How Face Masks Can Cause Contact Dermatitis

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How Face Masks Can Cause Contact Dermatitis

While face masks are important in the fight against COVID-19, they can also cause irritation and damage to the skin. Specifically, when it comes to the condition known as contact dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis occurs when direct exposure with a substance, in this case, fabric, irritates the skin. The irritation is usually represented by redness and inflammation in the area. While any kind of fabric can bring it on, it’s more likely to occur from fabrics made with synthetic fibers. The reason being that synthetic fibers don’t breathe as well as natural fibers. This, in turn, can make you sweat more which can further contribute to the irritation of the skin.

Woman wearing face mask

So, what can you do to avoid or manage contact dermatitis? Some things include:

  • Clean the skin. This will mainly help skin that is exposed to an irritant. Make sure to use warm water.
  • Apply a moisturizer. Helps to keep the skin hydrated while protecting it as well.
  • Frequently change and/or wash the face mask. Should be done after each use. At least daily.
  • Give yourself a break from wearing it. Leaving the face mask on for a prolonged period of time can cause more irritation to the skin. However, when you do remove it, make sure that you are following proper social distancing guidelines.
  • Make sure the mask fits comfortably and is not too tight. Make sure it fits snug. The tighter the mask, the more likely it is to cause irritation.

 

In all, what can you do to best deal with contact dermatitis? First and foremost, identify what may be causing the problem. Next, avoid it (if possible). Then finally, take the corrective measures above to better protect your skin. If you believe you may be experiencing contact dermatitis, contact our office right away as early treatment is crucial to prevent the condition from worsening.

 

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Fourth of July Summer Skin Care

With the Fourth of July this weekend, many people will be spending a significant amount of time outside. And as we know from a previous post, even if it’s not sunny out, harmful UVA and UVB rays can still be prevalent. Here are just a few important things to keep in mind to help protect your skin and keep it looking it’s best:

Summer Skin Care Lotion

When applying sunscreens, layering does not give added SPF protection. The SPF you end up with is only the SPF of the highest sunscreen you applied.  For example, if you apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 then apply one with an SPF of 25, you will solely have the protection of the SPF of 30.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) does recommend applying two layers of sunscreen on all exposed areas though. The second layer should be applied about 30 minutes after the first, at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.

Reapply sunscreen periodically throughout the day. It is advised to reapply every two hours or after you have been exposed to water.

SPF protection is on a logarithmic scale. This means there is a bigger difference between SPF 25 and SPF 30 than there is with SPF 30 and SPF 45.

SPF’s below 15 are essentially worthless. We recommend an SPF of at least 50 to all of our patients.

Don’t forget your lips. The sun’s rays can dry delicate lip tissue. Keep your lips hydrated by using a lip balm with an SPF.

After a long day out in the sun take a cold shower. It can decrease acne breakouts and helps to better hydrate your skin.

If you do contract sunburn take Advil or Motrin. This will help to block the inflammation and can actually lessen the burn itself.

Remember these tips to keep your skin healthy this holiday weekend and beyond!
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Why Now Is the Best Time to Start This Hair Regrowth Treatment

With ‘stay at home’ orders in place for much of the country, many people have a lot of free time on their hands (no pun intended). This newfound free time offers the perfect opportunity for those struggling with hair loss to give minoxidil a try.

As discussed in a previous blog entry, minoxidil is a topical treatment that is used to address hair loss. There are three different formulations: solution, foam, and spray. With each of them, regular application (twice-daily) and continued use are necessary for the best results. If you do not apply it appropriately or discontinue use at any point, progress will be lost and the hair loss will begin again. Man Looking at hair

It is a common misconception that minoxidil can only be applied to the crown (back top part of the scalp). That is not true, as a number of our patients have used it on other areas of the scalp with great success (there have even been some men who have applied it to their beards). Some patients can see results as soon as 3-4 months after starting it, with full results being seen anywhere from 6 months to a year.

Again, regular twice-daily application of minoxidil is crucial to the progress and results. This is why now is the best time to start the treatment. Your extra free time will provide you with an ample opportunity to get into the routine of using it.

If you are interested in learning more about minoxidil and if it may be right for you, contact our office today. It is important to note, that if you are experiencing hair loss and do not know the cause, minoxidil may not help.

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How To Avoid Skin Irritation From Face Masks

Woman FacemaskDue to the spread of COVID-19, the CDC made a recent recommendation that everyone should be wearing face masks in public. Although face masks provide important protection from the virus, wearing them for an extended period can also lead to skin irritation. Here are some things you can do to avoid that.

