One of the many benefits of an FSA is that it covers everyday health care costs, which can range from regular medical checkups to blood pressure monitors. But if you have an FSA, you may be wondering whether or not skin problems fall under standard healthcare expenses covered under your account. In other words, are dermatology treatments eligible expenses with your FSA?
Let's take a look at how skin care ailments are handled with an FSA, so you know what you can and can't pay for when dealing with these problems.
Which dermatology treatments are covered?
It's always important to remember that your FSA covers healthcare treatments that are defined by the IRS as medical care, which refers to health care services that can diagnose, mitigate, prevent, cure, and/or treat an injury, illness, disease, or symptoms of a disease.
Skin care treatments that are designed to alleviate a medical condition are covered with your FSA, including:
- Dermatologist – Standard visits to a dermatologist to treat medical skin conditions are an eligible expense.
- Acne – A condition resulting from oily skin and dead skin cells that causes pimples and bumps to grow on your face, ruining proms and selfies.
- Eczema – An inflammation of the skin that causes you to itch.*
- Psoriasis – A condition that causes skin cells to form scales that are dry and itchy.*
- Rosacea – A condition that causes red bumps on your face, similar to a deep rash.*
But wait, there's more. Believe it or not, even Botox injections – yes, the same Botox that made red carpet interviews so fun these past few decades -- are an eligible expense if your doctor is using it to treat a medical condition such as excessive sweating, overactive bladder, and chronic migraines. This treatment may require a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), so check with your FSA administrator on what may be required.
Prescription medication and other treatments for these conditions are eligible expenses, but depending on the type of treatment you need, you may have to get a doctor's prescription or an LMN to receive reimbursement for your expenses. But don't worry if you still have questions -- your FSA administrator can tell you whether the skin care treatment you need requires either of the above for reimbursement.
We've barely scratched the surface on the skin care products available to you. Want a quick snapshot of how many skin care products are FSA-eligible? Start here.
Skin treatments that aren't covered with your FSA
Any skin care treatment that's primarily for cosmetic purposes isn't covered by your FSA. These types of treatments are categorized as general health services that aren't considered medical care and not eligible for reimbursement with an FSA.
Examples of general health skin treatments include laser hair removal, facelifts, acid peels, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and microdermabrasion. While these treatments may provide benefits for your skin, they aren't used primarily to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent a medical condition.
Skin care isn't something you may not think about very often (even though you should), but with your FSA, you can schedule regular visits to a dermatologist to make sure that you're screened for something as potentially serious as skin cancer. So continue using sunscreen and other Use FSA-eligible skin care products (hello, light therapy!) to keep your skin healthy and to help maintain your overall health.
FSA-eligible skin care products we love
dpl II Panel Professional Acne Treatment System
Treat your full face, neck, chest, hands and back in just 8 minutes.
Broad Spectrum Sun and Skin Protection
A variety of broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF15+ protection are FSA-/HSA-eligible!
Don't waste time hunting for ways to spend your tax-free funds. In That's Eligible?!, we'll bring you these updates every Monday, so you don't have to. And for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Learn about five powerful ways to keep your summer acne breakouts under wraps and use your FSA for acne treatments.
First and foremost, sweat does not cause breakouts.Rather, it is the dirt, oils and bacteria that accumulates on the skin and becomes trapped in the skin's pores over the course of a day. However, using harsh cleansers to remove these substances can harm acne-prone skin and even increase the frequency of breakouts in some cases.It's best to stay committed to a morning and evening face wash regimen with a gentle cleanser, and improve its efficacy with a cleansing brush.
Individuals with very oily skin should skip the moisturizer because it can contribute to breakouts. For those who use moisturizers for sun protection, an oil-free sunscreen can be a great substitute. In most other cases, moisturizers are a necessary part of a beauty regimen.It's recommended to use products that are non-comedogenic (designed to not clog pores) and only to treat dry areas of the face and body when necessary.
While you can't see it on your skin, bacteria is certainly there. It will build up over the course of the day and can contribute to skin imperfections over time. Dermatologists recommend treating your face with products that contain benzoyl peroxide before bed. These can eliminate bacteria that could contribute to the formation of breakouts overnight.
Clearing your skin of oil and grime can make a tangible difference in controlling breakouts, your diet can also contribute to acne issues. Some of the more troublesome foods to avoid include dairy products, sugar, fast foods high in salt and carbohydrate-rich foods like white bread and potato chips.
This summer, keep your acne in check. Support the wellness of you and your loved ones by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products!
Spring is the best time of the year to enjoy outdoor activities, and your Flexible Spending Account can play a role in creating your skin care routine.
Having a good skin care routine can make all the difference year-round, but as spring comes into bloom and summer approaches, it's especially important to revisit. Skin care involves proper sun protection, fighting potential acne breakouts, and making sure you stay hydrated. Your Flexible Spending Account can definitely play a role in creating your skin care routine. Skin care is important year-round, but especially so in the warmer months when we spend more time in the sun.
