When patients want to have a tattoo removed, their first concern is often how long the process will take. There’s no way to remove a tattoo in just one office visit other than via excision, which is reserved for the smallest of tattoos and doesn’t work in many areas, but luckily, there is a way to speed up the process from about a year to just a few months. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD discusses stacked tattoo removal and how this procedure works.
Stacked tattoo removal allows for several sessions of tattoo removal in just one sitting, Joel Schlessinger MD shares.
Since the 1960s, cosmetic surgeons have used lasers to remove unwanted tattoos. With early laser technologies, the results were not always ideal. The tattoos were difficult to remove and often left behind some scarring. Today’s lasers do a much better job of removing the pigment in tattoos. Even if the tattoo cannot be completely removed, many times it can be diminished or significantly lightened.
Stacked tattoo removal is a recent advancement that has made the removal process much quicker and easier for most patients. The stacked treatment offers the ability to perform four sessions in just one sitting. During this treatment, the doctor uses the same basic laser settings and each session is separated by approximately 20 minutes. This can shorten treatment time from a year or more to several months in many cases.
However, it’s important to remember that not all tattoos respond to the same treatment. Many cosmetic surgeons prefer to perform one single session first to make sure the pigments in the tattoo are responsive to treatment and there are no adverse reactions. Once your doctor knows how your tattoo will respond, he or she will be able to determine the best treatment plan to meet your needs.
Joel Schlessinger MD discusses how the tattoo removal process works.
Tattoo ink is made up of tiny particles that are placed into the skin with a needle. The tattoo removal laser works by delivering an intense pulse of light into the skin. When the color of the light matches the color of the ink, the ink heats up and vaporizes the particles. As these particles become smaller, they absorb into your body.
Some tattoos are easier to remove than others. Black, brown and blue inks are usually easier to remove while lighter colors like green, yellow, white, orange or purple can be more difficult. Generally, the ideal tattoo for removal should be no bigger than five inches in length and width. It’s possible to remove tattoos that are larger than this, but the area will need to be separated in to smaller sections and treated over a longer period of time.
Choose a board-certified cosmetic surgeon like Joel Schlessinger MD to remove your tattoo.
When you’ve decided you want to remove a tattoo, it’s important to seek treatment from a board-certified professional to avoid skin damage or other complications. Your cosmetic surgeon should be able to tell you what kind of results you can expect prior to any treatment. Because each tattoo responds differently, the professional you choose should also be comfortable working with various types of lasers.
Joel Schlessinger MD has been treating unwanted tattoos at his practice in Omaha, Neb. since 1997. He has three different lasers available to use, allowing him to treat a variety of colors and tattoo patterns that are usually difficult to treat. Before your procedure, he can answer any questions you might have, including how approximately many treatments you might need, if your tattoo will respond to treatment and what results you can expect.
Do you have questions about tattoo removal for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.
Every year on Halloween, people spend hours using makeup and props to create scary scars, blood stains and other disfigurations. Some of these issues that people try to recreate have a basis in dermatology and skin disorders. Certain myths associated with creatures such as vampires and werewolves can be explained by dermatology. Here, Joel Schlessinger MD mentions a few scary skin disorders and their symptoms.
Certain unnatural symptoms could be related to porphyria, explains Joel Schlessinger MD.
Porphyria is the name for any condition that causes a buildup of natural chemicals in the body that produce porphyrin. This substance is essential for the proper function of red blood cells. High levels of porphyrin can cause problems for some people and some forms of it can cause sun sensitivity as well.
These conditions are generally passed down genetically and they can affect the nervous system, organs and skin. In recent years, we are better able to understand these conditions and realize that this is simply a medical condition, but hundreds of years ago the science wasn’t advanced to know this. Myths about werewolves and vampires were more common and people may have used them to explain certain symptoms associated with porphyria.
Joel Schlessinger MD explains some of the “scary” symptoms of porphyria.
Sensitivity to the sun and artificial light can be a symptom of cutaneous porphyria. Skin can also become fragile and pale with this type of condition. Conditions like this may have been attributed to vampires who traditionally have an aversion to sunlight.
Another symptom that is sometimes present with porphyria is excess hair growth. Hair sprouting up on the arms, face and legs could have been associated with werewolves hundreds of years ago. Because they did not have a medical explanation for the symptoms, people often associated them with the supernatural.
What do you think of the link between these Halloween myths and this medical condition?