  1. Make sure the mask fits comfortably and snug. If it is too tight, the more likely it will cause a skin reaction.
  2. Try to take off the mask as much as possible when not in public. When doing this one, make sure to take into consideration proper social distancing.
  3. Change or wash it regularly depending on the frequency of use. When breathing in the mask, moisture collects in the area and can provide the perfect breeding ground for a number of different bacteria. This can lead to skin conditions such as folliculitis.
  4. Cleanse the skin. Try to avoid products containing drying ingredients as it can be further aggravated with the use of a face mask. Moisturizing is of the utmost importance, especially before, because it can serve as a protectant for the skin.
  5. Moisturize/hydrate the skin. This one is especially important prior to, as it can serve as a protectant for the skin. Avoid oil-based moisturizers as they can block the pores leading to breakouts.

If you are already noticing skin irritation due to wearing a facemask, try to identify the cause and take the above tips into consideration. If the condition still does not improve, contact our office right away.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

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Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Skin

All of a sudden you have a lot more time on your hands. What should you do? Watch more news? Binge-watch ‘Tiger King’ on Netflix? Or focus on your skin and give it the TLC it deserves? We personally like the last option. So, here are some simple, but yet important, skincare tips that you can do in the comfort of your own home:

Cleanse Your Face. SkinCeuticals makes great cleansers! We recommend the Gentle Cleanser, Simply Clean or the LHA Cleansing Gel (depending on your skin type).
Exfoliate After Cleansing. Doing this after cleansing provides you with a clean base to work with. Thus, making it easier to unclog pores, prevent acne, and remove dead skin cells.
Use a Moisturizer. It helps to lock in moisture which in turn prevents the skin from drying out. It’s important to do AFTER cleansing and exfoliating.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep. Last but certainly not least! Not getting enough sleep can actually cause inflammation in the skin, increasing the risk of flare-ups in conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The National Sleep Foundation recommends anywhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

Follow these tips and your skin will benefit. Not to mention, it is so simple, there will be plenty of time left to binge-watch ‘Tiger King’ if you so wish!

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Caring For Your Skin With Increased Hand Sanitizer and Soap Use

Although the use of hand sanitizers and soap should already be part of a healthy routine, the current threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased use significantly. All you need to do is look at the store shelves where they’re stocked to know that. The demand has been so high in fact, that Amazon and eBay have put restrictions on the sale of these products in an attempt to prevent price gouging. So, with using hand sanitizers and soap more frequently, what can you do to protect the skin on your hands?Washing hands

Moisturize immediately after use. This is especially true for hand sanitizers that contain alcohol (a drying ingredient in itself). Cream or lotion-based moisturizers are the best options.
Avoid products containing fragrances, perfumes or dyes. Instead, opt for products that contain vitamin E and aloe.
Limit hand washing to 20 seconds, no more. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends this timeframe. Any longer poses the risk of drying the skin out.
When washing, avoid water that is too hot or cold. Use lukewarm water.

With or without an epidemic, regular hand sanitizer and soap use are important to prevent the spread of germs. Combining that with the above tips will help the health of your skin.

Sources: American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

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Biologics for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes raised, red, scaly patches (with or without silver-colored scale) to appear on the skin. Typically found on the scalp, elbows, and knees, it is usually treated with topical creams, corticosteroids, and retinoids. However, for patients who have tried these options to no avail, or have severe symptoms, biologics may be considered.

Biologics are medications that specifically target parts of the immune system that are responsible for the overgrowth of skin cells relating to psoriasis. Administered at our office by injection, they can be a very effective treatment option for patients.

Neiman Dermatology Psoriasis Patient Results

Neiman Dermatology psoriasis patient after biologic treatment.

The following are biologics that we use for patients with psoriasis:

• Cimzia
• Cosentyx
• Humira
• Siliq
• Skyrizi
• Taltz
• Tremfya

It is important to remember that joint pain can sometimes be related to psoriasis. This is called psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis should be managed as it can be linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancers, as well as other autoimmune diseases. Contact our office today, to see if biologics may be right for you.

Sources: National Psoriasis Foundation, Jonathan G. Turowski, AGPCNP-BC

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Minoxidil for Women’s Hair Loss

To the surprise of many, hair loss can be just as much of a concern for women as it is for men. Jennifer Lopez recently proved that point with a shocking revelation that she uses a hair loss treatment called minoxidil. In a post on her Instagram page, she wrote, “When I was coming up, I didn’t know how to take proper care of my hair when I first started working in television and film — I had to learn about minoxidil from my hairstylist! And I’ve been using it ever since.”

Instagram Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez applying minoxidil to her scalp.

