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Dry, Cracked Hands? Here’s what to do!

Dry, Cracked HandsYour 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).

Need Healing?

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.

Give your Hands a Leg up this Winter

winter hand careThe winter weather can do a number on your skin. If you're not careful, small problems like slight dryness could quickly turn into painful itching and fissures that sting in the cold air. Because we often associate the winter season with increased risk of colds and flu, many people inadvertently exacerbate the dryness problem with excessive hand-washing. Here, we want to discuss how you can protect the delicate skin on your hands to prevent discomfort, not to mention premature aging.

The Skin Barrier
In order for your skin to remain as healthy as possible, it needs a barrier between cells and the outside world. The skin's natural barrier is found on the uppermost layer of the epidermis. It is referred to as the stratum corneum. This barrier is similar in makeup to a brick-and-mortar wall. The "bricks" on the stratum corneum are composed of the cells that are ready to be shed. Another important aspect of dermatologic health is the lipid layer, or mortar, that holds the ready-to-shed cells together. The lipids do more than act as cement; they give the skin its softness, firmness, and hydration.

Protecting your Skin's Covering
Damage to the stratum corneum means an increased risk of irritation. Skin that is unable to hold adequate moisture may become itchy, cracked, and uncomfortable. Winter weather is harsh enough on this barrier. Because there is little that can be done to change Mother Nature, we must take care to avoid harsh products and chemicals that leach the skin of its natural protective layer. We can do this by:

  • Limiting use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Washing hands less frequently, and only with mild soap.
  • Using thicker moisturizing cream, and applying cream while hands are damp after washing.
  • Wearing gloves when washing dishes or cleaning house.

Individuals who are prone to dry skin, or who have a chronic skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, may benefit from emollient-type moisturizer. This thicker formulation is especially useful for nighttime application, and may be complemented by wearing cotton gloves overnight.

Chronic inflammation is an unnecessary pain. If your hands are already showing signs of irritation, call us. We can help you develop a care plan for healthy skin. (832) 770-6388.

Holiday Food Choices and Your Skin

holiday food choices and your skin sugar land TXThis holiday season, like every other, we look forward to festivities with friends and family. Most of the gatherings we go to will have a fair amount of food, which means we will be forever tempted to indulge in delicious holiday goodies. As you attend one holiday bash after another, or make food choices during the hectic bustle of shopping and home life and work, you might think about the effects the food you eat may have on your waistline. However, there are also several common holiday foods that could affect your skin. Here, we will separate the good from the bad.

Eat This!

  • Pumpkin. We hate to say it, but this does not include a daily pumpkin spice latte. Real pumpkin contains zinc, vitamins, and nutrients that benefit the skin. For example, the vitamin C in pumpkin fights free radicals that can cause premature aging. The carotenoids that give pumpkin its beautiful color give your skin a healthy dose of nourishment that can reverse UV damage.
  • Cranberries. This tiny, tasty fruit also contains substantial amounts of vitamin C. In addition to warding off premature aging with antioxidants, the vitamin C in cranberries and other fruits support healthy collagen production.
  • Coffee. According to recent research, you need not feel bad for indulging in an extra cup of caffeinated coffee. Just one cup a day of this beverage, due to the components of coffee beans, has been shown to reduce a person's risk of skin cancer (nonmelanoma) by 10%. Caffeinated tea provides similar benefits!
  • Cocoa. As if we needed a reason to revel in a rich cup of cocoa, research shows that the epicatechin, a flavonoid in cocoa increases circulation to the skin, thus improving texture. Red wine also contains this skin-nourishing ingredient!

Avoid This!

  • Alcohol. A glass or two of wine or a few cocktails at that holiday party probably won't harm your skin. However, be sure to hydrate, because alcohol can deplete the entire body of water, which is necessary for smooth, healthy skin. The more alcoholic beverages that are consumed, the more the tiny blood vessels beneath the skin dilate, causing a flushed appearance that may linger.
  • Full-fat eggnog. The dairy in this popular holiday beverage may exacerbate acne due to its likelihood to increase oil production.
  • Cookies, candy, and other sweet treats. Holiday goodies that are made with white flour and refined sugar can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Sugar is also a factor in acne breakouts.

