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Bad Habits That Cause Dry Skin

Bad Habits That Cause Dry Skin

Nobody likes dry skin.  There are plenty of things that can cause it: the winter, for one, takes its toll on your skin, but there are also plenty of regular habits you’re doing that could be contributing.  Dry skin, if not addressed, can be a major problem.  It can leave your skin feeling tight, rough and itchy, and can even crack, which serves as a perfect entrance for potentially harmful germs.  There are plenty of seemingly innocent habits that could cause dry skin.  Here are a couple you should watch out for:

Hot showers: Hot showers and baths are a lot more soothing and enjoyable than cold ones, but your skin would have to disagree.  If the water is too hot, then it washes away your skin’s protective oils, leaving your skin dry, tight and itchy.  Hot water breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, causing it to lose its moisture.  Try using lukewarm or tepid water for your showers.  Also, make sure your showers are fast: the longer you stay in, the more moisture your skin will lose.  One great trick to alleviate dry and itchy skin is to try a handful of oatmeal to the water.

Harsh products: Your soap, in addition to hot water, could help dry out your skin significantly.  Antibacterial and deodorant soaps strip moisture off the skin.  To prevent dry skin, try out a moisturizing soap with ingredients such as milk, honey, oatmeal and coconut oil.

Not hydrating: Staying hydrated is an essential key to keeping your skin healthy and looking great.  Skin that’s hydrated from the inside stays healthy on the outside.  You should try and drink eight glasses of water a day.  Yet water isn’t the only part of this fix.  Try making changes in your diet, such as incorporating water-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet to keep your body feeling healthy.  Even when you aren’t feeling thirsty, you should be keeping hydrated.  

Moisturizing the wrong way: Moisturizing is one thing, but you have to make sure you’re doing it right.  To get the most out of your products, use them after you get out the shower while your skin is still damp, to help lock in moisture and replenish skin.  Make sure you moisturize after washing your hands and face as well.  But be gentle; scrubbing too aggressively can strip your skin of natural moisture, causing the skin to become dry and itchy.  

Getting Rid of Facial Hair

Getting Rid of Facial Hair

You would be surprised to find out there are some easy and simple tricks you can use to get rid of pesky and returning unwanted facial hair. You don’t have to go out of your way, buy anything expensive, or go through the pain of plucking. Here are the top three ways to get rid of unwanted facial hair.

  1. Threading

The hair removal method of threading has been done for centuries. It is cheap, quick, painless, and artistically accurate. Although threading is not a permanent solution, it has the same effects as plucking out hair so the effect will last a long time before you need to return for another threading session. The best part is that you can practice and learn to thread at home. There are a number of tutorials found online for you to learn how to master the art of threading for hair removal.

  1. Honey Lemon Face Mask

This method might sound a bit scary because of the acidity found in lemons, but the vitamin C found in the citrus will nourish your skin, increasing its elasticity. Using a face mask made from honey and lemon will bleach and burn the fine hairs on your face, reducing their appearance and preventing their growth. This method doubles as a facial hair removal and prevention method as well as a relaxing face mask similar to the ones you can find at a spa.

  1. Papaya Paste

If you don’t feel like covering your face in a somewhat sticky face mask, you can try out a paste made from raw papaya and place it on the areas where you have unwanted facial hair. If the acidity from lemons is too harsh for your type of sensitive skin, papaya paste is a great and gentle alternative. The enzymes found in papayas breaks down hair follicles, reducing their appearance and slowing the growth process, most of the time completely preventing new hairs from popping up. With papaya paste, you aren’t limited to just problematic areas; you can also use it as a face mask since the fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals to supplement your skin.

Try out these quick, cheap, and easy tricks to remove unwanted facial hair. You may discover a method that works for you that can easily replace your old and expensive one. Use this list as an alternative to painful and pricey treatments.

