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Featured Skin

What’s New In Skin Allergy in NYC?

DrJenniferCollins

By

Gramercy Allergy & Asthma in New York City | Mar 15, 2016

 

I just returned from the American Contact Dermatitis Society 27th Annual Meeting  in Washington DC. This entire day was focused on new and emerging trends in skin allergy including hot topics in contact dermatitis. I was surrounded by experts from around the world in contact dermatitis- we shared patient stories and brainstormed about difficult cases.  I learned so much and am excited to bring back this information to you my patients in NYC.One exciting new development for my patients with contact dermatitis is the introduction of the American Contact Dermatitis Society’s new app for CAMP.   It’s a free and easy way of using your product list in stores.

 

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If I’ve created a safe product list for you, put your search codes (found in the upper left hand corner) and you’re set to go.  A word of caution, as products formularies are updated, the list won’t automatically update.  This app is easy to use and you can create favorite lists of your “safe” products.  I  know you’ll find this helpful and a welcome addition to your safe list.

Some of the topics discussed were: 

  • Emerging sensitizers in contact dermatitis
  • The role of the skins microbiome in the development of contact dermatitis
  • Phenylenediamine allergy
  • Patch testing in pediatric patients
  • Food patch testing

 

Announcing the Contact Allergen of 2016! Announcing the Contact Allergen of the Year

There they announced the 2016 contact allergen of the year – Gold Sulfate.

More on this from the blog coming soon.  These contact allergens are important sensitizers in our personal care products.

 

One in four people are sensitized to commonly used products like
shampoos, soaps, makeup and lotions.

Past winners have included:

I also learned that VMV Hypoallergenics is introducing a Post-Patch Test Allergen-Free Set (launching soon) for people recently diagnosed with contact dermatitis (another starter set: Superskin-Starts-Here Set).  This is designed to get you started with sample size products to reduce the possibility of irritation. Twitter/VMVinNYC, Instagram and Facebook/VMVHypoallergenics.

I’ve brought back all of this information to the practice and am excited to help those with skin allergy. 

 

Visit Gramercy Allergy for expert care
— for kids and adults! —
of your allergy and immunology concerns.

Schedule an appointment if you need help with your difficult-to-treat skin.

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This article originally appeared on Itchy & Scratchy, Gramercy Allergy’s Medical Column on Fighting Allergies and Asthma in New York City.

Reposted with permission. We publish articles by doctors who wish to provide helpful information to their patients and the public at large, or who respond to our requests to use them as professional resources. Doctors may or may not prefer to remain anonymous and we respect this preference. These resource articles do not in any way imply an endorsement by the physician of VMVinSKIN.com or VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® — they are intended for informational purposes only. While written by or with resource professionals, these articles should not be relied on for diagnostic accuracy or applicability to your particular skin, which requires an in-person ocular consultation with a qualified physician and possibly additional diagnostic tests.

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Featured Skin

My Baby Has Eczema

“My baby has atopic dermatitis and a friend of mine recommended that I use your products…

He’s 15-months old and was diagnosed by a dermatologist with atopic dermatitis when he was 6-months old. This was confirmed by an allergist who said to give him cetirizine antihistamine daily before bedtime. He has been taking cetirizine for about a year. He gets red patches in the folds of his arms and legs, white patches, prickly heat-like dots, rough elbows and dry skin, mostly on his upper arms, neck, nape and when bad, on the torso, too. He scratches all the time, especially with flare-ups. The triggers we have identified are carrots, sun, sweat, anything with a strong smell, oatmeal soap/lotion, change in climate, dust, stuffed toys, dairy. (Topical corticosteroid lotion) helps flare-ups subside in 2-3 days. I bathe him twice-a-day. In the morning, I use (soap) on his head, face and body, then (cleanser) all over body and rinse, followed by (bath oil) and (lotion). In the evening, I use the soap on his head, then (cleansing cream) all over, which I leave for a few minutes for absorption, and rinse. I follow this with the oil and lotion.”

We asked a few dermatologists and VMV Hypoallergenics CEO to weigh in…

Laura (VMV CEO): That is a lot of product, especially for a baby 🙂 I’d suggest a 7-Day Skin Fast first. Then Coo & Clean or Clark Wash for bathing, Oil’s Well virgin coconut oil (VCO) and, if needed, Armada Baby as a barrier cream. Also, Fawn & Launder for laundry, and avoid clothing with bright colors, elastics/spandex/rubbers, garters, any scratchy material. Just pure white or natural cotton for a while.

Dr. A. Ortega: I would advise against bathing baby 2x-a-day. Once is enough then just wash axillae, genital area and feet at night. If there are flare-ups, virgin coconut oil can double as body wash and moisturizer. I agree with Laura in using Clark Wash for body and Fawn & Launder for laundry.

Dr. B. Ong: My 21-month old daughter also has atopic dermatitis and our daily routine for her since she was 7-months old is:

  1. Know-It-Oil (VCO) all over the body before and after bathing, and bathe only once a day;
  2. Mommycoddling Lotion all over body after bath, before nap time, and before bedtime;
  3. Boo-Boo Balm on the backs of the knees, antecubital and ankles, and diaper area at least three times a day;
  4. Before bedtime: VCO first all over then Mommycoddling Lotion on top, then Boo-Boo Balm on areas of flare before she finally puts on her pajamas.

