Category Archives: Skin Conditions

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT DARK SPOTS?

Dark spots or hyperpigmentation can mar a complexion. They come in many forms and shades from sun spots and melasma to moles.

What is causing your discoloration? It could be advancing age, your hormonal activity, sun exposure and/or skin irritation.

According to Beverly Hills dermatologist Sameer Bashey, “In light-skinned individuals, sun damage is the usual culprit, while in darker-skinned people, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) or melasma (brown to gray-brown patches on the face) is often the cause. PIH can occur with acne, but it also can result from psoriasis, a burn, an injury or a skin rejuvenation treatment.”

Your best defense from sun spots is judicious use of sunscreen such as Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, Sun Spray SPF 50 or Daily Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50.

If you already have dark spots, see your dermatologist. There are more options today than ever before to lighten dark spots, and they don’t all contain Hydroquinone. For example,  ZO® Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System is a multi-product, skin therapy system designed for the treatment of hyperpigmentation without the use of hydroquinone.

The kit includes Retinol Skin Brightener 1%, Daily Power Defense,  Wrinkle + Texture Repair and Brightalive Skin Brightener. When used correctly, Hydroquinone is both safe and effective and remains the gold standard. ZO® Multi-Therapy Rx Hydroquinone System is an all-encompassing system formulated to help treat hyperpigmentation, severe texture damage, sun damage and general skin health restoration. It is comprised of Melamin™ Skin Bleaching & Correcting Crème, Exfoliation Accelerator, 10% Concentration, Melamix™ Skin Lightener & Blending Crème and Daily Power Defense.

Both of these systems contain retinol (an over-the-counter form of vitamin A) which is also highly effective for dark spots.

Sometimes, your dermatologist may need to bring in the bigger guns — superficial chemical peels containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) devices and Q-switched lasers can be used alone or in combination with topicals in light-skinned individuals with dark spots. In darker skin types, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and non-ablative fractionated lasers or very low-level Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers may help, when used with caution by a pigment specialist.

You don’t have to live with dark spots anymore. Depending on the cause, there are multiple treatments to try and combine to lighten the spots and improve your complexion. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a ZO physician near you https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

DEFYING THE GENETICS OF SKIN AGING

Here’s something else you can blame on your parents – your aging skin.

If your mom or dad had lots of wrinkles, brown spots and a double chin, you may be in for it too.

The good news? Genes aren’t destiny, they are just one part of the puzzle. If you are aware of your genetic predispositions, you’ve got a fighting chance to defy them.

Here’s how:

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Certain lifestyle factors namely sun tanning, smoking and stress can aggravate the signs of skin aging. Avoid the sun when its strongest and always use ZO® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF 50 whenever you are going outside during the Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Find something healthy that helps you de stress and do it every single day whether yoga, meditation or deep breathing.

Take your skincare to the next level

Choose and use a daily cleanser to remove dirt and debris such as Hydrating Cleanser, Exfoliating Cleanser or Gentle Foaming Cleanser. Don’t skip the toner. Toners such as Calming Toner helps invigorate dry, weak skin, removes impurities and balances the skin’s pH to optimize the penetration of other treatments. Maintaining an ideal Ph Balance on your skin is the best way to assure optimum skin health.

Check in with your dermatologist

Visit your ZO skincare specialist regularly to see what else you can be doing to put the brakes on aging skin – despite your genes. This may include laser skin resurfacing, Custom ZO® Peels, Hydrafacials powered by ZO- HydraFacial Brightalive® Booster Serum, Injectables and other aesthetic treatments including those that target skin laxity or fat in the chin area.

Locate a ZO skincare specialist near you at https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

WHAT CAUSES ACNE?

Why am I breaking out? This is a common question that skin care specialists get asked all of the time.

There is no one answer to this question, but understanding how acne develops can shed some light on its causes and importantly, its prevention and treatment.

According to Newport Beach dermatologist Stefani Kappel, “Acne occurs when a pore becomes clogged. This starts with an accumulation of dead skin cells. Instead of shedding these cells, an overproduction of sebum oil in the body makes it easier for the dead skin cells to cluster in the pore, where they can become trapped. Sometimes bacteria, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore, where it can multiply quickly. When this occurs, the pore becomes inflamed and you are at risk of developing a painful acne cyst.”

