OBAGI: Dr. Zein Obagi Chats Online

Dr.Zein Obagi, M.D.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Dr. Zein Obagi, MD chats online and answers skin care questions:

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Norfolk, VA: My son is 7 years old and has had eczema for most of his life. Would he benefit from a chemical peel and do you have any suggestions for any topical ointments that may help?

Zein Obagi: Eczema is a mixed basket. If it's ectopic dermatitis, no chemical peel should be attempted at all at this age. There is a treatment to reduce skin dryness and reduce eczema. A good physician can make a recommendation after the proper diagnosis.

Milwaukee Wisconsin: What causes skin tags and how are they removed?

Zein Obagi: Skin tags are benign growths appearing on the neck, armpits, and eyes. It's a growth of surface skin and epidermis. They appear in older age, in places where there is more friction between clothes and skin. The doctor can snap them off. The treatment is very easy.

Fort Wayne, IN: I recently learned about the Obagi system through a plastic surgeon office. The explained that she would oversee the process if I decided to do it. I think the doctor should monitor my progress. Correct or not?

Zein Obagi: Absolutely. The Obaji system and treatment should be monitored by the prescribing doctor. That doesn't mean that the doctor needs to be with the patient 100%. They have trained nurses and aestheticians who can abide by the doctor's protocol. Once the diagnosis is made, initial treatments can be monitored by the assistants, but can't substitute for the physician.

New York : What is the difference between prescription products and doctor-reccomended products? I get so confused.

Zein Obagi: Prescription products contain ingredients that cannot be used without prescription, like Retina or MetroGel. Physician recommended products sometimes can be prescription items, and sometimes are over the counter. These are products that can be used without the monitoring of a physician.

Toronto Ontario: I'm 32 years old and already seeing crow's feet around my eyes. What can I start doing now, to slow the process down?

Zein Obagi: I strongly believe we can prevent wrinkles, and I recommend going back to the cells to produce collagen and elastin. Our system has something called Prevention Step. We can use this to reverse the aging changes, and accompany that by doing a Blue Peel. We can keep everybody looking young as long as they keep cells active.

San Francisco, CA: What is the best way to get rid of hyper pigmentation from birth control pills? I use sunscreen, but that is just preventive. Thanks - I love your foaming face wash!

Zein Obagi: This is a big dilemma - how to treat pigmentation. I've studied this for more than 20 years. Hyperpigmentation from birth control pills is called melasma, for which most doctors use bleaches or cortisone. We have the most effective treatment program, treating the deeper part of the melasma, doing about five peels. Very rarely we may have to use a special pigment laser.

Dallas, TX: Is there such a thing as a heat rash? It happens the same time every year early June when it is finally getting hot outside, my lower back always breaks out with small to large pimples. I am a 31 year old male.

Zein Obagi: Definitely. When you're in a very hot area, your sweat irritates the skin in certain areas. If your pores are clogged, you get itchy pimples where the sweating is excessive.

Memphis, TN: What role does nutrition play in the appearance of our skin?

Zein Obagi: A major one. All the vitamins needed in our body should come from a healthy diet. If we eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and avoid dehydrating agents (spices, alcohol, smoking and caffeine) your skin will have a younger look. Water cleanses the system - so drink plenty of it and stay out of the sun.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Doctor, I am looking to diminish the acne scarring on my face. Which recommended procedure has the least amount of recovery time, yet is very effective? Thank you.

Zein Obagi: I'd have to know your skin type - are you white, African American or Asian? And what type of scarring do you have? Deep or superficial? There are a wide variety of procedures to use, such as dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, or chemical peeling. Some scars are too deep, white and fibrotic, so they need to be excised. For scars in general, if you're dealing with non-white skin, the dilemma is that if you go too deep you could lose color in the skin. I advise to do the Obaji Blue Peel where the physician goes only to a safety zone in the skin, then repeat. Instead of doing one deep procedure, we do gradual work. Some scars may be lifted up, some may have to be hit with lasers.

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