There’s a supplement that prevents sun damage
Fern is now your BFF (or at least when it comes to helping your skin protect itself). Polypodium leucotomos found in Heliocare, a daily supplement, is an extract from a tropical fern plant grown in Central and South America that can thwart damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. “Heliocare is considered safe,” says Nada Elbulk, MD, MSC, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist, “but prior to taking it, you should check with their board-certified dermatologist to make sure it won’t interact with any other medications you may be taking,” she adds. Double up on sun protection using this cheat sheet to the best sunscreens for every activity.
Skip the SPF and risk worsening hyperpigmentation
It’s a common myth that foregoing SPF has no effect on skin discoloration. Not so, says experts who urge sunscreen use always, but especially for patients with the condition that makes skin appear darker. Says Dr. Elbulk, “the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light from the sun can stimulate melanocytes, skin cells that create pigment called melanin, to make more melanin which is what leads to hyperpigmentation.” Sufferers should always use a broad spectrum SPF 30+, or a physical sunblocker containing zinc, titanium, or iron oxide. Find out the best ways to get rid of brown spots.
Women with hair loss can color their strands
The American Academy of Dermatology has a podcast
You’re already plugged in 24/7, why not rotate in the sounds of skin-friendly radio? AAD Dialogues in Dermatology is the official podcast of the American Academy of Dermatology; topics range from advancements in psoriasis to the management of Zika Virus. “My task is to choose topics that are both current in terms of breaking science—and in terms of events in the world around us—that will also satisfy the requirements of continuing medical education for our member dermatologists to maintain their board certification,” says Shadi Kourosh, MD, Chair of the Communications Council for Women’s Dermatologic Society and editor-in-chief of the podcast.
Alternative medicine is all anyone can talk about
During the Q&A portion of the day, one topic kept coming up: alternative therapies. No surprise there considering edible beauty, for example, seems to be all the rage. And while experts in attendance agreed that there isn’t enough research on ingestible beauty (yet) having a healthy diet is the foundation for improving any skin concern.
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An impressive new acne medication may be coming to the U.S.
At-home treatments actually work, but there’s a catch
You know those at-home beauty masks that can double as a Darth Vader Halloween costume? Those actually work, according to WDS pros. In one randomized controlled study, an at-home acne laser apparatus yielded a 50 percent reduction in inflammatory lesions vs 2 percent increase in the control group after 12 weeks. “Many at-home skin care treatments are easy to do, can serve as an effective adjunct treatment to in-office treatments by a board-certified dermatologist, spare sensitive individuals embarrassment as the procedure can be done in the privacy of their home, and they are relatively inexpensive,” says Susan C. Taylor, MD, Women’s Dermatologic Society Media Relations Committee Chair. Bottom line: If you’re going to try these DIY version, be consistent and commit to the long haul for best results.
You don’t need an Rx to treat hyperpigmentation
Depending on the degree of skin discoloration, OTC options may do the job to lighten these patches, we learned. Ingredients including vitamin C, soy, and licorice, found in skin care products, can break down brown spots that have appeared due to an increase in melanin. Rebat M. Halder, MD, FAAD, professor and chair in the department of dermatology at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. (who was not at the media day), notes in an AAD news release that studies have shown soy’s effectiveness as a skin lightening ingredient and its ability to suppress additional pigment from coming to the surface of the skin.