Do I need to moisturize if I have acne? Dr. Joel Schlessinger reveals the answer

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Do I need to moisturize if I have acne? Dr. Joel Schlessinger reveals the answer

Contrary to popular belief, people with oily skin are not the only ones who have to worry about acne. People with dry skin also experience blemishes and breakouts along with flaking, dryness and irritation. Whether you have skin that’s oily, dry or somewhere in between, hydrating acne-prone skin is essential. Here are Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s tips for finding the right moisturizer.

What sort of formulas should I use? Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends his favorites.

If you consistently experience blemishes in the same areas, clogged pores may be to blame. When excess oil, dirt and bacteria remain in the pores, the skin cannot heal itself and acne returns again and again. Along with regular exfoliation, you should use a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic.

Non-comedogenic products are proven to contain ingredients that will not clog pores. You should also steer clear of pore-clogging ingredients such as mineral oils and petrolatum, which are found in many moisturizing products. SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer provides lightweight hydration without a heavy formula.

Another way to deal with clogged pores is to use a moisturizer with an exfoliating ingredient in it such as salicylic or glycolic acid. Jan Marini Bioglycolic Bioclear Face Cream unclogs pores with glycolic acid and prevents dryness, flaking and irritation that can be caused by acne treatment products.

Can I skip moisturizers on some days? Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends against it.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when dealing with acne is to skip moisturizing, especially if you have oily skin. Skipping your moisturizer encourages your skin to produce more oil, which leads to clogged pores. Keeping the complexion hydrated will help regulate oil and reduce shine.

If your skin is oily and you’re worried about shine, try LovelySkin LUXE Mattifying Antioxidant Moisturizer. The oil-free formula does not clog pores and it leaves a matte finish to the complexion. If you have dry skin or are on aggressive acne treatments that dry out the complexion, try Avene Clean-Ac Hydrating Cream.

Do you have a question about whether your moisturizer is right for acne-prone skin? Ask Dr. Joel Schlessinger in the comments!

Cosmetic Procedures: We Know What You Want!

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Here's to a New You in the New Year

You know 2016 is going to be your year, so take care of that person you see in the mirror every day. Simple, little to no down-time cosmetic surgery treatments will help you look as young as you feel.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains how you can relax wrinkles with BOTOX.

That little wrinkle between your eyes that makes folks think you’re mad? POOF, it’s gone! BOTOX, one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world, has proven effective for smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly those we tend to sustain from facial expressions. BOTOX is technically a neurotoxin, but there’s nothing toxic about it in the miniscule doses received during a procedure. It works by relaxing the facial muscles responsible for smile lines, crow’s feet, “eleven” between the brows and more.

Dr. Schlessinger performs all of his own injections, and each procedure is quick and painless. Temporary bruising is often the only visible side effect, and this may be covered with a little makeup. Patients may return to normal activities immediately after receiving treatment.

Fillers help you regain volume in the cheeks instantly, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Fillers, such as JUVEDERM VOLUMA and Restylane, make the perfect companion to BOTOX. Made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body with the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, fillers are introduced under the skin to help plump, firm and minimize fine lines.

The full lips trend doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon, and with Restylane Silk, you can enjoy a fuller, plumper pout in minutes. This hyaluronic acid gel is composed of smaller particles that are specially developed for the lips. Fine lines on and around the lips also appear smoother.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger was the first in the nation to offer Kybella for minimizing a double chin.

Expected to be the cosmetic skin care trend of 2016, Kybella is the first injectable designed to minimize the appearance of a double chin. Kybella is a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that works to absorb, metabolize and destroy fat. When the substance is introduced to the chin area in a series of injections, it targets fat cells without harming healthy surrounding tissue, making a noticeable improvement in chin contour in as little as two or three sessions.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses how VelaShape can help minimize cellulite.

In addition to facial treatments, there are many procedures designed to improve the look of skin on the body and encourage a slimmer contour. VelaShape uses a combination of radiofrequency technology and mechanical massage to gradually smooth the appearance of cellulite and reduce the circumference of areas like the abdomen, hips and thighs.

