How to Boost and Protect Collagen
The more we know about collagen and its supportive role in skin, bone, and cellular health, the more we know we don’t like the idea of losing this precious protein. Without sufficient collagen, we will notice that the skin becomes thin, less resilient, and saggy. Even though there are several treatments that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, it makes sense to become proactive about boosting and protecting collagen as we age.
Ways to Boost Collagen
- Massage the face. Facial massage has been shown to support muscle memory and also to encourage collagen production. It is possible to massage the face gently as a part of your daily cleansing routine. Microcurrent facials, which may be obtained by qualified estheticians, are like the facial massage on steroids.
- Feed the skin. When the body is well-fed, the skin reflects a high level of nourishment. There is no lack of options for collagen-boosting foods. Look for freshness, such as oranges, broccoli, and other foods rich in vitamin C.
- Supplement as needed. Collagen production slows as we age so that supplements may be a necessary aspect of anti-aging. Vitamins A, C, and E may be paired with zinc for increased collagen proliferation.
- Maximize skin care. Topical products may support collagen production, but only if they reach deeper tissues where the protein is made. To increase the effectiveness of skin care products, exfoliate the skin on a regular basis. This can be achieved with monthly, light chemical peels.
Ways to Protect Collagen
- We don’t mean purchasing an expensive product; we mean moisturizing from the inside out. A hydrated body means hydrated skin cells that remain plump and supportive of collagen.
- Smoking that is. Cigarette smoke comes in direct with the skin on the face. The chemicals in that smoke are absorbed, where they then break down collagen. For healthier skin, and a healthier body, stop smoking.
- Supplement as needed. Supplements can both build collagen and protect what you’ve already got. One way to stimulate cell growth and support collagen is with aloe vera. Extract from this plant, taken orally, has been shown to preserve healthy collagen strands. Antioxidants, as well, such as grape seed extract and resveratrol are skin-saving chemicals.
As we make our way through summer, remember that collagen is also affected by UV exposure. Take good care of your skin with help from your Sugar Land dermatologist.
Think Jowls are a Problem for your Plastic Surgeon? Not so!
There are several signs of aging that incite concern when they appear. For many of us, a time comes when it feels as if we have missed the boat; we will live out our days wishing we had done more to prevent the formation of deep lines and wrinkles and sagging skin along the jaw. If you are starting to notice jowls to go along with those smile lines or under eye bags, your mind may be spinning with thoughts of a facelift.
The truth is, you may not need to go that far. Before assuming that surgery is your only solution to jowls, consider the problem behind that symptom.
Why we get Jowls
Jowls are pockets of skin and fat tissue that accumulate at the jawline. Usually, this starts out subtly, like two little pockets – one on each side of the face. As the face ages, these pockets worsen. It isn’t that jowls form out of the blue; they are a byproduct of what is happening across the mid-face.
Most people understand collagen relatively well by now. This protein makes up the matrix of fibers that run through deeper epidermal tissue. Collagen gives skin its firmness, and this firmness helps underlying structure maintain its drape across facial bones. Alas, collagen breakdown is nearly impossible to avoid. When fibers of this compound fray, tissue drops bit by bit, until it lands on the jaw line.
Finding the Solution for your Skin
We could not say that surgery is never needed when jowls have become problematic. There are more severe cases in which excess skin on the face needs to be removed and remaining tissue draped to its previous position. However, there are ways to correct mild to moderate jowls, and also ways to ward off their formation. Here are a few:
- Because jowls are secondary to volume loss, dermal filler cheek augmentation may be performed to lift tissue across the lower face.
- Laser resurfacing is an excellent anti-aging treatment that customized to address mild to severe cosmetic problems, including laxity.
- Ultherapy ultrasonic skin tightening causes both collagen contraction and ongoing rebuilding that progressively improves jowls and other concerns.
Acclaim Dermatology has an extensive service menu, which means you have numerous options for managing your aging skin without surgery. To learn more about skin tightening treatments, call our Sugar Land office.
Retinoids: There is a Right Way to use them
Many of our patients receive a prescription for retinoids. This may be because they are struggling with hard-to-treat acne, or because the time has come to start combating the signs of aging. Whatever the reason for retinoid use, there are benefits. There can also be pitfalls, such as redness and flaking. We want to give you every opportunity to avoid them, so we offer a few tips on how to use retinoids the right way.
- Less is more. Remember that prescription retinoids are powerful. You may be anxious to see gain all the benefits you can, but applying too much too soon tends to only lead to frustration. Give your skin time to adjust. For the first few weeks, apply a pea-sized amount to your entire face. Do this only every three days. As you see how your skin responds, increase frequency, but not the amount.
- Unless you have been told otherwise, stop using all other acne and anti-aging products while you introduce your prescription retinoid into your skin care routine. Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can already disrupt your cells (in a great way). The result could be exacerbated when these ingredients are combined with retinoids.
- Wash, then wait. When you wash your face, the natural protective barrier is disturbed. If you apply retinoid lotion or gel immediately after washing, your skin may become irritated. The best practice is to wait about 20 minutes in between washing and applying your product. This can also ensure that your face is completely dry, another necessary component to success.
- Apply your retinoid, then wait. Wait for what? Your moisturizer! The process may take some time, but it doesn’t stretch out all night long, we promise. Waiting just another 20 minutes to add moisturizer to your skin means that your retinoid has some time alone to do its work. Applying moisturizer after the appropriate time mitigates the natural drying effect that your retinoid has on your skin.
- If your retinoid feels too irritating, you can mix this product with your moisturizer. This will buffer its effect.
There are several advantages to using retinoids. However, if you jump right in, you may toss that tube in the drawer before you gain any benefit. If you have questions about retinoid use for acne or anti-aging, we’re happy to help you. Contact Acclaim Dermatology at (832) 770-6388.
