THE ABC of skin care for the cooler weather

Pic @ lucybrownless

Pic @ lucybrownless

With daylight savings well and truly done, it is fair to say the cooler weather is certainly upon us. So in order to help your skin weather the storm, here are our ABC’s of skincare to ensure your skin survival kit is up to date to maintain that enviable supple glow all year round. 

Vitamin B3 is our number one skincare must have for a reason. This go getter ticks all the boxes. Not only does it prevent moisture loss during the persistent indoor heating of the cooler months, it is highly anti-inflammatory, calming and fortifying the skin barrier.  

Another important ingredient to keep your glow going is Vitamin C. We all know it’s a powerful antioxidant but what does that actually mean? Antioxidants neutralise free radicals in the skin (which are known to cause cell damage and eventually age the skin). Vitamin C is also a key component in the synthesis of collagen, keeping your skin firm and youthful but also acting as a preventative of pigmentation all year round. 

Lastly, treat your skin with an overnight rejuvenation in the form of Vitamin A. As the weather cools everything slows down, so to ensure your skin is charged up and working at its optimal rate, Vitamin A is an essential skin booster. Vitamin A plays a key role is tissue development via the stimulation of your skin’s fibroblast cells, keeping your skin firm, healthy and resilient. As one can expect, not getting enough of this essential vitamin leads to weakened skin, causing problems such as dryness and irritation. 

For more information on the best skincare for you, come in for a consultation and skincare plan with Lily, Amelia or Steph. Skin consults are $75 and include a complimentary LED Healite which is suitable for all skin types.

Skincare for teenagers

Biretix Cleanser

Biretix Cleanser

Teenagers should start a simple skincare regime once they start high school. At this age their hormones begin changing which results in increased oil (sebum) production. Due to increased oil flow and cell turnover, blockages can occur which result in breakouts.

A simple regime to get started includes cleansing the skin with a gentle cleanser each night. This keeps the skin hydrated whilst removing excess oil, sweat and other debris. We recommend the Biretix Cleanser as it removes excess oils, debris and spot-causing bacteria leaving skin feeling soothed, refreshed and clean.

To assist with balancing oil flow, calming and strengthening the skin, we recommend using Vitamin B3 morning and night followed by a daily moisturiser. Vitamin B3 is anti-inflammatory in nature and perfect for even the most reactive skin. It also prevents moisture loss throughout the day which is especially important in keeping the skin strong.  

Finally never underestimate the importance of wearing SPF daily. Teen skin that is suffering with breakouts and or congestion can be impeded from excess sun exposure which can interrupt the healing processes in the skin, resulting in post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  Therefore sunscreen is a must. We recommend La Roche-Posay Ultra-light SPF 50+ which is a light sunscreen option that does not clog the skin.

We understand that sometimes teen skin can get out of control and breakouts may become more severe. In this instance topical solution are not effective and visiting Skindepth’s Acne Clinic for an individual consultation and acne plan may be required.

Skindepth’s Acne Clinic runs on Monday evenings as well as during the School Holidays. The next Acne Clinic during the School Holidays will be running Monday 8th-Friday 12th April.

Managing Keratosis Pilaris

Example of Keratosis Pilaris on the upper arm

Example of Keratosis Pilaris on the upper arm

Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin complaint that can be notoriously difficult to treat. So what is it? This skin condition is commonly seen on the upper arms, buttocks and thighs. It is a harmless condition and presents as small, tiny hard bumps that feels rough like sand paper. It is usually accompanied by some redness and swelling. Although occasionally it may be itchy, it is not painful. While it doesn’t get worse or cause any grave affect, many patients find it annoying.

What causes Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris is caused by a build-up of keratin. This is the protein that protects the skin from potential dangers and infections. When this build-up blocks the hair follicle and essentially causes a plug, we see small red bumps arise. It is more common in dryer skin and is also tends to be worse in winter when there is less moisture in the air. Some may even notice it clears up in summer. It can also worsen during pregnancy or after child birth.

Keratosis pilaris is particularly common in teenagers. It may occur in babies where it tends to be most obvious on the cheeks. If a parent suffers from this condition, their children will be more susceptible to experiencing the condition also. 

