Manage Your Summer Acne~ Germain Dermatology

Is your acne aggravated during the Summer? Suffering unusual break-outs with the heat? Here are some reason why you may be making your acne worse and what to do to stop the break-outs: 

– Make sure to use non-comedogenic Sunscreen. Oily and comedogenic sunscreens can clog pores not only on the face but also on the back, chest area and even the buttox causing additional break-outs. Germain Dermatology offers a wide array of sunscreens catered to each skin type. 

– Don’t let sweat sit. Always wipe away areas of sweat (like the forehead) with a clean towel or damp cloth, and change out of sweaty clothes promptly to avoid excess break-outs. 

– Shy away from heavy foundations. During hotter months when sweating increases it is best to use a light mineral based makeup to help prevent clogging of pores and bacteria. Dr. Germain recommends Colorescience’s Sunforgettable Loose Mineral Sunscreen foundation or the Jane Iredale Mineral line (full line available at Germain Dermatology).  If you want a heavier foundation opt for those that are 100% oil free.
– Don’t over wash. Even oily skin only needs to be cleansed up to twice daily. Over washing can lead actually lead to more oil production making acne worse. 

– Exfoliate. Especially during summer when sweat, dirt and oil is abundant exfoliating once a week with a gentle scrub can help to slough off dead skin that would clog pores, reduce oil and remove deep bacteria. Dr. Germain recommends the Germain Rx Green Tea Scrub or for those who suffer from regular acne the Germain Rx Brightening Polish with micro beads and acne fighting ingredients like Glycolic and Salicylic acids.

Have You Had Your Yearly Check-Up?

Have you noticed any changes in your skin since the start of the summer? Maybe some new freckles, brown spots, or just a few new signs of aging? These can all be symptoms from our lovely friend the Sun. No matter how many precautions we take or how sun-safewe are UV-rays can still affect us in ways we don’t even realize.

It is just as important to receive a yearly skin check with your dermatologist as it is for you to get a routine physical. After months of fun in the sun, vacations and play it’s a perfect time to get your yearly check. Your risk of getting skin cancer is real. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  

Just like other cancers, you can learn to spot signs and detect problems from home. SkinCancer.orghas great information for helping you self-evaluate your body before your check up, and to detect any changes during the year as prevention.
The best tool is to be educated-know your body and how your skin appears, note any changes, itchy spots or anything irregular and let your dermatologist know. 

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are less serious types and make up 95% of all skin cancers. Also referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers, they are highly curable when treated early. Melanoma, made up of abnormal skin pigment cells called melanocytes, is the most serious form of skin cancer and causes 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Left untreated, it can spread to other organs and is difficult to control. *Courtesy of

Aside from skin cancer, which is the number one risk, over-exposure to the sun builds up over time causing wrinkles, brown spots and leathery skin. Visiting your dermatologist doesn’t only help to prevent skin cancer, but it can also help to eliminate signs from past sun damage. The beauty of it all is whenever you start taking the correct precautions against the sun you can actually reverse the effects, or at least some of them (not to mention stop any additional damage)! 

If you have spent a little too much time unprotected in the sun start
eliminating those weary signs with some simple tips at home:

1- Exfoliate: Everyone’s skin is different and should exfoliate accordingly follow your dermatologist’s recommendations and slough off your damaged and dead skin cells safely and efficiently.
2- Moisturize: Even oily skin needs to stay hydrated, find the right moisturizer for use and use it correctly. This will help even skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and leathery texture.
2- Wear sunscreen year round and daily: SPF 45 or higher is recommended, luckily most moisturizers and foundations have SPF in them now!
4- Use a topical Antioxidant Cream: Use of a good topical cream can renew your skin’s neutral balance, look for ones rich in vitamin C and collagen to replenish your skin’s natural elasticity.

