Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses questions to ask your dermatologist about eczema

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition characterized by a red, itchy rash. Though it’s most common in children, adults often struggle with eczema as well. An estimated 30 million Americans are said to have it, with many going undiagnosed. If you’ve noticed symptoms of eczema in you or your child, you’ll need to make an appointment with your dermatologist right away. They are your best resource for information, and the earlier the case is assessed, the easier it will be to manage in the long run.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends keeping a log of eczema symptoms.

Before your first appointment, there are certain steps you can take to help your dermatologist give you the best possible care. In the days or weeks leading up to your session, keep a detailed log of signs and symptoms, jotting down as much as you can about the condition of your or your child’s skin. You’ll want to list symptoms, any changes that occur in symptoms over time and a list of potential triggers. If you noticed that the rash appeared to worsen after a long, hot shower, for example, you’ll want to make a note. Be on the lookout for other common irritants such as soaps and detergents, sweat, pet dander and sun exposure.

Certain foods are suspected to cause or trigger eczema, especially in infants and toddlers, but studies are inconclusive. If you suspect a link between eczema and diet, you may want to log your or your child’s meals and snacks, and also any vitamins, supplements or medications. It’s a good idea to bring these items to the appointment so that your dermatologist can look over dosages and directions. This is especially important when it comes to prescription medications for preexisting conditions.

Soaps and detergents that contain fragrance and dyes are often linked to eczema. These can often leave behind an irritating residue that triggers or worsens eczema symptoms. You’ll need to write down the soaps, detergents and other household products you or your child come into contact with to begin the process of elimination. Keep in mind that sometimes responses are delayed. It could be up to 48 hours after contact with the substance before symptoms are noticed, so it helps to monitor signs as they occur within a specific timeframe.

Ask the right questions to better understand eczema, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Prepare a list of questions to ask your dermatologist that will help you better understand your unique case. Treatment for eczema is never one size fits all, and you’ll want to be sure you’re taking the proper steps and precautions to prevent flare-ups. Start with the following questions and add as many of your own as you’d like.

How severe is my/my child’s eczema?

Understanding the severity of your or your child’s eczema can help you form goals for the treatment and management of the condition. It can also help shape realistic expectations for controlling flare-ups.

Is the condition temporary or chronic? Will it go away on its own?

Some individuals develop eczema in childhood and then overcome it as they grow older. Others experience their first flare-up well into adulthood. Eczema has also been linked to asthma and allergies, so understanding the nature of your or your child’s case can provide clues about other health concerns.

What is causing my/my child’s eczema?

Knowing your or your child’s unique eczema triggers is crucial to controlling symptoms. Every case is different, and managing eczema may be as simple as switching detergents or it may involve bigger lifestyle changes.

What treatment do you recommend?

There are several treatments available for eczema. These range from creams or balms, like FixMySkin Healing Body Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone, for mild cases, to corticosteroid injections for more severe cases. Other options include light therapy, wet bandages and oral medications. Your dermatologist will likely have a specific treatment in mind for your individual needs, however, it’s always a good idea to understand other options to explore if needed. There is no cure, for eczema, but symptoms can be managed with diligent treatment. In addition to FixMySkin, you might explore Avene TriXera+ Selectiose Emollient Cream, a dry skin formula that can help protect skin and restore the natural moisture barrier. Dr. Schlessinger also likes EltaMD Melting Moisturizer. The lightweight treatment helps keep 90% of moisture in skin for up to 12 hours.

What lifestyle changes can I make to help manage my/my child’s eczema?

Managing eczema triggers can involve extensive trial and error. Your dermatologist can help pinpoint likely causes and help you get started with any changes you’ll need to make. They can also recommend the best irritant-free products available for you and your family. Dr. Schlessinger recommends Free & Clear detergents and strongly discourages the use of fabric softeners and dryer sheets with synthetic fragrance. Switching to a pure detergent as soon as eczema symptoms begin can go a long way toward managing the condition in the long run. For soaps, shampoos, sunscreens and more that are free of fragrance and dyes, try Vanicream products. The formulas are gentle enough for the whole family and perfect for daily use.

