It’s finally Summer and the garden is in full bloom. That can mean long hours out in the yard and in the garden. Avoid common skin problems due to exposure from the elements and gardening chemicals with these tips on how to best protect your epidermis while tending to the plants.
Keep Track of Time & Sun Exposure
Time flies when you’re having fun in the garden. But sunscreen doesn’t last all day. Re-apply sunscreen if it’s been over two hours. The sun’s rays are strongest mid-day, so at the very least, re-apply after lunch. If gardening means perspiring, it’s a great idea to use a water-resistant sunscreen. And every gardener needs a hat. Nothing says you’re a serious gardener – and serious about protecting your skin – like a special gardening hat. Hats aren’t only stylish, they help prevent skin cancers on the scalp and face – two places you really don’t want to have surgery.
Keep A First Aid Kit Handy
Every rose has its thorn, but don’t let minor cuts, bruises or scrapes turn in to something serious. Nip potential infections in the bud by treating minor injuries with a little rubbing alcohol and fresh bandages when they happen. Don’t try and tough it out. You’ll just get an infection. And bleeding all over the plants won’t prove to them how much you love them.
Always Wash Up
Fertilizer is great for the greens, but not our bodies. Wear gloves no matter what when spreading fertilizer, and always, always, always wash up afterward. Shower if you must. And don’t let potentially harmful bacteria infest garden gloves and other equipment. Wash garden gloves with a little chlorine bleach to disinfect them. If your garden gloves are like ours, they can often wind up as the oven gloves, the firewood gloves, or used for unscrewing hot light bulbs. Do you really want all these covered in fertilizer? Just wash them.
Treat Rashes Seriously
Pruning, weeding and tackling pesky vines can mean exposing yourself to some of nature’s more irritating vegetation – especially for your skin. Just because poison ivy is fairly rare in these parts, that doesn’t mean you aren’t susceptible to developing a rash from more common shrubs. Rashes and inflammation can be dangerous, and in some extreme cases, fatal. Pay attention to what your skin is telling you. If you start to develop hives, welts, or any other type of redness, back away from the sticker bush! Antihistamines and ointments can help, but if your rash persists seek dermatologic care.
Just like hydrangeas, humans require a lot of water. Drink lots. The body distributes water to the skin last, so if you have dry skin, your body might be telling you it’s time to up the internal irrigation. Staying hydrated will also increase your gardening stamina.
Keep An Eye On Others
Grandma loves to garden, and she’s been doing it for close to a hundred years now, but even she might not know her limit. Keep an eye on the elderly. Watch for rashes, sunburns and other warning signs that they’ve had too much. Take breaks, seek the shade and cool off.
Provide Shade For Guests
Throwing an evening dinner party just so you can show off our posies? Get out the table umbrella! The sun can stick around well in to the evening, so its a good idea to provide your backyard guests some shade. After all, nobody likes a sunburn as a party favor.
Garden At Night
No, this isn’t a joke. If you’re sensitive to sun and burn easily, but can’t stand the idea of not being out in the garden, switch to the night shift. Completely eliminate your sun exposure risk by gardening in the evening or before sunrise. Compact LED headlamps make it possible to do many gardening activities when the sun is down. You might even catch the mysterious critter that’s been munching on the arugula.
New procedure targets aging, acne scarring and stretch marks
Many patients come to us wanting to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pore size, skin laxity, stretch marks, certain types of pigmentation, as well as acne scarring. All of these concerns come from years of internal and external stressors that damage the skin’s collagen fibers, leaving them disorganized and loose. Various treatment options, including topical prescriptions and laser procedures, have been used to treat these concerns. Now a new procedure, known as Collagen Induction Therapy, or “microneedling,” can target all seven of these skin concerns in just one treatment.
Microneedling is a process in which tiny needles are used to create micro-injuries in the skin. This is done using a special device that is sterile and contains 12 micro-needles. The device is gently pressed against the skin. As it glides across the surface of the skin it creates the micro-injuries need to prompt your own body’s repair response. This process allows for the rebuilding and restructuring of the collagen fibers, giving the skin a smoother and firmer appearance. Treatments take between 15 and 30 minutes. Prior to the treatment a topical anesthetic can be used to enhance comfort during and after the treatment. The skin appears swollen and red for about 24 hours after the treatment.
Because collagen takes 3-6 months to mature, multiple microneedling treatments are recommended. Results are also enhanced by the use of topical growth factors, like those found in Neocutis products, which assist in the rebuilding of collagen.
