Dermatology specialist Dr. Joshua Fox, medical director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C., discusses skin care tips for the winter in a recent article. According to Dr. Fox, “Winter weather can intensify the negative effects of UV exposure in several ways. First, snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, meaning the same sun rays can hit you twice. And second, snow and strong winds can erode sunscreen protection.” Click here to read more.
Our Doctors in the News
PRWEB.COM Newswire Roslyn Heights, NY (PRWEB) November 19, 2014
A shocking number of Americans have psoriasis and eczema–39 million adults and children–which is more than four times the population of New York City, the largest city in the US. According to dermatology specialists Dr. Joshua Fox and Dr. Robert Levine with Advanced Dermatology, PC, the seasonal change to cold, dry air creates difficulties for people dealing with these chronic skin disorders.
“It is important to manage symptoms,” says Dr. Fox, who has served on the board of the National Psoriasis Foundation. “Psoriasis and eczema can be painful. They can make everyday actions uncomfortable for adults and children, men and women, and they carry a stigma that can lead to a loss of self-esteem, depression, and other health complications.”
Psoriasis appears on the skin as red or white, scaly patches that often itch and bleed. The patches can also look scaly or silvery in color. Nails can become yellow, ridged and separate from the nail bed. Up to 30 percent of people with the disease develop psoriatic arthritis, and recent studies indicate that patients with moderate to severe disease are also at increased risk for other associated health conditions, including heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and hypertension.
Eczema, a hypersensitivity disease, inflames the skin, causing pain, itching, dryness, swelling, cracking, weeping and scaling. Eczema lesions can bubble, ooze, and crust over if scratched. Skin infections can occur if bacteria invade the skin lesions.
“Once patients understand their psoriasis or eczema is not contagious, they seem to be relieved,” says Dr. Fox. “They are comforted to know there is help for their symptoms.”
Psoraisis is an autoimmune disease apparently cause by an overactive immune system that overproduces skin cells. Eczema, on the other hand, is caused by a deficient immune system in which an imbalance of skin proteins creates skin sensitivities. “This is a significant distinction because it informs treatment,” explains Dr. Fox. “A dermatologist will diagnose the condition and provide the most effective care for individual patients.”
- Topical creams, such as corticosteroids, calcipotriene, anthralin, salicylic acid, and coal tars, to reduce inflammation and dissolve skin lesions
- Laser therapy with ultraviolet (UVB) light
- Systemic medications taken orally or by injection that suppress or control the immune system
- Topical creams, such as corticosteroids (severe) and hydrocortisones (mild), to reduce inflammation
- Immunomodulator creams that control inflammation and immune system reactions
- Systemic pills that suppress the immune system
- Prescription strength moisturizers that restore the skin barrier
- Oral antihistamines to relieve inflammation
- Diluted bleach baths and antibiotics to treat infection
Dr. Fox’s and Dr. Levine’s tips for managing psoriasis and eczema throughout the winter
- Moisturize. Use a non-irritating, fragrance-free moisturizer. Thick ointments are best for locking in moisture and repairing the skin barrier.
- Limit bathing. Take warm (not hot) baths not more than once per day. Pat the skin dry with a towel (do not rub) and apply moisturizer immediately following.
- Choose a mild, non-irritating soap. Use sparingly.
- Use a humidifier indoors. The ideal range is 45-55 percent humidity.
- Wear loose, soft clothing. Choose cotton over wool, denim, or other harsh fabrics. Wear gloves and scarfs outside to protect exposed skin.
- Avoid sweating. Sweat can trigger flare-ups. Wear wicking fabrics and change out of damp or snowy clothes as soon as possible.
- Keep fingernails short. This decreases the likelihood that scratching will tear the skin and lead to infection.
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of water.
- Reduce stress. While this is easier said than done during the busy holidays, stress can trigger flares.
