Fall-Proof Your Skin

While fall for many means football, sweaters and pumpkin-spiced everything, it is also a time of the year for you to re-evaluate how you are handling your skin care routine.

  1. Break out the Humidifier

One reason fall is so harsh on our skin is because of the drop in humidity. This dryness gives way to dehydrated skin and inflammation. This is why eczema and rosacea can also flare up at this time of year. To protect your skin against this, create your own humidity by using a humidifier. Humidifiers add more moisture into our homes, giving our skin relief from the dry climate and increasing its hydration.

  1. Incorporate a Heavier Moisturizer

In summer, the humidity in the air keeps your skin moist, allowing you to get away with a light moisturizer. In winter, the humidity levels drop drying out your skin. To provide extra moisture and prevent moisture loss, a heavier moisturizer is required. Apply generously both morning and night, especially after a shower. If you have extra-dry skin, keep a small container with you to reapply throughout the day.

  1. Hydrate!

While a moisturizer helps hydrate the skin on the outside, it is also important to hydrate from the inside. A fall-proof diet includes moisture-rich foods including leafy greens, fruit and soups. Challenge yourself to up your water intake as well. Without adequate water intake, your skin will appear dull while also making wrinkles and pores more prominent.

  1. Exfoliate Less

Exfoliating the face and body is a must during fall as it removes dead skin cells and revitalizes our pores, but it is important to avoid over-exfoliating. Over-exfoliation can irritate and over-stimulate the skin. Instead, between exfoliation shorten your showers and cool the water down a few degrees to keep skin feeling fresh and healthy.

  1. Add Retinol

Retinol is a Vitamin A product that helps diminish the appearance of brown spots caused by the summer sun, lines, and wrinkles. Retinol works by speeding up the cellular turnover rate, which allows the healthier cells to work their way up to the surface faster and decreasing the activity of the destructive enzyme collagens.

  1. Keep Lip Balm on Hand

The cold air and harsh winds can dry out your lips and even cause them to crack. To prevent this, apply a SPF lip balm every morning and keep it handy to reapply throughout the day.

Skin Struggles?

If you are struggling with skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help.  To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.

 

Eczema 101 : Get the Facts

October is National Eczema Awareness Month so let’s spread awareness starting with some basic facts.

What is Eczema?

We asked our board certified dermatologist, Dr. Michelle Cihla. She explained, “eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. It commonly appears as dry or scaly patches and can develop anywhere on your body. It isn’t contagious, but develops because of a combination of environmental triggers and genetics.”

FACT: Eczema is very common, with over 30 million Americans having some type of this skin condition.

What Are the Types of Eczema?

  1. Atopic dermatitis – This type is caused by a malfunction in the immune system and problems with the skin barrier.
  2. Contact dermatitis – When skin touches a known irritant and/or allergen, it can cause this type of eczema.
  3. Dyshidrotic eczema – Exposure to allergens causes this kind eczema, which presents itself as itchy blisters on the feet and hands.
  4. Hand eczema – This type is caused by a combination of genes, irritants and/or allergens.
  5. Lichen simplex chronicus – Too much scratching and rubbing lead to this type of eczema, which presents as thick, scaly patches on the skin.
  6. Nummular eczema/discoid eczema/nummular dermatitis – Allergens or very dry skin cause this kind of eczema to develop. It manifests as round lesions and can weep fluid. You will find this type of eczema most commonly in older populations.
  7. Seborrheic dermatitis –  This form of dermatitis appears as white or yellow flaky, greasy patches in places with more oil-producing glands. A combination of genetics, hormones and microorganisms on the skin all contribute to the development of this type of eczema. In addition,  “cradle cap” is the common name for this skin condition in infants.
  8. Stasis dermatitis – This kind of eczema occurs when poor circulation to the legs causes the veins to swell and leak fluid. As a result, swelling, skin redness, as well as itch may occur.

Treating Eczema – Get the Facts

Living with eczema can be an ongoing challenge, but the condition is manageable. This is largely due to the various treatment options that are now available. For example, your dermatologist may recommend: prescription topical medications, phototherapy and/or biologics. However, your dermatologist will consider your age and the severity of your case before making any recommendation.

According to Dr. Cihla,

“if you are affected by eczema it is best to know your triggers to avoid exposure. Be consistent with your treatment plans and develop a daily moisturizing regimen to help soothe dry skin.”

In conclusion, if you are struggling with eczema or other skin issues and don’t know where to turn, we can help. Our board certified experts are available at three convenient locations in Kentucky. Call a local dermatologist today!

Ditch the Itch: Treating Eczema

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by the inflammation, swelling or irritation of the skin. Eczema affects as many as 35 million Americans. Eczema is not dangerous, but it can cause significant discomfort if the skin itches. When that happens, the condition may worsen if the eczema is scratched.

Though there is no cure for eczema, its’ effects can be controlled through diligent care. Treatment options include:

  1. Bathing follow-up. After bathing, applying a moisturizer on the affected area can help control eczema. In many cases, the most effective moisturizer is available only by prescription after a visit to a physician.
  2. Topical steroids. These are a common and effective relief option for eczema. Topical steroids help reduce inflammation, soothe the skin to prevent soreness, reduce itchiness and allow the affected area to heal. As a naturally-occurring substance in our bodies, steroids regulate growth and immune functions. Of the many types of steroids that are available, corticosteroids are the type used to treat eczema because of their ability to control inflammation.
  3. Non-steroid drugs. A topical calcineurin inhibitor (TCI) is a prescription drug that does not contain steroids. If you are concerned about the use of steroids to treat your eczema, ask your doctor about Elidel® and Protopi®, the two types of TCI that can provide effective alternatives.
  4. Phototherapy. On occasion, eczema can be treated through the use of ultraviolet (UVB) light, known as phototherapy. In phototherapy, UVB rays are isolated and directed toward the affected areas. Phototherapy treatments should be applied under medical supervision.

If you or a family member is living with eczema:
Find a Forefront physician nearest you to learn about treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help prevent flare-ups and eliminate eczema disease symptoms in many cases.

About Eczema: Causes and Symptoms

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by the inflammation, swelling or irritation of the skin. Eczema affects as many as 35 million Americans. Although it is not dangerous, it can cause significant discomfort if the skin itches. If scratched, the condition can worsen.

Atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, is the most common form of eczema and is often found in babies and children. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 20 percent of children, and one to three percent of adults will develop atopic eczema.

Causes include:

  • An overreaction to environmental triggers by the body’s immune system
  • Family history of allergies or asthma
  • A defect in the skin which causes it to not properly regulate moisture and germs
  • Irritants – Environmental elements such as soaps, detergents and certain fabrics
  • Stress – Any form of stress, such as work, family or social issues, can trigger eczema
  • Climate – Dramatic decreases in humidity can trigger eczema and cold, damp conditions can hamper eczema treatments
  • Perspiration
  • Animal dander
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Genetics

Who Gets It?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology:

  • Up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults will develop atopic eczema
  • Eczema is an equal opportunity condition that does not favor males or females
  • Although atopic eczema is most common in babies and children, it can also appear during puberty or throughout adulthood
  • Most of the infants who develop eczema are likely to outgrow it by their 10th birthday
  • A family history of eczema can also play a part in determining whether the condition will develop
  • Children with asthma or hay fever, or adults who develop asthma or hay fever before age 30 also seem to be more susceptible to eczema
  • Stress can trigger eczema, eczema can also trigger stress, which occurs when the affected skin is visible, leading to social stigma over the appearance of the condition

According to the National Eczema Organization, the most common symptoms of eczema are:

  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Intense itching
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Rough, leathery patches
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Areas of swelling
  • Dark-colored patches of skin

If you or a family member is living with eczema:  How Can You Feel Better?
Find a Forefront physician nearest you to learn about treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help prevent flare-ups and eliminate eczema disease symptoms in many cases.