Skin Care Mobile
The skin is the largest organ of the body and readily shows the relentless changes occurring from exposure to the environment (photoaging) and time (true aging).
Dry skin will feel rough, scaly, itchy, and wrinkled due to loss of water, especially in dry climates and with antibacterial and liquid soaps. Oils and moisturizers and humidifiers are beneficial.
Oily skin may result in clogged pores with an increased propensity for acne. It is better to cleanse with a mild soap while avoiding soaps containing emollients from vegetable, mineral, or silicone oils. Astringents that primarily contain alcohol may improve oiliness, but are irritating.
A healthy lifestyle and balanced diet are essential for all organ functions and the skin is no exception. The skin of a smoker is drier, coarser, thicker, and more wrinkled due to decreased blood supply and oxygen free-radicals.
Stress can lead to hives and acne breakouts in prone individuals. Chronic stress and muscle tension can cause excessive frowning and muscle activity with associated frown lines and furrows.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause the most damage to our skin and most of this damage is done by the age of 20 years. UVA light damages collagen and elastic fibers and long term exposure causes photoaging and skin cancer. UVB light causes sunburn and contribute to photoaging. UVC is normally filtered out by the ozone layer. Chronic sun exposure results in dyschromia, irregular melanin deposition, and wrinkled, rough, leathery skin with a dull complexion, age spots, and spider veins (telangiectasia). Tanning beds primarily deliver UVA resulting in a tan without a burn, but chronic exposure to tanning beds is very damaging to skin. Both sunblocks and sunscreens are graded by their sun protection factor (SPF) which measures protection against UVB rays but it is important to select a screen that blocks or absorbs both UVA and UVB. SPF multiplies the amount of time you can spend in the sun without getting burned. It is important that the sunscreen selected be at least SPF 30 and Dr. Park prefers a high percentage (at least > 5% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) to block the suns effects. These are now much easier to wear and go on clear as opposed to the zinc oxide used years ago. The Medspa at the Park, LLC offers several medical grade sunscreens, Elta MD®, and Skinmedica®.
Striae, stretch marks typically seen following pregnancy or significant weight loss, are scars in the dermis and little, if anything, can be done to prevent or to cure this problem other than excision.
Skin Care Products
Soaps come in liquid or bar form and function by forming micelles (clusters around foreign objects). Sensitive individuals should choose uncolored and unscented soaps. Liquid soaps are milder than bar soaps. Natural soaps also contain non-alkaline materials and tend to be more harsh than synthetic soaps due to a higher pH. Most beauty soaps are synthetic with a lower ph, and they are ideally, less drying and may have a moisturizing additive. Some soaps, known as Super Fatted soaps, are less drying and may make the skin oilier because of the addition of fatty additives such as cocoa butter, lanolin or petroleum. Deodorant soaps contain antimicrobials which can be irritating in some individuals.
Moisturizers apply a film on the skin which reduces water evaporation. If one already has oily skin, it can clog pores and aggravate acne. Oil based moisturizers (Eucerin®) derive their function from emollients. Oil free moisturizers are water-based creams that usually contain humectants (glycerin or propylene glycol) that bind water from the environment to rehydrate the skin.
Toners contain alcohol and other ingredients to remove impurities, cleansers, surface skin cells, oils, and soap residue. They may be beneficial for oily skin by removing excess oil and they may be beneficial to dry skin by removing excess horny layer of epidermis, but toners can also be very irritating to the skin and limited trial should be used prior to significant use.
Exfoliants are designed to remove excess cells from skin. When effective, they leave the skin looking smoother and shinier but long-term effects are still poorly understood.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) break cell adherence to aid in the shedding of dead skin, essentially the result of a superficial burn and the depth of activity depends on the concentration of the acid. Treatment gives the skin a smoother, fresher look, but it will not eradicate wrinkles, clogged pores, or acne.
Glycolic and lactic acids are commonly used because of their excellent skin penetration.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (salicylic acid, benzoic acid, butyric acid) also function by disrupting skin cell bonds, but are lipid soluble, improving the care of oily skin.
Tretinoin (Retin A®, Renova®, and Activa®) is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A generally prescribed for acne, sun damage, dyschromia and treatment of fine wrinkles.
Antioxidants such as selenium and Vitamins A, C, and E may protect the skin from free radicals but are still being investigated.