Skin changes after bariatric surgery and many patients suffer acne and other dermatoses. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) say dermatological complications can be caused by metabolic and nutritional disorders, especially in malabsorptive procedures. Symptoms including constipation, inflammation, and hormone imbalances go hand-in-hand with acne flare-ups on the skin’s surface, as skin is a reflection of our inner health. Effective acne treatment, therefore, requires a multi-modal approach. If you haven’t already done so, read all about, “My Acne Facial, Constipation and Hormones.”
I began a series of acne treatment facials at Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery in Carmel, Indiana. Dr. Catherine Winslow performed my amazing facelift, and provides a range of aesthetic services and skin care products. So I am happy to return there for all of my facial needs. If you aren’t local, you may want to search for a trusted facial plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or medical spa in your area.
Now let me tell you all about the acne treatment regimen that I follow at home: facial cleansing, supplements, and diet.
Facial Cleansing Acne Treatment
Jen, my aesthetician at Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery, discussed an acne treatment regimen and products that were appropriate for me. I was happy to follow her expert advice rather than be left on my own. I was able to buy the products right at Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery, which I found very convenient and the prices were the same as what I’d pay elsewhere. But you can purchase them online using the links below. It is suggested to avoid purchasing on third-party sites like Amazon. Unscrupulous sellers are sometimes selling knock-off products — and you want to be sure that what you put on your face is going to help you rather than harm you.
To begin, I remove the first layer of makeup with a facial cleansing cloth. A good product that I have found for removing eye liner and mascara is SEN’S EYES by Make Up For Ever available only at Sephora. It truly does what it claims: “A multitasking makeup remover for sensitive eyes that removes the most stubborn waterproof makeup in one swipe.”
Jen recommended that I clean my skin with the CLEANSING COMPLEX by iS Clinical. iS Clinical products are only available through a physician’s practice or online retailer. Beware of online retailers who claim to sell iS Clinical products and be sure to find an iS Clinical Authorized Retailer. According to iS Clinical, the CLEANSING COMPLEX is “…clear, lightweight cleansing gel is powerful, yet gentle enough for hypersensitive skin. CLEANSING COMPLEX incorporates a balance of bio-nutrients, antioxidants, and mild resurfacing ingredients that thoroughly cleanse the surface and pores of the skin without stripping essential natural oils, leaving skin soft and smooth. CLEANSING COMPLEX is excellent as a treatment step in professional facials and is very effective for removing makeup. Excellent for all skin types and all ages, this product even helps with acne-prone skin.”
Jen told me to apply ACNE GEL by PCA Skin onto my clean skin. According to the product website, where you also can order the ACNE GEL, it is “a salicylic acid acne treatment that clears existing blemishes and prevents future breakouts… After cleansing, dispense one pump of product and apply full-face or as a spot treatment. It may be used twice daily.”
Jen recommended that 3 nights per week I do a good facial exfoliation. Its a good step in the acne treatment regimen to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. One product that she recommends is SUGA SUGA WOO WOO by Pristine Beauty. Don’t let the silly product name or packaging turn you off to this great product. I love the way that my skin looks and feels after use. According to the product website where you also can buy the product, “This facial polish is an innovative formula for all skin types which exfoliates and hydrates the skin instantly, revealing a softer, smoother and more radiant complexion. The extra fine sugar exfoliator — packed with vitamins and antioxidant powerhouses of Maqui Berry and seaweed with an uplifting and purifying blend of natural mint and vanilla— make this daily facial polish the Cat’s Meow.” I love the smell of the product, like a fine chocolate mint that makes my mouth water. And my skin feels super smooth and fresh. Directions for use, according to the product website: “Gently massage Suga Suga Woo! Woo! into the skin using light circular motions while concentrating on congested areas. Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry. As a mask, leave on 5-10 minutes then rinse.”
