Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses “flesh tunnel” reconstruction for patients with stretched earlobesCosmetic surgeons around the country are seeing an increase in the number of patients seeking reconstructive surgery to repair earlobes that have been stretched. In this blog, Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses this procedure and what kind of results patients can expect.

After the earlobe has been stretched to a certain point, it will never return to its original shape, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

This practice involves placing a cone-shaped taper or larger-size tunnels into a piercing every few weeks until the hole reaches the desired effect. Once the piercing hole stretches past 1.5 centimeters, however, the earlobe will never bounce back to its original shape.

This reconstructive procedure involves bringing the ear back to a more natural shape, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Many patients seek reconstructive surgery to achieve a more professional appearance but once the damage is done, it can be hard to repair.

“I have seen more and more of these in my practice and it is becoming quite a problem,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

After reconstructive surgery, Dr. Schlessinger says the appearance of the ear is usually improved but far from perfect.

“The results aren’t ever all that great, sadly,” he says. “It is quite a difficult thing to hide or repair, and in many cases leads to a lifelong deformity.”

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

No Comments | Category: Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Schlessinger discusses the risks of tattoos
Whether you’re considering your first tattoo or you’re a long-time tattoo parlor veteran, it’s important to review the health risks associated with permanent ink. First, note that tattooing is not closely regulated by the FDA. Though the FDA has reviewed the contents of tattoo ink, the actual practice is generally mandated by individual county and city governments. This means that in addition to your own immune system’s reaction to the procedure, you must consider the safety and sterility of the tattooing facility, as well as the equipment and ink.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger notes that tattoo ink could be unsanitary due to unclean manufacturing processes.

The safety of your tattooing procedure begins with the sterility of the ink. The FDA does not regularly inspect ink-manufacturing plants for sanitation, and any of the ingredients or machines at the facility could harbor harmful bacteria. In a recent case, it was discovered that water used to dilute the ink was contaminated. Similar cases are reported each year. A bacterial infection could be mild to severe, ranging from a red, swollen rash with discharge to fever, chills and other flu-like symptoms. There is also a risk of bacteria spreading through the bloodstream, a potentially life-threatening condition called sepsis.

In addition, a number of viruses can be transferred to the skin via unsterile tattooing equipment. Cases of warts and more serious blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B have been reported.

Though allergic reactions are rare, they can happen, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Even if the ink, facility and equipment are safe, there are still risks to keep in mind. Tattoo ink ingredients vary depending on brand and color, but they could contain common allergens, like nickel or mercury. Allergic reactions to tattoo ink are considered relatively rare. However, they could produce a painful, itchy rash resulting in infection, and lead to permanent scarring down the road. You could even experience an allergic reaction years after initially getting the tattoo.

Also, note that everyone heals differently, and even with proper after-care, complications could arise. There is a risk of developing granulomas, painful bumps that form when the body’s immune system attempts to ward off foreign substances like tattoo ink. The skin could also form keloids, raised, pink, shiny lesions that form within scar tissue to produce a permanent mark.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses tattoo removal.

Though the risk of infection is a real concern, the most common risk you’ll encounter is tattoo regret. Though Dr. Schlessinger has produced excellent tattoo removal results at his Omaha, Nebraska clinic, not everyone is a good candidate. The color and location of a tattoo play a large role in successful removal, and your skin may still bear some discoloration. It’s crucial to consider the health concerns of your tattoo, as well as the social and personal implications.

Do you have a question about the risks associated with tattoos? Let us know in the comments section.

No Comments | Category: Tattoo Removal

Joel Schlessinger MD warns against the use of unapproved fillers

As injectable wrinkle fillers gain popularity, some patients are searching for an inexpensive alternative to office visits. In this blog, Joel Schlessinger MD explains how seeking treatment from anyone other than a professional could have serious side effects.

It’s important to see a board-certified cosmetic surgeon for fillers and other injectables, Joel Schlessinger MD says.

Always do your research when selecting a cosmetic surgeon. It’s important to choose someone who is board certified and has experience with fillers. If spas and offices are offering fillers at deep discounts, this should be seen as a red flag. These fillers are generally unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration or illegally obtained over the Internet.

Unapproved fillers can cause serious damage, including infection, severe allergic reactions, disfigurement and even blindness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unsafe injections are a “growing problem.” Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are seeing an increasing number of patients with botched fillers who are looking for a way to reverse the damage.

Choose a cosmetic surgeon like Joel Schlessinger MD, who puts your safety first.

Dr. Schlessinger has extensive experience with fillers and performs all of his own injections. His patient satisfaction rate and proven track record for success have consistently earned him the titles of Best Dermatologist and Best Cosmetic Surgeon in Omaha.