Do you have a question for Dr. Schlessinger? Let us know in the comments section.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains hangnails

A hangnail is a small piece of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle, creating a tiny tear. Contrary to its name, a hangnail does not affect the actual nail at all. Rather, hangnails are tears in the skin that are caused by several common scenarios, making them a regular occurrence for the majority of individuals.

Dry skin is the biggest culprit for hangnails, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Cold winter weather can dry out skin, as can harsh chemicals, such as household cleaners, and frequent hand washing. Another common cause is nail biting. Biting at nails can damage the skin underneath the nail bed or actual fingernail and lead to hangnails. Lastly, manicures can lead to hangnails, particularly if cuticles are clipped, a practice dermatologists strongly discourage. Nail clipping with an unsteady hand, whether performed at home or by a nail technician, can lead to nicks, which may split into hangnails.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares hangnail care tips.

Hangnails aren’t dangerous and most aren’t painful. However, if not properly cared for, they can become infected with bacteria, yeast and fungi and grow red and swollen. Treat hangnails early, before they become irritated. Start by soaking your finger or fingers in warm water for a few moments. This will help soften the hangnail and stop the tearing. Next, use a clean nail clipper or nail scissors, like Tweezerman Rockhard Cuticle Nipper ½ Jaw, to gently nip off the skin. To finish, massage a little moisturizer or hand cream into the nail bed. With a formula like NIA24 Sun Damage Repair for Decolletage and Hands, you can treat dark spots, fine lines and other signs of aging, all while preventing hangnails. For an intensely hydrating formula, you might like Epionce Medical Barrier Cream.

If the area around a hangnail has grown red and swollen, you likely have an infection. If this is the case, you can follow the above steps, then apply an anti-bacterial ointment and cover the area with a bandage. The infection should heal in one to three days. Be sure to change the bandage twice a day and reapply ointment if needed. To minimize minor irritation, pick up FixMySkin Healing Body Balm Unscented with 1% Hydrocortisone. This convenient balm stick contains soothing shea and cocoa butters, plus 1% hydrocortisone, to heal damaged cells.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares tips for preventing hangnails.

The easiest way to prevent hangnails is to keep your hands moisturized. If you’re especially prone to them, you may want to apply a hand cream or lotion two to three times a day. FixMySkin is perfect for moisturizing skin on the go. You can also use a little cuticle oil a few times a week if needed. We like Qtica Solid Gold Cuticle Oil Gel, a nourishing 12-oil blend. If you tend to pick or bite at your nails, it’s time to kick the habit once and for all. Not only will you save yourself the headache of regular hangnails, you’ll also lower your risk of contracting warts and infections, plus communicable illnesses, like the cold and the flu.

When caring for nails at home, be sure not to clip your cuticles. Cut your nails straight across and gently file the edges for a rounded corner. When opting for a professional manicure, choose a clean, reputable salon and be sure that tools are sterilized between uses.

Do you have a question for Dr. Schlessinger about hangnails? Let us know in the comments section.

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Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains ichthyosis
Ichthyosis is a condition characterized by dry, scaly accumulations of skin cells. This condition is usually inherited and is most common in babies. Though it typically disappears during early childhood, adults may develop ichthyosis under certain circumstances. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD explains the causes, symptoms and treatments for this skin condition.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains ichthyosis.

Ichthyosis slows your skin’s natural shedding process, causing an excessive buildup of protein in the upper layer of skin. Dry skin accumulates in patches on the surface and result in a scaly, rough texture. Ichthyosis is most often an inherited condition that typically appears at birth or during the first few years of life. In most cases, the condition disappears during early childhood but for some ichthyosis may return during adulthood. Ichthyosis that is not inherited from one or both of your parents may be associated with another condition such as an underactive thyroid, kidney disease, lymphoma or HIV infection.

The symptoms of ichthyosis include flaky, scaly skin that appears white, gray or brown. The condition may also cause deep, painful cracks in the skin that are worsened in cold or dry environments. Mild cases of ichthyosis are confined to specific areas such as the elbows, legs or shins. More severe cases cover larger areas of the body such as the back, abdomen, arms or legs.

