Joel Schlessinger MD explains what happens to your skin when you get a sunburn

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Joel Schlessinger MD explains what happens to your skin when you get a sunburn
Prolonged sun exposure is hard on skin. Even one sunburn leaves painful, lasting damage. Additionally, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles after receiving five or more sunburns, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation. But what actually happens to your skin when it burns? In this blog, Joel Schlessinger MD shares what gives skin that painful red appearance.

Sunburn is the skin’s response to UV exposure, Joel Schlessinger MD explains.

It doesn’t take long for skin to burn. After just 10 minutes of intense sun exposure, the skin starts to defend itself against UV damage. A sunburn’s characteristic redness is the body’s inflammatory response to signal that there are skin cells that need to be repaired. The body also starts sending blood to the exposed area to assist in the healing process, making skin warm to the touch long after sun exposure.

Severe sunburn can lead to blisters and peeling skin. Blisters are the body’s way of protecting areas with tissue damage. Peeling skin is the body’s attempt at ridding itself of damaged cells that could become cancerous.

Under less intense sun exposure, skin responds by producing melanin to try to protect cells from DNA damage. This melanin gives skin the appearance of a tan. Although skin isn’t turning red, any change in skin color is a sign of damage.

Joel Schlessinger MD shares tips on how to care for sunburned skin.

Although it’s best to avoid a sunburn altogether with regular sunscreen application, there are things you can do to help the healing process.

If you feel your skin start to tingle or see signs of redness, get out of the sun and take Advil immediately. Advil acts as an anti-inflammatory that helps minimize the severity of a sunburn. It won’t completely prevent a burn, but it can stop skin from blistering before it starts. Then, soothe skin with a cool shower and apply LovelySkin Aloe Vera Soothing Skin Relief Gel to help calm and heal sunburned areas. You can relieve discomfort by applying FixMySkin Healing Body Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone to affected areas up to three times a day. This balm contains hydrocortisone to soothe irritation and hydrating shea butter and cocoa butter to prevent peeling and flaking skin. If you think you’ve had too much sun exposure, taking Heliocare Sun Protection Pills can also help minimize a burn.

Do you have a question about sunburns for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the difference between eczema and psoriasis

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Oftentimes, skin irritations and rashes are lumped together and treated the same way when actually they are often completely different issues. Many people confuse eczema and psoriasis, two different skin conditions that can sometimes include similar symptoms. Dr. Joel Schlessinger is here to explain the differences between these two conditions.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the difference between eczema and psoriasis

Eczema, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger, is also known as atopic dermatitis.

Eczema is extremely common in children and infants and about one percent of adults also experience this issue. Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that results in a dry, itchy rash that usually appears on the face, backs of the knees and elbows. While the cause of this condition is unknown, individuals with allergies, asthma or hay fever may be more susceptible to it.

Topical treatment products are the most effective way to treat eczema. Dr. Joel Schlessinger and his son Daniel created FixMySkin Healing Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone to heal irritating dry skin conditions such as eczema. Certain skin care ingredients such as fragrances, chemicals and dyes can trigger eczema flare-ups so knowing what aggravates your eczema will help you keep it under control.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the difference between eczema and psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

When an individual has psoriasis and the skin becomes inflamed and the body overreacts to the damage by becoming red and irritated and by creating dry, scaly patches of skin. The patches can crack and bleed if they are left untreated. Psoriasis can be hereditary and elements such as diet, allergies and stress can trigger the condition.

There are several methods for treating psoriasis including light therapy, prescriptions and topical creams. You can apply the FixMySkin Healing Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone up to three times a day to relieve itching and irritation. It is also important to use hydrating products that are free of irritating ingredients such as dyes and fragrances. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream to patients with psoriasis.

Do you want to know more about the difference between eczema and psoriasis? Ask Dr. Joel Schlessinger your questions!

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares an article on why you should wash new clothes before wearing them

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares an article on why you should wash new clothes before wearing them
People often expect brand new clothing to be clean when they bring it home from the store. But are the clothes clean enough that you don’t need to wash them before wearing? A recent article from The Wall Street Journal titled “Do You Need to Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them?” might change your mind.

Dermatologists like Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggest washing garments to remove common allergens.

Clothing can often be made of materials that are woven, dyed and stitched together in three different countries. Each country has different laws about chemical use, leaving your skin to suffer. The two main allergens often found in clothing are dye and formaldehyde resin.

Synthetic fabrics require the use of azo-aniline dyes, which can cause a severe skin reaction similar to poison ivy. Dyes can also cause skin to become dry, itchy or slightly inflamed. Urea formaldehyde resin is used to prevent mildew and wrinkling in cotton-polyester blends. Fabrics with this chemical can cause eczema, rashes and irritation.