The virtually painless, non-invasive device works by delivering heat to the desired area, increasing the metabolism of stored energy and encouraging drainage. This helps to shrink the size of fat cells and help you achieve a shapelier, more youthful appearance just in time for swimsuit season.

When you choose Dr. Joel Schlessinger, you put your appearance in the best hands.

While the treatments themselves are painless and typically take no more than an hour, exploring cosmetic surgery is always a big deal. You deserve the best, and at Skin Specialists P.C. of Omaha, we take each and every patient’s needs and concerns seriously.

With Dr. Joel Schlessinger, you’ll be in the best hands with your appearance. His expertise has won him Best Omaha Cosmetic Surgeon for more than 14 years running, and he has been instrumental in shaping and developing the fields of dermatology and cosmetic surgery. At his clinical research facility, he helps test and perfect treatments, often years before they are available to the general public, ensuring that when you go to Dr. Schlessinger, you are going to the most experienced cosmetic surgeon in the country.

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

Why am I so dry during the winter? Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains eczema flare-ups

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Why am I so dry during the winter? Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains eczema flare-ups
Dealing with eczema throughout the year is difficult enough. Add in factors like cold, dry winter weather and it can become almost unbearable. Dr. Joel Schlessinger is here to explain why you experience eczema flare-ups in winter and what you can do this season to deal with this issue.

Low humidity and cold temperatures are to blame for flare-ups, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

In many areas, winter brings cooler temperatures and a drop in humidity, which means there is less moisture in the air. Eczema already causes moisture-deprived skin so low humidity only exacerbates the problem. The skin is also susceptible to changes in temperature. Moving often from bitter cold weather to the dry heat of indoors makes it difficult for your skin to adjust, which can lead to irritation, itching and flaking.

Eczema triggers are different for everyone so it is important to notice the changes in your skin during winter and find out which treatments work best for you.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends adding moisture back to your skin and the environment.

There’s nothing you can do about the dry, cold air outside but you can do something about the air in your home. Use a humidifier to replace lost moisture and make sure that you frequently replace the water to continuously cycle fresh water through the air.

You should also avoid ingredients that are known to cause irritation including fragrances, dyes, sulfates and chemicals. Don’t just avoid these ingredients in your skin care products; look for soaps, laundry detergents and cleaning supplies that are free of irritants as well.

Moisturizing is the most important step in dealing with eczema in the winter. Use a cream that is free of irritating ingredients such as Avene Tolerance Extreme Cream. You should apply your moisturizer immediately after you shower when your skin most easily absorbs moisture. For localized rough and itchy patches, use FixMySkin Healing Body Balm Unscented with 1% Hydrocortisone. You can apply this product multiple times a day to elbows, knees, knuckles and other areas to relieve itching, flaking and irritation.

Have you experienced eczema flare-ups this winter? Share with us how you deal with them in the comments.

Happy Holidays from Dr. Schlessinger: Reflections on 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Happy Holidays from Dr. Schlessinger

Dear Patients and LovelySkin Customers,

As the year comes to a close, it’s important to reflect on my team’s accomplishments this year as well as the incredible support from patients, customers and family, and our amazingly dedicated staff. We grew significantly in many ways this year as we continued to add new staff members, patients and customers for the store and website. While many changes were internal ones that simply made our website better and more intuitive, there were also significant changes that were implemented to make your experiences at better.

Top Five Most Buzzed About Accomplishments of the Year:

1. Expanded customer service! You are the reason we come in every day and love our jobs so much. We expanded our customer service department from 6 to 12 employees to allow for more hours and better service for you, including quicker live chats, phone calls and email responses.
2. New website enhancements! Now you can easily access LovelySkin on mobile and tablet, search for your favorite products in the expanded search bar and even find the perfect shade for yourself with our popular makeup ‘shade selector’.
3. Video! We expanded our offerings greatly over the year, adding many fantastic tutorials by our terrific staff members (here’s a sample of some of our favorites).
4. Introducing LovelySkin Luxe! We spent 18 months producing five products from scratch, researched in-house and developed to my standards. While most brands are rushed to the market to bring in orders, we took the time to create a product that is truly unique and offers the best dermatological benefit. We’re so pleased with your feedback – thank you!
5. Lastly, your continued support! I am ever grateful for continuing to be a Google Trusted Store and BizRate Platinum Circle of Excellence award winner, recognitions shared with very few etail stores. Thank you for your continued trust and support!

