Winter Skin

Winter can be a particularly harsh season for our skin. During this time of year, temperatures are cold and we spend more time indoors where heating systems tend to deplete the water content in the air.  Low humidity in our environment contributes to dry skin.

Dry skin commonly appears as being rough and flaky patches, which can show up anywhere on the body but mostly on the arms and legs. In severe cases, your skin can develop creases and cracks when it is extremely dry.

Drying of the skin typically occurs when the outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, becomes compromised. The stratum corneum which is composed of dead skin cells and natural oils; acts as a protective layer that prevents water from evaporating from the surface. When water evaporates, outer skin cells become flaky and will cause cracks and fissures.

There are steps you can take to retain moisture and prevent dry skin. Here are a few:
• Bathe in warm water, never hot
• Use mild soaps that contain moisturizing creams
• Pat the skin dry with soft towels
• Use a moisturizer several times a day on exposed areas of the body.
• Drink a lot of water
• Apply sunscreen to prevent drying out from the sun’s rays
• Wear gloves
• Avoid wearing wet articles of clothes outdoors.
• Have a humidifier in the home

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital to discuss dry skin and how best to treat it, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dark Circles Under the Eyes

young woman applied concealer on her eye circles

Having dark circles under your eyes is not uncommon but they can be frustrating for those who have them.  There are many ways adults and children can develop dark circles under their eyes.

Some of the more common factors that contribute to dark circles are lack of sleep or too much sleep, an iron deficiency, stress, allergies or nasal congestion.

Dark circles under the eyes caused by the more common factors can often be resolved by using over the counter remedies.

If you are getting adequate sleep, have a healthy diet, take vitamin supplements and dark circles still persist, you may have a condition called hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by an excessive amount of melanin in your system causing dark patches to develop on the skin.  These patches often form under the eyes.

Some additional causes of hyperpigmentation are:

  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Scarring
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Acne
  • Burns
  • Skin pigmentation abnormalities (Thin skin under the eye showing veins)

Since hyperpigmentation does not fade on its own and in some cases can be permanent, you may want to seek the advice of a dermatologist.

To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, call 718-206-6742.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Adult Acne

problematic skin before and after makeup

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some adults continue to get acne well into their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.  There is even a possibility that you can get acne for the first time as an adult.

As an adult, acne can be frustrating because the remedies you used as a teen are rendered useless or can even make your acne worse.  But, how do we determine whether the marks on our skin are acne or merely a blemish?

Blemishes, or pimples, can show up on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders because these areas have the greatest number of oil glands.  The marks come and go with little or no treatment.  Acne, on the other hand, has a long term affect, requires treatment and if left untreated, may leave dark spots and permanent scars on the skin.

Women who are menopausal are more likely, than men of a similar age, to get what dermatologists call “adult-onset acne.”

Some other reasons for developing adult acne are:

  • Stress
  • Family history
  • Excessive use of hair and skin care products
  • Medication side effects
  • Undiagnosed medical conditions
  • Excessive consumption of carbohydrates
  • Excessive consumption of  dairy

There are many do it yourself remedies, but if nothing clears your adult acne, you should see a dermatologist.  With proper treatment and a great deal of patience, it can be controlled.

If you would like to have a consultation with a dermatologist, you can call the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 for an appointment.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Nail Fungus

nail fungus

Nail fungus, or onychomycosis as it is known medically, is a condition that is commonly found on nails of people of any age, although primarily it is seen in older adults, it can be seen in children as well.. It usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the nail that progressively takes over the whole nail. It appears more commonly on toe nails than on finger nails because this type of fungus likes to live in an environment that is warm, dark, moist, as is commonly found inside of shoes and also where there is reduced blood flow. Men tend to develop nail fungus more often than women.
Nails that are infected with fungus will show signs of being:
• Thickened
• Brittle, crumbly or ragged
• Distorted in shape
• Dark in color
A few risk factors for developing nail fungus are being diabetic, having a nail injury, being immune-compromised, living or working in humid conditions, having poor circulation, receiving chemotherapy, wearing tight fitting shoes, having poor hygiene, and having other fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
There are different ways to treat nail fungus and they range from the simple home remedy to the more intensive that is prescribed by a physician. Home remedies can include applying a vapo rub, tea tree oil, trimming and filing the nails, and over the counter nail creams and ointments. The more intense methods prescribed and administered by a physician includes oral antifungal medications, medicated nail polish, nail removal and laser light therapy.
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in all conditions of the feet. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

History of Sunscreen

Three sunscreen tubes isolated on white

The use of sunscreen is highly promoted and protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays has become a major concern as we learn more about the damages it causes. Today we are able to choose from many brands that offer the level of protection we need- but did you know the concept of sunscreen is nothing new? In fact, sunscreen was used by ancient Egyptians.