There is no cure for ichthyosis, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Ichthyosis has no cure but you can control the symptoms with continued treatment. Because the condition causes dry skin, it is important to moisturize the affected areas regularly, especially after bathing or swimming, to restore lost moisture. Choose a product formulated to provide long-lasting hydration such as EltaMD Intense Moisturizer. This hydrating cream nourishes while relieving the uncomfortable effects of ichthyosis. FixMySkin Healing Body Balm hydrates with shea butter and cocoa butter to improve dryness. This formula contains 1% hydrocortisone, a topical steroid that soothes inflammation and irritation, to reduce the irritating symptoms of ichthyosis.

To rid your skin of the dead cells that accumulate due to ichthyosis, exfoliate the affected areas with a product that contains alpha hydroxy acids or polyhydroxy acids. NeoStrata Problem Dry Skin Cream moisturizes dry areas while exfoliating with glycolic, lactic and mandelic acids. These ingredients gently sweep away debris to reduce cell accumulation and help achieve a smoother skin texture without causing irritation. NeoStrata Bionic Lotion employs lactobionic acid to remove dry, flaky skin without aggravating ichthyosis. It also contains nourishing vitamin E and soothing meadowfoam seed oil to improve skin health and comfort.

In addition to regularly moisturizing and exfoliating, there are further measures to help comfort your skin. Avoid products that are harsh or drying. If you must use chemicals or products that dry your skin, wear gloves or other protective clothing to reduce skin’s exposure to the irritant.  It may also be beneficial to use a humidifier, particularly if you live in a cold or dry climate. This will add moisture to the air around you to help your skin retain its natural hydration levels.

If the symptoms of ichthyosis are present, see a board-certified dermatologist.

If you expect a loved one may have ichthyosis, it is best to consult a board-certified dermatologist who can provide an individualized course of treatment. If the condition is not inherited, it may be symptomatic of an underactive thyroid, kidney disease, lymphoma or HIV infection. Your physician can pinpoint the cause of ichthyosis and help you proceed with the appropriate treatment.

Do you have questions about ichthyosis? Ask Dr. Schlessinger in the comment section.

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Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares back to school tips

Returning to school is an exciting chance to start over and enjoy new opportunities. With September upon us, your children are probably just settling into a routine and re-learning to balance homework, activities and friends.

Along with all the excitement, though, comes a packed schedule and significant exposure to germs. With so much to do, it can be easy to let hygiene practices fall by the wayside. As a parent, it’s important to let your children know that the key to being healthy, happy and productive this school year is to take great care of themselves and their belongings. Share the following tips with your children to help them have their best year yet.

Apply Sunscreen Before Spending Time Outdoors

Teaching your children proper sun safety habits will set them up for a lifetime of healthy skin. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas at least 15 minutes before leaving the house each morning, rain or shine. It’s also important to be consistent with weekend outings, sports practices and playdates. Teach your child how to apply sunscreen so that they understand how to get a full, even application and be sure they know when to reapply. We like EltaMD UV Sport Water-Resistant Broad Spectrum SPF 50, a formula that is great for wearing while active outdoors since it doesn’t run and won’t string if it should get in eyes.

Skin may begin burning and sustaining damage in as little as 10 minutes of intense sun exposure, which may mean your child will need to reapply during the school day for outdoor gym classes, recesses and field trips. You’ll want to store an extra sunscreen in your child’s school bag and sports bag just in case.

Find out your school’s rules about sunscreen, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

It’s important to note that sunscreen has been banned in some school districts across the United States because it is considered a drug. While sunscreen is not dangerous, school officials have expressed concerns over eye irritation and potential allergic reactions for students. Check with your child’s school about their sunscreen policy. Some may require a doctor’s note. If sunscreen is banned from your child’s school completely, no exceptions, you’ll want to contact administration about a change in policy or even consider exploring other districts. Two or more blistering sunburns sustained during childhood can increase the risk of skin cancer up to ten times later in life, so this is not an issue to be taken lightly.