Many teens and young adults struggle with severe acne. This type of acne is characterized by deep, painful cysts and nodules that can be difficult to treat. Additionally, as this type of acne begins to clear, the skin easily scars. For decades, dermatologists have been prescribing Accutane, which is an extremely potent form of Vitamin A, to fight severe acne that hasn’t responded to other treatments. It has also greatly helped patients who struggle with severe scarring acne. But while Accutane is a strong drug with many known side effects and restrictions, there’s also a lot of myth surrounding this prescription, especially how it affects a patient’s skin and body. In this blog post, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains how Accutane works and what you can expect while on this medication.
Accutane is successful because it targets all four causes of acne, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
Accutane is the only acne treatment that fights all four causes of acne: excess oil production, clogged pores, P. acnes bacteria and inflammation. More specifically, Accutane reduces the amount of oil your skin produces, eliminates acne-causing bacteria and reduces skin inflammation. By stopping the source of ‘food’ for the bacteria by drying up the oil, the bacteria die and this usually contributes greatly to improvement. This treatment also slows down how fast skin cells turn over inside the pore, preventing them from becoming clogged in the first place. Because this treatment targets acne from every angle, it is very effective at eliminating breakouts. Nearly 85 percent of patients see significantly clearer skin after one course of treatment, which usually lasts between four to five months. Better yet, 73 percent of Accutane patients never have to repeat a course and are clear thereafter.
As with any medication, Accutane does have side effects, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Some common side effects of Accutane include dry skin and chapped lips. Dermatologists recommend keeping your skin well hydrated while on this medication. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends FixMySkin Healing Balms with 1% Hydrocortisone to his Accutane patients. Available for the lips and body, this medicated balm has chemical properties that go beyond moisturizing to relieve itching and heal skin. The hydrocortisone treats inflammation and irritation while moisturizing shea butter and cocoa butter provide relief from dryness and itchiness.
There are widespread concerns that this medication has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease and possibly even suicide and depression. Studies have since proven that IBD is not associated with Accutane. Additionally, studies on the correlation between Accutane and depression have not been conclusive. Many dermatologists have found that once a patient’s acne clears up, their depression subsides. As with any medication, dermatologists monitor their patients closely for signs of any side effects. Further, long-term studies are currently being performed.
The most concerning side effect can occur if a woman becomes pregnant while on Accutane. This medication can cause severe birth defects, premature birth and even miscarriage. It is important that women do not take Accutane while pregnant and do not become pregnant while taking this medication. For this reason, all patients who can become pregnant must take pregnancy tests before and while taking Accutane.
Do you have questions about Accutane for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.
Deciding to have a cosmetic procedure done is a big decision and you want to make sure that you get the best results possible. Having certain procedures performed at certain times of the year will help you achieve this. Dr. Joel Schlessinger is here to explain when you should schedule your treatments throughout the year.
Treatments on the body may take longer to see results, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Some procedures require multiple treatments over a period of several weeks. To get your body ready for the beach, you’ll want to have your cosmetic procedures performed in early spring. Laser hair removal generally requires a series of five to seven treatments over a period of eight to twelve weeks to catch the entire growth cycle of hair. It is also important to schedule your appointments in the winter or early spring because laser hair removal cannot be done when skin is tan. The laser targets and destroys the dark hair follicle which is easier to pinpoint when skin is lighter so if your skin is too tan, the procedure cannot be performed.
Procedures that help reduce fat around the stomach, abdomen and thighs require multiple treatments. CoolSculpting, a non-invasive procedure, targets and eliminates fat cells by freezing them. The fat cells are gradually eliminated over a period of several weeks following your treatments. UltraShape is another non-invasive fat reduction procedure that delivers bursts of energy to target fat cells that dissipate over a period of a few weeks. With both of these treatments, it can take a couple of months to see the full results so Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests having the treatment performed in the spring before you have to hit the beach.
Anyone who is looking to reduce the appearance of fat around the neck and chin can treat the area with Kybella. During a series of two to six sessions, the treatment is injected into skin and eliminates fat cells without harming the surrounding tissue. After the treatment, the area can swell for up to three days to a week so you want to avoid having the procedure performed right before a big event. . Generally, patients see results in six to eight weeks so now is the best time to schedule the procedure so you are ready in time for the holiday season.
Fillers and BOTOX®, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger, can be performed any time of year.
Treatments that reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes, nose, mouth and forehead can be performed any time of year. Occasionally, fillers can cause bruising so you do not want to have them done immediately before a big event. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends having the treatment performed at least two to three weeks before the event.
Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane and JUVEDERM generally only require one treatment and the results can last up to six months. JUVEDERM VOLUMA™ XC is an FDA-approved hyaluronic acid filler that adds volume to the cheek area. The injectable gel gently lifts skin to create a fuller and more youthful contour. This treatment lasts up to 18-24 months so it is the best option for anyone who is not able to schedule an appointment every six months.
BOTOX® works by preventing repetitive muscle contractions that cause deep furrows on areas such as the forehead and between the brows. Dysport™ is similar to BOTOX® and is a newly approved FDA wrinkle relaxer that reduces the appearance of frown lines and wrinkles. With both of these treatments, you will see a relaxing of lines anywhere from three to four days after the treatment.
Do you have a question about these treatments for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Ask him in the comments section!
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition characterized by a red, itchy rash. Though it’s most common in children, adults often struggle with eczema as well. An estimated 30 million Americans are said to have it, with many going undiagnosed. If you’ve noticed symptoms of eczema in you or your child, you’ll need to make an appointment with your dermatologist right away. They are your best resource for information, and the earlier the case is assessed, the easier it will be to manage in the long run.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends keeping a log of eczema symptoms.
Before your first appointment, there are certain steps you can take to help your dermatologist give you the best possible care. In the days or weeks leading up to your session, keep a detailed log of signs and symptoms, jotting down as much as you can about the condition of your or your child’s skin. You’ll want to list symptoms, any changes that occur in symptoms over time and a list of potential triggers. If you noticed that the rash appeared to worsen after a long, hot shower, for example, you’ll want to make a note. Be on the lookout for other common irritants such as soaps and detergents, sweat, pet dander and sun exposure.
Certain foods are suspected to cause or trigger eczema, especially in infants and toddlers, but studies are inconclusive. If you suspect a link between eczema and diet, you may want to log your or your child’s meals and snacks, and also any vitamins, supplements or medications. It’s a good idea to bring these items to the appointment so that your dermatologist can look over dosages and directions. This is especially important when it comes to prescription medications for preexisting conditions.
Soaps and detergents that contain fragrance and dyes are often linked to eczema. These can often leave behind an irritating residue that triggers or worsens eczema symptoms. You’ll need to write down the soaps, detergents and other household products you or your child come into contact with to begin the process of elimination. Keep in mind that sometimes responses are delayed. It could be up to 48 hours after contact with the substance before symptoms are noticed, so it helps to monitor signs as they occur within a specific timeframe.
Ask the right questions to better understand eczema, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Prepare a list of questions to ask your dermatologist that will help you better understand your unique case. Treatment for eczema is never one size fits all, and you’ll want to be sure you’re taking the proper steps and precautions to prevent flare-ups. Start with the following questions and add as many of your own as you’d like.
How severe is my/my child’s eczema?
Understanding the severity of your or your child’s eczema can help you form goals for the treatment and management of the condition. It can also help shape realistic expectations for controlling flare-ups.
Is the condition temporary or chronic? Will it go away on its own?
Some individuals develop eczema in childhood and then overcome it as they grow older. Others experience their first flare-up well into adulthood. Eczema has also been linked to asthma and allergies, so understanding the nature of your or your child’s case can provide clues about other health concerns.
What is causing my/my child’s eczema?
Knowing your or your child’s unique eczema triggers is crucial to controlling symptoms. Every case is different, and managing eczema may be as simple as switching detergents or it may involve bigger lifestyle changes.
What treatment do you recommend?
There are several treatments available for eczema. These range from creams or balms, like FixMySkin Healing Body Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone, for mild cases, to corticosteroid injections for more severe cases. Other options include light therapy, wet bandages and oral medications. Your dermatologist will likely have a specific treatment in mind for your individual needs, however, it’s always a good idea to understand other options to explore if needed. There is no cure, for eczema, but symptoms can be managed with diligent treatment. In addition to FixMySkin, you might explore Avene TriXera+ Selectiose Emollient Cream, a dry skin formula that can help protect skin and restore the natural moisture barrier. Dr. Schlessinger also likes EltaMD Melting Moisturizer. The lightweight treatment helps keep 90% of moisture in skin for up to 12 hours.
What lifestyle changes can I make to help manage my/my child’s eczema?
Managing eczema triggers can involve extensive trial and error. Your dermatologist can help pinpoint likely causes and help you get started with any changes you’ll need to make. They can also recommend the best irritant-free products available for you and your family. Dr. Schlessinger recommends Free & Clear detergents and strongly discourages the use of fabric softeners and dryer sheets with synthetic fragrance. Switching to a pure detergent as soon as eczema symptoms begin can go a long way toward managing the condition in the long run. For soaps, shampoos, sunscreens and more that are free of fragrance and dyes, try Vanicream products. The formulas are gentle enough for the whole family and perfect for daily use.
Do you have a question for Dr. Schlessinger? Let us know in the comments section.
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.
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.
Returning to school is an exciting chance to start over and enjoy new opportunities. With September upon us, your children are probably just settling into a routine and re-learning to balance homework, activities and friends.
Along with all the excitement, though, comes a packed schedule and significant exposure to germs. With so much to do, it can be easy to let hygiene practices fall by the wayside. As a parent, it’s important to let your children know that the key to being healthy, happy and productive this school year is to take great care of themselves and their belongings. Share the following tips with your children to help them have their best year yet.
Apply Sunscreen Before Spending Time Outdoors
Teaching your children proper sun safety habits will set them up for a lifetime of healthy skin. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas at least 15 minutes before leaving the house each morning, rain or shine. It’s also important to be consistent with weekend outings, sports practices and playdates. Teach your child how to apply sunscreen so that they understand how to get a full, even application and be sure they know when to reapply. We like EltaMD UV Sport Water-Resistant Broad Spectrum SPF 50, a formula that is great for wearing while active outdoors since it doesn’t run and won’t string if it should get in eyes.
Skin may begin burning and sustaining damage in as little as 10 minutes of intense sun exposure, which may mean your child will need to reapply during the school day for outdoor gym classes, recesses and field trips. You’ll want to store an extra sunscreen in your child’s school bag and sports bag just in case.
Find out your school’s rules about sunscreen, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
It’s important to note that sunscreen has been banned in some school districts across the United States because it is considered a drug. While sunscreen is not dangerous, school officials have expressed concerns over eye irritation and potential allergic reactions for students. Check with your child’s school about their sunscreen policy. Some may require a doctor’s note. If sunscreen is banned from your child’s school completely, no exceptions, you’ll want to contact administration about a change in policy or even consider exploring other districts. Two or more blistering sunburns sustained during childhood can increase the risk of skin cancer up to ten times later in life, so this is not an issue to be taken lightly.
Wash Your Face Twice a Day
Acne can be embarrassing for adolescents and leave them feeling socially isolated. Severe types of acne, such as cystic acne, can even leave behind permanent scarring that is next to impossible to completely eliminate down the road. It’s best to seek treatment for acne early, when your children are just beginning to experience breakouts. Your dermatologist should be able to prescribe an appropriate acne regimen and help teach your children how to use the products. Those adolescents who struggle with acne should be sure to avoid milk and other dairy products, as these can worsen breakouts.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends a mild facial cleanser twice daily for children.
Even if your child has not experienced his or her first pimple, it’s best to encourage them to wash their face twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Once they’ve reached nine or ten, breakouts could be just around the corner. A mild cleanser, like LovelySkin LUXE Clarifying Gel Cleanser, can help heal and prevent breakouts. It contains 2% salicylic acid and 2% glycolic acid to gently exfoliate skin and remove impurities.
Refrain from Sharing Personal Items
Sharing personal items can lead to the spread of viruses, bacteria and fungus and result in serious illness. Even refraining from sharing items like school supplies can cut down on the spread of germs, but there are certain items that shouldn’t be shared under any circumstances. These include clothing items such as hats, coats and shoes, lip balms, deodorants, nail clippers, towels, toothbrushes, makeup and earphones. Sharing drinking glasses, straws and eating utensils should also be avoided.
Encourage regular hand washing, especially after using the restroom and before eating each meal. Remind children to keep pencils, toys and drinking fountain bubblers away from their mouths.
Laundry hygiene is a big part of stopping the spread of germs, as well as various skin irritations. Items that come into close contact with the body are most likely to carry bacteria. Change towels and washcloths daily if possible, and launder bedding at least once a week. This will help cut down on acne and other skin infections. Be sure your child wears cleans clothes each day, and don’t forget about gym and sports uniforms. Lockers often have poor ventilation and can be breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Teach your child to hang his or her coat and gym clothes, and be sure these items are switched out and washed often.
Do you have a question about hygiene? Let us know in the comments section.
When you think of pH levels, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t skin care. In fact, you’ve probably come across the term “pH” before without ever really understanding what these levels mean in relation to your skin. Without getting too scientific, pH levels measure how acidic or alkalinic a substance is. All of your skin care products have unique pH levels, and these don’t always match your skin’s pH level. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD explains what you need to know when it comes to the pH level of your skin care products.
