Excessive Sweating

It’s summertime. That means hot, humid days and leads to perspiration. But there is such a thing as “excessive sweating”, a medical condition called “hyperhidrosis.” The word means too much (hyper) sweating (hidrosis).

Excessive sweating happens when a person sweats more than is necessary. Yes, it’s necessary to sweat. Sweating cools the body, which prevents us from overheating. People who have hyperhidrosis, however, sweat when the body does not need cooling.

Many people who have hyperhidrosis sweat from one or two areas of the body. Most often, they sweat from their palms, feet, underarms, or head. While the rest of the body remains dry, one or two areas may drip with sweat.

This excessive sweating can interfere with everyday activities. Hands can be so sweaty that it becomes difficult to turn a doorknob or use a computer. Sweat from the underarms often soaks through clothes, causing obvious sweat marks. Because the skin is often wet, skin infections can develop.

It’s difficult to say how many people suffer from excessive sweating. Many never see a doctor. Some are too embarrassed to talk with a doctor. Others do not realize that it’s a treatable medical condition. Dermatologists estimate that 3% of people in the United States have excessive sweating.

While the condition is not contagious, some people are more likely to get hyperhidrosis. Researchers have learned that most people have one of the following:

  • A family member who sweats excessively.
  • A medical condition that causes the sweating.
  • A medicine or food supplement they take, which can cause excessive sweating.

When the excessive sweating occurs in one or two areas of the body, it’s likely that a family member also has this condition.

Many medical conditions can cause excessive sweating. These include diabetes, gout, a tumor or injury. Women often sweat excessively when they get hot flashes during menopause. The cause is obvious. Some women, however, develop excessive sweating after they have gone through menopause, which does not have an obvious cause.

Whether you live in a cold climate or a warm one, you can have hyperhidrosis. People of all races contract it. The excessive sweating can begin at any age. For many, it begins when they are a child or teen. Dermatologists believe that more children and adolescents have this condition than are diagnosed.

Certain nerves tell the body when to sweat. It’s possible that these nerves overreact, causing excessive sweating.

Dermatologists continue to study what causes this condition. They also continue improve treatments. If excessive sweating interferes with your life, I suggest you see a board-certified dermatologist. Many effective treatments are available.

It’s Poison Ivy Time

While outdoor play is healthy for kids, poison ivy can be a big problem for children playing outside in summer. Poison ivy can also be a hazard to people gardening, landscaping, hiking, camping, and anyone who spends time outdoors.

Although some people truly are immune to poison ivy, most people develop a rash after coming into contact with it. It can sometimes take multiple exposures or several years before you finally begin to develop an allergic response to urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all), the chemical in poison ivy that triggers the rash most people get.

It’s a good idea to teach your kids how to recognize and avoid poison ivy. Here’s some detail:

  • It has three leaflets
  • The middle leaflet has a longer stalk than the other two
  • Leaflets are fatter near their base
  • Leaflets are all about the same size
  • No thorns along the stem
  • Clusters of green or white berries may be present
  • Aerial roots may be visible on the stem

If you think they may be at risk, you can block contact by dressing your children in long pants and a shirt with long sleeves, and even gloves when they play in unfamiliar wooden areas, around lakes, or going on hikes. According to the FDA, if you’re exposed, you should quickly (within 10 minutes):

  1. Cleanse the exposed areas with rubbing alcohol or an over-the-counter product like Zanfel, Ivy Cleanse Towelettes, or Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub
  2. Wash the exposed areas with water only (no soap yet, since soap can move the urushiol oil around your body and actually make the reaction worse).
  3. Shower with soap and warm water.
  4. Wipe everything you had with you, including shoes, tools, and your clothes, with rubbing alcohol and water.

Remember that poison ivy isn’t contagious so touching the rash won’t actually spread it. Most people see the rash go away in a few weeks. If you have a serious reaction, you should see a dermatologist right away. Swelling is a sign of a serious reaction – especially swelling that makes an eye swell shut or your face to swell. If you have trouble breathing or swallowing, go to an emergency room immediately.

It’s Important to Keep Your Face Clean!

It should go without saying, but while it’s very important to keep your face clean, some of us don’t take this basic tenet of personal hygiene and skin care seriously enough. Man or woman, the consequences for not keeping your face and pores clean can be life changing.

