Very few people are blessed with perfect skin. Although it's impossible to change genetics, it is possible to improve your skin's health with regular maintenance and good habits.
A healthy diet is an essential part of skin care that can't be ignored. A healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables keeps skin healthy by giving it the minerals and nutrients it needs. Drinking plenty of water is also important and keeps skin hydrated and healthy.
Lifestyle habits have a huge impact on skin. Develop good habits and work to start eliminating the bad ones.
The sun damages skin cells and is the leading cause of skin cancer. By using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 protection, skin stays healthy and the risk of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun spots is reduced.
Smokers tend to have skin that is more likely to age quickly and develop wrinkles. By quitting smoking, skin can begin to rejuvenate and slow its aging process.
Get seven to eight hours of sleep.
A good night's sleep is necessary to help with cell and skin renewal. It helps skin look refreshed and awake.
Don't overuse products.
The overuse of products leads to skin irritation and sensitivity. A good skin care regimen includes a cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer. In most cases, nothing more is needed.
In some cases, certain products may be used to help improve skin's appearance. The most common are retinoids, which are only available via prescription. Retinoids help to unplug pores, reduce fine lines, boot collagen production, and reduce the visibility of brown spots and freckles.
The mind can do amazing things, and when it's stressed out all the time, it can become evident in the skin. When the mind is not healthy, neither is the skin and it often leads to breakouts and bad complexions. Meditation can help by not only calming the mind, but by making skin treatments more effective.
Want To Improve Your Skin? Contact Dr. Jennifer Reichel
For more information about skin care, contact the Pacific Dermatology and Cosmetic Center in Seattle and Renton. To schedule an appointment, please call 206-859-5777. We look forward to meeting you.
What does breast cancer have to do with dermatology?
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may be asking "What does that have to do with dermatology?" As a matter of fact, there is an association between breast cancer and melanoma. For years there has been only speculation as to why the two cancers are linked. However, a new very large study has shown a four-fold increase in patients with both cancers than you would expect to see based on probability. The four-fold increase gives a greater likelihood of the two cancers being linked by a genetic predisposition. Additionally, it is found that women under 50 with breast cancer are at a higher risk of melanoma as are breast cancer patients who have been treated with External Radiation Therapy.
Here at Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, we are joining other dermatologist and oncologists everywhere and urging women to get into the habit of scheduling their annual skin exam at the same time as their mammogram. If you are not of the age to get mammograms yet, we still recommend annual skin exams. Melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults (especially women ages 25-29). Remember that full body skin exams are the best screening tool for Melanoma. Melanomas that are caught early have a much greater change of survival.
Remember to schedule your Mammogram and Skin Exam...and tell your friends!
Hello, I wanted to contact you in regard to Fordyce Spots. I've been living with Fordyce Spots on my upper lip since age 17 or so. A few years ago, a dermatologist "tested" the hyfrecator on a couple areas - this seemed to help minimize them a bit, but they kind of reappeared. I also noticed that while I was on Accutane, the appearance of them pretty much dissipated entirely as it dried out the glands. Of course they reappeared after my Accutane cycle was complete. Over the years, it looks like they've become more prominent. I know some doctors simply say not to worry about them, but I find myself becoming very depressed by them every couple months as I have large lips and many, many spots. This has led to many hours of research and I'm very curious about trying CO2 laser treatment as it seems like the most effective treatment. I'm wondering if you have experience treating these. Thanks.
Thanks for the email. We do treat Fordyce spots on the lip. I agree that the CO2 is usually the most effective option. We just treated a young male patient with Fordyce spots. We did a test patch first and then full treatment once we were satisfied with how he responded. I like to do it like that as every patient is different. We don’t want to leave scars that look worse that the spots – so a conservative approach with a test patch is good.
You need to be sure that you have been off of Accutane for at least a year before we can treat you with the CO2 as Accutane decreases the ability for the skin to heal itself. It is otherwise a wonderful medication for acne (obviously).
Please call at 206-859-5777 to make an appointment for a consultation. Do know, that insurance will not cover the treatment of Fordyce spots. It is out of pocket (cosmetic). We can discuss cost when I see how large the area is.
