News & Media: Blog
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Why Do Antiperspirant/Deodorant Products Cause Skin irritation?

It is the antiperspirant, not the deodorant, that causes skin irritation. The antiperspirant decreases sweating while the deodorant simply provides a pleasant scent to the axilla (armpit).

The active ingredient in all widely marketed antiperspirants is an aluminum salt possibly mixed with a zirconium salt. The aluminum salt is very irritating to the skin, especially in high concentration. The aluminum salt functions to decrease the release of perspiration from the armpit by coagulating protein in the apocrine and eccrine sweat glands, and it may also coagulate the stratum corneum protein lining the armpit.

More modern antiperspirant formulations minimize the irritation by incorporating dimethicone into the formulation.

For patients experiencing irritation from antiperspirant/deodorant products who wish to continue using these products, try the following:

1. Apply the antiperspirant/deodorant at night as the armpit is at rest with less sweat and thus the product will work better.
2. Apply a thin dimethicone-based moisturizer in the morning.


Ultraviolet Nail Lamps - Cancer Risk?

Ultraviolet (UV) nail drying lamps used in nail salons do not appear to pose a significant risk of skin cancer. Researchers with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Brown University in Providence determined that UV nail lamps primarily emit UVA with no detectable levels of UVB or UVC. For the two lamp devices tested, more than 13,000 sessions would be necessary to equal the dose received during one narrowband UVB course.


Are You A Candidate for A Trichloroacetic Acid Peel?

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are used to correct fine lines, deeper lines, superficial scars, laxity, sun damage and pigmentation problems depending on the strength of the TCA used. TCA can be used not only on the face, but also on the neck, chest, back, arms and hands. These peels should be performed by a board-certified physician (typically a dermatologist or plastic surgeon) in a medical office. It can be helpful to prep your skin for a TCA peel with a skincare regimen including glycolic acid, hydroquinone (if you are trying to reduce hyperpigmentation) and RetinA prior to undergoing the peel. Strict sun protection and hydration with a healing ointment (ie. Aquaphor) are very important after the peel. 


Indoor Tanning and Skin Cancer Risk

A recent larger study revealed that a single ultraviolet (UV) tanning session increases tanners' risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) by 20 percent. Close to 171,000, or about 5 percent, of the 3.5 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer diagnosed in the US every year can be attributed to indoor tanning. Investigators also determined that one indoor tanning session raises tanners' risk of melanoma by 20 percent. In 2012, melanoma killed around 9,180 people in the US. 


Read The Latest On Oxygen and Skincare

The New York Times' Skin Deep discusses the incorporation of oxygen into skin products. Click on the link below to learn more.


Sunscreen Regulation Update

In June 2011, the FDA unveiled its long-awaited final rule on sunscreen regulations. Implementation of these rules was delayed this past summer (2012).

The sunscreen rules address a number of things that dermatologists have deemed problematic regarding the marketing claims and labeling of sunscreens:

1. “Only broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures.”
2. Manufacturers cannot label sunscreens as “waterproof” or “sweatproof,” or even identify their products as “sunblocks,” as these claims overstate their effectiveness.
3. Water resistance claims on the front label must now indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing.
4. Sunscreens cannot claim to provide sun protection for more than two hours without reapplication or to provide protection immediately after application without FDA approval.

On December 17th, the new rules take effect for all products with annual sales over $25,000. Companies with lower sales have an additional full year to comply. 



Interested in a product that erases wrinkles or reduces pore size?

Read on for some buyer tips.

Cosmetic company insiders have noted that the most reliable claim on a package is the product size, as this can be objectively measured. Other claims can be exaggerated based on limited or non-product-specific data or, in rare cases, based on nothing at all. Also keep in mind that even when products are tested by a company, the study may be conducted under unrealistic conditions or with such tight controls that it is unlikely that a consumer’s actual use will produce similar effects. For example, a product may claim improvement in wrinkles based on the fact that 51% of consumers report a self-assessed benefit; however, this translates only into a 50/50 chance of a given consumer seeing a benefit.

Still, well-formulated products can yield benefits. “Clinically proven” claims supported by research and development studies with independent dermatologists are very strong indicators of potential product efficacy. Brand name products with strong research and development organizations are most likely to carry these claims. Patients should beware or be cautious with generic store brands that state "compare to X product…” These products are working off of the reputation or the “innovator” and are unlikely to have been involved with studies. They may contain the same or similar ingredients as another brand product, but the manufacturing process is rarely duplicated.

Consumers should consider the history and reputation of the company selling the product and note the efficacy claimed. In general, larger companies will do clinical research and testing that can verify claims. Smaller companies are less likely to be scrutinized and therefore can more easily get away with less scrupulous claims. 


What Causes Longitudinal Nail Ridging and How Can It Be Minimized?

A longitudinal nail ridge is due to the senescence of an individual cell in the nail matrix. It is unknown how to reverse the cell senescence, but it is possible to smooth the ridges by filing with a series of coarse- to fine-grit emery boards. I recommend a coarse-grit emery board be used to smooth the ridge only, followed by medium-grit, fine-grit and smoothing-grit emery boards for further polishing of the nail. While popular press claims Biotin can improve such nail conditions, there really are no nutritional nail supplements that do this. Longitudinal nail ridges are also more prone to nail peeling and splitting (otherwise known as onychoschizia). A moisturizer can be helpful if there is peeling. Silicone-based nail moisturizers can add nail shine during the day and glycerin-based nail moisturizers are good at night. 

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