Is Facial Hair a Growing Problem?

While few women like having facial hair, the fact of the matter is that darker, thicker facial hair does develop among women.  This is typically due to hormonal changes, and luckily is benign.  A lot of time when women spot a dark, thick hair on their chin and upper lip, they’ll pluck it only to find it’s grown back, and they’ll swear it’s thicker and darker than the time before.  After reading a blog post about this phenomenon, one that’s all too common, I thought I would talk with you about it.  

Hairs don’t get thicker and coarser because you’ve plucked them; that’s a myth that’s long been busted.  Rather, this is because these hairs are secondary sexual characteristic hairs, caused by hormonal changes, similar to mens’ facial hair.  They’re thicker and darker than your typical “peach fuzz” since they’re a different type of hair; it has nothing to do with tweezing them.  Most women develop these hairs on their chin, jaw line and upper lip.  They can appear at any age, but they’re particularly common after menopause.  They can also be due to hormonal changes stemming from everything from birth control pills to hormonal imbalances.  

That’s a little bit explaining where they come from, but that doesn’t say a lot about getting rid of them.  But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.  The cheapest and quickest option is typically a simple tweezing, or maybe depilatory creams.  But they’ll still grow back.  If you want them removed permanently, then talk with your dermatologist about electrolysis or laser treatment.  There are also medications you can take.  

If you’re interested in a more permanent solution to unwanted facial hair and live in the Newport Beach area, then I’ll be more than happy to chat with you about it.  Reach out at 949-439-9288, and set up an appointment today!

3 Steps to Determining Your Skin Type and How to Handle It

M. David Cole, MD talks skin typesThe human species is incredibly diverse, made up of different shapes, sizes, hair, facial features and even height measurements. Likewise, people have different types of skin (whether oily or dry), which requires different processes for daily care and maintaining a good balance. Of course, in order to know the latter, you must know the former, but not everyone does. However, the process to finding your skin type is relatively simple, and I’ll list some steps for doing so below.

  1. The first thing to do is wash your face. It’s possible that your skin has some type of moisturizer, lotion, sweat or dirt accumulated from the day. Give your face a rinse, using a gentle cleanser, to start fresh. As I’ve shared in a previous blog, there’s no need to scrub or wash the face too much. One time is sufficient, and afterwards, dry off with a clean towel by patting the face, not wiping.
  2. Give your face some time to rest. Wait about an hour or so, as your skin recalibrates and returns to its natural state, for the next step. While doing so, be sure not to touch your face, adding any debris or oil from your hands to disturb the process. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit still the whole time. Feel free to go about your daily routine, and if it helps, set an alarm to remind you of when the hour is up.
  3. Once you’re face is dry and in its natural form, it’s time to perform the skin type test. All you will need is a little tissue and some light. Simply dab your face, focusing on the T-Zone area (i.e. your forehead, nose, chin and area circling the mouth), as it is the most oily part of the face, with more overall glands than the other areas. Then, examine the tissue:
  • Oily Skin will show grease on the tissue afterward. You may also notice large pores and a shine even when you’re not wearing any moisturizer or face lotion. This type of skin may require you to wash twice a day (morning and night) with a gentle cleanser, as well as an alcohol-free toner, and moisturizer for balance. 
  • Dry skin will may show flakes of skin on the tissue, and this is likely because of small pores. Addressing this issue requires less face washing, or washing with water only, and a good moisturizer for dry skin. 
  • Combination skin means a combination of both oily and dry, and is the most common type of skin. There are cleansers made specifically for this skin type which help maintain balance. If you know your problem areas, such as a more oily T-zone and dryer outer areas, then you can target accordingly.
  • Normal skin will show neither oil or flaking. Rather, it should appear smooth and supple. This type of skin doesn’t require as much discretion, however if notice things change, to either oily or dry, it may be a result of the types of cleansers you’re using or your routine (or lack thereof), and in that case, you need to change.