Wash Your Face Twice a Day

Acne can be embarrassing for adolescents and leave them feeling socially isolated. Severe types of acne, such as cystic acne, can even leave behind permanent scarring that is next to impossible to completely eliminate down the road. It’s best to seek treatment for acne early, when your children are just beginning to experience breakouts. Your dermatologist should be able to prescribe an appropriate acne regimen and help teach your children how to use the products. Those adolescents who struggle with acne should be sure to avoid milk and other dairy products, as these can worsen breakouts.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends a mild facial cleanser twice daily for children.

Even if your child has not experienced his or her first pimple, it’s best to encourage them to wash their face twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Once they’ve reached nine or ten, breakouts could be just around the corner. A mild cleanser, like LovelySkin LUXE Clarifying Gel Cleanser, can help heal and prevent breakouts. It contains 2% salicylic acid and 2% glycolic acid to gently exfoliate skin and remove impurities.

Refrain from Sharing Personal Items

Sharing personal items can lead to the spread of viruses, bacteria and fungus and result in serious illness. Even refraining from sharing items like school supplies can cut down on the spread of germs, but there are certain items that shouldn’t be shared under any circumstances. These include clothing items such as hats, coats and shoes, lip balms, deodorants, nail clippers, towels, toothbrushes, makeup and earphones. Sharing drinking glasses, straws and eating utensils should also be avoided.

Encourage regular hand washing, especially after using the restroom and before eating each meal. Remind children to keep pencils, toys and drinking fountain bubblers away from their mouths.


Laundry hygiene is a big part of stopping the spread of germs, as well as various skin irritations. Items that come into close contact with the body are most likely to carry bacteria. Change towels and washcloths daily if possible, and launder bedding at least once a week. This will help cut down on acne and other skin infections. Be sure your child wears cleans clothes each day, and don’t forget about gym and sports uniforms. Lockers often have poor ventilation and can be breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Teach your child to hang his or her coat and gym clothes, and be sure these items are switched out and washed often.

Do you have a question about hygiene? Let us know in the comments section.

No Comments | Category: Uncategorized

Joel Schlessinger MD discusses how different pH levels affect your skin care routine
When you think of pH levels, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t skin care. In fact, you’ve probably come across the term “pH” before without ever really understanding what these levels mean in relation to your skin. Without getting too scientific, pH levels measure how acidic or alkalinic a substance is. All of your skin care products have unique pH levels, and these don’t always match your skin’s pH level. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD explains what you need to know when it comes to the pH level of your skin care products.

Skin has a natural pH level that is slightly acidic, Joel Schlessinger MD explains.

The pH scale ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkalinic). Although pH levels differ from person to person, skin pH is generally at 5.5 or slightly lower. pH levels also vary from body part to body part and they can change by the minute.

A wide range of pH levels can actually be beneficial for skin. While some soaps are more alkalinic, Joel Schlessinger MD says this doesn’t mean they are less harsh. He also points out that products on the acidic side can actually help to cleanse more effectively.

LovelySkin Luxe Gentle Cream Cleanser, for example, has a pH of 6.7, which is close to neutral. On the other hand, LovelySkin Luxe Clarifying Gel Cleanser has a slightly more acidic pH of 5.84 because it contains 2% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid to better exfoliate skin.  Both formulas are great cleansers, but this is a perfect example of how acidity can affect cleansing properties. While the Gentle Cream Cleanser gently removes makeup and soothes the complexion, the Clarifying Gel Cleanser exfoliates without causing irritation or inflammation.

Joel Schlessinger MD suggests trying products to see what works with your skin.

While testing the pH level of all your products might sound like fun, it’s not necessary. Joel Schlessinger MD says the best way to find the right skin care products for your complexion is to try them.

“Those that are within the two to eight range are generally what we find will work with skin,” Joel Schlessinger MD says. “It is probably best to simply try these out on your skin and see what feels good, what seems to help cleanse your skin and what works for you.”

If you’re curious about a product’s pH level, there is an easy way to test it.

“There are relatively simple tests to find out a product’s pH, including simple litmus paper or relying upon company tests, which are usually available with some research,” Joel Schlessinger MD says. “But the most important test is that of how a product feels and wears on you and that is only done personally.”

