What does the FDA now say about Tanning Beds?

modern solarium bedFor some, a combination of good sense, protective genetics, and good luck protect them from skin cancer–even with an outdoor lifestyle.

I was on the beach in Sarasota recently, and I stopped by a group of kite surfers to inquire about what wetsuit I might need for a swim. They were adamant about protecting their skin with wetsuits and rashguards so that they don’t get any more (squamous cell) skin cancers.

Damage leading to skin cancer (and skin wrinkling) is often done by sunlamps to those who are too young to think about long term effects, or those who are mis-informed by the industry selling the lights or the tanning. While light exposure does lead to vitamin D production, and a little exposure can increase melanin production, I agree that legislation should be passed to better inform of the dangers and protect those under age from causing long term damage to their skin.

As a physician, I support of Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule titled, “General and Plastic Surgery Devices: Restricted Sale, Distribution, and Use of Sunlamp Products.”

I commend the FDA on its leadership in regulating sunlamps and for taking this important step to protect the public health. It is estimated that indoor tanning causes upwards of 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year. In fact, using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – by 59% and the risk increases with each use.

Be sensible about the sun, and protect yourself and your fellow Americans.

To your health,

Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


Did you know Hidradenitis Suppuritiva is connected with metabolic syndrome?

Depositphotos_5735625_xsEmbarrassing? Maybe. Common? Perhaps more than you think. 

Hidradenitis Suppuritiva is an acne related condition involving recurrent boils and cysts in the apocrine areas. These especially include under the arms around the breasts, in the groin and buttock areas. It may be confined to just to just a few small cysts, or develop into large cysts with multiple training points. At its worst, they can be painful and make it difficult to carry out ordinary activities.

This condition is sometimes treated with injected steroids, topical or oral antibiotics, and surgical drainage. More radical treatment includes cutting out the entire affected area into the deeper fat or down to the fascia. That kind of surgery can require a long recovery time.

More recently, powerful immunosuppressants known as Biologics have been used with some success. Unfortunately, these carry a very large price tag both an actual dollar cost, and in the possibility of leading to development of infections like tuberculosis, or cancers like lymphoma.

I’ve been successful in improving the condition the patients with Hidradenitis using a similar approach to that which I use in acne. That involves correcting digestive and hormonal imbalances, and removing toxins from the skin. My report of success met with considerable resistance at the Second International Meeting of the Hidradenitis Suppuritiva Foundation in San Francisco some years ago.  

Consequently, I was very happy to see an article that was published last year linking Hidradenitis Suppuritiva  to metabolic syndrome. One of the most important inclusions of the article was that Hidradenitis Suppuritiva  appears to be a systemic condition rather than just to localized skin condition. This further supports my approach and results in treating this condition as a systemic inflammatory disorder with supplements and nutritional changes.

If you need help with this condition, please contact my office. I work in New York and also via Skype, so if you live far away, I can still be of help.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

 


The problem with quick-fixes for acne. Part 4

Another unintended consequence of acne blogs and information you may find on the Internet on acne related sharing sites, is that you will not have enough information about the individuals who report either success or failure with various treatments they suggest to understand whether those treatments will be successful for you.  

Although there are many common features of various illnesses such as acne, there are also many individual variations in both genetics and exposure history. As a result, Even if the report of the success after a particular novel acne treatment is accurate, it still may be impossible to know whether you have the same conditions are such that the same remedy will work for you.  As a result of this individual variation, what will work for another person may not be effective for you.

Furthermore, it may take a lot more depth of understanding of the physiology of the acne to be able to even ask the right questions of the person who benefited from a new remedy, to know if that remedy would be of any use to you. This is why it's worth seeing a holistic doctor who can really ferret out your particular issue and finally help you get to the bottom of it.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


The problem with quick-fixes for acne. Part 3

Another unintended consequence of acne blogs is that it may give you an excuse to delay definitive treatment of your condition.  For people with progressive acne, and especially those with cystic acne, the possibility exists that they will have significant increase scarring the longer they hold off getting their condition under control.

It's important to prevent deep of scarring, by making sure that you have more severe acne treated promptly if it is severe and you are not making progress with the suggestions that you find in the blogs and online.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


The problem with quick-fixes for acne. Part 2

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See a physician like Dr. Dattner if your skin lesions become exacerbated.

Another unintended danger of reading acne blogs is that you may fail to get examined by a dermatologist or other physician when lesions arise that you interpret as acne may perhaps be due to some other, more serious cause. This could include Staphlococcus or Strep infections which have the danger of spreading externally or worse, internally.

These lesions could also include skin syndromes that you do not recognize that require further diagnosis and treatment. If there is anything unusual about your acne, or if you feel otherwise ill when you develop it, it is best to get it checked out by a dermatologist or other doctor. It is really important to know if something else is going on instead of what you interpreted to be acne, and make sure that condition gets treated properly.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


The problem with quick-fixes for acne. Part 1

Depositphotos_4683136_xsOne unintended danger of reading acne blogs is that you will see the suggestions given as all that is necessary to clear up your skin.

