Promote skin health with these pro-skin vitamins

April 7th, 2014

The health of your skin is largely effected by the overall healthiness of your lifestyle – especially your diet. There are a variety of vitamins that are especially good at promoting skin health and improving appearance. A good dietary rule to follow is to try to eat a large variety of colorful food including fruits and vegetables.

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VITAMIN A

Widely accepted as the most important vitamin to skin health, vitamin A has been shown to be highly effective at treating problem skin. Vitamin A can help reduce acne with its ability to promote cell turnover. Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to rough, dry, and scaly skin. Foods that have a higher content of vitamin A include liver and cod liver oil as well as kidney, egg yolks from pastured chickens, and cream and butter from pastured cows.

VITAMIN E

Both vitamin C and vitamin E can help reduce the harmful effects on the skin of UV rays. Vitamin E is part of the skin’s antioxidant system of defense against skin damage. A combination of vitamin E and vitamin A has also been shown to dramatically reduce the chances of getting basal cell carcinoma. Tofu, spinach, nuts, fish, and avocados are all high in vitamin E.

Green Vegetables

VITAMIN C

Skin appearance can be improved and wrinkling reduced with an adequate intake of vitamin C. A diet high in vitamin C can also help reduce dry skin, reduce damage from UV rays, and improve wound healing. Foods that contain a high amount of vitamin C include dark leafy greens, broccoli, and citrus fruits. Since vitamin C is sensitive to heat it is better to eat these foods raw or only cook them lightly.

ZINC

The structure of proteins and cell membranes in the skin is assisted by zinc. Additionally zinc has anti-inflammatory effects and can assist in wound healing. Zinc interacts with vitamin A in its transport through the blood and so the combination of both produces a greater reduction in acne. Animal sources of zinc like kidney and liver, red meat, and seafood are superior to plant sources like nuts.

WHEN CHANGING YOUR DIET ISN’T ENOUGH

While a healthy diet rich in pro-skin nutrients is essential for maintaining the appearance of your skin it may not always be enough. If your efforts at improving the appearance of your skin through your diet aren’t giving you the results you want then contacting an expert dermatologist may be the next step. Advanced Dermatology, P.C.’s board-certified dermatologists can help develop a treatment plan that fits your unique needs.

Contact one of our 13 conveniently located offices today. Our offices are located in and serve the surrounding areas of: Manhattan, Fresh Meadows, Bayside, Ossining, Briarcliff, Park Slope, Commack, East Setauket, Roslyn Heights, and West Islip in New York as well as Summit and Ridgewood, New Jersey.

CLICK HERE to contact us today!

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How to Spot Counterfeit Products

March 26th, 2014

You may have been shopping online at some point and found that skin care product you always buy at the store for a much lower price. Your first thought may be that you’re getting a great deal because online retailers don’t have the overhead costs of a brick-and-mortar business. In most cases though if the price is too good to be true it probably is!

Counterfeit skin care products have been found at even the most widely used online retailers. These products will often result in negative side effects such as rashes, be much less effective compared to legitimate products, or be completely ineffective. Cosmetics as well are commonly counterfeited. Remember that if an individual is dishonest enough to counterfeit a brand name product they are likely dishonest enough to use inferior ingredients as well that may be harmful to your skin.

HOW TO SPOT A COUNTERFEIT PRODUCT

How can you spot a fake from a good deal on an authorized product? The number one way is to always buy from an authorized reseller or physician’s office. If the product looks repackaged or is missing a seal that is usually on the product when you buy it in the store then it is likely a counterfeit. Certain products like Retin-A and other prescription medication cannot legally be sold online. Products that require prescriptions can only be purchased through a physician’s office and if you find them online you can be sure they are not legitimate. Some product websites will have approved physician locators, authorized resellers, or both.

ADVANCED DERMATOLOGY, P.C.

Advanced Dermatology, P.C. sells products through our online store (link). All our products are authorized and approved by our expert dermatologists. If you want to learn about what skin care product may be right for you or are interested in a prescription product you’ve heard about, consult with one of our dermatologists today. We have 13 offices conveniently located in New York and New Jersey. Our offices are located in and serve the surrounding areas of: Manhattan, Fresh Meadows, Bayside, Ossining, Briarcliff, Park Slope, Commack, East Setauket, Roslyn Heights, and West Islip in New York as well as Summit and Ridgewood, New Jersey.

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HOW SOON IS TOO SOON FOR AN ANTI-AGING PROCEDURE?

March 25th, 2014

How soon is too soon for an anti-aging procedure? You may have heard the phrase “age is just a number” to describe a person who has youthful energy that doesn’t decrease as their age increases. When it comes to the skin as well, age is just a number, and there are many factors that contribute to the skin’s condition and health.

