Skin and Hair Care

Acne: What you need to know

Acne is common during adolescence but for many people the condition lingers well into adulthood. The question of whether there is a connection between diet and acne has not been adequately answered–however, there are a variety of treatments available including over-the-counter and prescription products.

Coffee may help your skin stay healthy

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The cause of the skin condition rosacea is unknown, but some believe that immune system function plays a role. A new study found that women who had significant daily coffee consumption were less likely to be diagnosed with rosacea, but there is no proof that the connection is causal.

Dark patches on the face may be melasma

The skin condition melasma is associated with pregnancy because it can be triggered by hormones, but women who are not pregnant can also have it (as can men). The most significant causes of melasma are hormone fluctuation and sun exposure.

How to treat a child’s sunburn

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

No matter how diligent you are about protecting your children from some exposure, sunburns do happen. When it does, follow these instructions to ease the discomfort and treat your child’s sunburn.

Sun protection: Appropriate sunscreen use

Dominic Wu, MD

Contributing Editor

While our bodies need sunlight for vitamin D production, the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation mean that everyone should be mindful of sun protection, in particular, the importance of using sunscreen regularly and correctly.

Skin serum: What it can and can’t do

Women concerned about the effects of aging on their skin may want to consider a skin serum, which is a concentrated formulation containing vitamins, antioxidants, and other ingredients.

Chondroitin and melanoma: How worried should you be?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Research in mice found that the supplement chondroitin sulfate led to the growth of melanoma cells, and though this does not mean it will do the same in people, there isn’t much evidence to support taking chondroitin anyway.

4 ways to protect against skin cancer (other than sunscreen)

While sunscreen is essential for skin protection when spending time outdoors, there are other options (lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter products) that can help lower your risk of skin cancer.

Celebrities get shingles, too

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, though it can be dormant in a person for decades before flaring up suddenly. Not everyone who has had chickenpox will develop shingles, but it is more common in those who are older or who have a weakened immune system.

Stem-cell transplant: A possible high-risk/high-reward treatment for scleroderma

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Scleroderma is a painful, potentially debilitating autoimmune disease without good treatments. A novel approach to treating severe scleroderma using stem-cell transplantation to “reboot” the immune system shows great promise but not without potentially serious side effects.