Even if you don’t wear makeup and even if you wash regularly, it’s important to wash your face with a cleanser. Quality facial cleansers remove makeup, pollutants, bacteria and unwanted debris off of our face. A cleanser we highly recommend and is available in our MediSpa is Foamacleanse from ZO Medical, a gentle but deep-cleaning foaming cleanser for all skin types.

Proper cleansing prepares your skin to absorb products you may put on after, like a serum or moisturizer. Clearing out your pores allows the moisturizer to penetrate into your skin for maximum effectiveness. What’s the point of applying moisturizers and treatments if your skin isn’t able to absorb them fully?

To wash your face, always start with clean hands. You want to clean your face not introduce more bacteria or irritants onto it. Start with a lukewarm (not hot) water flush to open pores and loosen dirt. Be sure to rinse all soap from your face. Remove all makeup with a makeup-remover towelette or cotton pad.

Always use a gentle cleanser, since harsh soaps can trigger the skin to increase oil production. Even though it may be tempting, don’t try for that squeaky-clean feel. It can damage your skin.

Work your cleansing lather into your skin with your fingertips, using a circular motion on the face and along the neckline. It’s important to be gentle as you massage your face and stimulate blood and oxygen circulation.

Finally, rinse by splashing lukewarm water on your face. Pat dry with a clean towel. Cotton works best.

Every once in a while, especially if you wear makeup daily or your face is exposed to lots of city or job-related dirt, dust and grime, it’s beneficial to get an even deeper cleansing. The revolutionary, new HydraFacial treatments offered in our Rejuvaderm MediSpa provide precisely those deep cleaning and skin-nourishing aspects that have made them among our most popular procedures.

Look Younger without Surgery or Botox

All of us would love to look 10 years younger, but going under a plastic surgeon’s knife can be scary and Botox is not for everyone, although it is now the most popular cosmetic treatment in the USA – safe, FDA-approved, nearly painless, and immediately gratifying.

However, virtually everyone can look 10 years younger without surgery or Botox by following some pretty simple steps.

1. Wear sunscreen daily. Choose a sunscreen with the active mineral ingredient zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and no alcohol.

2. Drink more water. Dehydrated skin equals wrinkled skin. Staying well hydrated can mean the difference between smooth skin and wrinkled skin.

3. Get more sleep. Aim to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep every night to keep dark circles at bay. Bonus points if you’re snoozing between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., which is when cell regeneration peaks.

4. Use a humidifier. While you’re getting your beauty rest, keep a humidifier nearby to help skin retain maximum moisture. This is especially important if you live in drier climates and during the winter when you’re frequently exposed to indoor heating.

5. Ditch the cigarettes. Smoking will make you age prematurely. Although quitting smoking won’t reverse all of these changes overnight, it’s the first step that all smokers should take if they don’t want to age prematurely.

6. Decrease your sugar intake. Sugar is the absolute worst food to eat for your skin. It ages the skin by creating inflammation and can weaken the collagen and elastin in your skin. So skip the cookies.

7. Eat more fish. You’ll get plenty of antioxidants to protect against free-radical damage. You’ll also get a big dose omega-3 fatty acids to help plump up slack skin.

8. Eat colorful fruits and veggies. Antioxidants are your body’s best defense against free radicals. Opt for colorful fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants, to slow down and even reverse the aging process.

9. Choose healthy fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats soothe the skin, decrease inflammation, and moisturize it from the inside out. Choose nuts, olive oil, avocados, salmon and tuna. Avoid foods high in saturated fats that can increase inflammation and accelerate the aging of your skin.

10. Exfoliate your skin regularly. When we’re young, our skin turns over every 6-8 weeks. This process slows as we age, causing the upper layer of dead skin cells to make our skin look drier, appear wrinkled, and feel rougher. Exfoliating reveals the smoother, healthier skin below it.

11. Massage your face & cleanse gently. Whenever you wash your face, massage it. Also, choose cream or milk cleansers over oil cleansers to avoid scrubbing away the natural lipids on your skin and drying it out.

12. Choose complexion-friendly makeup. Swap out anything that’s powder based, which will dry and accentuate lines. Choose more luminous liquid or hydrating cream options instead. This includes foundation, blush, highlighter and, if your eyes aren’t prone to getting slick, cream shadow.

13. Use Retinol. This vitamin A derivative helps to speed up cell turnover and stimulate new collagen growth for a more even-toned and plumper-looking skin. See your dermatologist for a prescription and ease into using it to prevent irritation.

