Keeping body’s protective organ healthy
By Stephen Groessel
Stephen Groessel photo
Dermatologist Dr. Betsy Wernli (right) uses a specialized tool to examine the skin of a patient. Dr. Wernli serves on the staff at Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin at its Manitowoc and Chilton clinic sites.

While our human skin serves as a cover protecting the body’s organic systems, it is actually a living organ itself. For that reason, besides keeping it attractive and functioning, it must be kept healthy.

We pay attention to the condition of our skin. In the dry winter months we apply lotion. When exposed to the sun we use sun blocks. We clean our skin with soap and water.

Sometimes treatments for our skin require the use of over-the-counter products and prescription lotions and medications including antibiotics.

Some of the more common skin problems were addressed recently by Dr. Betsy Wernli of Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin, S. C. who serves on the staff at its Manitowoc clinic, 1515 Randolph Court and 451 E. Brooklyn St., Suite 5, Chilton.

Some of the skin issues which Wernli touched upon are acne, actinic keratosis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, warts and allergies. Because these problems are treatable, patients are encouraged to seek medical help. Home remedies are often not the answer.


A common patient complaint is acne. If it is a mild case, it can be treated with a topical regimen. If it is moderate acne, an oral antibiotic can be added. For more severe forms of acne or cystic acne a drug named isotretinoin is highly effective against acne. Dr. Wernli said the treatment usually takes five months and usually the acne does not need to be treated again. Because this medication has side effects, patients have to be screened to determine if they qualify for this medication and monitored during the treatment.

There are not only medical reasons but also social reasons to treat acne. In the treatment of acne the goal is to prevent scarring. Dr. Wernli said it is important that it be treated to avoid lifetime scarring and the emotional consequences that may result from that such as insecurity and depression.

Teens should avoid performing home treatments to their face which could make acne worse. Different over-the-counter products that people use can perpetuate the acne unless it is labeled noncomedogenic which will not cause or activate acne. That label marking appears on most skin care brands for facial cleansers or acne treatments such as non-comedogenic Neutrogena® or Cetaphil® moisturizing lotions. Con-

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