Do you need lip balm?

Do you need lip balm? Can you get addicted to lip balm?

The answers are yes and yes!!

So, what should you use to prevent and treat chapped lips?

You need to keep your lips moist by applying a really good moisturizer if you don’t want dry looking lips that are prone to chapping. This chapping occurs because, structurally, your lips don’t have the same tough dead skin cell layer that other parts of your skin have, nor do they have oil glands to keep them hydrated. Dry climates and wind will quickly sap moisture right out of your lips resulting in unpleasant chapped lips. By applying a lip moisturizer, you can help protect your lips from chapping.

But, you can become “addicted” to lip balm if you use the wrong product.  The wrong lip balm is one that contains an allergen. Exposure to the allergen causes a lip rash that mimics chapping. The rash is really an allergic lip “rash,” but it looks and feels exactly the same as chapped lips. It forces you to keep reaching for your trusted lip product to find relief, which is a “beautiful world” for the lip balm maker who sells you endless tubes of product to treat your “chapped” lips.

That’s why we recommend only hypoallergenic lip moisturizers such as shea butter or even Vaseline, though the latter is not our favorite.

We especially recommend you avoid products with notorious lip allergens including:

  • Citrus
  • Mint
  • Tea tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • Camphor
  • Lanolin
  • Artificial flavors and fragrances
  • Some of the chemical sunscreens ingredients and vitamin E can be allergens to sensitive skin

To prevent annoying and painful chapped lips is why we are so particular about lip balms.

Types of skin cancer

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Skin cancer affects people of all colors and races, although those with light skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk.

What does skin cancer look like?

  • Actinic Keratoses (AK)
    These dry, scaly patches or spots are precancerous growths.

    • People who get AKs usually have fair skin.
    • Most people see their first AKs after 40 years of age because AKs tend to develop after years of sun exposure.
    • AKs usually form on the skin that gets lots of sun exposure, such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms.
    • Because an AK can progress to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), treatment is important.


  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
    This is the most common type of skin cancer.

    • BCCs frequently develop in people who have fair skin, yet they can occur in people with darker skin.
    • BCCs look like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin.
    • BCCs develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
    • BCC are common on the head, neck, and arms, yet can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.
    • Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC is important. BCC can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.


  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
    SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer.

    • People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC, yet they can develop in darker-skinned people.
    • SCC often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
    • SCC tend to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back. SCC can grow deep in the skin and cause damage and disfigurement. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent this and stop SCC from spreading to other areas of the body.


  • Melanoma
    Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

    • Melanoma frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.
    • Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
    • Knowing the ABCDE warning signs of melanoma can help you find an early melanoma.


Jane’s favorite things

Jane’s favorite things

We all have a product (or 10) that are our favorites each season, and Jane Iredale  is no exception! Here are a few of her favorites for this time of year to keep her skin looking hydrated and beautiful and her face party ready.
1 & 2. Jane never leaves her home in the Spring without Dream Tint and PurePressed Base on her face. Dream Tint is a leightweight tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 that keeps your skin feeling hydrated.

PurePressed Base provides a foundation, concealer, sunscreen and active skin care benefits all in one with SPF 20.

3. Jane always wears PureLash Extender and Conditioner no matter what the occassion is. A single coat of Lash Conditioner before applying mascara will help strengthen, lengthen and thicken your lashes, making the mascara twice as effective.

4. While she usually wears Espresso Longest Lash Mascara, for a really glam party she will switch to Black Ice. Longest Lash Mascara is designed to make lashes look thicker and longer naturally. Packaged in a squeezable tube with a NEW oversized brush that works with this formula to separate and define lashes, prevent clumping, create natural looking lashes

5. Jane Loves Moonglow for her cheeks, décolleté and even her legs. Moonglow is a golden bronzer, that can be used to subtly create the “Golden Goddess” look.

6. Of course she loves Champagne 24-Karat Gold Dust. Apply it to the cheeks, eyes and lips for a delicately gilded look. Mix it with a moisturizer for the décolletage; or into your favorite hair product for luminous locks!
We carry ALL of these Jane Iredale Products here at Frederick Dermatology Associates! Stop in and let us show you how to get the perfect spring makeup look!

Five Amazing Foods for Your Skin

Five Amazing Foods for Your Skin

When it comes to eating right for your skin, the list of great foods for your skin options is a mile long.

One of the best ways to change your diet, and therefore improve your skin, is to simply crowd out the bad foods with the good. Spend your time focusing on putting good food into your body and you won’t have as much room (or desire) left for the bad ones.