What can I do to treat it?

Many people live with Keratosis Pilaris without seeking treatment, especially if they have had it since they were a child and have become ‘used to it’ over the years. But there are some treatment options available for sufferers who are frustrated or bothered by the condition. There is no known cure but some steps that can help manage symptoms:

- Symptoms are exacerbated when the skin is dehydrated. Therefore stick with non-soap cleanser that won’t dry out the skin

-Integrate gentle exfoliation with the use of a loofah whilst in the shower or bath (ensure the skin is wet)

-Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise. Keeping the skin hydrated is imperative. Moisturising post shower is a time when the skin is more susceptible to moisture

-Choose moisturisers containing salicylic acid or lactic acid

-If you find that none of the above options are not having a significant effect, topical ointments can be prescribed by a good Dermatologist. They will be prescribed on consultation once a diagnosis has been confirmed

-In-clinic treatments such as IPL and hair removal can assist with reducing pore blockages and therefore the severity of the condition.

How do I know if I have it?

There is no specific test for Keratosis Pilaris, but a good dermatologist will recognise it by sight immediately. Rarely a biopsy will need to be taken.

If you are experiencing symptoms and want to get a treatment plan, both Dr Alice Rudd and Dr Tasos Stavrakoglou are available for medical assessment. Don’t forget your GP referral.

The best pre and post injectables care with Brooke Iriks

Skindepth Cosmetic Nurse: Brooke Iriks

Skindepth Cosmetic Nurse: Brooke Iriks

Skindepth’s cosmetic nurse Brooke is a key part of the team and comes with over 5 years injectables experience. “The way you prepare for treatment and care for your skin post-treatment will highly influence the results you see” says Brooke. Join Brooke for her must dos for achieving the best results from your treatment.   

Before treatment

  •  The best results are based around a healthy skincare routine at home including cleaners, moisturisers, SPF 50+ sunscreen and active ingredients. This will ensure the canvas is in peak condition before starting treatments. The best skincare can be advised by our dermal clinician who will assess your skin and provide recommendations for a glowing complexion that will compliment what you are trying to achieve with your treatments.

  • Please avoid aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or mobic and some herbal supplements like St John’s Wart for two weeks prior to injections.  This will decrease your chances of bruising and promote recovery.  If you have any questions about your medication don’t hesitate to ask.  If these medications are prescribed by a doctor please don’t stop them.

  • If you are concerned about discomfort or bruising, please use ice before the treatment. Additionally a numbing cream can be used prior to your treatment, however most people find it tolerable.

  • Talk to your cosmetic nurse or doctor about the results you want to achieve. Having a clear outcome in mind will assist to determine how the treatment is administer


After your treatment

  • Don't touch your skin where you have been injected. Avoid rubbing and massaging the treated area for at least 24 hours as you don't want to spread the injected substance to other unintended locations.

  • Icing the affected area post treatment will reduce any potential signs of bruising or inflammation. Ice on and off in 10 minute intervals for up to 4 hours. Refreeze your ice in between.

  • Avoid strenuous physical activity for 12-24 hours.

  • Avoid consuming alcohol for 24-48 hours.

  • Avoid getting facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and other skin treatments for 2 weeks post treatment.  Again, discuss this with your practitioner.

  • Paracetamol is a safe for headaches or pain relief.

  • If you get bruising from your injections, topical treatments such as Vitamin K and Arnica can help. Alternatively you can get Vbeam, pulsed-dye, or KTP laser treatments to make the bruising reduce faster. Green or yellow concealers can also help cover up any bruising. 

  • Continue your recommended skincare routine post treatment and enjoy the results by using in conjunction with your injectable treatment.

  • Enjoy the results!

If you are thinking about injectables and unsure about the best option for you, Brooke is available for consultation. Consultations can determine the type of treatment you are after and what you want to achieve. Brooke is dedicated to ensuring her clients leave feeling like the best version of themselves. For more information email at reception@skindepth.com.au or call us.

Treating rosacea in summer

Rosacea flare up.jpg

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects the face and can worsen with time if left untreated. It is considered a chronic inflammatory skin condition and should be cared for with appropriate skincare products and treatments.

