Why Exfoliate?

One of the fastest and most effective ways to brighten up dull skin is to exfoliate — that is, to remove old skin cells, revealing newer skin underneath.

SO …. Out with the old; in with the new

Why Exfoliate?

Exfoliating helps with cell turnover, the natural shedding of dead cells that slows down as we age. If these cells accumulate, skin can feel rough and look dull. Exfoliation helps remove some of that debris, so skin is smoother and reflects light more evenly.

Some of the below extract taken from DermRF

There are two different ways to accomplish this instant New Year’s transformation: Mechanical exfoliators polish away dead cells using granules, such as sugar or salt crystals. Chemical exfoliators, which include glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid, dissolve the bond between old cells and the newer ones underneath.

So which exfoliation method is better? Rodan + Fields founders Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields recommend both. “We’re fans of both gentle chemical and mechanical exfoliation, with the key word being ‘gentle,” they explain in their book Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change. “In our experience, it takes the perfect combination of the two to dissolve the bonds between cells without irritating skin and to sweep away dead cells, leaving skin soft and smooth.”

The Doctors’ advice: “Don’t overdo it.” If you don’t exfoliate regularly and want to start, or if you’ve only used one kind of exfoliator and would like to add the chemical or mechanical product you’re missing, give your skin time to get used to it:

1. Start slow, and don’t overscrub. If your skin looks red or feels raw, take a break and give it a chance to recover.

2. Treat your face and body differently. The skin on elbows, knees and heels may respond well to daily exfoliation, while your face may prefer it every few days. And avoid the temptation to use a body scrub on your face; the exfoliating particles may be too aggressive. (If you’re looking for one scrub formulated for both face and body, try R+F Enhancements Micro-Dermabrasion Paste.).

3. For best results, moisturize after you exfoliate.

Why else do we love Enhancements Microdermabrasion Paste?? …because they’re eco-friendly (see here)

Looking for more great dermatological skin products? See here

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse / Dermatology)

Cellulite Fast Facts

In a nutshell ….the dimpled appearance of Cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing through the connective tissue beneath the skin.

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Physicians refer to cellulite as edematous ‘fibrosclerotic panniculopathy (EFP)’. It usually affects the buttocks and thighs but can also occur in other areas. Even thin women can have cellulite!

Contributors factors

• Weak collagen structure of the skin

• Hormonal changes

• Being overweight or having increased body fat

• Lack of physical activity

• Poor diet

• Fluid retention

• Dehydration

• Lack of circulation (blood flow)

• Smoking

• Genetics

Why does cellulite effect women more than men?

Cellulite can affect both men and women. However it is more common in females, due to the different distributions of fat, muscle, and connective tissue. Women’s fat is typically distributed in the thighs, hips and buttocks — which are common areas for cellulite.

As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen. Less estrogen can lead to poorer circulation. This can contribute to a decrease in new collagen production and the breakdown of older connective tissue.

People often think that getting older causes cellulite. However it’s more that the effects of mature skin make cellulite more noticeable. Ie ..it can ‘appear’ worse because as the skin ages, it becomes thinner and loses elasticity.

FACTS

Exercise can decrease the appearance of cellulite

Regular exercise boosts circulation and can help disguise cellulite by increasing muscle tone under the skin. Exercise also improves lymphatic drainage, which carries toxins away from cells. If drainage is sluggish it will contribute to cellulite.

Also, having more muscle makes your skin look smoother and firmer.

Hormones

Hormones can play a role in cellulite development. Estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin influence the cellulite production process.

Dehydration

Dehydration can causes thinner (as well as drier & weaker) skin – which has a much greater tendency to show cellulite.

It’s also believed that not getting enough water can cause toxic buildup in the fat cells (that is then difficult for the body to metabolise).

Smoking

Cigarette smoke reduces blood flow and circulation, which weakens and disrupts the formation of collagen. This causes the connective tissue to stretch, weaken and become damaged more easily. As a result, more cellulite will show through.

Genetics

Genetic factors can be linked to a person’s speed of metabolism, distribution of fat under the skin, and circulatory levels. These can affect the chance of cellulite developing.

Treatment?

Cellulite is a difficult condition to treat, there is no procedure on the market that effectively removes all cellulite permanently. However, the appearance of cellulite can be reduced using a combination of lifestyle changes and medical grade technologies.

Some procedures for cellulite really do work, however the results are often temporary.

Laser treatment – Also called Radiofrequency (RF)

May improve the appearance of cellulite for up to a year or more.

Cellfina – This Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared minimally invasive treatment is proven to improve the appearance of cellulite for at least two years.

