Younger-Looking Skin

Tips for Younger-Looking Skin for Men

Why don’t you ever see a man in an Oil of Olay commercial? We know as well as you do that men don’t always welcome the thought that wrinkles and age spots make them look more “distinguished.” (If that were true, you wouldn’t see any Just For Men commercials either.)

While you can’t stop or even slow down the internal aging process, to some extent you can control external factors that affect premature aging. Protecting your skin from the sun and quitting smoking are a good start.

Once you’ve noticed the signs of aging, you can take some steps to minimize them.

Combating fine lines and wrinkles

By our 40s and 50s, our skin has lost firmness, spring and moisture. We see fine lines and wrinkles.

Pale skin tends to wrinkle earlier than dark skin. People with pale skin also tend to develop more wrinkles and fine lines. When lines develop in dark skin, the lines tend to be deeper.

What causes wrinkles?

  • Constant muscle movement. Lines and wrinkles may be deep in areas with lots of muscle movement, such as on the forehead or around the mouth.
  • Sun, tanning beds and sun lamps. Lying outdoors in the sun, using a tanning bed or sun lamp, and even just being outdoors without sunscreen can cause wrinkles. Exposure to UV rays accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which causes many people to see wrinkles and fine lines before they reach their 40s and 50s.
  • Smoking. People who smoke expose their skin to toxins that accelerate the aging of their skin. Repeated puckering to inhale can cause deep lines around the lips. Frequent squinting to avoid getting smoke in one’s eyes can cause noticeable crow’s feet.

What you can do at home

The following are easy measures that you can take to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Use moisturizer developed especially for the face. This plumps up fine lines, which makes them less noticeable. Moisturizer is the secret ingredient in many anti-aging products that promise fewer wrinkles.
  • Wear sunscreen every day–even on overcast days. This helps to protect your skin from further damage. Apply sunscreen to all skin that will not be covered by clothing. For best results, you should apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen that offers a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater and broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection.
  • Repair skin at night. Gently wash your face every night and then apply a product that contains retinol, followed by a good facial moisturizer. The retinol can stimulate the skin to make collagen, and the moisturizer seals in water.
  • Stop smoking. Many people notice significant improvements after they stop smoking.
  • Eat a healthful diet. A diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other healthful foods can lead to healthier skin. Be sure to include some protein in your diet. Our skin is made of protein, so some protein is necessary for healthy skin.

What your doctor can do

At-home versions of chemical peels and microdermabrasion are on the market, but the active ingredients in these at-home treatments are much less potent than you would find at your dermatologist’s office.

Similarly, women who see results with over-the-counter cosmetics usually have very fine lines that sit near the surface of the skin. Non-prescription products generally work by sloughing off the outermost layer of skin or hydrating the skin to plump it. Wrinkles return when you stop using the product.

Thanks to ongoing research, dermatologists offer several treatments that can diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and even deep lines. These treatments include:

    • Prescription-strength wrinkle creams, serums and lotions, such as:

  • Botulinum rejuvenation (BOTOX®)
  • Chemical peel
  • Dermabrasion or microdermabrasion
  • Fillers
  • Laser skin resurfacing
  • Radiofrequency skin tightening

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Reducing age spots

“Age spot” refers to various spots and bumps that appear on the skin with age. Some of these spots and bumps are harmless. Others can be a sign of skin cancer.

Most age spots develop on skin that has been badly damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Age spots also appear on people who use tanning beds and sun lamps. The cause of one type of age spot, seborrheic keratosis (SK), is not known. Some studies suggest that sun exposure plays a role.

What you can do at home

Sometimes what appears to be an age spot is actually melanoma or another type of skin cancer. With early detection and proper treatment, skin cancer has a high cure rate. That’s why it’s important to get any age spots checked by a dermatologist.