Summer is a time of year when we often see symptoms of rosacea worsen due to key triggers in the warmer weather. These triggers can exacerbate the appearance of rosacea and cause flare ups even though treatment options are a little more limited. Studies have found that UV exposure and heat heighten the inflammatory nature of the condition. Additionally, those suffering from rosacea are far more likely to get sunburnt. Therefore it is sensical that sufferers must use adequate sun care, and in fact be even more diligent than non-sufferers. Using a physical sunscreen containing zinc and titanium dioxide is the best option for those with the condition or reactionary skin types. It is also important to try to keep out of direct sun light by always sitting in the shade and wearing a hat, no matter how short the exposure.

Another proven trigger that exacerbates rosacea is alcohol. In summer the beautiful weather and longer days tend to encourage more social events which often leads to an increase in alcohol consumption. If you are noticing increased symptoms, minimising the number of drinks during this time can also help.

In winter one of the best treatment options for rosacea is Vbeam laser. It is the gold-standard option and delivers extremely effective results. However this treatment is best done in winter as it can lead to hyperpigmentation in summer (which is a condition in itself which is very hard to treat). When considering in-clinic treatment alternatives, LED wavelengths are an ideal solution for individuals that want to calm the redness and irritation or reduce the small pustular breakouts that might be present on the skin. LED Healite delivers concentrated energy deep into the tissue treating the skin on a cellular level, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. It also has the added benefit of being completely painless and only takes between 15-20 minutes. In fact, many of our clients find this treatment very relaxing.  Your Dermal Clinician will assess your skin and choose the appropriate wavelength.

When looking at topical skincare such as cleansers, serums, moisturisers and sunscreens, remember to always choose options that are calming, hydrating and most importantly non-irritating.  Certain active ingredients such as Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) will help to assist in reducing inflammation of the skin and building the skin’s immunity.

Diet is another element to be considered when managing rosacea. As it is an inflammatory condition, it stands to reason that anti-inflammatory foods will assist with flare ups. Some key foods to avoid include dairy, chilli, alcohol, sugar and high amounts of red meat whilst encouraging a diet filled with fresh fruit and veg, nuts, seeds and oily fish such as salmon.

As we know everyone’s skin is unique and it is important to ensure it is being treated appropriately. Skindepth offer one-one-one skin consultations including a full skin assessment and complimentary LED Healite for $75. If you are concerned about your skin or are experiencing flare ups, come in for a consultation with Amelia or Lily.

Medicinal Australian Natives with Dr Alice Rudd

Skindepth’s Native Medicinal Garden

Skindepth’s Native Medicinal Garden

Having just spent a few days in the Hunter Valley amid eucalypts and Australian bush, I am reminded of an amazing meal I had at Matilda on Domain road recently. With flavours of Australia, saltbush, lemon myrtle and admittedly surrounded by luscious lamb and fish, I now find myself devouring Golden Door Health Retreat’s non-alcoholic delicacies such as their signature tea containing licorice root, lemon myrtle, siberian ginseng, red rose petals, sage, mistletoe. It’s a world away from the swanky wine list of South Yarra, yet just as pleasing. As you may know, Skindepth has a medicinal garden that surrounds the clinic full of ginseng, lavender, rosemary, gingo and other such medicinal delicacies. So what exactly are the health benefits of these favourite Australian natives?

Salt bush is a grey blue (and quite beautiful) shrub found in arid, and salty areas. It was once used to treat burns and cuts of the skin, and is now commonly found in culinary arenas. It contains a range of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, antioxidants, Vitamin E and is high in protein. A great seasoner for meat, tofu, or grilled vegetables. Sadly this is not a scrub that that can be grown in a suburban veggie patch, but is a delight to forage for in a seaside bush setting.

 Lemon Myrtle contains about 90-98% citral (similar to citrus and hence its antimicrobial effect). It is often found in tea (think ‘lemon and hot water’). It also contains minerals like calcium, zinc which support the immune system and is why it is used to help fend off common colds and viruses. It may also assist in other dermatologic virus such as mollusucm contagiosum (a harmless viral skin infection that appears as small raised spots of the skin).  It may also help with tinea infection of the feet when applied topically. Because of its high vitamin A and E content there are reports of it helping with acne also. It is now commonly used in the cosmetic industry to give that tangy citrus vibe to skin and hair care products.