The reasons this process occurs differ by ages and stages of life.

If you are a teen, acne is almost always caused by overactive oil glands.  Adult acne, however, is usually caused by fluctuating hormones.

Regardless of your age, diet, sleep patterns, hygiene, lifestyle, exercise, and stress can exacerbate breakouts.

When it comes to diet, it’s not the greasy foods that are the culprits. Instead, skim milk and foods high in the glycemic index (GI) may play a role in causing acne. The GI ranks foods on a scale from 1 to 100 based on how quickly (or slowly) carbohydrates affect your blood-sugar levels. White bread scores 100 and foods that rank below 55 are considered to have a low GI. The evidence is limited and no specific dietary changes are recommended in the management of acne, as reported in the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Aesthetic (AAD.org).

Stress gets in the way of us living our best lives and may prevent us from doing the things that help us stay healthy including taking care of our skin. Taking steps to lower your stress levels or the way you cope with stress will have a positive effect on all aspects of your health including your skin. Find something that makes a difference  and do it every day whether yoga, meditation, deep breathing or taking a walk in the park.

The right skin care regimen can treat and even prevent acne. The ZO Skin Health Acne Prevention and Treatment Program includes highly effective products formulated to treat clogged pores, blackheads (comedones), papules and pustules (pimples) and cysts.  It includes Exfoliating Cleanser, Exfoliating Polish, Complexion Renewal Pads and a Sulfur Masque. When used as directed, these products work to slow sebum production, exfoliate skin cells to help unclog pores and lighten pores.  If your acne is caused by hormonal ups and downs, birth control pills can help. Ask your dermatologist about your options.

Are you doing all that you can to keep acne at bay? Schedule an appointment with a ZO physician near you at https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you to make sure.

THE WORLDWIDE ROSACEA EPIDEMIC

The numbers are in… and they are staggering!

The global prevalence of rosacea is estimated to be 415 million, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen reviewed 32 population-based studies that included information on the incidence of rosacea around the world, comprising 26.5 million patients. The general population estimates from the individual studies ranged from 0.09 percent to 22.41 percent, and when the studies were pooled together, the proportion was 5.46 percent. Based on an estimated global population of 7.6 billion, 5.46 percent equals 414,960,000 rosacea patients worldwide.

And this may just be the tip of the iceberg. The researchers noted that individuals with mild or moderate rosacea symptoms may not seek medical attention and as a result wouldn’t be included in these already high estimates.

Rosacea symptoms include facial redness/flushing, swollen red bumps, eye problems and possibly enlarged noses (think Santa Claus). Many people mistake rosacea for acne and attempt to treat it accordingly, but these two conditions respond to different therapies. Is it rosacea? The only way to know for sure is to see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. Find a ZO physician near you here.

If you do have rosacea, treatment starts with:

Avoiding your rosacea triggers

Know what causes your rosacea to flare and avoid it where and when you can. This may include extreme cold or heat, sun exposure, alcohol, spicy foods, and stress. You will find that keeping a daily log can help you identify your rosacea triggers.

Taking good care of your skin

Proper skin care can also help keep rosacea flares at bay. ZO Skin Health’s products that treat Rosacea related symptoms include Restoracalm Soothing Recovery Crème™ and Rozatrol™ serum which works to normalize skin by reducing excess surface oil.  Consider a Hydrafacial with HydraFacial Rozatrol® Booster Serum. HydraFacial cleanses, extracts and hydrates skin, and super serums such as Rozatrol Booster Serum sweeten the pot.  Powered by ZO® Skin Health, HydraFacial Rozatrol® Booster Serum is specifically designed to relieve the visible signs of red, sensitized skin and the appearance of blood vessels or telangiectasia.

Following doctors’ orders

Renowned dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi typically recommends oral medication and/or photodynamic therapy (PDT) including intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser treatments for rosacea. He also may advise the use of prescription metronidazole gel 1% to decrease the redness.

