Skin care travel tips from Joel Schlessinger MD

While traveling can often be relaxing and rejuvenating, being away from your arsenal of skin care and beauty products can wreak havoc on your skin. Changes in altitude, climate and the environment can also cause trouble for your complexion. Often times, we cannot take all of our products with us and our skin suffers. Follow these tips from dermatologist Joel Schlessinger MD on how to keep your skin healthy while you travel.

Keeping skin clean and free of bacteria while you travel is key, says Joel Schlessinger MD.

The surfaces of airplanes and trains can be the site of bacteria and germs. Not only is this dangerous for your health, it can also cause problems for your skin including irritation and infections. Avoid touching the surfaces more than necessary and always travel with hand sanitizer or disinfectant.

It is also a good idea to bring a cleanser that is antibacterial when you travel. The CLn cleansers contain bleach, which is one of the few antibacterial ingredients that doesn’t lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These cleansers are also beneficial for athletes and anyone prone to staph infections, eczema, acne or rosacea.

Joel Schlessinger MD recommends travel products that keep skin hydrated and free of irritation.

Traveling, especially on an airplane, often leads to dehydrated skin and irritation. Before your trip, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. To keep skin moisturized during the trip, use a travel-size product such as Obagi Hydrate Facial Moisturizer with shea butter and glycerin. To relieve dryness, itching and irritation, carry FixMySkin Healing Body Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone wherever you go. This mess-free balm heals skin to restore a soft and smooth texture.

Many of your favorite brands including Obagi, NeoStrata, Murad and StriVectin carry sets of travel-size products to make packing and your journey a breeze.

Which products help you maintain healthy skin while you travel? Tell us in the comments.

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Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares a study on how your skin is smarter than you think
A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience found that your skin processes touch information before sending it to the brain. Researchers from Umeå University in Sweden found that neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations that scientists previously believed only the brain could execute.

The results of this new study are fascinating, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Researchers found that the skin actually calculates geometric data before sending signals to the brain. This allows the neurons in the sensitive skin on your fingertips to send information about how and when an object is touched, as well as details about the object’s shape.

The study also found that the neurons in your fingertips perform the same type of calculations done by neurons in the cerebral cortex. Simply put, your skin is able to process what you’re touch before sending information to your brain.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger says this study shows how complex skin is compared to other organs.

Dermatologists are always reminding patients that it’s important to take care of your skin. As the largest organ in your body, your skin needs proper care to stay healthy. This study proves that skin does more for the body than previously thought.

“I love this study because it shows just how superior the skin is to all the other organs,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “And that makes me even happier to be a dermatologist!”

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

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Skin Care, Skin Care Innovation

In a recent viral video, videographer Thomas Leveritt shows people on the street what they look like under ultraviolet light, exposing sun damage beneath the skin. The ultraviolet camera reveals changes to their skin that aren’t yet visible to the naked eye such as freckles, wrinkles and other signs of UV damage. With this video in mind, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares what you can do to protect yourself from sun damage and keep your skin looking youthful.

Applying sunscreen every day protects your skin from premature aging, sun damage and skin cancer, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a safe tan. Any change in your skin is a sign of sun damage. This damage doesn’t make itself known right away, either. Over time, sun exposure can lead to signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. UV exposure also creates an uneven skin tone and breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin, giving the complexion a saggy appearance.

Most skin cancer is caused by too much UV exposure. In the early stages, it usually resembles a freckle or a mole that can change in size, shape or color. The best way to avoid skin cancer is through regular self checks and visits to your dermatologist. This will also improve your chances of catching it early when it’s easily treatable.

The best way to protect your skin from sun damage is to wear sunscreen every day and stay out of the sun. Apply a daily sunscreen and avoid outside activities during peak hours when the sun is directly overhead. Following these basic rules will help keep your skin looking youthful and healthy, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends applying a broad spectrum sunscreen every day for healthy skin.

When shopping for sunscreen, many people only look at the SPF, which is not the best way to determine if your sunscreen is adequate. SPF only explains how well a produce protects against UVB rays, not UVA. Both UV rays cause skin cancer so it’s important to choose a broad spectrum formula. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays without irritating sensitive skin.

