Beat breakouts

Actual before and after photos from Dr. Katz

Actual before and after photos

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Nasty breakouts can ruin your day and your looks. And unexpected eruptions can be a problem from adolescence through menopause. It is maddening. Many things aggravate acne including stress, hormones, and diet. But bacteria are the root cause of all acne pimples. The best way to clear your skin of repeated acne breakouts is with expert medical advice.


Dr. Bruce Katz, MD, Manhattan dermatologist and Director of Juva Skin and Laser Center, shares his solutions for stopping acne at the source:


Photo Dynamic Therapy: “At Juva, we use a combination of Levulan Kerastick which is a prescription strength topical medication that is with a pulsed dye laser to destroy the bacteria that cause acne,” says Dr. Katz. “The combination reduces output of oil and has proven to be very effective, even in patients who previously were not responsive to Accutane.”


Get Gelly: Switch from rich cream moisturizers to lighter lotions and gels that won’t block pores in hot humid weather. We sweat more in the summer, which can cause heavy hydrators to build up and clog pores, resulting in both deep-rooted blemishes and pesky whiteheads.


Keep Hair Products to a Minimum: Avoid using oils and oil-based conditioners and styling products on your hair. When hair brushes against the face, neck, and back, the oils can transmit onto skin and cause breakouts.




Acne can happen at any age

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When “beauty tips for the prom” came over my desk, I had to giggle; I always do when someone says 30 is the new 20, or 50 is new 30.  I don’t think so. Many us look better and feel stronger at a later age, and that is fabulous. But we also work harder, play longer into the night, and stress out. The result is that many women experience acne breakouts at 20 and 30. I battled it for years. Acne can happen at any age but it can be treated!


Acne is no joke. It can ruin your event, damage your confidence, and scar you badly. It can also hold you back at work as we are judged on our appearance and confidence. So take care of any skin issues, especially before any big event or presentation, by following these tips from Rachel Nazarian, MD, from Schweiger Dermatology Group:


Months before, fix the basics:

Healthy skin is the most attractive accessory. Until the cycle of breaking out has been corrected, makeup, concealer, and new beauty/grooming repairs will be wasted efforts. Topical creams and lotions from a dermatologist help with pimples and acne, but they don’t work overnight.


Prescription medications also need a few months to clear skin. Looking for results with less effort? Ask your dermatologist about red light/blue light therapy and PDT light therapy to help dry up pimples while decreasing redness. These stress-free procedures can fit into a quick pre- or post-school visit, but like other acne treatments, they need to be started months in advance.


Weeks before – Brighten Your Skin:

Chemical peels are a great way to enhance skin health as they even out the tone and correct the texture. Dr. Nazarian recommends the Vi-Peel. It’s easy to do with your dermatologist, and great for sensitive skin and most skin types.  I recommend at least three sessions, spaced three weeks apart. Medicated wipes and pads are also available, helping each patient safely achieve smoother looking skin at home. Pads soaked with glycolic acid and acne-fighting ingredients are a nice option for teens who want something they apply at home to help treat their skin a few weeks before the big event. Medical chemical peels, lasers, and light therapy can cost around $150 to $500 per session.


Days before – Nutrition & Sleep:

Take care of the inside! Mom was right: you are what you eat. Keep nutrition well-balanced and focus on drinking plenty of water; staying away from high-sugar foods and drinks, and filling your plate with antioxidant-rich items, such as fruits and vegetables.




Sleep your fat away

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Skimping on sleep could be why you can’t seem to lose weight. Brain-training experts Joy Martina, Ph.D. and Roy Martina, M.D have created a detailed guide to sleep and healthy weight loss  called Sleep Your Fat Away.   


According to the doctors, “A Mayo Clinic study found that women who slept less than six hours or more than nine hours per night were more likely to gain 11 pounds than women who slept seven hours per night; meanwhile, researchers at the Harvard-affiliated General Hospital for Children determined that children who are sleep-deprived were about 2 1/2 times more likely to be obese than kids who consistently got enough sleep. In fact, sleep deprivation leads to weight gain by triggering unhealthy nutritional choices.

If you sleep around about five hours or less every night, then you have a 50 percent likelihood of being obese. Lack of sleep raises the release of the hormone ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Ghrelin in the brain triggers the craving for carbohydrates and particularly sugars. Also the longer you are awake the more you tend to snack and consume in calories.”


The couple, who are married describe themselves as “health food lovers, exercise maniacs and happiness addicts” who never go to bed angry or stressed.”


Here the Martina’s tips for getting a good night’s sleep:


Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary and sleep haven (tips include make it as dark as you can and keep it slightly cool).


Reduce your amount of light exposure at least half an hour before you go to bed. Turn off the TV, mobile phones, computers, and anything that excites the brain.


Avoid caffeine late in the day, ideally starting after lunch.


Don’t indulge in high sugary foods and drinks before bed.


Do eat foods containing tryptophan, the natural sleep inducer (the list includes beans, whole grains, eggs, sunflower and sesame seeds, unsweetened soy milk and relaxing herbal teas).


They also point out, “Benefits of a good night’s sleep include increased concentration and attention, enhanced decision-making, lower stress levels, less anger and impulsiveness, reduced mood swings and reduced cravings for sugary foods.”