There are so many foods to choose from that picking just five was a challenge. Instead of giving you a list of what not to eat, here are our top five foods that will enhance the skin regime you already have in place, plus are great for your overall health:

Crowd out the bad foods with the good

1. Salmon

Fatty fish, such as salmon, are high in essential fatty acids (like Omega-3 and Omega-6), an important part of creating the cell membrane, which influences how the cell holds water. That is, they help your skin stay supple and plump.



2. Walnuts

These nuts are also high in essential fatty acids, including the important omega-3s that help fight inflammation, according to this study from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health which compared NSAIDs to essential fatty acids (in the form of fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory aid.



3. Quinoa

If you have never heard of the ancient grain quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), now is the perfect time to introduce this whole grain into your diet.  The mineral selenium found in quinoa, also an anti-inflammatory, has many health qualities, but, most important for your skin, has antioxidant properties found to slow the aging of skin. Bonus: quinoa is GMO and gluten free!



4. Squash

Of course you’ve heard you should be eating a rainbow of vegetable – the more colorful the better. Squash is one of the more delightfully colored vegetables that has an array of uses.  They’re packed with the vitamins and antioxidants your skin needs to protect itself from damage and to promote cell turn over.  Give your complexion a lovely glow with beta carotene – within a week look for a radiant warmer golden healthy glow – works like a charm!


5. Water

Although not technically a food, water is an indisputably important factor to healthy skin. Not only does water plump skin cells, it helps your body flush out toxins. Ever noticed your complexion is dull and sallow when you eat a lot of unhealthy foods? Flush out the “junk” with water.

These five foods are just one step in the right direction toward a healthier lifestyle and are great foods for your skin. Remember, eating right, whether is be for your general health or for your skin, doesn’t have to be tackled in one day, or even in one week. Your skin will thank you for it!


How to Know Which Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Is Right for You

How to Know Which Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Is Right for You


The single biggest thing you can do to keep your skin looking young is to keep the sun off it 365 days a year.

That means you need to love your sunscreen so you will want to wear it from sun up to sun down. It needs to be state-of-the-art broad spectrum sunscreen protection that you can trust too.

Start today! Combine sunscreen with seeking shade, wearing a hat, and covering as much of your skin with clothing as you comfortably can. Do this and we promise that in 10 years, you will thank us for motivating you today.

So, how do you pick a broad spectrum sunscreen that’s worth your commitment to sun protecting your skin?

My bias is that only mineral sunscreen products give entirely trustworthy protection. I always want to see 5% or more zinc oxide listed as an active ingredient in a product. 5% zinc oxide gives you good broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection. Sunscreen technology has become so advanced that zinc products now rub in well and are invisible or nearly invisible on your skin.

What I love about how zinc oxide sunscreen works to protect your skin from the sun is:

  • The particles of zinc sit ON the skin and bounce the rays off in a “none-shall-pass” form of protection. Non-mineral sunscreens don’t work like this. They absorb into your skin and stop UV rays with a chemical reaction inside your skin that generates heat. This reaction also breaks down the sunscreen. I find that mechanism of action and the breaking down of sunscreen is undesirable.
  • Zinc sunscreens are more stable in the bottle or tube than chemical sunscreens. Chemical products are often very fragile and start to break down the minute they are made. Zinc products last longer. Still, you need to look at the expiration date on your sunscreen and start fresh every season with new sunscreen, just in case.

I’m a zinc oxide sunscreen fan and I want you to be too. I’ve seen too many patients over the years get sunburned using chemical sunscreens. I don’t see them getting burned using zinc products. Your sunscreen needs to serve you well.

 Zinc oxide sunscreens are the best!

“I just got back from a long vacation and cruise in the sun. I used a zinc oxide SPF 30 sunscreen every day and look how well it worked! Other people were using SPF 50s and burning. Because mine had zinc it worked and my skin didn’t burn like theirs.”

Brenda W., Sebastopol, CA

How do you pick a really good mineral zinc oxide product?

5% is my minimum level for adequate zinc concentration in a product, but the more the better. I’ve seen 17% products that are so cleverly made that they clearly rub on skin, but often the higher the concentration leaves a little pale color on the skin from the high amount of zinc oxide. That’s why many zinc oxide products also include other UVB absorbing ingredients.

The presence of the zinc oxide at 5% gives excellent UVA protection and usually gives about an SPF 15. I like an SPF of between 30 and 40, so adding an additional UVB absorber will achieve the higher SPF and still create a product that is entirely invisible on your skin. You have to love your sunscreen so that you will wear it every day from sun up to sun down and in my experience, people will do that if the product is invisible.