As a general rule, Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other dermatologists recommend applying a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and reapplying every two hours. For optimal sun protection, avoid excessive sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is most intense. It’s also important to protect your skin with proper clothing such as loose-fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, as well as wide-brimmed hats.

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

No Comments | Category: Aging Skin Care, Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Sun Damage, Sun Protection, Sunscreen Tips

Joel Schlessinger MD shares tips and tricks on how to spot skin cancerMore than two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and early detection is the key to survival. The easiest way to avoid becoming part of this statistic is to protect your skin and know how to identify areas of concern. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD will explain how you can spot skin cancer in its early stages.

There are several types of skin cancer and some are more dangerous than others, Joel Schlessinger MD shares.

The types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. All of these types of skin cancer are serious diseases, but some are more dangerous than others.

Actinic keratosis is a pre-cancerous lesion that is characterized by red or pink scaly patches on the skin. This can be a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma, a more serious form of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma is identified by raised, waxy pink bumps that may bleed or feel tender to the touch. This type of skin cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body but is very invasive to the location of the mole.

Squamous cell carcinoma usually has dull red, scaly and rough raised lesions on the skin. These lesions occur frequently on the areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun.

Melanoma is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. Although only 4 percent of diagnosed skin cancer cases are melanoma, this deadly type accounts for 77 percent of all skin cancer deaths.

Self examination and yearly checkups are important to catching skin cancer, Joel Schlessinger MD says.

If diagnosed and treated early, skin cancer is easily cured. A monthly self examination and a yearly checkup with your dermatologist can alert you to changes in your skin and prevent the spread of skin cancer.

A change in a mole or growth is generally the first sign of skin cancer, Joel Schlessinger says. Look for signs of change over time including bleeding, irritation, itching or dark coloration.

Since melanoma is the most dangerous and aggressive type of skin cancer, it is important to examine your moles and birthmarks using the ABCDE rule, which can help spot the early signs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry
  • Borders with irregular edges
  • Color is varied from one area to another
  • Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser
  • Evolving over time, changing in size, shape or color

Even if you are diligent about looking for changes in your skin, it is still essential to make a yearly appointment with a board-certified dermatologist like Joel Schlessinger MD. These experts are uniquely qualified to recognize, evaluate and treat skin cancers, ensuring the earliest possible detection.

Do you have questions about skin cancer for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses how to treat and prevent hair lossIf you suffer from hair loss, you’re not alone. About 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States have hereditary hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In this blog, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares the different types of hair loss and what you can do to treat and prevent it.

Some hair loss is permanent while other conditions are temporary, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

Permanent hair loss is usually caused by genetics. The most common type of hair loss is male and female pattern baldness, which is characterized by a receding hairline and a thinning crown.

Hormones, stress, illness, childbirth, dieting and some medications are all causes of temporary hair loss. Telogen effluvium is thinning on the scalp, which can be more severe in certain areas. Often caused by childbirth, stress, dieting or medication, this type of hair loss is fully reversible.

Alopecia areata is another type of temporary hair loss. This condition occurs when the immune system targets follicles, causing sudden bald patches on the scalp. It’s unclear how or why alopecia areata develops but researchers believe it is an autoimmune disease.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests using hair loss treatments to keep your strands healthy.

A board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Joel Schlessinger can suggest a personalized treatment regimen to tackle hair loss. If an office visit isn’t an option, there are specialized products that can provide treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Rene Furterer FORTICEA Stimulating Shampoo strengthens and restores thinning strands. The unique formula uses essential oils to stimulate microcirculation, encouraging strands to grow stronger, thicker and healthier. Rene Furterer TRIPHASIC VHT Revitalizing Formula for Thin Hair is a unique scalp treatment that promotes stronger, faster and more noticeable growth by targeting the three major causes of hereditary hair loss.

Taking care of your strands can also help prevent hair loss. In the shower, gently shampoo your hair and never skip conditioner. Don’t brush your hair while it’s wet as this can cause breakage and damage weak strands. Let your hair air dry, if possible, and always apply a heat protectant spray like Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray before using styling tools.