Dr. Krejci brings 20 years of experience to our clinic
Westside Dermatology is very excited to announce the addition of Dr. Sonja Krejci to the practice. Dr. Krejci, formerly of the Polyclinic in downtown Seattle, brings 20 years of experience in adult and pediatric dermatology to Westside Dermatology. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Washington in 1987.
Dr. Krejci was born in Innsbruck, Austria and was raised in Alaska. She and her husband have lived in Seattle since 1995 and are the parents of twin 13 year old boys. She is an enthusiastic supporter of her boys in their various sports endeavors. She enjoys baking, accumulating kitchen gadgets and occasionally exercising.
By adding another dermatologist to the practice we hope to reduce wait times for appointments. Just like Dr. Wilske who joined Westside Dermatology in 2013, Dr. Krejci will focus 100% on medical dermatology.
To learn more about Dr. Sonja Krejci, click here.
Dr. Krejci begins seeing patients at Westside Dermatology on March 17, 2015.
Six Easy Steps To Ensure You’re Getting The Most Out Of Your SPF
Seattle has enjoyed a record-breaking streak of sunny weather this year, and for a lot of people that’s meant using more sunscreen than ever. Yet for some of our patients they’re noticing that they’re still developing a tan. This has left some of them wondering if their sunscreen is no good. If you’ve avoided a sunburn then you can be sure your sunscreen is working. However, a tan still represents some form of sun damage.The purpose of sunscreen is to prevent the burning of important cells in your skin called melanocytes. The dark pigment in your skin produced when you have a sunburn or tan is known as melanin, which are produced by these melanocytes. When a burn or tan occurs these cells can become damaged, resulting in sun/age spots and sometimes skin cancer.
Unfortunately, no sunscreen can completely block the sun’s harmful rays. Here are our top six tips on how to increase the effectiveness of your sunscreen and avoid both a sunburn and a tan.
1) Re-Apply – Even the best sunscreen only lasts 80-minutes. If you’re going outdoors take you’re sunscreen with you and set your countdown timer on your phone or watch. You might be surprised how quickly 80-minutes goes by.
2) It’s Water Resistant, Not Water Proof – Think a water-resistant sunscreen is only necessary when swimming? Think again. Hot days can mean a lot of sweat and the body’s cooling system can do a great job of breaking down and diluting sunscreen. A water and sweat-resistant formulation can help with this. But don’t be fooled. There is no such thing as a “waterproof” sunscreen. All sunscreen, no matter what the label says, is compromised by exposure to water and sweat. Re-apply after you swim or if you’re particularly sweaty.
3) Up The SPF, But Don’t Be Fooled – Don’t spend money on less than an SPF 30. Anything less just doesn’t offer adequate protection, especially if you know you’re going to be exposed to direct sunlight. But also don’t be fooled. An SPF rating higher than 50 doesn’t not offer significant additional protection from the sun. A product labelled SPF 100 does not protect twice as well as an SPF 50. An SPF 50 will protect you from 98% of the sun’s UV-B rays. A higher SPF rating will only improve the protection very slightly.
4) Go Broad – Not all sunscreens are the same. Look for those labelled “broad spectrum.” These enhanced sunscreens protect you from both UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-A rays cause skin cancer. UV-B rays cause sunburn. Because sunscreens are only required to protect you from UV-B rays you may not be fully protected from the potentially more harmful UV-A rays. Look for zinx ocide and a titanium dioxide in sunscreen. These ingredients provide broad spectrum protection and are gentle enough for people with sensitive or compromised skin.
5) Check The Expiration – Sunscreen doesn’t last forever, but for some reason a lot of people think it does. The ingredients in sunscreen are naturally unstable and overtime sunscreen looses it’s effectiveness as the stabilizers in the sunscreen break down. Pay close attention to expiration dates as using expired sunscreen can result in a nasty burn. Did you apply sunscreen all over but developed a strange, swirly sun burn? You’re sunscreen has likely expired. Can’t find the expiration date on the bottle? Throw it away!
6) Seek Shade – No sunscreen can eliminate 100% of harmful UV rays from the sun. To prevent melanin production in your skin all together, your best bet is to seek the shade.
This Month’s Ask Heather Question:
What’s the best way to get rid of blackheads and prevent them from coming back?
Blackheads are a common issue for many people. They are caused by overactive sebaceous activity (oil production) that occurs when there are spikes in hormone levels. These hormone spikes begin in puberty and continue throughout adulthood. When the oil in the skin and keratin build up and are exposed to air they oxidize and turn black. Blackheads are not caused by being dirty, stress or diet, however cleansing the skin is important in reducing blackheads. Self extraction is not advised since the pressure of squeezing improperly can cause the oil to break through the follicular wall causing scaring, pitting, and breaking of vessels.
