My Blog
By Highlands Dermatology
August 15, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Healthy Skin  

Skin CareDon’t over-complicate your skin care routine with a multitude of products. Taking care of your skin should be simple. In most cases, all it takes is daily cleansing, proper nourishment and protection from the sun and other harmful toxins.

Cleanse

All skin types need cleansed once or twice a day, especially before bed. Gently wash your face to remove old make up and grime that accumulate over the course of a day. If you notice a pimple or blemish, don’t pick. It won’t get rid of it faster and may lead to scarring. Follow with a moisturizer or lotion to retain moisture and prevent skin from drying out.

Nourish

A well-balanced diet should also be an important part of your skin care regimen. Drink plenty of water and eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. Berries, leafy greens, nuts and fish are rich in antioxidants and good for your skin. Exercise, get plenty of rest and reduce stress to keep skin looking and feeling its best.

Protect

Sun protection is important for every skin type. To guard against sun exposure, wear a hat and sunglasses when outdoors, seek shade when possible and avoid the hours of the day when the sun is its strongest. Always apply sunscreen to avoid premature aging, wrinkles and skin cancer, no matter what time of the year. Smoking is not only bad for your general health, but it can also damage your skin - when you smoke you expose skin to harmful toxins, which can accelerate aging skin.

A basic skin care routine is not only essential, but it’s easy. In many cases, enhanced daily cleansing, improved diet and heightened awareness about sun exposure and skin protection is all it takes to achieve more youthful, flawless skin. Talk to your dermatologist whenever you have questions or concerns abut your skin or your daily skin care routine.

By Highlands Dermatology
August 01, 2017
Category: Skin Health
Tags: Smoking  

Smoking and SkinWhile most people are aware of the potentially life-threatening health consequences of cigarette smoking, including lung cancer and emphysema, many people do not recognize the negative impact that smoking can have on the health and appearance of their skin.

Smoking causes biomechanical changes in our bodies that can speed up the normal aging process of the skin, contributing to deep wrinkles and fine lines that make us look older. The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more wrinkled, leathery skin you will develop.   

Why does smoking cause wrinkles?

Smoking accelerates skin aging in a number of ways.

  • Nicotine in cigarettes deprive skin cells of oxygen and constricts the blood vessels that feed nutrients to the skin cells.
  • Smoking damages collagen and elastin, the fibers that give skin its strength and elasticity. As fibrous substances are destroyed, skin begins to sag and droop.
  • Smoking reduces the body’s store of vitamin A and vitamin C, which provide skin protection.
  • Continual pursing of the mouth when inhaling or squinting of the eyes to avoid smoke can cause deep wrinkling around the eyes and mouth.
  • Continual exposure to cigarette heat and smoke can make skin appear sallow and yellowish in color.
  • As collagen is destroyed, other parts of the body such as the inner arms and neck may appear saggy and wrinkled with time.

There’s Help—Quit Now

Skin damage caused by smoking won’t be completely reversible. But the signs of smoking can be dramatically diminished and even avoided the sooner you stop smoking. Even those who have smoked for several years show noticeably less wrinkling and improved skin tone when they quit smoking.

If you are ready to stop smoking or have recently quit, but the visible signs of aging smoking left behind bother you, talk to your dermatologist. There are many different cosmetic treatments available that can reduce fine lines caused by smoking. Laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and some topical treatments can restore skin, giving it a rejuvenated and smoother appearance. We will examine your skin, discuss your goals for treatment and recommend suitable options.  

The longer you smoke, the greater chance you have of developing irreversible wrinkles. By stopping your smoking habit now combined with an improved diet and a great anti-aging skin care regimen, it is possible to regain your youthful skin.

By Highlands Dermatology
July 17, 2017
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Chicken Pox   Sick Child  

Chicken PoxWhen your child breaks out all over in a blistery, itchy red rash, there’s a good chance it’s the chicken pox. Chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, and although it’s typically a childhood disease, people who have not contracted it as a child can suffer from it in adulthood as well.

Chicken pox is highly contagious and can spread from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person's coughing or sneezing. 

Symptoms of Chicken pox

Itchy red spots or blisters all over the body are telltale signs of chicken pox. It may also be accompanied by a headache, sore throat and fever. Symptoms are generally mild among children, but can cause serious complications in infants, adults and people with weakened immune systems.

The most common symptoms of chicken pox include:

  • Itchy rash all over the body, including the face, on the arms and legs and inside the mouth
  • Fatigue and irritability
  • Fever
  • Feeling of general illness
  • Reduced appetite

The symptoms of chicken pox may resemble other skin problems or medical conditions, so it is always important to consult your child's physician or dermatologist for proper diagnosis. If the chicken pox rash seems generalized or severe, or if the child has a high grade fever or is experiencing a headache or nausea, seek medical care right away.