The Egyptians were known to use rice bran extracts, jasmine and lupine extracts as a sunscreen because they realized these ingredients had the ability to absorb the sun’s very strong rays. These chemicals are still used today in some of the modern sunscreen products.

Modern sunscreen products really started to become popular in the 1930’s. A South Australian chemist, HA Milton Blake created a sunburn cream that had some limited success. This was followed by the introduction in 1936 by the L’Oreal Company of a sunscreen product that was very effective at providing protection from the sun’s rays. In 1938 a chemist by the name of Franz Greiter developed a cream called Glacier Cream that provided added protection. He is also credited for identifying the sun protection factor (SPF) that became a standard measurement of sunscreen effectiveness.
In 1944 an American pharmacist patented a sunscreen product that eventually would become Coppertone.

Later developments in this field produced products that would protect the skin from the UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Manufacturing sunscreen is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to evolve. With more and more literature being published about the sun’s harmful effects on the skin, people will always be looking for better ways to stay protected as too much exposure can lead to skin cancer and other dermatologic conditions.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Natural Ways to Revive Your Skin This Spring

skin -78634418Now that winter is over and the days are getting warmer, you are probably going to wear clothing that shows more of your skin.   Unfortunately for many of us the cold and dry winter months has taken a toll, leaving our skin dry, cracked and dull- just simply not at its best.   The good news is you can help revive your skin and bring back its beauty by doing the following:

  1. Exfoliate –Exfoliating helps remove dry and dead skin cells from the surface. The benefits of exfoliation include an increase in cell turnover, healthier skin cells, improved texture, softer and brighter skin. It is recommended that you exfoliate once or twice a week but each individual is different and should consult a dermatologist about frequency. Using a home-made body scrub is one of the ways you can exfoliate.  The most popular scrubs that can be made at home are salt or brown sugar scrubs combined with oils such as coconut, olive or grapeseed.
  2. Moisturize-It is likely that winter has depleted moisture from your skin. Replace moisture by using honey; which is loaded with antioxidants, oils such as olive oil or believe it or not yogurt. It is suggested that you apply yogurt to skin, leave it on for 10 minutes then wash it off to reveal skin that looks refreshed. Applying hydrating masks to the face can help with suppleness. You can include natural moisturizing ingredients such as avocado or bananas in your mask.
  3. More water- Water is good for skin because it combats dehydration, which can make your skin appear drier. Keeping hydrated helps your organs to work better, this includes your biggest organ- your skin. Eating foods with high water content such apples or melons can also help with hydration.

Following these after-winter skin care tips can help you in putting your best spring skin forward; however, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a physician before trying them; especially if you have food allergies or chronic illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Zika

According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Most recently, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies of mother’s who contracted the virus during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain with microcephaly does not develop properly during the pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, this results in a smaller sized head.

What we DO know:

  • Zika virus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.
  • Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito
  • You can become infected by a male sex partner
  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas affected by Zika
  • Based on available evidence, the Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.

What we DO NOT know:

  • How likely a pregnant woman who has been exposed to Zika will get the virus
  • How the virus will affect her pregnancy or how likely it is that Zika will pass to her fetus
  • If the infected fetus will develop other birth defects or when in the pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus
  • If sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects that mosquito-borne transmission

If you must travel to Zika areas affected by Zika, speak with your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika Virus before you travel.  Learn how to protect yourself from mosquito bites and try to avoid regions where Zika is present.

If you have traveled to a region where Zika is present and are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about Zika symptoms. If you would like to speak with a physician, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, call 718-291-3276.

