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NEWS AND SKIN TIPS


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Common Skin Myths


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Everyday, we as providers spend time dispelling common myths about our skin and the care of it. The following are some common ones we encounter:

1. Dry skin is caused by a lack of water. This is a myth. Dry skin is not caused by a lack of water, nor is it caused by simply not drinking enough water. Rather, what is thought to be taking place when dry skin occurs is that the intracellular matrix (the substances between skin cells that keep them intact, smooth, and healthy) has become depleted or damaged, bringing about a rough, uneven, and flaky texture that allows water to be lost. But adding water won't keep that moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is maintained or repaired. To prevent dry skin, the primary goal is to avoid and reduce anything that damages the outer barrier, including sun damage, products that contain irritating ingredients, alcohol, drying cleansers, excessive time in water(long baths and showers) and smoking. All of the research about dry skin is related to the ingredients and treatments that reinforce the substances in skin that keep it functioning normally. 

2. Blackheads are just dirt in the skin. This is a myth. Blackheads are formed when hormones cause too much sebum (oil) to be produced, dead skin cells get in the way, the pore is impaired or misshapen, and the path for the oil to exit through the pore is blocked, creating a clog. As this clog nears the surface of the skin, the mixture of oil and cellular debris oxidizes and turns, you guessed it: black. You cannot scrub away blackheads, at least not completely. Using a topical scrub removes the top portion of the blackhead, but does nothing to address the underlying cause, so they're back again before too long. We prescribe topical medications that can effectively, in time, help reduce oil production and clear stubborn blackheads. 

3. Let your cut or biopsy form a scab to speed up healing. This is a myth. We know that a wound heals fastest when kept moist, not wet. We prefer a thin smear of Aquaphor over the site to facilitate the various mechanisms that take place on the cellular level to promote healing. Scabs are dried collections of dead cells, blood clot, and white blood cells. This crusted debris actually hinders healing because it gets in the way of the skin cells migrating to cover the wound. Allowing a scab to form, then, actually slows healing and can worsen the scar. 

4. Ridges in your nails are a sign of underlying illness and disease. This is a myth. Vertical ridges come with aging and are in some ways analogous to wrinkles on your skin. They occur as straight lines from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. They usually start in one or two nails and eventually develop in all of your nails as you get older. They can appear as early as your 30′s but become more noticeable as time goes on. 

5. Going to the tanning bed before vacation will protect you from getting burned. This is a myth. Tanning beds are work of the devil. They offer absolutely no protection from getting burned on vacation. You may not feel the burn, but you will still be incurring sun damage. Tanning under the sun or a sunlamp gives protection that is equivalent to a sun protection factor (SPF) of 4 or less, which translates into a little extra time in the sun before you start to burn. But the larger issue is that any change in skin color is a sign of damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 

 

Nov 14 // 2012

Everyday, we as providers spend time dispelling common myths about our skin and the care of it. The following are some common ones we encounter.

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Scars...what are the options in treating them once they have occurred?


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Dermatology Skin Scar Treatment

Mederma, Vitamin E , silicone gel dresssings-all promise to reduce scars. Do they really work? Several recent studies in peer reviewed dermatology journals have cast doubt on the benefits of all three. Here is a rundown of what works and what is a placebo. 

Mederma: Although it is often recommended by physicians, this scar gel, which contains an onion extract, has no solid scientific evidence to support its use. 

Vitamin E: Although it is commonly used in anti-scarring products, clinical studies are disappointing. There is little research to support the use of Vitamin E and some studies have shown side effects such as localized allergic reactions. 

Silicone Dressings or gels: These inexpensive products, found at most pharmacies, are often recommended by plastic surgeons. Originally used for burn patients, silicone dressings are thought to soften scars by improving water content and oxygen in the wound. There is little scientific evidence that shows benefit but this treatment continues to be popular due low cost and safety. 

Cortisone cream or injections: Corticosteroids injected directly into raised or keloid scars are effective in flattening the scars in 50% of cases or more (depending on the study). There is a small risk of thinning the skin or lightening of skin color which is dose related and may be reversible. Cortisone creams, on the other hand have shown no benefit as a scar treatment. 

Laser therapy: Several lasers have been used for preventing and treating scars. The pulsed dye laser reduces redness and elevation and improves texture of keloids or thickened scars. There is a risk of recurrence of keloids after treatment. Fractional laser therapy ( aka Ellumine) has been recently used for improving the appearance of surgical scars. There is not a lot of data but results are promising. Healing after this laser treatment is very quick, which has increased interest in this option. There are some recently published, small studies using fractional laser pre-surgery to minimize scar formation. This is an interesting area for future study. 

Feel free to contact our office to set up an appointment with one of our providers, so that we can help you determine which option is best for you.. 

 

 

Nov 13 // 2012

Mederma, Vitamin E , silicone gel dresssings-all promise to reduce scars. Do they really work? Several recent studies in peer reviewed dermatology journals have cast doubt on the benefits of all three. Here is a rundown of what works and what is a placebo.

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Trouble reaching your back?


