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MyDerm Blog

How to Exfoliate Sensitive Skin

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

 

What is Exfoliation?

This process is simply the removal of your skin’s oldest cells but don’t worry there’s no reason to fret. Most of those skin cells are already dead. Your skin replaces itself exponentially faster in your youth than it does further down the line. Thus, it is necessary to work exfoliation into your skincare regimen to keep it lush and soft. Exfoliation can be achieved through chemical or mechanical means. Shampoos and cleansers fall into the former, electric scrubbers and sponges fall into the latter. It is also recommended that one exfoliate their face at least once a week.

The Benefits of Exfoliation

According to Dermstore, there are 5 main benefits to exfoliation. The first of which is that exfoliation helps reduce the appearance of age spots. It does this through its removal of aged skin cells that contain that particular pigment. Secondly, exfoliation helps unclog the pores. Unclogging one’s pores allows for the release of natural skin oils like sebum which help hydrate and revitalize the skin. The third is that exfoliation can help minimize pore size – this is key because bigger pores are more prone to over-secreting sebum. Exfoliation also reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, and lastly it allows easier absorption of skincare products, e.g. moisturizers, antioxidants & serums.

The Dilemma

From what we’ve seen, we can ascertain that exfoliation is a net positive for your skin. However, it is an abrasive process – and if done with too much rigor can cause problems. Some of these problems include redness, dryness & flakiness. In addition to this, we have people with extremely sensitive skin types who are already susceptible to redness and irritation. In fact, you might be one of them. How do those with tender, highly reactive skin exfoliate without harming their skin? Well, allow us at Dermatology Consultants of Frisco to tell you how.

Tips

  • You should opt for chemical exfoliants, particularly acids – They help eliminate the debris on your skin’s surface. This is turn will helps unclog your pores. We recommend working with milder offerings and working your way up. This way, you’ll be able to better gauge your skin’s tolerance to an exfoliant. Starting off with a harsh chemical peel could be extremely counterproductive in the long run.
  • If you’re still keen on physical exfoliation, use washcloths and softer sponges. Many are usually skeptical about their usefulness as physical exfoliants. But they’re surprisingly good. Remember, with more sensitive skin, we recommend that you gently rub instead of scrubbing rigorously. The latter is bound to cause redness and irritation. Move the product not your skin.
  • Consider adding fruit to your skincare routine. There are a number of fruits with naturally occurring acids that provide a softer, gentler exfoliation than many of its chemical counterparts. We advise against using straight-up fruit juice – its acidic content might be far too high. Add it to a base made from water, yogurt and oils for the best results.

With the information you’ve gotten from this post, we trust you’ll begin to see that exfoliation is for everyone – even those with sensitive skin. To get even more personalized information and recommendations for your skincare routine, do not hesitate to contact us today.

 

How Often Should You See Your Dermatologist

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Among all your organs, your skin is the largest. It shields your body from the elements, regulates body temperature, and fights bacteria. Like other organs, it's susceptible to cancer. Annual skin cancer diagnoses in the US exceed those of every other cancer combined.

When caught early, most cases of skin cancer are curable, which is why your dermatologist appointment should be among your top priorities.

Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating conditions affecting the skin, nails, and hair. These doctors receive three years of medical training related to skin care after completing medical school and an internship. Most dermatologists attend to a wide variety of skincare issues, but some specialize in surgery, cosmetics, and pediatrics among others.

In addition to helping detect cancer early, your dermatologist can treat other various skin health problems—psoriasis, acne, hair loss, and hives—and carry out cosmetic procedures such as wart removal and scar removal.

How often should you see your dermatologist?

Visit your dermatologist at least once a year for a full body examination. These annual visits are necessary even if you're healthy and have no history of skin cancer. We at Dermatology Consultants of Frisco recommend more frequent visits depending on the result of the examination.

It's advisable for certain people to visit their dermatologist more frequently. These include:

  • People with a history of skin cancer
  • People with close relatives who suffer from skin cancer
  • People with suspicious growths or moles on their skin
  • People who received x-ray acne treatment in their youth
  • People with extremely fair skin tones

Risk factors for skin cancer

Age and gender play a role in the risk of skin cancer. Older people are at a higher risk because of how long they have been exposed to UV radiation. But younger people who get frequent sunburns because of continual exposure to the sun are at high risk of getting skin cancer.

The risk of squamous cell carcinomas is three times higher in males than females. Males are also twice as likely to develop basal cell carcinomas as women.

Conditions such as diseases and immune suppression related to organ transplants also heighten the risk of skin cancer. For example, basal cell nevus syndrome and human papilloma virus (HPV) infections increase the risk of developing carcinomas.

Previous treatment for certain conditions sometimes causes skin cancer. Psoriasis treatment involving a combination of UV light treatment, a natural remedy, and psoralen increases carcinoma risk. Same goes for radiation treatment.

Genetic risk factors like inherited conditions and a personal or family history of skin cancer increase your risk of developing skin cancer. So can lifestyle choices such as smoking and excessive UV exposure due to spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun.

Your dermatologist will take into account all the above risk factors and advice you on the proper steps to take to decrease your chances of developing skin cancer.

