Poison Ivy, also known as rhus dermatitis, is caused from an allergic reaction to the oil resin, urushiol, found in the leaves, stems and roots of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. It is very common in the summer months.
The classical rash is a red blistering eruption seen in straight lines due to the way the plant brushes against the skin. If contact to the resin is a result of touching a piece of clothing, or from touching a pet that has been romping through the woods, the rash may appear more spread out. Inhaling smoke from a burning poison ivy, sumac, or oak plant may even cause a dangerous irritation to the nasal passges and lungs.
Once the oil resin is on the skin, it can spread to other parts of the body by scratching. Rhus dermatitis is often a very itchy rash and if untreated may last for several weeks. The rash itself is NOT contagious.
If contact to any of these plants occurs, immediately rinse yourself off with lukewarm water. Use a cleanser to wash away any remnant oil resin from your skin. Oil from poison ivy can stick to many different surfaces. Wash the clothing that may have contacted the plant. Rinse off patio furniture, garden tools, golf clubs, and even the fur on a pet.
A mild case of poison ivy may be treated at home with calamine lotion, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and oral antihistamines to control the itch. Do not open a blister as this may lead to infection. Cool compresses may help relieve the itch. If the rash is severe or widespread, affects the face or genitals, if blisters are oozing pus, or if a fever develops, seek medical attention immediately.
ARE SILK PILLOWCASES GOOD FOR SKIN?
Silk pillowcases are lovely. They feel soft and smooth on the skin. Advice from "skincare experts" regarding the benefits of silk pillowcases on social media, on-line blogs, and in health and beauty magazines is ubiquitous. Claims include they prevent acne and wrinkles. The use of a silk pillowcase supposedly prevents split ends on hair. They are reported to help the skin retain moisture and minimize chemical exposure (from what particular chemicals I do not know.) Most of these "experts" are well-intentioned but are simply misinformed. Others financially benefit from their claims by selling silk pillowcases although they may still believe such claims to be true. Let's be clear: There are no scientific studies that correlate the use of a silk pillowcase with improved skin or hair health. There is no evidence that sleeping on a silk pillowcase minimizes acne breakouts, minimizes the formation of facial wrinkles, prevents split ends or chemical exposure. So don't expect healthier skin or hair from making such a purchase.
However, silk pillowcases are beautiful. They are a true luxury!
THE BEST ANTI-AGING PRODUCT
Other than sun avoidance, sunscreen application is the single most effective anti-aging preventative. Ultraviolet rays from the sun cause discoloration and wrinkling of the skin. Compare the skin on the face or chest with skin on unexposed areas of the body, like the breast or buttocks. Unexposed and exposed skin are the same age but unexposed skin always appears less wrinkled and more evenly pigmented, it has better tone and texture. Sunscreen prevents the skin discoloration and wrinkling and, as recent studies suggest, may even improve skin tone and texture.
Skincare moisturizers that claim to be "anti-aging" or "age defying" fill drugstore shelves. They often contain "marketing tool" ingredients that have never proven to rid of wrinkles or fine lines, certainly not at the concentrations used in the over-the counter (OTC) formulations. The fact remains, science has yet to find a single ingredient or product that can reverse or slow the aging process. In addition, by law, any skincare product sold in the United States that claims to actually change the skin is classified as a drug and must get FDA pre-market approval. It cannot be sold as an OTC cosmetic. (Cosmetic vs. Drug) Terms like "anti-aging" and "age defying" seen on skincare product labels are brilliant marketing phrases. The true benefit of including these terms on facial moisturizer labels, increased sales!
SKINCARE PRODUCT SELECTION ADVICE
With so many over-the-counter (OTC) skincare products available, selecting a quality moisturizer, cleanser or sunscreen can be overwhelming. Our Product Selector simplifies the process for you.
Consider these three FryFace rules:
1. There is no correlation between the cost of a skincare product and the efficacy of that product.
2. Science has shown that the regular use of moisturizer and sunscreen is beneficial to human health and well-being.
3. Science has yet to discover a single ingredient that can reverse or slow the aging process. Be cautious of "miracle" products. They don't exist!
OTC cosmetics, including "anti-aging" creams, "anti-wrinkle" creams, firming creams, toning creams, night creams and eye creams ARE moisturizers. Their ability to temporarily improve skin appearance is determined by the product's ability to increase the water content of skin. If these products could actually change the skin, by law, they would be considered drugs and require pre-market approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)
Buy skincare products from nationally and internationally recognized brands. These companies have the resources to purchase quality ingredients and manufacture effective and affordable products that can be found in local drugstores and retail shops. Major manufacturers have the highest of safety standards and a reputation at stake!
Hyaluronic acid is also known as hyaluronan. It is a carbohydrate, or more specifically a mucopolysaccharide found in abundance in almost every cell of the body. It is a very large molecule and can be several thousand sugar molecules long.
Hyaluronic acid is a major component of connective tissue in the body and is also found in between cells. It is found in all bones and cartilage, a part of tendons and ligaments, in lips, and in greatest concentrations, in the skin. Almost half of the body's hyaluronic acid is found in skin. When not bound to other molecules, hyaluronic acid is bound to water. This large molecule has the ability to bind to a great deal of water! It is this property of hyaluronic acid that helps keep the skin healthy. As we age, the skin's ability to produce hyaluronic acid decreases.
Since hyaluronic acid is such a large molecule, it is unable to penetrate the 20 most superficial layers of the outer skin (stratum corneum), even in the presence of vitamin C, and pass into the deeper layers of either the epidermis (the top layer of skin) or into the dermis (the middle layer where wrinkling and fine lines are formed). Despite marketing claims by certain manufacturers that the formulation contains "low molecular weight" hyaluronic acid, reliable, reproducible science proving deep penetration of hyaluronic acid doesn't exist to support those claims. However, the ability of this large molecule to bind water helps hydrate the outer layers of skin, thereby improving the skin's appearance.
In skincare products, hyaluronic acid is used as a humectant, a substance that helps the skin hold onto water. In addition, it is used to help thicken the aqueous (water) portion of cosmetics and personal care products.
As for the claims that hyaluronic acid is the "key to the fountain of youth"....well, I'm sorry to say, marketing hype. Science has yet to find a single ingredient, molecule or product that can reverse or slow the aging process.
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Hello, and welcome to FryFace!
I've been a New York based dermatologist for over 25 years. I love music. I love triathlons. I love chemistry. (I love petroleum jelly.) I study skincare ingredients and product formulation. I listen to skincare "advice" from self-proclaimed ......Read More