Men and Make-up: How Not to Glisten When Your Stock Plummets

Do men use cosmetics? Should they?

We know that men get laser treatments, face lifts, chemical peels, Botox® and fillers.

But applying a little bronzing powder is a different story. Or is it?

I am not advocating that men apply make-up (not that there is anything wrong with that). I wonder though, how many men reach into their wives’ or girlfriends’ make-up bag to find concealer for their acne? I don’t know, but I suspect quite a few.

A product that might be worth the cost (and preserve your masculinity) is an anti-shine gel. This one, made by Shiseido, was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal (not exactly Men’s Vogue).

Male faces naturally produce more sebum, some more than others. If you’re a professional and your face has a tendency to glisten when your hedge fund takes a dive in the afternoon, then having a product like this might be useful. And no less manly.

Over the Counter Wart Treatment Not as Cold as Mine

OK. There’s cold. Then there’s really cold. Growing up in Providence, RI, I can remember waiting for the school bus on frigid January mornings. Some days, it was zero degrees. I can tell you, when it’s zero degrees out, a 30 degree day feels balmy.

It’s the difference between cold and really cold that matters when it comes to treating warts.

A recent study in the Journal of American Association of Dermatology explored the difference between over the counter wart freezer and the one that we use in dermatology clinics. They found that the coldest the over the counter product could achieve was -4° F (-20º Celsius). Pretty cold.

But the liquid nitrogen used in dermatology clinic was colder than -148º F (-100º Celsius), the lowest the sensor could measure — much colder than the over the counter version!

I am sure your wart will be able to tell you the difference.

Worried About a Changing Mole? Better Call for a Botox Appointment.

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The Botox® line moves a lot faster

A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology looked at the length of time patients wait to see a dermatologist. The authors called nearly 900 dermatology offices in 12 cities to request an appointment.

In a previous study they found that it took 26 days to be seen in a dermatologist’s office for a changing mole.

Repeating the study, but this time trying to make an appointment for Botox injections, they found that the median wait time was 8 days (with a range of 6 to 32 days). The shortest wait times were in Orange County, California and Miami, Florida.

The wait time for patients seeking Botox was therefore 18 days shorter than the wait time for patients seeking evaluation of a changing mole.

  • The chances of getting an appointment within a week for Botox: 23%
  • The chances of getting an appointment within a week for evaluation of a changing mole: 17%

The chances that further cuts in physician reimbursement for medical dermatology will make this despicable discrepancy worse: 99%

Resneck, JS. et al. Short Wait Times for Patients Seeking Cosmetic Botulinum Toxin Appointments with Dermatologists. J Am Acad Dermatol 2007;57:985-9

Vitamin C and Skin Care

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Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a popular natural ingredient used in skin care cosmetics. There are two mechanisms by which it can affect your skin.

First, vitamin C is an essential component for collagen synthesis. Without adequate vitamin C, the collagen in your skin would be malformed and your skin and gums would not heal properly. This is obvious in patients who are clinically deficient of vitamin C, a condition called scurvy. Among other problems, scurvy patients have bleeding from their gums and poorly healing wounds.

Secondly, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. Like other antioxidants, it helps to prevent skin damage and wrinkles by soaking up harmful free radicals.

The problem is how to get the vitamin C into your skin. Your skin is designed to keep things out (on the whole, a good idea), but this makes getting medications and creams below the surface, where they exert their effects, rather difficult.

In order for vitamin C to penetrate the skin, it needs to be in an acidic environment, and it needs to be in a high concentration in the product. Unfortunately products that contain 5-10% ascorbic acid are expensive and it’s unlikely that products with low amounts of ascorbic acid have any measurable impact on your skin.

In addition, topical vitamin C is highly degradable. When exposed to air it oxidizes and its free radical soaking capabilities are muted — it becomes an inert, yet nicely citrus fragranced, cream. This is obvious if you have a vitamin C cream at home; you will see that the cream around the cap turns brown (like an apple slice) indicating that the vitamin C in it has oxidized.

If your are going to purchase a topical vitamin C cream, this is one place where more expensive might be worth the cost. La Roche-Posay makes Active C, a nightly eye cream with 5% vitamin C.

If you are trying to save a few dollars this year, I recommend just eating a citrus fruit everyday. You need only 90 mg of vitamin C daily which can be found in a couple of orange slices. Eating a whole orange or other citrus fruit will easily give you many times the amount of vitamin C you need.

There is no evidence that taking vitamin C supplements or consuming huge amounts of vitamin C will have any impact on your skin. Once you have an adequate supply of vitamin C to make collagen, having a huge oversupply is not likely to lead to more collagen production. But it certainly will lead to lots more vitamin C in your urine — it’s simply eliminated by your kidneys.

Other foods high in vitamin C can be found here.

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Skincare Myths: Plucking Hair Makes it Grow Back Thicker

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A Global Map of Skin Color

Skin pigment serves a purpose: it protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

But there is a cost: it blocks production of vitamin D. This phenomena explains why people indigenous to latitudes distant from the equator have very little pigment while those indigenous to latitudes close to the equator have dark pigment. A graphical representation of this can be seen in the map above.

People with little or no natural skin pigment, as in albino patients, who live close to the equator have devastating, disfiguring skin cancers. In contrast, people with dark skin who live in northern latitudes often have vitamin D deficiency.

Graphic from: Chaplin G.© , Geographic Distribution of Environmental Factors Influencing Human Skin Coloration, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 125:292–302, 2004; map updated in 2007.

read more | digg story

Psoriasis Website

I seemed to have a run on psoriasis patients this week. It is not surprising; psoriasis is often worse in the winter when the air is dry and when there is less sunlight. Both warm humid air and sunlight will improve psoriasis.

If you have psoriasis, please visit the National Psoriasis Foundation site –it’s an excellent resource about psoriasis and its treatments. They will also help you find a dermatologist in your area who treats psoriasis!

See also: Severe Psoriasis Linked to Increased Risk of Death

Photo of psoriasis from University of Manchester School of Medicine website.

Skin Care Myths: Plucking Hairs Makes Them Grow Back Thicker

Before Plucking

Before

After Plucking

After

You can’t catch a cold from going outside without a jacket, and hairs don’t grow back thicker after you pluck them. I swear.

In fact, repeatedly plucking hairs can scar the follicle, which over time can lead to permanent loss of that hair. It is actually a very inexpensive way to remove unwanted hairs.

Waxing, threading, and plucking hairs are essentially the same thing; the hairs usually will grow back (unless you perform this repeatedly over a long period of time).

Electrolysis and laser hair removal, in contrast, destroy the hair follicle. Most of these hairs will not grow back and repeated treatment will lead to permanent hair removal.

If you pluck your hairs:

  1. Start with good, clean slanted or straight tweezers. Be sure the edges are sharp, not damaged.
  2. Pluck in the direction that the hair grows.
  3. Grab and pull the hair out in one quick motion.
  4. Pluck only one hair at a time.
  5. Repeat.
  6. Repeat again.

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