Monday, July 28, 2014

10 Surprising Activities that Could Ruin Your Skin

We are all guilty of bad habits that we continue to do because, well they’re habits. What we may not realize is that some of these common habits can be damaging to our skin. To help you understand how your daily routine is affecting your skin health, we put together a list of 10 surprising activities that could ruin your skin:

·         Swimming – In the height of summer, nothing feels better than a refreshing dip in the pool.  Unfortunately, chlorine can be damaging to the skin. Even after a shower, chlorine can cling to skin and react with topical medications, cleansers and lotions. Avoid this pitfall to summer’s favorite activity by using an extra sudsy soap after swimming.

·         Taking long, hot showers – Taking long, hot showers is a refreshing way to relax, especially after a busy day. But, this steamy retreat can also cause the outermost layer of the epidermis to strip away, making your skin scaly and dry. Keep your showers warm enough to be comfortable, and allow for only short bursts of steaming hot water.

·         Testing too many products – Trying new skin products can be dangerous if you have sensitive skin or unknown allergies. Always test new cleansers, cosmetics and lotions on a small patch of skin, such as on the arm. Avoid testing products on the face until you are sure the products are safe for your skin.

·         Talking on the phone – Chatting for hours on the phone can cause breakouts and rashes along the jawline and cheek. Use a speaker phone when available and use antibacterial wipes often to keep your phone and skin clean!

·         Getting hair products on your face – Hair products can clog pores and cause breakouts. Use a clean towel and cover your face to protect skin when applying hair sprays. Wearing a sweatband when working out will prevent products from dripping onto your face as you sweat.

·         Squinting your eyes – Squinting can lead to fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Wearing outdated contacts and glasses will cause you to squint more often, so be sure to avoid unnecessary aging by keeping your eyewear updated.

·         Waxing too often – If you love to stay hairless, know that too much waxing can result in raw skin and increased bumps. Take at least a three-week break to let your skin regenerate.

·         Exfoliating too often – Body scrub lovers beware. Exfoliating too much can strip the skin of its necessary oils needed to maintain a natural glow. Keep your exfoliating ritual to only once a week for best results.

·         Sitting in the sauna – Saunas are wonderful for pre/post workout downtime. What most people don’t know is that hanging out in the sauna for too long will cause sagging overtime. Keep your sauna and steam room usage to a minimum.  

·         Cooling off in air conditioning – While we like to crank up the air conditioning during these hot, humid summer months, it can be damaging to the skin. Air conditioning strips the air of the humidity and moisture your skin needs to look and feel its best. Bump up the temperature on your air conditioner and get fresh air as often as possible to help your skin retain moisture.

Making a few small changes in your daily routines can give your skin the healthy glow you desire. For more information about the best regimen for you, talk with one of our skin care experts at Greenville Dermatology.  To schedule a consultation or annual skin screening, call (864) 242-5872 today.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Swimmer’s Ear Strikes Again

The height of the summer season means more and more people flocking to the pools and beaches to cool off from the sweltering heat. It also brings with it an increased risk of swimmer’s ear, or inflammation of the skin in the ear canal. In fact, 44 percent of all swimmer’s ear cases occur between the months of June and August.

Swimmer’s ear occurs when water is trapped in the ear for an extended period of time and bacteria found in water breaks the skin barrier through cuts or scrapes in the ear canal. Once the skin barrier is broken, it opens up an entry point for the water bacteria to infect the area. The infection causes the skin to become inflamed and swell. This can be incredibly painful because there is not a lot of room in the ear to accommodate the swelling.

Anyone who goes swimming can get swimmer’s ear. Not surprisingly, the more time you spend in the water – lakes, ponds and pools alike – the more likely you are to develop this irritating condition. Those who clean or scratch their ears regularly are especially prone to swimmer’s ear because of an increased risk of trauma to the ear canal.

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include ear pain, itching and yellow and white discharge. The difference between a middle ear infection and swimmer’s ear is the presence of pain when the ear lobe is gently pulled. Tugging on the lobe of someone with swimmer’s ear will create movement in the infected canal and cause pain.

