The Importance of Receiving Annual Skin Checks
Many people undervalue the importance of skincare and skin checks. However, the fact remains that our skin is our first point of contact with the outside world and may require extra attention. Just as there are many layers of the skin, there are also many layers and levels of skincare. The first level of skincare is taking care of your skin from the inside out. This includes eating and drinking well, resting sufficiently, and exercising regularly.
Skincare Inside and Out
In many ways, the old adage, “you are what you eat” is true. What you eat and drink will show up on your skin. Do your best to stay away from processed foods and sugary drinks. Drink lots of water, eat fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and exercise regularly.
In addition to taking care of your skin from the inside, there are lots of things you can do to take care of your skin on the outside. With the right topical care and necessary professional treatments, you will be able to have youthful, glowing, and healthy skin. The first step in good external skincare is, of course, scheduling an annual check with your dermatologist.
The Importance of Annual Skin Checks
A regular skin check is just as important as an annual physical. It is easy to take the condition of your skin for granted, especially because we are used to looking at it every day—its condition is our normal. However, there are many conditions that can go undetected. With an annual skin exam, you are able to take the necessary corrective and preventative steps for conditions like these.
For example, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime (AAD). One of the reasons for this is the inability to identify early symptoms and warning signs. When detected early enough, skin cancer can be extremely treatable. Annual skin checks can make a huge difference in treating this condition effectively.
Taking Care of Your Skin Between Annual Skin Care Exams
Naturally, it is expected that you will continue to take care of your skin between annual checks. Here are two of the most important aspects of skincare that you should do daily.
Moisturizing the skin regularly is an often overlooked part of skincare. However, it is one of the most recommended practices in dermatology. Keeping your skin properly moisturized can help guard against certain diseases and skin conditions, so it is always recommended—especially in the summer and winter months when the weather can be particularly harsh and drying for the skin.
Sunscreen, like moisturizers, is another often ignored skincare habit. UV rays have been directly linked with skin cancer. As such, it is important that you protect yourself and your skin. A sunscreen with SPF 30 has been proven to effectively block out around 97% of the sun’s rays from harming the skin.
Get Professional Dermatology Care Today
It is easy to think of dermatologists as the doctors you turn to when something is wrong. However, you shouldn’t wait until there is a problem to schedule an appointment. Dermatological care is an important part of overall health. Therefore, whether you are noticing symptoms of certain conditions or seem to have clear skin, annual checks and skincare treatments by professionals is important.
Universal Dermatology & Vein Care can provide comprehensive dermatology care for your skin, hair, and nails. We have a friendly and experience team waiting to answer your questions and provide you with any treatment options you may need. Contact us today to schedule an annual skin check!Lear More
How To Have a Sweat-free Summer
It is normal and healthy to perspire in hot weather, but if you sweat excessively, this may be related to certain health conditions. Excessive perspiration is embarrassing and can make daily life difficult when you have to worry about sweat stains. There are a few basic steps that you can take to have a sweat-free summer, but you can also visit a dermatologist for professional treatment at Universal Dermatology & Vein Care in Columbus, Ohio. Here are some of the ways to combat excessive perspiration:
Change Your Daily Diet
Did you know that some foods can lead to additional perspiration, including smelly sweat? If you have a problem with too much sweating, then changing your diet is essential. The foods that can cause a smelly body odor from extra sweat include dairies such as milk, cheese, and ice cream. You will also want to avoid pungent foods such as onions, asparagus, and garlic. Moderate your consumption of salty foods that can lead to edema or water retention because when you are hot, these will cause you to perspire more.
Wear Clothing Made From Natural Fibers
Rather than wearing man-made fibers, select clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton or linen. You should avoid wearing tight garments or multiple layers of clothing that don’t permit proper air circulation. You can find garments that are made from moisture-wicking fibers so that you won’t sweat as much.
Use Specialized Antiperspirant
If you have excessive perspiration, basic deodorant or antiperspirant won’t control your sweating or body odor. You can find an antiperspirant that is made with special formulas that will control sweating in the armpits and other clammy areas of the body. It is also possible for a dermatologist to prescribe antiperspirant that is formulated for anyone with hyperhidrosis.
Drink a Lot Of Water
You might think that not drinking water is the best way to stop perspiring, but if you are dehydrated, then your sweat will have a more intense odor. If you don’t drink any liquids for several hours, your body conserves its moisture to sustain your internal organs. As soon as you drink water again, you will begin to sweat more. Remain consistently hydrated as much as possible to avoid the sudden onset of perspiration that can come from drinking water sporadically.
Eliminate Some Of Your Sweat Glands
You can visit a dermatologist to have the sweat glands eliminated in your armpits with a cool laser treatment that uses microwave technology. Mira-dry is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment on the sweat glands that are located underneath the arms. This is a noninvasive treatment that is fast and painless, but you will need two Mira-dry procedures that are spaced about three months apart. The results from Mira-dry will last from two years to a lifetime.
Exercise To Lose Weight
Losing weight can help you to perspire less, so you should have a regular exercise routine. While you will sweat during exercise, you will also lose weight, and with less fat on your body, you will feel cooler in hot weather. If you have never consistently exercised before, consider a consultation with a personal trainer.
Regulate Your Hormone Levels
When your hormones fluctuate, you may perspire more. Teenagers often sweat excessively because they are going through rapid growth along with an increase in hormone levels. Women who are pregnant or going through perimenopause also have problems with excessive perspiration. If you perspire a lot without these reasons, then you might have a thyroid condition that requires specialized treatment and you should consult a doctor.
Remove Body Hair To Reduce Sweating
Shaving your legs or armpits can help you to remain cooler in the summer. While females are more likely to shave the hair from their bodies, males can also benefit from reducing their amount of body hair. You can also use depilatory creams to dissolve the roots of body hair. A dermatologist can also use electrolysis to eliminate excessive hair.
Reduce Your Caffeine Consumption
If you drink coffee, tea or caffeinated soft drinks all day, then you may have excessive perspiration that has a strong odor. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases the temperature of your body along with activating your sweat glands. If you regularly consume a lot of caffeine, it is important to ease yourself off of these drinks gradually to avoid intense cravings that will make you sweat.
Remain In Cool Environments
When you have a problem with excessive sweat, you should remain in a cool environment as much as possible. Stay in air conditioning as much as possible. You can also install dehumidifiers and circulating fans to eliminate the humidity in the air.
Quit Smoking Cigarettes
There are several reasons why cigarettes are harmful to the body. One of these ways is that they increase how much you sweat. The nicotine in tobacco triggers a chemical in your body that leads to a higher heart rate, making you perspire more. When you stop smoking, the withdrawal symptoms from tobacco will also cause excess perspiration, but this symptom will subside within a few days.
Botox is an appropriate treatment for excessive sweating, but you should visit a dermatologist for this treatment. Vials of this neurotoxic protein are injected into the armpits to block the chemical messengers in the sweat glands that cause excessive perspiration. Treatment with Botox for sweating is suitable for most adults, and the benefits will last for approximately seven months.
Contact a Dermatologist Today To Learn More
A dermatologist at Universal Dermatology & Vein Care can help you have a sweat-free life this summer, call us today!Lear More
What Is Mohs Surgery?
If you are spending a lot of your time at work or leisure under the sun, your skin is at risk of overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Your skin is liable to show the effects of this exposure over time. Those who are spending too much time on tanning beds face the same risks.
The unwanted result can be a variety of different skin cancers. Thankfully there are many treatments for this ailment that can alleviate skin problems and eliminate the risk of skin cancer. One of these treatments is Mohs surgery. Some say that it is the best of all treatments based on several reasons.
What Is This Surgery?
Mohs is a surgical procedure that can be used to remove skin cancer. There are two types of skin cancers that some believe could be best treated by this micrographic surgery. They are squamous cell carcinomas or SCC and basal cell carcinoma or BCCs. These two types are the most common of all skin cancers.
It started as chemosurgery procedure developed in the late 1930s by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs. This particular skin cancer surgery came to be regarded as the most effective treatment for SCCs and BCCs. It is the type of surgical procedure that is commonly recommended for the treatment of cancers that develop on the face, eyes, nose, ears, hands, feet, lips and genitals.
Dr. Perry Robins, a dermatologist, was the first to study the technique used in this surgical procedure. Through the efforts of Dr. Robins, the current micrographic surgery was developed and perfected.
Why Would Someone Need This Surgery?
If you or a person you know is suspected of having some skin cancer-related problems on the face or any part of the body, you are advised to consult a dermatologist or a dermatologist to have the problem area checked or removed. You may need this surgery if:
- Cancer can disfigure or deform the body part where it developed
- The cancer is growing at a fast rate
- The cancer is very large
- The edges of the cancer are not well-defined
- The cancers developed in a scar tissue
- The skin cancer is a recurrence after a previous treatment and may reoccur
How This Surgery Works
The dermatologist will perform the surgery under local anesthesia. His purpose is to remove the thin layers of diseased skin tissues and examine each of the layers under a microscope. They will need to determine if the skin cells are malignant.
If the cells are malignant, surgery will continue. The surgical procedure will be undertaken until the doctor sees that these cancerous cells are totally removed. The whole procedure may take a while because the surgeon must be sure that they have eradicated all the cancerous cells.
While the procedure may be lengthy, it will prevent incisions or cutting off large sections of the skin. Large incisions lead to unavoidable scarring which prolongs the healing period. With Mohs surgery, skin scarring is very limited and healing time is reduced.
What To Expect When Undergoing This Surgery
Here are some of the things that you can expect if you elect to undergo this surgery.
- It is important to list all the medications that you have used prior to the operation. This will include all the vitamin or herbal supplements that you are taking. You should disclose any and all medications to your doctor.
- Typically, the procedure will take about three to five hours to complete. However, there are instances where actual situations can cause the procedure to go as long as an entire day. There are skin cancer types that take a longer time to treat because their roots have already burrowed too deep on the skin. Regardless, your doctor will not stop the procedure until all the cancer cells are removed.
- The surgical procedure will be relatively painless because you will be injected by a local anesthesia. It will numb that particular area of your skin where cancer has developed.
- When the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor will start the procedure by removing a thin layer of the cancerous skin. Your dermatologist will use a cautery device to stop the bleeding. The doctor will then dress and bandage the wound. You will have to wait for the results of the skin examination to find out if cancerous cells are present.
- If your doctor finds problematic cells, he will repeat the process in other parts of your skin where cancerous cells could be. One incision on average takes an hour. On the average, the doctor will have to make about three incisions.
- The doctor may stitch the wound or ask a reconstructive surgeon to close the wound. If the incision is small, the doctor may just dress the wound and allow it to heal by itself.
How Long Is The Recovery Process?
The recovery process varies between cases for this surgery. Some factors that come into play are the complexity of the procedure and the health of the patient. Overall it can range from a couple days to a couple weeks for a full recovery.
What Will Be The Outcome?
The desired outcome is no more skin cancer. What about the scar? There will be a scar when you undergo this surgery. Therefore you need to consult with a reconstructive surgeon for options on how to minimize scarring.
What Is The Cure Rate?
This surgical procedure has high cure rates. The American Society for Mohs Surgery claims that for new cancer, there are about 99 percent cure rates and for recurrent cancer, around 95 percent.
If you struggle with skin cancer and believe you are a good candidate for Mohs surgery, contact the experts at Universal Dermatology & Vein Care. We can point you in the right direction and find the treatment plan that is right for you. nLear More
What Are Antioxidants and Why Do We Need Them?
Every magazine article and tv commercial speaks about antioxidants and their seemingly miracle-working qualities. What are antioxidants really capable of and why do we need them? We take a little closer look.
Atoms, which make up molecules, are at the center stage of every chemical reaction that takes place within the body. To undertake ordinary chemical reactions, molecules should have a balanced charge. Balance in the molecules means everything is running smoothly, which translates to good health. The trouble begins when some atoms acquire an extra negative charge, transforming them into free radicals.
The free radicals roam the body looking for a balanced atom they can snatch an electron from to balance their charge. This solves the atom’s problems but creates another unbalanced molecule (free radical). As the free radicals increase in the body, many issues start to occur, including unhealthy chemical reactions and uncoordinated body functions. The resulting chemical stress can lead to diseases such as cancer, arthritis, respiratory and heart diseases. As long as there are free radicals in the body, the chain reaction continues, causing more chemical imbalances.
What is an antioxidant?
The damage caused by free radicals is known as oxidative stress. To counteract the oxidative stress, you require antioxidants. These are atoms whose work is to give the radical atoms the electrons they need to balance the charge. When there are enough antioxidants in the body, free radicals do not need to steal atoms from other atoms, breaking the chain.
Antioxidants that give away their electrons become oxidized so the radical molecules can gain balance and stop damaging the cells. Their mission is to find free radicals and prevent the reaction and formation of new radicals.
The key to chemical reactions is that they take place in the atoms, the core or foundation of the cells that make up the body organs. If the chemical reactions are altered in the cells, the entire body will react differently.
Origin of Free Radicals
Inhaling pesticides, household cleaners, smoking, radiation, alcohol consumption and exposure to industrial waste can expose you to free radicals. Processed foods, sugary foods, some medications, and emotional stress may raise the levels of free radicals in the body. This means that you need to take care of your diet, understand the chemical composition of prescribed drugs and steer away from radiation therapy if possible.
To ensure the body’s supply of antioxidants outnumber the free radicals, limit chemical exposure and consume foods high in vitamins and minerals. In fact, we recommend that you fill your plate with all colors of food. This ensures you get all the required nutrients to fight off the free radicals.
How do you get more antioxidant power?
Diet is one of the most important considerations. As you will realize, you cannot prevent the total formation of free radicals or oxidation because these are some of the byproducts of the body processes. Supplements and foods rich in minerals and vitamins are vital in achieving the optimal power to clean the body and stay healthy. Vitamin C is one of the vital nutrients required for this process.
To boost the protective power, you should make a conscious decision to eat foods high in antioxidant power. These include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It is important to note that how you prepare your meals can preserve or destroy their potency or ability to fight off destructive elements in the body. Deep frying food leads to oxidation and breakdown of nutrients and so does overcooking. Cooking over low heat ensures all the nutrients stay intact.
Stick to a healthy diet and ensure you include foods rich in Vitamin C, A, E, lutein, flavonoids, selenium, and lignan. As noted earlier, vitamin C is the best antioxidant, so make sure you eat foods rich in the vitamin, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and green leafy vegetables.
If you are worried about oxidation effects on your body, find solace in the fact that most bodily organs have a natural way of protecting themselves from this dangerous process. They can produce chemicals to fight oxidation and protect their cells from free radical damage. Being aware of the effects free radicals can have on your body can help you make better diet and lifestyle choices.
If you have questions about antioxidants in your body, contact our office today!Lear More
Simple Acne Fighting Tips
By some estimates, somewhere around 60 million people suffer from active acne. Most of those are young adults and about 25% of those people will actually have long-term scars as a result of severe acne that goes untreated.
Needless to say, acne can be a real problem for some people and a constant source of anxiety for many others. Many people are not aware that the everyday habits they engage in can be causing or exacerbating their acne.
Your skin is the most important (and one of the most sensitive) organs in your body. Here are some little-known acne-fighting tips to keep your skin clear, beautiful, and healthy.
Clean Your Face Regularly
The most important thing you can do to prevent acne from taking hold on your skin is to wash your face. Every time you go out into the world, exercise, sweat in any way, swim in a pool or lake, or expose your skin at all to the elements; dirt and oil can become trapped in your pores.
Other than genetic factors, these are the primary vehicles for acne to form. Even sleeping on dirty sheets or other surfaces can make your facial skin dirty. It may not look dirty but trust us, it’s there.
Each morning when you wake up, wash your face with a gentle exfoliator. Then do the same each night when you go to bed. Develop a routine habit of this and you should start to see improvement of existing mild acne and prevent new acne from forming.
Clean Your Phone
This sounds silly but our phones are some of the dirtiest objects we use each day. Some people say they are even dirtier than our money because we use our phones in all situations. We use them when we are eating, when we are in the bathroom, after we’ve handled other dirty objects, etc.
With that said, no consider the fact that you put your phone to your face at least a couple times each day. If you have never cleaned your phone, all of the things you touched in the time before you put it to your face are on there.
A good tip is to keep some wipes that are labeled as antibiotics. Choose something that kills germs and keep it in your car, at home, and at your place of work. Make a habit of wiping your phone screen down at least once a day.
If cleaning your phone is not practical, try using devices that allow you to use a phone function without touching your face. For example speakerphone, Bluetooth headsets, or the headphones that came with your phone are all good options.
Washing your skin is great but keeping it moisturized is even better. Moisturizers keep pores in your skin open and make it less likely that dirt and oil will become trapped in your skin. Moisturizing after you’ve washed your face in the morning and at night is a good routine to follow.
Take a Cooler Shower or Bath
It is a common myth that hot water or steam opens the pores in your skin and cold water makes them close. In reality, your pores are not activated by temperature. Hot water has a tendency of making the outer layers of your skin swell which can make them look open but that is not why they are opening.
Heat causes enlargement of the capillaries near the surface of your skin and makes the area swell. In other words, hot water does nothing for you and cooler water is easier on the skin.
Plan a Healthier Diet
What you eat has a lot to do with what your skin looks like. You can help prevent acne by simply avoiding certain foods. While every person’s body and metabolism are different, here are some basic things you should avoid eating too much of:
Sugar: This is probably the worst for your skin. Some studies have shown that sugar has some sort of link to breakouts and consuming a lot of it can throw your body off balance. Keep track of your sugar intake. If you notice a breakout hours or days after consuming a lot of sugar, it’s best to steer clear.
Fast food: This is probably not good for anyone anyway but for acne sufferers, fast food can be a big no-no. Much of this kind of food is high in fatty acids and oils which make their way through your body and into your skin.
Wash Your Pillowcase
You would be surprised at how much a person can sweat in their sleep and we all do it. Even if you wash your face, shower, and moisturize before bedtime, your pillowcase and sheets accumulate dirt and oil overnight. Sweat builds upon our bodies and then it has no other place to go than into our bed linens.
Make a point to wash your pillowcases as often as you wash your other clothes. Change your pillowcase at least every couple of days to a clean one. This is one of those strategies where if you’ve tried a lot of other things to prevent acne, this may be yet another opportunity to avoid getting your skin dirty.
If you’ve tried many of these and failed, do not beat yourself up. Sometimes acne requires professional care and there is no way around it. Some people are predisposed to developing severe acne and require medical intervention. If you have chronic mild or severe acne and you haven’t done anything about it yet, these tactics are great places to start.
We are all products of our environment and the same principle can be applied to our skin. Make changes in your daily habits as a first step in combating your acne before contacting a professional or using more aggressive treatments. You may be able to save yourself a lot of frustration and money by simply doing things a little different in your everyday life instead of adding treatments that may not be necessary.
*Photo courtesy of Karolina Misev with www.cushyspa.comLear More
Rosacea Awareness: What is Rosacea? What Does it Look Like?
According to the National Rosacea Society, rosacea is a progressive acne-like condition that starts from the face and over time, may spread to other parts of the body including the chest and neck. The condition causes painful pimple-like bumps to appear on various parts of your face including the ears, eyes, nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin.
In addition to being painful, the condition may also cause facial swelling. When left untreated, it may cause the capillaries (small blood vessels) on your face to dilate and become visible on the skin. Furthermore, it may cause your skin to become hard and thick, causing your nose to appear enlarged.
Currently, this condition affects more than 15 million people in the US alone and about 45 million people worldwide. The risk factors for it include age, hereditary factors, gender, and race. With that in mind, here is a detailed look at this potentially life-disruptive skin condition.
The Different Types of Rosacea
As mentioned above, rosacea is a progressive skin condition, meaning its symptoms tend to get progressively worse over time. In essence, rosacea progresses in four distinct stages, with the signs and symptoms of the disease varying at each stage. Because of this, researchers have classified rosacea into four subcategories. These subcategories include:
Erythematotelangiectatic or Vascular
Erythematotelangiectatic or vascular rosacea is essentially early-stage rosacea (pre- rosacea), meaning it is a mild condition. The signs and symptoms of erythematotelangiectatic rosacea include chronic skin redness, flushing of the skin and in some cases, telangiectasia (visible capillaries). The treatment options for this type of rosacea include laser treatment and oral or topical rosacea medications, such as minocycline and doxycycline. However, it is important to note that these treatment options do not completely cure the disease. In other words, they only relieve the symptoms of the disease.
Inflammatory Rosacea or Papulopustular
This is the second stage of the disease. At this stage, pustules and papules will appear on your face, causing you to experience persistent facial redness and flushing. To relieve the symptoms, use topical gels such as metronidazole.
At the third sage (phymatous rosacea), the symptoms include all the symptoms for stages one and two, as well as the growth of new skin tissue on the affected areas, causing your skin to become hard and thick. Moreover, the excess skin tissue may cause your nose to grow bigger and become bulbous, a condition called rhinophyma. To get rid of the excess skin tissue, you would need to undergo surgery or laser treatment.
This is the fourth and final stage of the disease and as the name implies, it primarily affects the eyes. The signs and symptoms associated with this type of rosacea include a burning sensation of the eyes, blurred vision, recurrent styes, swollen eyelids, tearing and dry eye. It is worth noting that, when left untreated, ocular rosacea can easily damage the cornea, eventually causing blindness. Physicians usually use low-dose antibiotics to manage this condition.
At this point, it is important to note that you can develop all the aforementioned types of rosacea either in sequence or at once. In fact, it is quite common for patients to develop multiple types of rosacea at once. Additionally, it is worth noting that, although rosacea is a progressive condition, it does not always progress from one stage to another. However, the symptoms tend to get progressively worse over time. For this reason, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even for early-stage rosacea.
While rosacea can affect virtually anyone, certain people are more susceptible to the disease. According to surveys by the National Rosacea Society, the risk factors for rosacea include:
- Age – A survey by the National Rosacea Society found that rosacea mainly affects people aged 30 years or older. Specifically, the survey revealed that people between the ages of 30 and 50 account for nearly 45% of all new rosacea infections, people above the age of 50 account for nearly 40% of all new infections and people under the age of 30 account for only 17% of new infections.
- Fair skin – the aforementioned survey also found that people with fair skin account for more than 70% of all rosacea infections.
- Blushing and flushing – People who tend to blush and flush easily are nearly six times as likely to develop rosacea compared to people who do not blush or flush easily.
- Hereditary factors – People with a family history of rosacea are more likely to develop the disease.
- Ancestry – Although rosacea affects people of all racial backgrounds and nationalities, Americans of Eastern European, Scandinavian, Scottish, Irish and English ancestry are particularly prone to the condition.
- Gender – The disease is more common in women than in men.
Oral and Topical Therapies
Currently, there is no cure for this long-term skin condition. However, oral and topical therapies can help manage the condition and ease the symptoms of the disease. Long-term use of topical therapy is particularly important to maintain remission. In certain cases, dermatologists use both invasive and non-invasive surgical techniques to manage the condition. This includes laser skin treatments that we offer at our office.
You can use a gentle-skin care routine to manage the condition. In essence, you should clean your face with a non-abrasive cleanser and lukewarm water. After cleaning your face, blot it dry with a soft cotton towel instead of rubbing it with a rough washcloth. At the same time, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when outdoors in the sun.
Things that increase blood flow to the surface of your face can actually aggravate the condition. For this reason, you should identify and avoid triggers.
Rosacea is a long-term skin condition that mainly affects people ages 30 and older. The signs and symptoms of the disease include pimples that appear on the face, neck, and chest. Researchers do not yet know what causes this condition. As a result, there is no current cure for the condition. The available treatment options, including oral, topical and surgical therapies, only manage the symptoms of the disease. If you suspect you have rosacea, contact us for a consultation today.
Common Skin Contact Allergens
Every year, Americans spend $18 billion for allergy-related ailments. This number, based on data presented by the American College of Allergy, is quite alarming. While this $18 billion spent on said conditions covers allergies from skin contact allergens to drug reactions and everything in between, a sizable portion of this amount is spent on skin allergies.
Many households in the United States spend a portion of their income to treat skin allergies. This can be for their own allergies or those experienced by their children. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology notes that in 2012, 8.8 million children were recorded to have suffered from skin allergies. This is something to take note of because even if allergic reactions are usually mild, it is still best to visit a physician immediately because some rashes can be early symptoms of more serious ailments. While such instances are rare, it doesn’t hurt to make sure that what you are experiencing or what your child is experiencing is just a common reaction to common skin contact allergens.
Common Skin Contact Allergens and Irritants
Many allergies are caused by fragrances, household cleaners, soap, facial creams, sunscreen, and food. The question is, how do they enter our doors and later on, our system? Most people are busy and examining every product’s chemical composition is next to impossible. If you don’t know which items are causing your rashes, here are some of the most common skin irritants.
Although they are not intended for the skin, chemicals in household cleaners can cause allergic reactions when you are exposed to them. All-purpose cleaners, dishwashing liquids, laundry detergents, toilet disinfectants and the like can cause skin allergies. To ensure that you don’t introduce skin irritants to your skin, wearing gloves when using these products is advised.
Soap is a good way to get rid of oil, germs, and dirt but using it excessively can result in dry skin. Many often overlook this issue, but if the skin is too dry, it can crack and bleed. Donald V. Belsito, MD, a University of Missouri clinical professor of medicine, notes that excessive hand washing is a problem. He adds that since we live in a germaphobic society, we keep using soap without attempting to truly protect our skin.
Facial creams can be effective if they are right for you. However, the ones that sting and burn will likely cause irritation if you continue using them. If you suspect that your current facial cream is irritating your skin, check for preservatives, alpha hydroxyl acids, and ascorbic acid because any of these three can be the culprit.
Rough fabrics can cause atopic dermatitis. This form of eczema involved skin inflammation and red and itchy skin. The National Eczema Association states that 18 million (72%) adults have atopic dermatitis and 9.6 million (13%) children develop it.
If you feel that a certain fabric is irritating your skin, it is best to throw them in the trash. Experts like Belsito suggest that you choose cotton poly fabrics and cotton to avoid skin irritation.
Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets
We love the smell of fresh sheets but sometimes, those wonderful fragrances in fabric softeners can cause irritation. If you suspect that your fabric softener is causing allergic reactions, it is time to switch to a fragrance-free product.
Many people have fragrance allergies, but since there are around 5,000 fragrances and many combinations, it can be difficult to determine which fragrance you are allergic to. This is why picking fragrance-free products is always a good move for people with sensitive skin.
Plants are lovely but some of them can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy are among the most common plant irritants in the country. They can cause itching and rashes that can last for 5 to 12 days.
Skin Testing for Allergies
Do you want to determine what you are allergic to? To avoid the guesswork, talk to your dermatologist about patch testing.
Patch testing involves testing a range of extracts that can cause allergic reactions. A specialist applies these extracts to the skin and if there is a reaction, they can tell you what you are allergic to.
Allergic Reactions: What to Do
Whenever a certain substance irritates your skin, your immune system reacts by creating antibodies to fight said substances. It can be anything from your food, medication, or the products you use.
While most allergies are mild and can wait, some skin allergies are life-threatening. These rashes are rare but when they happen, it is best to go to the emergency room immediately.
If you are suffering from a mild allergic reaction or have in the past, schedule a consultation with 0ne of our offices to discover what is causing it and how to prevent reactions in the future. If you are currently suffering from a severe allergic reaction, go to the hospital immediately or call 911 for help.
What Are the Benefits of Microneedling?
Microneedling shrinks pores, gets rid of fine lines and wrinkles, and treats uneven pigmentation caused by sun damage, pollution, hormonal changes, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or a combination of the four. This minimally-invasive procedure can also improve the appearance of scars (including those caused by acne).
The Procedure What is Microneedling?
Some also refer to micro needling as collagen induction therapy because it triggers natural collagen production. This treatment can effectively rejuvenate your skin in just three sessions. Please note, though, that this is the minimum number of sessions, but can go higher depending on the skin’s condition. Scar reduction, for example, requires up to six sessions.
If you are thinking of going to your dermatologist to have this procedure, it’s important to keep in mind that collagen production peaks at two weeks after the treatment. The frequency of this procedure depends on the intensity. Mild micro needling sessions, for example, can be repeated once a month or every two weeks while deeper treatments specific for scar visibility reduction can be repeated every month or every six weeks.
Read “What is Microneedling?“ for a more detailed explanation of the procedure.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Microneedling can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, which makes it a great solution for older men and women. In fact, this procedure is often associated specifically with the removal of fine lines although the treatment can do so much more. Microneedling is a simple yet very effective treatment that can benefit people of all ages.
Older individuals who want to get rid of their wrinkles can now have younger-looking skin faster. Many love this treatment because it is more natural since it encourages natural collagen production.
Effective Scar Treatment
Microneedling is an effective way to reduce the visibility of scars and is especially popular as an acne scar treatment. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery supports this claim. The researchers in this study invited participants who have acne scars to undergo micro-needling treatments. After the sessions, almost 100 percent of the participants reported a reduction of scar visibility.
A study published in the “Dermatologic Surgery Journal” in 2016 found that micro-needling is an effective procedure that gets rid of acne-related scarring. The study reports that the recovery time is markedly less and there are fewer side effects compared to other treatments for the same conditions.
Sun Damage and Pigmentation Reversal
Because of the treatment’s ability to encourage natural collagen production, it can reverse discoloration and damage caused by sun exposure. It is even effective in treating hyperpigmentation brought about by melasma. Several studies show that micro-needling has positive effects on blotchy pigmentations on the skin. According to the National Center for Biotechnology and Information (NCBI), the role of micro needling in melasma treatment is promising.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but microneedling actually reduces the size of your pores. Due to the amount of collagen produced by the skin after the treatment, the skin tightens and appears plumper than before. Because of this tightening effect, the pores become visibly smaller.
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, regular microneedling sessions can also help your skin absorb beauty creams and other products better. Under normal circumstances, only 4 to 8 percent of beauty products can penetrate your skin. The tiny punctures on the skin made by the microneedles function as tiny channels that allow your creams and products to penetrate your skin more effectively.
If you would like to find out if microneedling is right for you, contact our office to schedule a consultation.Lear More
What Are the Benefits of the Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment?
Currently, there are a lot of effective skin care treatments that reduce signs of aging and improve the condition of the skin. These treatments range from using simple topical creams to actual procedures that can be done to improve the skin’s condition. Laser treatments, in particular, are very popular skin care options and the technology used in the treatments continue to evolve—becoming more sophisticated and effective.
The Value of Healthy Glowing Skin
When it comes to skincare, the aim is always to maintain blemish-free, glowing, and youthful-looking skin. This is especially true for the skin on our face as we age. After all, our face is the first thing others may notice about us, so the skin thereof plays an important part in how we feel about our social interactions with others.
Great-looking skin tends to give us more confidence, while the opposite is also true—blemished or aged skin can negatively affect our self-esteem. Everything from fine lines and wrinkles to acne scars and age spots can affect the quality of our skin and our social confidence. It is, therefore, important that we take the steps necessary to take good care of our skin and enjoy the many benefits of proper skin care.
Overview: About the Fractional CO2 Laser Technology
Laser treatments, though more invasive than many topical skin care options are increasingly popular treatments. Laser technology can treat a number of skin conditions. One of the latest options—the fractional CO2 laser—uses the most advanced skin revitalization laser treatment technology and has been shown to produce astounding anti-aging results for skin care patients. In fact, studies prove that the fractional CO2 treatment not only reduces the effects of aging on the skin, but also reverses existing signs of aging, including:
– Acne and other trauma-related scars
– Age Spots
– Crow’s feet
– “Smoker’s Lines”
After just one treatment, skin appears significantly healthier, rejuvenated, and smoother than prior to the treatment.
How It Works
The fractional CO2 laser treatment works by using a pattern of carbon dioxide laser beams to treat the skin below the surface. A doctor sends carbon dioxide beams into the skin. The beams create strategically-placed microscopic holes in the skin that allow the body to start producing more collagen. Collagen is the body’s natural hormone that keeps the skin healthy and youthful.
The secret to the effectiveness of the fractional CO2 laser technology rests in the fragmented nature of its treatment patterns. This treatment does not allow its laser energy to affect all parts of the skin at once. Instead, it affects a portion of the skin and not the entire skin’s surface. This allows the recovery time to speed up, thereby enhancing results. Patients are usually fully healed within four to five days on average.
What to Expect With the Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment
The QuadraLASE Fractional CO2 Laser treatment has many important features. For starters, the treatment sessions are not very long. Each session lasts an average of one hour. Additionally, while the treatment is not in any way painful, there are some sensations that patients can look out for. These sensations include a slight sunburned feeling accompanied by some peeling. Thankfully, these symptoms usually pass within the average healing and recovery time of about four to five days.
The results, however, are practically immediate, and patients will notice that their scars, wrinkles, age spots, and other skin conditions are far less noticeable as the skin continues to heal. As time goes on, the skin continues to clear as the newly-produced collagen helps the skin become tight, moisturized, and vibrant. Finally, the QuadraLASE Fractional CO2 laser treatment produces permanent results. Over time, it reduces the need for using over-the-counter topical treatments—making the treatment a real, lasting solution.
Additionally, it is possible to use the fractional CO2 laser treatment on the neck as well. Depending on the patient’s condition, a doctor may use the laser to spot treat specific problem areas. After all, all skin ages and oftentimes, most don’t think about the neck as a prime spot for anti-aging treatments.
As you consider the fractional CO2 laser treatment, remember that this will naturally cost more than everyday over-the-counter options you may already use. That said, it is a worthy investment as the treatment continues to pay for itself in value as time goes on. Having amazing, vibrant, and glowing skin is already worth its weight in gold. Of course, the confidence you get from having that glowing, healthy, youthful skin is the icing on the cake.
Am I a Candidate for Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments?
Science and research back the fractional CO2 laser technology. We offer this treatment because our certified and experienced dermatologists have carefully vetted the treatment and seen real results.
Now is the perfect time to undergo this treatment. Since you spend less time outside and more time bundled up, your skin will be more likely to be protected while it heals. Also, if you have this treatment now, your skin will be beautiful, and glowing when the warm weather hits.
We are not able to treat without first having a consultation with each patient. This helps us guarantee that the treatment will be safe and effective for the individual and his or her needs. We also do the consultations to manage expectations. There is a $50 consultation fee that goes towards the price of the treatment.
Universal Dermatology believes in being transparent with our prices and services. Therefore, we would like to let you know that the price ranges from $1000 to $3100 for eye or lip area only up to entire face, neck, and chest. Insurance does not cover this procedure.
To get started weighing your treatment options, contact our office today.Lear More
Skin Care Tips for Men
Healthy skin and skin care routines are not just for women, men need to take care of their skin as well. Your skin is the barrier protecting your body from the outside elements, so protecting it is very important for your overall health. Here are some skin care tips for men.
What is a Holistic Approach to My Skin Care and Health?
A holistic approach to health involves treating your body as a machine. This means that each part needs to be tended to in order to keep the other parts functioning properly. Here are some ways you can take care of your body holistically:
- Be Attentive to Your Whole Body
- Eat Well
- Exercise Regularly
- Rest Well
- Keep Stress Levels Low
When many people think of skin care and dermatology, they only think of the skin on the face. However, skin care is about total body care. While it is true that some areas of the skin may be more sensitive or easily noticeable than others, it is a single organ that needs to be tended to. Therefore, use products that protect all of your skin—this includes full-body moisturization and finding a soap or body wash that does not dry out your skin.
There are some people who can eat poorly without seeing negative effects on their skin. However, for most of us, what we eat and how we live will directly affect our skin. As such, the first step to healthy skin is usually the same as taking the first step toward good general health—eat well and drink plenty of water.
Opt for natural, organic, and non-processed food items during mealtimes. A great place to start is increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. If you eat meat, stick to a leaner variety. Avoid sugars, sodas, and overly-salty foods.
Be sure to get regular, vigorous exercise as well. Exercise helps you exfoliate the skin, release toxins, manage your weight, and metabolize the food you eat. We recommend exercising each day at varying levels of intensity for at least half an hour.
Be sure to get the rest you need. Deep, relaxing sleep helps the body recuperate and replenish itself. This includes the skin. Without sufficient rest, the skin is likely to look aged, wrinkled, or swollen. The opposite is also true. Periods of physical and mental rest can do wonders for your total health and skin.
We may not be able to control all that we face, but we can manage how we respond to it. Developing a system of coping mechanisms—from meditation to nature walks—is a good place to start. This will prevent stress lines and promote overall well-being.
Should I Develop a Skin-Care Routine?
Yes! What you do to your skin topically is just as important to how well you eat and otherwise take care of yourself. The products you use and the actions you take can directly affect the look and feel of your skin. While it is often the last thing men think about, a skin-care routine including cleansing, moisturizing, and utilizing anti-aging options is the place to start.
Why is Moisturizing Important?
Many people undervalue and underutilize moisturizing, particularly men. Some consider it to be too feminine, while others are simply unaware of the value of a good moisturizer for one’s skin, and especially for men. Now that you have been informed, your next step is to seek out a moisturizer that works for you.
Admittedly, because men and women are different, it is important that men choose from among the moisturizers that are engineered for their skin.
What is a Good Shaving Routine to Protect My Skin?
Shaving is an important part of grooming for men. It is important to do it properly to avoid razor burn and other skin irritations. Therefore, when shaving your face, use this checklist:
- Wet your facial hair thoroughly.
- Use a high-quality shaving cream—these usually moisturize the skin and are less irritating to sensitive skin.
- Use high-quality shaving tools including a beard brush and a quality razor with clean and frequently-changed blades.
- Cleanse properly after shaving and use an aftershave lotion.
Should I Do Anything Differently for My Skin in the Winter?
All the aforementioned tips are great for every season of the year and should be practiced daily. However, these tips are particularly important for those times of the year when the weather is harshest.
In other words, it is even more important to use an effective moisturizer during the drying winter months. Contrary to popular belief, it is also important to wear sunscreen during these colder months. Cold weather does not mean the sun can no longer cause burns or other skin damage. Also, increasing water intake during these months can help. Adequate hydration maintains fresh, youthful-looking skin and serves as great support for the other topical options you are using.
Contact Us for More Skin Care Options
Here at Universal Dermatology and Vein Care, we offer skin care services, treatments, and product options that both men and women can benefit from. Available options are tailored to suit a wide range of skin conditions and skin-care goals and routines. The best place to start is by scheduling a consultation with one of our qualified dermatologists. Contact us today!Lear More