If your skin shows plenty of sun damage, using an over-the-counter product to diminish age spots may not be wise. It can delay diagnosis of a skin cancer. If your dermatologist gives you the OK, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Apply sunscreen every day to all skin that will not be covered by clothing. You will not see results from a treatment for age spots if you do not protect your skin from UV rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen that offers a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater and broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection.
  • Look at the list of ingredients on a fade cream or similar product. Some fade creams and bleaching treatments are available without a prescription. They generally contain hydroquinone. Other products that may help fade age spots are called skin brighteners, lighteners or whiteners. These products usually contain soy, licorice or kojic acid.
    Prescription-strength products tend to be more effective than products you can buy without a prescription, even if the ingredient list looks similar.
  • Products from outside the United States may contain an inaccurate list of ingredients. Some imported products contain mercury; others include high-potency steroids. While illegal, these products do find their way into the United States . Using a product that contains a high-potency steroid can cause paper-thin skin, acne and stretch marks. Some imported products contain much higher levels of hydroquinone than currently allowed in the United States . These high levels can irritate the skin and cause visible, light-colored halos to appear on the treated skin. To avoid buying imported products, it’s best to purchase products directly through a dermatologist.

What your doctor can do

Many patients say they do not see the results they want from products available without a prescription. Dermatologists offer the following treatments for those age spots that people often call “liver spots” or “sun spots”:

  • Bleaching treatments (prescription strength)
  • Chemical peeling
  • Cryosurgery (freezing)
  • Dermabrasion or microdermabrasion
  • Laser skin resurfacing

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Treating more-advanced signs of aging

Using the latest advances, dermatologists successfully treat wrinkles, lax skin, age spots, spider veins and more. All cosmetic procedures, including microdermabrasion and chemical peels, should be performed by a board certified physician or under the doctor’s direct supervision. This greatly reduces the risk of complications.

Here are some of the services a dermatologist can provide:

Laser treatments/photorejuvenation. Light energy delivered by BroadBand Light (BBL) technology gently heats the upper layers of the skin. The heat absorbed by the targeted areas stimulates the skin cells to generate new collagen. This process helps restore the skin to its natural stage. The photothermal energy also targets and eliminates many of the fine vessels that cause redness and the unwanted melanin responsible for pigmented lesions.

Using different wavelengths and filters, a dermatologist can treat a broad range of skin conditions caused by skin aging and sun exposure, including:

  • Pigmented lesions
  • Skin firming
  • Vascular conditions
  • Skin resurfacing
  • Wrinkle reduction

Botox. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a simple, nonsurgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people ages 18 to 65. It is the only treatment of its type approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A Botox treatment lasts about 10 minutes and involves a few tiny injections. Within days, you’ll notice an improvement in frown lines between the brows. Results vary, but they can last up to 4 months.

BOTOX Cosmetic is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which reduces the activity of the muscles that have caused those frown lines between the brows to form over time.

Fillers. Fillers like JUVÉDERM®, Restylane® and Restylane Lyft® are injected into the skin to restore volume to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth. Fillers offer natural-looking results by restoring your skin’s fullness.

They are composed of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in your skin that helps provide fullness and elasticity. Over time, skin loses hyaluronic acid. As it diminishes, skin loses volume, increasing the chances that wrinkles and folds will appear.

Juvéderm is intended to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and “nasolabial folds” (laugh lines). It is the only FDA-approved filler that lasts up to one year with only one treatment. Like Juvéderm, Restylane is well tolerated, nonsurgical and long lasting (usually around six months). Restylane Lyft has larger gel particles and is intended to be injected deeper within the skin.

Chemical peels. “Chemical peel” is a general classification for a number of chemical treatments used to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin. They improve fine wrinkles, small scars and overall complexion. Peels range from gentle treatments to producing dramatic results. Different types include:

  • Glycolic peel: A superficial chemical peel. Immediate results include tightness and improved feel of the skin. Over time pores shrink, brown lesions fade, and the overall texture of the skin improves.
  • Vitalize peel: A slightly more intense chemical peel that offers faster results.
  • TCA peel: These peels can vary in intensity from very mild to very dramatic results. Benefits include wrinkle and scar reduction, decreasing the signs of sun damage and improving pore size and complexion.
  • Jessner’s peel: Designed to remove superficial layers of skin, it also tends to decrease oil production and open clogged pores.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Healthy Skin

Healthy Skin Tips for Men

Cancer certainly is a threat to healthy skin, but it’s not the only one. Learn more about the different marks you may find on your skin, what that itchy patch could be and how to keep acne at bay. It might be an understatement to say that men can be reluctant to visit the doctor, but these sections will give some tips on knowing when it’s time to see the dermatologist.