Skincare Tips For Men

Skincare Tips For Men

Men have traditionally kept things simple when it comes to skincare, but while their skin may be less sensitive than women’s, it still needs proper care. Here are just five skincare tips that all men should follow.

Use a Good Facial Cleanser

When you take a hot shower and wash your face with soap, you will almost certainly dry out the face on your skin. To avoid the kind of wrinkled, weathered look that comes with overly dry skin, wash your face with a gentle cleanser after you shower.

Invest in a Good Razor

Most men shave five times a week, and many don’t put a lot of thought into the kind of razor they use. Instead of using any cheap razor you can pick up at a drugstore, invest in a quality razor that fits your skin sensitivity and beard coarseness. Also, a razor with multiple blades isn’t necessarily a good choice for your skin. These have a tendency to cause razor burn and ingrown hairs.

Use a Moisturizing Shaving Gel

A moisturizing shaving gel is much better for your skin than shaving cream. Not only does it help moisturize your skin, but it will provide a better barrier of protection between your skin and your razor. It will also be much easier to clean up than shaving cream if you’re worried about leaving a mess in your sink.

Get Some After-Shave

After-shave soothes and hydrates your skin after you shave, so it should be part of your daily routine. Try to avoid any kind of after-shave with alcohol, though. It will only dry out your skin.

Use a Moisturizer

There’s a long-held stereotype that moisturizers are for women, but they are just as essential for men who want healthier skin. There are many different kinds of moisturizers on the market, and the one you choose should depend on your skin type. Those with excessively dry skin should use a cream, while those with normal skin can get away with a lotion. For those with oily skin, a toner or gel is best.

Some Final Tips

While these skincare tips will definitely prove useful for most men, remember that no two men will be alike. If you have any adverse reaction to a skincare product, stop using it immediately. As always, you should never hesitate to speak to your doctor if you have any questions about caring for your skin.

6 Ways Dermatologists Can Make You Look Younger

6 Ways Dermatologists Can Make You Look Younger

Dermatologists are considered to be experts in skin care and can treat different types of conditions. The professionals are skilled in improving the condition of the skin and shedding excess years off of the face. When you want to look younger and feel your best, there are a few ways dermatologists can help.

  1. Dermatologists Remove Wrinkles

Fine lines and wrinkles that have developed on the face can be banished with acid fillers that are used by the medical professionals. It fills in small lines around the eyes or around the lips and will take a few years off of your appearance, according to allure.com.

  1. Spider Veins are Treated

Spider veins can develop on the legs due to poor circulation but can disappear with the use of Sclerotherapy, which injects the vein and closes them to reduce their size.

  1. They Firm the Skin

Dermatologists use radio-frequent waves to firm the skin by delivering sound waves deep into the body, which stimulates collagen production and reduce sagging that is present. Infrared light pulses can also be used and are considered a milder form of treating the skin.

  1. Exfoliate the Skin

Dermatologists exfoliate the skin by using chemical peel treatments, which remove outer layers and allow them to regrow with new skin cells, according to angieslist.com. Chemical peels are effective at softening the appearance of wrinkles and by allowing the face to look refreshed.

  1. They Can Transform Your Neck

The neck is known as a difficult place to treat due to wrinkles and sagging skin that develops due to muscles that enlarge with age. Botox can be administered to relax the muscles and remove cords.

  1. They Target Problem Areas

The medical professionals can target problem areas where spots may be present from the sun and use lasers to even out the skin tone. The laser treatments are also effective at erasing wrinkles and will allow the skin to appear firmer. Microscopic lasers penetrate the deep layers of the skin and create small wounds that heal to create a younger appearance.

When you want to improve your confidence and shed years off of your appearance, you can get help from dermatologists. You can work with the medical professional to enhance the quality of your skin and reduce the appearance of veins or wrinkles that can be treated.

 

Dermal Filler Aftercare Dos and Donts

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The dermal filler procedure is minimally invasive and recovery is typically quick; most patients don’t have to worry about being out of commission for days while healing takes place. However, there are some things you can do (and some you shouldn’t do) to facilitate recovery.

DO

  • Ice
    Icing after surgery may not only help alleviate pain, it’s also a great method for decreasing swelling. Purchase ice packs or add ice to a bag, and cover with a cloth to avoid burns. Apply ice to the injection site 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, up to five times a day. Swelling will go away on its own, over time.
  • Take Pain Medicine
    In addition to applying ice, taking over the counter pain medications for discomfort is fine. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) work well for relieving pain after surgery (avoid blood-thinning medications like aspirin). Take as recommended on the package or consult with your doctor/surgeon if you believe you need something stronger.
  • Wash Gently
    It’s ok to wash your face as normal, but do so gently, being extra careful around injection sites. You don’t want to irritate or cause further damage by scrubbing. Likewise, use gentle cleaners, if any, or water alone will do the trick.

  • Wear Sunscreen
    You can and should apply sunscreen if going outside. Sun is the primary reason collagen in the skin breaks down. Thus, exposure to the sun can cause damage and create new problems and/or wrinkles.

DON’T

  • Exercise
    Even though dermal injections are minimally invasive procedures, you should avoid all strenuous activity. Exercise can increase swelling and bruising, thereby delaying the rate of healing and the appearance of final results. Avoid running, jogging and kinds of high-rate activity for at least 48 hours. 
  • Consume Alcohol
    Drinking alcohol enlarges blood vessels. As a result, consuming alcoholic beverages after your procedure can cause additional bruising. This is not ideal. So, for best results, avoid alcohol for the first 24 hours after the injection.
  • Massage Filler
    Don’t massage the filler yourself after the procedure. Your surgeon/injector will sculpt the filler, expertly, at the time of injection. Any issues afterward may be resolved once the area heals completely. If not, leave the issue to your injector.
  • Expose The Area to Extreme Temperatures
    Extremely hot (i.e. saunas, hot tubs, etc) and cold (outdoor skiing, hiking) temperatures, should be avoided within the first six hours following treatment, until swelling subsides.

Choosing the Right Dermal Filler: Juvederm or Restalyne

david-cole-md-dermatology-smileDespite criticism, interest in plastic surgery is not driven by low self-esteem. Rather, those who undergo cosmetic procedures just want to look their best and are no different from the rest of us who dress up, accessorize, smile, or even use makeup. The use of dermal fillers is one the ways people choose to look their personal best.

What are Dermal Fillers?
First, let’s start by defining what these are. Dermal fillers are injections of typically hyaluronic acid (a natural sugar found in the skin), which are used for creating or restore volume in the face and other parts of the body. The process of aging is one of the primary reasons one might consider dermal fillers, because, over time, the skin and muscles tend to lose fat, causing wrinkles. Constant exposure to the sun, genetics or any other situation which speeds up the process of aging may create a need for dermal fillers. The most popular are Juvederm and Restylane.

What Juvederm and Restylane Treat
Both of these dermal fillers are used to treat issues related to aging, like:

  • Frown lines
  • Smile lines
  • Sunken cheeks
  • Crow’s feet
  • Veiny hands

The Differences
Juvederm and Restylane are FDA approved for certain procedures, and offer long lasting results (about a year or so, depending on certain factors). Neither product contains human or animal DNA, and both are the safest among other dermal fillers. Thus, texture and therefore how they can be used may be the biggest difference.

Juvederm has been described as smooth, which means it travels easily and freely and is best for filling small areas. Juvederm is not so good for filling in large spaces, as once again, it may move around to unwanted areas. Restylane, on the other hand, is more granular and tends to stay in place once injected, allowing the injector to make adjustments as needed. Restylane would be best for building volume, Juvederm works just fine for correcting lines and is less likely to create bumps.

How to Choose
Either of these fillers could be used for whatever range of issues you want to correct. Therefore, it’s best to speak with your cosmetic surgeon to determine which is best for your procedure and why.