Studies suggest that topical treatments work best for uncomplicated swimmer’s ear. Antibiotic ear drops with or without a topical steroid may need to be prescribed to help decrease swelling. Treatment typically lasts a week before it is completely healed, but most patients feel relief from pain within three to four days of starting the drops.

To help prevent swimmer’s ear, remove any lingering water after swimming or bathing, shake your ears dry and place two to three drops of rubbing alcohol in your ear to evaporate the water.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent swimmer’s ear or other summer-related skin issues, visit Greenville Dermatology and speak to one of our skin care experts today. Call (864) 242-5872 to make an appointment.

Monday, July 14, 2014

TheraClear™: The Facts and Benefits

More often than not, most of the patients we see are suffering from mild to severe acne and are looking for a way to achieve fresher, clearer skin. While antibiotics are often prescribed to remedy problems with acne, the use of antibiotics over an extensive period of time can often cause more problems down the road. Luckily, in the past few years, a new device called TheraClear™ has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of acne.

TheraClear™ is able to treat multiple causes of acne in a single treatment. Using a pneumatic tip that gently suctions the skin into a chamber, the device is able to remove blackheads and oil from the skin and unblock pores. Simultaneously, a broad band of intense light is emitted to selectively kill the acne bacteria and leave the good bacteria intact.

After a single treatment, patients are able to see improvements. A series of four to eight treatments seven to ten days apart is recommended for optimal results. Each treatment is relatively painless and takes between 10 to 20 minutes. After the initial series of treatments, patients can receive maintenance treatments as needed.

TheraClear™’s mode of killing bacteria and suppressing oil glands is the leading technology for treating acne. Based on Theravant research, 85 percent of patients have excellent results, 10 percent show satisfactory improvement, and only 5 percent show little improvement. While TheraClear™ does not cure acne, it is proving to be successful in treating acne without the use of medication.

If you are interested in receiving TheraClear™ treatments, call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 to set up an appointment today. 

Monday, July 7, 2014 Article: Six Ways to Improve Wrinkles

The following is a preview of an article Dr. Miller wrote for Click here to read the full article.

Almost everyone would like to look younger. However, we all differ in how severe our wrinkles are. We may have a few fine lines or deep furrows or we may have a combination of fine lines and deep furrows. Here is a list of wrinkle reducers from the least invasive to the most radical to help us improve our wrinkles.

1. Sunscreen
Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher with the words "broad spectrum" on the label every day and frequently reapply it.

2. Topical Exfoliating Cleansers and Retinoids
Use an exfoliating cleanser that contains glycolic acid to increase the turnover of skin cells on the face and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Adding a topical retinoid cream such as Retin-a at night also improves and preserves the collagen layer that becomes damaged with age.

3. Chemical Peels and Facials
Chemical peels and facials are more aggressive ways to exfoliate the skin. One peel or facial can accomplish what using an exfoliating cleanser would do in weeks to months.

4. Laser Resurfacing or Tightening
The next step in reducing wrinkles is laser resurfacing or lasers that tighten the skin. There are two types of lasers that resurface the skin: ablative and non-ablative (more commonly known as "fractional"). Non-ablative resurfacing is very safe, but may take multiple treatments to accomplish significant improvement in wrinkles. Lasers that tighten the skin target deeper layers of the skin and can be very painful, but the resulting tightening of the skin can improve a significant amount of wrinkling.

5. Neurotoxins and Fillers
One way to reduce wrinkles quickly is with neurotoxins (Botox and its competitors) and fillers that target the brow lines, “crow’s feet” and the so called “parentheses and “marionette” lines around the mouth. Newer products such as Sculptra and Voluma replace the volume lost in our faces as we age which reduces deeper wrinkles. The improvement that these products offer lasts from 3 months up to over a year.

6. Facelift
The ultimate wrinkle reducer is the facelift. For some, this may be the best option. A facelift used to be a very major procedure and still can be. However, there are abbreviated versions of a full face lift that can be done on an outpatient basis.

Most cosmetic doctors agree that a combination of treatments usually works better than a single treatment. To speak with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon about the best plan for your skin, call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 today.