LASERS IMPROVE COMPLEXIONS – TREATING BROKEN BLOOD VESSELS AND REDNESS: Leading dermatologist discusses how lasers restore skin’s natural beauty and reduce signs of aging.

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New York, NY, July 2008 – The face has an extensive network of fine red veins and tiny blood vessels called capillaries that are commonly located on the nose, cheeks or chin.  By age 30, many people begin to notice that these capillaries can break and become unsightly tiny, spidery blood vessels,  red streaks or blotches on the face. Laser therapy can eliminate damaged veins and capillaries by removing virtually all traces of these unsightly blood vessels.

“Laser treatment successfully treats and removes broken facial blood vessels safely, easily and effectively with excellent long term results,” says Joshua Fox, MD, founder of Advanced Dermatology and a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology. “Millions of people are affected by facial capillaries that break and they want to get rid of these unattractive and embarrassing distractions to their natural beauty.” Many people consider red blotches on their face or nose to be suggestive use of alcohol intake. Thereby falsely labeling people who have these red lesions.

What causes broken facial blood vessels and redness?

Common causes for broken facial veins and redness include: aging, prolonged sun exposure, pregnancy, childbirth, oral contraceptives, estrogen replacement therapy and heredity. Diffuse redness is a result of dilated capillaries — the appearance is more general redness then well-defined blood vessels. Diffuse redness is often associated with rosacea — a treatable skin condition characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, or visible blood vessels, bumps or pimples on the face. More women have rosacea then men and it often affects fair-skinned people especially those from Celtic or Northern European extraction. The National Rosacea Society estimates that there are 14 million people with rosacea nationwide.

How lasers treat facial veins and redness

Dr. Fox notes that visible broken facial blood vessels are removed with a laser using light absorbed by the blood that destroys the vessel. After some time, the vessel disappears restoring the skin’s natural appearance. Lasers allow for quick treatment of broken blood vessels without any damage to the surrounding skin. The laser gently penetrates the skin without affecting the outer layers, meaning there’s a much shorter healing time or none at all.

Lasers are safe and effective — they can be tailored to an individual condition and skin type. Some patients say that the sensation of a laser treatment is akin to the snapping of a small rubber band against the skin. Some people choose to have a topical anesthesia or ice applied to the area of the face being treated.

Each treatment usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes.  Small veins/capillaries may require a single treatment for repair. Veins that are larger or darker may require multiple treatments for improvement and not reach full repair.   Treatments are spaced at 4-to-6 week intervals.

“Lasers offer natural looking improvement for successfully treating broken blood vessels and redness without injuring the surrounding healthy facial skin,” says Dr. Fox. “Patients can immediately return to normal activities but they must apply sunscreen on the treated area.” A side benefit of the laser is it seems to stimulate collagen and give the face more of a “glow” appearance.

What to Expect At The Consultation for Facial Vein Laser Treatment

The experts in skin care and related laser treatments are board-certified dermatologists — surgeons who have received extensive education, training and passed a certifying examination given by the American Board of Dermatology. Some are members of laser society like the American society of Laser Surgery.  Dr. Fox says that using lasers to treat facial broken blood vessels and redness is a safe and fairly simple treatment. He advises that patients need to discuss with their dermatologist expectations and projected outcomes based on their specific skin problem. During the initial consultation, patients can ask the physician to share before and after photos of patients who had a similar condition and treatment.

The dermatologist will need to know how long a patient has had problems with facial veins and if they have had any prior skin treatments on their face. The physician will take a patient’s complete medical history — including asking about any medical problems or if they are taking any medications. Certain systematic diseases like Lupus Erythematosis need to be ruled out.

Tips For Protecting Your Skin

As most of us age, we begin to see signs of skin damage caused by the sun appearing in our complexion.