Tea tree is another Australian native that we all know and love and is antibacterial in nature. It is fantastic for acne sufferers to help bacterial acne and to dry up oil glands. While synthetic acne treatments like benzyl peroxide tend to make you scaly and dry or chemical exfoliants can irritate sensitive skin, tea tree, which is natural and gentle on the skin, can work wonders.

I am a big believer in supporting local and incorporating Australian ingredients into your skin, medical or culinary care seems to me a good way to start.

 Dr Alice Rudd is passionate about a holistic approach when it comes to skincare, treatments and wellness. When prescribing treatment, it often involves a multi-disciplinary approach of natural products and diet to support skin on both the inside and the outside.

Get sun smart this summer

Photo: @lucybrownless

Photo: @lucybrownless

UV radiation is linked to more cancers worldwide than any other carcinogen. Skin cancer accounts for 80% of all new cancer diagnosed in Australia. Therefore we can say with confidence that we must protect ourselves from the sun.

Sunburn causes 95% of melanoma according to Cancer Council Victoria. So it makes sense to protect yourself against something you know will do damage. Sunscreen is something that everyone should be wearing all day, every day and re-applying throughout the day.

So how do you stay safe?

 Avoid direct sun exposure where possible. When you are outdoors and exposed to the sun, always use a sunscreen with a high SPF. UVB is responsible for most of the skin damage. We recommend always choosing a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB. When considering SPF (Sun Protection Factor) always go for the highest number possible. The SPF number is a system devised to designate topical preparations and their ability to protect the skin from UV exposure.

Most of us don’t apply enough sunscreen. Light Spray on formulas like Neutrogena Ultrasheer may be easy to apply and perfect for a child on the run, but it’s often difficult to get enough coverage and therefore the sun protection you need. Stick to a thicker spray formula like Avene’s Very High Protection SPF 50 Spray where you can see the application and ensure a better coverage. Remember to apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you head outdoors.

Another problem is not applying sunscreen frequently enough. Sunscreen needs to be re-applied generally every 2hrs, especially if you have UV sensitive condition such as melasma. It is particularly important to re-apply after swimming. Even a high SPF like 50+ in the morning will wear off throughout the day. High coverage still requires re-application.

For those that wear makeup during the day, Dr Rudd recommends the Peter Roth Thomson SPF 45 powder brush for re-applying over your make up. It’s like a mineral make up that can be brushed over your existing makeup without causing a fluid sunscreen look.

So what’s in the SPF number?

The SPF number is the length of time your skin can be exposed to UV before it becomes red and sunburnt. For example, an SPF of 15 means you can stay out 15 times longer in the sun before going red than without sunscreen. Therefore an SPF of 50+ means 50 times longer. When you break it down like that it makes sense to give yourself the highest level of protection – SPF 50+ always.

It’s also important to remember that all skin types are susceptible to skin damage including skin cancer and melanoma. Therefore no matter how light or dark the skin, sunscreen is important for everyone.

 When it comes to clothing choose sensible options that cover your skin if you are in direct sun exposure and hats add an additional layer of protection for the face.

Make sense?

As a practicing Dermatologist with many years experience and advocate for sun safety, Dr Alice Rudd says that there is no reason to NOT wear sunscreen. We know it can reduce your risk of burning. And we know burning causes skin cancer. So you see it is pretty simple.

 Stay smart this summer and keep safe. If you have noticed any changes to either your skin or moles please make sure you get them checked by a medical professional. Dr Alice Rudd and Dr Tasos Stavrakoglou are available for full body skin checks in clinic. Don’t forget your GP referral.

Managing pigmentation in summer

Pic @ victoriamartinmakeup

Pic @ victoriamartinmakeup

In summer, pigmentation is a reality for many of us. Despite our best efforts and religious sunscreen application, for some skin types, pigmentation will still form. For those that have a tendency to suffer from pigmentation or discolouration including freckling and melasma, a tyrosinase inhibitor or pigment blocker may be needed as part of your daily skincare routine. In basic terms pigment blockers are used to help prevent the future production of pigment by inhibiting melanin. This product can be applied topically in the morning after you have cleansed the skin, but before sunscreen is applied to the face and neck.