After the area is numbed, a Doctor inserts a small device through the skin near each cellulite dimple. There is a tiny, rapidly vibrating blade on the end of the device, which divides the band causing the cellulite dimple. This is repeated for each dimple until the procedure is complete. The downside: It costs around $4K and you will have some temporary bruising.

See more about Cellfina here.

Cellulaze – Similarly to Cellfina, this procedure is designed to break down the structure of cellulite beneath your skin—except it uses lasers rather than blades.

This popular FDA-approved laser treatment involves a doctor injecting numbing solution (into the area to be treated), then a laser is inserted under the skin. It shoots heat in three directions. A 75% improvement is expected. The small laser helps increase skin thickness, release the bands that create dimples, stimulate collagen production, and flatten out fat. Results are supposed to last for about a year or two.

Cryolipolysis – This treatment can reduce fat by freezing the lipids in fat cells. While it can be very effective for getting rid of small pockets of unwanted fat, it will only slightly (if at all) decrease cellulite.

Velashape – This handheld device uses infrared light to help reduce fat layers. It’s FDA-approved, and is considered a non-invasive treatment (meaning it doesn’t require injections or cuts).  It involves a combination of infrared therapy and mechanical massage to increase lymphatic drainage, while reducing the actual size of the fat cells and fat chambers. The device is pressed on the surface of skin, with results starting to appear after about four treatments.

Subcision – Involves a specialist putting a needle under the skin to break up the connective tissue bands. Results can last 2 years or more.

Carboxytherapy – Involves inserting carbon dioxide gas under the skin. ‘Some’ cellulite might disappear. Side effects include bruising and discomfort after the procedure,

Endermologie – Involves a deep massage with a vacuum-like device that lifts the skin. The (FDA) have approved it as safe, however there is little evidence that it is guaranteed to reduce cellulite.

Skin-firming creams? – There is limited evidence proving creams or scrubs with stimulant ingredients (like caffeine, ginger and green or black tea), help by improving circulation and breaking down fat-cell stores. However products containing Retinol may help create a slightly thicker skin cover that can help camouflage cellulite.

About / Contact

Victoria has been nursing for 20 years. She has a double degree in Nursing and Health Science, as well as a Post Graduate in Midwifery. In addition, she has also undertaken comprehensive and extensive training in dermatology and the cosmetic field. Having an eye for detail, Victoria now works exclusively in skincare aesthetics as a Cosmetic Nurse.

Working in the Cosmetic/ Dermatology field, Victoria has seen a lot of fads come and go. This Blog aims to help you eliminate the confusion of an over abundance of Skin advice and products on the market today.  The objective  is to help you filter through the gimmicky products and advice, to get to the good material. All products shown are clinical grade, cruelty free, and have undertaken rigorous testing.

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Blog topics will help educate and shed light on various skin (& related health) concerns. It is important to take a wholistic approach when it comes to skin health. Blog topics will cover both conventional and functional medicine. This includes various treatment options, clinical grade products, natural products, hormones, gut health, cosmetic injectables, natural remedies and more.

Please read on to find out more

For in clinic skin treatments / injectables with Victoria at Laser Clinics Australia please visit here OR contact:-

Warriewood (Tuesdays) Ph: 02 83192078

Brookvale (Thursdays) Ph: 80148911

For dermatological clinically proven skincare products visit here

😊 Victoria Isherwood

Contact

 

 

Eczema

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Exactly What Is Eczema?

Eczema (sometimes referred to as atopic dermatitis) is a common condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough. The severity can vary greatly.

Eczema is most common in children and will typically clear as they age. However, they will often continue to have sensitive skin AND eczema will often return again in later life.

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As I’ve explained in previous articles, our skin should act as a protective barrier against external irritants and bacteria. However when the skin is affected by eczema (and the lipid barrier is compromised), external irritants and bacteria are able to penetrate into the skin and moisture is lost . This causes further irritation, inflammation and dryness, which can lead to cracks in the skin, itching, infection etc.

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While the exact cause of eczema is not fully understood, we do know  that;-

Skin hypersensitivity and reactions are often the by-product of hypervigilant immune system skin cells (called Langerhans cells), thrown into overdrive by triggers such as environmental allergens, stress etc.

To put it simply, eczema is caused by inflammation of the skin.

TRIGGERS, which activate and exacerbate episodes of eczema include diet, hormonal, environmental, stress and lifestyle-related factors.

Common triggers include soap, perfume, detergents, stress and change in temperature or weather. Food allergies can also play a part, especially in young children. Individuals will react differently to different triggers.

Other Triggers

  • Hormones: Women can experience increased eczema symptoms at times when their hormone levels are changing, for example during pregnancy and at certain points in the menstrual cycle.
  • Stress: This is not a direct cause of eczema but can make symptoms worse. See mind-skin connection.