The best way to protect your skin is by avoiding prolonged sun exposure and use sunscreen with an SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection or higher on a daily basis. “You are lowering your possibility of developing skin cancer and reducing the suns premature aging process by applying sunscreen protection daily and not just when you are at the beach or pool,” says Dr. Fox. Dr. Fox advises that there is not such thing as a healthy tan — a tan is the skin’s response to the sun’s damaging rays. Also, the UV radiation emitted by indoor tanning lamps is many times more intense than natural sunlight. Dangers include burns, premature aging of the skin, and the increased risk of skin cancer. The next best protection from the sun is a high SPF rating that does not come off with sweaty or vigorous exercise and protective gear like a sunshade.

IT’S WRITTEN ALL OVER YOUR FACE

IT’S WRITTEN ALL OVER YOUR FACE:

Leading dermatologist explains how stress can wreak havoc on your skin

New York, NY, July 2008 – Stressed out? You might find yourself pigging out on sugary snacks, snapping at your kids or lying awake half the night. And it will show on your skin because stress can lead to skin problems, as well. “We know that stress can have a dramatic effect on the immune system,” says Joshua Fox, MD, founder of Advanced Dermatology and a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology. “And quite often, that can create immune-related responses in the skin.”

Everyone faces stress, and we’re all familiar with the theory of “fight or flight,” which explains how our ancestors were able to survive the life-and-death stresses that they encountered. The stress response puts your whole body into high gear, boosting the systems that would help you face a physical threat and suppressing functions that aren’t essential at the moment (this includes the immune system). Once the crisis has passed, everything goes back to normal.

Unfortunately, the psychological “threats” that most of us face today are ongoing, meaning they trigger a never-ending stress response. The body gets stuck in fight-or-flight mode — and all those systems that were temporarily suppressed can stay that way. “In today’s world, the physiological changes that are part of the stress response get misrouted,” Dr. Fox explains. “Instead of helping you attack or run away, they’re triggering inflammatory, autoimmune or allergic reactions.”

Studies have shown that psychological stress can create problems such as acne, hair loss, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. For example, a study of college students showed that acne got markedly worse at exam time. Other studies show that stress leaves skin open to infection. “Stress seems to disrupt the skin’s antimicrobial barrier and reduce the production of chemicals necessary for the synthesis of fats,” Dr. Fox explains. “That means stressed-out skin loses its ability to defend and rebuild itself.”

If you think stress might be causing problems in your skin, see your dermatologist. And consider stress-relieving tactics, which have been shown to help alleviate some skin problems. “We don’t fully understand the biological mechanisms that might be involved, but we know that relaxation does improve your outlook and helps you do things — like eating healthier food, sleeping better and getting more exercise — that improve the health of your skin,” Dr. Fox says.

Here are a few to try:

Meditation. Research shows that psoriasis patients who listened to meditation tapes while receiving ultraviolet light treatments healed much faster than patients who did not use the tapes.

Biofeedback. In one published study, a 56-year-old woman who had suffered from severe psoriasis for several years (and had no luck with standard medical treatments) was cured after 13 weeks of biofeedback therapy.

Hypnosis. One study found that psoriasis patients who were susceptible to hypnosis treatments improved more than patients who resisted hypnosis. Hypnosis has also helped get rid of warts and cure hair loss (in one study, 57 percent of patients had total or partial hair regrowth after undergoing hypnosis).

Talk therapy. It’s been estimated that as many as 60 percent of people who seek treatment for skin problems also have emotional issues, and we know that anger, depression and anxiety all affect the immune system. “Being aware of what’s stressing you can help your overall health — and your skin,” Dr. Fox says.

DEBUNKING THE HARSH MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SOAP: Leading dermatologist reveals the benefits of using the right soaps the right way for each skin type.

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Advanced Dermatology, July 2008 – When it comes to skin care, soap has developed a harsh reputation as drying, unsanitary, irritating and filled with moisture-stripping, pore-clogging detergents and fragrances. Yet, many of today’s soaps are actually superior to other cleansers and washes when it comes to gentle, effective skin care. The key, experts say, is to choose the right soaps for your particular skin type and purpose, and to use them as needed.

“Cleansing bars are becoming more popular today,” says Joshua Fox, MD, founder of Advanced Dermatology and a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology. “From clearing acne-prone skin to moisturizing dry skin, certain components in soap can make these bars very effective,” he explains.

All soaps are not created equal

Dr. Fox recommends using the following types of soap for a variety of skin types and body parts:

  1. FOR OILY OR ACNE-PRONE SKIN, choose soaps with salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid that sloughs off pore-clogging dead skin cells, or benzoyl peroxide, which dries up pimples. “These ingredients are most often used on the face, but can be used on other body parts that are prone to oiliness or breakouts, such as the jaw, chest and back,” Dr. Fox points out.
  2. FOR DRY SKIN, mild “superfatted” soaps with moisturizing ingredients work best to avoid stripping the skin of its natural moisture and oils, particularly on the face. “Soaps with ingredients such as shea butter, glycerin and Vitamin E can add moisture during the cleansing process, allowing for the use of a lighter, oil-free moisturizer to avoid clogging pores,” Dr. Fox notes.
  3. FOR SENSITIVE SKIN, Dr. Fox recommends looking for a soap that is hypoallergenic, which indicates that there are fewer ingredients shown to spur allergic skin reactions. In addition, one should use only luke warm water, avoiding too much lather, scrubbing and rinsing well to avoid irritating sensitive skin.
  4. FOR NORMAL SKIN, a variety of botanicals and organic soaps are available on the market to address any temporary or fluctuating needs. Try soothing lavender when skin feels irritated, or organic oatmeal soap for itching and light exfoliating. “Those with normal skin should also take note of subtle changes in the skin; if it becomes a bit oily or dry, switch to soaps that address those conditions, and switch back when skin normalizes again,” Dr. Fox advises.
  5. FOR IRRITATED OR WEATHERED SKIN that has been overexposed to sun or wind, Dr. Fox points out that dry-skin soaps with moisturizing agents like shea butter or cocoa butter can work well. In addition, soaps with aloe vera and other cooling agents can soothe chapped or burned skin.
  6. BODY SOAPS can differ from those used on the face if the skin’s condition varies as well. “If your skin is dry everywhere, however, then it’s important to use moisturizing soap on the entire body – the same holds true for oily skin,” Dr. Fox says. Deodorant soaps can be used on skin sections that are most prone to producing odor, but they may be harsh and should be avoided on the face and neck. “There’s a difference between scented soap and deodorant soap,” Dr. Fox points out. “There are many soaps with herbal or natural fragrances and scents that do not contain deodorizing agents, and these can be easier on sensitive areas of the body.”
  7. FOR HANDS, Dr. Fox points out that antibacterial soaps are not necessary – and may actually be harmful. “The chemicals that provide an antibacterial effect can be harsh and drying, and medical research into whether overuses of these products seem to make us more prone to resistant bacteria is ongoing,” he points out. Instead, lathering with a mild antibacterial bar soap for approximately 30 seconds, followed by a warm water rinse, is sufficient to sanitize the hands. Storing a bar of soap in a slotted dish while basically safe can promote bacterial overgrowth in comparison to a soap pump. In a Triclosan review of soaps, 48% of soaps even when not listed as antibacterial had the antibacterial Triclosan in them. Most studies did not reveal a decrease in the bacterial count after use of an antibacterial soap.

The last word on lathering up

In addition to using the right soap for your skin type, using soap the right way can ensure skin looks and feels healthy. “Sometimes our soap habits can be more of a culprit in drying or irritating the skin than the soap itself,” he says. “Soap should be used only once daily on the body and twice on the face, with just enough lathering to clean the skin surface and without excessive rubbing or sloughing,” he advises. “Rinsing twice with lukewarm rather than hot water will remove more of the soap and the dirt, and reduce the amount of moisture stripped from the skin’s surface,” Dr. Fox concludes.