The incubation period (from exposure to first appearance of symptoms) is 14 to 16 days. When the blisters crust over, they are no longer contagious and the child can return to normal activity. 

Relief for Chicken Pox

It is important not to scratch the blisters as it can slow down the healing process and result in scarring. Scratching may also increase the risk of a bacterial infection. To help relieve the itching, soak in a cool or lukewarm oatmeal bath. A physician may recommend anti-itch ointments or medications, such as over-the-counter antihistamines, to control this troublesome itch.

Although about four million children get chicken pox each year, it may be preventable via a vaccine. Usually one episode of  chicken pox in childhood provides lifelong immunity to the virus.

Fortunately, chicken pox is more of a nuisance than a concern. With time and extra rest, the rash will pass and the child will be good as new! Contact your dermatologist whenever you have questions or concerns about chicken pox.

Many people suffer from acne problems, wrinkles, age spots or skin discoloration. After countless tries at topical creams and other treatment methods, reducing the visual signs of fine lines and other imperfections may seem impossible.

Thanks to new advancements in dermatology, both men and women can now enjoy flawless skin. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a new, non-laser cosmetic treatment that offers a non-invasive solution to rejuvenated skin. IPL is a proven effective procedure for correct and improving nearly all skin types. It is particularly effective for treating:

  • Sun damage
  • Age spots
  • Broken capillaries
  • Irregular pigmentation
  • Rosacea
  • Fine lines

How IPL Works

Unlike a laser which emits one specific wavelength of light, IPL delivers a broad spectrum of light onto the skin’s surface to correct a wider area of damaged skin cells with each pulse. IPL treatments are typically conducted as a series of treatments at intervals, and the skin begins to take on a more youthful and clear appearance with each session. How many treatments are required to achieve the desired results will vary for each patient’s initial level of skin damage.

Benefits of IPL

If you’ve been looking for a non-invasive, fast-acting solution for rejuvenating your skin’s imperfections, consider the benefits of Intense pulsed light therapy. IPL procedures are proven safe and effective, do not require any anesthetic and in many cases offer near-instant results. IPL offers the ability to customize the treatment to your specific skin problems. It also offers the ability to treat larger areas of skin simultaneously. 

Due to the sophistication of the technology, the duration of each treatment session is typically less than 30 minutes. The process is ideal for patients with active lifestyles because the procedure requires no downtime, minimal pain and has a low risk of side effects. This treatment can be used safely virtually anywhere on the body.

To learn more about intense pulsed light therapy, visit your dermatologist. Following a thorough skin assessment, your dermatologist can recommend the best course of treatment to bring you rejuvenated and more youthful skin.

Sun DamageThe sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can result in skin damage from freckles and cosmetic blemishes to more serious conditions like cancer. Sun damage doesn’t happen overnight, and the long-term effects of repeated sun exposure may not appear for years. It’s a gradual process brought on by repeated exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, which can have serious consequences later in life. But it's never too late to start protecting your skin from sun damage!

Signs of Sun Damaged Skin

Tans or sunburns are two visible signs of sun damage. A tan reveals that your skin has attempted to protect itself from sun damage by producing melanin, the brown pigment that colors the outer layer of skin. And sunburns indicate damaged skin cell DNA, which increases your risk for skin cancer.

The following signs indicate sun-damaged skin.

  • Change in Texture - Skin may become dull and leathery as it is repeatedly exposed to the sun.
  • Age Spots - As sun exposure increases so does the body’s production of melanin, which leads to the gradual appearance of blotches in skin tone and brown, black or gray spots on the face, chest, shoulders and hands.
  • Wrinkles - As the sun depletes collagen and elastin, the substances that keep skin firm and flexible, skin sags and wrinkles appear which make you look older.
  • Red or Inflamed Skin - Symptoms of sunburn such as heat, pain, redness or blisters indicate damage to the epidermis.

The best way to maintain a youthful appearance and avoid skin cancer is to make sun protection a part of daily life. Take extra precautions when outdoors. Always apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses. Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight and seek shade when possible. Tanning beds are just as harmful for your skin and should also be avoided.

When to Visit Your Dermatologist

Sun damage should not be overlooked. It may be time to visit your dermatologist about potential sun damage if you:

  • Experience a severe sunburn with blistering or other serious side effects, or if you have a history of sunburns
  • Notice changes to existing skin growths or develop new or irregular shaped moles or spots, as these could be indications that you have skin cancer
  • Have sun spots on your skin, especially if they appear suddenly or are dark in color
  • Have a family history of skin cancer

At a minimum, you should visit a dermatologist once a year to have your body inspected for moles or growths. A dermatologist will not only look for signs of cancer, but can also offer cosmetic treatments to reduce the visible signs of sun damage, such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.





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