Sunday, December 6, 2009
Most acne sufferers should be relieved to learn that Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is not scarring. Given a little time, PID should eventually fade, even without treatment. Note that it can take three to 24 months for PIH to fully fade, however it may take longer in a few cases. The actual length of time it takes for PIH to fade depends on how dark the PIH macule is compared to your skin tone. (The bigger the contrast between the macule and your natural skin tone, the longer it will take to fade.)
Although there are treatment options available to help fade post inflammatory hyperpigmentation more quickly, your acne should be under control before beginning any treatment for PIH. Otherwise, each new pimple could cause another PIH macule, reducing the effectiveness of treatment.
Whatever treatment option you choose, understand that improvement will take time. Think in terms of months rather than weeks. Also, many dermatologist recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. The sun may darken the discolorations and increase fading time
Melasma is hormone-related hyperpigmentation caused by increased hormone stimulation. It is most commonly experienced by women who are pregnant (which is why it’s also known as the “mask of pregnancy”) or taking contraceptives, but can also be caused by cosmetics or medications.
The most common pattern of melasma is centrofacial: on the chin, upper lip, cheeks, nose, and forehead. But it can also show up to a lesser extent on the cheeks, nose, and jaw line.
Studies suggest up to 75% of women may develop melasma during pregnancy and about 33% of women on oral contraceptives show symptoms as well. However, once hormonal fluctuations subside, such as the end of pregnancy or the discontinuing of oral contraceptives, the hyperpigmentation often disappears.
Excess sun exposure is also a strong risk factor for melasma. The condition is particularly common in tropical climates.
Creams containing a combination of tretinoin, kojic acid, and azelaic acid have been shown to improve the appearance of melasma. Occasionally, your doctor may recommend chemical peels or topical steroid creams. In severe cases, laser treatments can be used to remove the dark pigment.
Avoiding the sun and using sunscreen are key to preventing melasma.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
The top extrinsic causes of dry skin
Extrinsic refers to external factors that impact skin health, such as our environment and lifestyle. Here are some of the major extrinsic causes of dry skin.
Weather / Environmental elements
Cold winds and low temperatures can dry out skin, depriving it of balanced levels of oils, and contributing to premature aging. Prolonged exposure to the sun causes water to evaporate from skin. Forced air heating also dries out skin: warm, dry air acts like a sponge, soaking up moisture from everything it touches.
The trend of low-fat or fat-free diets can deprive our bodies of skin-friendly Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) critical to all parts of a healthy functioning body. They help protect against water loss within cells and throughout skin, helping to prevent dryness, keeping skin supple and hydrated. An EFA deficiency can result in chronic itching, dryness, scaling, and thinning. Smoking can have a drying effect on skin: it drains skin and body of vitamins A and C and constricts blood vessels (which equates to less blood flow) – meaning smoking is somewhat like suffocating skin from the inside. Excess intake of alcoholic beverages and certain medications (such as nasal decongestants) can also contribute to dry skin.
Remember that hydrating your body both inside and out is key during the cooler months. Be sure to drink lots of water and use a humidifier if your heater is depleting your home of all moisture. You might also find that changing to a heavier moisturizer will help with surface dehydration as well.
Monday, October 26, 2009
At some point in time, we all deal with breakouts and want to know the best and safe way to clear up our congestion.
do your laundry habits affect your skin?
There’s no shortage of myths when it comes to acne. Cut through the rumors and understand the facts to further your understanding of how to keep skin clear.
Myth 1: A blackhead is actually dirt inside the pore.
FALSE! Blackheads, known as open comedones, are simply whiteheads that have reached the skin’s surface, triggering oxidization upon contact with air. Oxidization makes the comedone change/darken in color (think how an apple turns brown after it’s been cut).
Myth 2: Sugary, refined foods contribute to acne.
This is actually a misinterpretation – these foods don’t directly cause acne, but they do feed the breeding ground for acne by exacerbating sebum production.
Myth 3: Sunscreens increase oil production and feed acne bacteria.
FALSE. Speak with your professional skin therapist about new, sophisticated formulations that provide sun protection with skin care benefits, including oil control and minimization of bacteria.
Myth 4: Stay away from fabric softeners.
TRUE! Try to stay away from use of fabric softeners on sheets and pillowcases. Beef lard and fragrance are the main ingredients, and they’ll coat your skin!