Used Cosmetics & Applicators Can Breed Bacteria

It’s important to clean your makeup products, brushes, and accessories monthly.

It’s especially important during cold and flu season, because the germs can live on your items for days. If you’re a makeup sharer, this can become an even bigger problem. If you have your makeup applied on public counters in a department store, the danger of germ contamination can run rampant as well. So, now that you know, de-germ your makeup and accessories right away. You’ll breathe easier knowing your products are safe.

Wash your makeup brushes
Many people rarely wash their makeup brushes, even if their skin is consistently breaking out. Because oil and bacteria can get caught in the bristles and clog pores, they need to be cleaned  to prevent breakouts and general irritation.

Fill a glass with warm water and add one tablespoon of a gentle, clarifying shampoo or gel cleanser, then swish brushes in the glass to create a lather. Avoid harsh detergents that can dry out the bristles. Rinse well and use a comb to detangle the bristles to get them back into their original shape. Let brushes dry out flat on a paper towel or hanging with bristles down, preferably in the sun, which can help destroy bacteria and cut drying time.

Tip:  it’s a solid rule in art school to never let your brushes dry standing up. The water drifting into the barrel will loosen the glue and eventually your expensive brush will plop out of the handle. Best if they’re flat to let them dry on their side or, if a fluffy one, to hang upside down for a full night.

Lipstick
First and foremost, try to buy lipstick in metal containers because metal won’t retain germs as much as plastic. Cleaning your lipstick is a two-step process and should be followed every two weeks, or at least once a month. Begin with a Q-tip. Hold it at an angle, slightly twist up your lipstick, and then scrape the top of the lipstick off. You don’t have to remove a large chunk, just the top layer.

Next, pour some rubbing alcohol or vodka into a small dish and submerge your exposed lipstick into the solution for at least thirty seconds. Allow it to air dry, or gently wipe dry with a clean tissue.

Pencils
From lip liner to eyeliner to brow pencil, etc., the simplest way to keep pencils clean is to sharpen them before each use. You don’t have to remove that many layers, just a couple of quick twists will do. If your pencils are retractable, as with lipstick cleaning, pour some rubbing alcohol or vodka into a small container and then dip the tip of the pencil into the solution for thirty seconds. Finally, air dry or gently wipe dry with a clean tissue.

Makeup Products You Can’t Clean
There are certain products you can’t clean. These should be thrown out after long use or if you end up with an infection.

Mascara: This is the most important product not to assume you can clean. You may think you can clean the wand in order to keep the mascara longer, but germs still get into the product with each use. Besides, mascara isn’t manufactured to last for years, so just let it go.

Lip Gloss: In a tube, this is easier to clean because you can wipe down the tip, but sponge applicators and pan lip gloss can’t really be saved and should be tossed if you have an infection.

Disposable Makeup Sponges: They’re just that – disposable. They’re not meant to be washed and reused for months at a time. If you use sponge applicators and are experiencing more breakouts than normal, toss them immediately.

Nail Polish: This cannot be cleaned. If you have a fungal infection on your nails, or you let a friend use your favorite nail polish and they have an infection, simply bite the bullet and chuck it. It’s better to buy a new bottle than take the risk of getting a nail infection.

Cold sores: Who Gets & What Causes

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are a common viral infection. They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters often group together in patches. After the blisters break, a crust forms to scab over the sore. They usually heal in two to four weeks without leaving a scar.

Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. They are contagious even if you don’t see the sores. Because they are contagious, many people get them.

Who gets cold sores?
Here in the United States, people usually get this virus when they are children. Getting kissed by someone who has a cold sore is often how a child catches the virus.

A child can also get the virus by eating from the same fork or spoon as someone who has a cold sore or sharing a towel with a person who has a cold sore.

Adults also catch the virus. That’s why it’s so important for everyone who has a cold sore not to kiss people or have intimate contact until the cold sore forms a scab. To prevent infecting others, it’s also important to stop sharing personal items like towels and razors until the cold sores form scabs.

What causes cold sores?
A virus causes cold sores, most by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). More than half of Americans ages 14 to 49 carry this virus. There’s no cure for HSV infection, and the blisters may return. Antiviral medications can help cold sores heal more quickly and may reduce how often they return. Outbreaks tend to occur less often after 35 years of age.

