Wednesday, July 13, 2011

12 Major Hair & Skin Issues

The information provided has been obtained from

Cystic Acne

How it happens: Waldorf explains that, "Cysts occur when the sebaceous follicle [or your pore, in laymen’s terms] containing skin cells, sebum [or oil], bacteria and white cells ruptures." This spreads inflammation to the surrounding skin and then your body tries to wall that off. It becomes like a balloon of inflammation. "That's why you should not try to pop them -- you'll just spread the inflammation further," she says.

How to treat it in the short term:"The fastest way to treat individual cysts is with an injection of … corticosteroid by the dermatologist," Waldorf says. The cyst will usually go away in a couple days after being injected. If you can't get to a dermatologist, Waldorf says you can try a benzoyl peroxide or sulfur/resorcinol spot treatment, but know that it will take longer to disappear. (Try: Clean & Clear Maximum Strength Persa-Gel 10, $6.30 or Proactiv Refining Mask, $6.99.) 

How to treat it in the long term: If you have frequent cystic acne, Waldorf says oral antibiotics and topical retinoids can be helpful. Other options include hormonal therapies like oral birth control pills. A dermatologist will be able to prescribe these medications and monitor your situation.

Spider and Varicose Veins

Who is susceptible: Kauvar says spider and varicose veins are usually inherited (thanks mom!) and more than half of women get them. They can be triggered by pregnancy and hormones, or by standing for long periods of time.

How to prevent them: Keep your calf muscles toned, Kauvar says, because it helps send the blood in your legs back up to your heart. You can also try wearing compression hose if your legs hurt from standing.

How to treat them: "Sclerotherapy (injecting a chemical solution into the vein with a hair thin needle) is the main treatment, but lasers are used in specific circumstances," Kauvar says. If they are causing you pain (or you just want to get rid of them), talk to your doctor.

Acne Scars

At-home treatments: While Kauvar says that in-office procedures work best, you can get results with topical products at home. Look for products with retinoids and/or vitamin C to stimulate collagen, which will help tighten the skin and minimize the look of depressed acne scars. (Try: SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, $48 or Dermalogica ChromaWhite TRx System, $188.)

In-office treatments: Kauvar says you can use resurfacing lasers to cause new collagen growth (which will fill in the depressions of the scars). Another option is "subcision, where a needle is inserted beneath the skin to break up the scar tissue," Kauvar says. "Often multiple different approaches are needed for best results."

Extreme Hair Breakage

What causes it: Teuschler lays out a laundry list of breakage causes: chemical treatments and over-processing your hair (like too much coloring, bleaching or perming), too much combing or brushing, too much heat styling (blow drying, flat ironing or curling), too much sun or even scratching your scalp too much.

How to fix it: Aside from the obvious, which is to minimize all the factors above, look for products that contain silicones, like dimethicone, to coat the hair and make it less prone to tangling (and getting broken when you brush your hair). Try not to brush hair when it's wet, instead use a leave-in conditioner to combat tangles (try: Marco Pelusi Anti-Frizz Leave-In Conditioner, $35 or TreSemme Detangle Leave-In Spray, $4.73). You can also do weekly deep conditioning treatments to help add moisture back to your hair (try Pantene Relaxed & Natural Breakage Defense Deep Conditioning Mask, $5.99). Teuschler adds that if your breakage is coming from scratching your scalp, use an anti-dandruff shampoo with pyrithione zinc to stop the itching.


What it is: "Melasma is known as 'the mask of pregnancy' and can occur in pregnancy, with birth control pills or with no additional hormones beyond those of being a woman," Waldrof says. It typically looks like mottled brown discoloration on your cheeks, forehead or upper lip. It's triggered by UV exposure.

How to treat it: Topical retinoids and hydroquinone can help lighten the areas, Waldorf says. You can also try microdermabrasion or light peels, or if that doesn't work, a dermatologist may recommend the fraxel laser. The most important thing for melasma sufferers is to be "vigilant with sun protection," Waldorf says, because it usually recurs with sun exposure.


