Skinfresh Clinic

Newsletter

May 2014

May Mothers Day Treat!!
All mothers deserve to feel special, so give yourself a treat in May with DysportŪ.

DysportŪ, is a simple, effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles that creates a youthful relaxed appearance.

Dysport® is a simple, effective, non-surgical treatment that works by relaxing facial muscles, thereby reducing and smoothing away frown-lines and other wrinkles.

  • Quick, effective and well tolerated treatment for frown lines and wrinkles
  • Works within a few days
  • No down time
  • Can be done as a 'lunchtime procedure'.

Book your treatment today!

Results may vary.

 

We want to meet your friends!

Skinfresh Clinic wants to meet your friends and show them what we can offer. If you like us, then your friends will too! This is the perfect opportunity for them to come along and meet us and have a look around.

Due to high demand, we are now hosting two more New Client evenings.

Wednesday 18th June 6.30pm-8.30pm.
Wednesday 25th June 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Your friend will mix and mingle with nibbles and a glass of something cold. Then hear Dr. Pitsilis talk about the connection between your inside health and your outside health and appearance.

They will then be able to watch a Visia® skin analysis followed by a question and answer session.

Get your friend/s to call us for more details.

Remember, if your friend attends we will thank you with our Refer a Friend $60 account credit. Make sure your friend tells us who referred them for the event.

 

Winter Itch

Many people attribute poor sleep, depression, agitation, difficulty concentrating, and reduced sexual desire and function to itch. We are talking about winter itch, or its real name Xerotic Eczema. This condition gets worse as winter drags on – weeks of air that is cold and heat that is too dry take their toll. The vulnerable develop itchy arms, thighs, knees, elbows and trunk. It gets worse in bed at night and after a hot shower – for most it is just an annoyance but for some the itch can be so severe that it can drive them mad. It can even get to the point where the continuous rubbing and scratching can create an “itch-scratch-itch” cycle that makes things worse. Some people gouge and scratch until they bleed. Infections and chronic eczema can follow.

Perhaps 25% of the population get winter itch. Every winter doctors see patients with itch but often there is not a lot to see on the skin.

This condition is caused by excessive water loss from the top layers of the skin causing dehydration and drying of the upper layer skin cells called corneocytes. The outer top layers of the epidermis need 10-20% of water concentration to maintain their integrity. Normally there are fats in the top layers of the skin that act as water balances and skin loss of these lipids can cause an increased loss of water up to 75 times that of healthy skin. When water is lost, skin cells shrink, elasticity reduces and splits and the can form.

Other symptoms of winter itch can include the skin feeling tight after bathing or swimming, the skin feeling and looking rough, and the skin looking sunken and dehydrated.

The situations that cause an increased risk of this condition are:

  • Inherited tendency.
  • Age, especially older women after menopause who have a reduction in their oil glands. Men seem to do better until they get into their 80s.
  • Cold, dry air in winter.
  • Heated houses – especially air conditioners and wood burners.
  • Excessive swimming in chlorinated pools.
  • Soaps/detergents/solvents especially if they are alkaline.
  • Metabolic and endocrine conditions like underactive thyroid gland.
  • Dehydration – you can tell by pulling up the skin on the back of your hand. If it does not snap back quickly you are dehydrated.
  • Alcohol and drugs including caffeine can dehydrate you. Diuretics, antihistamines and acne drugs can dry you up too.
  • Pre-existing skin conditions can get worse during the winter, e.g. eczema and psoriasis.

An important point here is that this dry skin condition is actually caused by a lack of oil in the skin, not water.

Apart from treating any medical problems like thyroid disease and chemical exposure, etc., it is important to do the following:

  • Avoid drying soaps – especially those that contain deodorants and are perfumed.
  • Do not lather yourself all over with soap. This is unnecessary because water on its own has a cleaning effect.
  • Bathe less, you do not have to wash a lot.
  • Use cooler water and avoid hot water because the hotter the shower the more moisture is removed from the’skin.
  • Don’t rub your skin dry – pat gently until slightly damp.
  • Follow each bath or shower with a moisturiser – this holds the water in the skin. It is important to note that putting moisturiser onto the skin straight after a wash makes it work better – this is called the “soak and smear method”.
  • Your family doctor can prescribe emulsifying ointment for you to use in the shower instead of soap. This is an easy way of using a soap substitute and moisturising the skin at the same time.

The prognosis of this condition is that it will improve in most people in less than two weeks. In severe cases, you may even have to place a humidifier in your house or bedroom.

More tips that can help include the following:

  • Keep your house a bit cooler – it has an anaesthetic effect on the skin. If your house is too hot your blood vessels dilate and your itch becomes worse. There is a similar effect if you are very hot in bed or have a hot shower.
  • Diet – avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot spicy foods.
  • In bed, keep it cooler and sleep with mittens on.
  • Clothes – no wool against the skin and use natural fibres that breathe.
  • Use soap substitutes like cold cream, cocoa butter, coconut oil soap, tar liquids or non soap cleansers.
  • You can get hydrocortisone 0.5% a mild anti itch steroid over the counter and this will help.
  • Steroid ointments are better than creams, after applying the ointment, cover skin with cling wrap at night and football socks over the top for legs.
Preventing Winter Illness

About 40% of time off work and 30% of school absences are caused by colds. Preventing winter illness will not only make you feel better, but will increase productivity in the economy as well as children’s school attendance.