When you Rethink your Ink
As a dermatology office in Sugar Land, one of the things we have learned over time is that people who have tattoos often change their mind about their body-art. Another thing we have learned is that most people who have become dissatisfied with their tattoo wish for a better option for removal. If you have been considering having one or more tattoos removed, here is what you need to know.
Tattoos are intended to be permanent and therefore are made by injecting ink in the dermis, the secondary layer of connective tissue that lies beneath the surface. The location of ink means that no topical ointment or cream can successfully extract the tiny particles. They are in there, but not necessarily for good. Just remember, chemical solutions might reach your unwanted pigment, but they will not lift it without burning your dermal tissue, and that means scarring.
What good is tattoo removal if you are left with unsightly scars? While there are plenty of sites that will tell you it’s possible to DIY your tattoo, just don’t. Contact us or another board-certified dermatologist for laser tattoo removal. This is the treatment that has been proven to be the most successful at eliminating pigments beneath the skin without harming surface tissue.
How Laser Tattoo Removal Works
Laser treatments target tissue or, in this case, pigment in the tissue, with light. Pulses of light break apart the particles of ink that are settled in connective tissue. Then, these smaller fragments are targeted by your body’s immune system, which comes in to clean up the disrupted ink.
The benefit of laser tattoo removal over home tattoo removal is clear. The process is safer. It is also more effective. Yes, it takes time, and it takes multiple treatments. So would a home method (plus you risk burning your skin).
According to research, as many as one-third of the people who get tattoos eventually regret it. Maybe not having tattoos in general, but a particular piece of art. Whether it is a style choice or that you would like to be ink-free consider how laser treatment can enable you to achieve your goal in the safest way possible.
Would you like to know more about laser tattoo removal? Contact our Sugar Land office at (832) 770-6388.
Dry, Cracked Hands? Here’s what to do!
Your hands are one of the first things that people notice. This can seem especially true of the skin on your hands and across your knuckles is excessively dry. Redness, cracks and even bleeding are common complaints about some people, and they do not necessarily indicate some dermatologic condition. Whether you are already there, living with the frustration (and pain!) of dry, cracked, hands, or you are on your path toward a point of no return, get help. Let’s look at some easy tips for preventing this problem:
- Heat will dry the skin. When you wash your hands, use lukewarm, or even cool water. Because you wash your hands relatively frequently, this is an important habit.
- Avoid bar soap and inexpensive soap that is offered in public restrooms. Both may strip your skin of essential natural oils. If necessary, carry your travel-sized bottle of moisturizing soap. Look for ingredients like lanolin or glycerin.
- Pat hands dry after washing; don’t rub! Then, while your hands are still damp, apply moisturizer (with the moisturizing ingredients mentioned above).
If your hands are already dry and cracked, sore and red, you need more than a few healthy new handwashing habits. Try these action-steps:
- Apply an emollient lotion before bed, something with glycerin or dimethicone. Think thick, oily cream, not light lotion.
- In a pinch, or just as a personal preference, you may also rub your hands down with good old-fashioned olive oil before bed. Obviously, the only downside to this is that your hands may feel Depending on the severity of dryness, you may apply your cream or oil and then don a pair of cotton gloves to lock in moisture.
- Gloves may become your new BFF if your hands are excessively dry. Not just when you sleep, but also anytime you are outside, anytime you wash the dishes, and anytime you clean your home. Skin that is covered is skin that is protected from the elements.
Do you need help?
Sometimes, medical care becomes necessary to resolve the issue of severely dry skin. If you have used creams and gloves and other over-the-counter remedies for dryness, it’s time for more. Contact our Sugar Land dermatology office at (832) 770-6388. We will help you regain comfort as quickly as possible.
Turning 50 is a Milestone for your Skin, too!
Aging is not something that holds the same stigma it once did. Turning 50 today gives a woman - or a man - a lot to celebrate! Retirement is closer than ever, and there's still memories to be made with family and friends. During this decade of life, however, a woman will face certain biological changes that are bound to affect her skin. We're talking about menopause, the time in life that a woman may both welcome and fear. Here, we will discuss the ways to promote healthy, vibrant skin during your 50s and beyond.
The goal of skin care at any age or stage is to nourish what's there, and correct what can be corrected, so you look and feel good for your particular age. To attempt to restore your skin to what it was in your twenties may be over-shooting a bit, though it may be a job your plastic surgeon would be happy to take on. One of the keys to supplying the skin with nourishing ingredients is to know what those are, and what they can do.
The sharp decline in collagen really starts to show during the 40s and 50s. Rather than reach for a topical collagen product, however, regenerating new collagen is something that needs to occur on the inside. For collagen to do what it is supposed to, which is to keep the skin firm, it must be rebuilt, and a topical product cannot do this. Patients of Acclaim Dermatology have options for collagen induction, ranging from microdermabrasion and laser treatments to Ultherapy. Also, to support what collagen you do have, be sure to wear sunscreen every single day. UV exposure frays delicate strands of this vital protein.
There really is no specific substance that promotes moisture in the skin, except for maybe hyaluronic acid. This amino sugar is partially responsible for the volume that contours the cheeks and, like collagen, it decreases as hormones begin to shift later in life. Patients wanting to regain volume may do so with dermal fillers. However, moisture is also an issue that needs daily attention. One way to protect from dryness is to wash your face less often. After the age of 50, just once a day (nighttime) is fine. According to skin experts, it isn't necessary to spend extra on expensive moisturizers. A product like Cetaphil can do wonders to keep the skin dewy fresh.
Is it time for a skin rejuvenating treatment? Call Acclaim Dermatology at (832) 770-6388.