There were also many noteworthy happenings during the year.

I was honored to speak at the Internet Retailer Conference this past summer. While I have spoken at and run many dermatology conferences during my career, I never thought I would have the opportunity to speak on this ‘chapter’ of my life. It was fun to be able to share my methods of taking a ‘medical’ approach to selling on the internet and how I use the lessons from my medical training every day in the management of LovelySkin.

LovelySkin was once again able to lower the price for international shipments from $30 to $25 and $20 to $15 to Canada (with minimum order prices of $100). The result is a significant increase in our reach around the world. With over 200,000 Facebook fans and hundreds of thousands of other users of LovelySkin, our reach around the world (and more ‘pen-pals’ for us!) and involvement in the industry continues to grow. We continue to remain a family organization even as we grow and that is really important to us. We have fun at work, and our team enjoys what they do, every day of the year. Without that, we wouldn’t continue to have our high level of customer satisfaction, and we don’t intend to change that any time in the future!

As I stated last year, we never want to be a ‘corporate’ website – instead, we relish our personal involvement with our users as a family-owned business. We have had many offers to sell to larger companies, but we continue to enjoy being your source for skin care and don’t see any reason to become part of a larger, stock market-based company. Our Omaha-based, Midwestern values-oriented customer service is a distinction we hope never goes out of style. One other value that we have is that of helping others, something that our entire team did this year when we worked to help out at a local charity shelter and many other places. Please see the video here that details the work our folks did.

The invention that my son Daniel and I introduced four years ago, FixMySkin Healing Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone, continues to be very popular! It is now sold in over 175 dermatology offices across the world, 300 Walmart locations and, of course, on Additionally, it continues to get great reviews and offers a low-cost method of improving skin conditions such as eczema, dry lips and cracked fingers in a simple delivery system. It makes us so very happy to know that we are helping people who may not have ready access to a dermatologist for their skincare needs.

The medical side of the business has continued to grow, while we have added several new procedures this year. Additionally, we recently completed two trials on topical botulinum toxins for sweating, several new product trials on hand creams, and neck creams, and a ground-breaking trial on a new biologic medication for psoriasis. The innovation that continues in our field is truly incredible. I am fortunate to be in a specialty, dermatology, that is filled with remarkable individuals who help to advance science, while making products and procedures safer and more effective.

This was the seventh year for our Cosmetic Surgery Forum conference in Las Vegas which I founded to train young and established dermatologists on new techniques in dermatology and cosmetic surgery. Over 375 attendees were present this year, and I personally sponsored 75 residents (now a total of 575 since inception) in dermatology, ophthalmology and plastic surgery so they could learn and be a credit to the profession I love and respect.

The LovelySkin retail store has continued to be successful in its fifth full year, and was once again voted the Best Beauty Supply Store in Omaha this year. Competing against powerful and well-known brands was a huge challenge, but we succeeded! Additionally, our website,, was voted one of the top three websites in Omaha, which was rewarding for our entire staff!

Our spas, LovelySkin Spa in the clinic and LovelySkin Spa Express in the retail store, were honored as one of the top three spas in Omaha – for the third year in a row! Both spas are seeing large increases in services performed and customer satisfaction, which is a source of pride for all of us. We finished a complete remodel of the spa and clinic this year, which was a trying, but ultimately happy experience.

I was fortunate and honored to be voted Doctors’ Choice for Dermatology in Omaha for the second time this year as well as receiving Best Dermatologist and Best Cosmetic Surgeon awards for Omaha this year. Thank you to all of you who voted.

On a personal note, my son, Daniel, started medical school in August and is working incredibly hard at it and doing well. He loves it and the lessons he is learning are invaluable. Nancy, my wife, is continuing to work very hard behind the scenes in the practice and website and brings so much wisdom to me. Our daughter, Claire, finished a computer coding course in San Francisco and is enjoying her new profession while she hunts for a job. Our sweet pug dog, Emmy, made an incredible video appearance on the website in our Halloween video in a scary role! At 13 and a half years, she is one of our senior staffers and clearly the most loved member of the LovelySkin family. My parents, June and Bernie, continue to be a source of strength and my inspiration for how to live a good life. They have been married for over 63 years and still help out in so many ways, including proofreading and other sundry tasks. They are a blessing to all of us.

