How To Avoid Skin Irritation From Face Masks

Tag Archives: Dermatology

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)

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!

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)

Dermoscopy, also known as dermatoscopy, is a noninvasive technique primarily used to examine skin lesions. Utilizing a handheld device called a dermatoscope, the objective is to differentiate between benign and malignant tumors.

Featuring a high-quality magnifier and a polarized light system, the dermatoscope is able to see areas of the skin not visible to the naked eye. This significantly reduces the rate of unnecessary biopsies and leads to more accurate melanoma detection. Aside from melanoma detection, dermoscopy can also be used to diagnose fungal infections, hair/scalp diseases, warts, and even scabies.

Dermoscopy

A provider using a dermatoscope on a patient.

At our office, all of our providers have been specially trained in dermoscopy. If they notice anything of suspicion, they will follow it very closely. Pictures will be taken, stored, and compared with pictures at the patient’s next visit. If the lesion evolves or changes, it may require a biopsy. If the lesion does not, it most likely is benign.

As you can see, dermoscopy is an important clinical tool and something that no dermatologist (MD, NP or PA) should go without. If you have something of concern on your skin and would like one of our providers to check it out, contact our office today.

Maybe you fell asleep on the beach, or forgot to pack sunscreen.  However it happened, sunburn can be painful and in severe cases, even dangerous.  If you do get burned:

• Take a cool shower or bath, or apply wet, cold washcloths.
• Avoid products that contain benzocaine, lidocaine, or petroleum (Vaseline).
• Cover blisters with dry bandages to prevent infection.
• Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, but do not give aspirin to children.

Call a doctor if you have a serious reaction:

• Feeling faint or dizzy
• Rapid pulse or rapid breathing
• Extreme thirst, no urine output, or sunken eye
• Pale, clammy, or cool skin
• Nausea, fever, chills, or rash
• Eyes hurt and are sensitive to light
• Severe, painful blisters

Of course, it’s best to protect yourself from getting burned in the first place.  Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.  The American Cancer Society recommends taking these steps:

• Wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible.  Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.
• Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30: reapply at least every 2 hours, and after swimming or sweating.
• Avoid direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when rays are strongest.
• Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps: both can cause serious long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.

Source: American Cancer Society, Healthy Living

With the huge success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), many people have become familiar with some of the franchise’s most popular superheroes. Whether it be Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, or the Hulk, the superheroes have captivated moviegoers throughout the globe for over a decade. With such a unique and iconic look, the Hulk may be the one hero that stands out the most.

hulk-marvel

Characterized as a large mutant monster with green skin, the Hulk developed his appearance from an exposure to gamma radiation. Although the concept of becoming a large mutant monster may not be feasible in real life, it is in fact possible for the color of skin to turn (or appear) green.

Some ways that skin can do that includes:

• Prolonged contact to cheap gold, copper, and certain metals typically found in inexpensive jewelry.
Exposure to strong chlorine levels in water.
During the process of bruising there is a stage where the iron in the blood turns green and can become visible through the skin.
Patients experiencing multiple organ failure may be at risk for unusual pigmentation effects from feeding tube dyes.
Condition known as gangrene can cause the skin to appear green prior to turning black.

If you notice the color of your skin changing, contact your doctor immediately, as it may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

Psoriasis is a relatively common condition that typically affects the skin and joints. Occurring on the scalp, elbows, knees, and more uncommonly hands and feet, it can lead to painful complications such as arthritis and severe itching. Although there is currently no way to prevent psoriasis, there are a variety of treatment options that can effectively control the condition.

Psoriasis_Treatment

Some treatment options for psoriasis include topical agents, phototherapy, and systemic agents. Typically used for mild cases, topical agents consist of cortisone creams, moisturizers, skin lotions, ointments, and dandruff shampoos. Then for moderate cases, phototherapy or light therapy is utilized. This method of treatment involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light which in turn suppresses the immune system and reduces the inflammatory response. Exposure must be monitored because too much can lead to burning of the skin, similar to a sun burn. When psoriasis is resistant to these other types of treatment or is considered severe, it is then treated with systemic agents. Systemic agents are prescription medications that are administered orally or through injection.

