Dermatology Duo
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

The tabloid world shifted its rotational axis when cinema shooting stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie joined in an intergalactic orbit. Why scan the heavens for celestial bodies when grainy paparazzi images of them could be found in the supermarket checkout line? It was like a new planet had been discovered. A name was given to this constellation: Brangelina. With such striking bone structure and toned forms, who would suspect that skin lesions would encircle this pair like so many moons? Follow in Galileo's steps and you too can see the true nature of this galaxy, no telescope required.


Along with many of their celeb brethren, Pitt and Jolie have brandished blemishes. Much like war veterans, only acne survivors can understand each other's persistently pimpled pain.

Pitt also fights a common battle against acne scars.
Brad Pitt's the bad boy of Troy.
Who needs makeup to hide acne scars...
...When you've got a metal helmet?
In "Troy," Pitt plays Achilles, the playa with the proverbial podiatric problem: his sensitive heel. Pitt's potential weak spot, cheeky acne scars, have not lessened his marquee value. Men with these hard-to-treat divots can at least be reassured by Pitt's example, though they don't have the option of a metal helmet concealer. We just wish there was an effective technology to treat this common form of scarring. With all our medical creams, peels, and lasers, when it comes to acne scars, it seems we are trapped in ancient times.


Not to be outdone, Angelina has her own epidermal collection:

Jolie seems to have it all: Luscious lips...

...A forehead mole...

...and a scar on her abdomen.

Though many have speculated how Jolie's full-to-bursting lips could possibly be real, there is no indication that she has undergone augmentation with injectable fillers like collagen and restylane. In the same way that an elite few are genetically endowed with great height (been to an NBA game?), she is blessed with a blissfully bee-stung appearance. Similarly authentic is her forehead mole, small and benign, though since not adjacent to her eye, is a bit off the beauty mark track. Given her oft-reported fascination with knives, we are not shocked that she has a traumatic scar on her abdomen. The actual source of the injury is as mysterious as why she was cast as Colin Farrell's mother in "Alexander."

Not satisfied with these spots, Jolie has gone on to acquire quite a few more. We are not award of any Oscar-winning actress with nearly as many tattoos as Angelina. To our knowledge, the preferred color of her body art has been blue and black. By coincidence or master plan, these are the hues that best respond to laser removal of the injected pigment. Jolie herself took advantage of that fact after her divorce from her second husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton.

Ah, l'amour.

It comes so easily...

 ...and then it departs

Bon voyage, Billy Bob!

Removal of tattoos is successfully achieved with lasers. Jolie stated in interviews that she has underwent a series of "painful" treatments to make "Billy Bob" go "Billy Bye-Bye." These comments unfortunately perpetuate the notion that laser tatt removal has to be uncomfortable. Yet with the invention of a nifty little innovation called anesthetic, becoming tattoo-free can also be pain-free. Perhaps thrill-seeking Jolie sees no gain without pain, but others can get their distinct designs numb before they are made null and void.

Other color shades are less laser-sensitive. So while greens, reds, oranges, and yellows might make for a pretty picture, they require many more sessions for removal. Now that Pitt and Jolie have made their union public, several significant questions arise. Will she get a "Brad Pitt" tattoo? If so, will she opt for the more easily "erasable" black color? Or will her confidence in their partnership result in a tatt that features all the colors of the rainbow? All we know is that the star watchers will continue to scrutinize this little corner of the cosmos.

Runners up, Dermatology Duo:
Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes
Heath Ledger
Michelle Williams


www.skinema.com

© 1996-2008 Vail Reese M.D.

Dr. Reese's office