I wish you and your families success and happiness in the year to come. My staff and I deeply appreciate your loyalty over the years and hope to always live up to your expectations by providing you with the best patient care and customer service.

Thank you for an amazing year.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


Joel Schlessinger MD, FAAD, FAACS
Board-certified Dermatologist and Cosmetic Surgeon
Chief Editor, Cosmetic Surgery, Practical Dermatology Magazine

FixMySkin: Not Your Mother’s Chapstick

Friday, December 18th, 2015

FixMySkin is Not Your Mother's Chapstick

Most of us would try just about anything to get rid of dry winter skin. At only 12 years old, Dr. Schlessinger’s son, Daniel, took it a step further: he invented his very own treatment. FixMySkin Healing Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone works to heal and hydrate dry, itchy skin.

During a particularly harsh Nebraska winter, Daniel, then in seventh grade, was struggling with dry, cracked skin on his hands and cracked skin on fingers, and lotions weren’t helping. One day, he applied a little lip balm to his fingers and knuckles to see if it might make a difference. To his surprise, it did seem to work better than lotion, but his skin still wasn’t completely healed. This sparked his curiosity. Why wouldn’t lip balm work to heal chapped, irritated skin on his hands if it worked so well to cure chapped lips?

Dr. Joel Schlessinger and his son embarked on a five-year journey.

Daniel learned that the skin on the hands and lips is quite different. The outer layer of skin is called the epidermis, and it has a protective covering called the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum on our lips is significantly thinner than on our hands and the rest of our body. While a medicated lip balm can penetrate the thin stratum corneum of the lips with ease to deliver healing properties, it needs to work a little harder to reach beyond the thicker stratum corneum over skin in other areas. The lip balm Daniel applied worked well to hydrate and soothe, but the active ingredients simply weren’t strong enough to completely heal his hands.

From there, the goal was clear. Daniel wanted to develop a balm that was powerful enough to heal both dry skin on hands and the lips. It needed to be non-greasy, easy to apply and it had to taste good, too. Enlisting the help of his father, Dr. Joel Schlessinger, as well as his mother, sister and grandparents, he set out on a five-year journey that would lead to the conception and launch of FixMySkin Healing Balms.

Daniel and Dr. Schlessinger decided early on that they wanted to add hydrocortisone, a highly effective, yet gentle corticosteroid, to the balm. This top dermatologist-recommended ingredient is proven to help relieve insect bites, rashes, allergic reactions, chapped skin, itching, eczema, psoriasis and more, and it’s an excellent all-in-one healer for everyday skin concerns. But settling on the perfect formulation wasn’t easy. The Schlessingers worked over five years to develop 54 different versions of the balm before they had a product that couldn’t be topped.

Learn how to get rid of dry skin with FixMySkin, invented by Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

FixMySkin Healing Balms are formulated with 1% hydrocortisone to help heal damaged skin cells, target inflammation and relieve itch. Shea butter and cocoa butter, two top therapeutic moisturizers, work to soothe, soften and hydrate skin. These proven ingredients come together in an easy-to-use balm stick that can be applied directly to dry, irritated skin. The stick comes in a larger unscented version for the body and smaller unflavored and vanilla varieties for the lips. The balms are compact enough to take with you anywhere and they’re heat-resistant so they’ll never melt in your pocket. They can be applied anywhere to the face, lips and body and they work wonderfully on cracked skin on fingers, cracked knuckles, peeling fingers and rough knees, heels and elbows.

Find out what patients of Dr. Joel Schlessinger say about FixMySkin.