Acclaim Dermatology in Sugar Land offers a variety of services to help you keep a beautiful glow throughout the holiday season and beyond. Call (832) 770-6388 to schedule your consultation.

Is it Really Necessary to do a Fall Change up for your Skin?

fall skin careWe've seen it coming for months, and many of us are welcoming the entrance of Fall with open arms. Who isn't ready for cooler nights, colorful leaves falling, and the reminder of how good it can be to let things go. Oh, and let's not forget that yummy Pumpkin Spice Latte! But back to letting things go. Knowing just where to go to buy a cozy sweater or warm cup of cider is one thing. Knowing what may be going on with your skin as the seasons change is another. So let's take a look!

It's parched!
The colder weather of fall is oh, so drying to your skin. As the weather continues to cool down, it is a great time to ditch the bar soap and reach for something kinder and gentler, such as a shower gel loaded with moisturizing ingredients.

It's really sensitive
Something happens to your skin as the temperature drops - it becomes increasingly susceptible to environmental factors. Sometimes, it just needs a break. You can do this by giving its lipid barrier a boost. Also, other than at the hands of your dermatologist, avoid harsh acids or scrubs during this time of year. Severe exfoliation could prove too irritating for delicate skin. When you offer up a little extra TLC, your skin can focus on important tasks like remodeling collagen.

It's in shock
The long, hot days of summer have really done a number on your skin, even if you didn't spend your days shaking and baking at the beach. As we settle in to Fall, you may start to notice the signs of sun damage, such as small brown spots here and there, or a muddled appearance. To renew and repair the damage of summer, add retinoid products to your skin care regimen. The regular use of Retin-A or even a commercial retinol product will work to smooth lines and restore vibrancy.

Another way that summer's aftershock is noticed is in the size of your pores. When it's hot out, more oil is produced by the sebaceous glands. The oil joins with keratin, dirt, and possibly bacteria, which causes the pores to stretch and enlarge. This effect of summer is exacerbated by weakness in the skin caused by UVA rays, which deplete collagen and elastin. To service your pores, reach for gentle products with salicylic acid.
Do you want something extra special to pamper your skin this Fall? Call Acclaim Dermatology at (832) 770-6388!

Turning 50 is a Milestone for your Skin, too!

skin rejuvenating treatmentAging 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.

Collagen
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.

Moisture
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.

Laser Hair Removal, What are you Waiting for?

Laser Hair RemovalLaser hair removal is one of the most searched non-surgical aesthetic treatments today. When you consider the time you spend on a weekly or daily basis grooming away unwanted hair, it makes perfect sense to simply part ways for good. If you have considered this treatment to get the smooth skin you crave, chances are you may find yourself hesitating at the same time. Here, we will take a closer look at the convenient process.

Comfort
We live in an age of tattoos and injectable treatments, and yet, we really like to avoid discomfort as much as possible. One of the primary questions that patients have about laser hair removal is how uncomfortable it may be. Most patients who undergo this process say that it does not hurt at all. At the most, what tends to be felt during laser hair removal is warming and a slight snapping sensation. Following treatment, the skin may feel tender, like you spent a little too much time under the sun.

Results
The longevity of results from laser hair removal is a hot topic, and a very relevant point to discuss. This treatment is often referred to as "permanent" hair removal. While the skin becomes smoother with laser treatment than any other method of hair removal, and while results last longer than any other method, it is important to know that a few stray hairs may grow back here and there after some time. Does this happen to everyone? Not necessarily. And, if hair does grow back, a touch-up laser treatment is all that is needed to get back to a hair-free state.

How to Prepare
Laser hair removal works by vaporizing the hair that is in follicles at the time of treatment. For this reason, patients are told to avoid waxing or plucking prior to their visit. Instead of pulling hair from follicles in such ways, patients can shave. Shaving is appropriate before the first session, and even in between sessions if necessary.

