Common Skin Care Mistakes May Be Causing Your Irritating Skin Reactions

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Written by Jenny Isenman

Most women claim to have sensitive skin, but as it turns out, few women do. You might be thinking, “Wow, Jenny thanks for that scintillating bit of news and who cares if I’m wrong about my sensitive skin, it can’t hurt to be on the safe side, right?

I’m here to help you differentiate between skin sensitivity and sensitive skin. Truth is you could be doing harm. Self-diagnosing or a diagnosis by anyone other than a doctor, may mean missing out on amazing products or procedures that your skin could benefit from greatly, like those that slough off dead cells, which, if left alone can lead to breakouts, dullness, dryness or dare I say it, older looking skin. You may also be missing an underlying problem that might require medical treatment like Rosacea or Eczema.

Look, I’m with you. I’ve claimed to have sensitive skin for years – decades even, but I’ve found that the reactions I’ve had: itching, redness and even blotches have been due to a skin sensitivity not sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is usually exacerbated by things like sun exposure, wind, heat, cold, chemicals in products and other similar factors. Understanding this distinction and discovering your true skin type will open a world of possibilities in skincare.

Here are some facts and tips that will help you determine what you’re dealing with and how to proceed:

We Tend to Do Most of the Damage

We have more control over what irritates our skin than you would think. Common mistakes can cause reactions and sensitivity including over-washing, over-exfoliating, using products that dry out skin, using water that is too hot, scrubbing too hard, applying products that are known irritants too frequently, not allowing our skin time to get used to new products and too much sun exposure, to name a few.

How to Deal:

Be kinder to your skin and avoid excessive procedures and use of products with common irritants.
Avoid products with alcohol when possible.

Be aware of common irritants and allergens like, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, fragrances, formaldehyde, niacinamide (a topical form of the B3 nutrient), chemical peels, physical exfoliators, lanolin, parabens (and other preservatives that extend shelf life)

If you use products that strip skin or are known to irritate skin like peels and acids, remember some irritation, redness and tingling is common (up to about 15 minutes).

If you react to microdermabrasion, chemical peels or exfoliants, cut down on the frequency and/or intensity.
Listen to YOUR Skin:

Allow your skin to get used to strong products over time; better yet, do a 24-hour patch test on your neck or behind your ear to test for sensitivity. You may find that starting slowly, once a week and building up helps or … you may find your skin can’t tolerate more than one application every 2 or 3 days.

If you have a reaction to something, write down what it is and what the offending product’s ingredients are. You may be allergic to something in the product, which you’ll be able to weed out over time.

If you find your skin is sensitive to fragrance, remember that fragrance-free and unscented are not equal. There can be fragrances used to mask other scents in “unscented” products.

Be aware of environmental factors. Excessive cold, hot or moist weather can leave skin more prone to reaction… so can stress and hormones.

Rule out Something Else:

The best person to determine whether you have sensitive skin or not, is your doctor. A doctor should also be the one to diagnose Rosacea or Eczema. Both of those conditions can be treated and both can make your skin more sensitive. If those conditions are in remission your skin may not be considered sensitive!

Things That You Can Do To PREVENT Wrinkles, Other Than Not Smiling

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Written By: Jenny Isenman

I’m not gonna lie, I have had a laugh, cackle, guffaw and chortle cut short recently, because something in my brain reminded me that I was doing something far more significant than giddily enjoying myself and the moment – I was possibly setting my already apparent marionette lines and crow’s feet into a downward spiral of being etched even deeper into my once wrinkle-free face.

Yep, we all gave Kim K flak for saying she doesn’t smile in photos to prevent wrinkles and there I was, holding visual laughter inside for the sake of getting carded at a bar, which I never do, because A. who am I kidding? and B. when was the last time I went to a bar?

That being said, there are myriad ways to prevent wrinkles without pathetically holding back from a smile, chuckle, or full on belly laugh and here they are:

1. Avoid the Sun: This should be written in a neon sign at the top of this list. Sun exposure is the number one cause of wrinkles … more than heredity. Numerous studies have shown siblings have huge variances in the amount of wrinkles they acquire later in life, which can be directly correlated to differences in the amount of sun exposure they’ve had.

2. Don’t Smoke: Smoking breaks down collagen and elastin in your skin leaving it looser and prone to sagging and wrinkles.

3. Sleep on Your Back: The way you sleep does cause sleep lines which turn into wrinkles over time. It is best to sleep on your back. If that is impossible, then swap your cotton pillow case for a satin one. Alternatively, you could replace your pillow with a beauty sleep pillow made with a special foam, with a unique shape that alleviates pressure on the face.

4. Give Yourself a Facial Massage: Facial massage is an ancient Japanese practice which involves simply pressing and stroking the face. This small addition to your regimen will help slough off dead skin, increase blood flow, reduce puffiness, remove toxins and help soften wrinkles. Tip: Use a light milky moisturizer, with your finger tips and palms always moving in a circular motion and directed upward with mild pressure and repeat daily.

5. Wear Sunscreen: Clearly, we can’t really strictly adhere to number 1 and live as hermits indoors. That would be depressing and who would get to see our young fresh faces in the best natural light? So, the next best thing is sunblock. Wear it daily and unsparingly.

6. Use a Moisturizer with Retinol at Night: You should moisturize daily to keep your skin hydrated, but if you’re trying to prevent wrinkles, Retinol will add that extra oomph. It will help slough off the dead skin and promote the production of collagen which will help keep those little lines at bay.

7. Chemical Peel: Light, medium and deep chemical peels are a popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure used to peel away the skin’s top layer to improve sun-damaged, unevenly pigmented and wrinkled skin. You can learn more about the procedure here

Good luck and may the forces of nature not be with you!