In addition to soothing everyday irritation that occurs from winter dryness, FixMySkin has changed the day-to-day lives of thousands who suffer from eczema and psoriasis, which can worsen in the colder months. One patient says, “This worked wonders on the severe eczema on my hands. This helped to relieve the dry, cracked skin on my hands like no other product I have found!” The stick is kid-friendly as well: “My 5-year-old has eczema and we have spent years trying every hydrocortisone product out there. Our dermatologist told us about FixMySkin . . . Not only does this relieve her itch but it also puts a protective coat on her skin to help heal. I use it on her twice a day and her eczema is now under control.”

FixMySkin is now sold in Walmart and more than 150 physician’s offices around the country. Read more about what patients have to say about the balms here.

Do you have a question about FixMySkin Healing Balms? Let us know in the comments section.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares his skin care regimen

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger's shares his skin care routine
When you’re a dermatologist, one of the most frequent questions people ask is what you use on your skin. Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s patients and colleagues often ask what he uses in his day-to-day skin care routine to keep his skin healthy. Here, we’ll tell you exactly which products he goes back to time after time.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorite lines are LovelySkin and now LovelySkin LUXE.

“I have used the LovelySkin line for the past 20 years in some form of another as I personally developed it,” he says. “It seemed to me that the best way to formulate a line was to test it on friends and family and refine it.”

During the past year, Dr. Joel Schlessinger helped formulate and create the LovelySkin LUXE line which includes high quality products with effective ingredients. The entire line is sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, sodium lauryl sulfate-free and cruelty-free. To cleanse his skin, Dr. Joel Schlessinger uses LovelySkin LUXE Clarifying Gel Cleanser with glycolic and salicylic acid to exfoliate the complexion.

As a dermatologist, Dr. Joel Schlessinger understands the importance of taking preventative anti-aging steps. Every day he uses LovelySkin LUXE Brightening Eye Cream to target dark circles and fine lines around the eyes. The formula uses self-adaptive optical technology which diffuses light to instantly brighten the eye area. He also applies LovelySkin LUXE Cellular Anti-Aging Peptide Serum.

“The LovelySkin LUXE Gel Cleanser is the newest addition to the line, along with the Brightening Eye Cream and Cellular Anti-Aging Peptide Serum,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “These products are not only good for your skin but they contain antioxidants and hyaluronic acid as well as peptides to revitalize your look.”

Dr. Joel Schlessinger has been a long-time fan of the LovelySkin Exfoliating Gels which have recently been added to the LUXE line. He always uses them in his skin care routine but switches up which formula depending on the time of year. When he needs an extra boost of exfoliation, such as during the dry winter months, he uses LovelySkin LUXE Exfoliating Gel Max 19%. At other times of the year, he uses LovelySkin Exfoliating Gel Mild 11% or Plus 15%. All three formulas contain amino fruit acids to exfoliate and renew the complexion. They also contain vitamin C to boost collagen production and promote a more even tone.

“The reason I love the LovelySkin LUXE gels so much is because that they have kept my skin smooth and bright for years.”

Sun protection and shaving products are two staples in Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s routine.

No one understands the importance of daily sun protection better than a dermatologist. Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorite daily sunscreen to use in his skin care routine is EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Sunscreen – Untinted. The formula is paraben-free, fragrance-free and oil-free and is extremely lightweight so it does not feel heavy or greasy on the skin.

When he shaves, Dr. Joel Schlessinger uses ELEMIS Time for Men Skin Soothe Shave Gel. He loves that the formula hydrates skin while shaving. The formula also contains soothing ingredients such as aloe vera that help prevent irritation, razor burn and ingrown hairs.

“Elemis is just a fantastic shave gel,” he says. “It works with jojoba beads and aloe vera to keep your skin clear and protected while shaving.”

Which of the products in Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s routine have you tried? Let us know in the comments.

“Snow” On Your Shoulders? Handle Dandruff Like a Pro This Winter

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Handle Dandruff Like a Pro with Dr. Joel Schlessinger's Advice

You might remember that scene from the 80s classic, The Breakfast Club, where Allison passes the time in Saturday detention by drawing a snowy landscape and then decorating it by shaking the “snow” from her hair. Many of us experience dandruff, or small pieces of dead skin from the scalp, especially in winter when the air grows drier. And since we likely don’t have a “creative” use for it like Allison’s character, it’s just a bit of a nuisance, showing up in our part and settling on our collars and shoulders like a conspicuous blizzard.

The good news is, like many pesky skin conditions, dandruff is harmless. But it can be itchy, not to mention embarrassing. In this blog, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of dandruff, as well as some effective treatments for minimizing those annoying flakes.

What Causes Dandruff?

Short answer: a lot of things! It’s perfectly normal to notice a small amount of flaking on a regular basis due to the natural skin cell shedding process. However, with dandruff, skin cells die off and shed at a faster rate. A normal skin cell shedding cycle takes around a month for healthy adults. Those who experience dandruff could have a cell turnover cycle that lasts as little as two days, creating a “snowstorm” of white flakes throughout the hair.

An immune system response could cause dandruff, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Dry skin is the number one culprit for dandruff, which is why it’s so prevalent during the winter months. The skin over our entire body tends to grow dry, tight, flaky and irritated, and our scalp is no different. Other chronic dry skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, can cause dandruff, as well as a very common fungus called malassezia. Malassezia lives on most healthy scalps without issue, but doctors believe that in some patients, an immune system response to it can cause or exacerbate dandruff.

Over-shampooing can also dry out the scalp, as can sensitivity to certain hair products, mostly those that contain fragrance and other common irritants. Remember, dandruff is rarely a hygiene issue. It can certainly be unsightly, especially when we wear our favorite black sweater, but it doesn’t mean those who struggle with it are unclean in any way.

Treating Dandruff

You should be able to treat dandruff at home without a prescription, but we do recommend staying away from natural home remedies. “Botanical” or “natural” doesn’t always mean it’s good for your skin, and certain oils and extracts are known to be irritating. Instead, explore dermatologist-approved products with ingredients that are proven to be effective.

Discover anti-dandruff treatments recommended by Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

One such ingredient is coal tar, a substance that, for reasons that are largely unknown, helps reduce itchiness and inflammation, possibly by reducing the production of new cells. Though coal tar once had the reputation for being sticky and unpleasant to use, formulas have come a long way in the last few decades. Tarsum Professional Shampoo is a richly foaming gel that helps diminish flaking with 2% coal tar. It may be used as a shampoo or full strength treatment as needed.

Zinc pyrithione is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredient that is often used to treat mild to moderate eczema. It’s found in the majority of drug store anti-dandruff products, making it a common option for treating seasonal flakes. We like Derma Topix Zolidyne Shampoo, which contains 2% zinc pyrithione, plus the gentle exfoliator, citric acid, to relieve itch and eliminate dry skin.

You may have noticed salicylic acid listed as the active ingredient in your acne cleanser. That’s because it’s known as one of the best ingredients for purifying pores and ridding skin of bacteria, oil and other impurities. Salicylic acid similarly treats dandruff by acting as a mild exfoliator, dissolving debris, clearing hair follicles and promoting a more balanced, healthy scalp. PHYTO Phytheol Intense Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo is suited for even severe cases. It features 2% salicylic acid to treat dandruff and coconut oil to nourish, hydrate and revitalize tired tresses. Another favorite salicylic acid formula at LovelySkin is CLn Shampoo, an anti-bacterial option that also works to treat conditions like staph, folliculitis and eczema.

How often you’ll need to use a treatment depends on how severe the dandruff is, but generally, twice a week is a good place to start. You can alternate with your regular shampoo or work in extra treatments in the evenings if you wish.

If you’re still experiencing an itchy scalp and daily flaking, even after trying a few over-the-counter products with different active ingredients, it may be time to visit your dermatologist. Your dandruff could be caused by another skin condition entirely, and your physician can recommend prescription-strength shampoos and topical treatments.

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

Dr. Joel Schlessinger Explains How to Treat a Condition that Affects 80 Million Americans

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains how to treat a condition that affects 80 million Americans.


Hair loss is a common condition that affects about 80 million people in the United States. Though it is natural to lose a few hairs, a growing bald spot or widening part may be a sign of hereditary hair loss. In this post, Joel Schlessinger MD explains the causes and treatments for thinning hair.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains hair loss.

Hair loss is most often hereditary but may also be the result of a diet lacking essential vitamins, nutrients, minerals or protein. Sudden changes in weight or crash dieting may also cause hair to thin. Hair loss associated with poor diet is usually temporary, but it may take time for hair to return to its natural thickness.

After giving birth, women may experience significant changes in hair volume. A surge of estrogen during pregnancy causes hair to become fuller and lusher. After childbirth, estrogen levels begin to regulate and hair tends to fall out as it resumes its normal growth cycle.

Losing hair may also be a sign of infections to the scalp including ringworm, folliculitis, eczema or staff. These infections are typically associated with symptoms such as itching, flaking skin or irritation. If you experience these symptoms in addition to excessive hair loss, it is best to see your dermatologist.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends hair loss treatments.

PHYTO Phytolium 4 Thinning Hair Treatment is effective option for treating thinning hair. After 16 weeks of clinical studies, 79% of users experienced a reduction in hair loss and 39% of users saw an increase in growth. This natural, paraben-free treatment is specially formulated with capucellpro to prolong the life of existing hair. A blend of essential oils and extracts helps to delay thinning and promote healthier hair blubs, as well.

The HairMax LaserComb is the only home-use laser photo therapy device approved by the FDA. Its laser light energy stimulates hair follicles to reverse the thinning process. It also increases hair density and revitalizes damaged hair. When used for 15 minutes three times a week, most users start seeing improvement in as little as 16 weeks.

Klorane Shampoo with Quinine and B Vitamins strengthens and nourishes hair for healthier growth. This hypoallergenic, silicone-free shampoo contains the natural invigorating ingredient quinine to improve follicle growth. Vitamin B cleanses, detangles and volumizes hair while activating the scalp’s microcirculation to encourage stronger hair.

Nourish hair and promote existing growth with Viviscal Professional Supplements. These dietary supplements are formulated with a blend of marine ingredients, apple extract, biotin, vitamin C and essential amino acids to nourish existing hair and increase density. Taken orally twice a day, they nourish hair from within.

If you experience scalp irritation along with hair loss, see a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Schlessinger.

Hair loss accompanied by itching or flaking may be a sign of infection. Consult your dermatologist who can provide you with the best course of treatment.

Do you have questions about hair loss? Ask Dr. Schlessinger in the comments section.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains hangnails

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains hangnails

A hangnail is a small piece of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle, creating a tiny tear. Contrary to its name, a hangnail does not affect the actual nail at all. Rather, hangnails are tears in the skin that are caused by several common scenarios, making them a regular occurrence for the majority of individuals.

Dry skin is the biggest culprit for hangnails, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Cold winter weather can dry out skin, as can harsh chemicals, such as household cleaners, and frequent hand washing. Another common cause is nail biting. Biting at nails can damage the skin underneath the nail bed or actual fingernail and lead to hangnails. Lastly, manicures can lead to hangnails, particularly if cuticles are clipped, a practice dermatologists strongly discourage. Nail clipping with an unsteady hand, whether performed at home or by a nail technician, can lead to nicks, which may split into hangnails.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares hangnail care tips.

Hangnails aren’t dangerous and most aren’t painful. However, if not properly cared for, they can become infected with bacteria, yeast and fungi and grow red and swollen. Treat hangnails early, before they become irritated. Start by soaking your finger or fingers in warm water for a few moments. This will help soften the hangnail and stop the tearing. Next, use a clean nail clipper or nail scissors, like Tweezerman Rockhard Cuticle Nipper ½ Jaw, to gently nip off the skin. To finish, massage a little moisturizer or hand cream into the nail bed. With a formula like NIA24 Sun Damage Repair for Decolletage and Hands, you can treat dark spots, fine lines and other signs of aging, all while preventing hangnails. For an intensely hydrating formula, you might like Epionce Medical Barrier Cream.

If the area around a hangnail has grown red and swollen, you likely have an infection. If this is the case, you can follow the above steps, then apply an anti-bacterial ointment and cover the area with a bandage. The infection should heal in one to three days. Be sure to change the bandage twice a day and reapply ointment if needed. To minimize minor irritation, pick up FixMySkin Healing Body Balm Unscented with 1% Hydrocortisone. This convenient balm stick contains soothing shea and cocoa butters, plus 1% hydrocortisone, to heal damaged cells.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares tips for preventing hangnails.