At Skindepth we have a highly effective pigment laser that we use to treat pigmentation. However to maintain these results, particularly throughout the summer months when there is greater sun exposure, a tyrosinase inhibitor can be an essential skincare product.

 A pigment blocker may also be used to help prepare the skin for a treatment where there is risk of hyperpigmentation forming after strong treatments when there is increased sensitivity to the sun. Treatments include laser, peels, micro- needling and diathermy (to name a few). This sensitivity can lead to dark patches on the treated area. Generally darker skin types are at higher risk of hyperpigmentation and these risks need to be taken into consideration when treatment options are discussed with your Dermal Clinician.

How do Tyrosinase inhibitors work?

Tyrosinase is an enzyme which activates melanin synthesis (melanin being the chromophore or colour in our skin). Hence these products are called tyrosinase inhibitors because they inhibit melanin production. Ingredients found in tyrosinase inhibitors include:

- Kojic acid
- Hydoquinone
- Arbutin
- Liquorice root extract
- Niacinamide
- Oligopeptide-34
- Ascorbic acid
- Rumex occidentalis extract

At Skindepth our 2 favourite Tyrosinase inhibitors are Propaira lightening cream  and Dr Rudd’s personal favourite, Mela Cream. Both can be purchased at Skindepth (no appointment is necessary).

If you are suffering from pigmentation or discolouration then a skin consultation is a great opportunity to discuss concerns and get a full assessment to find out the best treatment and skincare options. All consultations include a complimentary LED Healite which is safe for all skin types, even the most sensitive skin.

5 ways summer affects the skin

Pic @ jesspurchase

Pic @ jesspurchase

The mercury is rising and inevitably the skin experiences changes in response to the environmental changes around us. Join Skindepth as we take you through the most common skin responses you can expect over the coming months.

1. In summer we will all naturally produce more sebum (oil within the pores). If the weather is both hot and humid it is also likely we are going to sweat more. When we sweat we are more likely to attract dust and dirt onto the skin which can lead to blocked pores and unfortunately a greater susceptibility to breakouts. Additionally, increased oil, sweat and dirt sitting in the pores can cause them to stretch over time. Do not despair, there are some simple things we can do to at home keep the skin healthy and prevent blockages:

o Switch to a gel based cleanser as a way to manage more oily prone skin
o Use a salicylic acid serum or skincare product containing this ingredient (salicylic acid will help dissolve the oil)
o Use a vitamin A in the evening to help shrink the sebaceous glands responsible for producing excessive oil
o Use light weight lotions/serums or fluid sunscreens and moisturisers over thicker creams.

2. Inflammation and rashes are more common in the warmer months. Among them is heat rash, which happens when sweat ducts get closed off, trapping the moisture under the skin and leading to a rash made up of bumps and inflammation. Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can be troublesome due to reduced ventilation caused by hot and sweaty conditions. It is important to choose clothing that encourages air flow (such as cotton) as well as cooler environments with air conditioning to ensure you can regulate your temperature.

3. In summer there is greater exposure to the sun and UV light. When we are exposed to UV light the risk of pigmentation (such as freckling) and vascular discolouration increases. Unprotected exposure to sunlight is the major causes of wrinkles and premature aging and skin discolouration. It is imperative that sunscreen is part of your daily skincare routine, even if you do not anticipate being outside. Sunlight and UV exposure can still occur in cars, houses and offices via windows. Protect your skin from the sun with sensible clothing, a hat and of course the number 1 skincare, SPF 50+ sunscreen. If possible try to avoid direct sunlight exposure.

4. During the summer months we tend to swim more which means we are exposed to both salt and chlorinated water. Although salt water can be quite beneficial for the skin, it can also be quite dehydrating. When you are finished at the beach or pool, always rinse off with a quick shower to remove left over salt or chlorine.  After showering, apply a hydrating moisturiser as the skin is more susceptible to absorption.

