Welcome to a very important episode of DermTV. It’s so important it’s going to run all week instead of our airing three different episodes and that’s because it’s a subject which is so often overlooked. So many people are unhappy with the appearance of their facial skin when they look in the mirror. Sure they can recognize a line or a wrinkle but usually they just don’t realize what it is that they’re seeing that makes them unhappy and that’s simply because nobody’s ever taught them what the different components are that contribute to the appearance of facial skin. Let me give you an example. When they come into my office and say to me, “I need a pick-up”, what they’re really saying is they’re unhappy with what they see in the mirror. Then they say “I need a botox treatment” and I say “I can give you a botox treatment but it’s not going to make you happy”. And what I’m saying is it’s not going to solve the problem that you’re seeing in the mirror because they’re seeing things that they don’t recognize, they can’t tell me about- but they’re things that make them unhappy. To keep it simple, I like to explain the appearance of facial skin by putting all the features into three categories: colors, textures and contours. And sure, everybody knows about the contour issues like lines and wrinkles and creases, but interestingly those only account for about a quarter of what you’re seeing in the mirror, the other three quarters are colors and textures. Let me explain. Colors really mean discolorations like reds and browns. The reds can either be broken capillaries or red blotches. The browns can be individual brown spots like age spots or liver spots or even brown blotches on your face. And then we have the all important texture issues. Texture issues rob your skin of brightness and luster and cause it to be dull and matte, flakey, large pored, cobblestoned- the point is it takes away from the smoothness of the skin. To give you an example of the relative importance of color and texture issues compared to lines, think of a pilled, stained, wrinkled shirt and then iron out the wrinkles. And what are you left with? A pilled, stained shirt. So the next time you look in the mirror I think you’ll have a much better understanding of what you’re seeing and you’ll realize it’s not just about wrinkles.