For more information and updates related to dermatology and plastic surgery, follow Dr. David Cole at @MDavidColeMD on Twitter.

4 At-Home Treatments for Psoriasis

Approximately 7.5 million people in the US live with psoriasis, which has been defined as a skin disorder in which skin cells multiply 10x faster than normal, creating raised red patches of skin, or plaque, often covered in white scales. This condition, which is determined by one’s genetic makeup, is not curable, however, it treatment can help.

Once diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe medications as treatment, which often include: steroids, ointments,  vitamins and/or immunosuppressive drugs. These have been extremely helpful at helping to manage and alleviate symptoms in patients. In addition to medical help, there are supplementary steps you can take at home to better manage the disorder, such as:

 

  1. Healthy Eating
    davidcolemd-dermatology-healthy eating
    It should not be a secret that what you eat plays a large role in how your immune system works. This is not just limited to eating citrus fruits for Vitamin C, of course; healthy eating includes a wide range of mostly fresh foods that make your body stronger and more equipped to manage itself. Conversely, foods like red meat and fatty, sugary snacks can lead to flare ups and should be avoided.
  2. Frequent Moisturizing
    david-cole-md-dermatology-moisturizing
    Combating dry skin with rich, fragrance-free moisturizers can certainly help reduce symptoms of itchiness and a desire to scratch, which can cause bleeding and infection. After cleaning the body, use lotions, creams and/or oils that don’t irritate your skin. Some natural options like coconut and olive oil have been embraced by patients, for the body as well as the scalp.
  3. Avoiding Hot Water
    david-cole-md-dermatology-warm-water
    Speaking of cleaning the body, soaking in the bathtub is another great way to manage psoriasis. However, be sure not to make the water too hot. Though, perhaps, more comfortable for some, hot water dries out the body and can create further irritation. Add sea salt, oil or bath gel to the water for additional soothing.
  4. Soaking Up the Sun
    david-cole-md-dermatologist-sun-shine
    Don’t be afraid to go outside and expose yourself to a little sunshine. Light therapy is one of the most common treatments for psoriasis, and UVB rays from the sun work just as well. Be sure not to stay out too long to avoid sunburns or further issues. Quick (5-10 mins), daily exposure to the sun is recommended if just starting out.  Be sure to put on sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

3 Different Types of Chemical Peels and What They’re Good For

m david cole_chemical peelChemical peels are among the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in the country, and will likely continue to be in our increasingly digital world that revolves around media such as selfies and live video. That is because chemical peels improve the look and feel of skin, making it more even colored and refreshed. If you’re considering trying it out, here’s what you need to know:

What Is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a broad term used to describe a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin and later removed (or peeled off, hence the name) along with the layers of the skin, to reveal a fresher layer. How long the chemicals are left on the face and how much is removed depends on the type of peel requested. There are three basic ones, which I’ve explained below:

Types of Chemical Peels:

  1. Superficial Peels:
    Superficial peels are also referred to lunchtime peels because they are require the least amount of downtime and include a very simple process. Containing alpha-hydroxy a salicylic acid (found in many over the counter acne medicines), superficial peels only penetrate the skin’s outer layer and are good for individuals whose goal is gentle exfoliation or smooth skin.
  2. Medium Peels:
    Just as the name suggests, medium peels are a step above the superficial peel, removing not just the outer layer but the middle layer of skin as well. The chemical used in a medium peel is most often glycolic or trichloroacetic acid ( also known as TCH), which is good for anti-aging and improving fine lines and wrinkles. Whereas the downtime for a superficial peel is between one and seven days, medium peels require a recovery period ranging from one to two weeks.
  3. Deep Peels:
    Deep peels penetrate the middle layer of skin, using a stronger concentration of the TCH chemical than that used for medium peels, or phenol. Deep peels fight aging in the skin as well, improving deep lines and wrinkles, and the skin’s overall texture. Because of the seriousness of the procedure, deep visits usually require follow up with your doctor and a downtime of up to three weeks.

