This Is What’s Happening to Your Skin During Your Period

Tatiana Bido , Special Projects Editor

Whether your menstrual cycles run like clockwork or you’re constantly surprised every month when your period arrives, the telltale signs of nature’s monthly gift are hard to miss. One of those signs is the way in which your skin changes on the days leading up to and following your cycle. Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening and what you can do about it.

Here’s What’s Happening With Your Hormones
Your monthly cycle begins on the first day of your period. During this time, although it may feel like your hormone levels are spiking, but they’re actually not. “Your skin is affected by the hormone shifts that happen during your entire menstrual cycle, but during your actual period, all your hormones are at relatively low levels,” says Santa Monica, CA, dermatologist Karyn Grossman, MD. Your levels of progesterone and estrogen drop, which contribute to the overwhelming emotional feelings that come with your period. Estrogen also stimulates skin-smoothing collagen and oils, which means when levels are low, your skin can feel drier and lines and wrinkles can appear more prominent.

According to Eagan, MN, dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, keeping your skin hydrated is the key to healthier skin during your period. “Hydration is probably the most important thing you can do for your skin during this time,” he says. “For this step I recommend three separate things: a gentle, nondrying cleanser; a moisturizing lotion rich in lipids and ceramides, which are the essential building blocks of the skin barrier; and an ammonium lactate–containing cream or lotion that acts as the humectant, the factor that holds the water in the skin.”  Continue reading This Is What’s Happening to Your Skin During Your Period

Face Shaving Beauty Secret? – New Beauty Magazine

New Beauty Magazine May 2016

By Elise Minton, Article

As women, we go to any length and spare no expense when it comes to getting rid of hair on our face. We wax, tweeze, pluck, trim and laser it away to keep our skin totally fuzz-free. But, could shaving your face be the biggest under-the-radar beauty secret that’s taking the industry by storm? All signs point to yes.

Continue reading Face Shaving Beauty Secret? – New Beauty Magazine

4 Steps To All Season Skin Care – ME Magazine

Me Magazine Cover Article

Top Tips from a Dermatologist

by Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D.

Walk into the skin care/cosmetic area of any major department store, and it is dizzying to see the hundreds, if not thousands, of choices for skin care. To complicate matters, there are sales people wearing white coats looking like either mad scientists or doctors, who are all too eager to recommend their company’s multi-step skin care program. Even in our homes, we are flooded with late-night infomercials touting the latest products that promise to solve your skin care woes. The good news is, smart skin care can be a simple four-step process: cleansing, hydration, protection and correction. Continue reading 4 Steps To All Season Skin Care – ME Magazine

Dr. Crutchfield in New Beauty Magazine Q & A’s

New Beauty Magazine Plants

How can plants be as effective as synthetic skin care ingredients?

Many times plants can provide a better treatment over synthetics.  Nevertheless it’s not necessarily the origin, it’s the concentration and purity of ingredients that make them work best.  Sometimes the amount of an ingredient in a plant is very small,  yet even in small amounts the results can be very effective or the plants can be harvested and the products concentrated for a better result.

How do plants work on the skin?

This is a huge question and there are as many answers as there are compounds found in plants.  Some can act as anti-inflammatories, some can act to improve skin tone and decrease skin congestion, some can be used to fade away dark spots.  Some can be purely rejuvenative.  The list of plant ingredients and their effects on the skin is voluminous.

plants Dr. Charles Crutchfield

What are some of the most effective plant based ingredients?

Alpha hydroxy acids work very well to improve the quality of the skin.  Arbutin and kojic acids are great at fading away dark spots.  Beta hydroxy acids are good at treating acne.

What are plant stem cells and why are they important?

Plant stem cells have the ability to develop into many different plant cell types and as a result they contain special proteins that can have rejuvenative effects and may reverse the signs of aging.  There are several plants that have stem cells that are beneficial including edelweiss, swiss apple, lilac, grapes, algae and raspberries. The actual cells are not put on the skin, only extracts from the cells that contain ingredients that can produce younger and healthier looking skin.

For more information about Dr. Crutchfield

Trend to Try Now: DNA Repair Enzymes

African American beautyUltraviolet radiation from the sun, smoking pollution and the nautal aging process are just a handful of factors that can cause your DNA to become damged, which shows up in the form of discoloration, sagging skin and even skin cancer.