Once you contract the virus that causes cold sores, you have it for life. After the sores clear, the virus travels to your nerves, where it stays unless it reawakens. Some people have triggers that cause outbreaks. If you get cold sores, it’s likely that something triggers the virus to wake up. Any of the following can be a trigger:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Illness, such as a cold, fever, or flu
  • Injury, such as a cut, to the area where you have had cold sores
  • Dental work
  • Strong sunlight or sunburns
  • Cosmetic surgery or laser treatment
  • Certain foods
  • Hormonal changes

 

After getting infected, some people never get a cold sore. Others see some cold sores, but then develop antibodies to the virus and never get another cold sore. It’s also possible to get cold sores throughout your life.

If you contract a cold sore and it becomes a concern, consult a board certified dermatologist. We have answers and treatments.

Hydrate to Maintain Skin Tone

Claims have been made that drinking water gives you a radiant, healthy, younger- looking complexion. What we know for sure is that when skin is well hydrated, it’s more plump and resilient. This is due, at least in part, to an ingredient in the skin called hyaluronic acid.

The job of hyaluronic acid in the skin is to hold water. When there is adequate water from inside and out the skin looks healthier and more vibrant and is less prone to wrinkles. Drinking lots of fluids throughout the day yields the best results.

You’ve probably heard that drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is the target but you may need more or less depending on your activity level. Coffee and sodas do not count as water because they contain caffeine, which is a diuretic, meaning they draw water out of your system and your skin.

Skin is an organ, the largest in the body. Like any other part of the body, your skin is made up of cells and skin cells are made up of water. If your skin is not getting a sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. Chronic dehydration will age your skin very quickly, can cause deeper wrinkles and lines, and may cause rashes and eczema

No matter what time of year, you need to drink an adequate amount of pure, clean water every day to stay hydrated – more in summer, after exercise or if you spend all day in a heated or air-conditioned office.

Water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg throughout the day, all high in water content, all assist in hydration. A good habit to maintain your hydration level and overall health is to drink a tall glass of water when you wake up, perhaps even with a squeeze of lemon to alkalize your system.

As water is lost in large quantities every day, you need to replace it somehow. The unfortunate truth about drinking water and skin is that water will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin. So, it’s important to apply water to our skin and keep it there – this will not only show a visible difference in hydration, but it can prevent wrinkles, as well.

So what’s the best way to add water to the skin?

Apply a hydrating moisturizer within 2-3 minutes of leaving the bath or shower. The skin is still porous and is especially receptive to products that are applied following the bath or shower, allowing better absorption.

Everyone will not agree that water consumption will improve skin…but it certainly can’t hurt. Nothing will happen overnight, but even a good couple of weeks of increasing water intake should be enough for you to see how hydration affects your skin.

Moisturizing is a Must in Winter

As the seasons changes from the humid winds of summer to the harsh winds of winter, our skin loses moisture and your skin condition and appearance can suffer.

It’s important to keep your skin moisturized over the winter but it’s more than simply adding a lotion or cream to your skin surface. It’s also about choosing the right moisturizer formularized for the season and maintaining the proper skin care regimen to avoid drying out so the moisturizer can do its job. Here are a few simple tips:

Use Sunscreen
Most of us tend to avoid the use of sunscreen in winter season and that’s probably the biggest mistake you can make. Your skin still needs protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun, which is why sunscreen should be used on all of the exposed areas of your body. Shop carefully and choose a sunscreen specially formulated for winter conditions.

Use Light Facial Products
The chilling winds of winter can rob your skin of its ability to regenerate. Together with moisturizer, choose facial products and cosmetics composed of healing ingredients such as essential oils, lavender, aloe vera and chamomile.

Avoid Powders On Your Face
Powders applied to your face skin can quickly dry out your complexion and lead to cracked surfaces. Avoid their use for a more glowing and natural appearance.

Be Gentle With Elbows & Knees
Elbows and knees are particularly susceptible to drying and cracked skin during the cold weather months. Exfoliate regularly and keep them hydrated with a thicker moisturizing cream on a daily basis. In the event of extreme crustiness, pat the area with petroleum jelly and wear long PJs to protect bedding over night.

Don’t Forget Your Lips
Be wary of standard lip glosses and lipsticks in the winter. Opt for creamy lip balms and lipsticks for an amazing look that also moisturizes and softens your lips. Some even come with added SPF protection. Shop around.