You can help prevent winter illness by eating properly and following a healthy lifestyle. Diet can help you correct nutritional deficiencies and supplement natural substances that are lacking.

Healthy lifestyle choices

One of the sensible lifestyle choices is to go to bed early and be asleep before 10.30pm. Getting enough sleep helps your body to produce melatonin, an antioxidant and replenishing molecule. Regular exercise also helps to increase the number of killer cells in your immune system, cells that combat cancer and viruses.

Lowering stress also helps to promote the immune system, making you less vulnerable to illnesses in general. To manage your stress, you need to get enough sleep and regular exercise. It also helps to think about the way you think – do you tend to be negative? A positive frame of mind helps to combat stress.

Ideally, you should avoid potentially harmful ingredients in your diet, for instance too much coffee, sugar and alcohol. For some people, dairy and gluten are sources of health problems. Make sure you eat lots of vegetables, some fruit and enough protein. The fruit and vegetables help ensure that you ingest the vitamins you need to help your body prevent winter ills.

Vitamins against illness

The major nutrients needed to keep you healthy in winter are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium.

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and protects other antioxidant agents in the body, including Vitamin A, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids such as Omega 3. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, as well as assist with wound healing, bone and collagen formation, thyroid hormone balance and even provides protection against cancer. On top of this, Vitamin C is an acute antihistamine.

If you take a dose of 200-2000mg daily, it can give you protection against common colds or reduce its severity once you have it. Overall, Vitamin C is helpful to ward off not only common colds, but also flu, hay fever, asthma, shingles, glandular fever, bacterial infections and viral pneumonia.

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Some groups run a higher risk of deficiency, including women, the elderly, overweight people, smokers and people with darker skin. Illness, drugs or poor bowel absorption are also factors contributing to deficiency. Most Vitamin D comes from the sun. In New Zealand, people on the South Island are more at risk because they get less intense sunshine.

The main role Vitamin D plays in respiratory illness is that lung function improves when the deficiency is addressed. Vitamin D is associated with improved peak flow in asthmatics. It prevents or at least reduces Influenza A, the most predominant form of flu in winter and one that can cause pandemics. In addition, it acts against pneumoccocal infection (a common cause of pneumonia), A streptococcal infection (the cause of strep throat) and tuberculosis.

Mighty minerals

Taking zinc supplements for 5 months or more has been found to reduce school absences and the need for antibiotics, according to one study. Through its direct anti-viral action, zinc reduces colds, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, while also acting as an antihistamine.

The most common nutrient deficiency in the world is lack of iron, which affects a third to a half of everyone on earth. Studies show that giving anaemic children iron supplements reduces the incidence of upper respiratory infections as well as how long people take to recover from such illnesses. Before you take an iron supplement, it’s recommended you first get your blood tested, as having too much iron can also cause health problems.

Magnesium also acts as an antihistamine. It also relieves respiratory illnesses such as asthma by relaxing the airways.

Selenium shortages have been associated with diminished immunity as well as incidence of allergies, asthma, heart disease and cancer. This is an essential trace element naturally found in soil. However, in New Zealand the soil tends to have too little selenium.

Natural supplements

The Echinacea Purpura flower effectively combats the common cold, reducing its incidence and shortening its duration where it does take hold. You can use echinacea as soon as you notice a viral infection starting, or even before the time as a preventative measure. Echinacea may also help with strep throat or bacterial sinusitis. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, echinacea is not recommended. Cancer patients are also cautioned against using echinacea.

The Chinese have been using astragalus for at least 2000 years. Astragalus acts against many viruses, specifically reducing cold and flu. If you have fever or cancer you should avoid using astragalus.

The strongest ingredient in olive leaf extracts is oleuropein. This natural substance is effective against many bacteria, including salmonella, E.Coli and H.Pylori. As far as respiratory illnesses go, oleuropein is known to prevent Influenza A and para-influenza, as well as two common causes of colds, myxovirus and rhinovirus.

Oleuporein counteracts herpes simplex viruses types I and II, Staph Aureus and methicillin-resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA). According to some studies, it even works against the Aids virus.

You can take olive leaf extract at the beginning of an infection to limit its effect. It has not yet been conclusively tested in terms of safety for pregnant or lactating mothers.

The bovine colostrum that cows produce just after birth has been a popular health supplement for thousands of years. Colostrum is rich in nutrients, antibodies, vitamins, minerals and growth factors. In winter, it may help counteract viruses such as influenza and rota by protecting respiratory and gut membranes against infection.

 

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