May 15 Weekly Skinspiration: How to Treat Scars and Hyperpigmentation


Weekly Skinspiration May 15, 2017

weekly skinspiration

Dermatology Pearl: Hyperpigmentation and Scars

Let’s talk about SCARS. A lot of people ask me about scars and what they can use to lighten the appearance. What I tell my patients is that time is what will work the best to eventually lighten the darkened color over many many months to even years. The most important thing you can do for your dark scar is to wear sunscreen over it daily or to cover it up rain or shine because it will get darker when exposed to UV radiation.

There are a few other options depending on what the scar looks like, how long it has been present, and what the initial injury was. If the scar is raised and firm, you may have a keloid, and you should see a dermatologist to discuss intralesional steroid injections or even surgery. If the scar is atrophic and leads to a divot in your skin, you may actually need filler to increase volume. If the scar is more red and angry than anything else you may be a candidate for laser therapy to zap away the blood vessels making the scar red.

For select darkened scars, hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, may be a useful agent. Be mindful that hydroquinone bleaches everything it touches, including normal skin, so be careful when using it to ONLY get it where you need it. Hydroquinone 2% is available over the counter, but 4% and higher, which are far more potent, requires a prescription. Other things people try include chemical peels or azelaic acid to try to lighten up dark spots.

Beauty Review

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara

Too Faced Better than Sex MascaraAnother mascara review! I got a sample of the Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara in my Ipsy bag last month and I wanted to write a quick review. Overall I think this is a fan favorite for a good reason (Fran talks about this one all the time so I was especially excited to try!). The hourglass shaped brush helps to both separate and curl each lash and the mascara itself is really jet black and lasts all day. Volume wise I think this mascara does a good job plumping up the lashes but it still doesn’t beat out my all time favorite, the Makeup Forever smoky lash mascara (review here). I like using the Too Faced one for everyday use (my sample is already practically empty) and saving the Makeup Forever mascara for nights out or occasions in which I want more striking eye makeup.

Fashion Find

ASOS Off the Shoulder Top with Ruffle Sleeve

Last week I spent 3 hours unpacking my closet and transitioning from fall/winter to spring/summer wardrobe. Of course this meant that the days immediately after became cold and I was forced to wear scrubs everyday. But anyways, while I was unpacking I came across some awesome spring pieces. I wanted to share this cute ASOS off the shoulder top with ruffle sleeves. The shirt is cropped with ruffle sleeves and fits well with no alterations. I bought the shirt in red, which is a fun and flirty color to wear in warmer weather. The only downside to off the shoulder tops is if I stretch my arms up the shirt rides up too and the sleeves cinch up on top of my shoulders; this would be a problem with any off the shoulder top though!

Life Update

I think the theme of this past week has been exhaustion. I am spreading myself a little too thin lately balancing a full clinic schedule (10 clinics a week), moving and decorating my apartment, and also trying to prepare for two departmental-wide presentations next week (patient teaching conference and also grand rounds). I’m trying to juggle everything while also spending as much time with my mom and aunt as possible while they’re visiting me, but it is not easy. I find that when things get crazy, sleep is the first thing to be sacrificed. A few times this week I’ve felt like a walking zombie TBH. I will be so relieved when it’s Friday because that will mean all my presentations will be done!

In other news, as I mentioned above, my mom and aunt are staying with me and M for two weeks (60th bday and Mother’s Day) and I’m so SO happy they’re here! I missed them both terribly and their being here reminds me of home. So far I’ve taken them mostly out to eat since the weather has been just awful (raining cats and dogs all weekend) but hopefully it’ll clear up soon so I can show them around my new neighborhood. The video shows my mom at her 60th birthday dinner, making a wish for GRANDCHILDREN!!

On Saturday we also hosted a baby shower for one of my besties in my dermatology program. I’m so excited for her and her hubby and can’t wait to meet her baby when he arrives!

In terms of work:
  • Last week Dr. Amit Pandya from University of Texas Southwestern came to deliver grand rounds and his talk on diversity and mentorship within dermatology really touched me to the core. I always knew that I wanted to help reach out to others who are premed, but hearing the stories of how he mentored individuals spanning all ages, from elementary to medical school, I feel moved to do more. I’m hoping to start by hosting more Instagram live sessions and to build up an FAQ page to answer some of the great questions that a lot of you guys have messaged me with regarding the Path to MD. (Speaking of Path to MD, don’t forget to check out my Path to MD posts, all filled with my advice on becoming a doctor!) Hearing how Dr. Pandya has changed the lives of some of his mentees I feel inspired to do more to help encourage more people to come to medicine or become dermatologists!
  • I have a surgery heavy week coming up with several excisions of skin cancers as well as a skin of color cosmetics clinic. I’m pumped to get better at some of my surgical techniques.

Have a good week!


2 Comments on May 15 Weekly Skinspiration: How to Treat Scars and Hyperpigmentation

  1. Dani
    May 15, 2017 at 4:38 pm (7 months ago)

    I love reading your blog, and I was wondering if you could do a post on what to do to prepare for and be successful in Dermatology rotations during 4th year?

    • Joyce
      May 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm (7 months ago)

      Hi Dani, thanks for your comment. Yes I will definitely put that in a post soon! We have been working with many great medical students lately and there are specific qualities that really set them apart.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

%d bloggers like this: