Expert Rx Parenting

Dr. George on eczema: a common childhood condition

Dr. Manju George - Pediatric Dermatology West Palm Beach

We asked Coolibar medical advisor Pediatric Dermatologist Dr. Manju Elizabeth George MD, FAAD of Pediatric Dermatology of the Palm Beaches to share some information with us on childhood eczema.  Her response is below.

“When we think about baby’s skin, most of us envision soft, smooth skin unaffected by the sun, chemicals and other harmful substances. New parents often come to me in a panic, because their child’s skin is covered in a strange rash or bumps. It’s important to be aware that there are a handful of very common pediatric skin conditions that can be easily treated.”

“One such skin condition is called atopic dermatitis (AD), which is more commonly referred to as eczema (pronounced “EK-zema). In fact, AD affects nearly 10% of all infants and children. Literature and data have taught us the eczema is skin barrier defect. The exact cause is not known, but AD results from a combination of family heredity and a variety of conditions in everyday life that triggers the red, itchy rash.”

typical mild eczema

“Atopic dermatitis can be challenging to treat and education is of upmost importance. I always take the time to make sure I am educating parents on good skin care. Children with eczema are shown to sleep less and miss more school. This condition does not just affect children but the parents as well.”

“If you are worried your child may have eczema there are a few signs to look for.”

  • Time of Onset – it usually occurs within baby’s 1st year up to age 5 and tends to reappear
  • Itching – AD is very itchy, much of the skin damage comes from uncontrollable scratching
  • Rash Location – in babies, it usually starts on the face, elbows and knees. It may spread to involve all areas of the body. Later in childhood the rash is typically found in the elbow and knee folds but can appear on hands, feet scalp or bend the hears.

“Treatment for AD includes emollients such as petrolatum based products or creams. Lotions are not rich enough and often have a net drying effect on AD skin. Topical steroids, called corticosteroids, are cortisone like medications used in creams or ointments prescribed by your doctor. These medications can be very helpful and can calm the inflamed skin. They come in a variety of potencies and must be used with caution and supervision as there are some side effects associated with them, including thinning of the skin.”

“Since many of the products and prescriptions used in atopic dermatitis patients can cause photosensitivity, the use of sun protection for children with atopic dermatitis is recommended. If you are concerned that your child has eczema or some other skin condition, make an appointment to see your dermatologist or health care professional. They can help assess the problem, put your mind at ease and get your little one on their way to healthy skin.”

Manju Elizabeth George MD, FAAD
Triple Board certified in Pediatrics, Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Dermatology of the Palm Beaches

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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Wellness Warriors

Book: Help Me Live… As I Die, Cancer vs. the Power of Love

Joe Peterson, author of “Help Me Live… As I Die / Cancer vs. the Power of Love” shares his story about the creation of a book that demonstrates the true power of love versus melanoma. Kelly, Joe’s partner, passed away from cancer, but his story lives on through Joe.

From Joe:

I am the youngest of twelve and have always been creatively ambitious. Throughout the course of my life I dealt with suicidal thoughts, came to terms with my sexuality, built self-esteem through body and mind improvement, and always believed in love. Exercise, nutrition and creativity have been passions of mine for many years, and when Kelly was diagnosed they were very much a part of our daily life.

Only after writing daily updates on CaringBridge and receiving positive feedback from the readers (while building a united support system) did I consider sharing our journey via a book. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I never suspected it would be inspired by a tragic circumstance. I contacted a publishing company months before Kelly passed away, and I believed it would be his and my success story against cancer… specifically, melanoma.

In October of 2011, I realized our physical time together was coming to an end and the story I had wanted to write was going to have an unthinkable ending. Kelly and I moved forth with the same amount of positivity and hope, despite the reality we faced.

Our journey, captured in “Help Me Live… As I Die / Cancer vs. the Power of Love” was completed and released almost one year after Kelly moved on. Reliving, over and over, the trials and tribulations we encountered during Kelly’s final nine months became a source of therapy I had not predicted.

Through my own personal growth, from rereading our united travels in 2011, and through the positive encouragement from others, I felt and still believe Kelly’s positivity will still impact others and potentially teach a better way to live, by living positively. Kelly and I also became aware that the relationship we had was very much respected by our straight loved ones, and our CB entries opened their eyes to the prejudices and safety fears we continually lived with. Our journey was as much about sharing as it was about learning.

–Joe

Joe Peterson, Author of “Help Me Live As I Die…Cancer vs. the Power of Love”

About the book:

This is not a story about death. It is a story about one couple’s journey of acceptance, love, and internal awakenings. Kelly and Joe met by chance, but were bound by fate. One morning in the summer of 2010, Kelly Boedigheimer, a thirty-nine year old man in good health, discovered what he thought was yet another ingrown hair on his chin. That was the first step on the life-changing journey he would share with Joe Peterson, his life partner since 1998.

Months later – following three surgical procedures, where each was more aggressive than the last – Kelly and Joe faced the inconceivable: Kelly was diagnosed with melanoma. In early 2011, Kelly met with a team of specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Another surgery, this one more wide-ranging than the others, removed a section of skin from his chin and a portion of his cheek. A graft from his arm provided new skin for those areas. Highly concerned about this aggressive melanoma, doctor’s proceeded quickly to save and protect Kelly.

Here, Joe lovingly and painfully recreates Kelly’s final nine months through journal entries, e-mails, blog posts, texts, and more. Their relationship was tested as too many are; in this visit back to those days, Joe unfolds an inspiring telling of the power of love, optimism, and hope. This is not a story about death. This is a story about love.

Enter to win a free book signed by the author. Share this story with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and tag @Coolibar or comment below. (We will only use your email to contact you for purposes of this contest. One entry per person please. We’ll choose a winner via random drawing on December 6, 2012 at noon CST.)

Purchase “Help Me Live… As I Die / Cancer vs. the Power of Love” at HelpmeliveasIdie.com, www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com.

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Contests

Coolibar Holiday Contest: Win a Beach Umbrella and Sand Anchor

Where is your favorite beach, resort or tropical oasis? Show us or tell us where your dream sunny holiday is for a chance to win a Coolibar UPF 50+ Beach Umbrella and Sand Anchor (a $100 value)!

To Enter:

1. “Like” Coolibar on Facebook If you’ve already done this move on to step 2, and thanks for being a fan!).

2. For one (1) entry, comment on our Facebook wall and tell us where your favorite beach is. For an additional (1) entry, post a photo on the Coolibar Facebook wall! IMPORTANT: use the hashtag #contest and mention @Coolibar in your comment so we know to enter you in the drawing. You may only enter a photo and/or comment once. Additional photos and comments will not increase your chances of winning.

It’s that easy!

We’ll announce our winner Monday, December 10, 2012. Good luck!

Rules: To enter, you must be 18 years of age or older. Contest open to residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. The winner will receive a Coolibar 6’ Titanium Beach Umbrella ($85 value) and Sand Anchor ($15 value). Winner will be chosen through random drawing. Comments and photos deemed inappropriate by Coolibar, or not owned by the posting individual, will be deleted and disqualified. No purchase necessary to win. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Two total entries per person. Contest rules subject to changes at the discretion of Coolibar. Deadline for entry: December 9, 2012 at 11:59pm CST. This contest and its contents is in no way associated with Facebook.

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What's Hot

Coolibar Holiday Gift Guide

Destination holiday — living healthy and giving healthy. At Coolibar we have a gift-worthy idea — sunwear to go everywhere and do anything! We have sun protective clothing, sun hats, UV swimwear, sun shelters, UPF 50+ umbrellas and skin care perfect for women, men and children, all items for those who love spending time under the sun! Take a look and share our gift guides with your family and friends to drop the hint.

Shop Coolibar.com. Search Coolibar.com for your gifts by name.

Questions? Call 1.800.926.6509

Enter our contest to win a Coolibar UPF 50+ Titanium Beach Umbrella and Sand Anchor (a $100 value)! Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift. Visit our contest page for details.

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What's Hot

Excessive Drinking and Skin Health

Everyone is talking about eating in moderation this holiday season, starting with tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast. That’s all good, but what about moderating our alcohol consumption (and for more than the obvious reasons that a hangover is no fun). One reason – excess alcohol causes skin to age more rapidly!

Why does drinking alcohol age skin? Alcohol contributes to aging skin by dilating small blood vessels in the skin and increasing blood flow near the skin’s surface. Over time, these blood vessels can become permanently damaged, creating a flushed appearance and broken vessels on the skin’s surface, according to a related article posted on Dr. Oz’s website.

Alcohol also causes inflammation throughout the body, including to the largest human organ – skin! While drinking water with beer, wine, or a cocktail can prevenet severe dehydration, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, board certified dermatologist and anti-aging expert says, “The inflammation in the skin from excess alcohol far outlasts the dehydration. The alcohol-induced dehydration also makes the skin more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.” Thus, even if you have five glasses of water with five glasses of wine, you will not be able counter alcohol’s aging effects.

According to Jason Vale, author of “Slim for Life”, motivational speaker, and lifestyle coach, “Drinking batters your liver, kidneys, and pancreas; it dehydrates your body; destroys brain cells and can shrink your brain. It eats away your stomach lining, weakens eyesight and causes impotence, diabetes, and obesity.” And that doesn’t even begin to cover what it does to the outside. (Makes you think!)

The good news is with moderation you can still enjoy that glass of glass of wine with your Thanksgiving Dinner without worrying too much about creating extra wrinkles.  An occasional glass of red wine may even offer health benefits, but moderation is key. Over consuming alcohol poses detrimental side-effects.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, be safe and take care of your skin!

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem

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Events SunAWARE

The Stars Come Out to Support Melanoma Research Foundation

Celebrity Kevin Nealon, star of Showtime’s hit series Weeds and long time Saturday Night Live actor hosted the first annual Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday, November 12 at Lakeside Golf Club in Los Angeles. The golf tournament helped raise funds for the MRF, helping further cancer research with the goal of one day finding a cure.

Kevin became involved with the MRF after his old college friend pasted away from skin cancer. Kevin says, “I never realized that skin cancer can be deadly. Since then, I’ve learned that melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills someone in this country every hour of every day. Alarmingly, it is not only the fastest growing cancer in young adults but the fastest growing cancer in the world.” Now, he’s working to spread the word about melanoma and skin cancer prevention.

Learn more at the Melanoma Research Foundation’s website. Also, check out photos from the event below.

Melanoma Research Foundation is the largest and oldest non-profit focusing specifically on melanoma. We are in our 14th year of funding cutting-edge medical research, and are the leading voice in providing support and education for patients. MRF is also a major source of awareness messages about melanoma, and is in its third year of a partnership with Cosmopolitan Magazine around their Practice Safe Sun program. Other strategic partners around raising awareness include a multi-national pharmaceutical company, a major motion picture studio and a team from the NFL.

We at Coolibar salute you Kevin Nealon and your fight for skin cancer prevention! P.S. You looked great in your Coolibar polo!
 

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Events SunAWARE

Living with Lupus

While sun protection is important for everyone, many individuals who have medical conditions are threatened with worsening symptoms when exposed to the sun. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans. It also causes extreme sun sensitivity.

While most of those affected only have a mild form of lupus, others may develop serious and even life threatening problems. Joints, blood cells and organs can all be affected by this disease. Our friends at The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota (LFM) estimate that more than 90% of people living with lupus are women, and that symptoms and diagnoses occur most often when women are in their child bearing years between the ages 15 to 45.

There are three common types of lupus: discoid (cutaneous) lupus, which is always limited to the skin; systemic lupus, which can affect every organ in the body; and drug-induced lupus which occurs after the use of certain drugs. Lupus also occurs frequently in individual diagnosed with mixed connective tissue.

According to the LFM, for the vast majority of people with lupus, effective treatment can minimize lupus symptoms, reduce inflammation, and maintain normal body functions. Photosensitivity is a major feature of both systemic lupus and cutaneous lupus. Exposure to the sun can cause skin lesions, including a malar rash — flattened areas of red skin on the face. When the rash appears on both cheeks and across the bridge of the nose in the shape of a butterfly, it is known as the “butterfly rash.” UV exposure can also trigger flares of internal disease (including joint pains and fatigue). Medications are often prescribed for people with lupus, depending on which organs are involved, and the severity of involvement. Many lupus medications (including tetracycline antibiotics) significantly increase sun sensitivity.

Because the characteristics and course of lupus may vary significantly among individuals, it is important to emphasize that a thorough medical evaluation and ongoing medical supervision are essential to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota is an independent organization that focuses on funding lupus research and serving those in Minnesota and neighboring states. As a non-profit charitable organization, LFM provides education, support and service to those affected by lupus, promotes awareness and understanding of lupus to others, and supports research that seeks to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus as well as to discover its cause and cure. Learn more about events during Lupus Awareness Month this May by visiting the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota’s website.

At Coolibar, we create clothing that offers the best sun protection possible for individuals living with lupus. We hope that by raising awareness of this disease and other diseases directly affected by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, we can create greater support for affected individuals and organizations like the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota.

Don’t live in Minnesota, but want more information or assistance? The Lupus Foundation of America also provides support for individuals living with lupus.

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Educate Others Expert Rx

Get Your Vitamin D, Just Not From UV

A reminder for all, especially the cold weather states:

Vitamin D is essential for healthy living. UVB (not UVA) exposure from the sun causes the body to produce vitamin D; however, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends getting adequate Vitamin D through alternative safe methods.

Vitamin D helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones.  It may also protect from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.

According to the Mayo Clinic, two forms of vitamin D are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Foods may be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3.

Fatty fish, such as salmon, are natural sources of vitamin D

Getting vitamin D (D3, not D2) through dietary intake – fatty fish such as salmon, fish liver, egg yolks, even vitamin D supplementation in a vitamin pill – is a lot safer than getting it through UV exposure. According to the AAD, “the IOM Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is: 400 IU (International Units) for infants/children 0-1yr, 600 IU for children, teenagers and adults 1-70yr, 800 IU for adults 71+ yr.  The RDA is intake that covers needs of 97.5 percent of the healthy normal population.”  Recommendations are currently being reevaluated by the medical community. 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 may well end up being the new dosage recommended for prevention of vitamin D3 deficiency for people at risk of low levels.

Low levels of natural sun may be a necessary last resort for individuals at high risk of vitamin D deficiency. According to Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey in her blog post “Are you really getting vitamin D from the sun, or just nuking your DNA” she says, “Fair-skinned people make the maximum amount of vitamin D3 possible within a few minutes of mid-day summer sun exposure. This occurs with less sun exposure than would cause skin redness. Longer sun exposure adds nothing to vitamin D stores, but it does increase DNA damage.” Dr. Bailey strongly encourages patients to get their vitamin D level measured by a doctor and take supplements and eat foods with vitamin D3. Dr. Bailey says, “Chances are, your level is just fine anyway and all that sun exposure is just nuking your DNA, making wrinkles, age spots and skin cancers.”

In conclusion, vitamin D is something most can get adequately through diet. Still use sunscreen and remain SunAWARE all year long!

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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Inside Coolibar

History buffs: Do you know the orgin of the Panama Hat?

A Panama Hat is a reference to the straw material it is made from, not the country of Panama. The hat is made from the carludovica palmate plant, which grows in the coastal lowlands of Western South America. Ecuador began producing the Panama hat as early as 1630!