For more information on potential side effects and aftercare, visit the Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute website.

How to Know if You Have Rosacea

pexels-photo-211024More than 16 million Americans suffer from complications related to rosacea:  disorder which affects the skin and is most commonly associated with extremely dry skin, redness and swollen blood vessels. Rosacea is a chronic but treatable illness though, while physical, can also have mental implications such as depression and low self esteem related to appearance. Left untreated, rosacea becomes worse, which is why it’s important to be aware of the disease, though actual symptoms vary from person to person. Check out the most common signs below:

  1. Flushing
    Flushing  (or blushing) is defined as a person’s face becoming red and hot. Flushing alone is not a direct sign of rosacea, it could be spurred by emotion such as anger or embarrassment; however, if it happens frequently without provocation, it could be an initial sign of rosacea.
  2. Bumps and Pimples
    Blemishes such as bumps and pimples can be a sign of other dermatological imbalances like acne, but in conjunction with other symptoms, like visible blood vessels, it is a strong indicator of rosacea.
  3. Swelling
    Edema, or swelling caused by trapped fluids in the body’s tissue, is one of the most common signs of rosacea, especially around the nose.
  4. Eye Irritation
    With rosacea, it’s also common to experience dry or itchy eyes. If not feeling, the appearance of the eyes as bloodshot or redness around eyelids is cause for seeing a specialist.
  5. Other Areas
    The face is not the only place where rosacea breakouts happen. The neck, scalp, and even the chest might show some of the signs listed above. Instead of dismissing it as a scar, seek additional information.

Rosacea is most commonly not in individuals over 30 and those who are fairer skinned. However, age nor skin color rules out the possibility of the disease in your body. It’s best to receive a diagnosis from a dermatologist if you have concerns and have experienced one or more of the the symptoms listed.

How To Care For Your Skin in Cold Weather

How To Care For Your Skin in Cold Weather

For much of the country, summer weather is still in effect. Here in Huntington Beach, CA, it is bright, sunny and 79 degrees fahrenheit, despite being the second official day of fall. That’s pretty common for Southern California, of course, but even on the other side of the country, the Northeast coast or New York City, to be specific, the weather is still very warm and very bright, but winter will be here before we know it.

With season changes comes colder temperatures. Cold weather can be damaging to the skin, for a number of reasons, and those with sensitive skin and/or diagnosed imbalances within the body’s largest organ must make additional efforts to protect the skin or repair it after damage has taken place. Below I’ve included some of the most common cold weather skin problems, and how to address them:

  1. Winter Itch
    Winter itch is a phrase used to describe dry skin discomfort and an itching sensation, which is heightened during the winter months. This issue can be brought on for a number of reasons, yet the leading causes for it include very low temperatures outside, a lack of humidity or dry heat within the home, or clothing. Those at risk for winter itch are older individuals and/or those with a history of eczema and other dry skin conditions. Be sure to bundle up, consider purchasing a humidifier, and wear cottons or silks, as wool is likely to cause further irritation.
  1. Breakouts and Rashes
    Dry, cold weather can also lead to rashes and/or acne breakouts, not just itching. You may notice more pimples or red patches and flaking on your face or body. To combat these, use non-drying cleanser and moisturizers suited for your type of skin to encourage quick rejuvenation.
  2. Sunburn
    Colder weather doesn’t mean the absence of the sun. It’s still just as important to apply sunscreen to exposed parts of your body, to decrease the chance of being burned. Many people fall victim to winter sunburns. If you’re one of them, use skin healing/soothing lotions and creams or coconut oil if you’re looking for a natural remedy.

Overall, be sure to look after your skin as you normally would (or more). Winter weather doesn’t mean you need to moisturize less; apply lotion to your entire body, even it will be covered up most of the day. Lastly, beware that steaming, hot showers, though comforting, make your skin dryer–stick to warm water.