Clothing can also harbor germs from people who’ve tried it on in the store, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

You have no way of knowing how many people have touched or tried on a piece of clothing before you buy it. Dermatologists have seen cases of lice and scabies that were transmitted from trying on garments in the store. Although lice can’t survive very long without a human host, experts say they attach better to natural fibers than synthetics.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends washing new clothing before wearing to help prevent skin irritation.

Because you never know what has come into contact with your clothing, it’s always a good idea to wash garments before wearing. Dermatologists suggest running all new fabrics through one wash cycle with a double rinse, even if you don’t use any soap. This will help keep allergens, germs or worse from wreaking havoc on your skin.

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

Joel Schlessinger MD discusses the importance of growth factors in skin care

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Joel Schlessinger MD discusses the importance of growth factors in skin careEvery so often a new buzzworthy skin care ingredient appears on the market. For the past several years, many people with anti-aging concerns have been turning to products with growth factors, which are known for their ability to rejuvenate skin. In this blog, Joel Schlessinger MD explains the power behind growth factors and why they’re a great addition to any anti-aging skin care routine.

Growth factors help diminish wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of aging, Joel Schlessinger MD says.

Growth factors are natural proteins that send messages between living cells. Their primary job is to tell fibroblast cells when to produce collagen. As we age, our bodies produce lower levels of natural growth factors, leading to a breakdown in collagen and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Topical growth factors help regenerate and repair aging skin tissue. These proteins essentially trick aging skin cells into behaving like younger, healthier skin cells. With continued use, topical growth factors can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven tone and a rough texture. The result is a more radiant and youthful appearance.

Joel Schlessinger MD recommends adding growth factors to your daily skin care routine.

Growth factors work to maintain elasticity, enhance the skin’s repair process and rejuvenate the complexion. Joel Schlessinger MD recommends adding growth factors to any anti-aging routine.

Dr. Schlessinger suggests Alphaeon Beauty Epidermal Growth Serum, a new serum that pairs growth factors with hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants to help promote the appearance of youthful, rejuvenated skin. In clinical studies, more than 80 percent of patients experienced an overall reduction in the appearance of wrinkles with this serum.

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum has a best-selling formula of growth factors, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and peptides to hydrate, firm and revitalize aging skin. With continued use, you’ll see results after just one month with best results appearing in three months.

For the delicate eye area, try Neocutis Lumiere Eye Cream (with PSP), which contains a proprietary blend of growth factors, cytokines and interleukins that help smooth fine lines and wrinkles. This hydrating eye cream also minimizes puffiness and dark under-eye circles for a more youthful appearance.

Do you have a question about growth factors for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

Joel Schlessinger MD advises on how to keep hands from showing signs of aging

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Joel Schlessinger MD advises on how to keep hands from aging

Just like the neck and chest, the hands are an area that is often ignored when it comes to anti-aging. Your hands, however, are one of the first areas to show signs of aging because they are frequently exposed to the sun and harsh conditions. According to Joel Schlessinger MD, a combination of sun protection and anti-aging products is the way to keep your hands looking youthful.

Sun protection on your hands is an absolute must, says Joel Schlessinger MD.

We know that sun exposure is one of the main causes of aging which is why it is so important to wear sun protection every day. When you’re applying sunscreen to your face, take a few extra seconds to apply it to the backs of your hands. This will help prevent fine lines, dark spots and sagging skin.

If you love applying a hand cream in the morning, try jane iredale HandDrink Hand Cream with SPF 15. The formula softens hands and locks in moisture, plus it contains ingredients that defend against UV damage.

Joel Schlessinger MD recommends products that fade signs of aging on the hands.

The same ingredients that are effective at fading signs of aging on the face are beneficial for the hands. Revision Skincare Lumiquin is an anti-aging hand cream that contains peptides to encourage collagen production and reduce the appearance of sagging skin. The formula also contains licorice extract that brightens skin and fades dark spots.

Harsh weather, rough working conditions and frequent hand washing can also lead to thin, damaged skin that shows signs of aging. StriVectin-SD Volumizing Hand Treatment targets thin, sagging skin with reparative and hydrating ingredients. Fine lines appear less noticeable and the skin’s elasticity is improved after using this product.

Ask Joel Schlessinger MD questions below in the comments section!

Joel Schlessinger MD discusses the 2015 American Academy of Dermatology conference

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Joel Schlessinger MD and discusses the 2015 American Academy of Dermatology conference

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) holds an annual educational conference to discuss the latest developments in skin care and dermatology. Last weekend, Joel Schlessinger MD and his team attended the conference, enjoying lectures, viewing exhibits and meeting with other professionals from across the country.

“The team and I attended AAD for the 25th time in my career as a dermatologist,” he says. “Truly, it is the best way to get a pulse of what is happening.”

The AAD meeting is a chance for Joel Schlessinger MD and other professionals to learn about new skin care products and procedures.

The 2015 AAD conference featured new treatment options that dermatologists will be able to incorporate into their practices. Joel Schlessinger MD looks forward to offering these new treatments for his patients.

“This year, there was a bit of excitement for ATX-101, the new chin fat buster that we did the clinical trials on here in Omaha,” he says. “Additionally, the work on Revance’s topically applied alternative to Botox seems to be back on track.”

Joel Schlessinger MD finds the annual AAD conference beneficial for both himself and his staff.

After attending for many years, Joel Schlessinger MD still appreciates the educational value of the annual AAD meeting.

“As always, it is a great time to get the team up to speed on everything dermatology and learn about the advances that will benefit my patients,” he says. “It is a terrific meeting and one that sets us apart from other clinics and websites due to our attendance and attention we pay to the science behind our products and procedures.”

Do you have a question for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger lists important questions to ask your dermatologist

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses questions to ask your dermatologist













A big part of making the most out of your medical appointments is seeking the care of a skilled, experienced physician who will listen to your needs, accurately assess your skin and prescribe a course of treatment that is right for you. However, there are several things you can do as a patient to help your dermatologist administer the best care. In addition to providing records and being able to answer questions about your and your family’s medical history, it is extremely helpful to arrive for your dermatology visit armed with a list of questions. These questions outline top skin concerns, and understanding their answers allows you to enjoy your personal best in terms of long-term skin health.

1. Can you recommend me the best sunscreen for my skin type?

Proper sun protection has an enormous impact on overall skin health since UVA and UVB rays are linked to premature signs of aging, skin cancer, the worsening of preexisting skin conditions and more. Inquiring about a high-quality sunscreen demonstrates that you are serious about your skin. Dr. Schlessinger likes to recommend EltaMD sunscreens to his patients. These formulas are gentle and non-greasy, and they come in a versatile range of formulas. Most importantly, they provide unbeatable sun protection. One of Dr. Schlessinger’s personal favorites is EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen.

2. What is causing my acne?

There are a variety of factors that can affect skin clarity and the location and severity of your breakouts. Through a series of questions and a physical assessment, your dermatologist should be able to determine what is causing your acne. Diet, habits, climate, hormonal changes and using the wrong products for your skin type can all contribute to blemishes. Treatments are not one-size-fits-all, and different medications and products are designed to address specific types of acne.

3. Should I be concerned with this mole or spot?

Pointing out specific moles or spots that might not be immediately visible will help your dermatologist form a basic knowledge in case they change in appearance later down the road. If you have already noticed changes, explain them in detail just in case a biopsy is needed. The best way to treat skin cancer is early prevention, and asking about moles can help put your mind at ease if the spot turns out to be benign and not a cause for worry.

4. What professional treatments and procedures do you think I would be suited for?

Whether you’re interested in addressing fine lines, scarring and cellulite or just enjoying an overall more youthful and rejuvenated appearance, your dermatologist can recommend professional treatments and procedures that will allow you to experience exciting results. Many of these procedures are virtually painless and require no downtime, so preparing and scheduling is as easy as booking a follow-up appointment. Microdermabrasion, peels, laser hair removal and body contouring treatments are all great areas to explore.

5. How can I create the best skin care routine?

Now is the chance to really pick your dermatologist’s brain about a customized skin care routine that will help you put your best face forward. Not only should the products be suitable for your needs and skin type, you should also leave with a clear understanding of how and why to apply them—the frequency, amount, order and purpose of each. If you’re interested in beginning or supplementing an anti-aging routine, this is a good time to ask about prescription retinol creams and lightening agents.

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Let us know in the comments section.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses the link between skin and psychology

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses the link between skin and psychology

The American Psychological Association recently published an article titled “The link between skin and psychology,” which focuses on the relationship between psychological and dermatological problems. The field of study, called psychodermatology, embraces the idea that common skin conditions are affected by psychological issues. In this blog, Dr. Joel Schlessinger sheds light on this idea and why we shouldn’t always blame skin conditions on stress or other psychological factors.

It’s difficult to prove skin conditions are caused by stress, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

According to the APA, psychodermatology focuses on “skin problems affected by stress or other emotional states, psychological problems caused by disfiguring skin disorders, and psychiatric disorders that manifest themselves via the skin, such as delusional parasitosis.” Psychodermatology is common in Europe but not as commonly noted in the United States.

“I think this is a really easy thing for some doctors to blame skin conditions on stress, but stress is very difficult to prove as a cause as it is nearly impossible to reproduce or quantify,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “Therefore, the onus of improving the disease is placed onto the patient (‘You are causing your disease’), rather than the physician. That doesn’t seem fair to me and would only serve to increase a patient’s stress level.”

Dermatologists should holistically treat skin conditions, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Even if stress does play a role in worsening skin conditions, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says patients shouldn’t have to treat themselves. Instead, he prefers to do what he can as a dermatologist to treat their concerns using more traditional methods in combination with other natural and environmental factors being addressed when necessary.

“Stress is something that is part of everyone’s life and while we all try to be care-free, we can’t be in most cases,” he says. “Therefore, I would rather try to focus on what I can change as a dermatologist and avoid throwing salt on the wound by insisting on a daunting task for my patients in order to treat their condition. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to be as stressful as possible and work on improving it when we can, along with other natural and holistic treatments, however.”

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Let us know in the comments.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses why you should avoid body piercings

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses body piercings: the good, the bad and the ugly

Piercings are a common accessory for both teens and adults. Earlobe piercings often heal without problems, but body piercings are a different story. These piercings are more risky and can result in infections even if they are done properly. Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the pitfalls of body piercing.

Piercings in areas with significant bacteria can become infected, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Infection is a common concern for new and even older piercings. Pierced skin leaves an open wound that is vulnerable to contamination. The upper areas of the ears and the nose, both common spots for piercings, are made up of cartilage. These areas are often harder to clean, take longer to heal and are more likely to become infected at any time after a piercing. Additionally, clothing can trap dirt and other activities can lead to infections. Serious infections often require the piercing to be removed and can even lead to loss of an ear or nasal deformity if severe. Once removed, the piercing may cause scarring.

If you do decide to get a piercing, make sure the person doing the piercing is an experienced professional, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

To minimize the risk of infection and other complications, always see a reputable and trained professional for piercings. The challenge with this is that there aren’t any serious regulations on body piercing and you could have one done in a mall or by a person with zero experience or talent. The area should be cleaned with alcohol very carefully before the piercing is done. The person who is doing the piercing should be wearing gloves and professionally trained on equipment and procedures.  Sadly, there is no way to assure this other than by word of mouth.

Try to make sure the environment and equipment have been sterilized. Without sterilization, there is a risk of spreading diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV. Blood infections, or sepsis, can also occur if the person doesn’t use a sterile technique. If you have doubts about the cleanliness of the environment, leave immediately.

Problems with the type of jewelry can also be an issue, specifically if you have metal allergies. Make sure the jewelry used is hypoallergenic and the item is designed to be used with your specific piercing. Don’t remove the jewelry while the area is healing as this can cause more irritation.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares how important it is to care for your skin if you do decide to get a new piercing.

If you do decide to get a piercing (whichever area you choose), proper hygiene is essential to avoid infection and other complications. Gently clean the skin around the piercing twice a day using a cotton ball or pad dipped in rubbing alcohol to disinfect the area and prevent scabbing. If the piercing site becomes very tender or red, it’s important to see a board-certified dermatologist as these could be signs of an infection.

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger answers: what is dermatitis?

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger answers: what is dermatitis?

Occasionally, you may experience patches of dry, flaky or irritated skin without knowing what is causing it. While this irritation may be caused by certain products, ingredients or allergic reactions, it may also be a sign of a bigger issue known as dermatitis. In this post, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains what dermatitis is and how you can deal with the symptoms.

Dermatitis is a broad term that refers to skin inflammation, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Dermatitis refers to skin inflammation that causes red, dry, itchy and flaky skin and can refer to a broad range of issues. Some individuals experience dermatitis that is caused by allergic reactions while others experience dermatitis caused by skin conditions.

One of the most common types of this condition is atopic dermatitis or eczema. This condition causes skin to become red and itchy and in severe cases it can cause blisters. Other issues such as asthma, allergies and stress can cause eczema to worsen.

Another common type of dermatitis occurs when an individual comes into contact with plants such as poison ivy. The contact causes an itchy rash that can spread and worsen as the individual continues to itch. Contact with certain fragrances, dyes and other harsh ingredients can also cause dermatitis in those with sensitive skin.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends FixMySkin balms to deal with dermatitis.

FixMySkin Healing Body Balm Unscented contains 1% hydrocortisone, a topical steroid that helps heal the skin. This ingredient relieves itching, flaking, redness and irritation caused by conditions such as atopic dermatitis. The balm also helps soften and smooth skin on the hands, feet, body and face.

You can also apply PCA SKIN Apres Peel Soothing Balm pHaze 11 (0.5 Hydrocortisone), a moisturizing cream that helps heal damaged skin.

Post any questions you have for Dr. Joel Schlessinger below in the comments section.