Depending on the severity of the damage and your own personal experience other treatments can be used such as in office microdermabrasion, chemical peels or skin resurfacing.  Germain Dermatology offers an entire line of products geared toward sun damage, as well as anti-aging. Come by the office or visit us online anytime to learn about the products or to make an appointment for your yearly check-up.
Be educated. Use precaution. Get your yearly skin check.
First time seeing a Dermatologist? Know what to expect!
When you see a dermatologist for a complete skin checkup, expect a 10-15-minute visit, including a review of your medical history and a head-to-toe skin examination. This is a good time to ask about any spots you are worried about; your dermatologist can educate you about what to look for, such as any changes in the size, color, borders, or shape of a mole. Typically, a spot that the doctor suspects is cancerous will be biopsied. During a biopsy, a sliver of tissue is removed for evaluation by a pathologist, who confirms (or refutes) the dermatologist’s suspicions.

*Courtesy of

Safely Prolong Your Summer Glow

Spray Tan? Tanning Beds? Bronzers? Selfless Tanners?
Which is the best venue to prolong your glow?

With Kids back in school, schedules busier than ever and beach season coming to an end we all are starting to lose our beautiful sun-kissed glows that we’ve so proudly earned (Only after applying the proper amounts of sunscreen of course.).  It’s a fact that sun lightened hair and bronzed skin tones are a signature for being a Charlestonian, and it is a beautiful sight, only when earned safely; and like all great things this too does fade.
This is the time of year people used to start flocking the tanning beds desperately grasping onto every last bit of that summer touched look. Today most of us know how dangerous the fake-and-bake trend of the past is, however tanning salons everywhere are still opening and thriving. Thankfully advancements such as not allowing minors (under 18) to use indoor tanning salons, and explicit warning labels, have helped spread the word of their hazards.  These precautions may seem small but they seem to be a step in the right direction. “Prohibiting use of indoor tanning for all minors under the age of 18 is critical to preventing future skin cancers,” said Judith Knox, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Springfield Clinic, Springfield, IL. “For years, minors with parental permission have been allowed to visit tanning salons, and research shows that the incidence of melanoma has increased. These trends indicate a problem that is too great to ignore.”
Luckily in today’s beauty market there are thousands of items claiming to do help you achieve, accelerate and prolong your glow without UV exposure. You have bronzing powder, sunless lotions, creams and the ever more popular spray tan options.  Are all of these healthy and as safe as we are told?
The main thing to note is the ingredients. The most common ingredient in most of these products is “dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids in the skin’s surface”.  DHA is approved and regulated for use in imparting color to the human body, but only for external application.  Therefore, According to the FDA most bronzing powders, tinted make-up, sunless lotions, etc are approved for external use and safe as long as used in this way.
Spray tan is an ever increasing trend, and other than not being a cancer risk most people don’t know much about it. The product used for spray tan usually contains the same DHA color additive that the other products we use has. However, when receiving a spray tan, or misting tan, the product has access to your mouth, eyes and your lungs through inhalation.

The FDA provides some great questions to ask about these spray tan sessions:

-Are consumers protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, in addition to the eyes themselves?
-Are consumers protected from exposure on the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane?
-Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting the product?
“If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” the consumer is not protected from the unapproved use of this color additive,” says the FDA.  No noted serious injuries or illness has been reported from the unapproved use, but it’s not 100% proven to be safe.  Long-term testing is still being done and reports are still unclear as to what this chemical can actually do.
It looks like the best option is currently at home self tanners or bronzers.  As spray tans are continually rising in popularity we ask that you consider the risk and take the necessary precautions if you decide to go this route (don’t be afraid to ask questions at your salon or to your dermatologist).  
Want to opt for an at home version? Try our Germain recommended, and sold, Jane Iredalesunless self tanners or bronzers for a flawless sun kissed look.

Here’s to your safe, beautiful, FALL glow!

Hydrating is not just for the Heat

Can you feel that cool breeze in the air? Have you had your first Pumpkin Latte? Yes, it’s Fall. Maybe the season isn’t showing it’s colors so much here in the Lowcountry yet, but we all know it’s that time of year… how? It’s football season!! Whether you are cheering on Carolina or Clemson, pulling for the Panthers, or your own home team, everyone has a case of Football Frenzy this time of year.