Here are 4 easy steps to eliminating and preventing blackheads:
Here are 4 easy steps to eliminating and preventing blackheads:
1) Start fresh – If you have blackheads and haven’t been able to get rid of them by exfoliating it may be necessary to have a professional microderm treatment. Microderm is the process where an abrasive tip is run along the surface of the skin, polishing the dead skin off while a vacuum attached to the tip suctions the dead tissue away.
2) Keep clean – Gently wash your face at night. Removing dirt and oil will allow your skin’s own healthy oil to protect and hydrate your skin at night. Gentle cleansing will prevent dryness and keep oil production regulated.
3) Avoid the urge to scrub – I do not recommend scrubs they often irritate and damage the skin. I do recommend the Clarisonic facial brush (found at Nordstrom, Sephora and Amazon) this brush will remove the oil by shaking it loose and breaking it up, allowing it to come out easily. The result is a visual reduction in pore size.
4) Keep away from oil – Do not use heavy oil-based products, especially makeup. This clogs pores and adds to the oil problem. Use a natural mineral based makeup and steer clear of moisturizers that use heavy oils if you tend to develop blackheads.
This Month’s Ask Heather Question:
I was considering a laser treatment but looked online and read a lot of horror stories. Now I have reservations. Is laser safe?
This is a valid concern. Most all laser complications can be avoided when properly consulted and done in a medical office. Here are my top 4 tips in finding the right person to perform your laser treatment.
#1: Look for a physician-supervised clinic.
Only consider having the procedure performed in an office where there is a doctor on site. Unfortunately this is not the case at many medical spas. These medical spas will have an affiliation with a doctor but the doctor may only stop by once or twice a month to complete paperwork. Look for a laser clinic where there is a doctor on site supervising staff every day. If a doctor is not on site and actively supervising staff who are performing laser treatments then go elsewhere.
#2: Find out what laser they will be using.
Make sure the laser that will be used on you is actually indicated for the procedure you’re having done. Many clinics will try and save money by only investing in one piece of laser equipment. Because laser light can do multiple things these clinics rely on the laser to treat a variety of concerns, such as unwanted hair, pigment, and blood vessels, even if the laser’s manufacture does not indicate the equipment for such use. Visit the laser manufacturer’s website and make sure that the equipment being used is indicated for what you’re looking to have done.
#3: Protect yourself from the sun.
The biggest cause of complications with any laser treatment is recent exposure to sun prior to or after treatment. Having a recent tan due to sun, self tanner, or any other added pigment to skin can cause blistering and adverse effects from the laser treatment. You should not do laser treatments if you have had sun exposure to the treatment area at least 4 weeks prior to the treatment and need to avoid exposure for 4 weeks after. Sunscreen must be applied daily on exposed treatment areas and reapplied when directed. Even on cloudy days you must use sunscreen since UVA rays are always present.
#4: Ask who isn’t a candidate for treatment.
If the laser therapist says “everyone is” they may not know much about the equipment they’re using. Certain technological limitations exist with all laser equipment. If you have a darker complexion some laser procedures may not provide the results you’re looking for. See your dermatologist to see what they would advise. There are many prescriptions and non prescriptions that would be a good fit for you.
Lasers are not just safe when precautions are followed, they are an incredibly effective way of treating various conditions of the skin. By following the 4 steps above you’re sure to find a qualified laser therapist who can give you the results you’re looking for.
The 20 Most Popular Skin Care Products At Westside Dermatology
#1 Physical Fusion SPF 50 by SkinCeuticals
#2 Latisse by Allergan
#3 Renew Overnight Dry by SkinCeuticals
#4 Lumiere by Neocutis
#5 Lytera Skin Medica
#6 Redness Neutralizer by SkinCeuticals
#7 Emollience by SkinCeuticals
#8 Sheer Physical SPF 50 by SkinCeuticals
#9 Eye Intervention System by Neocutis
#10 Phloretin CF by SkinCeuticals
#11 Retexturing Activator by SkinCeuticals
#12 Bio-Serum by Neocutis
#13 Neck, Chest & Hand Repair by SkinCeuticals
#14 TNS Ceramide Cream by Skin Medica
#15 Rejuvenative Moisturizer by Skin Medica
#16 Hydrating B5 Gel SkinCeuticals
#17 Gentle Cleanser by SkinCeuticals
#18 Simply Clean by SkinCeuticals
#19 Bio Cream by SkinCeuticals
#20 C+AHA by SkinCeuticals