Are you curious about the really high number SPF values and whether you need an SPF 50 or infinity and beyond?

 What do you need to know about applying broad spectrum sunscreen so that your skin is protected?

You need to cover all exposed skin with sunscreen. That includes your face, your ears, your neck, your chest, the back of your hands, your arms, etc. The formula for how much to apply is that the average size adult human wearing the average size bathing suite (I love that part) needs to apply 1 oz (a shot glass!) per application applied every 2 hours of uninterrupted sun exposure. Sunscreen tubes are often 4 oz, so this formula requires a tube of product for a full day at the beach. It’s a lot of work. You scale that down based on the amount of skin exposed (uncovered).  Also, if you are mostly inside or in/out, wearing a hat, in the shade, etc., you are getting more life out of your sunscreen. It’s impossible to know for sure, but your skin will tell you in retrospect if your sunscreen application is generous enough; because if it’s not, you will tan. A tan means you need to rethink your strategy.

Because it’s so much work to rely entirely on sunscreen for sun protecting your skin, I recommend using clothing and hats too.


Seborrheic Dermatitis

With the change of seasons, you may be experiencing worsening dryness, flakiness and redness on your face and/or scalp. This may not just be dry skin, but seborrheic dermatitis, a very common skin condition that affects 1 to 5% of the general population.

Changes in season or weather, but also emotional and psychological stress are usual circumstances when seborrheic dermatitis rears its head. Common areas affected are the scalp (mild forms are seen as dandruff) as well as behind or inside the ears, along the eyebrows, by the nose, cheek, chin and chest area.

A clue that you may have seborrheic dermatitis is that despite how much moisturizer you use, areas on your face still look flaky and red.

A useful tip may already be sitting in your shower:

  • Apply an anti-dandruff shampoo such as Head and Shoulders, Selsun Blue, or Nizoral, not just on your scalp but on your face, especially along the brow, corners of the nose, chin and even chest.
  • Leave it on for five minutes and then wash it off.

This can help reduce flares and calm the redness and flakiness.

If that doesn’t clear it, a dermatologist can prescribe either an anti-inflammatory cream or even an anti-fungal cream. Seborrheic dermatitis may be aggravated by an overgrowth of yeast called Malassezia so a topical antifungal cream can sometimes help.

And don’t worry- it’s not contagious. But remember, unfortunately, this is not a condition that can be cured. It can recur.

The good news is that with the proper tools, you can calm it down and manage it successfully.

If you have any concerns about dryness, flakiness and redness on your face and/or scalp, contact us to make an appt! 301.662.6755

Wart Talk

Warts are among the most common, persistent, and frustrating conditions that we see on a daily basis in our dermatology office.  Described throughout recorded human history, they affect both children and adults alike.  Without treatment (sometimes even with treatment) they can persist for months, even years.

Warts, or verrucae, are a viral infection of the skin, caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).  There are over 100 known HPV types, and the virus can infect almost any area of the skin.  Probably the most common areas are the feet (known as ‘plantar warts”) and hands, but in our office we certainly see them on many other areas such as elbows and knees, the face, or the genital area (where they are known as ‘condyloma’).

Infection occurs when the skin comes into contact with the virus, whether from a surface (like a health club shower floor) or from another person; the virus infects the skin cells, which then form a visible skin lesion.  From an original site on the skin, the virus can spread locally to adjacent areas, or be transferred to distant sites, such as when someone scratches or picks at a wart and then touches another part of the skin.  Since the virus must live inside the cells on the surface of the skin, they cannot travel internally to the rest of the body.

Persistent Facial Redness Could Mean Rosacea, Not Acne

Do you suffer from facial redness that won’t go away and is sometimes accompanied by breakouts? It could be Rosacea, a common skin disease that can affect the face, ears, chest and back.
Left untreated, Rosacea can become severe, often affecting sufferers’ quality of life. Rosacea starts with mild flushing or blushing of the face, and can progress for many years without a patient realizing he/she is suffering from the disease. Often confused with other conditions, Rosacea is a skin condition that needs to be monitored and treated before it becomes severe.

What are some of the symptoms of Rosacea?

