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A Cautionary Word About Creams and Vitamins

Physicians today are making less money because of HMOs and other problems. Many of us have begun to sell rejuvenating creams and vitamins out of our offices and some of us even claim to have proprietary ingredients. Our opinion: this is largely consumer deception. We feel that you can get excellent vitamins from discount pharmacies that match the best supplements sold out of doctors' offices.

As for rejuvenating creams, they really work. But there are no secrets and they can be obtained openly from pharmacists who have to compete with each other, keeping prices in check. Retin A (or Renova), glycolic acid creams of various kinds, fade creams such as hydroquinone, some new vitamin C creams, and very little else are what we know help. The studies show actual microscopic physical changes as well as improved appearance with these. We have seen people who have used these products for years look as though their skin is getting younger! The creams that are sold as special physician formulas are usually the above creams repackaged with a fancy label and a corresponding price tag. Mixing with Evian water or Jojoba is unlikely to add anything but cost. We think that the doctors who have gotten in the "creams business" in a big way are practicing marketing far more than medicine.

We believe in Retin A (or Renova) and glycolics. As a service, we provide glycolics and other creams at a usual mark-up over wholesale (although we don't claim anything magic about our products, they are good quality) and we do sell Obagi® creams, an aggressive proprietary system of conventional products, for the patient with a serious pigment problem. This requires some patient management. We recommend micronized zinc sunscreen and can give you a list of 20 such products you can buy in pharmacies. For a significant result, you need to use these products consistently for months to years and ultimately make them a part of your lifestyle. They may be irritating to the skin, particularly Retin A. But don't give up; just use a weaker strength or go to every other day or every third day. And use your sunscreens or you will be wasting your time: the sun not only ages you, but you may be more vulnerable to it while using the creams.


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