  • Is it a mole or melanoma? – How to tell the difference between different marks on your skin and what to do if they look suspicious.
  • Rashes and itchy skin – What to do when Gold Bond isn’t enough. That rash could be a sign of a skin condition such as psoriasis, rosacea, jock itch or athlete’s foot.
  • Adult acne – Unfortunately, it’s more common than anyone would like. The good thing is that you don’t have to live with the breakouts.

Is it a mole or melanoma?

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a mark on your skin is a mole, an age spot or a sign of a more serious condition. Here are some ways to tell the difference and what to do if you spot something suspicious.

Moles are common. Almost every adult has a few. Adults with light skin may have anywhere between 10 to 40 moles. You should not be overly worried about your moles, but remember that few benign moles develop after 30 years of age.

A mole on your body has these traits:

  • One color – Often brown, but a mole can be tan, black, red, pink, blue, skin-toned or colorless
  • Round in shape
  • Flat or slightly raised
  • Looks the same from month to month

Your moles may not look alike. Even on the same person, moles can differ in size, shape or color. Moles can have hair. Some moles will change slowly over time, possibly even disappearing.

Moles can appear anywhere on the skin. They develop on the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles and palms and even under the nails.

Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can grow in or near a mole. If it’s caught early and treated, melanoma can be cured. The first sign of melanoma is often a change to a mole or a new mole on your skin. Checking your skin regularly can help you find melanoma early.

Melanoma is considered the most lethal form of skin cancer because it can rapidly spread to the lymph system and internal organs. If you see a mole or new spot on your skin that has any of the ABCDEs of melanoma, see a dermatologist immediately.

A – Asymmetry . One half is unlike the other half.

B – Border . An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

C – Color . Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black; is sometimes red, white or blue.

D – Diameter . Melanomas are usually greater than the size of a pencil eraser when diagnosed, but some may be smaller.

E – Evolving . A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

Non-melanoma skin cancers
More than 2 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year, and that’s just in the United States . Besides melanoma, there are two other common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. It most often appears on skin that gets a lot of sun, such as the face, scalp, neck, hands and arms. You will find BCCs on other parts of the body, too.

BCC often grows slowly. It may look like a:

  • Reddish patch of dry skin that won’t heal
  • Flesh-colored (or pink, red or brown) pearl-shaped lump
  • Scar that feels waxy — may be skin-colored, white or yellow

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a very common type of skin cancer. It often appears on skin that gets a lot of sun, such as an ear, face, bald scalp, neck or arm. But it can appear elsewhere. Too much sun is often the cause, but it is not the only one. SCC can appear on skin that was badly burned, had lots of radiation (such as x-rays) or was exposed to strong chemicals.

SCC often has a reddish color. Without treatment, it can grow deeply. If this happens, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body. This can be deadly. SCC often looks like a:

  • Hard (scaly or crusty) reddish bump, patch or pearl-shaped growth
  • Open sore that itches and bleeds; it can heal and return
  • Scaly patch on the lip; skin on the lip can get thick

If it is caught early and properly treated, skin cancer can be cured. A dermatologist selects treatment after considering the type of skin cancer, where it appears on the body, whether it’s aggressive, the stage of the cancer and the patient’s health.

Actinic Keratoses
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are dry, scaly, rough-textured patches or lesions that form on the outermost layer of the skin after years of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, such as sunlight. These lesions typically range in color from skin-toned to reddish brown and in size from that of a pinhead to larger than a quarter. Occasionally, a lesion grows to resemble an animal horn and is called a “cutaneous horn.”

It is important that anyone with AKs be under a dermatologist’s care. AKs are considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer and have the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma. Anyone who develops AKs has extensive sun-damaged skin. This makes one more susceptible to other forms of skin cancer, including melanoma.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Rashes and itchy skin

Dry skin is common and can occur at any age for many reasons. Using a moisturizer often helps repair dry skin. If it doesn’t, or if dry skin develops into a rash, you may need a dermatologist’s help to get relief. Here is more information about rashes and other “itchy skin” conditions—psoriasis, rosacea, jock itch and athlete’s foot.

Rashes are generally caused by skin irritation, which can have many causes. A rash is generally a minor problem that may go away with home treatment. In some cases a rash does not go away or the skin may become so irritated that medical care is needed.