Tanning should also be stopped prior to laser hair treatments. It used to be because laser devices needed darker hair and lighter skin. Today, technology is more advanced, making it possible to treat a wider variety of skin and hair tones. However, we still advise against tanning due to the additional sensitivity it may cause.

Summer may be coming to an end, but this could mean that there is no better time to get the smooth skin you want. Call Acclaim Dermatology at (832) 770-6388.

Are you Inadvertently Putting your Skin at Risk?

Photosensitivity sugar land txNow that we are in the thick of summer, there seems to be no better topic to discuss than skin care. Most people know that exposing themselves to the sun's rays without adequate protection puts them at risk for skin cancer. We have also become more aware of the fact that UV damage is a major factor in premature aging. So what do we do? We apply sunscreen before we sit out at the beach or by the pool. On those days, or during vacations in the mountains where there is less environmental protection from UV light, we may even use a higher spectrum sunscreen than we do on routine days where we are going from home to work or school. This is all good, but it may not be enough.
Did you know that there are actually factors that can make your skin more sensitive to harmful UV rays? Clearly, if you did, you would avoid them.
What is photosensitivity?
Photosensitivity is a skin condition that occurs as a result of dermatologic change in response to a chemical. We can look at it like this: sunscreen produces a type of change in the skin that enables UV rays to bounce off. Agents that create photosensitivity, on the other hand, cause the skin to react in the opposite manner, creating something akin to combustion.

Triggers for photosensitivity include:

  • Food sources. We know carrots for their benefit to eye health. Did you also know wild carrots can make it easier for you to burn? Other food sources include figs, dill, celery, and lime.
  • Essential oils and scents. Pretty much any citrus essential oil can cause a bit of photosensitivity; some more than others. Take care when using wild orange, bergamot, lime, and lemon. In a pinch, use grapefruit essential oil, as this does not cause sensitivity to UV light.
  • Drugs and supplements. Antidepressants, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs all create photosensitivity, and this is a short list. Herbal remedies can, too, including St. John's Wort.
  • Skin care. You use skin care to make your fine lines and wrinkles disappear, not to potentially make them worse! Ingredients such as retinoic acid, beta- and alpha-hydroxy acids, and benzoyl peroxide, may all make you more sun-sensitive.

Photosensitivity can lead to a bad sunburn, and can even turn in to a photoallergy, in which a rash appears a few days after exposure. Take care to use products wisely, and you gain better protection against UV damage.

Want Luscious Lips? Here's What you Need to Know!

Soft tissue fillersPlumping the pout is something that everyone seems to be talking about today. This trend may have begun years ago, but it was made exceedingly popular in recent months after the Kardashian half-sister Kylie Jenner admitted to reshaping her lips with temporary fillers. With augmentation is something performed in many dermatology and Medspa offices on a daily basis. Being a more common procedure does not necessarily mean, however, that you should jump right in to the plumping trend without knowing all the facts.

Lip Plumping isn't for Everyone

The fact of the matter is, some people can obtain outstanding results when soft tissue fillers are injected into a barely-there lip. Jenner is a prime example of this. Another instance in which lip augmentation can be advantageous is when volume has decreased as a result of the aging process. When neither of these concerns exists, adding more volume to already voluminous lips can quickly lead to an unnatural appearance.

From a medical standpoint, there are also conditions that may increase the risk of complications from dermal fillers for lip augmentation. These include:

  • Facial nerve disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Persistent herpes simplex lesions
  • history of allergies

Are Lip Fillers Right for You?

Due to the popular trend, we can see why many patients are seeking lip augmentation with soft tissue fillers. Under the right circumstances, meaning an experienced practitioner, this treatment can achieve wonderful results. Here's how to make sure you get the luscious lips:

  • Consult with a licensed, trained injector. The longer your provider has been performing lip augmentation, the better results you can expect.
  • During your consultation for lip augmentation, view photographs of lip shapes and sizes that are attractive to you. You may bring images with you to your appointment, but you should also ask for direct evidence of your practitioner’s experience, i.e. Before and After images.
  • Follow your providers’ instructions for aftercare. There's no downtime needed for lip augmentation with dermal filler's. However, patients are advised to avoid taking ibuprofen or aspirin after treatment. Additionally, strenuous exercise that increases circulation, or any body or facial treatments that increase circulation to the face should be postponed for at least 24 hours.