Revealing the Beauty Within: Dermabrasion and Chemical Peels

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By Mary Cunningham

Most of us dream of recapturing the essence of youth and returning to the dewy freshness that’s faded with the years due to hours on the beach, long runs in the summer, that pesky smoking habit in college, and exposure to other environmental toxins. Every line tells a story and sometimes we don’t want those stories broadcast.

While face, brow and neck lifts can transform a face into a more youthful version of itself, there are other options to enhance the look and feel of our skin– which is thankfully much less expensive and non-invasive. Awesome.

Dermabrasion, dermplaning, dermblading- are all terms for using a small sharp object or rough surface to remove surface acne scars, fine wrinkles and other skin imperfections.

An alternative, one with which I have a LOT of experience, is any one of a variety of chemical peels. Peels can successfully reduce the size of pores and the appearance of wrinkles and scars. There are varying levels of intensity, based on the type and concentration of acid used, and how long it is left on the skin.

In addition to reversing skin damage, both can be used proactively to slow the first signs of aging – which is wonderful.

Yet in both treatments, it is paramount that you trust your skin to professionals because each requires: a) expert evaluation to determine whether your skin type will yield optimal results, and b) precision in execution of the treatment.

In light of the many people performing these treatments, and the potential for lasting skin damage, I want to share a few keys to success:

1) Start by consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in these procedures.

2) Inquire about the details.

Ask to have a patch tested on a part of your skin, other than your face. Skin tone and sensitivity are determining factors in your overall success. For example, chemical peels can have a bleaching effect, so if you have an olive complexion, make sure you are comfortable with a test section first.
Ask how long the full process takes- this is not limited to time in the doctor’s office. Your face will be sensitive, red, extremely sun-sensitive and shedding dead layers for days, and likely weeks (depending on the potency of the acid, for example).
With those answers, plan your treatment accordingly- if it’s the middle of summer and you have a beach vacation planned, don’t try to squeeze these treatments in before. Sometime in the fall–or when you’ll be ensconced in shade–is ideal.

3) Follow the directions of the doctor, nurse and your care team.

Your skin will be extremely sensitive and you must care for it tenderly in these days and weeks post treatment.
Going in the sun at this point could multiply the sun damage because you’re working with a new, gentle layer of skin right now. This is not the time to be careless with your skin care. (That may be what landed you in this situation in the first place. Just sayin’.) If you’ve invested the time in research as well as the money, don’t stop short after you leave the doctor’s office. If there are creams to apply, do so. Make sure that you are not only the ideal patient, but that you are your own personal care-giver.

While we were not all born with the gift of beautiful skin, with just a little time and care plus a lot of expertise, the opportunity for a new, fresh face isn’t just a dream.

Family Bonds Reduce Fears of Surgery

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Written by Linda Hankemeier

Families share so much with one another. Special moments. Heirlooms. Medical information.

Judy Bauman, along with other female members of her family, shared a physical trait – that of being well endowed. And while to some women that might be desirable, Judy found being well endowed challenging to say the least.

“I’m a nurse, and when you’re working with a patient, you don’t want your breasts to be in the way,” lamented Judy. Her cup-size-G breasts would get in the way of normal activities, impede her ability to exercise, and make finding clothing challenging at best. “I could somewhat hide my breasts in my scrubs, but not in regular clothes.”

Over the course of years, the women in Judy’s family who were plagued by this physical challenge all came to the same conclusion: A permanent solution was needed. Each woman, one by one, decided to have breast reduction surgery. As they went through the procedures, the women would gain information from one another’s medical experiences, recovery and quality of life.

“It’s not easy to make the decision to have surgery, and I was the last one in my family to finally go through with it,” Judy stated. “I was the oldest of the ‘girls’ in my family and I put it off the longest.” But, the back and shoulder pain that commonly accompany large breasts wore on her and hit a point at which she could take it no more. She had seen how each of them had benefited in decreased pain and increased convenience and movement.

And while Judy is a nurse and had the opportunity to see several family members go through the procedure, she still gives her doctor the credit for making the entire experience easy-to-understand and navigate.

“She talked to me about exactly what was needed for my specific situation and to get rid of the pain in my back and shoulders,” shared Judy. “I knew what was going to happen, what my recovery needs would be, and how to manage any pain. Dr. Laura Randolph said everything in down-to-earth, lay terms. Even as a nurse, I was very impressed in how she described things in a way that would make them easy for anyone to understand.”

“I really wasn’t surprised about anything that came with the surgeries, not even where the incisions were located,” stated Judy. “My family members who had this surgery quite a while back were impressed with how the procedures have changed over time. For example, I didn’t have surgical drains or anything like that,” she recalled.

Judy’s family was there for her afterwards, helping her through the recovery and as she began her new life. “My surgery was done outpatient and I was home the same day. I was a little sore the first week, but got better right on schedule,” Judy offered. “It was just amazing. All of my family members who have gone through this surgery look great, and we all agree that breast reduction surgery was the only way to go.”

Knowing it is a difficult decision to make, Judy offered a final thought for those women who might not have family who have been through the procedure: “I really hope other women who are suffering through the same thing really think about getting the surgery. It has made such a difference in my life. It’s like I have a whole new life.”

 

Board-certified plastic surgeon Laura C. Randolph, along with her professional and compassionate staff, comprise Twin City Plastic Surgery. Their Bloomington office is located at 2502 East Empire Street, Suite C, which is one mile east of Veterans Parkway, turning on to Audie Murphy Drive. More information on their practice, surgical options, and their consultation services is available by calling their office at 309-664-6222 or visiting online at www.twincityplasticsurgery.com.

Call Dr. Randolph (309) 664-6222 for a consultation. Contact Us

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