Science Teacher Turned Harvard Faculty Dermatologist Fields Your Questions About the Skin

Before medical school I taught high school chemistry at an international boarding school. The 120 teens I faced in the classroom every day have been some of the best educators in my life.  About a decade later, I turned up as a science teacher again, a faculty physician at Harvard Medical School with the same job of teaching scientific concepts to my medical students, residents, and to my patients, and finding ways to make the science of dermatology accessible to them.

In listening to patients, colleagues, students and friends when they ask about skin problems, the scientific validity of claims made in the media, and best practice recommendations for healthy skin, I realized there were common themes in these questions, and figured it might be helpful to those who have similar questions to have a few basic explanations and lessons all in one place.

With my training in public health, and my passion for patient advocacy I also wanted to create a safe space for accurate information about the skin to be discussed amid the misinformation that is out there.

While this site cannot be used to give medical advice in any way, it is meant to be a source for answers to general inquiries I have received about the skin, which I call “SkInquiries.”

I hope this will help my patients to carry the concepts of skin care we discuss outside the clinic and that it might also be helpful to all those patients I may never meet.

So here is your forum for “SkInquiries.”

Wishing all the good health and success that I wish for all my patients.

Be Informed, Be Beautiful, Be Well!

~ A. S. K., MD, MPH

5 Comments on “Science Teacher Turned Harvard Faculty Dermatologist Fields Your Questions About the Skin

  1. Dear Dr Kourosh,

    Just heard you being interviewed on Lucas Rockwood’s weekly podcast & it struck a cord with myself concerning the topic of acne. I’m a 42 year old & have suffered with acne since the age of 14 though a recent consultation with a dermatologist suggests it may be folliculitis rather than acne. I nearly went on roaccutane also but always feared the side-effects. Am I right in understanding that vitamin A/retinol taken over a longer period of time would basically perform the same effect of regenerating the skin & potentially curing my acne/folliculitis?

    Kind Regards

    Nasir Mukhtar

    • Hello! Thank you for the kind words and the question. Unfortunately we cannot predict the outcomes of taking vitamin A orally – it may theoretically be helpful for the skin but this is difficult to measure. Also one should be very careful as this is a fat soluble vitamin that stays in the body so it’s possible to overdose. Thus it is more recommended to apply topical creams that contain ingredients in the family of vitamin a such as retinols and retinoids.
      In case it might be helpful for you, here’s a link to my book on acne, where I explain this in greater depth.
      Facing Acne:

      Good luck!

      • Thank you I have now ordered your book.

        Kind Regards


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