Do you have a question about hair loss treatments? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Hair Loss

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the right way to shampoo and condition hair

Shampooing and conditioning our hair is something we do so often that we probably don’t give it much thought. However, the right cleansing and conditioning techniques can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your healthiest head of hair. Next time you’re under the stream, incorporate Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s tips to get the most out of your products and routine.

Hot showers can cause hair to become dry and damaged, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Before wetting your hair, brush or comb it thoroughly. This will remove knots and tangles and make your hair much easier to manage post-shower. Next, massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers to loosen any buildup and debris, making it easier to cleanse away. You may shed 150-200 hairs a day if you shampoo daily. This number could increase if you wash your hair less. Though it may be alarming to see hair in your hand or comb, this isn’t cause for concern. If you suspect that you’re shedding more than normal, consult with your physician.

When you’re ready to turn on the water, it’s crucial to make sure that it doesn’t reach an overly hot temperature. “Hot water may feel relaxing, but it can strip the hair of its natural moisture, causing it to become dry, damaged and brittle,” says Dr. Schlessinger. Warm water is optimal for shampooing and conditioning, as it effectively removes oil and buildup without over-drying.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger stresses not to judge a shampoo’s quality by how much lather it produces.

Thoroughly saturate your hair by standing under the water for two to three minutes. Then, squeeze a quarter-sized amount of shampoo in your palm and begin to gently rub it over your scalp, working up a lather for about a minute. Note that a shampoo’s lathering capability has nothing to do with how well it is working to cleanse your hair. Lather differs between products and has to do with how much foaming agent a formula contains.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends conditioning only the bottom half of hair.

Rinse away all shampoo suds and gently squeeze the excess water out of your hair. Then apply a quarter-sized amount of conditioner to just the bottom half of your hair, focusing on the ends. Avoid applying conditioner directly on your scalp. The new hair growth at your roots doesn’t need nearly as much moisture as the older, dryer growth at the ends, and applying conditioner to your roots could leave them oily and unbalanced.

Leave the conditioner on your hair for two minutes before rinsing completely. Before you step out of the water, seal the cuticle with a blast of cold water. This helps protect hair from damage, minimize frizz and lock in shine.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other dermatologists can help you determine how often to shampoo and condition your hair.

How often you’ll need to shampoo and condition your hair depends largely on your hair type, the condition of your hair and any treatments you’ve had. Though hair is normally shampooed every day, those with naturally dry or brittle hair may find that this strips hair of its natural oils and causes it to become frizzy. Some individuals with straight hair shampoo every other day or three to four times a week, while others with curly or aging hair only wash it every one to two weeks. If you need to go a long time between washes, you may experience a buildup of keratin on the scalp and subsequent itching. Dr. Schlessinger recommends a tar shampoo, like Tarsum Professional Shampoo, to help improve excessive buildup and itching. The medicated gel works to diminish redness, itching, flaking and irritation with a blend of proven ingredients.

Hair that has been colored, relaxed or permed is more brittle, so avoid shampooing the day after receiving a styling treatment. Dry shampoo can help absorb oil at the roots to add volume and keep your hair fresh between washes. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is suitable for all hair types. It contains protective ingredients to help clean the hair and soothe the scalp, making it great for balancing oil production and absorbing odors and impurities.

Try salon-quality shampoos and conditioners, selected by Dr. Joel Schlessinger, from offers a wide variety of shampoos and conditioners for every need and hair type. If you have significant allergies, Dr. Schlessinger recommends Free & Clear Shampoo and Free & Clear Conditioner. The formulas are free of harsh fragrances, preservatives, chemicals and dyes. Cleansing agents remove oil and product buildup from hair while calming ingredients hydrate and minimize breakage. Hair is left clean, balanced and smooth.

The TIGI Hair Reborn line uses advanced technology to help restore and revive dry, damaged, frizzy hair of every type. The different products are formulated for multiple levels of damage and help to strengthen hair for the future. One of our bestsellers, TIGI Hair Reborn Sublime Smooth Shampoo, helps to bind down the cuticle so that hair is shinier and easier to manage. The shampoo is color-safe and perfect for all hair types. Rene Furterer hair care features essential oils and plant extracts to naturally enhance your hair. These salon products are formulated to target specific needs and conditions like lifeless hair, flat hair and an oily scalp. Rene Furterer FORTICEA Stimulating Shampoo targets the scalp in order to improve hair strength and promote growth. Microbeads of essential oils help improve microcirculation to restore life to thinning hair.