Mild cases of eczema can leave the skin irritated, dry, red, scaly and itchy, while the more severe cases can lead to weeping, bleeding and crusting of the skin.

Managing Eczema

For many people, the severity of flare-ups will lessen with maturity, and ‘some’ may completely outgrow it. However, as eczema can come and go throughout life, learning how to manage flare-ups and identifying triggers is the best course of action.

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There are a number of things people with eczema can do to support skin health and alleviate symptoms, such as:

Avoiding external irritants and allergens

Common environmental irritants include:

  • Harsh soaps, bubble baths, some shampoos
  • Wool, nylon
  • Grass and sometimes sand

Common allergens (substances that can aggravate eczema if you are allergic to them) include:

  • pollens;
  • house dust mites;
  • animal dander (small scales from the skin and hair of animals).
  • certain foods.

Note:  an allergy assessment by an allergist will properly identify the allergic triggers.

  • As Overheating can make eczema worse,  therefor try not to have heating too high in winter, bathe in lukewarm water (not too hot), don’t use an electric blanket.
  • Prevent your skin becoming dehydrated and dry (which are two different conditions).
  • Wear cotton and soft fabrics, and avoid rough, scratchy fibers and tight-fitting clothing.
  • Use a mild soap when washing and a non-soap cleanser (such as Soothe gentle cream wash).
  • Gently pat (with a towel) or air dry rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing.
  • Avoiding rapid changes of temperature and activities (like heated yoga) that make you sweat excessively.
  • learn and avoiding individual eczema triggers
  • Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather.
  • keep childrens fingernails short to prevent breaking the skin when itching.
  • Use an emollient daily to keep the skin moisturised.
  • Wear cool breathable natural fibres.
  • Eczema can get worse when stressed or anxious, so consider relaxation techniques such as meditation. See Mind-Skin-Axis.
  • Check ingredients of skincare products before use.
  • See common skin conditions

Nutrition and skin health

As certain food allergy’s intolerance’s can aggravating eczema, keeping a food diary can help pin point the particular foods that may be causing flare-ups. Speaking to a nutritional professional will point you in the right direction here.

It is important to remember that eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder. Therefore avoiding inflammatory foods can greatly help manage eczema. See gut-skin connection article.

When it comes to healthy eating, certain Vitamins and Nutrients can have a very positive effect on skin health. Some of the key nutrients believed to be essential in maintaining good skin health include; essential fatty acids (EFAs such as salmon, wallnuts or Sea Buckthorn), Zinc, Probiotics, Selenium, Vitamin E (avocados), Vitamin D, Beta-carotene etc. See here for more info.

Everyone is individual and what your body needs, may be different to someone else’s. A nutrition professional can help you understand what foods may be causing your skin issues and guide you in the right direction.

Moisterisers / Emollients

Moisturising is one of the easiest (and most important) measures in protecting the skin barrier. It can also prevent itching and scratching, as well as reduce eczema flare-ups.

As eczema is a chronic condition, it is important to incorporate regular moisturising into your daily skincare routine.  – normally a cream or ointment that softens and soothes the skin. For very dry skin, this should be done twice per day.

  • Avoid moisturisers that contain perfumes which can irritate the skin.
  • Moisturisers should also be applied within 3 minutes of bathing to ‘lock in the moisture’

Rodan + Fields offers dermatologically tested and proven products that are gentle and safe enough to use on childrens delicate skin. Steps 2 & 3 from the Soothe Regimen are two of the products that I recommend. If you are looking for relief and just don’t know where to turn, please feel free to contact me to see if these products are right for you and your family.

Note: emollient is just another word for a moisturiser

Steroid creams and ointments?

Creams or ointments containing corticosteroid are commonly used for flare-ups of eczema. Steroid preparations can relieve itching by reducing inflammation. However it is important to discuss this with a dermatologist as using high-strength steroid ointments or creams over long periods can be associated with  side effects. Short term use intermitted (when required) is a better option.

Anti-itch preparations for eczema

Cold compresses, oatmeal baths, coal tar and pine tar preparations may help to relieve itchy skin.

Antihistamines are occasionally recommended to relieve itching that is disrupting sleep. Their benefit is partially due to the sedating effect – they do not completely suppress the itch. Sedating antihistamines (such as Phenergan) are therefore best taken at night.

The mind-skin connection

Some skin conditions, including eczema, have a psychological component. This is a dynamic is referred to as psychodermatology.  See more information here…

Also see

Light Therapy benefits

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Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse)

Gut Health & Your Mood

A slight deviation from dermatology. HOWEVER   ……not only is our gut linked to our SKIN, it can also influence our MOODS (and vica versa).

YES studies have identified that there is a strong link between our gut health and our emotions.

