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Skincare Advice with Dr. Burgess

Dr. Cheryl Burgess

Dr. Burgess is the founder and president of the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in Washington, DC. She is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center and George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC.

Dr. Burgess has shared her vast knowledge of skin of color with BioCosmetic Research Labs to help us create the Black Opal skincare line.

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What is acne?
Dr. Burgess: Acne is an inflammatory condition involving the oil gland and pores of the face, chest, back, shoulders, neck and/or scalp. The inflammatory condition is influenced by our body's hormones or is induced by something we are doing to our skin.

Are there different types of acne?
Dr. Burgess: Acne is graded as mild to severe by the dermatologist. Mild acne refers to comedones (whiteheads or blackheads) and papules (raised acne bumps); while pustules (pus bumps) and cystic acne (large tender bumps) refers to moderate or severe acne.

Where do breakouts commonly occur?
Dr. Burgess: If acne persists in adulthood, the acne eruptions will occur most often on the lower face and neck than on the upper face such as the forehead.

Can I still get acne as an adult?
Dr. Burgess: Many women can continue to break out with cystic acne in adulthood. Eruptions are commonly seen about a week before the menstrual cycles or during pregnancy. Often, the outbreaks can recur monthly for years if left untreated.

What are the side effects of frequent breakouts?
Dr. Burgess: Persistent acne outbreaks can lead to dark marks—which are also called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation—or permanent acne scars.

What products do you recommend for oily skin and really bad acne?
Dr. Burgess: Try the Maximum Strength Blemish Kit. It contains all the products you need to cleanse your skin, control oil and treat blemishes.

Is it bad if I pop my pimples?
Dr. Burgess: Yes. Minimize picking of acne lesions to lessen dark spot formation. If your dark spots are unresponsive to over-the-counter acne preparations containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, consult with a board-certified dermatologist for prescription medications..

What kind of moisturizer should I use if I am prone to blemishes?
Dr. Burgess: Use oil-free moisturizers that will not clog the pores. Avoid greasy and oily substances on the skin.