For more FAQ’s on Zika Virus you will find the following websites helpful –www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Home Remedy to Rid Blackheads

Blackheads are most common on your face, specifically on your nose and the sides of your nose. Common and annoying, blackheads occur when your pores become clogged with excess sebum (an oil created by the sebaceous glands that keeps skin supple) and dead skin cells. The difference between a black head and a white head is simply whether or not the pore is open or closed. Blackheads aren’t as unpleasant as pimples but they are still a nuisance to have. Here are some home remedies to curing pesky blackheads using items you might already have in your kitchen.

A little baking soda goes a long way for blackheads, but don’t overdo it, as it can seriously dry out your skin thanks to its saltiness. While pH may or may not have a role to play in blackheads, the biggest reason baking soda helps is because of it’s small, fine, granules that can work as a natural and inexpensive way to occasionally exfoliate and remove anything clogging your pores (and therefore causing blackheads.)

You will need baking soda and fresh water.

Mix the water with enough baking soda to form a thick, but spreadable, paste. Using a gentle circular motion, massage the paste into your skin. Rinse thoroughly with plain water, pat your face dry, and then make sure you moisturize.

Since blackheads are caused by open, clogged, pores reacting to oxygen, it only makes sense that “shrinking” your pores down will help. Lemon juice is just the astringent substance needed to get the job done, however, it can lighten skin temporarily and it does make you sensitive to the sun, so load up on sunscreen if you plan on using this method in the summertime. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting the lemon juice with water first.

You will need a lemon, cotton balls and a small bottle.

Rinse your face and pat dry. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bottle and then use just enough to dampen a cotton ball. Apply to affected areas 3-4 times a week, at bedtime. When you wake up, rinse your face with luke-warm water and apply moisturizer as usual. Store the rest of the juice in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be aware-the juice can sting sometimes!

Green tea can also be used to treat blackheads. Mix one teaspoon of dry green tea leaves with a little water to make a paste. Then, gently scrub the paste over the affected area for two to three minutes. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and apply a little bit of moisturizer once your face is dry. This scrub deep cleans oily skin and helps unclog pores.

There are many prescription medicines for the treatment of blackheads if trying natural treatments isn’t your thing. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dermatology Department please call, 718-206-6742.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Vitiligo: Causes, Myths, and Facts

Vitiligo2Vitiligo (vit-uh-lie-go) also called ‘leucoderma’ is a condition in which there is a development of milky-white patches on the skin. Anyone can get this skin disorder. Millions of people of all races and ethnicities worldwide have Vitiligo. It occurs in 0.5-2% of the general population. Some well-known cases of vitiligo have occurred in celebrities such as Michael Jackson, supermodel Winnie Harlow, and comedian Steve Martin.

So what causes vitiligo? Vitiligo is usually seen on the skin but other areas such as the scalp, lips and genitals can also be affected. Patches of hair can turn white. It develops because color producing cells in our skin called melanocytes, die.

Scientists have not completely understood why these cells die. Multiple factors such as genetics, a weak immune system which attacks its own cells, and increased free radical-induced damage (oxidative stress) may be the cause. Those whose parents have vitiligo and associated autoimmune diseases are more likely to get it as compared to the general population, although in most cases there is no family history of the condition. Certain factors such as skin injury and severe sunburn can cause development of new patches in a predisposed individual as well.

There are several myths associated with the spread of vitiligo but the fact is that vitiligo is not contagious. People also think that it is caused by eating white foods and drinking too much milk which is also false. Certain prescribed medications can stop the spread of new vitiligo spots but is not guaranteed, as new spots may appear but recover as treatment proceeds. Although vitiligo is not life-threatening it is life-changing. Those afflicted with vitiligo and their families face social stigmatisation leading to low self-esteem, anxiety, embarrassment, anger and even serious depression.

The Division of Dermatology at Jamaica Hospital offers several services, including adult and pediatric dermatology, dermatologic and skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. For an appointment, please call (718) 206- 6742.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How “Annual” Is Your Annual Physical?

HypertesionThinkstockPhotos-477722758A.  Yearly

B. Bi-Yearly

C. When I don’t feel good

D. I don’t do doctors

 

An annual exam is a good way of tracking your health progress.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Primary prevention
  • To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  • To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  • A way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
  • To update clinical data since your last check-up
  • To enhance the relationship betweenyou and your doctor

If you are interested in scheduling an exam, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 718-206-7001 for an appointment.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.