Monthly Archives: January 2016

Sunscreen. Use it!!!

Use sunscreen always! Regardless if you work in the sunshine or if you plan a holiday in the tropics, you should consider sunscreen as one of the most important necessities. Exposure to sun’s ultraviolet rays may trigger skin cancers years down the road. Sunscreen can be in the form of spray, lotion or gel and its main aim is to protect the skin against sunburn. This product is useful to those of all skin colors as those with very fair skin color as well as those with dark skin tones may develop skin cancer. Sunscreens can be classified into two different types. There are sunscreens known as physical sunscreens and their main purpose is to reflect the sunlight – thus reducing the amount of light that penetrates into the skin. The second type is chemical sunscreens that absorb, rather than reflect, the sun’s rays. Use of sunscreen is thought to reduce the likelihood of a person developing skin cancer. Those people who apply sunscreen on a daily basis may prevent skin cancer as well as delay skin aging.
Tips when choosing a sunscreen:
  •  Look for a sunscreen with “broad protection” (i.e. protects against UV A and UV B rays)
  •  Look for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Once outside, reapply your sunscreen every 1.5 hours
  •  Reapply your sunscreen immediately after swimming
  • Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your lips and the tops of your ears (often forgotten spots!)
  • Apply enough! Most people apply too little sunscreen

What is Eczema and How Do You Treat It?

 

The problem with many people - eczema on hand. Isolated background
Eczema on hand (Problem amongst the majority of the people)

Eczema is a medical term used for a group of skin conditions wherein the skin becomes inflamed or very irritated. Skin becomes very itchy and a red rash develops that may look red, dry, or cracked. Some common areas where rashes appear are on the face, the back of the knees, wrists, hands or feet but it may also be present in other areas of the body. Eczema can affect people of any age, gender and race. There are several types of eczema but the most common is atopic dermatitis. This type of eczema may be inherited and those with atopic dermatitis are likely to also have seasonal allergies or asthma. Causes The real cause of eczema is unknown however, it has been related to an overactive immune system. Eczema may also be prevalent in families that have a history of asthma or allergies. In some people, eczema ‘flare ups’ may develop in response to exposure to certain substances or environmental conditions.

Some things that may flare eczema include:

  • Rough material (such as wool)
  • Very cold, dry weather
  • Very hot, humid weather
  • Stress
  • Frequent water exposure (such as frequent hand washing)

Some people may develop eczema because of an allergy to something that is touching their skin. This is called allergic contact dermatitis.

Treatment

There is no cure for eczema. Oftentimes, symptoms may be managed by reduced exposure to the irritant as well as avoiding stress and extreme environmental conditions. Eczema is manageable and is not contagious. If you are diagnosed with eczema, your doctor can help you deal with your symptoms and manage your daily activities to become free from eczema attacks.

How Can I Get Rid Of Stubborn Fat?

CoolSculptingCoolSculpting® by Zeltiq is a safe, state of the art, non-invasive treatment that can get rid of fat. This treatment, performed at your dermatologist’s office, takes an hour to do and does not involve surgery. A machine is placed on the area of unwanted fat, the fat is cooled, the machine is removed an hour later and then a25% reduction of fat is seen in 3 – 4 months. The treatment feels like a tugging on the skin but is not painful. You do not need to be put to sleep for the treatment and you do not need any numbing medicine to have this treatment done. The cooling from the machine causes the fat cells to die and disappear in the months after the treatment. This treatment should not be done if you are pregnant or if you have an umbilical hernia. Studies have shown CoolSculpting® to be both very safe and effective.

The ideal person for CoolSculpting® is someone who is at or near their ideal body weight but has stubborn fat pockets. If you have stomach fat that won’t go away even with thousands of sit-ups, this is the perfect treatment for you. CoolSculpting®will not decrease your weight but it will reduce pockets of unwanted fat. Some areas of the body that can be treated with CoolSculpting®:

  • Inner thighs
  • Outer thighs or saddlebags
  • Stomach
  • Love handles
  • Back fat

What does a Dermal Filler do?

As we grow older, was start to lose fat that is under the facial skin, causing the face to look more aged. This may present in several ways. There could be hollowing of the cheeks, under eye circles, wrinkles and skin folds. Exposure to the sun, lifestyle factors, such as smoking, and genetics are other factors that affect how our faces age. Dermal fillers are substances that your dermatologist can use to correct facial aging. Most dermal fillers contain substances that occur naturally in the skin and body. These substances can be injected with tiny needles into the places where your face needs them. This procedure is very safe, takes just a few minutes to do, and is only slightly uncomfortable. Most dermal fillers do not give permanent results, but the results can last for years. Some dermal fillers are even reversible. This means that if you decide that you don’t like the look of your dermal filler, your dermatologist could inject an antidote to make it go away immediately. This rarely needs to be done though as when dermal fillers are injected by a trained dermatologist, they produce a natural, more youthful look.