In adults, rashes are often caused by contact with a substance that irritates the skin. The rash usually starts within 48 hours after contact. You may experience mild redness of the skin or a rash of small red bumps. A more severe reaction may cause swelling, redness and larger blisters.

Common causes include poisonous plants; soaps, detergents, shampoos or cosmetics; jewelry or fabrics; new tools, appliances or other objects; and latex.

A rash could be a sign of a chronic skin problem, such as psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a long-lasting disease that develops when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days rather than weeks. The body doesn’t shed these excess skin cells. The skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear. It is not contagious.

What you see and feel depends on the type of psoriasis you have:

  • Plaque : Causes thick patches of skin that are covered with silvery-white scale.
  • Guttate : Causes small spots that can show up all over the skin.
  • Pustular : Causes pus-filled bumps that usually appear on the foot or hand.
  • Inverse : Develops in areas where skin touches skin, such as the armpit.
  • Erythrodermic : Can cause the skin to look like it is badly burned.

Treatment can reduce signs and symptoms of psoriasis. Some people see their skin completely clear.

Thanks to ongoing research, there are many treatments for psoriasis. It is important to work with a dermatologist to find a treatment that works for you and fits your lifestyle. Every treatment has benefits, drawbacks, and possible side effects.

  • Topical (applied to the skin) – Mild to moderate psoriasis. Some effective products include Cutar Emulsion and Tarsum shampoo.
  • Phototherapy (light, usually ultraviolet, applied to the skin) – Moderate to severe psoriasis
  • Systemic (taken orally or by injection or infusion) – Moderate, severe or disabling psoriasi

Discussing your treatment options with a dermatologist will help determine which is right for you.

Rosacea is a common skin disease that often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest and back can be red all the time.

Rosacea can cause more than redness. There are so many signs and symptoms that rosacea has four subtypes:

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea : Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels
  • Papulopustular rosacea : Redness, swelling and acne-like breakouts
  • Phymatous rosacea : Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture
  • Ocular rosacea : Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen and person may have what looks like a stye   

While there is no cure for rosacea, treatment can help relieve symptoms. Studies show that when people have fewer signs and symptoms of rosacea, their quality of life improves.

Treatment for the skin includes:

Rosacea can cause more than redness. There are so many signs and symptoms that rosacea has four subtypes:

  • Medicine that is applied to the rosacea
  • Sunscreen (wearing it every day can help prevent flare-ups)
  • An emollient to help repair the skin
  • Lasers and other light treatments
  • Antibiotics (applied to the skin and pills by mouth)

Dermatologists can remove the thickening skin that appears on the nose and other parts of the face with:

  • Lasers
  • Dermabrasion (procedure that removes skin)
  • Electrocautery (procedure that sends electric current into the skin to treat it)

When rosacea affects the eyes, a dermatologist may give you instructions for washing the eyelids several times a day and a prescription for eye medicine. 

Jock Itch and Athlete’s Foot
Jock itch is an infection of the groin area caused by fungus. It occurs mostly in adult men and adolescent boys. The fungus that causes jock itch thrives in warm, moist areas. Jock itch can be triggered by friction from clothes and prolonged wetness in the groin area (such as from sweating).

Athlete’s foot is an infection of the feet caused by fungus. Athlete’s foot may last for a short or long time and may come back after treatment.

The most common symptom is cracked, flaking, peeling skin between the toes. The affected area is usually red and itchy. You may feel burning or stinging, and there may be blisters, oozing or crusting. In addition to the toes, the symptoms can also occur on the heels, palms and between the fingers.

Your risk for getting athlete’s foot increases if you wear closed shoes, especially if they are plastic-lined; keep your feet wet for prolonged periods of time; sweat a lot; and develop a minor skin or nail injury.

Jock itch and athlete’s foot usually respond to self-care within a couple of weeks.

  • Keep the skin clean and dry.
  • Don’t wear clothing or shoes that rub and irritate the area.
  • Wear clean, cotton socks and change as often as necessary to keep feet dry.
  • Apply topical over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole or tolnaftate. Triple Paste AF is a powerful antifungal.

Severe infections, frequently recurring infections or infections lasting longer than two weeks may require further treatment by your doctor. Stronger prescription medications or oral antifungals may be needed. Antibiotics may be needed to treat bacterial infections that occur in addition to the fungus (for example, from scratching the area).