Do you have a question about pH levels for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Skin Care, Skin Care Myths

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains heat rash

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat or miliaria, is a red or pink rash that is usually found on areas of the body covered by clothing. Though it’s most common in babies, anyone of any age can develop heat rash under certain conditions.

Heat rash is common in hot, humid environments, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Heat rash appears in the form of tiny pink or red dots that look similar to pimples. In adults, it is usually found in skin folds and in areas where clothing causes friction. In babies, heat rash typically appears on the neck, shoulders and chest, but it may also show in skin creases, underarms or the groin area. The rash develops when sweat ducts become blocked and swell, which leads to soreness, blisters and often, itching.

Heat rash usually begins with excessive perspiration in a hot, humid environment. It is most common in infants since well-meaning parents often dress their babies warmly no matter the climate. Those newborns in incubators are also more at risk to experience heat rash. Active adults and those patients who experience a severe fever accompanying an existing medical condition may also be more at risk.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains different types of heat rash.

There are several types of heat rash, and each is diagnosed by the severity of blocked sweat glands. Miliaria crystallina is considered the mildest form, affecting the sweat glands in the top layer of skin. It is characterized by fluid-filled blisters that tend to break easily.

Miliaria rubra occurs a bit deeper in the skin and involves red bumps, itching and a prickly sensation. When fluid-filled blisters that often accompany miliaria rubra become inflamed and fill with whitish material, the form is known as miliaria pustulosa.

The least common, but most severe form of heat rash is called miliaria profunda. It affects the dermis, the deep layer of skin. In this form, the blocked sweat leaks out of the gland onto the skin, creating firm, flesh-colored lesions that are similar to goosebumps. In rare cases, heat rash could become irritated from the friction caused by clothing and develop infection.

Follow Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s tips to treat mild heat rash at home.

While heat rash is uncomfortable, it does not usually require medical attention. The rash usually disappears on its own in two to three days with no additional side effects. The best way to address a heat rash at home is to keep it cool and try. Let skin air-dry after a bath or shower and avoid any tight clothing or irritating fabrics. There is no need to apply topical treatments, as these could irritate the skin and further block sweat glands. If the rash does not disappear within about four days, or if blisters burst and appear to be infected, see your physician.

To prevent heat rash, stay cool when being active outdoors. Limit the time you spend outside, wear loose, lightweight clothing and allow skin to dry if it becomes sweaty. In hot weather, infants should be dressed similarly to adults. Fleece-y fabrics and onesies may prove too warm for comfort, so opt for light cottons and two-piece ensembles when dressing your child. It’s also important to keep your baby cool during sleep, so adjust blanket weight, pajamas and swaddling practices accordingly.

Do you have a question about heat rash? Let us know in the comments section.

No Comments | Category: Uncategorized

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares an article linking tattoos and bacterial infections
Over the years, several studies have focused on the risks of tattoos, including the safety and sterility of the facility. A recent review in The Lancet looked at these health and safety concerns and found that one to five percent of people with tattoos contract bacterial infections, while others have an allergic reaction to the ink. In this blog post, Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses these risks and why it’s best to think twice before permanently inking your skin.

Tattoo ink is not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which puts consumers at risk, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

In many countries, tattoos are classified as cosmetics. While the skin’s barrier keeps topical cosmetics out of the body, tattoo ink is injected into living tissue. This is why many dermatologists and skin care professionals believe tattoos should be classified in a separate category. Tattoo parlors are currently regulated by each state and training requirements for artists vary widely.

Contaminated ink could lead to bacterial and viral infections, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Much like the parlors and artists, tattoo ink is also fairly unregulated. There is no standard in place for ink ingredients. Most tattoo inks contain organic pigments, but some also contain dangerous preservatives, as well as contaminants like nickel, lead and arsenic. These additives can trigger infections and allergic reactions, especially in those with sensitive skin.

As a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Joel Schlessinger has seen many patients with infections and other complications after getting a tattoo.

“As with any procedure, it is very important to be aware of the risks associated with tattoos, including infections,” he says. “We have seen both bacterial and serious viral infections with tattoos so my advice is to think twice before getting a tattoo.”

