Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stressing Stress Relief

More than ever before, life is stressing us out!

You may be familiar with the common effects of stress such as poor sleep or insomnia, headaches and even heart attacks, but from a dermatological aspect, stress can greatly affect your skin, hair and nails, too.

It’s normal to lose hair as part of its life cycle, but stress can significantly increase hair loss. You can lose up to ½ to ¾ of your hair, which may not fall out until three months after the stressful event. It takes a while to affect your hair, but will take an additional six to nine months to grow back!

Stress also can affect your skin by aggravating pre-existing conditions such as psoriasis, acne and rosacea. It also dehydrates your skin, which lowers the skin’s ability to repair itself.

When you’re tense, cortisol levels in your body shoot up, causing an increase in oil production and possible acne flare-ups. Worse yet, higher cortisol levels have been shown to advance the growth of harmful melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

To help fight against stress-causing acne, I prescribe to my patients topical treatment that they can apply to troubled spots to help decrease flare-ups and speed up recovery. I find that when patients feel more in control about handling stress, their stress levels actually decrease.

Brittle, broken nails are another result of stress. Stress not only weakens nail beds but also may form habits such as rubbing or biting nails, which also damage or destroy your beautiful digits.

To lower your stress, figure out what is the source of your stress so you are better equipped to handle it the next time.

You can also decrease the negative effects of stress when you exercise more, lower the temperature on your showers or baths, use detergent-free soaps and sunscreen, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

For more information or for treatment options to help lower the side effects of stress, call (864) 242-5872 today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is Your Diet Affecting Your Skin?

Your diet is helping slim your waistline and keep you staying healthy, but if you’re not careful, you could be depriving your body of essential vitamins and antioxidants that keep your skin glowing. Read on to see if your diet passes the test!

Mediterranean Diet
This diet emphasizes fish, leafy greens, olive oil, fruit and red wine, all of which are heart-healthy options that may also protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Eating fish helps skin keep its elasticity, while leafy greens such as spinach and olive oil protect against UV damage.

Doctor’s Orders: Red wine contains an antioxidant that your skin loves, but drinking too much can leave your skin dry.

Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
Fresh produce and whole grains contain an abundance of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that are known to cause aging. Plant-based protein sources such as beans not only contain pimple-fighting zinc but also decrease inflammation that causes redness and premature wrinkles.

Doctor’s Orders: This diet is typically low in fat, but including ground flaxseeds and olive and safflower oils helps your skin stay hydrated.

High Protein, Low Carb Diet
Minimizing your intake of bread and pasta can decrease the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn may reduce breakouts. Whole grains, fresh produce and lean meats provide you with antioxidants and collagen-building protein.

Doctor’s Orders: It’s important to limit your intake of red meat because animal fat can increase free radicals that age your skin.

Low Fat Diet
Vegetable oils contain linoleic acid, which strengthens the skin barrier that keeps moisture in and irritants out.

Doctor’s Orders: Cutting back on animal fat keeps free radicals in check, but your skin needs fat because it helps absorb antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins as well as strengthen your skin cells. Focus on unsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts and foods rich in omega-3.

High Carb Diet
Carbohydrates that act like fiber keep you feeling full, which help you resist snacks with high fat and sugar counts that produce oil and clog pores.

Doctor’s Orders: Be sure you are getting enough lean protein and fresh produce that arm your skin with antioxidants and skin-strengthening fats.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The 411 on Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a very popular cosmetic facial service due to the quick procedure is quick and little to no downtime. At Greenville Dermatology we offer two types, glycolic and TCA peels.

Glycolic peels involve applying alpha- and beta-hydroxy peeling agents in tailored concentrations for two to five minutes. The chemicals slough away dead skin cells and penetrate the upper layers of the dermis to smooth away fine lines, improve complexion and dry out an acne flare-up.

These peels also strengthen the effectiveness of other skincare products because the peel eliminates a layer of skin allowing the product to penetrate deeper.

The only effects patients will experience from a glycolic peel are mild redness or irritation.

Another type of chemical peel that is available at our practice is a TCA peel. TCA, which stands for trichloroacetic acid, is a deeper peel that reduces fine lines, smoothes skin’s texture and improves effects of sun damage.

TCA is often used in higher concentrations instead of laser resurfacing to diminish acne scarring, soften wrinkles and remove the surface layer of dead skin cells to reveal radiant skin.

In low concentrations, TCA peels require no downtime. The higher concentration peels may require one to two weeks of downtime to allow the skin to heal.

Chemical peels are a great way to improve complexion and give your skin back that healthy glow, but it is important to remember the increased risk of sun damage. After a chemical peel, using sun protection when you step outside is essential.

For more information about chemical peels or other cosmetic procedures, or to schedule an appointment, call (864) 242-5872. You’re just a phone call away from radiant, youthful skin!