Our brain and our gut share much of the same tissue. Sometimes referred to as our ‘second brain’ our digestive system and our nervous system are link in many ways.

Our gut’s microbiome produces more ‘serotonin’ (our feel good hormone) than our brain. In fact approximately 85 per cent of our serotonin is found in our gut. In addition to this, there are a multitude of other neurotransmitters located in our gut. A clinical study involving (a large sample size of) patients with gut issues,  showed that anxiety and depression correlate strongly with their gut issues. Another study showed that when gut issues improved, so did depression and emotional problems.

Evidence also suggests that the gut microbiome can influence sleep quality and our circadian rhythm. Our mental health is closely linked to the quality and timing of our sleep.

So there is no wonder that…..

Improving gut health can not only boost our immune system and overall health (including our skin), it can also improve mood. For good gut health we need good gut flora. The bacteria should be varied and well balanced. Meaning  …more of the good guys than the bad! Read more about this in my previous Gut Article.

Easy steps to improve your gut health

  • Eat foods high in probiotics – eg Kombucha, Kefir, natural yogurt, saurkraut & kimchi or other fermented foods.
  • Avoid (or limit) inflammatory foods – Such as gluten, unfermented dairy, excessive alcohol, refined sugar & artificial sweeteners.
  • Eat fresh unprocessed foods – Include lots of vegetables & fruits that are high in fibre (lots have the additional benefit of being prebiotics – which are like fertilisers for our good bacteria).
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics – Which can wipe out our beneficial, protective gut bacteria.
  • Limit stress
  • If required supplement with high quality probiotic supplements  – taking a probiotic supplement can also naturally boost the good probiotics in your system. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are particularly good strains for improving mood. Supplementation can also be beneficial for sufferers of inflammatory skin problems like acne, psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis.
  • Regular Moderate Exercise – has been shown to increase our guts (good) bacterial diversity and particularly increase Lactobacillus. Exercise also increases circulation, blood Flow, endorphins levels and reduced Stress.
  • See Gut-Skin Connection

SO…..

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The answer is YES

Exercise for Healthy Skin

Exercise helps keep our skin healthy and vibrant. The multiple benefits of exercise include:-

1) Increased circulation, including blood flow. This
results in oxygen and nutrients being delivered to
our skin.
2) An increase in blood flow, also helps waste products
to be carried away from our skin.
3) Endorphins (our feel good hormones) are produced. This subsequently helps reduce stress levels and cortisol. This can result in an improvement of acne, eczema and other skin conditions.

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Other Benefits of Exercise

  • better sleep
  • stronger bones
  • better mood
  • live longer
  • decreased risk of heart disease & certain cancers
  • increased energy
  • increased self esteem

Anti-Aging Super Foods

These anti-aging foods benefit your SKIN & so much more:-

  1. AVOCADO is superfood packed with monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. They also contain phytochemicals and other essential nutrients to help prevent the negative effects of aging.
  2. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, a compound well known for its anti-aging effects. They are also packed with antioxidants – which fight free radicals throughout our bodies.
  3. The essential fatty acids EPA & DHA (omega 3’s) in oily FISH help boost hydration, assists with dermatitis, eczema, acne, inflammation, brain function, depression, anxiety, ADHD, heart health & so much more. SALMON, trout, sardines and mackerel are good examples. Salmon is particularly high in astaxanthin, a super antioxidant and carotenoid known for its unique anti-aging benefits. For plant based sources of omega-3’s, some great options are flaxseeds (try cold pressed flaxseed oil), chia & walnuts. 

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4.  Hormonal decline is a common complaint of aging. MACA balances and helps normalise the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

5.  TURMERIC is well known for its anti-aging properties, and it has been used in cosmetic formulations for centuries. According to extensive research, the curcumin in turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is proving to help with:-

  • Arthritis – due to in anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Brain and other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Type 2 diabetes- due to curcumins ability to help stabilise blood sugar levels.
  • Cholesterol – as it helps lower our bad LDL cholesterol.
  • Viruses – eg the flu
  • PMS

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6.  Dark chocolate (ideally 70% or higher cacao) is a superfood packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants are in the form of flavanols which help to protect our skin from free radical damage (helping it stay youthful for longer). Dark chocolate also contains:-  Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc & Selenium.

7.   Nuts (& seeds) are packed with protein and usually contain:- Essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, Zinc, B Vitamins, Selenium, fiber, L-arginine etc. Vitamin E protects skin from oxidative (cell) damage and supports healthy skin growth. Selenium (high levels are found in brazil nuts) is a powerful antioxidant, helping to support the immune system. Studies have even shown that a selenium rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, age spots and sun damage. See previous article regarding the Skin benefits of Zinc, EFA’s etc.  Some good options are;- walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans & pumpkin seeds.

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