Archive for July 2010

Reverse Facial Skin Damage from the Summer Sun

Instead of a Q&A this week, I wanted to share with you information from a recently issued press release regarding the RX Systems PF's Glycolic Peels. With the summer almost over, now is a perfect time to think about how to minimize the damage that has been done by too much sun exposure over the past few months.

The harsh summer sun can be damaging to delicate facial skin, leaving it wrinkled, rough, and unevenly toned. The pH-balanced Glycolic Peel program from Rx Systems PF, when used in combination with Rx Systems PF’s home maintenance products, can reverse unsightly damage caused by the summer sun, leaving the skin feeling and looking refreshed, just in time for the tough winter ahead.

"What sets our glycolic peels apart from other peels is the low pH (0.95 to 1.4); the highest free acid concentration; three levels of glycolic acid – 30%, 40%, 50%; and a peel ‘pad’ formula that is premixed, easy to use and gives the applicant control over the depth of the peel by pressure applied and number of passes," said Rx Systems PF founder, Dr. Lawrence Samuels. "The lower the pH and higher the free acid concentration of the glycolic acid, the greater the exfoliation and the deeper the penetration of the product."

Having cosmeceutical products that are pH-balanced is vital to maintaining healthy skin. The pH of the skin is important, because it is responsible for controlling the biologic environment of the skin. The pH plays a role in cell growth, cell metabolism, the concentration and biologic activity of molecules, enzymatic activity, antioxidant activity, skin exfoliation, cell hydration and glandular secretion. pH is the thermostat that controls the “weather” of the skin and regulates biologic activity, concentration, potency, and clinical benefit of all the important molecules present in the skin.

Glycolic acid has the smallest molecular size of all the alpha hydroxy acids, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin. It works to loosen and dissolve the glue-like substance that holds the outer layer of cells to each other and to the underlying epidermis. These piled-up, clinging skin cells cause the appearance of dry, rough skin texture and brown spots from sun damage. Glycolic acid loosens the dead skin cells, which block the pores and cause acne. When used regularly, glycolic acid continues keeping the pores clear to prevent acne from reoccurring.

Glycolic acid affects the deeper layers of the skin by regenerating collagen and elastin. Production of both of these firming components of the skin is dramatically reduced with overexposure to the sun. Regeneration reduces the appearance of fine lines and deeper wrinkles caused by premature aging from sun damage, while tightening the skin.

"The results from using our Glycolic Peels are amazing,” said Samuels. “Skin appears smoother, more evenly colored, and healthier looking. We recommend Glycolic Peel treatments at the end of every summer to consistently shed any new damage caused by the harsh summer climate."

Rx Systems PF’s Glycolic Peels should be applied only by a trained skin care professional. A series of six peels, spaced in 7- to 14-day intervals, is recommended to achieve the best results. The first Glycolic Peel will be performed using 30% glycolic acid. Use of pressure and length of application time may be increased with each additional peel, according to individual skin type. Once a series of six peels is complete, maintenance peels will maintain the skin’s healthy appearance.

The time frame for receiving the maintenance peels is individualized according to age and skin type. To achieve maximum skin rejuvenation, Glycolic Peels should be used in combination with Rx Systems PF’s home care program. Glycolic acid does not make the skin photosensitive, however, glycolic peel treatments should always be used in conjunction with a broad spectrum sunscreen.

Oozing poison ivy blisters...Can I go home???


I am a 42-year-old man married to a wonderful woman and with three children. I am sitting at work with huge blisters on my arms and on my legs below the knees. The blisters are leaking on my shirt and pants, and every doctor I called was full today. My wife told me not to come home, because I was contagious if my poison ivy was draining. Where can I go for help?


You can go home, since the oozing blisters are not contagious. Because new blisters can keep appearing over the course of several days, people assume that touching the rash causes it to spread or that the blister fluid leaks onto the skin, causing it to spread to those areas or to others.

The fluid in the blister is one’s own serum and not the allergic oil from the poison ivy plant called urushiol. One’s individual skin sensitivity, the amount of poison ivy oil on the skin, and the amount of time the oil is on the skin prior to washing determines the speed and severity of the rash.

The parts of the body with the greatest poison ivy oil exposure break out initially, followed over the next several days on parts of the body with less exposure to the poison ivy oil. Once one has bathed and no poison ivy oil is on the skin, scratching does not make the rash spread; and the blister fluid does not cause the rash to spread nor is it contagious to others.

If a physician is not available, cool compresses help reduce the itch and begin to dry the blisters. Large blisters can be drained with a sterilized needle (the blister fluid will not spread the rash). Once the blisters are no longer draining, stop the cool compresses.

Tepid baths with oatmeal bath added can decrease itching. Avoid hot baths, as heat usually increases itching and inflammation.

During the blistering phase of the poison ivy rash, the use of calamine lotion helps relieve itching and dries up the blisters. Once the blisters have dried, use hydrocortisone cream 1 percent, which is available over-the-counter. Taking an oral antihistamine can help reduce the itchiness, and acetaminophen PM can be taken at bedtime to help reduce itching and help with sleep.

With severe cases of poison ivy, consulting a dermatologist is the treatment of choice. There are systemic therapies with oral steroids at the top of the list. Prescription oral antihistamines and prescription cortisone creams are also available.

Looking like a grandma when you're not; be an active participant in your skin care


I am 45 years old and have a 7-year-old son. While at the pool, a grandmother came over to my chair and commented on how nice my grandson was playing with her granddaughter. I was humiliated that I looked the age of a grandmother rather than a mother. Are there options for me to regain a more youthful appearance?


Although aging is a natural process, as knowledge increases, treatments are being identified that can prevent or modify the aging process. This process is controlled by age and environmental damage, especially sun damage. The primary, preventable cause of aging is exposure to UVB/UVA radiation from the sun. Repeated ultraviolet exposure produces photo-aging of the skin, which differs from the intrinsic aging process of the skin, which is dependent on genetics and chronologic age. Photo-aging is characterized by rough skin texture, dilated pores, poor skin tone, skin laxity, blotchy skin color, brown spots, sallowness, telangectasia (sometimes called broken blood vessels), fine lines and wrinkles. Although other factors can contribute to aging skin, such as smoking and environmental pollutants, ultraviolet radiation is recognized as the single most important factor.

Skin care products can prevent and treat signs of aging skin caused by age and sun damage. The aging process of the skin begins in our mid-twenties, and it is never too early or too late to start a preventative skin care program.

Many things contribute to the aging process that can be improved just by making a change in lifestyle. For example:

· Reduce excessive sun exposure

· Increase physical activity

· Stop smoking

· Eat a well-balanced diet

· Control your weight

· More/better sleep

Other anti-aging benefits can be achieved through products for skin and hair.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that, regardless of your skin type, a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should be used all-year-round. Don’t reserve the use of sunscreen only for sunny days. Even on a cloudy day, up to 70 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds.

Be an active participant in your skin care. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of repair.