This routine saves her from topical steroids. I suggest this mom see her allergist again and ask about the cetirizine that baby has been taking for almost a year. I fear that may be too long a period for a baby of 15 months. The standard antihistamine duration for kids, even for mine, was at most, two months.

Dr. A. Ortega: Yes, a 15-month old baby taking cetirizine for too long is an important point to consider.

Dr. S: I fully agree with a change in detergent, using instead a very mild unscented one. No elasticized materials. Use white, cotton clothing including underwear. Even the beddings and pillowcases should be cotton with no bright colors, just plain white as much as possible.

These suggestions should not be considered medical advice. Follow your dermatologist’s directions.

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Press

Our Founding Physician – Prevention

A herpes diagnosis that turned out to be a nickel allergy…we’ve seen LOADS more like vitiligo turnout to be an allergy to rubber in goggles, and even psoriasis turning out to be syphillis. This is why a proper diagnosis is so important! Our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist shares in Prevention Magazine’s21 Crazy Things Your Dermatologist Has Seen

#skintel #skintelligence #dermatology #skin #contactdermatitis #patchtest

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Press

Our Founding M.D. on Collagen – TheFashionSpot.com

Make this the year you wear sunscreen every day — in the sun and even indoors — to save your…collagen! Doctors orders from our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist on The Fashion Spot’s “The Importance of Collagen and Why You’re Never Too Young to Start Thinking About Aging Skin.

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Press

Our Founding Dermatologist-Dermatopathologist on Avoiding The Sun – Yahoo Vida y Estilo

No surprises here…what’s a an ancient anti-aging skincare tip from many parts of Asia? Sun shunning! Our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist on Yahoo Vida y Estilo!

 

#skinthusiasm

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Press

Our Founding M.D. – Verily

Our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist speaks with Verily Magazine about the right cleansers for your skin type.

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Featured Skin

My Dermatologist Has X-Ray Vision

Or, How My Skin Doctor Found My Thyroid Problem.

My dermatologist isn’t Superwoman (although I think of her that way). No doctor can see through you, to your blood, thyroid, heart, or bones. I’m not sure anyone would want that. But my dermatologist took one look at my skin and knew something was off with my insides.

It was, frankly, fascinating. My doctor (a dermatologist and dermatoPATHOlogist) “saw” my endocrine system in the state of my skin. I’d gone to her for some dark spots on my neck that I thought were a reaction to a new necklace (metals are common allergens). Assessing the size of my pores and the presence of facial hair (the bane of my waxing aesthetician), she asked if I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. My Ob-Gyn had only recently diagnosed me with the same condition based on other symptoms, so my dermatologist was spot on. From there, she looked some more, paused, and suggested I consult an expert endocrinologist for Insulin Resistance Syndrome (often tied to PCOS) because the hyperpigmentation that started appearing at the back of my neck looked like Acanthosis Nigricans. I went to see her thinking I just needed a chemical peel or stronger prescription medication for the dark spots — and came out concerned about my pancreas! True enough, after some lab work, I found out how urgent the management of my insulin had become. And who suspected it? My dermatologist. From looking at my SKIN.

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Dermatologists help us look good. They also help manage some pretty serious skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema, and some very serious ones like melanoma and pemphigus vulgaris. But a dermatologist can also be the first person to spot signs of internal problems.

The skin is our largest organ and it is also the most immediate, most visible monitoring system we have for the state of our internal systems. Before a blood test, ultrasound, x-ray, or MRI can reveal an issue, dermatologists can recognize signs on your skin that may point to an internal problem. For instance, before blood sugar values are elevated, diabetes can show tiny distinctive scarred patches on the leg or small areas of numbness; a slow thyroid gland can be indicated by a form of skin thickening in various parts of the body; tiny red spots can signal inflammation of blood vessels both in the skin and in the body’s internal organs. In my case, my pore size and facial hair implied Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS — the addition of my dark spots to the puzzle led to the suspicion of Insulin Resistance Syndrome and an endocrinologist referral.

For other internal health issues that dermatologists can spot just by looking at you, check out What Doctors Can Tell About Your Health Just By Looking At Your Skin, and for more inspiring dermatology-detective stories, search “Ace Skinvestigators” in skintelligencenter.com.

We tend to forget that dermatology isn’t all Botox® and peels and creams and fillers. Dermatologists are so fantastic at helping us look good (wonderful, don’t get me wrong!)…but their talent at this can sometimes make us forget that they are trained to do much, much more. I was so thankful that my dermatologist’s know-how was a cut above most. Her Sherlockian diagnosis sent me to an endocrine specialist before it ever would have occurred to me to see even a GP! Remember, the only symptoms I thought I had were dark spots. And I work in skincare — a photo-allergic reaction to metal was not a stupid guess (we see this quite a bit in our line of work as we cater to some of the most sensitive skin conditions). If lesson number one was don’t think of dermatologists as “just” skin doctors, lesson number two is: don’t think you know it all. No matter how smart you think you are about skin care, nothing beats a proper diagnosis by a specialist.

Lesson three? Be picky. Don’t let the beautification promise trick you into choosing a dermatologist who’s just about beauty. Dermatologists who research, teach and publish, who treat people who are hospitalized, can spot signs in your skin that can alert you to a potential internal problem (and other specialists) before you even think of getting a blood test or other exams. Top dermatologists may seem less glamorous but, in a very real way, the best of the best can save your life.

 

Ask Karen more about her experience or share her globe-trotting, music-stalking, surfer-loving, skin-healthy life by following her on Instagram/Naranwoah.