With the weather cooling down and tailgate tents going up one thing that is easy to forget is to HYDRATE. We don’t mean with your favorite cocktail, but with actual water. You would be amazed at the effects dehydration, not only has on your health, but also for your skin!
Dehydration occurs when a person loses more fluid than they take in. The common rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water a day… but we also all know we aren’t made from cookie cutters and that doesn’t simply work for each of us. The standard to go by is to drink half of your body weight in ounces per day (If you are 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water daily, or about 9.5 cups of water). We mentioned that your favorite cocktails don’t count, what about your daily tea or coffee? Unfortunately, no. Due to acidic levels and caffeine content water is actually used by your body to metabolize and digest these tasty goods.
Without water most organs cannot function properly: think liver and kidneys. Your skin is the largest organ on your body it needs hydration as much as the rest of you, even from the inside out. Healthy skin contains up to 20% water (dehydrated skin and dry skin are two different ailments, inside vs outside). If you are seeing uncommon signs of acne or unusually dry, worn, wrinkled skin, check your hydration… you could be not getting enough water in your daily diet. Increasing your water intake can simply reduce these symptoms and others as well (such as aches & pains, headaches, and fatigue).  If you feel like adding additional water to your diet doesn’t help visit your dermatologist to eliminate any serious conditions.

Continuous dehydration can also cause premature aging in the skin. When dehydrated skin loses its ability to retain moisture it affects the flow of fluids and nutrients within the skin’s cells, eventually, if not treated, these cells can become damaged. Without proper hydration your skin looses collagen- it literally dries out. Want the best kept anti-aging secret? Drink more water! Many of the latest beauty treatments and creams have collagen, which is a great ingredient (especially if you’ve neglected your hydration for too long), but the best way to replenish and sustain your natural collagen is to stay hydrated.

While cheering on your favorite teams this season, enjoying the cooler weather and all year round remember to carry that water with you (even if it’s between the cocktails)… it will do wonders.
Happy Fall from all of us at Germain Dermatology!

Hot Tips For The Best Results from Your Age-Fighting Products

We love the results we are seeing on those who are using the Germain Rx product line. Designed exclusively for the needs of Dr. Germain’s patients, the line includes cleansers, sunscreens, body and anti-aging products you will love.  We’d love to have you consult with us on the best skin care and anti-aging routine for your skin.  We understand you may be using and enjoying some other products as well.  In any case, we have a few hot tips on how to get the absolute best results from your anti-aging products.

Find The Right Blend of Products

Using too many products and anti-aging ingredients on your skin can be irritating and make the signs of aging more noticeable. For best results overall, consult with a dermatologist or aesthetician who can properly evaluate your skin to ensure you have an effective and safe routine to bring out your skin’s radiance.
Give The Product Time to Work
Despite some claims, most age-fighting products do not work overnight. While a moisturizer can plump up fine lines in a few days, most products take at least six weeks to work and give optimum results.
Use The Product As Directed
Some products contain active ingredients which are too harsh or do not work as well if too much is utilized.  Applying more than directed can cause clogged pores, a blotchy complexion, or other unwanted effects. 
Avoid Products That Sting
Tingling, stinging, or burning do not mean the active ingredients are working – it often means the product is irritating to your skin.  Note: Some products prescribed by a dermatologist may cause stinging or burning. In fact, to get more noticeable results, the skin may be injured in order to reveal fresher, more youthful skin. When supervised by a dermatologist, this can be safe and effective. Pain and stinging should not occur if using an over-the-counter product. 

Continue Using, If You Want to Continue Seeing Results
People often believe that once they get the results they want, they can stop using the product.  To continue seeing results, you must continue using the product. 
Do Not Tan
Tanning from the sun, a tanning bed, or sun lamp exposes you to harmful UV rays, which can accelerate aging by causing wrinkles, age spots, and a blotchy complexion.  Tanning while using products with anti-aging ingredients can aggravate and damage the skin.  Sunscreen is essential to prevent damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.  Use a sunscreen with broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB protection) coverage with a minimum SPF 30.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Along with wearing sunscreen, we cannot emphasize this enough.  A good moisturizer traps water in the skin, which can help reduce the appearance of some fine lines (not deep lines), making your complexion look brighter and younger.
A little attention to a few small details can make all the difference when showing off your beautiful skin!  To consult with Dr Germain for your best age-fighting skin routine, please call us at (843) 881-4440.
Sources:  American Association of Dermatology, National Institute of Health, and the FDA