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

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Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the link between vitamin D and your skin
We’ve all heard the myth that sun exposure is a must if you want your daily dose of vitamin D. With sunscreen use on the rise, some are worried that constant UV protection could cause a vitamin D deficiency. Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the link between this essential vitamin and your skin.

Sun exposure isn’t the best way to boost your vitamin D levels, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

When exposed to direct sunlight, skin reacts with the UVB rays by producing vitamin D. The body’s ability to create this vitamin decreases with age so it’s impossible to get enough vitamin D without harming your skin in the process. Even people with tan skin can have low levels of this essential vitamin, so the idea that tanning will increase levels of vitamin D isn’t always true.

UVB rays, along with UVA rays, can cause skin cancer. For this reason, it is important to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen like EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen every morning. Instead of risking harmful sun exposure, Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests taking vitamin supplements that provide about 2,000 units of vitamin D3 each day. These will also help support healthy teeth and strong bones.

Vitamin D can also be applied topically for additional skin care benefits, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

In addition to daily supplements, vitamin D can also be applied topically to provide skin care benefits. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil helps minimize acne, improve skin elasticity, stimulate collagen production, enhance skin radiance, minimize fine lines and diminish dark spots. Unlike most vitamin D oils, this serum does not need sunlight to activate the vitamin D. You’ll enjoy a more youthful complexion with regular use of this anti-aging formula.

Do you have questions about vitamin D for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Skin Care Myths, Sun Damage, Sun Protection

Tumescent liposuction is a dermatologist-developed fat removal procedure that is regarded as the safest and most successful method of liposuction. In his latest Slideshare presentation, Dr. Schlessinger answers frequently asked questions about the procedure, including what to expect from your short recovery period and results.

The tumescent liposuction procedure allows Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other physicians to remove fat easily.

Unlike traditional liposuction, tumescent liposuction is a less invasive procedure that allows for the permanent removal of unwanted fat. During the procedure, large volumes of sterile salt water, local anesthesia and dilute epinephrine are introduced to the area being treated. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, temporary swelling occurs, and Dr. Schlessinger is able to easily remove fat through tiny cannulas no bigger than a sippy straw.

Small pockets of fat can be removed from the abdomen, hips, thighs, knees, flanks, chest, chin and neck. The best candidates for tumescent liposuction include those patients who maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, but who still struggle with stubborn fat in common problem areas.

Tumescent liposuction allows for a quick recovery time, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

After your procedure, you’ll need to rest for a few hours and then gradually increase your activity level as you feel more comfortable. Most patients feel well enough to resume normal activity after one to five days. During your initial recovery period, you’ll need to wear a snug elastic dressing or body stocking over the treated areas. Dr. Schlessinger provides these free of charge to his patients.

The most common side effect that patients experience after tumescent liposuction is temporary swelling. Other side effects and complications are extremely rare.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains what to expect from your tumescent liposuction results.

While tumescent liposuction is a permanent fat removal procedure, results vary from person to person. It’s important to be committed to leading a healthy lifestyle once you’ve received the procedure to avoid the risk of gaining back fat. Though weight gain will not necessarily show in the areas previously treated with tumescent liposuction, it will likely be noticeable in surrounding areas.

Tumescent liposuction is not designed to remove large volumes of fat and should not be used to jumpstart a weight loss regimen. It is also not approved for removing or reducing the appearance of cellulite. While lose skin following tumescent liposuction is rare, dimples, stretch marks, scarring and cellulite may be accentuated. Dr. Schlessinger stresses that your skin will look the same as it would had you eliminated fat through diet and exercise.

It’s important to pick the right physician for your tumescent liposuction procedure, Dr. Joel Schlessinger stresses.

Your tumescent liposuction results depend largely on the experience, skillset and qualifications of the physician performing the procedure. Dr. Schlessinger trained extensively with Jeffry Klein, inventor of tumescent liposuction. He has performed over 3000 procedures at his Omaha clinic in the 20 years since he was first trained, making him the leading choice for your Midwest tumescent liposuction procedure.