Dr. Joel Schlessinger also stresses the importance of seeing your dermatologist if you have any concerns. Experts believe the majority of tattoo complications go unreported and this further contributes to the problem.

“If you have a tattoo and are worried it may be infected, go to your dermatologist for an evaluation as it is best to treat it early,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Do you have a question about tattoos for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Cosmetic Surgery, Research and Studies, Tattoo Removal

This post originally appeared on Tuesday December 13, 2011 in the Omaha World Herald.By Leia Mendoza

Daniel Schlessinger is known around campus as the “lip balm guy.”

The 17-year-old Omaha native and freshman at Northwestern University has had his college neighbors and buddies swarm his dorm room to get samples of his creation: FixMySkin Healing Balm.

Daniel even mingled with celebrities at the Emmy Awards in September to give red carpet walkers a sneak peek of the product before it was released to the public last month.

FixMySkin Healing Balm is a medicated body balm intended to heal a number of skin issues, including chapped lips and cuticles, dry elbows and heels, psoriasis, eczema, poison ivy and insect bites.

Daniel, who aspires to follow in his dermatologist dad’s footsteps, came up with the concept when he was only 12.

It was winter in Nebraska and the Kiewit Middle School seventh-grader had dry, cracked skin on his hands. So he rubbed some lip balm on his skin and wondered why it worked better than lotion, but didn’t completely heal his skin.

“It was my intellectual curiosity, I guess,” Daniel said by phone. “I was just really curious about why something like lip balm didn’t work there.”

Turns out, he learned from his father, Dr. Joel Schlessinger, that his lips and hands have two different types of skin and the hand requires a stronger medication.

“It was more complex of a problem than I imagined,” Daniel said. “And it led us into this whole journey.”

The journey began with Daniel’s idea, but his father saw potential in it and stepped in to advise and mentor his son.

Daniel researched the market to see if a medicated balm existed that could be used on lips and hands. There were lip balms with medications in them, but no skin balms that contained medications, such as hydrocortisone, or any that were specifically aimed at dry, cracked skin on the fingers or other targeted areas.

To be sure, his father hired a patent attorney to research it.

Their attorney, Roberta Hastreiter based in Atlanta, gave them the green light to move forward. The patent for FixMySkin Healing Balm is pending.

The mission to create a body balm that was portable, easy to use and medically effective had begun.

Daniel was still young and could help only so much because he didn’t understand much of the medical jargon and discussions. Even so, his father had him sit in on meetings and on conference calls with attorneys and manufacturers.

“This was really Daniel’s baby,” Joel Schlessinger said.

Even the business professionals they worked with during the process took time to explain details to Daniel, making sure he felt a part of the deal.

But, “it wasn’t an easy process,” Joel Schlessinger said.

Joel Schlessinger brought his father, Bernie Schlessinger, who has a PhD in physical chemistry, on board to help develop formulas. They knew they wanted to add 1 percent hydrocortisone in the balm, but hydrocortisone tends to glob and be messy and has a bitter taste in lip balms. So figuring out how to make it glide on smoothly and taste good was a challenge.

After roughly four years of research and 54 different formulations, they finally found the right one.

During the last few years, Daniel, who was attending Millard North High School and had taken advanced science classes, was able to understand more and get back into his creative role.

He worked with chemists after school, before track practices or whenever he had free time. He used vacations and time off from school to travel to potential manufacturers. Most recently, he spent most of his summer familiarizing himself with all of the Food and Drug Administration’s requirements and worked with a liaison for the FDA to make sure the product met all of the guidelines.

“These professionals couldn’t believe they were dealing with a high school senior,” Joel Schlessinger said.

But Daniel won’t take all the credit. Turning his idea into a reality was a “family affair,” with his sister, Claire, his mother, Nancy, and his grandmother June throwing in ideas and giving advice.

The FixMySkin Healing Balm, which went on sale a few weeks ago, has been featured in national health and beauty magazines such as Allure.

The healing body balms come in three sizes: a small jar, a chapstick size and a glue-stick size, ranging from $8 to $12. They can be purchased at Joel Schlessinger’s Omaha store, Lovely Skin, near 144th Street and West Center Road, or online. Visit Omaha.com for a link to the site.