Jen also recommended that I use Dr. Winslow’s Nightly Renewal Cream 3 nights per week. This is a .05% Trentinoin Hyaluronic Acid, Kojic Acid that is formulated at Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery. Information that I found online (not from WFPS) states that: “Tretinoin is pure retinoic acid while retinol is stored in the skin and then converted to retinoic acid. The difference is subtle but has a huge impact on two things– how quickly they work and the side effects. With tretinoin, the skin-improving benefits will happen faster than with retinol, but the side effects of redness, burning, itching and peeling, will usually be greater.” I have used Dr. Winslow’s trentinoin cream a number of times and have never experienced these issues. I think this will vary from person to person. Jen told me that if I had some flaking skin to reduce the amount of product that I apply to my face. A little does go a long way. Kojic acid is less well known. “Kojic acid is used primarily as a skin lightener, similar to what hydroquinone’s used for.”
So there you have it. My acne treatment regimen. And it really works! The total cost of my products was $170, not including the one item that I had purchased from Sephora. That’s a decent price for high-quality products that I know will do what they claim. I surely appreciate that Jen guided me in the selections. Also, I find with quality skin care products, especially therapeutic-grade, that a little goes a long way. So I expect my acne treatment products will last a very long time.
I am working with a very highly qualified clinical nutritionist, Kasia J. Przechodzka MS, CSCS, to heal me at the systemic level. I’ve been trying to cure serious conditions related to my bariatric surgery for the past two years. When the issue of my acne was discussed, Kasia recommended that I take Acnutrol Capsules as follows: “Take 2 caps breakfast, 1 with lunch and 2 with dinner (optimal dose). We need to build up to this dose very slowly starting off with 1 cap for breakfast and lunch and slowly increasing it by 1 cap every 2 weeks.”
I read product reviews on Amazon, although I don’t recommend buying the Acnutrol there. Some folks said their doctors had wanted to put them on Acutane prescription medication but they’d refused owing to safety concerns. These folks reported the Acnutrol product really helped them. So I hope it will help me, and I hope it will help those of you reading this post. My aesthetician Jen was very pleased with my skin at our last appointment and believes the Acnutrol is benefitting me.
Kasia my nutritionist also recommended that I use Acnutrol Gel: “Apply a thin layer on entire face (and acne lesions on other areas of the body) morning and evening.” But I skipped that as I am using the above products that I purchased from Dr. Winslow’s practice.
Order Acnutrol Capsules for $39 from the Discount Nutrition eHealthPro website with free shipping. Use code DFH10% to get an additional 10% off. You will have to create an account in order to see the products.
Additionally, Kasia removed all acne-promoting foods from my diet.
Acne and The Clear Skin Diet
I would be remiss to not mention diet’s role in great skin care: Certain fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, protect against acne, while others, saturated or trans fats, can promote acne. While fruits and vegetables, green tea, soy, fish, berries, and fiber-rich whole foods lessen androgens that promote acne, meat and milk promote these acne-related hormones, as do sugar and low-fiber carbohydrates. Learn more in the book “The Clear Skin Diet.”
According to the book “The Clear Skin Diet,” written by Harvard Medical School doctor Alan C. Logan and nutritionist Valori Treloar, it’s possible to improve your skin by manipulating your body’s testosterone levels. One way to do this is to avoid dairy products. Many dairy products are made from the milk of pregnant cows, which contains hormones that the human body converts to the equivalent of testosterone.
There also is a strong causal connection between the brain and the skin. When a person experiences anxiety and depression, acne-producing hormones are released, which can lead to poor dietary choices high in saturated fats and sugars.
The “Clear Skin Diet” also argues that you can control acne by minimizing your sugar and starch intake. According to the authors, sugars ramp up the production of insulin, a hormone that has a range of effects on the body. Insulin also ramps up androgen production, and in this way has an indirect effect on acne.
Acne after Bariatric Surgery, the Bottom Line
For most women, hormonal changes, either around the monthly cycle or during a menopausal shift, are the culprit. But dietary imbalances and stress also cause flare-ups. Such metabolic and nutritional disorders are exacerbated in the bariatric patient, according to NIH, particularly those who have undergone a malabsoprtive procedure. “Acne in adults is like a whistle blow. Often it’s a sign that something else not quite right is going on,” says Michael Murray, ND, a naturopath and coauthor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life