The easiest way to prevent hangnails is to keep your hands moisturized. If you’re especially prone to them, you may want to apply a hand cream or lotion two to three times a day. FixMySkin is perfect for moisturizing skin on the go. You can also use a little cuticle oil a few times a week if needed. We like Qtica Solid Gold Cuticle Oil Gel, a nourishing 12-oil blend. If you tend to pick or bite at your nails, it’s time to kick the habit once and for all. Not only will you save yourself the headache of regular hangnails, you’ll also lower your risk of contracting warts and infections, plus communicable illnesses, like the cold and the flu.

When caring for nails at home, be sure not to clip your cuticles. Cut your nails straight across and gently file the edges for a rounded corner. When opting for a professional manicure, choose a clean, reputable salon and be sure that tools are sterilized between uses.

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

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains ichthyosis

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains ichthyosis
Ichthyosis is a condition characterized by dry, scaly accumulations of skin cells. This condition is usually inherited and is most common in babies. Though it typically disappears during early childhood, adults may develop ichthyosis under certain circumstances. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD explains the causes, symptoms and treatments for this skin condition.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains ichthyosis.

Ichthyosis slows your skin’s natural shedding process, causing an excessive buildup of protein in the upper layer of skin. Dry skin accumulates in patches on the surface and result in a scaly, rough texture. Ichthyosis is most often an inherited condition that typically appears at birth or during the first few years of life. In most cases, the condition disappears during early childhood but for some ichthyosis may return during adulthood. Ichthyosis that is not inherited from one or both of your parents may be associated with another condition such as an underactive thyroid, kidney disease, lymphoma or HIV infection.

The symptoms of ichthyosis include flaky, scaly skin that appears white, gray or brown. The condition may also cause deep, painful cracks in the skin that are worsened in cold or dry environments. Mild cases of ichthyosis are confined to specific areas such as the elbows, legs or shins. More severe cases cover larger areas of the body such as the back, abdomen, arms or legs.

There is no cure for ichthyosis, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Ichthyosis has no cure but you can control the symptoms with continued treatment. Because the condition causes dry skin, it is important to moisturize the affected areas regularly, especially after bathing or swimming, to restore lost moisture. Choose a product formulated to provide long-lasting hydration such as EltaMD Intense Moisturizer. This hydrating cream nourishes while relieving the uncomfortable effects of ichthyosis. FixMySkin Healing Body Balm hydrates with shea butter and cocoa butter to improve dryness. This formula contains 1% hydrocortisone, a topical steroid that soothes inflammation and irritation, to reduce the irritating symptoms of ichthyosis.

To rid your skin of the dead cells that accumulate due to ichthyosis, exfoliate the affected areas with a product that contains alpha hydroxy acids or polyhydroxy acids. NeoStrata Problem Dry Skin Cream moisturizes dry areas while exfoliating with glycolic, lactic and mandelic acids. These ingredients gently sweep away debris to reduce cell accumulation and help achieve a smoother skin texture without causing irritation. NeoStrata Bionic Lotion employs lactobionic acid to remove dry, flaky skin without aggravating ichthyosis. It also contains nourishing vitamin E and soothing meadowfoam seed oil to improve skin health and comfort.

In addition to regularly moisturizing and exfoliating, there are further measures to help comfort your skin. Avoid products that are harsh or drying. If you must use chemicals or products that dry your skin, wear gloves or other protective clothing to reduce skin’s exposure to the irritant.  It may also be beneficial to use a humidifier, particularly if you live in a cold or dry climate. This will add moisture to the air around you to help your skin retain its natural hydration levels.

If the symptoms of ichthyosis are present, see a board-certified dermatologist.

If you expect a loved one may have ichthyosis, it is best to consult a board-certified dermatologist who can provide an individualized course of treatment. If the condition is not inherited, it may be symptomatic of an underactive thyroid, kidney disease, lymphoma or HIV infection. Your physician can pinpoint the cause of ichthyosis and help you proceed with the appropriate treatment.

Do you have questions about ichthyosis? Ask Dr. Schlessinger in the comment section.