Are You Making Acne-Prone Skin Worse?

hand-water-hand-in-hand-female-163762-largeAcne can be painful and oftentimes unsightly, getting in the way of pictures, special occasions, or even simple, everyday situations. As I’ve discussed previously, having acne can even cause emotional and psychological distress. Hence, it is not unusual for those affected by it or prone to it, to want to get it rid of it as soon as possible. However, some efforts to make your skin better could be making it worse, and it could even be as simple as how you wash your face.

Skin can get dirty. Each day our hands touch a number of things filled with bacteria which require constant washing as not to spread germs or attract any types of illnesses or infections. Your face, however, doesn’t come into contact with nearly as much dirt and grime as the hands, unless of course you’re literally working in dirt. Therefore you don’t need to wash it as often.

In fact, acne is not caused by dirt but by oil. So, while constantly washing the face, especially with harsh chemicals or cleansers will remove dirt, it may also cause an imbalance in which you skin feels it must overcompensate with oil to create balance. Our bodies are smart. The skin uses oil to protect itself and generates a natural amount to keep itself smooth and flexible. The more you remove it, the more it will create, which can counter your desired progress.

Another problem is using an astringent to get the same effect. Of course if you have an understanding of acne’s oil problem, the desire may be to counter it by removing that oil with products like witch hazel or alcohol. Yet, once again, the body is smart and will work to repair itself and provide what is missing, leading to more oily skin.

In this case, try cutting back and washing only in the morning and before you got to bed, to remove impurities that have accumulated throughout the day. If you’ve been washing too much, try cleaning your face just once a day. Things may not change immediately, but give your body time to recalibrate itself and gets used to providing your skin with the tools it needs to look its best.

Furthermore, recognize that the skin on the face is delicate and that you should be using face soap or even natural products, such as honey or oatmeal, for a gentle cleanse. Deep cleansers are not needed for day-to-day grooming. Lastly, don’t scrub the face. Simply massage your product of choice into the skin and rinse.

The Psychological Impact of Acne



Acne is one of the leading causes for visits to a dermatologist. Although most cases are developed during a person’s adolescent years, acne can frequently continue into adulthood causing emotional and psychological damages on an individual. In many ways, people become vulnerable to the modification of their cosmetic appearances. While it is extremely difficult for a teenager to experience these types of changes, the overall social and internal complexities these outbreaks can have is something that needs to be noted.

For acne, they are incredibly visible on your skin. Unlike other dermatological diseases that may be limited to areas covered by clothing, acne is often visible on the face. This heightens particular body image issues and social insecurities many people, especially those within their teenage years, can have when they arise. Therefore, it is unsurprising that people with severe acne are susceptible to significant psychological and emotional impacts than in comparison with those that experience lesser cases. In many ways, this can impact a person’s interpersonal relationships as well as their own personal confidence, especially when going out publicly.

Now with the psychological factors, the overall studies are poorly understood. But the emotional distresses that acne can have on a person are incredibly significant. They are often aligned with various levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem. Because of this, moderate-to-severe acne can force adolescence and teens to feel sensitive upon the negative comments and critics about their skin. For those that feel uncomfortable about their acne problem, they tend to avoid eye contact and can even go to extreme lengths such as overly use of makeup or growing their hair longer to cover their faces.

While acne will never feel comfortable, there are particular approaches to help combat and alleviate the situation. In not doing so, you will be subjecting yourself to the negative psychological impacts such as social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem, reduced self-confidence, poor body image, embarrassment, depression, anger, and frustration. To help aid you in alleviating and repairing your skin, try and consult your local dermatologist. One of the biggest myths about acne is that they are common skin problems and that you have to just let it run its course. As much as we can think that, letting acne persist without treatment can lead to dark spots and permanent scars on your skin. By assuming the necessary skin treatment, you will be able to treat your acne, increase your self-esteem, and find beneficial and viable options that can lead you to your goal of beautiful and clear skin.