“Antioxidants act like sponges to ‘mop up’ oxidants floating inside the cells that damage DNA, but they can’t repair the damage,” says Eagan, MN, dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD. So how can you repair the damage for healthier, younger-looking skin? The answers lies in creams and serums that contain DNA repair enzymes. Dervived from marine and botanical sources such as plankton, these powerful age and damage reversers have been deemed by beauty experts as one of the most important things to happen to skin care.

Encapsulated in Liposomes (tiny synthetic bubbles made of the same materal as cell membranes) so they can be delievered deep into skin, DNA repair enzymes literally seek out damaged DNA in skin cells and then repair it. DNA repair enzymes work like a seamstress of sorts, cutting out the damage and then patching the holes with a piece of undamaged DNA, which is what makes them so revolutionary. Products that contain these enzymes have the potential to really make a difference in overall skin quality and health.

Article text by New Beauty magazine

Dr. Crutchfield in Perfect Skin Protection Magazine Discussing Actinic Keratosis & Skin Cancer

Perfect Skin Magazine

“Harmless” AK Precursor to Skin Cancer

Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield, III discusses actinic keratosis

Last year, fifty-eight million Americans were treated actinic keratosis (AK). Although the condition itself is not cancerous, if left untreated, AK usually results in squamous cell carcinoma. Given that “cancer” is a general term used to describe diseases characterized by abnormal changes in cells, actinic keratoses are usually included in descriptions of non-melanoma skin cancers.

We asked Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and medical advisor for Perfect Skin Protection, to explain the condition and its treatment.

Q: What causes actinic keratosis?

perfect skin magazine pg 2A: First, you should remember that many
factors contribute to these skin
cancers: exposure to artificial UVR from
tanning beds; heredity; prolonged Q suppression of the immune system; exposure to X-rays; prolonged contact with coal, tar, pitch, or arsenic compounds; complications from burns, scars, vaccinations; and, even tattoos.

However, the overriding factor that both causes and compounds actinic keratosis is exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.

Q: Who is most likely to develop actinic keratosis

Perfect Skin Magazine page 3A: Actinic keratoses are generally seen on older, fair-skinned people who have been chronically exposed to the sun. They appear most often on skin least often covered by clothing – the hands, face, tip of ears, scalp and forearms. They can form in patients of all skin colors.

Q What are the symptoms?

A: Actinic keratoses are small bumps with rough, scaly surfaces or sores. They can be as small as the tip of a pencil or as large as a quarter. A person can have one or several at the same time. Some older patients find that they must be treated periodically for these lesions over many years. If this happens, your physician will carefully Crutchfield Magazinemonitor the lesions and recommend different treatments accordingly.

Most of the patients I see with actinic keratosis are age 50 and older, but I have seen some patients even in their 20’s with the lesions.

Q: How is actinic keratosis diagnosed?

A: Diagnosis is usually easy because the lesions have unique physical characteristics that physicians can identify by visual examination.

Occasionally, if the lesion is especially large or thick, it will need to be surgically removed
for microscopic examination (biopsy) to determine if it has evolved or changed to cancer. If cancerous, actinic keratosis will likely be diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma.

Crutchfield MAgazine InterviewQ: How is it treated?

A: Once the diagnosis is made, dermatologists will consider a number of factors before choosing the most appropriate methods of treatment. Some of these factors include

  • Location, size and number of lesions;
  • The desired cosmetic outcome;
  • The patient’s age, health and medical history;
  • The patient’s ability to comply with treatment; and,
  • The patient’s history of previous treatments.

If diagnosed in the early stages, actinic keratosis can be removed by cryotherapy or freezing; surgical excision or curettage (scraping); by applying cream (5-FU, Solaraze or Carac); or by chemical peeling, laser surgery, or other dermatologic surgical procedures.Perfect Skin MAgazineIt is not usually a difficult condition to treat, but can and will spread, if left untreated.

Q How can actinic keratosis be prevented?

A: Actinic keratosis can be prevented by practicing sun protection early and throughout life. Outdoor workers, gardeners, people who live in sunny states and anyone else who is chronically exposed to the sun should be very aware of this condition. Since it is often cited as one of the most common reasons to visit a dermatologist, it is probably one of the more notable drains on Medicare and other insurance. Education about prevention and detection should eventually lower the number of people with this disease.

perfect skin magazineAs I mentioned, actinic keratosis is a pre- cancer that progresses into cancer if left untreated. About five percent of actinic keratoses, left untreated, will transform into skin cancer. Having it treated and removed is vitally important to the prevention of cancer. If you develop any of the symptoms described above, see your dermatologist.