Minoxidil is a vasodilator that is commonly used topically to treat thinning hair and hair loss. First introduced in 1979, it was initially used as an oral medication for high blood pressure. Shortly after introduction however, it was noticed that some individuals began growing hair everywhere. Therefore, the manufacturer of minoxidil came up with a topical version of it. In 1988, it was approved by the FDA for treating hair loss in men. Three years after that, it was approved for women. Then in 1996, it became available over the counter.

Although minoxidil is known to be a vasodilator, not all medications that dilate blood vessels can stimulate hair growth. Minoxidil is believed to work in part by partially enlarging miniaturized hair follicles and reversing the miniaturization process. This can prolong the growth phase of the hair cycle, allowing the hair to become thicker and longer.

Side effects associated with minoxidil are minimal. The most common is an itchy, irritation of the scalp. This side effect is not too prevalent however and will cease upon discontinuation. Well-controlled clinical studies have not been conducted in pregnant or nursing women. Therefore, it should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding. Patients with heart disease should consult with our office before using minoxidil.

Best used in the early stages of hair loss, minoxidil is massaged into the scalp twice a day (morning and evening – spacing each application about 12 hours apart). A much easier to use “spray” form is available at our office.

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Halloween Makeup Is No Joke For Your Skin

Joker applying makeup

With the recent success of Todd Phillips’ Joker, it’s inevitable that more people will be wearing makeup for Halloween this year. However, it’s important to understand that when wearing makeup, proper skin care and product use is important throughout the application process. Below, is a step by step guide to help.

 

STEP 1: CLEANSE

Start out by cleansing the area where the makeup will be applied. We recommend using Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser. This mild cleanser is effective in removing any excess oil or impurities, leaving the skin perfectly prepped for later applying the makeup.

Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser

Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser

STEP 2: MOISTURIZE

Next, moisturize. Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is a great option, as the combination of hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 works wonderfully to enhance the skin’s moisture.

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

STEP 3: APPLY A PRIMER

Using a primer will help prevent makeup from fading throughout the night. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is a perfect choice. A lightweight formulation that avoids all the ingredients that can clog pores and cause breakouts. It also does a good job preventing dryness by helping the skin retain moisture.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

STEP 4: APPLY MAKEUP

Whatever type of makeup your costume requires, make sure you are cognizant of the ingredients. Those containing artificial or synthetic fragrances, parabens or oxybenzone can be unsafe for your skin. Usually, the better the quality of the makeup, the better it will be. The Mehron Special FX Makeup Kit is the cream of the crop and a great option.

Mehron Special FX Makeup Kit

Mehron Special FX Makeup Kit

STEP 5: REMOVE MAKEUP

Initially, try makeup removing wipes. This should remove a majority of makeup. We suggest Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Makeup Remover Wipes. Then to get rid of the remaining, use a cleanser. Skinceuticals Simply Clean is the best one for this step.

Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Makeup Remover

Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Makeup Remover

 

Skinceuticals Simply Clean

Skinceuticals Simply Clean

STEP 6: MOISTURIZE AGAIN

This time moisturizing, you can either use Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel again or Skinceuticals Daily Moisture. Both are good options to keep your skin hydrated.

Skinceuticals Daily Moisture

Skinceuticals Daily Moisture

As evidenced above, when applying makeup to your skin, it’s no laughing matter. Whether it be for Halloween or just a night out, these steps will help keep your skin looking it’s best.

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Michael Jackson’s Vitiligo

Michael Jackson Vitiligo

Michael Jackson showing signs of vitiligo on his face and neck.

With the 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death this past June, many throughout the world celebrated the legacy of the “King of Pop.” He was a transcendent, entertainment icon whose incredible talent and eccentric lifestyle made him a regular focus of the tabloids.

Although he may have been most well known for his music, his constantly evolving skin tone garnered almost as much attention. According to Jackson, in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, his changing skin tone was attributed to a condition called vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a rare skin disorder (affecting less than 2% of the population) that causes de-pigmentation on areas of the skin. Usually developing small in size, it occurs when the cells responsible for skin pigmentation die or are unable to function properly. Vitiligo can occur at any age and typically worsens over time. Although the cause is unknown, some believe that it can be linked to genetics or stress.

In Michael Jackson’s situation, it first presented itself in the early 1980s. According to a longtime friend, he started wearing his signature sequin glove on his right hand to hide the early signs of the condition. In the years following, as the condition became more noticeable, he received a lot of criticism and ridicule. Which is unfortunately all too common for those who suffer from vitiligo, due to society’s lack of knowledge about it. This can lead to serious psychological effects, causing sufferers to take desperate measures to hide their symptoms.

Although vitiligo affects all skin tones and types, it is obviously more observable the darker the skin. Currently, there is no cure for vitiligo, but there are many different treatment options available. Contact our office today if you believe you may have vitiligo.

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