Already, 3,000 individual containers have been sold in store and online.

Joel Schlessinger distributed the product to roughly 200 dermatologists and skin specialists at a recent convention in Las Vegas and sold an additional 200. The hope is to eventually sell the product through other vendors and retailers.

“It’s a good feeling to see all the work come together and produce a product people like,” Daniel Schlessinger said.

For Joel Schlessinger, “It was a beautiful thing to see Daniel grow alongside the development of this product.”

Contact the writer:

402-444-1336, leia.mendoza@owh.com

Copyright ©2011 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Buy your own FixMySkin Healing Balm here.

No Comments | Category: Business Run by Family

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses the causes of hair loss

Every year, millions of men and women experience hair loss, some as early as their 20s. There are a number of different medical and environmental factors that can contribute to hair loss, and seeing your physician to pinpoint the cause is key to receiving the right treatment.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses normal hair shedding and growth.

Hair loss is not the same as regular shedding. It may be alarming to pull loose hairs from your ponytail daily or have a clump of hair clog the shower drain weekly, but the average person sheds between 50 and 100 hairs a day as part of the natural growth cycle. Everyone is a little different when it comes to the natural shedding process, and only you will be able to tell if you’re losing more hair than usual.

It’s also important not to confuse hair breakage with hair loss. Frequent heat styling and chemical treatments can leave hair dry, dull and brittle, with split ends. When split ends travel up the hair shaft, they may break off close to the root, giving the illusion of hair loss. Severely damaged hair should be rehabilitated through a deep conditioning regimen and a hiatus from hot tools.

Genetics is the leading cause of hair loss, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

The single largest cause of hair loss is genetics. Hereditary hair loss is referred to as female-pattern baldness or male-pattern baldness, respectively. In female patients, it’s characterized by thinning hair around the crown. Male patients may experience a receding hairline in an M shape or loss that begins at the temple and extends to the crown.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can contribute to hair loss for both men sexes, but more commonly, women. It happens directly after childbirth due to quickly falling estrogen levels. This loss usually peaks around four months post-birth and then hair returns completely back to normal after one year. Occasionally, the shifting hormones associated with menopause can cause hair loss, but this is relatively rare, and it is also temporary.


Certain antidepressants, birth control pills and drugs to treat epilepsy, high blood pressure and arthritis can interfere with the hair’s natural growth cycle and cause loss. Radiation therapy for cancer also causes hair loss, as well as change the color and texture of hair.

Pre-Existing Skin Conditions

Ringworm, seborrheic dermatitis and certain types of fungus can all cause irritation, inflammation, scarring and then eventual hair loss. Folliculitis, or inflammation of the hair follicles, may look similar to acne in appearance, with little rings around individual hair follicles. This condition can lead to temporary or permanent hair loss due to inflammation. Alopecia areata is a condition that usually affects the scalp and results in patchy hair loss. It is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation.

Thyroid Disease

Changes in the thyroid may affect hormones and the rest of the body’s systems, including the hair growth cycle. When the thyroid is hyperactive, hair may grow finer and thinner, and when the thyroid is underactive, thinning and loss may occur. Also, certain medications that are frequently prescribed for an underactive thyroid count hair loss among their side effects.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a form of gradual hair loss that occurs by pulling force to the hair. It is most common in those individuals who frequently style hair in tight braids, cornrows, pigtails and buns, and it is characterized by a receding hairline. If left untreated, traction alopecia can cause scarring and permanent loss.

Consult with your dermatologist about treating hair loss, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Treating hair loss depends entirely on the type of hair loss being experienced. For temporary hair loss due to medication or hormone fluctuations, a supplement can help encourage healthy growth. Try Viviscal Professional Supplements. These exciting new dietary supplement tablets contain AminoMar Marine Complex, apple extract, biotin, vitamin C and a blend of essential amino acids to help rehabilitate hair in four stages. Hair is first nourished, then thin wispy hair is strengthened. Breaking and thinning continues to decline, and hair becomes stronger, healthier and more vibrant. The supplements work wonderfully for both men and women suffering from hair loss due to everyday stress, medication, hormonal changes and more.