AHAS VERSUS BHAS: WHICH ONE IS YOUR SKIN’S BFF?

Deciding between an AHA or a BHA in the skincare aisle is not as easy as ABC.

Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are found in many skin care products, from cleansers to daily peel pads. We all need to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead dull skin cells and make room for new ones, and both of these are effective exfoliants. But there are differences between how these two key skin care ingredients really work.

Knowing the difference between the two and choosing the right one for your skincare needs can really help you get and keep your glow.

If you have dry skin, AHAs are your BFF

AHA stands for “Alpha Hydroxy Acid.” Some popular AHA’s include glycolic (derived from sugar cane), lactic (made from sour milk), and mandelic (comes from almonds) acids. AHAs are ideal for sun-damaged and dry skin because they help to exfoliate and moisturize. Renowned dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi recommends Glycogent Exfoliation Accelerator – a mix of potent glycolic and lactic acid — https://zoskinhealth.com/zomedical/glycogent – for dry skin.

AHA’s can cause sun sensitivity in some people, so it’s best to use them at night and make extra sure to use your ZO SPF by day.

If you have acne-prone skin, BHAs are your BFF

BHA is short for “Beta Hydroxy Acid.” It penetrates the pores and helps release the ‘gunk’ trapped inside. This is why they are perfect for oily and acne-prone skin. The most well known BHA is salicylic acid. Dr. Obagi suggests Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment for acne-prone skin. These daily treatment pads are one of ZO’s hero products for oily skin types. Warning: Salicylic acid may cause drying if you overdo it.

“Both AHAs and BHAs offer positive effects on skin quality and condition,” says Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS, a plastic surgeon in New York City. “Choosing the right products for your skin care needs will maximize the effectiveness of these effective exfoliators.”

If you have other concerns about your skin or your acne does not seem to be improving, schedule an appointment with a skin consultation to see what else you could or should be doing.

To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

MEET CELLULITE’S NEWEST FOE: ORASER® CELLULITE CONTROL BODY SMOOTHING CREME

There’s nothing we wouldn’t do and no amount of money we wouldn’t spend to get rid of cellulite – that lumpy, dimpled cottage cheese skin on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen.

No one knows exactly what causes cellulite, but it is thought to involve fibrous connective cords that tether the skin to the underlying muscle with fat in-between. Fat cells accumulate and push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords pull down, creating the dimpling effect a.k.a cellulite.

Cellulite has nothing to do with weight or weight gain as many thin people also develop this vexing skin condition. More women develop cellulite than men, and it is also more common with advancing age when the skin loses elasticity.

There are many lasers and devices on the market that come with high price tags and can produce reliable results, but ZO Skin Health’s new Oraser® Cellulite Control Body Smoothing Creme may do the trick – without the expense and downtime associated with energy-based anti-cellulite treatments.

The key ingredients: plankton extract, saccharide isomerate, caffeine, coenzyme A, carnitine, carrageenan extract and phosphatidylcholine, all work synergistically to improve the skin’s texture and reduce the appearance of cellulite. In addition to smoothing skin, the crème also helps improve microcirculation, reduce skin contour, encourage the production of collagen for firmer skin and restores hydration to support a healthy skin barrier function.

Dr. Zein Obagi recommends using the crème twice daily, morning and night on clean, dry skin. Apply it liberally to any part of the body with cellulite, especially the hips, thighs, and buttocks, as well as the surrounding areas, he says. Oraser® Cellulite Control Body Smoothing Creme is available at http://zoskinhealth.com and through physicians and dermatologists worldwide.

In addition to using the crème as directed, exercise may also help break down fat, boost circulation and consequently give your skin a smoother appearance.

Massage – especially deep-tissue massage – can also improve the appearance of cellulite. Weight loss, however, is a double-edged sword. If you are overweight, losing weight may reduce the amount of visible cellulite, but for some people, weight loss can cause loose skin, which can make cellulite even more noticeable.

If you are concerned about the appearance of cellulite, see your dermatologist or ZO skin care professional to find out what products or procedures may help. To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you.