Some types of dermal fillers are:

  •  Juvederm Ultra®
  •  Juvederm Ultra Plus®
  •  Juvederm Voluma®
  •  Restylane®
  •  Restylane Silk®
  •  Perlane
  •  Belotero Balance®
  •  Bellafill®
  •  Radiesse

Do your cheeks get red easily? It could be Rosacea.

Smiling young blonde girl with red cheeks
Smiling young blonde girl with red cheeks

Rosacea is a skin disease that normally begins with redness on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. People with rosacea may experience: flushing, itching and burning of the skin. Oftentimes the redness and symptoms can flare up with certain triggers. Drinking red wine, exercise, extreme heat or cold temperatures or spicy foods may aggravate rosacea. Some people with rosacea will also have pimple-like bumps on the skin and other may also have thickening of the skin on the nose. Some patients have broken blood vessels that are apparent on the nose, cheeks and chin. Rosacea not only affects the skin. A type of rosacea known as ocular rosacea, affects the eyes and creates dry and itchy eyes. Rosacea can affect men or women and people of all skin colors but it more common to individuals with fair skin. Rosacea begins in adulthood. Its cause is unknown but there are theories that are currently being investigated. Rosacea is not contagious. There are medicines and therapies which can help control rosacea and improve its symptoms. Your dermatologist may recommend pills, creams, washes or laser treatments to help your rosacea.

Dry Skin Treatments – 3 Ways to Combat Dry Skin

Treat dry skin with these three ingenious yet simple ways.

1. Moisturize – after a warm bath do not completely towel dry your skin. Apply moisturizer first while the skin is still damp to lock in moisture on the surface of your skin. Pat skin dry for about 20 seconds and then apply a thick amount of moisturizer to trap moisture. The most effective skin moisturizing products are the simplest; try petroleum jelly or mineral oil instead of expensive lotions and creams.

2. Warm baths are perfect – avoid steaming hot baths that could only aggravate dry skin. Hot showers remove the skin’s natural oils and you need this natural oil barrier to keep skin moist and smooth. Short and warm showers are the best and then afterwards, pat skin dry and then moisturize.

3. Use sunscreen – sun damage can also cause dryness and may also cause wrinkles and rough appearance on skin. Wear the most effective broad spectrum sunscreen at SPF 30 all year round. When you go out, wear clothing that can cover your skin such as long-sleeved shirts, pants and hats to cover your face.

Bedbugs – How Did You Get Them and What To Do About Them!

Bedbugs
Bedbug bites on a female’s back
Bedbugs are small, brown, oval shaped, insects that feed on human blood. They can bite the skin and cause very itchy bumps that look like mosquito bites. Often times bedbug bites are in groups of two or three on the skin. They can itch a lot for several days, look pink and swollen, and then go away on their own. Bedbugs can enter the house undetected, through clothing, luggage, furniture and other items. Their flat bodies enable them to hide in small spaces. Because they are active during the night, it can be very hard to spot them. Most people who are diagnosed with bed bugs never recall seeing bugs in their house or on their skin. Since bed bugs are so hard to find, an exterminator may be needed to confirm that there are bedbugs present in one’s house. This involves constant checking of cushions, mattresses and furniture in the house. Controlling bedbugs require spraying all the infested surfaces. Regular cleaning of these items can also help in getting rid of bedbug menace. Your dermatologist can give you prescription creams to help with the itching.

What is Skin Biopsy?

Sometimes it is not obvious just from looking at the skin what is going on. Possible skin
cancers can be diagnosed and the cause of rashes can be determined by taking a
sample of the skin. This small piece of skin can then be evaluated underneath the
microscope. This procedure is known as a skin biopsy. If your dermatologist feels that
this is necessary, she will first ask for your permission to do this test. The skin biopsy
takes less than five minutes and involves very little discomfort.

Once you give permission to move forward with the skin biopsy, the area to be biopsied will be photographed so that a photo can be placed in your medical record. The part of the skin that will be biopsied will first be wiped with an alcohol pad. The area will be numbed using a local anesthetic. This means that you will just get a tiny shot in the area to numb the skin. You will not be put to sleep. The shot feels like a pinch and it burns a little bit. This minimal discomfort lasts less than 10 seconds. After this, nothing in the skin biopsy will hurt. You may feel the physician touching or pressing on your skin but nothing should feel painful. Sometimes it may feel like a gentle tugging sensation on the skin but it will not hurt. A tiny piece of skin will be removed. If necessary, two small stitches will be place in the skin. The dermatologist will be able to tell you prior to the procedure if stitches will be needed for your particular skin biopsy. After doing the procedure, a bandage will be placed on the skin. You will be given instructions regarding how to take care of the skin in the days after the biopsy. You will be called with the results of the biopsy in several days.