Welcome to the final segment of DermTV viewer question week for March 2012. Today’s episode will feature questions from DermTV.com viewers. So let’s get started with the first question. And this is from Shrewthy Rayo, she says, “Is derma-rolling collagen therapy safe for people under the age of 18?” Shrewthy, this really gets to the heart of the difference between chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation. The derma-roller is a form of physical exfoliation. So if it’s safe or not depends on whether or not you’re using it the way the manufacturer suggests and the point here is that its going to be more aggressive and potentially cause some irritation if you do it for too long or if your pressing too hard or at the beginning when the pins of the derma-roller are very very sharp. So because each of these variables feeds into how effective or the flip side being, how possibly irritating physical exfoliation is and because you’re not really apt to do it the same way every time you do it, it’s therefore more difficult to get reliable and more predictable results with any type of physical exfoliation then it is with chemical exfoliation and as you know, I believe glycolic is the gold standard for chemical exfoliants. But specifically it is safe to use the derma-rolling for collagen induction therapy as long as you’re doing it gently and the way the manufacturer suggests.
Let’s go onto the next question by Sarah, and she says, “Can anything be done to diminish the appearance of veins on the face? Not spider veins or capillaries, just regular blue veins?” And by the way, the same week Dan said, “How can I get rid of broken capillaries naturally?” Well the reason I mention both of these is whether it’s blue veins, red veins, purple veins or spider veins, number one- there is no topical product unfortunately that can get rid of any of these things. It’s almost the last hurrah in color correction for skin. We have so many effective products to get rid of brown discolorations but we have none that will actually make any of these broken capillaries or veins go away or become less apparent other than make-up. So whether it’s natural or anything else there is no topical product but we do have very effective lasers for getting rid of these things but there are no at home products, I'm very sorry to say.
Dr. Sangeeta Shah asks, “If there anything that works to tighten abdominal skin after menopause?” Dr. Sha, happy to tell you that we have a lot of new medical technology that uses machines and instruments for actually tightening that skin. And some of them are actually designed for that very loose abdominal skin after women have had multiple babies or post-menopausally. These work usually by either radiofrequency or other types of energy that literally heat the fat layer under the surface of the skin and you know what happens if you cook your steak or overcook our steak you’re going to make it shrink. Well if you over cook your steak but you don’t char the outside of your steak, that’s really what were doing with this technology. We’re heating and causing shrinkage of the underlying fat layer, tightening the collagen a little bit but not harming the overlying skin. So there is very effective technology today, one is called exilis, another one is called thermage, both of these are radio frequency devices that can be used to successfully tighten up that loose skin. So see a cosmetic dermatologist who specializes in skin laser therapy.
Tony asks, she’s says, “I can’t seem to find a clear answer as to when exfoliants or anti-aging treatments fall into my routine along with sunscreen. Will they come before or after sunscreen? If used after, can they penetrate through the sunscreen to be used? For prior skin cancer issues I’ve chosen an SPF of over 100 but my daily moisturizer contains sunscreen too. Where does this all fit in?” Tony, the most important question goes to the fundamentally most confusing question in all of skin care which is, in what order or layer do I put my skin care products on? And the most important rule is of course, sunscreen first and after that if you are using other products, they have to be put on in whatever is a successively heavier vehicle so it can penetrate the first product. Well, to try to avoid the confusion or interference with sunscreen, I generally recommend that your exfoliants and anti-aging treatment be used at bedtime just so there is no conflict with sunscreen. Usually its your glycolic product first, then your antioxidants, moisturizer and again in increasing vehicle weight so the successive product penetrates the product you put on first. But in terms of morning treatments, I would suggest, just use your sunscreen, if your using a separate moisturizer the moisturizer goes on top of the sunscreen and you mentioned that during the week you generally use a moisturizing sunscreen, that’s perfect I love combination products. There’s absolutely no conflict between the sunscreen and the moisturizer because they’re all in the same product and that product has been demonstrated to be an effective sunscreen with an effective SPF so, that’s the best way I’m going to suggest you use your other products in the evening.
Deej asks, “Hey Doctor Schultz, how do you determine if your sunscreen is chemical free?” I’ve been speaking about chemical free sunscreens or chem-free sunscreens for a long time but I’ve never given you a simple rule, so this is real easy. On all sunscreens, at least manufacturer sale in the United States, on the back of the package there’s a label that says and under active ingredients in chem-free sunscreen the active ingredient is going to be one of two products, it’s either going to be zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. If there’s anything else under active ingredients the likelihood is it’s not chem-free and if the active ingredient is only one or both of those you can be sure that it’s chem-free.
Tasha Low asks, “do I have to remove my make-up if I’m just going to take a nap in the afternoon for say 1-3 hours?” Tasha, of course not, there’s no problem with sleeping with your make-up on as long as your not rubbing your face into your pillow so you can drive your make-up into the pores or maybe even spread it around, get it into your eyes but the reality is during the day you wear your make-up for 6 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours, there’s no problem with sleeping with it on for 3 hours, 4 hours as long as you’re just not rubbing it into your skin.
Eric Hillmansa asks, “does shampooing your hair or face more often make it more oily? I ask this because I’ve heard the stripping the oil from it triggers the oil gland to produce more oil.” Eric, this question comes up in so many incarnations over and over again that I’m so happy you’ve asked it because whether I’m talking about hair or skin, the only way you can make more oil is through your male hormones. Men and women have male hormones but it is an old wives tale that removing oil or making your skin dry will cause a reactive, what we call, seborrhea, which is flowing of the oil or increasing the oil. What’s happening, and what people are responding to by asking this question is as a result of removing the oil, you’ve altered the balance of oil and water so if it seems like now there’s more oil it’s because it’s not being balanced by the amount of water that you’ve had so it seems like it’s out of balance but this is really just part of the adjustment process. Bottom line, you can’t increase the flow of oil or the oil on your skin or your hair by frequent washing what you need to do is you need to make sure that afterwards, that you put your oil and water back in balance and that may require use of a water based or oil free moisturizer.
So that’s it for this months viewer questions week, and don’t forget the subjects for so many DermTV episodes come from your questions which are great so please keep sending them in and I’ll keep answering as many of them as I can.