Joel Schlessinger MD and his staff as Skin Specialists P.C. take the time to consult with patients before treatment begins. Using photographs, the staff will show you where your wrinkles may be improved and discuss different options with you. You will also meet with Dr. Schlessinger, who can answer any questions you may have prior to the treatment. Learn more about seeing Joel Schlessinger MD for injectable fillers.

Do you have a question about unapproved fillers? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Cosmetic Surgery, Injections and Fillers

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares how self-tanners work

Achieving a bronze glow doesn’t require harmful UV exposure. With so many sunless tanners on the market, it’s easy to achieve a safe, natural tan from the comfort of your own home. But how exactly do self-tanners work? In this blog, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains how these products give your skin a warm, healthy glow.

Sunless tanners give your skin a tanned look without UV exposure, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

The active ingredient in most self-tanners is the color additive dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. Derived from sugar, this ingredient reacts with amino acids found in the top layers of skin to create a bronze shade. This color change can take anywhere from two to six hours and each reapplication will help build color depth. This is why many products have a gradual effect over a few days or a week. Without reapplication, the coloring typically wears off after a few days.

Self-tanners do not replace the need for sunscreen. Even if the formula you’re applying contains sunscreen, this protection only remains effective for a couple hours. The bronze color produced by sunless tanning products will not provide UV protection so applying a broad spectrum sunscreen like EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is still essential.

Self-tanning products are a safe alternative to sunbathing and tanning beds, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

When used as directed, self-tanners are safe and effective. DHA is FDA-approved for topical application and has a long history of safe use on skin. Self-tanners are the only tanning alternative advocated by dermatologists like Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Self-tanners are available in a variety of formulas including lotions, towelettes and sprays. For a gradual, radiant glow, Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends jane iredale Tantasia Self Tanner & Bronzer. Towelettes like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Glow Pad for Face and TanTowel for body provide a more instant glow and a quick, even application. If you prefer a spray formula, bliss A Tan For All Seasons provides a head-to-toe tan and dries in just five minutes.

For best results, follow the directions on your product. Take care to protect your eyes, mouth and nose, especially if you’re using a spray formula as getting product into these areas can cause irritation. If you make a mistake, immediately exfoliate the area and apply an alcohol-based toner to remove some of the pigment. Wash your hands as soon as you’re finished to prevent orange palms and uneven color.

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

No Comments | Category: Skin Care, Sun Damage, Sun Protection

Joel Schlessinger MD explains the link between deodorant and your skin

Sweating and odor are an issue that everyone deals with but thanks to deodorants and antiperspirants, most of us can keep this problem under control. While many people apply their products without a second thought, few think about how deodorants interact with their skin. Learn the link between antiperspirants and your skin and how these products protect against odor and wetness from Joel Schlessinger MD.

Deodorants work by combating bacteria while antiperspirants control wetness, explains Joel Schlessinger MD.

While sweat is naturally odorless, the scent of body odor is caused by bacteria on the skin surface that interact with sweat. Deodorants contain antibacterial ingredients that reduce bacteria and eliminate odor but are not as effective against wetness. If odor is your main concern, choose a product such as Dr.Hauschka Deodorant Fresh with masking ingredients.

Antiperspirants work by clogging sweat glands with ingredients such as aluminum compounds. This prevents sweat and moisture as well as embarrassing sweat stains. Hydrosal Professional Deodorant/Antiperspirant controls excessive sweating with 15% aluminum chloride. You can apply this product anywhere on the body where you experience excessive sweating.

There is some research that suggests deodorants and antiperspirants may actually make odor worse because bacteria becomes resistant. Studies such as this may encourage some individuals to skip deodorant altogether. Joel Schlessinger MD, however, views this research somewhat skeptically.

“Despite this research,” says Joel Schlessinger MD, “antiperspirants should still play a huge role in most people’s regimens.”

Joel Schlessinger MD says that the skin on your underarms can be just as sensitive as anywhere else on your body.

Products with aluminum, especially at high concentrations, can irritate sensitive skin types. If you have sensitive skin, choose an aluminum-free formula such as Dermalogica Environmental Control Deodorant that will not cause irritation. Many antiperspirant products can also contain ingredients such as alcohol that effectively dry out the skin but also cause irritation. NUXE Men 24 Hour Protection Deodorant is free of aluminum salts and alcohol to prevent redness, inflammation and itching.

Questions for Joel Schlessinger MD? Let him know below in the comments section.

No Comments | Category: Uncategorized

Joel Schlessinger MD discusses skin mistakes you're making at the sink
Most people don’t think twice about their skin care routine. Cleanse twice a day and exfoliate twice a week. But even if you’re diligent about taking care of your skin, there are small mistakes that could undo all your hard work. In this blog, Joel Schlessinger shares skin mistakes you could be making at the sink.

The way you wash your face affects how your skin care products work, Joel Schlessinger MD explains.

If you’re not cleansing correctly, oil, bacteria and other debris collect in your pores, preventing your skin care products from providing the best results. Before cleansing, wash your hands to remove any dirt and oil on your fingertips, which can transfer to your face and clog pores. If you’re wearing makeup, use a gentle makeup remover before cleansing to prevent irritation.

While washing your face, use tepid water as hot water will strip skin of its natural moisture and cause irritation. With most cleansers, you’ll only need to use about a dime-size amount. Massage the product into your skin for at least 30 seconds to help remove oil and debris. After rinsing the cleanser off your skin, splash your face with cold water and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Joel Schlessinger MD warns against cleansing with a washcloth.

While many people use a washcloth to exfoliate as they cleanse, Joel Schlessinger MD says it could do more harm than good for your skin.

“I recommend that my patients not use a washcloth when cleansing,” says Joel Schlessinger MD. “This is very irritating to the skin and ends up causing dry areas and even sores. Additionally, it frequently harbors bacteria that can make the face break out even more.”

For gentle exfoliation every time you cleanse, Joel Schlessinger MD suggests using a tool like Clarisonic Aria Skin Cleansing System along with your regular cleanser.

Properly washing your hands helps prevent the spread of bacteria, says Joel Schlessinger MD.

In addition to facial cleansing, it’s also important to pay attention to how you wash your hands. By practicing good hygiene, you can help prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria like MRSA.

Joel Schlessinger MD suggests washing your hands with CLn products. Bleach, the main ingredient in CLn, is a natural antibacterial that eliminates germs and bacteria without the worsening of antibiotic resistance.

Wet your hands with water, apply soap and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands under clean water and dry them with a clean towel. Then, use the towel to turn off the faucet. These tips will help you stay healthy and prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

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

No Comments | Category: Skin Care, Skin Care Myths

 Indoor tanning involves using a tanning bed or booth that emits ultraviolet radiation in order to achieve a cosmetic tan. In recent years, the FDA and the American Academy of Dermatology have found more and more links between indoor tanning and an increased risk of serious health issues like skin cancer. In his latest SlideShare presentation, Dr. Joel Schlessinger answers frequently asked questions about the health risks of indoor tanning.

There are many misconceptions about indoor tanning, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

In Western culture, bronzed skin has come to be associated with health and vitality. However, there is nothing healthy about a tan. Tanned skin, whether it is from the sun or an indoor tanning bed, is no different than a sunburn. It means that your skin has sustained cellular damage.

The tanning industry would have you believe that using tanning beds is somehow safer than spending time in the sun. In reality, a tanning bed’s ultraviolet emissions are two to three times stronger than normal sunlight and particularly effective in causing skin cancer!

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the health issues that can arise from indoor tanning.

Even those who have reported using tanning beds according to industry guidelines have experienced serious health issues. Skin cancer is the number one concern of those who are regularly exposed to natural and artificial UV radiation. Squamous cell carcinoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has been linked to indoor tanning, and the risk of developing melanoma increases 75% if regular tanning sessions occur before the age of 35.

In addition, those who tan frequently are more likely to experience premature signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. Repeated UV radiation exposure may weaken the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to all disease. Tanning can also cause irreversible damage to the eyes, and exposure to contagious viruses and fungi often occurs due to unsanitary tanning bed surfaces.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger reminds us that the only safe tan comes from topical treatments.

Sunless self-tanners are topical products that allow you to build a temporary tan safely over time, and they are the only tanning solution advocated by dermatologists like Dr. Schlessinger. For natural, streak-free color, try jane iredale Tantasia Self Tanner & Bronzer. The formula can be applied daily or weekly for subtle, customizable color. TanTowel Classics are also a convenient way to get a tan, even on the go. These handy towelettes offer gentle exfoliation for smoother, more even application and healthier skin.

Remember, a self-tanner never stands in for a sunscreen. You’ll still need daily SPF protection. Dr. Schlessinger recommends EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen for the face and EltaMD UV Sport Water Resistant Broad Spectrum SPF 50 for the body. These gentle formulas won’t clog pores, exacerbate acne or irritate sensitive skin, and they offer superior protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Do you have a question about the risks of indoor tanning? Let us know in the comments section.

No Comments | Category: SlideShare

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.

No Comments | Category: Skin Care

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