My child has very dry, itchy, and red skin and topical moisturizers are not working anymore. What should I do? -T
I am sorry to hear about your child but you have come to the right place! There are several different skin conditions that could be causing these skin changes in your child, some common ones being eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic skin reactions, psoriasis, dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), and even dry skin (xerosis). Over the counter moisturizer brands I like to recommend are CeraVe, Cetaphil, Eucerin, Neutrogena, Aveeno, and Vaseline. When these are not working to control your child’s symptoms of itchy, dry, and red skin then it may be time to visit us here at our Renton dermatology clinic to properly diagnose your child’s skin condition and discuss stronger treatment options.
Hi Dr. Reichel, I'm a student & trying hard on a research task I've been given to ask world's best Dermatologists about the best practices to get rid of acne in few concise sentences. Hope you'll take a few minutes to help me in completing my research.
I don't know that I would be considered a world expert on acne - as my practice focuses on Skin cancer surgery and Cosmetic Surgery. However, I would say treatment for acne depends on the type of acne that an individual has, and how severe the acne is. For mild cases, topical medications such as Retin-a, Benzyl Peroxide, and Clindamyacin can be very effective. For more severe cases, oral medications are indicated. The front line for oral meds would be antibiotics such as minocycline or doxycycline. For females with acne that tends to be hormonal, a medication called spironolactone works very well. For really severe cases, and those that are scarring, then Accutane would be indicated. This is a difficult medicine to take, and does have side-effects, but is absolutely imperative to use in patients with scarring cystic acne. Non-medications such as chemical peels and intense pulse light can also be used to treat acne effectively.
Jennifer Reichel MD
Director, Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center
Seattle, WA and Renton, WA
There is a cream for everything these days. From your under eyes to your feet—no area of the body has been neglected by beauty brands looking to sell you a new way to look your best. But do all these areas actually need their own skin-care regimen? We wanted to know, especially when it comes to the neck—a lesser-known area of the body that can really tattle tale our true age.
Anti-aging creams and serums designed specifically for the neck are popping up everywhere, and it's true that this area and the décolletage are commonly neglected areas of the body when it comes to maintenance and care. "One of the largest mistakes I see women make in their skin-care regimens is neglect of the neck and upper chest," says Dr. Jennifer Reichel of Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center. And it turns out, the neck is just as susceptible to damage and aging as the face. "Over the course of a lifetime, necks and chests are exposed to as much UV light as faces, but don't get the same good consistent skin care routine that most women establish for their faces," she says.
Over time, neglect of the neck leads to mottled red and brown pigmentation with sagging and wrinkling of the skin. But that doesn't mean you have to run out and purchase a cream designed specifically for the skin of the neck if you already have one for your face.
"In general women do not need specific different products for their necks/upper chests, but it is important to remember that this can often be more sensitive skin (thinner with fewer oil glands) that can become irritated more easily by aggressive topical products," says Dr. Reichel.
That means that the best rule of thumb for neck care is to give it the same treatment you give your face. When exfoliating or applying moisturizer, don’t stop at your jawline. Antioxidant protection and sunscreen are of utmost importance as well. "I encourage my patients to think of their neck as an extension of their face to ensure it gets the benefit of daily sunscreen and other skin maintenance products; we are big fans of Skinceuticals A.G.E. Interrupter as well as their vast line of zinc-oxide sunscreens." she says.
And if you have neglected your neck over the years, it's not too late to reverse the sagging and wrinkling. When treated early, neck wrinkles can be softened with neurotoxin injections, such as Botox, to help release constricting muscles. Slack skin on the neck can also be treated with Ultherapy, this FDA-cleared device used in the procedure utilizes the safe, time-tested energy of ultrasound to stimulate the deep structural support layers of the skin.
If the wrinkling and sagging is really bothering you, Seattle Dermatologist Jennifer Reichel, says you "can tighten the skin using nonsurgical treatments such as Fraxel Dual or Fractional CO2." Call our office to schedule your consultation, and get the results you've always wanted.