BLENDING IN: EXPERT TIPS ON HOW TO CAMOFLAGE UNTIMELY SKIN IMPERFECTIONS

It’s the night before your big event, and as luck would have it, your skin is not behaving properly.

Cancelling is not an option, but camouflaging the imperfections certainly is.

To the rescue: ZO Skin Health Offects® Correct & Conceal. This targeted spot treatment helps eradicate acne and is tinted for light or medium skin tone to conceal blemishes. It’s a win-win. Dr. Zein Obagi recommends cleaning the skin thoroughly before applying Correct & Conceal. Then, he says, cover the entire area with a thin layer of product one to three times per day. Start slowly with just one application a day as excessive dying of the skin may occur, he warns. “Gradually increase to two or three times daily if needed,” he says. “If bothersome dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to once a day or every other day.”

Other ways to camouflage any blemishes or imperfections include:

Taking a Tip or Two From The Pros

Many professional make-up artists also have their own hacks on how to cover up a blemish, smooth skin tone and/or neutralize skin discolorations. Their secret: corrective color. For example, a green corrector neutralizes the redness of rosacea or broken blood vessels, while orange neutralizes dark brown spots or hyperpigmentation.

Refocusing the Eyes

If a pimple has taken up residence your forehead, apply bright red lipstick to divert eyes to your lips. It never fails!

Protecting While Covering

While covering up imperfections is important, never sacrifice sun protection. Many sunscreens do double duty – protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and evening out skin tone. For example, Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 features a universal tint, serving as both a sunscreen and a primer.

All of these trouble-shooting tips can help your skin look its best on your big day or night, but if your skin is breaking out repeatedly, your rosacea is flaring more often or your sun spots or age spots become bothersome, see a dermatologist to discuss all of your treatment options. To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

WHAT’S THAT GROWING ON YOUR SKIN?

Lumps and bumps can appear on your skin – seemingly out of nowhere. Before you hit the panic button, take a deep breath and remember that not all skin lesions are dangerous.

Trinidad-based dermatologist Rachael Eckel, MD, the principal trainer for ZO® Skin Health in Europe, sheds some new light on a few of the more common benign skin lumps and bumps.

Sebaceous Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of oil on the skin.  They usually feel like large peas and can develop as a result of infection or clogging of sebaceous (oil) glands. Sebaceous cysts typically grow slowly, are usually painless, and have a smooth appearance. If a sebaceous cyst is bothersome, it can be removed surgically. Occasionally, cysts become infected and require medical care. How can you tell? When a cyst becomes infected it usually grows rapidly, hurts, and the skin surrounding the area can become very warm to the touch and red. In these cases, your dermatologist may drain the cyst and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes steroid injections are also needed to cool inflammation.

Lentigines (liver spots) are freckles or age spots that occur on the arms, legs, and face or any sun-exposed area of the skin. They are various shades of brown and have a clearly-defined edge surrounded by normal-appearing skin and a flat surface. There are lasers and many bleaching creams available to help eliminate lentigos, but they are harmless. If you have a lentigo that starts to rapidly grow, change color, itch, or bleed see your doctor for evaluation. This may signal lentigo maligna, a form of the potentially fatal skin cancer melanoma.

Seborrheic Keratosis has a waxy brown, black, red or white appearance. These are rough lumps that can grow rapidly anywhere on the body. A Seborrheic Keratosis can appear suddenly, grow rapidly, be multi-colored and itch. They are harmless, but if bothersome, there are many ways to remove Seborrheic Keratosis. Most removal treatments involve lasers or excision. There is, however, much hope being pinned on an investigational topical product called A-101. It works by penetrating into the lesion and causing oxidative damage, which can ultimately result in the sloughing of the cells. Stay tuned.

Warts are viral-caused painless growths typically caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can be disfiguring and embarrassing and they can sometimes itch or become irritated. Your dermatologist has a whole tool box to address warts including “painting” them with cantharidin to cause a blister to form under the wart, killing it and cryotherapy (freezing) among others.