  • Flushing and redness around the nose and cheeks, sometimes with acne-like pustules
  • Visible spider veins in the face
  • Extreme sensitivity to the sun and skin care products
  • Dry, rough, scaling skin
  • Skin that stings and has a burning sensation

Other symptoms can include:

  • Very oily skin
  • Acne-like breakouts
  • Raised, rough patches of skin
  • Bumpy, thickening skin
  • Redness and enlargement of the nose

Call the Rosacea Specialists in Frederick, Maryland

If you are noticing any of these symptoms in yourself of a family member, please seek the advice of a dermatologist as soon as possible. There are effective treatments, including topical lotions, medications and lasers available, and you can adopt lifestyle changes that will help lessen your symptoms. Frederick Dermatology is home to some of the best dermatologists in Frederick and we would love to discuss treatment options and be a part of your treatment plan. You can contact us by email or call 301-662-6755 today to schedule an appointment.

Want to learn more about Rosacea? Visit the National Rosacea Society website.

Dry, Scaly, Rough Patches or Spots on your Skin Could be Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis (AK) is a rough, dry, scaly patch or growth that forms on the skin. An AK forms when the skin is badly damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or indoor tanning. Most people get more than one AK.

Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis

AKs are very common and one of the most frequent conditions we diagnose. Most become red, but some will be tan, pink, and/or flesh-toned. If left untreated, up to ten percent of AKs develop into squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer.

Actinic Keratosis Treatment in Frederick, Maryland

If you have patches or spots on your skin that look “different,” it’s always best to come in to Frederick Dermatology for a check-up. During your consultation, a practitioner will examine your skin, evaluate your concerns and recommend a treatment plan. Our expertise in dermatology will help us determine if treatment such as topical medication or cryotherapy (freezing) is most appropriate for you. Call Frederick Dermatology Associates for a medical appointment at 301-662-6755.

For more information about actinic keratosis visit the American Academy of Dermatology website

OTC vs. Cosmeceuticals

People often wonder and ask us: 

“What’s the difference between an over-the-counter (OTC) skin care product and a professional or cosmeceutical skin care product?”

As we’ve come to learn over time… OTC beauty products are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can only penetrate the first layer of your skin…aka the “dead layer”. Professional products (cosmeceuticals) are not controlled by the FDA and penetrate the bottom layers of the epidermis… aka “live tissue”!

Now you may be wondering how this is possible… Let me explain.
The FDA recognizes two categories: pharmaceutical and OTC cosmetics, which are defined as…

Pharmaceutical or drug:

“Articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)].

Topical pharmaceuticals penetrate through the layers of the epidermis and affect the structure and function of the skin (think of prescription topical steroids or Retin-A).

OTC Cosmetic:

“Articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or function.” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)].

Since many consumers “self-diagnose” when choosing a skin care product from a department/drug store, these products must be made safely. Meaning, big cosmetic companies cannot afford to have a huge number of consumers with issues from using very active products — so, that skin care product may feel good and smell good, but, most likely won’t have a lot of activity in its formulation.

Also, since cosmetic companies really don’t have to prove efficacy, the special active ingredient listed in the formula only has to appear somewhere on the ingredient list – ingredients are listed in content order, from most to least, so if you see that ”active” on the last half of the list (usually alphabetically) you can bet you are getting a tiny percentage (enough to be effective in the formulation?) of that specific ingredient.

Lastly, OTC cosmetics are also manufactured and distributed in very large batches, and are packed with almost as many preservatives as “active” ingredients! Many over-the-counter cosmetics simply do not penetrate the skin barrier, where the ingredient formula would have a therapeutic benefit to the skin.

Oh, and by the way… Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, & Saks products (to name a few)… Are all OTC!


The term “cosmeceutical” was created in 1990s from cosm(etic) + (pharma)ceutic. It’s a cosmetic product claimed to have medicinal or drug-like benefits. Cosmeceutical products are marketed as cosmetics, but reputedly contain biologically active ingredients. While drugs are subject to a review and approval process by FDA, cosmetics are not. In other words, the formula does not technically have to prove efficacy or safety, but it does contain an ingredient that may have activity in the skin.

FYI… it’s not just about one really fabulous ingredient — it’s the mixture of the right amounts of active ingredients working together that works best in the skin, similar to how oral multivitamins work internally in our bodies with a mixture of vitamins and minerals for best absorption.

So, since nurses & estheticians do not prescribe pharmaceutical products, offering a well formulated and tested cosmeceutical line, like SkinMedica, is the next best option to pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals that are professionally recommended by a licensed skin care professional generally have a higher amount of active ingredients with proven and safe formulations, and offer delivery systems that reach targeted cells in the skin. To put it simply… It really works and you will see results!

Request an Appointment with an Esthetician in Frederick, MD

Have more questions? Call Frederick Dermatology  at 301-662-6755 to schedule an appointment with one of our high-skilled and experienced Estheticians. They can help you determine the perfect skin care product for you!