We loved seeing so many of you follow along with our Instagram story while we were attending the 37th Annual NYU Advances in Dermatology Conference. Conferences like this help us to keep in touch with other dermatology experts from around the country and also stay on top of the newest, latest and greatest in treatments. We received lots of great feedback from our posts – thank you!
Based on what you told us, we narrowed down all of the information we received into three “hot topics” – read below for more.
Hot Topic #1: Do I need to stop getting manicures and pedicures??
The answer is no, BUT you do need to take precautions because a few mishaps at the salon can leave you with old looking hands, discolored nails, fungus in your nails or weird ridges, bumps and other infections.
The most important takeaway if, like both of us, you are a weekly or twice monthly salon goer you need to take precautions to protect your hands from the UV light exposure. Most nails salons utilize either a UV or LED lamp to help dry your nails and set gel polish. Both types of these lamps emit UVA which causes photoaging and skin cancer. Even though it would take a significant amount of exposure, it’s always best not to take chances. Many dermatologists recommend fingerless gloves that block UVA to be worn during your manicure. We don’t feel that this is the most practical option, and we can see ourselves forgetting to bring them with us – especially if you’re going to have your nails done on the fly. An easier option is to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with protection against UVA at least 20 minutes before exposure to the lamp. Many manicurists will have you wash hands before they apply the polish. If this is the case, try to just wash the areas around the nail and cuticle — or apply more SPF!
Nail fungus and exposure to other bacterial infections are always concerns when getting your nails done. Make sure that your salon uses either 100% disposable covers for the soaking tub or washes it with a solution that includes bleach between every visit. This helps prevent the spread of bacteria and fungus – both of which can cause serious problems for the skin and nails. Also make sure that your manicurist doesn’t go too overboard with any type of scraping underneath the nail. Damage to the nail bed can cause your nail plate (the hard part of the nail that gets polished) to lift up from the bed which puts you at risk for chronic paronychia (infection around the nail) and permanent onycholysis (when the nail separates from the bed below).
Hot Topic #2: My hair is falling out!
Hair loss is one of the most common, and most challenging, conditions to treat. There are so many types of hair loss and many men and women experience it, yet we still don’t have a ton of great treatments. Until now!
The only FDA approved over the counter treatment for hair loss continues to be Minoxidil (aka: Rogaine) foam or solution. This treatment is applied directly to the scalp each night. The exact way that topical minoxidil promotes hair loss is still not directly known; however, the drug itself is a vasodilator which means that it allows blood vessels to get larger and allow more blood flow. Allowing increased blood flow to the scalp allows more oxygen and nutrients to get to the follicles, which is widely believed to be the reason this medicine promotes hair growth. There are some side effects associated with using minoxidil such as irritation at the application site, hair growth in other locations and eye irritations. Minoxidil is not safe to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and you may want to consult with your healthcare provider before starting this medication, even though it is available over the counter.
Vitamins like biotin have been used to help strengthen the hair for patients with, and without, hair loss. Biotin is known to strengthen keratin (the building block of hair and nails), thereby making the hair stronger and healthier.
There are many really exciting new treatments for hair loss that are proving to be extremely effective such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) and oral medications that suppress the immune system.
PRP is a technique where your own blood is taken and then spun down in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from other blood parts. The plasma is then injected into the scalp to help stimulate hair growth. Studies shown at the conference showed that over 65% of patients treated with PRP self reported “marked or exceptional” results from their treatment. This is big news in the world of hair loss! Stay tuned for more information on PRP for hair loss in months and years to come. This treatment is not yet widely performed.
Injection of anti-inflammatory medicine is commonly used as a first line treatment for hair loss, along with topical minoxidil and vitamins/supplements. By reducing inflammation at the hair follicle more blood, oxygen and nutrients are able to pass by – thus resulting in encouragement of new hair growth.
Other oral and injectable medications are being studied for their role in treating hair loss.
If you are suffering from hair loss, it is important to know that you are absolutely not alone, and there are treatments that may be able to help. If you have been experiencing hair loss make an appointment with your dermatology provider to discuss all of your options.
Hot topic #3: I just had a baby and the baby’s skin is so dry and sensitive!
Babies are so adorable and have the softest, sweetest smelling skin. We learned that a super simple technique can keep that baby skin perfect AND help prevent the development of eczema.
Several studies are showing that the use of a daily emollient moisturizer can help prevent babies from developing eczema, especially if they are at high risk for it (if a parent or sibling has history of eczema). Meant to be used one to two times a day, products like CeraVe Body Cream, CeraVe Healing Ointment or good old Aquaphor have been proven to strengthen the skin barrier and even prevent asthma and allergies later in life.
We recommend always applying a good, thick layer of an emollient right after bath time — and then get those soft, snuggles in!
More questions about what we learned at the conference? Send us a note!
*Please note, this information is being conveyed for educational purposes, and is not medical advice*