooklyn

What are skin tags and should they be removed?

Apr. 09 2010 01:43 PM
bob from NYC

do criotherapies have really to do with greater collagen production?

Apr. 09 2010 01:43 PM
Irina from NYC

Also, please repeat the prescription wrincle information!

Apr. 09 2010 01:42 PM
Christine B from NYC

Do glycolic peels only affect the top layer of skin, or do they work deeper to reduce wrinkles?

Thank you

Apr. 09 2010 01:42 PM
Leila Ferioli from Brooklyn

Please talk about rosacea and products claiming to reduce redness, etc.

Apr. 09 2010 01:42 PM

What about recent reports that use of sun screens contributes to Vitamin D deficiency?

Apr. 09 2010 01:41 PM
Irina from NYC

What about stretchmark creams? Like there is new Mederma thats out for stretch marks. Also how does regular Mederma work on scars?

Apr. 09 2010 01:41 PM
h l from bkln

Only use water and a washcloth (unless you're a stage actor and have to use that heavy cake makeup). When I was a teen, my dermatologist told me not to use soap. It really helped. I hardly ever got acne after that.

Apr. 09 2010 01:41 PM

Vitamin E?
How does it work?

Does drinking water help?

Apr. 09 2010 01:41 PM
frank soriano from morristown, nj

Collagen disposition is a major factor in Dupuytren's Contracture, a finger curling syndrome. Would the Vitamin A skin treatments contribute to this?

Apr. 09 2010 01:40 PM
Chris B. from UWS

I'm a 23 year old male, and I recently lost over 100 pounds. I have a lot of excess skin around my middrift, and I was wondering to what extent can I expect it to remold to my smaller body?

Are there creams that really work to regain the elasticity, or do I need plastic surgery?


Apr. 09 2010 01:39 PM
KP from Bloomfield, NJ

Why is it that diet has such a strong impact on rosacea and is there current research into treatments that don't involve antibiotics?

Apr. 09 2010 01:39 PM
Simon from Manhattan

I've been getting an annual check up by a dermotologist for the past several years. I'm in my 40s and was a lifeguard as a teen and young adult. Being blond, green eyed and caucasian I know I'm at risk for menonoma. Do I have to go to a dermologist for my check up or can a GP do the check up equally well?

Apr. 09 2010 01:37 PM
Sarah from Brooklyn

Do the guests have any suggestions for dealing with genetic dark circles under the eyes? Being constantly asked if I'm tired makes me tired!

Apr. 09 2010 01:37 PM
Eduard from Brooklyn

Do sun blocks block ALL the harmful radiation, or only the spectrum (UV) that is responsible for us getting the sun tan? So, while we fill safe being protected by sun blocks, we still absorb harmful radiation?

Apr. 09 2010 01:36 PM
Rose from Brooklyn

I've been using coconut oil as my only facial moisturizer for many years and have recently switched to shea butter. I'm 62 and have no wrinkles. I would never put on a commercial moisturizer because of the chemicals.

Apr. 09 2010 01:36 PM
Dave from NYC

What is heat rash? And how best to take care of it?

Apr. 09 2010 01:35 PM
daniel from car driving from nyc to nj

My hands are always dry, all year around, why is that? What can I do?

Apr. 09 2010 01:35 PM
Huge Fan from Centerport, NY

What is the best treatment for terribly dry hands and feet? Products from dermatologists haven't proven any more effective than others, & petroleum jelly is just so... inconvenient.

Apr. 09 2010 01:34 PM
Amy from Manhattan

That basic definition of skin shows that Allan Sherman had it right: "Skin's the thing that if you've got it outside/It helps keep your insides in"!

Apr. 09 2010 01:34 PM
anonymous from manhattan

i amd 36 and have recently developed a horrible case of rosacea. i am trying antibiotics, oral and topical, and all of the most gentle cleansers and lotions. is there a natural way to fix this? what is a good cleanser that is paraben and alcohol free?
help! and thank you!

Apr. 09 2010 01:30 PM
Maldo from New York City

There really seem to be cheap moisturizers, they just feel cheap. But they also seem to be comedogenic. Is that correct?

Apr. 09 2010 01:27 PM
Brogan Ganley from Brooklyn

My 3 year old has just be diagnosed with Keritosis Pilaris. He has it badly on his cheeks - they get very red, also on his arms and legs but not as badly. I have tried most products and natural vegetable oils - nothing seems to help - do you have any suggestions?

Apr. 09 2010 01:05 PM
JP from NJ

Good queston Nicole. I have that dry and oily combination skin on my face and the astringent I use seems to keep breakouts and dry patches to a minimum. Are astringents good or bad?

Apr. 09 2010 01:00 PM
JP from NJ

Please ask can your skin absorb vitamin D from the sun on a cloudy day and if so, how long does it take to absorb a healthy amount on a cloudy day?

Apr. 09 2010 12:55 PM
hjs from 11211

i was told spf greater than 64 doesn't work true or false?

Apr. 09 2010 12:54 PM
Nicole from Washington Heights

My boyfriend was taught by his father to clean his face with an alcohol-soaked towel. Can you explain why this is a bad idea? Is it really the same as using an astringent?

Apr. 09 2010 12:53 PM
ellen from ny

Could you ask guests----To get the cheapest cleaning for your skin when showering--What is the difference between iiquid soap for hands, soap for body wash and even using hair shampoo for the body? Could you use any or all of these for body in the shower?

Apr. 09 2010 12:41 PM

Can your guest comment on the use of coconut oil as a treatment for vitiligo.

Apr. 09 2010 12:10 PM
Julia from Scotland

Is there a record of clear harm in the use of parabens and other harmful chemicals in skincare products? What is the evidence?

I've also read that Elizabeth I was possibly done in by her make-up. Can the epidermis soak in enough harmful substances to do real damage to the body?

Apr. 09 2010 11:32 AM

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