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

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Joel Schlessinger MD shares how to treat and prevent acne scarring
There’s a reason your mother told you never to pop that pimple. Picking is the most common cause for acne scarring. These marks stick around long after the blemish has disappeared, sometimes remaining permanently on the skin.

The best way to avoid acne scars is to seek professional treatment, Joel Schlessinger MD says.

Acne scars are different than post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a dark spot that forms after the breakout disappears. Scars take longer to remove and sometimes require laser treatments. Atrophic scars appear as indentations while hypertrophic scars are thick, raised bumps on the surface of your skin.

Scar treatments won’t completely erase the mark, so it’s important to seek the professional care of a board-certified dermatologist like Joel Schlessinger MD before the damage is done.

“Once scarring happens, it is very difficult to reverse,” Joel Schlessinger MD says.

If it looks like your acne might be scarring, it’s time to see a dermatologist. It’s much easier to prevent scars before they’re permanent. With the right medications and treatments, it is possible to avoid permanent scarring.

To prevent scarring, Joel Schlessinger MD recommends using the LovelySkin Acne Care Starter Set. This kit includes a cleanser, toner, treatment and moisturizer to heal and renew the complexion. Each product uses ingredients like amino fruit acids, vitamin C and Dead Sea minerals to remove debris and exfoliate skin. When used alongside other acne treatment products, this system helps prevent unwanted scarring and promotes a clear, healthy complexion.

Scar treatments can help minimize unwanted marks, explains Joel Schlessinger MD.

Minimize mild discoloration with a gentle facial peel like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel. These daily-use pads exfoliate skin to reveal healthy cells underneath. This treatment also helps your other skin care products become more effective.

SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline™ helps treat fresh scars as well as older marks. Naturally derived ingredients in this cream hydrate damaged skin, stimulate collagen production and repair wounds.

While these products can produce results, professional treatments are usually much more effective on stubborn marks. An IPL Intense Pulsed Light treatment can help diminish the look of acne scars and other skin imperfections. Retin-A can also soften the look of scars over time.

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

No Comments | Category: Acne Skin Care, Dermatology, Skin Care

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses mosquito bites.














If you enjoy spending summer evenings outdoors, then you’ve probably experienced a mosquito bite. Mosquito bites are the itchy bumps that appear after a female mosquito has punctured your skin to feed on your blood. As a mosquito begins to use its mouthparts to eat, it injects its saliva into your skin. The proteins in mosquito saliva cause an immune system reaction that then results in a bump or welt and mild to moderate itching.

Most mosquito bites are harmless, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Bumps could either appear minutes after the initial bite or they could take a day or two to manifest. They can be puffy and white or hard and reddish-brown. In some individuals, swelling, bruising or blistering can occur alongside mosquito bites, though this is rare.

The vast majority of mosquito bites are more of a nuisance than a medical concern and you won’t need to see a physician. However, mosquitos can carry diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever, particularly in tropical parts of the world. If you seem to be experiencing flu-like symptoms associated with a mosquito bite, consult your physician immediately.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares tips to prevent mosquito bites.

Researchers continue to study why mosquitos seem to be attracted to certain people over others. Diet, blood type and naturally occurring chemicals and bacteria in the body could all play a key role. Though bites are sometimes difficult to avoid, you can still take precautionary measures to keep from being a mosquito magnet on your next hike.

An insect repellant is a great deterrent for hungry mosquitos. Spray all exposed areas of skin with a DEET-based product for the best protection.

Mosquitos often use vision to spot their next meal. Wearing blues, reds or blacks could make you more visible against the horizon. Choose light colors and wear pants, long sleeves, socks and a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection.

Use FixMySkin Healing Balms, developed by Dr. Joel Schlessinger, to treat mosquito bites.

For fast relief from the itching and redness associated with mosquito bites, choose FixMySkin Healing Body Balm Unscented with 1% Hydrocortisone. This product penetrates deeply into the skin to moisturize and heal damaged cells with 1% hydrocortisone. The handy balm stick applies easier than creams and won’t melt in your pocket, purse or backpack.

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

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