Source: American Academy of Dermatology and the National Center for Biotechnology Information

Adult acne

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States . And it’s not just for teens anymore. Adult acne can be particularly frustrating because treatment that worked so well during your teen years is often ineffective. It also takes longer to resolve in adults than in teenagers.

Women are more susceptible to the two types of adult acne, but men also suffer from it.

Acne that doesn’t clear by your mid-20s is called persistent acne . It often causes deep-seated, tender, inflamed pimples and nodules. Persistent acne tends to form on the lower face, predominately around the mouth, on the chin and along the jawline.

Adults also develop late-onset acne. People who have not had acne for years can suddenly see deep-seated, inflamed pimples and nodules. Even those who have never had acne can get it later in life. Adult-onset acne generally forms on the chin, jawline and around the mouth. Lesions can appear on the chest and back.

Why Now?
Regardless of age, acne develops when excess sebum (an oil that our bodies produce to naturally moisturize the skin), skin cells and bacteria accumulate. Researchers have discovered several factors that can trigger this in adults: fluctuating hormones, taking certain medications, stress, a family history of acne and certain products used on the face or skin.

Treatment Options
Most cases of adult acne can be controlled effectively. Often combination therapy (the use of two or more treatments), a dermatologist’s help and a bit of patience are required.

At-home treatment: Many people can treat mild acne with products that you can buy without a prescription. A product containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid often clears the skin over time, not overnight. At-home treatment requires 4-8 weeks to see improvement. Once acne clears, you must continue to treat the skin to prevent breakouts.

If you have a lot of acne, cysts or nodules, an over-the-counter product may not work. Dermatologists offer the following types of treatment:

Acne treatment that you apply to the skin: Most acne treatments are applied to the skin. There are many topical acne treatments. Some topicals help kill the bacteria. Others work on reducing the oil. The topical medicine may contain a retinoid, prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, antibiotic or even salicylic acid. Vanoxide and Obagi Tretinoin are examples of two effective topical treatments. Your dermatologist will determine what you need.

Acne treatment that works throughout the body: Medicine that works throughout the body may be necessary when you have red, swollen types of acne. This type of treatment is usually necessary to treat acne cysts and nodules. Your dermatologist may prescribe one or more of these:

  • Antibiotics (helps to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation)
  • Medicine that works on hormones
  • Isotretinoin (the only treatment that works on all causes of acne)

Procedures that treat acne: Your dermatologist may treat your acne with a procedure that can be performed during an office visit. These treatments include:

  • Lasers and other light therapies: These devices reduce the bacteria that lead to acne.
  • Chemical peels: Dermatologists use chemical peels to treat two types of acne — blackheads and papules.
  • Acne removal: Your dermatologist may perform a procedure called “drainage and extraction” to remove a large acne cyst. This procedure helps when the cyst does not respond to medicine. It also helps ease the pain and the chance that the cyst will leave a scar. If you absolutely have to get rid of a cyst quickly, your dermatologist may inject the cyst with medicine.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Skincare 101

Skincare Tips for Men

While more and more men are using sun protection while they work and play outdoors, too many aren’t. Skin cancer is a threat that can be prevented. By protecting your skin from the sun, you may lower your chances of skin cancer and premature aging.

The sun’s rays, also called ultraviolet or UV rays, damage the skin. The short-term results of unprotected exposure to UV rays are sunburn and tanning. In the long run, unprotected exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer.

Follow these guidelines whenever you are in the sun:

  • If you can, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun is strongest.
  • If you have to be out in the sun, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to protect your skin. Wear shirts made from tightly woven cloth, like long-sleeved cotton t-shirts. If the clothing fits loosely, you will feel cooler. Special sun-protective clothes are available.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Sun exposure increases your risk of getting cataracts.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to help protect your face, neck and ears from the sun. The best hat to wear in the sun has a brim that’s at least 6 inches all around. Baseball caps and similar hats don’t protect your ears and neck.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. Clouds don’t protect your skin from sun damage. Use at least the amount of a shot glass and rub it in well. Put the sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside.
  • Put the sunscreen everywhere the sun’s rays might touch you, including your forehead and face, your ears, the back of your neck and any bald parts on the top of your head. Some sunscreen products are “drip-free.” You can try those products on your face if that’s a problem for you.