- Identify and eliminate possible triggers. Some common triggers include wool, soaps, fragrance, pet fur, cosmetics, and household cleaners. Some patients have found relief by altering their diets.
Dr. Levine counsels that people with either psoriasis or eczema should consult their dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss the pros and cons of different treatments options.
(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Roslyn Heights, NY, October 15, 2014 – Summer can be rough on skin, says Joshua Fox, MD, medical director of Advanced Dermatology P.C. Beyond the dangers associated with sunburn, a recent report in JAMA Dermatology found bikini waxes and shaving can increase the risk of contracting a contagious and unsightly skin rash known as molluscum contagiosum. In warm months, 61 percent of women remove hair from the bikini line at least once per week.
“Healthy skin acts as a barrier against infection,” explains Dr. Fox. “While waxing and shaving with a razor blade are normally considered safe procedures to remove body hair, they can cause deficits to the membrane barrier of the skin, allowing viruses or bacteria to enter the body more easily.” Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that causes small, fleshy-colored, raised bumps, often with a whitish center, to appear. It is spread through skin-to-skin contact or by touching a wet surface contaminated with the virus.
“It is one of the most common skin conditions we see in the summer,” Dr. Fox says. “Molluscum is a virus that loves warm, wet places and is spread easily.” He adds, “Until recently, molluscum was seen primarily in young children at swimming pools, where it earned the nickname ‘water warts,’ but it is on the rise among adult populations. Adults can also contract the virus through sexual contact.”
Molluscum is found worldwide, affecting 2 to 10 percent of children annually. It is common for the virus to spread among family members, with 35 percent of children having a positive family contact.
Tips to avoid molluscum contagiosum
According to Dr. Fox, good hygiene is the best way to avoid getting molluscum. Never pick or scratch bumps or rashes on the skin. In addition,
- Wash hands frequently
- Never share towels
- Avoid swimming, skin-to-skin, or sexual contact immediately after waxing or shaving to allow skin to heal
- If waxing, use new or sterile equipment and do not re-use wax applicators during the treatment
- Avoid sharing boogie boards, surf boards, and kick boards
- Clean or sanitize swim and athletic equipment before and after use
- Bathe thoroughly before and after swimming or other sports
Signs, symptoms and treatment
The rash usually appears on the torso, buttocks, lower belly, or thighs about 7 weeks after exposure to the virus. In adults, the rash can also appear on the genitals and armpits.
Sometimes individual molluscum disappear in about 2-3 months, however, new growths tend to appear as old ones are going away. If not properly treated, advises Dr. Fox, “molluscum can spread and the virus can take years to resolve on its own. There are steps you and your doctor can take to stop it from spreading or causing discomfort or anxiety.”
- Keep areas with growths clean
- Cover with clean clothing or watertight bandages before participating in sports or contact with others
- Do not pick at lesions with fingernails
- Do not shave or do electrolysis over areas that have bumps
- Dress in loose cotton clothing to reduce irritation
- Moisturize dry skin with hypoallergenic moisturizers
Dermatologists use treatments to help the growths disappear more quickly, such as:
- Removal by freezing (cryotherapy) or scraping off with a sharp instrument (curettage).
- Applying a topical agent or cream to dissolve the growth such as blister beetle juice with Cantharidin, potassium hydricide, retinoic acid or Aldera.
Treatment works best when started early. Your doctor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages, (e.g. risk of bleeding), of treatment for you or your child. “Pools, sports and your normal beauty routines can sometimes leave you with more than you bargained for,” cautions Dr. Fox. “Failure to treat can lead to further infection and scarring. There is no point in suffering in silence when treatment is so readily available.”
Medical Spa Report: September 2014
Offering minimal discomfort and downtime, non-invasive cosmetic treatments have increased by more than 13 percent in 2013 with 9.5 million procedures, according to a report by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Laser treatments are among the more popular non-invasive procedures available at medical spas today. “Laser technology is evolving to address a number of issues in a safe and effective fashion,” says Whitney Bowe, M.D., assistant medical director for cosmetic and laser services at Advanced Dermatology, P.C. (Ossining, NY). “The lasers we use are able to achieve dramatic results with relatively little downtime, which is something that resonates with the modern cosmetic patient.” Here are some of the most common hair and skin issues addressed by lasers, as well as a look at the ideal lasers for treatment:
Laser treatments can help clear acne, and there are several different types of lasers available today that can do the job, such as diode, infrared, and intense pulsed light (IPL) lasers. Isolaz, from Solta Medical, combines a gentle vacuum with IPL to help fight the root causes of acne and reveal a more radiant appearance. The painless laser helps to destroy acne-causing bacteria, while the vacuum clears pores of blackheads, oil, and debris. Blemishes, including those caused by broken blood vessels or age spots, can be treated by lasers that target the offending tissue and spare the normal surrounding skin, according to Susan Stuart, M.D., founder and medical director at La Jolla Dermatology (CA). Alma Lasers HarmonyXL’s Advanced Fluorescence Technology (AFT) laser handpiece, for example, helps clear blemishes using intense blue wavelengths to rapidly destroy acne-causing bacteria without damaging the surrounding tissue.
When it comes to fine lines and wrinkles, lasers can help restore a more youthful appearance by creating tiny micro-wounds in the skin that trigger collagen formation. Fraxel is a non-invasive laser treatment that stimulates collagen production and diminishes the visible effects of aging. Essentially, the outer layers of damaged skin are eliminated, and as new cells form, smoother, younger-looking skin appears. Pixel by Alma Lasers is a resurfacing laser that targets small areas to help tighten and smooth out the surface of the skin with little-to-no downtime. According to Bowe, Fraxel is recommended for treatment of fine lines, while Pixel is more effective in treating deep lines and wrinkles, though they both work similarly. “These lasers basically create a tic-tac-toe board on the skin, producing heat damage that creates collagen and in turn repairs wounds and tightens fine lines,” she says.
From dark spots, sun spots, and age spots to uneven pigmentation, there are several skin resurfacing issues that can be treated with lasers. The Fraxel Dual 1550/1927 is an effective skin resurfacing device to treat acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and skin discoloration, as it creates micro-wounds in the superficial layers of skin to reveal healthy glowing skin underneath, according to Bowe. “Brown spots turn into coffee ground-like material that gently exfoliates off the skin in the following week, and pore size also decreases,” she says. Also an efficient option, CO2RE by Syneron-Candela is a fractional CO2 laser resurfacing device that targets and effectively treats the skin’s surface, middle, and deep dermal levels to help remove sun damage, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, and uneven skintone.
Lasers can also be a useful form of treatment for trouble spots on the body, such as cellulite. Allure Medical Spa (multiple locations in Michigan) uses a radiofrequency device called Exilis, from BTL Aesthetics, in combination with Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT) for non-surgical cellulite treatments. Exilis is a non-invasive laser treatment that helps to reshape the body by reducing fat, improving skintone and elasticity, and reducing the appearance of cellulite. It can be used on the breasts, abdomen, face, jowls, neckline, arms, thighs, hips, buttocks, and knees. AWT involves tightening the skin with intense pressure pulses that target fibrous bands of connective tissue that cause the cellulite. Applying pressure waves to the connective tissue can help reduce cellulite by increasing circulation, collagen production, and tissue elasticity. For surgical treatment of cellulite, Allure Medical Spa uses Cellulaze from Cynosure, which is similar to liposuction, and works by breaking up cellulite dimples and tightening the skin. “The Cellulaze laser directly contacts the loose tissue as well as the tiny bands that cause dimpling for more noticeable results and has a built-in heat sensor so it can’t get too hot and burn the tissues,” says Charles Mok, D.O., owner of Allure Medical Spa. “It also monitors movement to ensure the treatment is even.”
Unfortunately, according to Bowe, there aren’t treatment options for every type of scar. She recommends that clients schedule a consultation to see whether the scar of concern is amenable to laser treatment. For certain types of acne scarring, for example, the Fraxel Dual 1550/1927 can be helpful, as it targets acne scars and signs of aging with microscopic laser columns that help resurface the skin by stimulating the growth of new, healthy skin cells from the inside out. Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing devices, such as CO2RE, TotalFX, and Matrix CO2, can also be effective forms of treatment. The TotalFX fractional CO2 laser device helps reduce deep wrinkles, acne scarring, and sun spots by tightening skin, stimulating collagen, and fading skin discoloration. Matrix CO2 also helps treat skin issues, such as acne scarring, by stimulating the skin’s own collagen, increasing elasticity, and creating a smoother and tighter texture. For surgical or new scars, Fraxel and the pulsed-dye VBeam Perfecta by Syneron-Candela laser are both popular devices. VBeam is a non-invasive laser treatment that involves intense, yet gentle, bursts of light that destroy the blood vessels being treated. “It targets red blood cells, so it reduces redness and remodels the scar to help it smooth and even out faster,” says Bowe.
Unwanted hair on the face and body can be both an embarrassing and frustrating issue for many clients. That makes laser treatment desirable, as it can help eliminate the need to wax, shave, or bleach unwanted hair. “Sugaring, waxing, threading, or plucking only provide a short-lived, temporary fix for hair growth,” says Andréa Young, owner of Beam Laser Spa (New York City). “They are not permanent and often further irritate the skin by causing painful ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal provides a drastic reduction in hair growth over the course of several treatments.” GentleLase Pro-U and GentleMax Pro, both by Syneron-Candela, can be used to target the root of the hair and create heat damage that kills off hair that is in the growing stage. Other popular hair removal lasers include the Cynosure Apogee Elite System, the Lumenis LightSheer Diode Laser System, and the InMode Aesthetic Solutions Diolaze. Because each hair strand grows at different cycles—some hair is in a resting stage during the treatment—multiple visits might be needed about every six weeks for the best hair-removal results. “The light emitted by the lasers penetrates the skin and settles in the follicle, and the follicle absorbs the light energy as heat,” says Young. “Over time, the absorption of heat from the laser kills the majority of the follicles, and the follicles that are not killed get significantly weaker, providing much finer and slower growth.”
According to Francesca Dubsky, director of marketing at HairMax, there are four types of hair loss: telogen effluvium, anagen effluvium, traction alopecia, and androgenic alopecia. Telogen effluvium hair loss can occur after pregnancy, major surgery, drastic weight loss, extreme stress, and physical and emotional shock. Anagen effluvium hair loss results from damage to the hair follicle and is commonly associated with chemotherapy or as a side effect to certain medications. Traction alopecia is a condition caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles from tight hairstyles. Androgenic alopecia is male- or female-pattern baldness—the most common cause of hair loss. No matter the reason for the hair loss, more and more clients are seeking solutions and ways to regrow their hair, and lasers can be part of the solution. The HairMax LaserComb is a low-level laser device, which utilizes visible light in the red spectrum that has been clinically proven to stimulate hair growth. The LaserComb works by a process called photo bio-stimulation and delivers a safe, nourishing laser light directly to the scalp, infusing hair follicles with energy to treat hair loss and grow denser, fuller hair. Designed to treat thinning hair and hair loss in men, iGrow by Apira Science is another popular hair growth device. This portable in-home hair growth system incorporates a dual light laser and LED light diodes to stimulate and energize cellular activity to help reverse thinning hair and hair loss and grow new healthy hair.
As laser treatments become even more popular among clients, it is imperative that medical spas implement proper education and safety procedures to ensure both the patient and laser operator are safe from harm. “The main safety concern with lasers is making sure the people using them are properly trained and licensed to avoid burns and scars,” says Stuart. “There is no substitute for education and training, especially when it comes to your body.” Some safety precautions include discussing medical history with the patient, performing a laser patch test to make sure the patient does not have a bad reaction before going forward with a procedure, and using protective gear such as eye shields. “Lasers are only as safe as the person who is doing the procedure,” says Bowe. “Almost any laser can cause burns, discoloration, or scars if not done properly. I always personally evaluate every patient and choose the settings myself. Sadly, I frequently treat laser complications from procedures done by people who were not well qualified.”
Fortunately, evolving technology is making lasers increasingly safe. “The newest trends in lasers are those which are non-ablative or do not damage the overlying skin and just target the damaged tissue,” says Stuart. “With new technology, these lasers are being designed to be more effective and safer than ever before.”
(via American Spa)
Dermatology specialist Dr. Joshua Fox with Advanced Dermatology PC offers tips on easy skin maintenance for men
According to Dr. Joshua Fox with Advanced Dermatology PC, a lot of men don’t properly prepare their face to be shaved or do what’s needed to keep razor burn and bumps at bay. But a little extra effort can restore the ‘rugged’ while banishing the ‘rough’.
New York, NY (PRWEB) September 02, 2014
The days when skin care was just for women are long gone. But even though men shave daily – and commit common mistakes that can contribute to an unhealthy appearance – rough and irritated skin isn’t inevitable, according to Joshua Fox, MD, medical director of Advanced Dermatology P.C.
For decades, skin care was something in which only women seemed interested. But recent years have witnessed a surge in men of all ages who realize that their fathers’ bare-bones routine of nicking their faces with razors and splashing on stinging aftershave just doesn’t cut it anymore, says Dr. Fox, who is board-certified in dermatology.
“A lot of men don’t properly prepare their face to be shaved or do what’s needed to keep razor burn and bumps at bay,” he explains. “They may use a dull razor blade or shave with only a meager layer of foam or gel. But a little extra effort can restore the ‘rugged’ while banishing the ‘rough.’”
First steps toward handsome, healthy skin for men
A close, smooth shave actually starts well before the task begins – ideally in the shower, where a steam-rich environment opens pores and softens stubble, Dr. Fox says.
A worthwhile step for men – one that women discovered long ago – is using an exfoliating-rich scrub on their faces before shaving. Exfoliation frees ingrown hairs and gets rid of dead skin cells that might otherwise hinder facial cleanser or soap from reaching the skin layers below, Dr. Fox notes.
“It’s better to use a soap specifically labeled as a “facial cleanser” rather than standard-issue soap, since it does a better job of moisturizing and keeping skin damage leading to premature wrinkling at bay,” he says.
After washing your face (whether in the shower or sink), don’t towel-dry. Instead, leave it damp and apply a liberal amount of gel or foam, massaging it into your skin. With a high-quality razor, shave the flatter parts of your face (sides and sideburns) first, moving to the upper lip, chin and ear area afterward. By leaving difficult-to-shave areas until last, you allow the shaving product plenty of time to soften the stubble on these parts, Dr. Fox says.
Can’t-fail extra efforts and tips for smoother skin
The after-shave your dad used likely contained alcohol, which causes stinging, burning and redness. But today, alcohol-free after-shaves are designed to soothe and moisturize the skin – exactly what’s needed after exfoliating and shaving, Dr. Fox says.
Speaking of moisturizing, that’s another area where men can take a skincare lesson from the ladies, he notes.
“Shaving and exfoliating both strip good oils away as well as dead skin cells, so hydrating the skin afterward is important,” he says. “Even better, look for a moisturizer with sun protection built right in.”
“After all, women aren’t the only ones who want to keep wrinkles to a minimum for as long as possible,” Dr. Fox adds. “A healthy skin care regimen is just as important for men as it is women, and it only takes a little time and care for men to make sure their skin remains in tip-top condition.”