Where When How — March/April 2017
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Fredlie Swann Bruno

Which organ of our bodies is responsible for protecting our underlying tissues from harm against the elements and microorganisms? That’s correct, it is the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body, it has several functions, such as forming a physical barrier against trauma/physical damage, UV light, water loss, harmful chemicals and irritants. With such important roles to keep us alive, are you doing your part to take care of it? Have you been lacking in your skin health lately? Please read on for quick facts; 'do’s and don'ts' and helpful products for your skincare regime.

The skin is made up of three layers with the following functions:

1. The epidermis – the outermost layer which provides our body’s waterproof barrier. This segment also produces our skin tone.

2. The dermis – just beneath the epidermis is the layer which contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.

3. The hypodermis (deeper subcutaneous tissue) – the final layer is made up of fat and connective tissue.

An interesting fact of our skin colour is that it is produced by specialised cells located in the epidermis known as melanocytes. These cells produce the pigment melanin. This pigment melanin is responsible for tanning or the dark brown to-black pigment of our skin. Melanin is also responsible for the colour of our hair as well as the iris of our eyes.

Let us look at one of the top skin concerns that we face.


Acne is the most common skin disorder and affects over 85% of people at some point in their lifetime. Acne can exist in numerous forms, namely as blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. These can exist on the face, neck, shoulders, back, or chest. No matter the nature of acne that is on your skin, it first starts off with clogged pores. Clogged pores are a result of the sebaceous glands (found in the dermis) pumping an excess amount of sebum – the skin’s natural moisturiser. When there is an excess of sebum on the skin surface, dead cells along bacteria remain trapped. When this mixture gets in contact with fresh air (oxygen) it turns black, forming blackheads. Blackheads do not get their colour from dirt! When the above occurs, but the skin pore is too small, air does not get to the mixture, this remains white, hence whiteheads. If a clogged pore comes under too much pressure, it ruptures. This orifice can become infected with bacteria which leads to inflammation. This results in pus being pushed to the surface of the skin – this is a pimple.

Solutions: Blackheads and Whiteheads

• Exfoliate with a salicylic acid containing products. Products such DermaMed Salicylic Face and Body Wash, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub or Clearasil Hydra-Blast Oil-Free Face Wash Sensitive are ideal for pesky bumps. These products help to clear away blemishes and targets the problem at the source.

• Persons with extra sensitive skin will find formulas such as Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub or Desert Essence Gentle Facial Scrub ideal for delicate skin. The natural exfoliants in these formulas will help to buff skin to a radiant smoothness.

• DO NOT use harsh face scrub or pore strips. These will only remove the top part of the blackheads. The filled pore will be left behind, just below the surface. Scrubbing or picking at acne can lead to scarring on the face.


Salicylic acid containing products can also be used for more severe acne with the option of adding benzoyl peroxide based products. Not only does this exfoliate the skin, but it also kills the acne forming bacteria within the pores. Products containing these ingredients to treat pimples are PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash Daily Control 4% or PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash Maximum Strength 10%.

Some great advice in controlling acne is to keep the skin clean and avoid poreclogging products. Wash your skin once or twice a day with a gentle soap or acne wash.

Stop by the Flamingo Pharmacy for your skincare products along with personal tips to reveal your radiant skin beneath. Take advantage by booking an appointment to see local dermatologist, Dr. Dionne Lightbourne who currently holds clinic times within the pharmacy. The hours she keeps are 5:30pm to 6:30pm Monday to Friday. Dr. Lightbourne sees patients by appointment only, so call the Flamingo Pharmacy today to make your appointment!

Fredlie Swann Bruno, Healthcare Advisor, Flamingo Pharmacy