Do I need to worry about the sun in the winter?

Even when we don’t feel the heat outdoors the sun’s strong ultraviolet (UV) rays can harm the skin year-round, making our skin just as prone to the chances of developing skin damage or skin cancer in the winter months as in the summer months. No matter how thick those overcast clouds look in the winter, up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can still penetrate them. UVA are always present, as they can penetrate clouds, glass, resulting in premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer. UVB rays, on the other hand, vary in intensity and season and damage the more superficial layers of the skin, resulting in sunburns and skin cancer.

For those spending much of their winters on the slopes, it is important to be aware that the combination of higher altitude (UV radiation exposure increases 4 to 5 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level) and the UV rays reflected by the snow puts skiers and snowboarders at an increased risk of sun damage. Fresh snow reflects nearly 80 percent of UV radiation, and UV rays can bounce off frozen water, increasing exposure as you can be hit by the same ray twice. At high altitudes, thinner air allows for the passage of even more light.

What you can do:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever you spend extended time outdoors. Apply 30 minutes before hitting the slopes.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin –most skiers and snowboarders do not use enough.
  • Remember that the skin on your lips and eyes are thinner than on the rest of your face. Use a lip balm and an eye cream infused with sunscreen to get both protection and moisturization.
  • Use a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients like lanolin (in Aquaphor) or glycerin, as dry winter conditions can be particularly harsh on the skin.
  • Be sure to cover often-missed spots under scarves or helmets: the lips, ears, around the eyes, and on the neck, the underside of chin, scalp and top of hands!
  • Carry a travel-sized sunscreen and lip balm with SPF in it with you on the slopes. Re-apply on the chairlift, especially after a long, snow-blown run, or when warming up in the lodge.

If possible, try to ski early in the morning and later on in the day, before 10 AM and after 4 PM typically is when the level of UV light is lower, avoiding the most intense sunlight.

Chemical sunscreens vs. physical blocker sunscreens

Regardless of which type of sun protection you choose, there are benefits to regular use. Numerous studies that have shown that regular use of sunscreen has anti-aging effects. In a recent study in Australia, researchers compared skin aging in 900 men and women from Australia over the course of four years. They found that those that used sunscreen daily, had an undetectable increase in skin aging.

According to the FDA, sunblock with SPF 30 is the safest way to go. Anything above SPF 30 is not usually necessary as it has little incremental benefit and below 30 is not effective enough.

Physical sunscreens: use physical UV filters by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays. Suggested for those with heat sensitive skin (like those with rosacea and redness) since it deflects the heat and energy given off by the sun away from the skin, as well as those who are acne-prone as they seem to be less likely to be pore-clogging. Common physical sunscreen ingredients include titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO)– these are both broad spectrum protectors, meaning they protect against both UVA and UVB rays

Pros: Physical sunscreens tend to be better tolerated by most skin types because they are not absorbed in the skin.

Cons: Physical sunscreens tend to leave a white cast or white streaks after application and don’t offer as much UVA protection compared to chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens are also a bit thicker so they may be more difficult to apply.

Chemical sunscreens: Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays so that the skin doesn’t absorb the rays. Some chemical filters can scatter sun rays, but still mostly just absorb them. Common broad spectrum filters used include oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, and homosalate.

Pros: Pros include its ability to defend the deeper layers of skin-including collagen fibers and other tissue-against the aging effects of UVA rays; and it prevents penetration by the UVB rays responsible for tanning and sunburn

Cons:  Rubs off more easily and must be frequently reapplied.

Since they each have their pros and cons, many of today’s sunscreens contain both physical and chemical UV filters.

What Do Acne Scars Looks Like?

Acne scars come in all different shapes and colors.  There are scars that are discolored, scars that are raised, and scars that are indented.  A dermatologist can offer you a variety of treatments to help improve your scars.  Discolored scars may be red, brown or white and the coloring can be improved by using fading creams, laser treatments or chemical peels.  Raised scars, also known as hypertrophic scars or keloid scars, are usually first treated with a special type of injectable medication to flatten them.

Indented scars, also known as atrophic scars, come in a wide assortment of shapes and may be specifically referred to as icepick scars, boxcar scars, or rolling scars.  All of these different types of indented scars can be treated using a wide variety of methods.  Laser treatments, microneedling, and filler injections are just some of the options for treating indented scars.  Since there are so many scar treatment options available, be sure to see a dermatologist that is an expert in acne scar treatment to get the best possible outcome for your skin.

Types of acne scar treatments available:

  • Lightening creams
  • Chemical peels
  • Pulsed dye laser treatments
  • Intralesional steroid injections
  • Fractionated non-ablative laser treatments
  • Fractionated ablative laser treatments (also known as carbon dioxide laser treatments)
  • Radiofrequency treatments
  • Filler treatments
  • Microneedling

 

Do I Need An Intense Pulsed Light Treatment And What Is It?

Intense pulsed light treatment (IPL) is a laser-like treatment that is designed to improve:  brown spots, red spots, and signs of aging. Some people refer to an IPL treatment as a photofacial or photorejuvenation.

There are many different types of IPL devices and these treatments can be performed at a dermatologist’s office. An IPL treatment takes about 10 minutes to perform. It will feel like little hot pinches on your skin. Sometimes patients are given a numbing cream to apply to their face for 20 – 30 minutes prior to the treatment to lessen any discomfort. During the treatment the patient’s eyes are covered with special goggles because the light emitted from the IPL machine is extremely bright. Immediately after the treatment the skin will be slightly pink and may feel like a mild sunburn.

