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AHA, BHA and Retinoids and Rosacea - A question to Whitney Bowe, M.D.


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Dear Madam,
I have read with great interest your new book called the Beauty of Dirty Skin and I have four questions for you (I am very glad to find out from your book that are very specific probiotics that can help Rosaceans and there is hope at the horizon).  
Reading the chapter 8 of your book I have discovered that you recommend exfoliating the skin with Alpha hydroxy acids( AHAs, also called lactic or glycolic acids) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and also retinoids. 
My questions are:
1. Can a person with Rosacea Erythematous, with very dry, sensitive, intolerant, reactive and photosensitive skin do that?
2. From the five strains you have mentined in your book as being good for Rosacea which one/ones is/are the best choice for a very dry, sensitive, intolerant, reactive and photosensitive skin?
3. On the internet there is a very interesting article about vitamins and supplements that says that some vitamins are good in small doses rather than big ones like vitamin E (100 to 150 iu), vitamine C(250 mgs) and so on (https://rosadyn.com/rosacea/suppliments-vitamin/vitamins-supplements-rosacea-triggers). In the chapter 9 of your book you recommend higher doses. Are the doses you recommend for Acne or Rosacea?
4. In the chapter 11 of your book you recommend a detox water. I would like to know if drinking alcaline water (made from Coral Calcium and Microhydrinase) can be done while taking probiotics?
Thank you very much for answering my questions.
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  • 5 weeks later...
  • MAC Member

Thank you so much for your questions. Please see my responses and opinions below: 

Q1: Interestingly, many of my rosacea patients tend to do very well with salicylic acid peels in my office, under controlled circumstances.  The sal acid is actually related to aspirin, and as such, it  has anti-inflammatory properties.  For some patients with extremely sensitive skin and rosacea, they actually do wonderfully on once a month sal acid peels as part of a comprehensive program I put them on in-office including diet, supplements, skincare, etc.

Q2: I recommend brands like Aveeno, and La Roche Posay, that have amazingly gentle and hydrating formulations that also take the microbiome into account.  They both use prebiotic ingredients in their newest skincare products.  Some of my patients also love using the Metaderm Heal and Prevent Cream on their face and body. Please check my Dr. Whitney's Picks page on my website at www.drwhitneybowe.com for my other product recommendations and the science behind my recommendations.

Q3: There is a lot of information on the internet, and unfortunately a lot of it is not credible or evidence-based.  I used hundreds of references, along with years of treating thousands upon thousands of patients in my office, as a basis for my recommendations.  I stand by them. Best of luck!

Q4: There are no studies, to my knowledge, testing the impact of drinking that form of beverage along with taking your probiotic supplements.  I do recommend looking for probiotic supplements that are formulated with technologies that protect the strains from harsh stomach acids, hence delivering them to the gut for maximum impact.

Thank you for your interest in my book and for your questions! Best, Dr. Whitney Bowe


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Dear Madam,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions.

I am already a vistor of your web-site and your recommendations posted there(since a lady from Denmark named Tanja Eskildsen recommended to read your book).

I will keep my eyes on your future career and web-site too.

Thank you once again,

All the best for your professional and personal life.

Best regards from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

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  • 6 months later...
  • Root Admin
22 hours ago, ellametzenthen said:

Could you please go into more detail regarding AHA for rosacea (even if mild) skin types?
Much appreciated.
Thanks emoji4.png
Sent from my Mi MIX 2S using Tapatalk

In the OP, smart2005ct mentions in Chapter 8 of Dr. Bowe's book, Beauty of Dirty Skin, that Dr. Bowe recommends "exfoliating the skin with Alpha hydroxy acids" which are a "class of chemical compounds that consist of a carboxylic acid substituted with a hydroxyl group on the adjacent carbon...commonly used in cosmetic applications [that] are typically derived from food products including glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grape wine)." Wikipedia

As you can see from Dr. Bowe's reply to smart2005ct OP question number 1, that she recommends "salicylic acid peels in [her] office, under controlled circumstances."  

You may want to read Dr. Bowe's book, chapter 8, to see what she says about AHA. 

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  • 1 year later...
  • Root Admin

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