FACTORS OF SKIN AGING

Skin is central to the experience of aging as it is the most visual and obvious sign of a person’s age. How your skin ages may be determined by both your genetics and environmental factors. Reduced physiological functioning of the skin occurs in middle age and the rate of skin aging is different for each person.

Many environmental factors contribute to skin aging and many can be controlled. Exposure to UV radiation (from the sun or indoor tanning beds), environmental pollution, and excess alcohol or tobacco abuse can all accelerate the aging of your skin. Increased body weight, which increases blood sugar levels, also can have a negative effect. Higher sugar levels may lead to a loss of elasticity in the skin due to destruction of collagen and elastin.

Overall it’s clear that chronological age is not the only determinant of how old you look. Environmental factors, personal lifestyle choices, dietary habits, and individual differences all have an impact on the appearance of the skin.

ANTI-AGING SKIN TREATMENTS

Some signs of aging can be reduced or eliminated with treatments performed by a dermatologist. It is important for anyone looking to have one of these treatments to remember that the aging process cannot be eliminated entirely. Expectations for an anti-aging treatment outcome should be a more youthful and energetic appearance not necessarily taking ten years off your face.

There are various nutritional supplements, topical treatments, and minimally invasive cosmetic treatments that be used to reduce the signs of aging or slow the aging process. Minimally invasive cosmetic treatments do not require downtime and since there is no surgery involved do not result in unsightly scars. There are fillers and other injectables like Botox, which reduces forehead wrinkles and can reduce other lines on the face, or Voluma, which fills in and reduces fine lines and wrinkles providing a smoother more even appearance to the skin.

Different treatments will be more or less effective depending on your unique situation so consulting an expert dermatologist is essential before making any decisions. You can schedule an appointment with one of Advanced Dermatology, P.C.’s board-certified dermatologists by visiting the link here: Contact Us. Advanced Dermatology, P.C. has 13 conveniently located offices in New York and New Jersey. Our offices are located and serve the surrounding areas of: Manhattan, Fresh Meadows, Bayside, Ossining, Briarcliff, Park Slope, Commack, East Setauket, Roslyn Heights, and West Islip in New York as well as Summit and Ridgewood, New Jersey.

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THE FACTS ON SKIN CANCER AND SUN PROTECTION

March 24th, 2014

There are a lot of myths surrounding sunscreen, tanning, and sun exposure that can lead to neglecting the health of your skin. Harmful UV rays from the sun or tanning beds cause skin damage that can lead to skin cancer. Proper protection and an understanding of how exposure to UV rays effects your body will help you keep your skin healthy.

SUNSCREEN

Many people will wait until they get to the beach to start applying sunscreen. But by the time you put it on you may have already been exposed to harmful UV rays. It’s much better to apply sunscreen at least half an hour before you’ll be in the sun. And when you get to the beach you have to reapply every two hours – no matter how much of a drag you think it is.

Sunscreens should protect from UVA and UVB or have what’s often called “broad-spectrum” protection. Some reports in the media led to a belief that sunscreens may be harmful or cause cancer but current research shows that sunscreens are safe and effective when used as directed.

TANNING

If you think that getting a base tan will protect you from the harmful effects of the sun, you’re wrong. Getting a base tan then sitting in the sun without sunscreen is essentially exposing your self to skin damage twice. There is no such thing as a “safe” tan whether you get it from sun exposure or a tanning salon and any tan is a sign of skin damage. Being born with darker skin may make you less likely to develop skin cancer than someone with fairer skin but the risk is still there. People with darker skin may even be less likely to notice skin cancer when it does arise as easily as those with light skin.

SUN EXPOSURE

If it’s a cloudy day you probably won’t think to put on sunscreen but up to 80% of harmful UV rays get through clouds and fog. This means it’s just as important to protect your skin on a cloudy day. Another common myth is that when it is sunny, exposing your skin will help you produce vitamin D. It only takes about 5 minutes of sun exposure though for maximum vitamin D production to be reached. After that, further sun exposure only risks breaking down vitamin D. Sun exposure can occur through glass like a car window as well. Although UVB rays are blocked, you can still be exposed to UVA rays and you can tan or burn.

With age, the risk of developing skin cancer does increase. This does not mean that because you are chronologically young that you don’t need to protect yourself. Damage from UV rays can be especially harmful during early years and can lead to development of skin cancer later in life. The harmful effects of sun damage may take time to show any symptoms. If the threat of skin cancer doesn’t compel you to wear sunscreen then consider the negative effects on the appearance of your skin such as wrinkles and premature aging.

SKIN CHECKS

Individuals with a low risk for skin cancer should get checked for skin cancer once a year. If you have a family history of skin cancer, if you’re fair skinned, or if you’ve had severe sunburns in your life, you should visit your dermatologist every six months. Early detection of skin cancer is crucial as removal at an early stage is easier and will help prevent potential spreading of the cancer. There are methods of removing non-melanoma skin cancer that are completely non-invasive and leave no scars, such as the SRT-100 technology used at the Skin Cancer Research Institute.

GET YOUR SKIN EXAM TODAY!

Schedule your appointment with one of the board-certified dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology, P.C. today. We have 13 conveniently located office locations in New York and New Jersey. Our offices are located in and serve the surrounding areas of: Manhattan, Fresh Meadows, Bayside, Ossining, Briarcliff, Park Slope, Commack, East Setauket, Roslyn Heights, and West Islip in New York as well as Summit and Ridgewood, New Jersey. To contact one of our offices CLICK HERE.

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UNDERSTANDING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN STRESS AND HIVES

March 21st, 2014

NY Dermatologist Joshua Fox, MD, Discusses Treatment Options for Acute and Chronic Hives

New studies currently underway may help pinpoint connections between chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives caused by an unknown source) and stress, good news for the majority of patients whose hives have no clear cause. Researchers are examining the connections between major life stressors and hives, post-traumatic stress disorder and hives, and the effect of hypnosis and relaxation techniques on hives. “When you stop to consider that the skin and nervous system develop from the same embryonic layer, it makes sense that stress can affect the skin,” said dermatologist Joshua Fox, M.D., medical director of Advanced Dermatology PC. “We already know, for example, that stress can promote hair loss and exacerbate skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.”

Hives are raised red or white welts that vary in size; appear anywhere on the body (including inside the mouth); cover all or parts of the body; cause itching, burning or stinging; while each individual hive does not last more than 24 hours, the condition can last from a few hours to six weeks (acute) or longer than six weeks (chronic). According to Dr. Fox, “they are rarely life threatening, requiring immediate medical attention, particularly when they cause swelling in the throat. Fortunately hives are typically treatable.”

In non-emergent situations, a dermatologist can work closely with a patient to determine if the hives are caused by food (milk, soy, eggs, nuts, shellfish and wheat are top culprits, along with additives and preservatives), medications (pain killers, antibiotics and blood pressure medications in particular), external stressors (exercise, water, sun exposure and extreme temperatures), and internal stressors (infection, illness and autoimmune disorders, liver disease, and allergic reaction to donor blood). Hives will sometimes disappear on their own without treatment, but when they don’t, dermatologists can help patients find the right medication or combination of medications to treat the condition.

Diagnosing Hives

A visual inspection is often all a dermatologist needs to diagnose hives; it’s pinpointing the cause of the hives that requires medical sleuthing. In addition to reviewing a patient’s health history and completing a physical, a dermatologist may conduct allergy tests (skin or blood), blood work (to rule out illness) and skin biopsies. Once the root cause is understood, treatment may begin and may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, or a combination of medications. Sometimes a dermatologist may also need the services of an allergist to scratch test the patient.

Treating Hives

Antihistamines work to control symptoms by blocking the body’s release of histamines in response to an allergen. There are newer (second generation) and older (first generation) antihistamines, prescription and over-the-counter, and sometimes a combination will give the patient the best results. Antihistamines don’t treat the cause, only the symptoms.

Second-generation antihistamines are usually attempted first, since they are typically as effective as first-generation antihistamines, and better tolerated as they generally cause minimal sedation or tiredness. Some examples are Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), Fexofenadine (Allegra), Cetirizine (Zyrtec), Levocetirizine (Xyzal) and Desloratadine (Clarinex).

First-generation antihistamines may be prescribed when non-sedating second-generation drugs don’t work. Because these drugs can cause drowsiness, and impair one’s ability, they are often taken before bedtime. Examples include Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton).

When antihistamines don’t relieve symptoms:

H-2 antagonists. Cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid) and famotidine (Pepcid AC) are sometimes used with antihistamines, but can cause side effects ranging from gastrointestinal problems to headache.

Corticosteroids. While topical corticosteroids are typically ineffective, oral corticosteroids such as prednisone can provide relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of severe hives by reducing swelling, redness and itching, but can’t be taken long term due because of the serious side effects they occasionally cause, such as weakening the immune system. Often the hives may return when stopping the corticosteroids.

Tricyclic antidepressants. Doxepin’s (Zonalon) antihistamine properties can relieve itching, but they also cause dizziness or drowsiness and other side effects.

When a physical or systemic cause is not evident, and indicators point to stress as a possible cause for hives, it’s still important to confer with a dermatologist. “Desperation may lead a patient to try anything and everything to cure hives,” said Dr. Fox, “but with guidance from a dermatologist, a patient can instead approach the process in a systematic fashion.”

Researchers are currently studying if hives can be lessened by hypnosis and other relaxation techniques; hypnosis has been shown to help patients suffering from psoriasis, warts and hair loss, and meditation, biofeedback and talk therapy have been shown to help psoriasis.

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