Even if you're not headed to the beach (Memorial Day weekend is coming up!) or going on any big outdoor adventures, WebMD has a good guide that provides tips on daily skin care.
5 Skin Care Tips with your FSA
1. Lip Balm with SPF
As it gets warmer, be sure to keep your lips hydrated with water resistant, soothing lip balm anywhere you go - the beach, camping, while jogging, or even on your way to work or the park.Lip balm (with SPF) can offer UVB protection against sunburn, and UVA protection for anti-aging and skin damage.
Shop for Sun Protection lip care at FSA Store
2. Sunscreen for Face
While brushing your teeth or applying deodorant are daily morning rituals, using sunscreen for your face should be one, too. Did you know you should wear sunscreen every single day (whether it's a cloudy or sunny day, or whether you're spending time indoors or outdoors?) to protect your skin? Often, people only think about sun care when they're headed to the beach, or when they know they'll be in the sun for a long time, but skin care - wearing sunscreen - is important every day.
Luckily,you can shop for sunscreen for your face with your Flexible Spending Account!
Shop for Sun Protection at FSA Store
3. Fight acne
While many people deal with acne breakouts throughout the year, the warmer months seem to bring these out even more. As you're spending time outside, and sweating more, your skin is dealing with the temperature change and responding to that.
Your Flexible Spending Account can help with all types of acne treatments - both non-prescription and prescription treatments.
One popular product at FSAstore.com is the reVive Acne Light Therapy treatment. This non-UV (LED), natural light therapy targets bacteria in the skin, can help reduce flare-ups and aims to bring back clear and radiant skin. reVive Acne Light Therapy treatment is light enough to carry with you while traveling and even comes with a travel bag, detachable cord and safety goggles.
Shop for reVive Acne Light Therapy
4.Wear protective clothing & accessories
Just like wearing sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, and acne treatment can help take care of your skin, wearing protective clothing and accessories can, too. If you know you'll be in direct sunlight (at the beach, while running or playing a sport, camping, etc.), be sure to wear a hat, breathable clothing, and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
If you know you're going camping or hiking, there is even special sunscreen with bug repellent (that's covered by an FSA), so you're effectively protecting your skin from the sun and from bugs.
If you know you're going to be active (swimming, jogging, biking, hiking, etc.), there is also specially-designed sunscreen for sports that is targeted at being waterproof. You'll still want to re-apply sunscreen if you're sweating or right after you've gone swimming, just to be safe.
5. Stay hydrated
While sunscreen can be a big help for your skin, so can proper hydration and a well-balanced diet. In the spring and summer months, your body will likely demand more hydration, as it gets warmer. Drink water throughout the day (rather than gulping it up when you start to feel thirsty...often, you're already dehydrated by that point). Be sure to eat lots of fruit and vegetables - berries, watermelon, cucumber and peppers come to mind - that contain vitamins and high water content.
Share these tips with your friends and family as they prep for spring and summer!
Can I treat acne with a Flexible Spending Account?
As your son or daughter enters puberty, his or her body will undergo a series of major changes during the transition to adulthood, but none are more unpredictable than contending with acne. This skin disorder that reaches its height during the teen years is caused by inflammation of skin
glands and hair follicles that will result in pimples primarily on the face but also on other areas of the body.
Acne is a universal part of life for teenagers, but those breakouts can still be a blow to your teen’s self-esteem and confidence from time to time. Thankfully, there are various anti-acne strategies and skin care products you can explore with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that can dramatically reduce your teen’s chance of breakouts and develop a healthy skin regimen that can last into adulthood.
Here are a few ways that you can help your teen.
Share the importance of regular face washing
While acne is driven by the body’s increased natural production of surface oils, as well as the presence of impurities and dead skin cells that clog pores, gentle cleansing and exfoliating can help reduce the frequency of breakouts and improve the appearance of skin.
However, teens should limit face washing to twice daily, as excessive washing can dry out the skin and lead to peeling and infecting other pimples, leading to a spread of acne.
Use regular acne treatments
In addition to exfoliation and cleansers, a dedicated acne product is another item that can be purchased for your child with a general medical FSA. Please note that acne medications require a prescription for FSA reimbursement. Acne medications come in gels, astringents, pads, creams and lotions, but there are a few key ingredients you should look for. Salicylic acid is a primary ingredient found in most anti-acne products and will break down blackheads and whiteheads, prevent pores from becoming blocked and allow the epidermis to shed skin more easily to stimulate growth of new skin cells. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide is another key ingredient to look for that can slow the production of
oil in skin glands and kill bacteria that can contribute to breakouts.
Be mindful of sun exposure
It’s important to keep your teen protected from the sun’s rays to avoid sunburn, but also to curb his or her acne issues! Acne medications can sometimes make skin more sensitive to sunlight, so warn
your teen to avoid the peak times of the day for UV rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, look for “noncomedogenic” sunscreens that won’t clog his or her pores, and utilize a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater to safeguard your child’s skin throughout the summer.