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A Dermatologist's Take on Dealing with Acne

Having a clear complexion tends to promote a positive outlook on life, often building self-confidence. In fact, tendencies to depression have been linked to being diagnosed with acne.

Fortunately, for Summer 2020, Dermatologists have so many

more effective options to help patients to avoid acne and acne scars. So let’s take a look at what therapies are now available, and where you could start working on your complexion, from start to finish: A good initial move is to find a cleanser and a moisturizer that work with your skin type.

For years, Dermatologists like me have been recommending over-the-counter Purpose Bar Soap for people with dry skin, and Neutrogena Bar Soap for people with oily or combination skin. I come from a family of four Woodbury Dermatologists, and we have been compounding or manufacturing both cleansers and moisturizers that are stronger for over forty years.

So in 2016, after 25 years of practicing Dermatology, I decided to establish a skincare products company - Big River Silk Skincare™ Inc. – to manufacture and distribute some of my own organic and natural skincare products that would be more gentle on people’s skin, and effective at helping with complexion issues. AmberSoy™ Soap Gel and GlycoShea™ Facial&Neck Cream are two such products (

AmberSoy is a cleanser that can also be used as a type of face mask, wherein it’s applied to the skin, then left on for 5-10 minutes, thereby allowing it to reduce excess oils. AmberSoy is an actual soap gel, making it a suitable option for use as a face mask for a really deep clean (Mint, Lemon, or No Fragrance Added.)

AmberSoy uses only mild preservatives, with absolutely no dyes, no formaldehyde, no parabens, no sulfates, and no propylene glycol, making it a great option for oily skin or combination skin. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser – also available from Big River Silk Skincare (4 oz: $11.20) – is a helpful option for people with complexion issues and dry skin.

GlycoShea Facial&Neck Cream is a suitable moisturizer product for people dealing with skin dryness and complexion isssues. Its Alpha-Hydroxy acid ingredient –Glycolic Acid – first discovered in sugarcane and pineapple– smooths the appearance of fine lines in the skin – making it a smoothing agent – effectively an an anti-wrinkle cream. GlycoShea Facial&Neck Cream: 1 ounce ($39.95), 2 ounces ($59.95), and 8 ounces ($179.95).

All of Big River Silk Skincare’s products are available for purchase at our company headquarters, at 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018, Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. They can also be ordered at

Actual therapy for acne often involves a combination of oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline or minocycline, with prescription topical (meaning “on top of the skin”) agents, like Tretinoin Cream, or benzoyl peroxide products, including Duac®, Epiduo®, and Onexton® Gels; topical azelaic acid products like Finacea® Gel or Azelex®, or topical dapsone products like Aczone® Gel. And 2020 is an exciting time

for me as a Dermatologist, because we have so many more effective therapies to help people with acne, making acne scarring less and less a problem for many patients.

Many patients with acne benefit from a several months’ course of oral antibiotics – such as doxycycline, minocycline, or cefadroxil.

Sometimes we Dermatologists also use a five months’ course of an oral medication called isotretinoin, previously called

Accutane. This works on acne by drying up the oil glands, and it’s highly effective, but requires strict avoidance of pregnancy while on the five months of treatment, and monthly bloodwork. Accutane (isotretinoin) is a great option for people with acne that’s resistant to oral antibiotic, but it’s definitely not the best choice for everyone, particularly for people with a history of depression or a history of inflammatory bowel disease, or people who are considering pregnancy within the six months that are required to be properly treated with Accutane. In 2019, a new oral antibiotic was released – Sarecycline (Seysara°) – with a quicker onset of action. A new vitamin A lotion - Altrena° - has also been released – which seems to be less drying than adapalene gel.

So if you or a family member has a facial breakout or a face rash, consider getting a checkup with a Dermatologist. My own Dermatology practice is at Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018 (; 1-901-753-0168). Or you can find a Dermatologist on the American Academy of Dermatology web site – – then plug your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab.

George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (05/27/2020)

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