The joys of summer are here!  Protecting your skin with daily use of sunscreen is the easiest and most obvious way to maintain healthy skin and prevent skin cancer.  However, did you know that other factors, inside and out, might affect your skin’s natural radiance as well?  Be good to your skin and you will love what you see.  Here are some great tips to keep your skin glowing this summer, and all year long!      
Here are a few tips we love on keeping your skin looking it’s best:
Use daily on your face and exposed areas.  We love Germain Rx Anti-Aging Sunscreen SPF 45.  Germain Rx has four sunscreen products to choose from, so please consult with us to determine the right one for your skin type. 
What about your make up?  While some make up lines offer facial foundation products that contain sunscreens, most powders and lighter products may not offer enough protection for you.  To be certain, always be sure to wear a true sunscreen underneath your make up.
Hitting the beach or pool?  Apply 15-20 minutes before going out into the sun and re-apply every two hours and after swimming or perspiring.
 Germain Rx Anti-Aging Sunscreen SPF 45
Enjoy the fruits of summer!   Summer is a great time to enjoy antioxidant rich foods   such as cherries, blueberries, cantaloupes, melons, pineapple, tomatoes, spinach, and other leafy greens, just to name a few.  Along with salmon and other Omega-3 rich fish, Vitamin C rich foods are great additions to a healthy diet, which can be like a mini makeover for your skin. 
In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that an increase in Vitamin C rich foods is associated with a less wrinkled appearance and less dryness.  The study concluded that healthy dietary behaviors might provide additional benefits in skin appearance.
Source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;88(2):480.

Photo courtesy of Lifestyle Medicine Institute
Almost all major systems in your body depend upon water.  Skin included!  Water helps dissolve and carry nutrients, along with oxygen to cells, lessens the burden on the kidneys and liver by helping to flush out waste products, lubricate joints, keep tissues moist and regulate body temperature.  Water helps toxins leave via the skin and allows for perspiration to cool the body.  The end result of a well-functioning body fueled by proper nutrition and water intake is clean, glowing skin!
To function properly, the body must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.  Water is your best source along with fruits and vegetables.
How much water to drink each day depends on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.  We’ve all heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.”  That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations.  Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember.  Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: “Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total.
Time in the pool, the ocean or even showering can dry and dull your skin’s appearance.  Hot water, chlorine, and harsh skin cleansers can strip oils from skin.  Your body continuously needs moisture, especially on these hot days.  If your skin is feeling stressed, use warm water instead of hot, apply a gentle cleanser and moisturize face and body right after shower or bath to trap water in the skin.  
For the body, we love Germain Rx Tranquility Body Crème.  Your skin will drink it in, soothing any redness and softening any dry or cracked areas.  For face, please consult with us to find the best product for your skin as well as for other detailed facial care.
Source: American Association of Dermatology

Germain Rx Tranquility Body Crème

Back on the Air

We’re thrilled that our new commercial is hitting the airwaves! If you haven’t made your appointment to see us, call us today 843-881-4440. Dr. Germain is an ABC News 4 Expert: check out all the great services and information HERE!  And let us know when you see the Germain Dermatology commercial. 

The Ins and Outs of Contact Dermatitis

If you’ve ever experienced irritated and inflamed skin you have probably experienced a condition called contact dermatitis. There are two main causes for contact dermatitis; allergic reaction or contact with an irritant chemical. We know these conditions are uncomfortable and often times unsightly so we’re here to help. 

Let’s start by explaining the two types of contact dermatitis:

Allergic Contact Dermatitis– We are exposed to more chemicals then we could ever imagine each day. From the soap and shampoo we clean ourselves with to the dyes and materials in the clothes we wear. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused when your skin is exposed to a chemical that you’ve previously become sensitized to. The skin exposed to the chemical will appear reddish in color, feel irritated and appear scaly. If you feel this allergic reaction is happening to you, a doctor can easily test you with a patch test. With over 3,000 environmental allergens known to cause this reaction, you’re bound to experience contact dermatitis at some point in your life. 

