Fall 2012 Newsletter

Fall 2012 Newsletter



August 2012: Enjoy 15% off all product purchases, and 30 dollars off any cosmetic service!

September 2012: Buy 3, get 1 free! Rejuvenate and exfoliate your skin with a series of Silkpeel® microdermabrasions or chemical peels.

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH: (please call or stop in for more information)

August 2012: Revision Intellishade® SPF 45 is an anti-aging tinted moisturizer for all skin types. This product is a patient favorite! It is formulated to match every skin tone; one shade really does fit all. It provides powerful sun protection against UVA and UVB rays, and also contains pepties, botanical extracts and antioxidants for anti-aging benefits. The moisturizer is available in an original formulation for dry skin types, and a matte formulation for those with oily skin.

September 2012: Skinceuticals Phloretin CF is a powerful antioxidant serum that has been featured in numerous beauty magazines and really delivers results. Antioxidants defend skin against toxic free radicals caused by sun exposure; these free radicals can cause DNA mutations and cell damage. Phloretin CF contains 3 powerful antioxidants: phloretin (derived from the bark of apple trees), ferulic acid (derived from plants), and vitamin C. When used regularly, this serum helps to stimulate collagen formation, diminish hyperpigmentation, and helps to protect the skin's DNA. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen plus Phloretin CF every morning and rest assured that you are being proactive about protecting and nourishing your skin.


Sunscreen: make it a year-round habit

As the weather gets cooler and we don't see as much sunlight, please remember to keep wearing your sunscreen! There are two ultraviolet rays from the sun that can cause skin cancer and skin damage: UVA and UVB. Even on a very cloudy day, about 80% of the sun's UV rays can pass through the clouds. Daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best preventive measure you can take to protect your skin from skin cancer and premature aging caused by too much UV exposure. The SPF (sun protection factor) rating only gives you an indication of the UVB protection of a sunscreen; there is no rating system in the United States for UVA. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30-45; it should also say "broad spectrum," which indicates it has UVA protection as well. The FDA recently changed its  labeling requirements for sunscreens to minimize confusion and protect consumers against false claims; these changes are still being implemented by manufacturers and we will update you once they are fully in place.

If you have questions about which sunscreen is best for you or have a history of allergy or breakouts with sunscreen use, please come into the office and we can help you in your selection.

Common colder weather skin ailments

As we enjoy the last few weeks of summer and head into fall, there are some skin conditions that may start to worsen as the weather gets colder and the air becomes drier. Gentle skin care and the regular use of moisturizers is especially important during the fall and winter months. Below is some basic information on a few of the most common conditions we see in the office during the winter months: psoriasis, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition characterized by redness and scaling of the skin; the scalp, nails and joints may also be affected. It is a fairly common condition; both adults and children may be affected. The affected areas of the scalp and skin may be itchy or may not cause any symptoms at all. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease; this means it is caused by an abnormal response of the patient’s immune system, which attacks the patient’s skin as though it is a foreign substance. Common triggers for psoriasis flares include winter weather (due to decreased sunlight), stress, and infections.  While we do not know yet what causes psoriasis, some cases may be inherited and multiple family members may be affected. Over the past few years, new research has shown that patients with psoriasis may be at higher risk for heart disease, so it is important that psoriasis patients have regular follow up with their primary care provider to be monitored and treated for other cardiac risk factors, such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.

Many treatments for psoriasis are currently available, and the decision of which treatment is best for you will be based on the severity of your psoriasis and the risk factors of each treatment.  Topical medications (such as steroid creams and vitamin D ointments) work well for smaller focal areas of psoriaisis. Steroid foams and sprays are convenient and effective for the scalp. For patients with more extensive involvement, Dr. Patel may recommend laser therapy, phototherapy, or injectable medications.  Oral medications are also an option but less commonly used now that newer options with less required monitoring are available. If you have been diagnosed with or think you may have psoriasis, please call the office for an evaluation and discussion of treatment options.

Eczema is a catch-all term for dry itchy skin. There are several types of eczema, and they have different clinical presentations.  While we do not yet have a cure for eczema, we do have a good understanding of how to control the symptoms:

Barrier control: Patients with eczema have a defect in their skin barrier, which causes a decrease in the natural moisturizing factor of the skin as well as in increase in bacterial colonization (mainly staph bacteria). Prescription creams and over-the-counter moisturizers are available that help to strengthen barrier function and allow for better moisture retention in the skin.

Inflammation control: While moisturizers and gentle skin care are critical in the treatment of eczema,  many patients will have flares of itching and dryness that require prescription anti-inflammatory medications. The most commonly prescribed medications for eczema are topical steroids and topical immunomodulators ( such as Protopic® and Elidel®), but patients with severe extensive involvement may require short-term oral medications to suppress the immune response and get the disease under better control.

Phototherapy: Patient with more extensive or severe eczema may benefit from a form of treatment known as phototherapy. Certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of eczema. Phototherapy is a carefully controlled method of delivering these wavelengths under a doctor’s supervision, using specialized devices such as light boxes or lasers.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very common rash that is most often seen on the scalp, face and chest; the ears, underarms and other areas of the body may also be affected. It is sometimes mistaken for dandruff.  Seborrheic dermatitis is a harmless condition that results in red scaling patches that are sometimes very itchy and irritated. This condition is thought to be due to a yeast (Malassezia) that is a common inhabitant of human skin; patients with seborrheic dermatitis are more prone to reacting to this yeast. The condition tends to be worse in the winter months; it may also flare during times of stress or illness.

The mainstay of treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is an antifungal shampoo or cream to help reduce the amount of Malassezia yeast on the skin; some patients may also require anti-inflammatory creams such as topical steroids to calm down the redness and itching associated with the rash.