For the next few days after the treatment your face may be pink and/or slightly swollen.  Any brown spots or brown discolorations that you had on your skin will be slightly darker for about 5 – 7 days after the treatment.  One week after the treatment you will notice that your skin is glowing, has a smoother tone, and a more even color.   You should use caution when doing an IPL treatment in the summer as you should not have a tan when you get an IPL treatment.  Make certain that your treatment is being done in a dermatologist’s office to ensure the safest treatment with the best results.

An Intense Pulsed Light Treatment Can Treat:

  • Brown spots also known as sun spots
  • Red spots and broken blood vessels
  • Signs of aging

 

Could Your Thanksgiving Meal Impact Your Skin?

Gobble gobble…

Get ready for Turkey Day!

Is what you eat this Thanksgiving Day going to impact your skin? Well, it might. Antioxidants can be beneficial for the skin and many of the foods that are typically eaten on Thanksgiving Day are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants work by combatting the harmful effects of free radicals. Ultraviolet light from the sun and pollution are two causes of free radicals. Eating lots of antioxidants may help to protect your skin cells from free radicals such as those caused by the ultraviolet sunlight. Here are some Thanksgiving Day foods that are high in antioxidants:

  • Pumpkin (the real stuff, not canned!)
  • Cranberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Red wine (but not too much!)

Go ahead and eat up!  Your skin will thank you!

Acne Scar Treatments

https://www.zwivel.com/newsroom/acne-scar-treatments/

20161007_zwivel_acnescartreatments

Acne Scar Treatments: Tried-And-Tested Cosmetic Procedures

(…)

What Causes Acne?

While no one knows exactly what causes acne, according to Dr. Emmy Graber, MBA, founder and president of The Dermatology Institute of Boston, possible sources include hormones, bacteria on the skin, the immune system, oil production, genetics, and stress – or a combination of any or all of these factors. …”

Why would I want microneedling?

Microneedling is considered to be one of the safest treatment methods for skincare and it can help improve acne scars, wrinkles and minimize large pores. Microneedling is suitable for all skin types, even thin and sensitive skin on any body part.  Unlike lasers, there is no fear of hyperpigmentation or laser burns.

microneedling_largepores

Microneedling employs the use of a special micropen containing 12 precisely spaced micro needles in a small cartridge to create invisible, vertical, micro perforations into the epidermis and the top layer of the dermis. As this micropen moves across the skin, the needles create tiny holes within the skin.  As a result, the skin shifts it’s natural repair mechanism into high gear and starts producing collagen and elastin to repair these micro-perforations. The self-repairing property of the skin is a 100% natural form of skin renewal from the inside out.

Microneedling is a revolutionary procedure, in that it will act the same as other lasers and ablative methods by increasing the production of collagen, but without damaging the protective layer of skin.

microneedling_acnescars

What will Microneedling do for you?

✓ Minimizes pore size

✓ Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

✓ Lifts, tightens, rejuvenates skin

✓ Improves appearance of stretch marks

✓ Improves the appearance of scars

✓ Improves the appearance of acne scarring

 

Change Your Chin and Jawline Shape With A Simple Treatment

Looking for a more rounded jawline?  Feeling that your face looks too square?  A simple office treatment can help!

The masseter muscle is a large muscle in the face that can sometimes become thickened.  When the masseter muscle becomes thick, it can give the face a square, box-like appearance.  Tooth grinding (also known as bruxism) can cause the masseter muscle to become thick and enlarged and this is called “masseter hypertrophy”.  Some people are naturally born with a large masseter muscle.

Whether you were born with a large masseter muscle, or if you developed masseter hypertrophy, there is a simple treatment that your dermatologist can do to help lessen the size of the masseter muscle.  Reducing the size of the masseter muscle will give the face a more rounded, less square, appearance. 

With simple, safe injections of Botox® or Dysport®, your dermatologist can reduce the size of your masseter muscle for several months.  The injections are not painful and the treatment takes under 5 minutes to do.  You can go right back to work or school after the treatment.  Within a few days after treatment, you will notice that your jawline looks more rounded and natural.

Relax your wrinkles with neuromodulators

Neuromodulators are types of injection treatments performed by your dermatologist to get rid of wrinkles and lines.  There are three different neuromodulators available: Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin®.  They are all used to lessen or even eliminate of the lines on the forehead, between the eyebrows and around the eyes.  These wrinkles are also popularly referred to as: worry lines, 11 lines, or Crow’s feet.  Neuromodulators work by softening the muscles that are responsible for creating wrinkles in the first place. After treatment, the muscles become relaxed and thereby permit the overlying skin to smoothen and unwrinkle.

Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin® are different brands neuromodulators that work in similar ways.

1. At what age should I start doing Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin® ?
There is no exact age that is right or wrong to start doing these treatments. Some people start doing neuromodulator treatments when they first notice wrinkles appearing. Other people do them to prevent wrinkles. Whether you are 25 or 65, you are the right age to start doing a neuromodulator treatment.

NeuromodelatorsPhoto_dermBostonBlog

2. How long does the procedure last?
Less than five minutes! No numbing medicine is needed. A series of injections with a very tiny needle are done in the areas of the wrinkles.

3. Can I go back to work right afterwards?
Yes!  No one will know that you just had the treatment done.

4. Can I exercise after the procedure?
Yes! You are not restricted in any way.

5. How long do the results last last?
The muscle remains relaxed, and the wrinkles are gone for three to four months. When it wears off, the wrinkles come back. Therefore, to keep wrinkles gone for good, a neuromodulator treatment needs to be done every 3 – 4 months.

6. Do people like it?
Yes, one study looking specifically at Botox® demonstrated a 97% satisfaction rate.

7. Will it start to work immediately after the procedure?
The muscles will soften 2 – 10 days after treatment and the wrinkles will start to go away at this time.

8. Is Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin® safe?
Yes! It is very safe. There have been ZERO serious problems ever reported from cosmetic use of these products.