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Obagi Advanced Skin Care Program --
Moisturizer Addiction
By Peter T. Pacik, MD, FACS

One of the first questions we ask our skin care patients is to describe the skin care program they currently use. Often, they discuss the various moisturizers. The moisturizing industry is a large one, with a vast array of moisturizers to make the skin feel good. People with dry skin suffer the most, and often use moisturizers frequently during the day.

Moisturizing this frequently can be self-defeating for a number of reasons:

  • Turnover of the skin cells is slowed, slowing down the normal skin cycle
  • Too much moisturizing does not address the basic problem of skin damage due to ultraviolet radiation, smoking and aging.
  • Moisturizing slows exfoliation, instead of enhancing exfoliation.

The MD Forte and Obagi Advanced Skin Care Regimens both address these issues.

MD Forte
The MD Forte program is effective because the higher levels of glycolic compounds (up to 30%) and the antioxidants Vitamin A, C and E work together to enhance skin turnover (exfoliation) and restore health to the skin. Most of our patients are on the MD Forte Advanced Skin Care Regimen and have been able to achieve healthier, younger looking skin.

Obagi Nu-Derm
The Obagi Nu-Derm Advanced Skin Care Program of skin conditioning and health restoration uses exfoliants to shed the surface dead cells, hydroquinones (bleaching creams) to even out the pigmentation, and Tretinoin (Retin-A) to restore health and thickness to the deeper collagen layer. The system actually causes a drying of the skin during the early weeks of use to encourage more rapid cellular turnover, as noted clinically by flaking of the skin. As the skin health is restored, moisturizers are no longer needed because the skin's natural hydration has been restored.

Some people complain of "sensitive skin." Sensitive skin is often caused by sun damage, and can be markedly improved with the Obagi Nu-Derm Advanced Skin Care Program. For patients with sensitive, sun damaged skin, we introduce the program slowly to allow the skin time for proper conditioning. As the program continues, the skin becomes less sensitive and the products can be used daily.

On a personal note, my own skin has always been very dry, made worse by the numerous outdoor activities I enjoy. I used a heavy moisturizing cream for many years and sometimes had to reinforce with petroleum jelly! My fingers had problems with cracked skin from the numerous surgical scrubs, handwashing between patients and winter dryness. For the past 3 years, I used the MD Forte products, interspersed with LRS, Kinerase and Replenish Hydrating Cream. With the MD Forte skincare program, I saw a marked improvement my skin's health. I am now using the Obagi Nu-Derm products and find no need for moisturizers! My face and hands are soft and cracked skin is history.

Caution: Any strong exfoliating system requires the use of sunscreens because of the increased vulnerability to sunburn. We offer a number of "full-spectrum" sunscreens for sale through our Web site SkinCare-MD.com.

The Obagi program is an aggressive program. You can expect a variable amount of skin irritation during the first 6 weeks, which improves during the second 6 weeks. The last 6 weeks are the easiest, because by now your skin is well conditioned to the products, and you can see the results of your efforts. I would advise calling our esthetician, Lisa Roberge, to get more information before starting, and to help you choose the correct products. Lisa is available during office hours Monday through Thursday 9-5, Friday 9-4 EST at 1-877-415-0600 or (603) 669-0290. Please note that the safety of the Nu-Derm Skin Care System has not been established for pregnant or nursing mothers; therefore, should be avoided at these times.

For more detailed information on the Obagi Nu-Derm System and on the Obagi Nu-Derm System Daily Regimen, please visit our skincare Web site. All of our previous educational e-mails on the Obagi Nu-Derm Advanced Skin Care Program can be viewed in the Newsletter section of our Web site. Our plastic surgery Web site www.plasticsurgerypa.com now contains a Before and After photo gallery that shows results on patients who have used the Obagi Nu-Derm System as well as personal testimonials.

For more information, please visit our Web site skincare-md.com and our plastic surgery website plasticsurgerypa.com. All of our previous educational e-mails , as well as The MD Forte 4-Step Daily Regimen, Obagi Nu-Derm System Daily Regimen, and Obagi-C Rx Recommended Daily System Application are found on our website www.skincare-md.com. If you have any additional questions or would like to speak to or would like to speak to Lisa Roberge, our esthetician, please feel free to call us during office hours Monday thru Thursday 9-4, Friday 9-3 EST at 1-877-415-0600 or (603) 669-0290. If there are any topics that you would like covered in these educational e-mails, suggestions or concerns you may have, please let us know. We encourage you to share your experiences both positive and negative with us. Your comments are important to us.

Peter T. Pacik, M.D., FACS
Medical Director

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