What it is: "Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by red scaly plaques classically on the elbows and knees but also elsewhere on the body," Waldorf says.

How to treat it: For mild cases, topical moisturizers or steroids will usually work, but for more extreme cases, your dermatologist will need to prescribe a biologic drug, Waldorf says. Unfortunately, psoriasis can't be prevented.

Excessive Facial Hair or Hirsuitism

Who is susceptible: Waldorf says this problem can be genetic or hormonal. "If you have significant facial hair in a male pattern area, it is important to have lab tests by your physician (your dermatologist, gynecologist or endocrinologist)," she says. "Some women with excessive facial hair have polycystic ovary syndrome which is treated by the endocrinologist."

How to treat it: "Beyond shaving, waxing and depilatories, which are all temporary ways to remove hair, the options for permanent hair removal are electrolysis or laser hair removal," Waldorf says. She adds that dark hair works best with laser removal, but it's important to find a doctor that knows what he or she is doing. Another option is prescription Vaniqa Cream, which can slow hair growth.

Completely Botched Hair Color

How to fix it at home: Trygstad says most of the time when we mess up our hair color it ends up too dark. To lighten it (or remove a color you're not happy with), shampoo your hair as soon as possible, using the hottest water you can stand and either a clarifying shampoo or dish soap. This will help strip the color.

When to visit a salon: If shampooing with dish soap a couple times doesn't work, head to a salon for color correction (even if you dyed it at home). Trygstad says that trying anything else (like re-dying it) without a professional can just cause more damage to your hair and create an even bigger emergency.


What they are: "Think of milia like a large whitehead or a little cyst," Waldorf says. They look like small white bumps on your skin.

How to treat them: Waldorf says that if you are predisposed to them, you should avoid comedogenic products (a.k.a. products that can clog your pores), like thick eye creams or lotions. To treat them, try topical retinoids, microdermabrasion or products with salicylic acid. If they really bother you, a dermatologist can extract them, but Waldorf warns against trying to do this yourself.

Contact Dermatitis

What it is: Basically, this is an allergy-induced rash. Poison ivy falls under this category, but allergies from cosmetics fall under this as well. Common triggers: neomycin in Neosporin and preservatives in makeup and fragrance.

How to treat it: "Treatment is with steroids -- topical if the reaction is mild, injectable and/or oral if it is severe (eyes swollen, etc.)," Waldorf says. To prevent future reactions, figure out what you are allergic to and avoid it. If you're having trouble, a dermatologist or allergist can help you get to the bottom of your reaction with contact patch testing.


What causes it: Dandruff is caused by a reaction to the fungus malassezia globosa (which is actually on everyone's scalp, but only about 50 percent of the population reacts to it). The reaction can cause redness, itching, flakes and oiliness.

How to treat it: Using a shampoo and conditioner with pyrithione zinc will fight the fungus and help with your symptoms. Trygstad says that when using a conditioner with these ingredients, it's important to get the product into the scalp for maximum benefit. Also, only use dandruff shampoo in conjunction with a conditioner that also contains pyrithione zinc or skip conditioner completely. Regular conditioner can strip away the active ingredient in dandruff shampoo. (One to try: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, $11.90.)

Neck Wrinkles

What causes them: Sagging skin is caused by a loss of collagen and elastic tissue," Kauvar says. "These proteins give the skin strength and structure, and their amount decreases with age. Sun exposure also contributes."

How to prevent them: Kauvar says regular use of sunscreen and moisturizers with collagen-boosting ingredients can help prevent wrinkles, but not necessarily fix ones that are already there. (One to try: Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Neck Cream, $59.99.)

How to treat them: "Laser and light procedures like Titan, Thermage and fractional CO2 lasers can help reduce early neck wrinkles, but surgery is the only option when the skin becomes excessively loose," Kauvar says. "Botox or Dysport injections can help smooth crepey neck skin." 

Thank you to for always providing awesome information.  I hope that all of you will find this useful. ;)  Please note that photographs & info have been obtained from
Have a great Hump day Wednesday. :)

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