Skin has a natural pH level that is slightly acidic, Joel Schlessinger MD explains.
The pH scale ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkalinic). Although pH levels differ from person to person, skin pH is generally at 5.5 or slightly lower. pH levels also vary from body part to body part and they can change by the minute.
A wide range of pH levels can actually be beneficial for skin. While some soaps are more alkalinic, Joel Schlessinger MD says this doesn’t mean they are less harsh. He also points out that products on the acidic side can actually help to cleanse more effectively.
LovelySkin Luxe Gentle Cream Cleanser, for example, has a pH of 6.7, which is close to neutral. On the other hand, LovelySkin Luxe Clarifying Gel Cleanser has a slightly more acidic pH of 5.84 because it contains 2% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid to better exfoliate skin. Both formulas are great cleansers, but this is a perfect example of how acidity can affect cleansing properties. While the Gentle Cream Cleanser gently removes makeup and soothes the complexion, the Clarifying Gel Cleanser exfoliates without causing irritation or inflammation.
Joel Schlessinger MD suggests trying products to see what works with your skin.
While testing the pH level of all your products might sound like fun, it’s not necessary. Joel Schlessinger MD says the best way to find the right skin care products for your complexion is to try them.
“Those that are within the two to eight range are generally what we find will work with skin,” Joel Schlessinger MD says. “It is probably best to simply try these out on your skin and see what feels good, what seems to help cleanse your skin and what works for you.”
If you’re curious about a product’s pH level, there is an easy way to test it.
“There are relatively simple tests to find out a product’s pH, including simple litmus paper or relying upon company tests, which are usually available with some research,” Joel Schlessinger MD says. “But the most important test is that of how a product feels and wears on you and that is only done personally.”
Do you have a question about pH levels for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.
Heat rash, also known as prickly heat or miliaria, is a red or pink rash that is usually found on areas of the body covered by clothing. Though it’s most common in babies, anyone of any age can develop heat rash under certain conditions.
Heat rash is common in hot, humid environments, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Heat rash appears in the form of tiny pink or red dots that look similar to pimples. In adults, it is usually found in skin folds and in areas where clothing causes friction. In babies, heat rash typically appears on the neck, shoulders and chest, but it may also show in skin creases, underarms or the groin area. The rash develops when sweat ducts become blocked and swell, which leads to soreness, blisters and often, itching.
Heat rash usually begins with excessive perspiration in a hot, humid environment. It is most common in infants since well-meaning parents often dress their babies warmly no matter the climate. Those newborns in incubators are also more at risk to experience heat rash. Active adults and those patients who experience a severe fever accompanying an existing medical condition may also be more at risk.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains different types of heat rash.
There are several types of heat rash, and each is diagnosed by the severity of blocked sweat glands. Miliaria crystallina is considered the mildest form, affecting the sweat glands in the top layer of skin. It is characterized by fluid-filled blisters that tend to break easily.
Miliaria rubra occurs a bit deeper in the skin and involves red bumps, itching and a prickly sensation. When fluid-filled blisters that often accompany miliaria rubra become inflamed and fill with whitish material, the form is known as miliaria pustulosa.
The least common, but most severe form of heat rash is called miliaria profunda. It affects the dermis, the deep layer of skin. In this form, the blocked sweat leaks out of the gland onto the skin, creating firm, flesh-colored lesions that are similar to goosebumps. In rare cases, heat rash could become irritated from the friction caused by clothing and develop infection.
Follow Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s tips to treat mild heat rash at home.
While heat rash is uncomfortable, it does not usually require medical attention. The rash usually disappears on its own in two to three days with no additional side effects. The best way to address a heat rash at home is to keep it cool and try. Let skin air-dry after a bath or shower and avoid any tight clothing or irritating fabrics. There is no need to apply topical treatments, as these could irritate the skin and further block sweat glands. If the rash does not disappear within about four days, or if blisters burst and appear to be infected, see your physician.
To prevent heat rash, stay cool when being active outdoors. Limit the time you spend outside, wear loose, lightweight clothing and allow skin to dry if it becomes sweaty. In hot weather, infants should be dressed similarly to adults. Fleece-y fabrics and onesies may prove too warm for comfort, so opt for light cottons and two-piece ensembles when dressing your child. It’s also important to keep your baby cool during sleep, so adjust blanket weight, pajamas and swaddling practices accordingly.
Do you have a question about heat rash? Let us know in the comments section.