Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Are Skin Tags?

A skin tag is a benign growth of skin cells that commonly occur in skin creases such as the neck, arm pits, breasts, and groin. Although the exact causes of skin tags are unknown, they are thought to occur in areas where skin rubs together.  They also can be familiar and chances are if your mother or father has skin tags you could as well.  A typical skin tag is round or oval in shape and hangs off the skin.  They are not dangerous and generally will not cause any harm, but can sometimes become irritated or unsightly.  If that is the case they can be easily treated by your dermatology provider.  Liquid nitrogen and electric cautery are easy and relatively painless ways to treat your skin tags.   There are many over the counter and at home remedies that are being sold to get rid of skin tags.  These are generally ineffective and costly. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Nail Salons and UV Lamps

UV nail lamps can be found in almost every nail salon, and may even be purchased for home use. UV nail lamps are used to help dry nail polish, and cure gel and acrylic nails. Similar to tanning beds, nail lamps primarily emit UVA rays. These types of UV rays have been proven to cause premature aging and mutations in DNA that can lead to skin cancers in exposed skin. There are other ways to obtain a great looking polish without being exposed to UV light. Both regular nail polish and gel polish can be dried in other ways.  Visible light or topical applications that can be sprayed, brushed, or applied by a dropper can speed the process of drying. If UV light must be used it is suggested to use a sunblock on your hands and/or feet prior to heading to the salon. Those containing Zinc or titanium dioxide are best because they help to protect the skin from UVA rays.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Can Stress Really Make You Lose Your Hair?

The sad answer is yes.  Stress can make your lose hair.  Telogen Effluvium is a common type of hair loss that is brought on by any stressor to the body including pregnancy, surgery, significant weight loss, severe illness and even extreme emotional stress.  Hair growth occurs in stages.   The anagen phase is the growth phase of the hair cycle where hair cells are dividing rapidly.  During this phase hair grows 1 cm every 28 days.  The catagen phase is the transitional stage between the active and resting phase of the growth cycle.  Finally the telogen phase is the resting period of the hair cycle where the hair follicle is completely at rest.  Stress can trigger hair cells to stay in the Telogen or resting phase of the hair cycle longer than normal causing hair to thin and fall out.   The good news is that this type of hair loss is rarely permanent and hair will regrow once your body has gotten over the stressor.  Over the counter Rogaine combined with prescription medications can be used to maintain hair growth until your body bounces back.  In addition, baseline blood work to check for anemia, thyroid disorders and autoimmune conditions should be ruled out as a cause for this type of hair loss.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Is your Jewelry Giving you a Rash?

Do you ever feel itchy after wearing a certain pair of earrings?  The culprit could be Nickel. Nickel is a metal that often gets mixed into jewelry that is a known allergen.  It may be found in earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Besides jewelry, it can also be found in watch straps, belt buckles, and the metal tab at the waistband of jeans, bra clasps, and hair clips.  If you develop a red itchy rash after wearing certain jewelry or clothing you may have a Nickel allergy and should contact your dermatology provider.  A prescription medication can be prescribed for severe cases. There are also products on the market available today that you can purchase to help coat your jewelry to protect it from your skin such as Nickel Guard.