While all these treatments listed above prove to be beneficial, some can potentially lead to negative side effects. Schedule an appointment with our office today for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis.

During the Halloween season, more and more people are wearing make-up or putting some sort of product on their skin. This can cause skin conditions to arise though if certain preventative measures are not taken. So, what are some things you can do to avoid any adverse skin reactions?

Halloween Makeup Application

As you may know, removing make-up before bed is important, but that alone is not enough (especially for those with sensitive skin). Some people have pores that are prone to deposits of oils which can lead to a condition known as acne cosmetica, a skin condition characterized by reddened bumps and blocked pores on the cheeks, forehead, and chin. The best way to avoid this is to apply products that are lighter in weight, as they are less likely to clog the pores. Try using powders instead of creams.

Some other skin conditions that can result from certain make-ups or products are irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis can be characterized as burning and irritation on the skin, whereas allergic contact dermatitis is a more traditional allergic reaction usually characterized by itching, blisters or swelling. Many times, preservatives and fragrance ingredients are the causes of these skin conditions. Accordingly, products that are labeled fragrance-free and hypoallergenic (less likely to cause an allergic reaction) are the best for keeping your skin looking good.

If you believe you are experiencing any of these conditions, call our office at 716-688-0020 today to schedule an appointment.

pumpkin-facial-neiman-dermatology

As you may know, facials are a great way to restore your youth and improve your skin’s overall radiance. The Pumpkin Facial, now available at our office (for a limited time), takes it to another level!

Containing pumpkin enzymes and salicyclic acid, this nutritive treatment addresses thick, resilient skin with acne and sun damage. It can also help soften and soothe the skin, boosting collagen production and preventing the signs of aging. Your skin will be left feeling refreshed and revitalized with a healthy complexion after treatment.

If you would like to learn more about the Pumpkin Facial or would like to schedule an appointment call our office at 716-688-0020 today!

The other day I was having lunch with my cousin who is a baseball player at a local college in the area, and he mentioned that he avoids wearing his baseball hat as much as possible because he heard that wearing it often can cause hair loss.  Although it is a common belief that wearing a baseball hat can cause hair loss, it in fact can not.  The only way that it can possibly cause hair loss is in the form of traction alopecia (constant tight pulling on the scalp, usually occurs with braided hairstyles).  This discussion though, did bring up an interesting topic about the many myths in relation to the field of dermatology.
Below are just some of the many dermatology myths.
Myth #1 – Foods can cause acne.Woman-thinking
As discussed in a previous article, what you eat does have an influence on the health of your skin, but in regards to acne that is typically related to genetics.  Foods cannot cause you to contract acne, but it is possible though for them to contribute to it.
Myth #2 – Genetics determine how your skin will age.
Another common myth is that genetics play a large role in how your skin ages.  Although genetics can play a role, a larger role is played by lifestyle and health choices.
Myth #3 – If I get a base tan at a salon, I won’t sunburn outdoors.
This one couldn’t be further from the truth.  A tan is actually a sign of damage to the skin and in no way prevents further damage to future sun exposure.  The best way to prevent sunburn is to avoid tanning and use a sunscreen.
Myth #4 – Any sunscreen will adequately protect my skin from the sun.
A sunscreen must have an SPF of at least 30, combined with ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  This will help to block both UVA (long-wave radiation which can lead to wrinkling and aging) and UVB (short-wave radiation which can cause sunburn) rays, both of which can lead to skin cancer.
Myth #5 – Once I apply sunscreen it is not necessary to do it again that day.
Sunscreen must be reapplied every two hours or after exposure to water (which can wash it off).
Myth #6 – If I shave my hair it will grow back thicker. 
Unfortunately for people with thinning hair this is not true.  Hair may indeed appear thicker after shaving but this is just an optical illusion.  The hair is the thickness it was before shaving.
As you can see there are a lot of myths in relation to dermatology, but hopefully being aware of some of them now will help you have healthier skin and hair in the future.