For many people, there are a variety of different habits and conditions that are leading to their acne, and a variety leading to the acne cure. Fixing only one or two factors may not be sufficient to give you a good improvement. Several different changes may be necessary in the right order or all together in order to clear up acne naturally.

So besides not getting better from following a specific suggestion in a blog, danger exists that you will decide if that a particular diet or lifestyle change does not clear you up, it is of no use at all. As a result, you may believe that it is useless for you as part of a more comprehensive program, and disregard it.

Indeed, it may be a crucial step when put together with a more complete series of therapeutic changes. It is important not to "write off" various lifestyle changes suggested as useless because they were ineffective when applied without comprehensive health care support.

If you need more support for a skin condition than you are getting online, contact me.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


Natural acne treatment: to clear up your face, draw the line.

Depositphotos_8458760_xsAt some point, if you really want to clear up your face, you have to draw the line between doing things that are likely to aggravate your acne and those that are not.

If that means not touching your face repeatedly and squeezing lesions you got to give that a try and draw the line on doing those harmful activities. If eating various kinds of foods like sugar and dairy and junk food are likely to be aggravating your problem, at some point you have got to draw the line, and just stop eating them.

Your body needs a consistent message, so stay with better eating and avoid going back to old bad habits. Drawing the line on harmful behaviors for your skin and giving a real trial to healthier habits and eating can make a big difference. Even if this is not sufficient to clear your skin, it makes it a lot easier for a knowledgeable doctor to clear you up and help cure your acne using natural treatments and methods.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


Natural acne treatment: to clear up your face, draw the line.

Depositphotos_5735625_xsOne line that you must literally draw is the line in front of the mirror: no squeezing, no picking. Some people even have to go so far as to put a piece of tape on the floor in front of the sink in the mirror, where they would stand when they are up close and looking at their face. Once you cross this line, it is important to remember not to touch your face or squeeze any pimples or other lesions there. Although some may appear slightly smaller after squeezing, inflammation will usually restore their size.  

Even worse, if the pimples or cysts break under the skin from squeezing, the material emerging will act like a foreign body to often create even more inflammation and larger cysts. Those cysts can then become the ones that go on to enlarge, and cause even more inflammation. And when they eventually calm down, cause depressed scars (and sometimes depressed people). A lot of the visible red scars and depressed scars on some people with acne are more due to the squeezing and trauma then the acne itself. Do yourself and your face a favor and don't touch or squeeze your face, once you cross that line in front of the sink or the mirror.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


3 Secrets for Curing Acne on Your Lunch Break, Naturally

Depositphotos_43286605_xsReplacing acne-causing foods with skin friendly foods can make a big difference in your appearance, over time. A clean diet makes for a clean face. A diet filled with vegetables is a great natural acne cure.

1. Salad! At lunch, have a delicious salad topped with grilled chicken or fish instead of a pizza. If you are vegetarian, consider a rice and bean dish with celery or red pepper chopped in. If you need a real pick me up, consider juicing vegetables to make a green smoothie. Throwing in a little bit of protein powder can make this work as a meal.

2. Protein! If nuts work for you, almonds or almond butter can be the protein source in your lunch. A sandwich on yeast-free bread, with a thin slice of banana on top, may be just the thing you need for a quick lunch. For some people, a little tofu can be added to soups salads or rice for extra protein.

3. Vegetables! Be sure to fire up the steamer pot and steam some fresh broccoli cauliflower, zucchini or other quick cooking vegetable for lunch, and if possible for every meal. Tossing that vegetable with a little bit of oil and lemon juice and a touch of salt can make it a pleasure to eat rather than a chore. If you prepare vegetables in that way, they can be put aside in the refrigerator and heated up as part of your lunch in the next day or two after you made it in. This way, lunch can be both quick to prepare, and healthy, and your face will grow clearer and more free of acne.

To your health,

Dr. Dattner,

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


Snack your way out of acne

Depositphotos_24286607_xsHaving healthy snacks available at home and when you’re out is an important way to get control of your acne. After all, if your hungry, need a pick-me-up, it’s going to be very hard to resist if your friends offer you some kind of acne-producing junk food, and you have nothing to substitute for that.

But if you plan ahead, you can pull your healthy snack out of your bag and enjoy it. Examples of healthy snacks might can might include a small container of steamed vegetables, a bag of carrots and celery, or a small container of rice and beans. Thin slices or raw turnip or parsnips or radish also make a good snack, depending on your taste. Even a small plastic container with a little bit of last night’s dinner, with a cold pack if necessary, can also do the trick.

Vegetables are one of the healthiest snacks that you can eat to help with acne. Raw vegetables are good if you chew them really well or blend them. Get a stack of small plastic containers, and be sure to prepare a little bit extra when you make salad or vegetables. Put some of those leftover vegetables in a container in the refrigerator and use them in the next day or two and snacks that you carry with you.

One advantage of preparing them before you go out is that you can season them with a little bit of salt and perhaps olive oil or lemon juice or both, so that they are delicious and ready to eat. In the winter, you can usually simply place the container in the pack that you carry with you. In the summer, you can place the vegetable container in the small cold pack with an ice pack from the freezer. That way, you have delicious healthy fresh vegetables as a snack when you need them.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine