I was inspired to write this post as I find that providing camouflaging options to my patients are just as important as giving them a treatment plan. Why? Because it is frustrating having to wait for results to happen, and often times stressful when there is a function or celebration in the near future.
And lets not ignore the even more frustrating scenarios where there is simply no cure---yet!
Here are some of the more common diagnoses and conditions that I suggest camouflaging techniques for. Please note, this product junkie does not have any financial relations or conflict of interest with any of the products or companies mentioned in this post.
It can take 2-3 months to notice 60-80% improvement when topical therapy for acne is initiated. And you don't want the products you're using to hide pimples and blemishes contributing to further breakouts.
Look for oil-free/non-comedogenic make-up when you have acne prone skin. Furthermore, it's hard to go wrong with something that is mineral based. That is why my favorite is Bare Minerals. Other options for oil-free make-up include Laura Mercier, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Physicians Formula, Neutrogena, Bobbi Brown, and NARS.
It can be very difficult to disguise the rosiness of rosacea. This is why the make-up industry created green tinted products. Green is opposite red on the color wheel, and therefore cancels it out.
The dermatologist dream products for this, is one that is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) -- called Gentle Cover Concealer and Conceal Rx, made by Physicians Formula.
Hair only grows an average rate of 0.35 mm/day, or 1 cm (less than 1/2 an inch) in 28 days per Dr. Habif. This rate diminishes with age. Therefore, it can take close to 6 months before noticing significant changes in hair regrowth after initiating oral and/or topical therapy for hair loss. Even follicular grafts post hair transplantation take time to grow and yield hair fullness. In the meantime, affordable camouflaging techniques exist.
Toppik is a product made of hair fibers that will hide any thinning area instantly. I have friends and family that use it regularly. And yes, it looks natural, even to my "derm eye". Just don't get caught in the rain! Be mindful that the knock-offs don't work as well as Toppik.
The older the vitiligo patch is, the less likely it is to respond to conventional therapy. The more colors a tattoo has, the more difficult it is to resolve, and prevent what is called a "ghost tattoo". And even striae (a.k.a. stretch marks) therapy has a ways to go as color, depth, and width can be improved on, but 100% correction still does not exist. So, while medicine and technology continues to improve and make advancements, for those who are searching for temporary relief from the appearance of vitiligo, tattoos, and stretch marks, look as far as your local department store make-up counter for personalized color matching.
Dermablend offers options for leg and body makeup that does not easily rub off. When you visit their website, you will find marketing for a variety of conditions to conceal: birthmarks, bruises, scars, spider veins, varicose veins, in addition to vitiligo, tattoos, and stress marks. Nice right?
While attempting to hide grey hairs, the last thing any one wants is to get a rash in return. Black hair dyes may contain a chemical called PPD (P-phenylenediamine), and is known to cause contact allergic reactions to the skin. How would you know if you may or may not have experienced this? If itching, irritation, and/or a rash occurs immediately following application of the hair dye.
PPD-free hair dyes exist. Most educated and experienced cosmetologists only use these.
For my patients that suffer from discoloration and thickening of the nail due to chronic inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, gel manicures are suggested. Acrylic nails can cause additional damage.
Those that suffer from nail dystrophy due to an infection are not advised to camouflage with anything other than plain nail polish until the infection has resolved.
What are your favorite camouflaging techniques?