If you would like more advice or opinions about acne or other dermatological health issues, please visit or contact Dr. Matthew David Cole, MD, at Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute in Newport Beach, CA. You can also call his office at 1-949-439-9288 or visit his site

Three Common Myths about Acne


Many people have a way of coping with acne. While it is a common part of our lives, it is important that we discuss and highlight some of the most common myths that exist about acne skin care. By understanding and internalizing this information on a deeper level, you will be able to go beyond the standard way of thinking and find the best approaches and methods that can help you on your skin care journey. Like anything in life, the more you know about a something, the better control you will have on an entire situation Do not allow these myths stop you from having healthier and better skin. Learn, understand, and most importantly utilize this information for the betterment of your skin care.

Myth 1: Acne is caused by X factor.

In order to take control of your skin, you need to understand the fundamental background information about how and why acne occurs. Many people commonly believe that acne is caused by one particular situation. While one poor hygiene or specific dietary issues may play a factor to your acne problems, there are a variety of internal and external influences that can impact your acne in a negative way. To start, genetics will always play a role in the overall makeup of your skin. In addition, hormones, cosmetic products, food and dietary lifestyles, stress, and other outside and environmental factors can often alter how your skin or acne will react.

Myth 2: Squeezing and Popping Pimples

While it is tempting, popping or squeezing a pimple will not necessarily get rid of the problem. This type of approach can often push bacteria and pus deeper into the skin, which can cause even more swelling and redness. In addition, this approach can often lead to scabs that can potentially become permanent scars. So when you feel the urge to poke, pick, prick, and pop a pimple, think about the longer lasting negative effects that this can have on your face.

Myth 3: Acne Goes Away on its Own

As much as you can do the natural way of things, you do not have to suffer silently. There is a reason why acne treatments are available. They not only help speed up the process, but also control the situation before it develops even further. To start, acne is caused by clogged pores in the skin. Some of this can be clogged from the skin’s natural oils. If your pores become clogged, the skin’s natural bacteria can sometimes cause inflammation, which can lead to even worse acne. To control that, utilize the various acne treatments available to your locus of control. Do not wait for the situation to worsen. Take the initiative and make moves.

Guide to Treating your Acne Scars and Skin Damage


When it comes to acne, the physical and emotional effects go beyond the breakout itself. Instead, it is the resulting outcomes and longer lasting effects such as acne scars and skin damage that can negatively impact your physical looks and emotional mentality. Now, while there is not magic want to get rid of them overnight, there are various procedures that you can undergo to handle these unfavorable marks and bumps.

In order for us to treat our skin in the most healthy and optimal way, I believe it is imperative to distinguish acne marks from acne scars. For many patients, they often mistake many dark spots for acne scars. While both can derive from pimples and other blemishes, there is a huge difference between the two blemishes. For acne marks, these are post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that are usually seen as red and brown marks on the skin. For many of these marks, they tend to go away on their own between three to six months. You can of course expedite the process with diligent treatment of various facial creams that contain topical retinoids, vitamin C serums, sunscreen, and other over the counter remedies. For actual acne scars, these are more permanent indentations from collagen damage and can come in various shapes and forms. Some scars are thick. For atrophic scars, they appear as depressions in the skin and are seen as the most difficult to treat. But this does not mean that they will be there forever.

To help alleviate and remove these acne scars, many dermatologists will recommend laser and filler treatments, depending of course on the severity of the situation. If you find that your acne scars do not fade away on their own, I would highly advise you book an appointment with your dermatologist. Seeing an expert within the medical field, even for a short consultation, can help you decide on whether or not laser and filler treatments are the best options for your skin. Bare in mind, acne scars can be challenging to treat. Certain laser treatments can be very effective. But it is important to keep in mind that results may vary depending on the severity of the scars.

When undergoing laser treatment, it is important that you understand what each treatment can do for your skin. Laser skin resurfacing uses fractionated laser technology to even out the skin surface and increase the formation of new collagen. These new collagens can help fill up those acne scars. An ablative laser is one of the most effective cosmetic procedures for improving aging skin. This procedure can help vaporize your scar, allowing smoother skin to take its place. Filler injections can help fill in the indentations left behind from deep acne scars. The only downside is that this process needs to be repeated for a couple of months.

If you would like more advice or opinions about dermatological health issues, please visit or contact Dr. Matthew David Cole, MD, at Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute in Newport Beach, CA. You can also call his office at 1-949-439-9288 or visit his site

How your Diet can Impact your Skin


By now, it is common knowledge that certain foods and nutrients that we consume help specific body parts work better. For healthy bones, we usually advise you to increase your Calcium and Vitamin D. For our hearts, we usually advise you to eat fish rich with omega-3 fatty acids. And for your skin, those types of advice does depend on what you are trying to accomplish.

Like it or not, the fact is that some of the basic building blocks of our modern diets can have a negative impact on your skin. Doctors and scientist have already done a vast amount of research to unravel the complicated biochemical and hormonal cascade that goes on from when you eat to when you wake up in the morning. While the medical field still needs more evidential research on the correlation between a person’s diet and skin irritation, there is enough tips to help control your diet and improve your skin today.

In this article, I have highlighted various dietary tips to help take control of your acne day by day. For people who have acne, these dietary restrictions can help you continue your journey and prevent unfair complexion misadventures for your goal of beautiful and healthier skin.

1. Avoid High-Carb Foods at all Cost

Carbs have been consistently associated for various health epidemics such as cardiovascular problems, high obesity, and acne and skin irritation. Processed high carbohydrate foods such as sugary cereals, crackers, cakes, flours, jams, preserves, bread products, refined potato products, white flour, and sugar-filled drinks and juices have a high glycemic index, which means a lot of quick sugar, which is linked to acne. Eating or drinking such concentrated sugar snacks and drinks has the ability to increase your blood sugar. That then raises your blood sugar from high glycemic foods forcing your body to make more insulin that can complex things including your hormones that affect your pores. By cutting down on high glycemic foods, your acne should be able to improve. So take my advice, stay away from junk food!

2. Limit your Dairy Products

Some research suggests that dairy products, particularly milk and cheese, have contributed to various acne flare-ups. While, there needs to be more research on the correlation between the two, the growth factors and hormones naturally found in milk can possibly trigger your acne to act out. To help with this, switch from fatty dairy products to moderate amount of whole milk dairy products. In addition, try eating dairy products that contain natural probiotic options such as yogurt.

3. Cut out the Greasy Foods

Yes, cheeseburgers and pizza are always a delightful course, but the grease splattering fat from these foods can bring out unwanted acne or blemishes. Many of these greasy delights create inflammation in the body. Studies have already linked fast foods to such severe conditions such as cardiovascular problems, childhood asthma, etc. But the inflammation that greasy foods can have on the body is acne. To help with the process, I would advise you to cut out or lower your intake of greasy food to once a week, or if you are good once-a-month, schedule. This will help you to eat healthier, explore new food options, and improve your skin.

4. Cut Down on Chocolate

It is no surprise that chocolate is on this list. Having the sweet is not bad from time to time, but if you are consuming chocolate on a daily basis, you may want to reconsider that as a part of your daily regiment since recent studies have linked chocolate and skin irritation. Similar to carbs, chocolate can increase and spike your blood sugar. This in turn increases more insulin that produces skin oils that can contribute to clogging of follicles.

If you would like more advice or opinions about dermatological health issues, please visit or contact Dr. Matthew David Cole, MD, at Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute in Newport Beach, CA. You can also call his office at 1-949-439-9288 or visit his site


Welcome to Dr. Cole’s blog page. He plans to blog about acne-related information here. Updates are coming shortly!