5. Stay hydrated on the inside. We have heard it so many times but how we regulate our insides is largely reflected in the skin. Ensure you stay hydrated with plenty of fluid, ideally water. Water is best served at room temperature. The digestive system works far more effectively when consuming drinks at room temperature opposed to icy cold. Cold drinks in fact restrict the vessels and can reduce absorption.

If you are looking for some treatments to support your skin care at home, we recommend LED light therapy to reduce excess oil production and extractions to help remove any blocked pores. Gentle enzyme or chemical peels are both wonderful summer treatments helping to resurface the skin and improve texture. Try to stay away from strong laser treatments or IPL during summer as the skin becomes extra sensitive to the sun which can lead to further skin damage.

If your finding that your skin is changing and not sure how to manage it, come in for a skin consultation with our Dermal Clinicians Lily or Amelia. They can assess your skin concerns and provide a customised skin plan to get your skin glowing.  

 

Skin conditions of the vulva

Dr Alice Rudd & Dr Felicity Gould

Dr Alice Rudd & Dr Felicity Gould

The vulva, just like any other type of skin on the body, is prone to all types of skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and the effects of common practices we see on the face like over washing and the use of harsh soaps.

Vulva conditions affect women of all ages, from children to the elderly.

As woman go through puberty they develop hormonal changes and the presence of increased hormones can lead to a dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) and change in pH of the vulva. This causes a predisposition to thrush. Vulval thrush is very common condition and is often brought on by a course of antibiotics (frequently prescribed for another medical condition) and sometimes the contraceptive pill. The treatment of thrush usually requires topical treatment and in some cases, oral treatment. Recurrent cases of thrush need to be investigated for associated disorders. Dermatitis is also very common during puberty from exposure to potential allergens. Common allergens include:

·         Toilet paper 
·         Lubricants 
·         Any medication, either prescribed or over-the-counter 
·         Perfumed products 
·         Antifungal creams and pessaries 
·         Antiseptics 
·         Nail polish
·         Latex condoms 
·         Semen

In the middle aged years, the more common vulva concern is lichen sclerosus. This is an autoimmune inflammatory condition affecting the vulva, the perianal skin and sometimes other skin sites. It is very itchy and if left untreated can lead to scarring and disfigurement of the vulva. It is important if you have an ongoing vaginal itch to have it checked, as uncontrolled lichen sclerosus can lead to VIN – a type of cancer of the vulva.

Later in life, after the menopause with a loss of oestrogen, the vulva can become dryer and uncomfortable. This used to be known as vaginal atrophy, but is now called genitourinary syndrome of the menopause. This is best treated with the use of topical oestrogen, so long as there are not any contraindications (such as a history of breast cancer)

In most situations, the diagnosis can be made on clinical grounds, but sometimes a biopsy of the vulval or other tests may be required. Often a thorough internal examination of the vagina is required to ensure there are no other contributing pathologies.

  • Most patients with a vulval problem have found that it has interfered with their sex life in some way. Sexual arousal may be less easy leading to anxiety, dryness and sometimes painful vaginal spasm.

  • Although lubricants can often help in this situation, many patients need help from a physiotherapist’s specialist that deals specifically with the pelvic floor. It can take some time to become comfortable with intercourse again.

Infections (aside from thrush) can affect the vulva, the most common being HPV or genital warts. As always it’s important to be up to date with pap smears to ensure the cervix has not developed any cancerous changes. The advent of the HPV vaccine has been helpful in reducing this risk.

Sometime it is not clear whether a vulval issue requires a gynaecologist or a dermatologist. That is why the Skindepth Vulva Clinic evolved.  Most GPs can adequately handle vulva issues, however many times there is more than one condition, or conditions overlapping and it can be difficult to adequately diagnose and manage. Having both a specialist gynaecologist and dermatologist examine the vulva and devise a treatment plan means a more accurate diagnosis, better management and outcome for the patient. Our resident gynecologist Dr Felicity Gould has an affiliation with the Royal Womens Hsopital for women requiring more extensive procedures.

Our next Vulva Clinic is Friday 21st December. Bookings are limited so please get in early to avoid missing out. Please remember a referral from your GP.