February 27, 2013

Seven Daily Habits that are Aging Your Skin

The quest for ageless skin can be tedious and quite frankly, expensive.  Here are seven everyday (bad) habits to avoid doing to achieve the look of younger skin.

1.    Not Wearing SPF – Even though your tan looks great now, your skin will be covered in wrinkles years down the road. Wearing the proper sun protection not only protects against the formation of wrinkles, but also helps keep skin moisturized all year round. Dr. Lily recommends a daily SPF 45 or greater with UVA/UVB protection such as Elta MD. Harmful UV rays are not just present in the sunny summer months, but in the winter months too!

2.    Smoking – There are no benefits to smoking. Every time you smoke a cigarette you are breathing in carcinogens and toxins that are damaging the largest organ in your body: your skin… not to mention the wrinkles around your mouth caused by the repetitive motion of puckering your lips.

3.    Eating Sweets – A diet high in sugar leads to poor nutrition for your skin. Research shows that sugar attaches to the proteins that work to damage other proteins like collagen and elastin.  Once attacked, the ability to keep your skin firm is reduced and brittle, leaving dull, cracked skin.

4.    Not Wearing Sunglasses – You should be wearing eye protection everyday. Shading your eyes from the sunlight will prevent squinting, preventing future wrinkles in your forehead area and the area around your eyes. Unprotected sun exposure to the eyes can cause eye cancer, cataracts, and even blindness.

5.    Chewing Gum – A habit among many to cover up bad breath, chewing gum is linked to the formation of wrinkles around your mouth.  The repetitious up and down motion causes wear and tear on your skin resulting in wrinkles.

6.    Sleeping Position – We all have preferable sleeping positions that feel most comfortable to us.  Whether you’re a stomach, back, or side sleeper the position in which you sleep can expose you to sleep lines that ultimately become etched in your face. Side sleepers are more susceptible to chin, cheek, and chest lines, whereas stomach sleeps are more prone to forehead wrinkles.

7.    Stress – It’s true! Stress ages you! It weakens your immune system making you more vulnerable to oxidative damage to the skin. 

February 26, 2013

Food Industry Marketing

Did you know that every year the average american eats:
  • Thirty three pounds of cheese, triple that amount that was consumed in 1979
  • Seventy pounds of sugar, about twenty two teaspoons a day
  • 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount

With these facts it is clear why twenty-six million Americans have diabetes and one-in three adults and one-in-five kids is clinically obese.  

Meanwhile, instead of altering products to make them healthier the food industry is instead constantly changing marketing campaigns and ingredients to keep up with the next fad.  By decreasing one ingredient but at the same time pumping up another ingredient, companies are still able to sell themselves as “fat-free or low-salt”.  It is a common technique used to deceive the consumer in thinking they are consuming a healthier product while in reality it may have been altered in a way that actually makes it worse for you.

When grocery shopping it is best to avoid all the low salt, low fat, low sugar fads, they are all just a manipulation of ingredients for marketing purposes.  A diet high in protein and vegetables and low in processed food is still historically the best diet for your health.  Consumers need to be aware that 90% of labels are JUST marketing.  

February 22, 2013

The Puzzling Relationship Between Diet and Acne

The relationship between acne and diet has been an ongoing debate. There are no meta-analyses, randomized controlled clinical studies, or well-designed scientific trials that follow evidence-based guidelines to elucidate a cause-effect relationship. However, for decades anecdotal evidence has shown that acne and insulin resistance, such as that seen in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), are highly linked. Now the literature points to the growing relationship between nutrition and the prevalence of acne, especially to glycemic index and the consumption of dairy.

Glycemic index is a ranking system based on the quality and quantity of consumed carbohydrates and its ability to raise blood sugar levels. Foods with high glycemic indices such as potatoes, bread, chips, and pasta, require more insulin to maintain blood glucose levels within the normal range. High-glycemic diets that are prevalent in the United States not only lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease but also to acne.

Several studies have looked at the glycemic load, insulin sensitivity, and hormonal mediators correlating to acne (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2007; 86:107-15J. Dermatol. Sci. 2008;50:41-52). Foods with a high-glycemic index may contribute to acne by elevating serum insulin concentrations (which can stimulate sebocyte proliferation and sebum production), suppress sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations, and raise androgen concentrations. On the contrary, low-glycemic-index foods increase SHBG and reduce androgen levels; this is of great importance because higher SHBG levels are associated with lower acne severity. Consumption of fat and carbohydrates increases sebum production and affects sebum composition, ultimately encouraging acne production (Br. J. Dermatol. 1967;79:119-21).

A new study by Anna Di Landro et al. published in the December 2012 found a link between acne and the consumption of milk, particularly in those drinking skim milk and more than three servings of milk per week (J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2012;67:1129-35).

Dr. Di Landro et al. also found that the consumption of fish had a protective effect on acne. This interesting finding points to the larger issue of acne developing in ethnic populations that immigrate to the United States. Population studies have shown that non-Western diets have a reduced incidence of acne. Western diets are deficient in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in our Western diet is 10:1 to 20:1, vs. 3:1 to 2:1 in a non-Western diet. Omega-6 fatty acids in increased concentrations induce proinflammatory mediators and have been associated with the development of inflammatory acne. Western diets with high consumption of seafood have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and have shown to decrease inflammatory mediators in the skin (Arch. Dermatol. 2003;139:941-2).

In my clinic, the ethnic populations that immigrate to the United States often develop acne to a greater extent than they had in their native countries. Although factors including stress, hormonal differences in foods, and pollution can be confounding factors, we must not ignore the Western diet that these populations adapt to is higher in refined sugars and carbohydrates and lower in vegetables and lean protein. Every acne patient in my clinic is asked to complete a nutritional questionnaire discussing the intake of fast food, carbohydrates, juice, sodas, and processed sugar. We have noticed that acne improves clinically and is more responsive to traditional acne medications when patients reduce their consumption of processed sugars and dairy and increase their intake of lean protein. Similarly, our PCOS patients who are treated with medications such as metformin, which improves the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels, have improvements in their acne. So, is acne a marker for early insulin resistance?

The underlying etiology of acne is multifactorial, although now we can appreciate diet as one of the causative factors. Although there is no direct correlation between obesity or insulin resistance and the prevalence of acne, a low glycemic index diet in combination with topical and systemic acne medications can be a powerful method of treating acne. Nutritional counseling is an adjunct educational service we should provide to our patients in addition to skin care advice and medical treatments for acne.

No single food directly causes acne, but a balanced diet can alter its severity. Encouraging our patients to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats can prevent the inflammation seen with acne and also can protect against cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and even obesity.

It is unfortunate that the medical education system in the United States has no formal nutrition education. Nearly every field of medicine including internal medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, allergy, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, and not the least, dermatology, is influenced in some realm by nutrition. As the population diversifies, so will the importance of dietary guidance. We need to educate ourselves and our residents-in-training to better appreciate the symbiotic relationship between diet and skin health and to provide this guidance to our patients.

By: LILY TALAKOUB, M.D., Skin & Allergy News Digital Network

February 19, 2013

All Soy is NOT Created Equal

When many of us think of soy products we instantly think natural and healthy. Many consumers overlook soybean oil within a list of ingredients, assuming it has similar benefits to other soy products, which are known to be good sources of protein.
In fact, according to the survey Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition 2008 (by the United Soybean Board): As of 2007, 85 percent of consumers perceive soy products as healthful.
However, soybean oil can have negative effects on your health. For example,  soybean oil in processed foods is often hydrogenated, which makes it a trans fat and can raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. Trans fats have also been linked to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, reproductive problems, and heart disease. Such products are often appealing because they have longer shelf lives; however, their health risks often outweigh their potential benefits.
Consumers should also be aware that the majority of soy grown in the United States is genetically engineered, therefore it is exposed to high levels of pesticides, which can have harmful effects on human health.
In conclusion, processed foods should always be consumed in moderation and soy in its natural form is the best form for your diet.  As a consumer do not be misled by marketing.  

February 18, 2013

Folic Acid Linked to Lower Autism Risk

Including the right amount of folic acid in your diet will leave your skin looking naturally smooth and beautiful, and we are learning more about the benefits of this B-vitamin every day!

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the children of women who supplement their diets with folic acid before and during pregnancy have a reduced risk of autism, as well as other neural tube defects. Folic acid also encourages cell turnover and DNA production, which will leave your skin looking and feeling soft, smooth, and radiant. It also can reduce your risk of skin diseases like dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) and vitiligo.

It is so easy to include this vitamin in your diet, so why not make it a part of your every day routine? Folic acid is present in its natural form, folate, in green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and beet greens, as well as legumes, asparagus, broccoli, fruits, and whole grains. Most breads, cereals, flours and pastas in the United States are fortified with folic acid, too! Eat a balanced diet and if you are planning to get pregnant then supplement daily with a prenatal vitamin!

February 12, 2013

A Hint of Mint: Spring's Must Have Hue

Pistachio, Seafoam, Mint – it doesn’t matter what you call it, IT’S HOT!

With spring rapidly approaching, now is the time to get your nails in MINT condition.  Say goodbye to that dark winter hue and say hello to this summer’s new it-color.

You will see a nail trend shift from bold reds to subtle pastels. This season is all about toning down your nails and playing it cool with softer shades. 

Come by our office to pick out your Butter London nail lacquer today!