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A Dermatologist’s Guide to Eyelash Loss and Treatment

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Many may not think to turn to a dermatologist for hair loss, but this is an issue Dr. Myers can help address. Additionally, hair loss is not isolated to the follicles on a person’s head – eyelash thinning can be a traumatic experience and cause the individual to become self-conscious of their appearance.

From thyroid conditions to allergies and blepharitis (explained below), there are many varying reasons why your eyelashes may be thinning or falling out.

Some of the main causes of eyelash loss include:

  • Chemical Allergy to Mascara – This can actually be quite common. The chemicals used in popular mascaras can cause itchiness, swelling and watery eyes.
  • Blepharitis – Commonly known as inflation of the eyelids, this is one of the most common reasons for eyelashes falling out and is usually caused by infection, trauma or allergies.
  • Alopecia Areata – Also known as AA, this physical condition is where the immune system breaks down and attacks hair follicles on the body.
  • Thyroid Condition – There are two varying types of thyroid conditions and both can have a negative effect on your eyelashes. If you see dull, coarse or brittle eyelashes, seek the opinion of a doctor.
  • Trichotillomania Tangle – A psychological condition when someone knowingly or even unknowingly pulls out their eyelashes due to stress or tension.

Natural eyelash loss can also occur, so it is important to avoid panicking. Weak lashes usually fall out and are then quickly replaced with new, healthy lashes. As long as your eyelashes are steadily growing back, you have nothing to worry about.

No matter the cause of eyelash loss, we look at ways that everyone can improve their lashes, in length and in volume. In some cases, even if your eyelashes grow back steadily, people like to enhance their lashes using prescription treatments, such as Latisse. This is a product we carry and are able to provide a prescription.

If you are located in Charleston and are interested in eyelash treatments or have concerns about hair loss, make an appointment with us – we provide next day appointments with our dermatologist and specialists.


New FDA Rules on Sunscreen

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It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, especially when it comes to protecting your skin. That is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come up with new rules for sunscreen manufacturers and labelers to better protect consumers and their knowledge of the products they are using.

In 2011, the FDA announced significant changes to sunscreen products in order to help consumers make buying decisions and to help them use these products to protect themselves more efficiently. The measures being taken include the following:

    • Establishing standards for testing and effectiveness of sunscreen and requiring labels to accurately reflect test results
    • A regulation proposed limiting the maximum SPF value label to “SPF 50+”
    • A data request for safety and effectiveness information formulated in dosage forms (i.e., sprays)
    • A draft guidance for sunscreen manufacturers on how to test and label their products according to these new measures

On June 18, 2012, the final FDA regulations became effective that determined which products are allowed to say “Broad Spectrum” on their label. When doing so, the FDA didn’t want to commence a shortage of sunscreen available, so the compliance dates for testing and labeling were moved to December 17.

Products that pass the broad spectrum test provide UVB and UVA protection and will be properly labeled as such. Sunscreens that aren’t broad spectrum will be labeled with the following warning, “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.”

There will be water resistance claims on the front label stating either 40 minutes or 80 minutes based on how long the user will get the expected SPF level of sun protection while swimming or sweating. In addition, labels are no longer allowed to say “waterproof” and “sweatproof” or identified as a “sunblock.”

Finally, sunscreens aren’t allowed to claim instant protection upon application or that users are still being protected after two hours from application, unless they submit accurate data and it’s approved by the FDA.

With these new regulations being rolled out, you will be better informed as to which sunscreens suit your needs. Before buying any sunscreen, make sure you read the labels front and back to ensure you know what you are purchasing. Don’t forget that not all sunscreens are made equal, so choose wisely! And when in doubt, contact us and we can provide any information needed.

What do you think of the FDA’s stricter regulations?


The Basics of Acne, Prevention and Treatment

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Let’s face it, most of us get it, but no one wants it. That’s why we’re here – to share everything you need to know about acne and provide some best practices for how to treat it.

Let’s begin with the basics. The term ‘acne’ refers to plugged pores, pimples and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and even the upper arms. For most, acne begins in puberty but can still occur on adults up to their ‘50s.

Acne lesions are either inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Non-inflammatory includes open or closed comedones. Open comedones are known as whiteheads, and closed comedones are known as blackheads. Acne scarring occurs often and is most prominent in patients with inflammatory acne.

Acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans and is the most common skin disorder in the US. Nearly 80% of 11- to 30-year-olds are affected – mostly on the face, neck and back. By mid-teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne or acne scarring, which requires treatment from a dermatologist.

The causes of acne have been contemplated for years, but the most common known causes or triggers are emotional stress, menstruation, oil and grease from makeup or the environment, hereditary factors, and an increase in male hormones found in both meals and females. A common misnomer, chocolate and greasy foods have not actually been shown to cause acne.

The best way to care for acne is not to pick at it; this helps you avoid scars. If acne doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications, seek treatment early. General hygiene can also help with treatment, by washing affected areas twice a day with mild soap and water. Vigorous washing can irritate your skin and worsen your acne.

Also, shampooing your hair every day if it’s oily and using oil-free cosmetics and other products, such as sunscreen, will help prevent acne. Often, antibiotics that are taken orally are prescribed for acne. The antibiotic Isotretinoin is the only proven medication that safely and effectively controls the most serious form of the skin disease, known as severe cystic acne.

If you have mild acne and mild scarring, you are considered a good candidate for microdermabrasion, a process that scrapes away the surface to stimulate new cell growth. Also, new laser and light-based technologies have demonstrated that they improve mild to moderate acne after several sessions.

Lastly, professional treatment provides safe and effective treatments for acne scarring. Consulting with a dermatologist is recommended for everyone due to the fact that acne scars are unique and have complex characteristics. Determining an individualized treatment plan for you will lead to the most successful results.

 

Information from the American Academy of Dermatology.


Vitamin D and Sun Exposure

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Vitamin D is often overlooked as an important part of your skincare and overall health. There are a plethora of warnings against the sun and getting too much exposure, but many don’t realize that controlled amounts of sun exposure are essential to your health.

 Vitamin D

Fortunately, the sun isn’t the only way to get a proper daily dose of Vitamin D. According to Healthy Skin Care, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen. It exists in several forms, so you don’t have to sun bathe to get a proper intake. Calciferol is the most common form. Once it is ingested or produced, the kidneys and liver begin to convert it into an active form that the body can absorb.

However, you must pay close attention to your diet if you are planning on getting your Vitamin D intake from consumption. Items such as fish oil, salmon, halibut, soymilk and orange juice are high in Vitamin D. Yet the most efficient way to get your Vitamin D is through sun exposure.

The traditional way to get your daily dose of the healthy vitamin is by spending time in sunlight. This is the easiest way, yet one of the most dangerous if you don’t control the amount of sun exposure you are getting. Only ten minutes of sun exposure is enough to absorb healthy amounts of Vitamin D when you aren’t protecting your skin with sunscreen. Those with darker skin need a little bit more exposure to produce the same amount of Vitamin D, and fair skinned individuals need very little exposure. As always, don’t forget your sunscreen every day, especially if you are going to be in the sun for prolonged periods of time!

A major benefit of Vitamin D is in the treatment of psoriasis. It is used around the world to treat this skin problem because it plays a part in skin cell metabolism and growth, and because of this, it is also effective in treating itching or flaking. Effective Vitamin D creams are only available by prescription, so seeing a doctor is necessary in order to receive proper treatment.


Have a Skintastic Holiday with Derm Clinics Charleston!

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You are cordially invited to our Skintastic Open House on Tuesday, December 11 from 4:00-7:00 pm! Enjoy savories, sweets and wine – along with door prizes, raffles, and special savings and discounts!

We will have product gift baskets and gift certificates available for purchase. Also, Representatives from Neova and Palomar will be giving demonstrations and giveaways, so make sure you stop by!

Last but not least, we’re having a special one-night only promotion! Receive a Renaissance 2 Peel for only $100 and receive an Omnilux LED treatment for free! A package worth $260 for only $100 – that’s a steal!

We hope to see you out on Tuesday night! Bring your friends and family along!

Derm Clinics Skintastic Open House


Beat Wintery Dry Skin!

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The relatively calm winters we experience in the south may have you thinking there’s no need to take initiative when it comes to skincare, but here’s why you should; your skin is your body’s first line of defense against the elements. The hot sun in the summer isn’t the only element to watch for – the dry, wintery air can leave your skin parched, causing it to crack and peel, which can invite bacteria and infection.

Dry Winter Skin

With any temperature drop, humidity levels will decrease. Often leading to dry, itchy skin, this humidity fall is why you must prepare and treat your skin in the winter. Turning up your thermostat isn’t the answer – not only will it raise your electric bill, but indoor heating only zaps even more moisture from the air.

To prepare for this dryness, you can install a humidifier in your home to keep air moist.  Before venturing into the cold outdoors, create a block by applying moisturizer to your most sensitive areas – lips, face and hands – and wear a hat, scarf and gloves to keep you protected.

When it comes to cleansing, extreme rubs, exfoliators and drying soaps should be eliminated from your bathing routine. Instead, go for mild, fragrance-free soaps and moisturizers, and use your hands and soft washcloths that won’t abrade your skin. Using sensitive skin products is recommended, even for those with normal skin. Also, be sure to keep your showers at lukewarm temperatures and as speedy as possible.  Locking in moisture with rich lotions afterwards also helps your skin stay hydrated.

When picking a moisturizer, WebMD suggests looking for these ingredients on the label:

  • Ceramides soothe dry skin and mimic natural substances of the outer skin that keep moisture in.
  • Dimethicone and glycerin draw hydration to the skin and hold it there.
  • Lanolin, mineral oin, and petroleum jelly (Hello, Vaseline!) aid skin with holding on to water absorbed while bathing.
  • Hyaluronic acid also helps skin hold water.

 

For anyone experiencing extremely dry skin, according to the AAD this may be a warning sing of dermatitis. If you feel this might be your situation, seek a professional diagnosis (with us!) because it often gets worse without treatment.


Come Join us at Our Open House!

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We cannot tell you how excited we are to celebrate our grand opening in Charleston, SC, by inviting you and your friends to our Open House, this Saturday, November 17.

This will be a great opportunity for you to tour our new offices, enjoy some delicious refreshments, and even enter to win door prizes!  We will also be announcing the winner of our Beautiful Skin Giveaway. Read more


3 Foods That Can Help Improve Your Skin

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Everyone has their daily routine when it comes to skincare, but it’s always fun to experiment with new products and treatments – try these three natural skin enhancers and you’ll see improved skin from their beneficial ingredients.

(photo from divavillage.com)

Caviar

You better believe it – although this culinary luxury item causes many to cringe with just the thought of eating it, it proves itself right when it comes to skincare. And for anyone who doesn’t prefer its Read more


Should You Say Goodbye to Sugar?

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Everyone’s skin is impacted by the foods that they eat, and the foods that they DON’T eat. Sugar, often lamented for its role in obesity and diabetes, is one type of food that some doctors believe may possibly damage your skin when consumed in unhealthy amounts.

As you’ve probably heard before, too much sugar is bad for your general health. More specifically, it can increase the possibility of damage to your skin in several ways. According to the author of FeedYourSkin, StarveYour Wrinkles, Allison Tannis, most sweets contain sugar that target your collagen, Read more


Are You Cleansing The Wrong Way?

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Washing your face isn’t as black and white as you think. It takes thought and time to do it in a way that is beneficial for your skin. Choosing the right cleanser, taking the right steps, and stopping bad habits is important to this simple, yet overlooked process. The following steps and tips for cleansing your skin will set you in the right direction.

Sure, cleansing wipes are handy when you’re on the go, but they are not sufficient enough for a complete face cleansing. They don’t thoroughly clear out dirt, post-workout sweat or all of your makeup. Read more


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