When to schedule an emergency visit

Dermatological emergencies are rare, but it's important to know them because they are potentially fatal. Examples of such emergencies include bacterial and viral infections.

Bacterial infections such as erysipelas and cellulitis warrant an immediate trip to your dermatologist's office. Erysipelas is a Streptococcus pyogenes infection of the superficial dermis, and cellulitis is a Staphylococcus aureus infection of the deep dermis.

The herpes simplex virus causes eczema herpeticum, which often occurs on the face around the eyes. In extreme cases, the condition can lead to severe conditions (e.g., hepatitis, encephalitis, and keratoconjunctivitis) or even death.

In case of any severe symptoms on your skin, call a qualified dermatologist in the DFW area immediately.

 

Cold Weather Skincare 101

Saturday, December 01, 2018

 


Good skincare can be challenging during the winter months, especially for those with conditions that leave their skin dry like psoriasis and eczema. The primary reason for this? The big drop in humidity which robs your skin of moisture.

Here are a few winter skincare tips endorsed by us, Dermatology Consultants of Frisco. Coupled with a dermatologist's advice, working a couple of these tips into your winter skincare routine could do wonders for you.

Invest in a Humidifier

If the lack of humidity really dries your skin out, then putting some humidity back into the air is a no-brainer. That's where humidifiers come in: they keep the air most -- hence the name.

When shopping for one, be aware that you have two options: warm mist or cool mist. Warm mist humidifiers have better moisture saturation, while cool mist humidifiers are quieter and better able to filter out impurities. The choice really depends on your needs, but go with warm mist for better overall moisture if you're not sure.

Moisturize Often

Of course, another way to combat the effects of low moisture is to apply moisture directly to your skin. Get yourself a high-grade moisturizer, and use it often. A little bottle or tube that can go with you everywhere is perfect -- especially on days where you have to spend a fair amount of time outside.

Look for a moisturizer that isn't greasy and spreads easily. Keep an eye out for brands that advertise themselves as specifically designed for sensitive or irritable skin.

Stay Hydrated

Don't just spend all your time focusing on keeping your skin itself moist; internal hydration is also very important.

Dry skin affects your body's ability to retain moisture, so you're going to feel dehydrated faster and more often than you would during warmer weather. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the day. On workdays, keep a water bottle handy if possible, and refill it during your breaks.

Be Careful With Showers

It may not seem like literally soaking your body in a bunch of water could exacerbate dry skin, but if you're not careful about how long your showers and baths are, they could indeed do just that.

Hot water strips oils off of the skin, and in low humidity our skin needs to hold onto the little oils it still has. Avoid hot showers and baths; opt for milder temperatures.

You should also avoid stepping outside shortly after you've showered or bathed. If your skin is still damp when you get a full dose of frigid winter air, you'll find that it chaps much more easily.

Stay on Top of the Thermostat

It's basic science: the higher the temperature in your house, the more moisture is going to be removed from the air.

For that reason, you should keep the thermostat at the lowest setting that you can tolerate, and just throw on a few more layers to keep warm instead. Obviously, you want to exercise some moderation; giving yourself frostbite won't be good for your skin either. Experiment with different settings until you find the sweet spot.

 

New Treatment Option

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We are excited to announce a new treatment option that is now available to our patients.  It is called "Narrow Band UV-B" and is used for a multitude of conditions.

Do you have psoriasis? Vitiligo? Resistant hand eczema?  Mycoses fungoides?  These conditions and others can be controlled successfully using narrow band UV-B (or NBUVB).

What is it exactly?  NBUVB emits a narrow wavelength of light in the UV-B spectrum that has been shown to maximize improvement of many skin conditions while minimizing risks.  Treatments are quick and easy and are completed in the office setting with little or no discomfort.  Each treatment can last as little as 20 seconds or as long as 5-10 minutes, depending on the settings and the patient’s skin type.  Treatments are typically repeated 3 times a week (Mon-Wed-Fri), but alternate frequencies are approved in certain condition and situations.

Doc, isn’t a tanning bed or laying out at the pool the same thing?  The short answer is no.  Tanning beds have all sorts of harmful rays, which have been proven to cause skin cancer including increasing your risk of melanoma, the most deadly of skin cancers as well as cause photo-aging.  Getting significant amounts of natural sunlight can lead to the same risks of skin cancer and photo-aging.  What is photo-aging?  Photo-aging is the premature wrinkling and breakdown of skin due to excessive amounts of UV exposure.  Bottom line, photo-aging means you will look older and have more wrinkles than necessary.  NBUVB, however, limits these side effects by eliminating the “harmful” UV rays and only keeping a very narrow spectrum of UV-B, specifically the portion that is most helpful for certain skin conditions.

Our office has installed the latest equipment, which is armed with a higher level of safety than previous devices.  We have dedicated machines to treat only the hands or the feet (or both at the same time) as well as a dedicated machine to treat the entire body (or limited portions, as necessary).

Our patients already know we offer evidenced based recommendations using the latest evidence and treatment parameters.  Now, there is one more option.  Schedule a consultation today to find out more.

 

Eric Weisberg, M.D.

Board Certified Dermatologist


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