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Six Keys To Holiday Skin and Hair Health
This holiday season, like the last, we may feel a sense of emerging again into the light. There will be opportunities to spend time with our loved ones, and to fill our days with seasonal hope and cheer. The holidays are an excellent time for us to review our health goals for the New Year and beyond, and to decide if we want to make a few changes.
Our skin is an important part of this health plan because it is the largest organ in our bodies. In association with our hair and nails, our skin is the mirror of everything that happens inside. Healthy, glowing skin is a sign of good general health, and also of energy and vitality.
Here are six tips for building good skin and hair health for the holidays and beyond.
1. Get a Skin Check
Skin cancer is now the most common cancer in the United States, and affects one in five Americans. The key to avoiding serious problems is early detection and treatment. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends annual full-body skin examinations by a board-certified dermatologist, and more frequent examinations if you have a personal or family history of skin cancers or pre-cancers. Your dermatologist can show you how to perform regular skin self-exams at home in between your regular office visits.
2. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
We are still vulnerable to sun damage in fall and winter, even though the days are colder and less bright. This includes while driving, as some of the sun’s damaging ultraviolet light rays can pass through glass. Year-round sun protection helps prevent skin cancers and pre-cancers, as well as sunspots, wrinkles and premature skin aging.
Your first line of sun defense is clothing. For your hands, ears and the back of your neck, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or above daily, and re-apply every two hours while you’re outdoors. Modern sunscreen options include natural mineral sunscreens, brush-on powders that leave no sticky or greasy residue, and sunscreens with added skin repair ingredients such as antioxidants and peptides.
3. Tackle Breakouts
Acne, skin redness or other skin breakouts can be due to blocked pores, hormonal influences, stress and hereditary factors. Wearing a mask can make things worse due to the trapping of skin perspiration, breath droplets, skin oils, and make-up. Washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser can help. Effective cleansers for acne can include specific ingredients like green tea, an natural anti-infllammatory treatment, as well as salicylic acid and other antibacterials. Changing masks at least once a day, washing them daily and avoidance of make-up beneath your mask is helpful. Hanging up your mask to dry in the sunlight exposes it to UV light, which assists in killing bacteria.
A board-certified dermatologist can examine you fully and recommend a holistic plan including prescription creams, plus oral medications if needed for severe acne or rosacea. In-office procedures can also be helpful. Chemical peels with natural fruit acids, or Dermasweep MD with customized skin infusions will cleanse, exfoliate and unblock clogged pores, as well as improving pigmentation and fine lines and restoring skin radiance.
4. Health and Beauty Throughout
For true skin health and beauty, your doctor needs to know how to analyze your whole face in 3D with advanced understanding of your facial anatomy. Highly-skilled procedures are individualized for your own skin type and concerns such as under-eye circles, wrinkles, bumpy skin or sagging. Ultherapy is FDA approved for nonsurgical brow, face and jawline lifting. Delicate doses of Botox or natural fillers like Restylane, Voluma and Juvederm can relax crow’ feet, forehead wrinkles and lines around the mouth, shape your brows and widen droopy eyes, and smooth out neck wrinkles. Expert, European-style techniques achieve a completely natural-looking result with no “frozen” look and little or no down time. Stimulation of new collagen and elastin can take years off your face.
Double chins show more on Zoom because webcams add about ten pounds under the chin and make our necks look more wrinkled. Ultherapy and Exilis Ultra lasers use ultrasound and radiofrequency to tighten skin and melt fat with no down time, to re-define your jawline, and also sculpt the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, arms and knees. Kybella is an injectable fat dissolver. Re-contouring the chin and jawline with your own natural fat containing stem cells, or with fillers, can also work wonders for a double chin.
5. Hair Removal and Restoration
If you suffer from excess hair, a board-certified dermatologist is the expert who can examine you to identify underlying medical causes such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The hair itself can be removed safely, quickly and painlessly from all skin types with the state-of-the-art Gentle YAG laser.
A board-certified dermatologist can also help hair loss due to stress or other causes, first with a comprehensive medical evaluation and second with scientifically validated solutions such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), which concentrates natural growth factors from a small sample of your own blood.
6. Feminine (Vaginal) Rejuvenation
The changes that women experience as they go through childbearing, hormonal shifts and aging include vaginal laxity, stress urinary incontinence, and uncomfortable vaginal dryness. The first step is a Gyn exam. If there are no underlying health problems, it can be transformative to treat these concerns with rapid, hormone-free non-surgical options such as the CO2RE Intima laser, which is gold standard treatment to remodel the tissue of the vagina and vulva by stimulating new collagen. Fillers can correct volume loss and improve the external shape and appearance of the vaginal lips or vulva. Based on our own patient experiences, these often-overlooked treatments enable women to lift their children and grandchildren without fear of urinary leakage, and revitalize their personal relationships.
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