During the California Gold Rush, individuals traveled through the Isthmus of Panama and purchased the Panama hats there. Purchasers told interested buyers that they were bought in Panama, rather than mentioning that they were actually made in Ecuador, and the “Panama Hat” was born. Later, when Theodore Roosevelt visited the Canal, he wore a Panama hat which increased its popularity and reinforeced its name.

When shopping for a Panama Hat you’ll notice a variety of colors and costs, sometimes reaching greater than $150. The single most important factor in determining the value of a Panama Hat is the fineness of the weave. Two other important factors include the evenness of the weave and the color of the straw. Traditionally, all Panama Hats are hand-blocked by a tejedor (weaver), which is a slow and laborious process. Afterwards, clear sizing material is used to coat the hat, which stiffens the straw and helps the hat keep its shape. Panama Hats vary in production time and a coarser woven hat may take a few hours whereas finer hats may take up to 5 months to weave!

There are many styles of Panama Hats, but the most common are: Classic Fedora, Plantation, and Optimo. Coolibar’s take on the Panama hat is inspired by the classic Australian outback hat which features a wider brim for better sun protection.

Shop Coolibar Panama Hats

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Expert Rx

What are the best sun protective strategies for men?

Dr. Ryan Goerig, a board-certified dermatologist, specializes in aesthetic dermatology at Vorteil Dermatology in Dana Point, CA, the first aesthetic dermatology center to focus on men.  Men’s skin is different than women’s skin.  Its structure and function is fundamentally unique and requires specialized knowledge and different treatment approaches.  This is why Dr. Goerig pays special attention to men’s dermatologic needs, including aesthetic dermatology and the treatment of male pattern baldness, acne scars and rosacea. Having extensive training in aesthetic dermatology, Dr. Goerig knows the importance of using sun protection in order to aid the skin conditions men are susceptible to, including skin aging and skin cancer.

Dr. Goerig poses the following question for men: What are the best sun protective strategies for men?

Here’s his answer:

This is a great question that I hear often from my male patients.    Men over the age of 40 tend to spend more time outdoors than their women counterparts, accumulating much more ultraviolet radiation exposure in the process.  This is concerning given that sun exposure is a major risk factor for skin cancer, which is now considered epidemic in the United States.  Skin cancer is the #1 cancer in men over age 50, ahead of other cancers such as colon and prostate.  According to the American Cancer Society, 39,000 new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, occur in men each year in the US.  In fact, one in 39 Caucasian men will develop melanoma in their lifetime.  In this regard, an effective sun protection strategy is critical to preventing skin cancer and premature skin aging. 

So, what should men do?  First, avoid the intense, mid-day sun by doing outdoor activities (such as golfing, cycling or gardening) before 10 am or after 4 pm.  Doing this will avoid the majority of the day’s UV-B (cancer causing) rays.  Also, since incidental sun exposure over time can really add up, applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day after shaving can go a long way toward preventing skin cancer.  Since men’s skin tends to be oilier than women’s skin, water or alcohol based gels and sprays are better because they don’t tend to leave the skin feeling greasy.   For outdoor activities, a sport sunscreen works best because it is designed to absorb quickly. Stick sunscreens, when applied to the forehead and around the eyes, are great for water activities because they won’t run into the eyes and sting.  It is important to keep trying different brands and types to see what you like best, then being consistent with it.  In addition to regular sunscreen use, protective clothing, with a UPF of at least 30, is very effective at blocking harmful ultraviolet rays.  Coolibar has a variety of excellent UPF rated clothing options for men.  For areas of the skin that are difficult to apply sunscreen to, like the inner ear and eyelid, a sun hat provides outstanding protection. 

In general, skin cancer is caused by excessive, cumulative ultraviolet radiation exposure and, in most men, is completely preventable.  Following these simple recommendations can go a long way toward keeping your skin protected and cancer free. 

Written by:  Ryan Goerig, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology

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Visit Coolibar Sun Protection You Wear

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