Skin Tags (acrochordon) are soft, skin-colored growths that hang from the surface of the skin on a thin piece of tissue. They typically appear the skin folds of the neck, armpits, and torso, beneath the breasts or in the genital area. They are harmless, but can become irritated if clothing or jewelry rubs against them. They are permanent unless you have them removed. There are many ways for a dermatologist to remove skin tags that become bothersome.

This is just a guide.  There is no substitute for a visit with your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to diagnose any skin condition. When in doubt, always check it out. If something on your skin is bothering you, there is no downside to scheduling a visit with your doctor to find out what you need to know.

To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

CARING FOR YOUR DRY SKIN

Dry, flaky, itchy skin and cold weather go hand in hand.

Winter winds and cold weather leaves skin flaky, red and rough. Severely dry skin (xerosis) can show up on your arms, hands, lower legs, ankles and even your scalp.

Dry skin needs more moisture and barrier protection so that your skin’s natural moisture does not escape.

Reverse dry skin and restore moisture by:

Taking shorter showers

Limit yourself to a single 5- or 10-minute shower or bath each day. Spending more time in the water often leaves your skin less hydrated than before you started, the American Academy of Dermatology states.

Cooling it

Hot water strips the essential oils from your skin, drying it out. Opt for warm or cool water, never hot.

Smearing on lotion

Apply body lotion right after your shower and bath when your skin is still moist. Read the labels and look for certain ingredients. Ceramides, or synthetic ceramides, help skin retain water and soothe dry skin. Dimethicone and glycerin draws water to the skin and keeps it there. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is like ceramides and also helps the skin to retain moisture. Lanolin, mineral, and petroleum jelly help skin hold on to the water absorbed during bathing.

Dr. Zen Obagi recommends Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème. It works overnight to repair and regenerate severely dry, irritated skin. He suggests applying one or two pumps on the face and neck 30 minutes before bedtime for best results.

Choosing and using gentle products

Look for unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleaners. These will be the least likely to irritate and exacerbate dry skin problems.

Turning the humidifier on

Indoor air is dry, but using a humidifier at home to keep skin hydrated during winter months.

If you feel your skin is itchy or inflamed, apply a cool compress or an over the counter hydrocortisone cream on the area for a few days to one week. See your dermatologist or ZO skincare professional for more tips and tools to help resolve your dry, itchy winter skin.

NEW YEAR, NEW SKINCARE

I will lose weight … I will join a gym …I will get a clearer complexion. A coming New Year often heralds a laundry list of resolutions about things we will do more of or less of in the future. Many are set ups to fail. In fact, fully 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions every year, and just 8 percent of us keep them, according to Statisticsbrain.com.

The key to sticking with your New Year’s resolutions is to create an actionable plan that is not too overwhelming yet provides clear and visible benefits. If your resolution is to get your glow on and achieve a clear, youthful complexion, Dr. Zein Obagi’s “GSR Getting Skin Ready” plan can help. GSR eliminates skin sensitivity, restores hydration and enhances skin health.

Start fresh

Starting fresh is the perfect way to ring in a new year. That’s why the first step in Dr. Obagi’s GSR regimen is to use a cleanser such as Offects® Hydrating Cleanser to remove surface debris.

 

ZO Rx: Moisten your hands and apply a small amount to your damp face and neck. Massage for one minute and then rinse thoroughly.

Out with the old

Sticking with the New Year’s theme here, the best way to jumpstart skin health is to exfoliate regularly. This helps get rid of dead skin cells and makes room for newer, healthier ones. Offects® Exfoliating Polish does just this.

ZO Rx: Exfoliate your skin two to three times a week. Bonus: regular exfoliation enhances the penetration of other your skincare products.

Oust Oil

 

Oil control puts the brakes on breakouts and keeps skin healthy and vital.  Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment works well on all skin types, and gets the job done.

ZO Rx: Use pads twice a day, AM and PM.  A toner may also help eliminate oil. Dr. Obagi suggests using Balatone™ Calming Toner, pH Balancer in the morning and evening after cleansing.

Following the GSR plan will surely reboot your outer glow and keep your complexion healthy for the rest of the year.