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Back Buddy

Back Buddie.... So, you have a rash on your back and need to put cream to the area, but you can't reach the area. What are you to do?? Get a Back Buddie. Frequently our patients look for ways to get cream and lotions to hard to reach spots on their backs.. check out the Back Buddie. Inexpensive, easy to use and it is made in the USA.

Purchase It Here

 

Nov 08 // 2012

Back Buddie.... So, you have a rash on your back and need to put cream to the area, but you can't reach the area. What are you to do??

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Interesting Technology...from Scotland..


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Those smart and savvy Scots have devised a wristband that tells the wearer when overexposure to the sun is imminent.

Professors at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland have developed wearable technology that warns its wearer when overexposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun is imminent. The technology will be distributed by Intellego Technologies and will first be introduced as a wristband to be worn outside. The monitoring device will change colors to provide a visual cue to its user that they are at risk of overexposure to the UV radiation provided by the sun.

Professor Andrew Mills and Dr Michael McFarlane of the University who invented the device will be retained by Intellego as consultants. They found a great demand for such a warning device because too much exposure to damaging UV rays can lead to malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Worldwide studies put the number of cases of melanoma at 200,000 in 2008.

As the risks of sunburn elevates, the monitor works by changing color drastically from yellow to pink. The change in color is due to an acid-release agent; which picks up ultraviolet light and dye that responds to pH levels in the indicator. When the agent becomes decomposed by the sunlight it changes colors rapidly, thus indicating it might be time to get out of the sun or to reapply sun protection.

Read the full Press Release

Nov 05 // 2012

Those smart and savvy Scots have devised a wristband that tells the wearer when overexposure to the sun is imminent.

Professors at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland have developed wearable technology that warns its wearer when overexposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun is imminent. The technology will be distributed by Intellego Technologies and will first be introduced as a wristband to be worn outside. The monitoring device will change colors to provide a visual cue to its user that they are at risk of overexposure to the UV radiation provided by the sun.

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We offer many unique treatment options include narrow band UVB


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At Dermatology and Skin Health, we offer many unique treatment options include narrow band UVB photo-therapy and excimer laser for those tough spots.

What is photo-therapy?

Present in natural sunlight, UVB light is an effective treatment for psoriasis. The UV energy penetrates the skin and helps the psoriasis to clear. We offer narrow band ultraviolet light treatments. Narrow band photo therapy releases a smaller range of ultraviolet light to the skin. This treatment may be safer, help to clear psoriasis faster and produces longer remissions than broad-band UVB. It also may be effective with fewer treatments per week than broad-band UVB.

We also offer the Excimer laser. This laser aims a high intensity Ultraviolet B light dose at a specific wavelength of 308 nm at the psoriasis plaque. The laser light is focused on the psoriasis plaque and never touches normal skin, thereby reducing the risk of UV exposure. Treatments usually occur twice a week over a series of weeks and may be covered by insurance.

If you have psoriasis, contact our office to set up a time to meet with one of our providers to determine if these treatment options may be right for you.

Read More About Narrow Band UVB

Oct 19 // 2012

At Dermatology and Skin Health, we offer many unique treatment options include narrow band UVB photo-therapy and excimer laser for those tough spots.

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Skincare tips for the changing seasons...


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Skin Care tipsFall has officially arrived  and winter is right around the corner. As the seasons change, so should your skin care regimen. Hot showers, dry air, wood stoves are just some of the culprits that can wreak havoc on your skin. At Dermatology and Skin Health, we would like to make a few simple recommendations for making certain that your skin survives the long cold winter:

  1. Use a gentle skin cleanser. No soap since it can be drying. We recommend cleansers such as Cetaphil, Cerave, Purpose, or Dermologica.
  2. Ahh, a long hot shower on a cold winter morning.. sounds great but can do more harm than good. Turn down the temperature of those hot showers and minimize your time in a shower or bath.  Cutting down on the time and temperature of your shower will make a big difference in the amount of natural oils that get stripped from your skin.
  3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize.. we like to recommend changing from lotion based products ( those found in pump bottles) to more cream based products ( those found in jars or tubes) beginning in the fall and extending into spring. The oils found in creams and ointments will create a protective barrier that can help retain moisture in your skin. 
  4. If the skin on your face tends to be dry.. avoid harsh peels, masks, and alcohol based toners or astringents during the winter season.  Choose masks that are deep hydrating , rather than clay based which can draw moisture out of skin.
  5. Don't forget your lips and hands. The skin on these parts are much more susceptible to the harsh conditions of the winter. Keep your hands covered and lips moisturized with an ointment based product such as Aquaphor.
When in doubt about what to use or if these measures do not help your dry winter skin, contact our office. There are prescription products that can be used to treat even the toughest dry winter skin issues.
Oct 16 // 2012

Fall has officially arrived  and winter is right around the corner. As the seasons change, so should your skin care regimen. Hot showers, dry air, wood stoves are just some of the culprits that can wreak havoc on your skin. At Dermatology and Skin Health, we would like to make a few simple recommendations for making certain that your skin survives the long cold winter:

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