The Rene Furterer Triphasic Progressive Hair Loss Kit and Rene Furterer RF80 Sudden Hair Loss Kit include comprehensive regimens to help strengthen and fortify thinning hair. Triphasic Progressive Hair Loss Kit is perfect for those struggling with hereditary hair loss. It contains Complexe 5 Regenerating Plant Extract to help strengthen hair at the root, Forticea Stimulating Shampoo to increase microcirculation and Triphasic Regenerating Treatment to target and correct hair loss.

The RF80 Sudden Hair Loss Kit is specially formulated for those experiencing sudden hair loss from temporary factors like hormonal changes, lack of nutrients and certain medications. It includes Complexe 5 Regenerating Plant Extract to strengthen hair at the root, Forticea Stimulating Shampoo to help encourage microcirculation and RF 80 Concentrated Serum to provide nourishment to weak, thinning strands.

There are also at-home devices available to address hair loss. Try the Hairmax Lasercomb Advanced 7, a laser photo therapy device that is clinically proven to stimulate hair follicles. With just three 15-minute treatments a week, you can enjoy new growth in as little as 16 weeks.

Do you have a question for Dr. Schlessinger about hair loss? Let us know in the comments section.

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Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares how to tell if your skin is aging well
Signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin are often not welcome. You do everything you can to keep your skin looking youthful for as long as possible. But how do you know if the signs you’re seeing are normal for your age? In this blog post, Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses how to tell if your skin is aging well and how you can maintain a more youthful appearance.

Fine lines and wrinkles are a normal sign of aging, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

The first signs of aging often appear in the form of crow’s feet around eyes. These fine lines develop as a result of frequent facial expressions like squinting and smiling. Repetitive motions create creases in the skin that break down collagen and elastin fibers over time. The body also starts to produce collagen and elastin at a slower rate, preventing skin from bouncing back as quickly as it did when you were younger.

Next, you’ll see wrinkles start to form on the forehead, around the lips and between the eyebrows. Much like crow’s feet, these wrinkles are caused by repeated facial expressions. You can pair skin care treatments with in-office procedures like Botox and wrinkle fillers to minimize these signs of aging. However, wrinkles are not out of the ordinary.

There’s a good chance you’ll also start to see dark circles under your eyes, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Dark circles under eyes could be caused by a number of things including natural aging, heredity, allergies, sleep deprivation and stress. The skin around the eyes becomes thinner and more fragile with age, exposing tiny blood vessels beneath the skin. Loss of elasticity can also contribute to dark circles. As skin loses its ability to bounce back, dark circles become more prominent.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares a few things that could contribute to signs of aging.

If you smoke, you will start to see premature signs of aging much earlier than normal, including deep wrinkles, bags under eyes and dull, sallow skin. This is because cigarettes starve your skin of oxygen and constrict blood flow, which affects circulation and breaks down collagen and elastin. Smoking also depletes your body of vitamin C, a necessary nutrient for collagen production. Because smoke is a form of pollution, you’re also exposing your skin to harmful free radicals.

Skipping sunscreen is another way to encourage dark spots and wrinkles. Most signs of aging can be delayed with proper sun protection. Going without any sunscreen, however, can lead to dark spots, wrinkles and other signs of photoaging. UV exposure causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to signs of aging.

Maintain a youthful appearance with some of Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorite products.

The best way to prevent premature signs of aging is to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen every single day. One of Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorite sunscreens is EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Sunscreen – Untinted. This oil-free formula protects skin with 9% zinc oxide. Plus, its sheer formula won’t clog pores or irritate sensitive skin.

Building an anti-aging regimen will also help you maintain a youthful appearance. Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests pairing clinically proven ingredients like peptides and growth factors for best results. After cleansing, apply NuGene NuCell Universal Serum. Formulated with growth factors, polypeptides, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, this serum helps encourage collagen and elastin production. Then, moisturize skin with LovelySkin LUXE Ultra-Rich Peptide Moisturizer. This hydrating cream contains peptides to help repair skin and argan oil to nourish and revitalize the complexion.

Do you have a question about anti-aging treatments for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

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