There's no better time than now to seek treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, and too-thin lips. Call our Sugar Land office at 832-770-6388.

Botox at the Heart of Bethenny Frankel's Facial Transformation

BotoxThe Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel has seen her fair share of press in the last few years. Between her high-profile divorce and lawsuit involving her infamous Skinnygirl Cocktail line, you might be surprised that the thing about Frankel that is currently fascinating us the most is her facial transformation.

Throughout her rise to fame, Frankel's telltale aesthetic was, well, rather harsh. It has been her jaw line, in particular, that has created the angular structures that have thrown off the entire proportions of her face. Looking at old pictures of the reality star, you can see a marked protrusion at the sides of her jaw, leading to sharp angles down toward the point of her chin. Today, these severe angles have softened so significantly that the change has sparked speculation that Frankel has had plastic surgery.

The Truth Revealed

According to Frankel herself, the change to her jaw line is the direct result of none other than Botox; and the reason was not all cosmetic in nature.

Frankel is a self-professed tooth-grinder and jaw-clencher. Just like frowning causes perpetual contraction of the muscles between the brows and around the eyes, chronic clenching changes the masseter muscle that runs along the jaw line. In a perpetual state of contraction, as we can see by observing images of Frankel herself, this muscle can directly affect the shape of the jaw line. Treated with Botox, this muscle reaches a state of laxity that minimizes the uncomfortable symptoms of bruxism, including jaw pain, enamel wear, and headaches. As a very nice side effect, Botox injections also soften the definition along the jaw line, making the face appear less angular and therefore more feminine.

How Botox Works

Most of us have heard of Botox by now. This "wonder drug" creates astounding changes on the upper part of the face by releasing muscles that pull the brows together or down. With expert technique, we help our patients smooth away lines and wrinkles that make them appear angry, tired, and older than they feel. Muscle relaxation occurs within a few days after virtually painless injections, and remains effective for up to six months.

See what Botox can do for you. Call Acclaim Dermatology at (832) 770-6388.

Complexion Concerns? Check out These Possible Culprits

acneYou visit Acclaim Dermatology for the high level of service your skin deserves. From acne to rashes to wrinkles, we take our time in determining the type of care that is necessary to achieve the desired outcome. The support that we provide does not end when you leave the office.

If your skin doesn't look as vibrant as it once did, you may wonder why. Is it time to switch out old products for new ones? If so, which are the right products for your current needs? Does your skin need some deep exfoliation or other professional care? While these steps are part of the long-term beauty routine, there are also certain simple factors that play a significant role in the appearance of the skin; and it's not always what you may initially think.

Skin Stealers
Most people know that eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep and exercise is all a part of looking and feeling great. These factors affect the inner workings of the body, so they will, at some point, affect the skin. However, there are additional factors that can blemish your perfect complexion.

Phone + Face = Problems
Many people today are glued to their phone more frequently than they may think. Pressing the germ-laden phone screen to your cheek for several minutes at a time, several times a day, can lead to breakouts. Additionally, the pressure of phone to face is not the best idea for skin elasticity. For the safest usage, talk on speaker setting.

Bed Sheets and your Face
At the end of the day, you may want nothing more than to lay your head on your cozy pillow and throw the blankets up over your head. However, make sure that you are washing your pillowcases and sheets on a regular basis; about once a week will keep bacteria from collecting. Also, if you sleep on your face, invest in a silky smooth pillowcase that is kinder to the skin.

There are numerous ways that you can protect and pamper your skin, and we are happy to help you! For personal dermatologic care, call Acclaim Dermatology at (832) 770-6388.

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