Skin Deep - Clinical & Cosmetic Dermatology Blog

Skin Deep is a blog for dermatologists and skin care professionals with focus on theoretical, cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology. This blog is associated with ‘Dermatologists Sans Borders’ one of the largest curated groups of skin care professionals on facebook. If you are looking for non-technical information, please visit

The Beautiful Mind

Do These Jeans...
Do These Jeans... (Photo credit: Suzy Forcella)
Let me start with a story again this week. Ms. X is a good looking lady in her early twenties with few pimples and normal well-formed lips. She has few scars from old pimples, visible only on close inspection. All her male colleagues consider her attractive but she rarely speaks to them. She complains about her ‘disfiguring acne’ and thin and ugly lips to her friend who incidentally has more pimples and scars than her. Her friend consider her comments insulting and vain. Ms. X used to spend considerable amount of time in front of the mirror and has consulted all the dermatologists in the city for a solution. She has used all available anti-acne medication including the one with side effects (as her dermatologist told her) that made her skin dry and sensitive. One of the dermatologists gave her lip fillers and she wants to sue him now as the lip according to her looks worse than before. Her friend has noticed some linear scars on her forearm, but never understood the significance. I am sure you do have a Ms. X among your friends as this occurs in almost 2% of the population. Though strictly speaking I am threading outside the realm of my specialty, I think it is important for everybody to recognise and understand this psychiatric condition called Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) or dysmorphophobia.

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Shedding Light

Lumenis One IPL handpiece
Lumenis One IPL handpiece (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last week I discussed the role of plain light of various wavelengths in the maintenance of a healthy skin. Now I will discuss more intense and advanced forms of light therapy, useful not just for cosmetic treatments but also for more serious skin diseases.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) technology as the name suggests, utilizes high intensity light over a short duration. Though strictly speaking IPL is not Laser, most of the precautions for Laser need to be followed for IPL treatments also. IPL is mostly used as a cheaper alternative for Laser Hair Removal. It can also be useful in some cases of acne and broken veins. Paradoxically it may even be useful in reversing the effects of photo-ageing. Since IPL emits light of different wavelengths, it is difficult to specifically target different tissues though certain modifications of this technology (VPL) claim to achieve this in a different innovative way.

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON