New Science for Healthy Skin

skinI am so grateful  that the American Academy of Dermatology  allows me to  attend their  summer academic meeting in New York.  Over the past five years I have seen research move from theoretical concepts to accepted  facts.  This year I  learned about new treatments  based on this new  clinical and lab research.  For a science  geek like  me, its just doesn’t get better than that.  All the sessions were packed with information,  but  developments in these areas  affect all of us.

 Stress and  the Skin

Based on what we see in the mirror, women know first hand that stress affects the skin.   In an early morning presentation, I heard about a fascinating study that gave real data to support our observations.  In a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology,  psoriasis patients who  suffered nerve damage noticed a decline in skin problems in areas  where the  nerves had been injured. In other words, the nervous system in those areas can no longer  react to  stressful situations.   Nerve damage is obviously not a desirable goal.  However preliminary studies were shown that well-placed Botox injections interfere with nerve transmission  and  can have the same benefit for psoriasis.

 What’s New With Acne and Rosacea

There were no big world shaking breakthroughs in acne and rosacea, but new understanding of how existing treatments work has allowed doctors to  personalize care.  For example,  antibiotics are an age old  treatment, and it was thought  believed that they reduced break-outs by killing acne linked bacteria in the skin.  Now studies indicte that  its the anti-inflammatory activity of antibiotics that helps clear up acne.   Why is this good news? It allows doctors to  use lower doses to et the same benefits.

I had always thought of rosacea as a skin problem, but in fact it r eflects an increased level of inflammation throughout the entire body.  I was surprised to learn that people with rosacea have an increased incidence of high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease and even  digestive reflux.   However   rosacea patients who took tetracycline had  reduced  levels of  heart ttacks, possibly due to the anti-inflammatory  effects of antibiotics.

Antibiotics and  the Skin

And in case you  feelguilty about using antibiotics,  learned that 81% of antibiotics are used in livestock  feed.  Of the 19%  used for  human health, just 4% are prescribed by dermatologists.  Something to think about.

Woman’s  Health and the Skin

My favorite session of the  AAD summer meteting was a workshop on the impact of woman’s health on our skin.  While it is well known that the skin becomes drier after menopause, that really didn;’t explain the sudden aging that women experience at this time.  Dr DIane Madfes of Mount Sinai pointed out that the  decline in estrogen of menopause also  triggers as  much as a 30% decliine in collagen.   And  of course  less collagen =  more wrinkles.   This  connection would  certainly go a  long way to explain why I seemed to  look  five  years older  in five  months during menopause.

4 thoughts on “New Science for Healthy Skin

  1. OMG, yes about the menopause and skin changes. I’m 42 and in peri-menopause (it started last year – yes, early unfortunately). Initially I thought I was having an anti-aging mid-life crisis I can’t tell you how many anti-aging creams I tried in a three month period. But then, I realized (and am glad to see confirmation of this for the first time) that my skin went through some big changes with extra acne, extra wrinkles, and jowls appearing at the bottom of my face in a matter of months.

    Now I’m getting much smarter about my skin care (thanks to you, Angie of Hot & Flashy, and smarter googling) and thinking about taking my first-ever nutritional supplements (ubiquinol, and/or some other antioxidants).

    Thanks so much for the researched and cutting-edge information you share with us- this post made my month!



  2. P.S. About stress and aging. Non-scientifically, it’s super-obvious when you compare the face of a woman who has had children (incredible physical and emotional stress) to one who hasn’t. The child-less woman often looks 10 years younger. Lucky them!

  3. THaks so much for your comments! In the coming weeks I will be posting new solutions to these common skin problems. It was such an informative medical meeting. There is so stuff out there its hard to know what is real and what is just hype. I tend to believe that these young women researchers are bringing new passion and committment to skin care

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