Humidify Your Skin
The body has to be kept hydrated. The dry heat generated at home and the workplace makes that a challenge. Drink as much water or liquids as you can. After bathing, add a quality moisturizer within 3 minutes of drying off to lock in the body’s natural moisture. This nourishes and keeps the skin supple and smooth to the touch.

We Offer the Products You Need
Our dermatology and medical spa offices carry an exceptional variety of over-the-counter medical grade skin care products specially formulated for winter…and the knowledgeable and helpful associates to assist you with the selections that are best for you.

Skin Care Tips for Winter

If you have dry skin, the winter and its cold dry air can make skin drier and more severe. The following are tips to prevent dry skin or keep it from getting worse.

- Do not use hot water. Hot water will remove the natural skin oils more quickly. Best to use warm or tepid water for bathing.

- Use a gentle cleanser or soap free cleanser. Soaps will strip the oils from our skin. Do not use deodorant soaps, antibacterial soaps, perfumed soaps (“designer” soaps) or skin care products that contain alcohol (ie: hand sanitizers). Examples of gentle cleansers are White Dove, Basis, Vanicream or Lowila.

- Limit time in the bath or shower to 5-10 minutes. A short bath/shower will actually add moisture to your skin. Longer than that, and the skin is less hydrated than before. Do not bathe or shower more than once daily.

- Moisturize immediately after leaving the shower or bath. To lock in moisture, apply your moisturizer while the skin is still damp.

- Before shaving, soften the skin. This is best done by showering or bathing first, and then shaving while the hairs are soft. It is best to use a shaving cream or gel to decrease the irritating effects of shaving. Apply the shaving cream or gel, wait 3-5 minutes and then shave. Be sure to shave in the direction that the hairs are growing.

- Change your razor blade after 5-7 shaves to decrease the likelihood of using a dull blade which will irritate the skin.

- If possible, use a humidifier to replace the moisture that is lost with the cold winter air and heat.

- Apply cool cloths to itchy dry skin.

- Don’t forget to soothe your lips. Apply a lip balm at night that contains petrolatum (petroleum jelly  or mineral oil are other names for Petrolatum(+).

- Be sure to cover up your skin when outdoors with a scarf and gloves. This will prevent chapping of the lips and hands.

Dandruff: Not all Dandruff Shampoos are created Equal

Dandruff is a common scalp condition in which small pieces of dry skin flake off of the scalp. If you have dark hair or you’re wearing dark colors, the flakes in your hair or on your shoulders can become more noticeable. Dandruff may also make your scalp itch. It often becomes more pronounced with the dry household and office heat we find ourselves in during the colder months.

Many people believe that dandruff is caused by poor hygiene, but this is not true. The most effective way to treat and control dandruff is to use dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments. Although infrequent shampooing can make dandruff more obvious, researchers are still studying the causes, which are complex. As a result, there are a variety of dandruff shampoo formulas on the market.

Here are some tips to help you identify the regimen and the shampoo best for you:

  1. Follow the instructions on the dandruff shampoo bottle: There are many different dandruff shampoos, and each contains different active ingredients for controlling symptoms. To get the best results, always follow the instructions on the bottle. For example, some dandruff shampoos require that you lather the shampoo into the hair and scalp and leave the shampoo in for about five minutes before rinsing. Others should not be left on the scalp.
  2. If you are Caucasian or Asian, shampoo daily and use dandruff shampoo twice a week: If using one dandruff shampoo does not bring relief, try alternating between dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients.
  3. If you are African-American, only shampoo once a week using a dandruff shampoo: See a board-certified dermatologist for the best product recommendation for your hair type.
  4. Be careful when using a dandruff shampoo that contains coal tar: Tar shampoo can discolor blonde, grey or white hair, so if you have light-colored hair, you may want to choose a different dandruff shampoo. Tar shampoo also has the potential to make your scalp more sensitive to sunlight. If you use this type of dandruff shampoo, it’s important to protect your scalp from the sun by wearing a hat when outdoors and seeking shade whenever possible.

For most people, dandruff does not require medical attention. However, sometimes the flaking and itching that appears like dandruff is actually a medical condition, such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections of the scalp, or eczema.

If you continue to have symptoms after using a dandruff shampoo, consult a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can properly diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment plan that best meets your needs.

NOTE: 5% of all proceeds derived from the sale of any of our products in October of this year will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Foundation