Crutchfield Dermatology serves patients in the St. Paul, Minneapolis, Eagan and surrounding areas.

perfect skin magazineHe is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions and is medical advisor for Perfect Skin Protection magazine.

He can be contacted at

Dr. Crutchfield featured in New Beauty Magazine as Beauty Expert

View & Read article in PDF version

New Beauty Magazine

Dr. Charles Crutchfield


Crutchfield in New Beauty Magazine


Text from New Beauty Article:

American Board of Dermatology

Some of Dr. Crutchfield’s top honors include “Top Doctor” (Minneapolis St. Paul), “Top Doctor for Women” (Minnesota Monthly), “America’s 10 Leading Dermatologists” (Black Enterprise), “America’s Top Doctors” (Castle Connolly Guide), “America’s Top Dermatologists” (Consumers’ Research Council of America) and “The Best Doctors in America 2012-2013” (Best Doctors). In addition, he was recently recognized by NBC News’ as one of the “Top 100 Newsmakers Making History in the United States” and is a founding member of Doctors For The Practice Of Safe And Ethical Aesthetic Medicine (, a nonprofit organization.

Dr. Crutchfield used a combination of injectables in this 67-year-old patient’s nasolabial folds, forehead, cheeks and lips to correct sagging, add volume and give a dramatic effect.

Wanting to enhance her naturally nice lips, this 32-year-old sought Dr. Crutchfield for guidance. “The results we provide



Facial Rejuvenation
Beautiful, Full Lips
Selphyl™ Treatment
Treatments for Unwanted Brown
Spots; Facial Wrinkles, Veins and
Redness; and Smokers’ Lip Lines
Gorgeous Eyelashes
Cellulite Treatment
Hand / Neck Rejuvenation
Jowl Treatment
Treatments for Tummy Pouches,
Love Handles and Saddlebags
General Dermatology
Laser Hair Removal
Laser Surgery
“Liquid Facelift”
Scar Revision
Acne / Acne Scars


Less is more. I like to do lots of little things to create very dramatic and satisfying results— I tend not to emphasize any one particular treatment. I like to carefully listen to my patients and find out what bothers them. I then create a program that blends several techniques to give them the results they desire. As a clinical professor of dermatology, I teach to strengthen my specialty and keep my skills sharp to provide
the highest quality of care I can for my patients.

To achieve dramatic results, it is not really about using only one procedure or product. I like to blend lots of different treatments and products in order to achieve patients’ desired results.

Time and time again, patients say, “I really trust you. I have always felt that you’ve given me your honest opinion and best recommendations, and I don’t feel like I am trying to be up-sold on procedures or products I don’t want or need.” I believe “less is more,” and that approach gives our patients beautiful, natural-looking results. My patients’ friends should have no idea they’ve had anything done, only that they look fantastic. In fact, I like to say their friends should be “enviously confused.”

My goal is to provide the highest-quality skin care in a gentle, natural manner so patients look confident and refreshed. I don’t want my patients to look different than their age, just great for their age.

Mayo Clinic Medical School
University of Minnesota

Eagan, Minnesota


To learn more about the practice visit

Dr. Crutchfield in Mpls St. Paul Magazine

Dr. CrutchfieldAsk a Derm

by Taylor Selcke

Dr. Charles Crutchfield of Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan shares his advice on seeking treatment for those pesky skin problems.


What patient problems do you commonly treat?

Our clinic sees a wide range of issues pertaining to skin, hair, and nails. In addition to medical concerns, our skin and medi-spa performs a comprehensive range of aesthetic medical treatments to improve appearance, especially in the areas of the face, neck, and hands and in addressing cellulite.

Why should a patient use caution when thinking about seeking skin care–related treatment outside of a traditional dermatology office?

The difference could realistically mean the difference between healthy, quality results and years of difficulty and discomfort. A dermatology clinic should be visited any time a patient has a concern that requires treatments or medicines regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The most important consideration for any aesthetic treatment is the expertise and experience of the person performing it, not the advertised price.

How can patients avoid trips to the dermatologist’s office in the first place?

I am a major proponent of sunscreen as one of the most effective ways to protect skin. I also recommend quality moisturizers, especially in the dry months, and quality minerals for individuals who wear makeup.