Irritant Contact Dermatitis– The basics of Irritant contact dermatitis is chemical exposure to the skin that causes damage to the skin. It can be acute exposure such as strong solvents or non-corrosive acids to cumulative exposure meaning repeated exposure to irritating chemicals to 3rd degree chemical burns. The severity of the irritation is based on the individual’s skin. Those in contact with chemicals frequently, such as cleaning professionals often experience red, scaly, blotchy and irritated skin known as Irritant contact dermatitis. 
If you ever experience either one of these contact dermatitis conditions please call us at 843-881-4440 for a consultation. Dr. Germain has many years of experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of skin allergies and rashes. We will work together to help you find skin relief and make you as comfortable as possible in your skin! 
Dr. Germain also may introduce you to her Germain Rx Body Regimen, Smooth As Silk or other products to help you. To purchase Germain Rx products, click here

Get Your Clear Skin Back!

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Approximately 80% of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 suffer from acne with many continuing to have acne into their 40s and beyond. Germain Dermatology in Mount Pleasant is proud to be the first and only practice in South Carolina to offer FDA-Cleared Acne Clearing System with visible results, Acleara. 

Acleara Acne Clearing System is the first continuously-cooled system FDA-cleared to treat mild to moderate inflammatory acne, comedonal acne and pustular acne. The Acleara Acne Clearing System is powered by an advanced vacuum and filtered broadband light technology. The vacuum cleans pores by extracting build up of sebaceous material. Along with the targeted heating of sebaceous glands, the endogenous light activates porphryns to destroy P. acnes and reduces sebum production through photodynamic action.

Topical creams and oral medications can be effective treatments for acne outbreaks, but they can be expensive and can dry and irritate sensitive skin. What’s more, acne that occurs on backs and chests can be difficult to treat topically because of the large surface area. Treating acne with pulsed light can deliver better aesthetic results, especially on inflammatory acne, without the side effects associated with topical and oral acne medications. 

This is good news for the thousands of acne sufferers in the state who have tried a variety of treatments without success. Benefits of using the Acleara Acne Clearing System are:
-Visible Improvement: Reduction in peri-lesional erythema and a visible calming of lesions  
-Hygienic and Comfortable Treatments: Reduced risk of cross contamination and no anesthetics, numbing or cooling gels required
-Economical: Eliminates external cool sprays and anesthetics costs 
-Fast Treatments: Full face treatment typically in under 15 minutes
“We see a wide variety of people who struggle with acne at all ages. The Acleara Acne Clearing System has so many benefits, we knew we wanted to offer it to the acne sufferers of South Carolina as soon as possible. This system gives new hope to those out there who have tried everything.” said board-certified dermatologist, Marguerite Germain, M.D. 
Acne sufferers are encouraged to take advantage of the special introductory offer and receive 20% off their first treatment, for more details, call (843) 881-4440.

Watch Dr. Marguerite Germain highlight the Acleara Acne Laser System on ABC News 4 here! 

Feeling Sluggish?

Often we hear from Charleston moms that they’re not feeling themselves. From running the kids to practice to dance class, there’s never enought time in the day leaving many of them tired and completely out of energy. 

Here’s some easy ways to get a good boost of energy: 

1. Drink water: You may be dehydrated which is making you feel sluggish, so grab a glass of water and enjoy. 

2. Stop and Breathe: Sometimes, taking a moment to close your eyes, breathe deeply and “meditate” of sorts is a good energy builder. 

3. Get up & mooooove! Moving around –even for 5 minutes — can increase your circulation. 

4. Step away from the computer: Of course when you’re finished reading this blog. Breaks from a computer really help! 

5. Be thankful: Often, we’re all caught up with the daily hub-bu of life we forget to be thankful for all the wonderful gifts we have. When you are thankful, you’ll smile and that will give you energy too. 

And if you’re still feeling sluggish, we now offer Metabohealth Vitamin Injections. There’s no appointment needed and they help increase your energy and boost your metabolism. We are offering them for $25 each or a package of 4 for $75. Stop in our office at Germain Dermatology in Mount Pleasant at 612 Seacoast Parkway. 

Thanks for reading!