Confidence Beyond the Skin-Are you Suffering with Dry Cracking Hands this Winter?

Every year around this time, I get a phone call from my father in Maine who wants to know what he can do about his dry, cracked fingers. He, as well as many of my patients here in LA,  suffer from painful cracks in their fingertips during the cooler winter months. The cold temperatures outside and warm heat inside can lead to a lack of moisture in the skin. Hands can be particularly bothersome because the dryness can lead to painful cracking.

It is important to remember to avoid excessive water exposure on the skin, especially in the winter. Prolonged water on the skin will cause evaporation of moisture and lead to dryness. My father realized on his own that he was adding to the dryness by washing his hands with dishwashing detergent. It is common to grab the closest thing to the kitchen sink to wash your hands, and that is often the dish detergent. Because dishwashing detergent is designed to remove oils and grease from your crusted pots and pans, guess what it does to your skin? It removes the natural oils! During flu season, antibiotic hand washes are also very popular. They have an alcohol based chemical as the active ingredient, which is very drying to the skin. During the winter months, skip the dish detergent and antibacterial washes. Wash your hands with a moisturizing hand soap like Dove or SoftSoap. In fact, my father saw the difference in just a few weeks after switching to a moisturizing hand soap! Here is a picture of me, my dad and his dog Bailey on a snowy day in Maine!

Remember that it is important to moisturize immediately after water exposure. For very dry hands try Aveeno Intensive Relief Repair cream, or Neutrogena Norwegian hand formula. If you have painful cracks in your hands, apply Aquaphor ointment on the cracks with a bandaid before you go to bed. Very deep cracks can take a long time to heal. You may need a prescription cortisone cream to treat those deep painful cracks and prevent them from becoming infected.

It is the driest time of year right now so drink plenty of water and hydrate your skin! We are 2 weeks into the year and the holidays are already becoming a distant memory. I think I will settle in and enjoy the cool nights, a warm fireplace and a nice glass of wine!

Stay tuned for next month’s Confidence Beyond the Skin Newsletter Blog-“Sunless Tanners- How to achieve a safe and natural tan glow without the harmful rays!”

Check out the new beauty corner of the main newsletter/blog page where I will highlight a different beauty product every month! www.kaseydrapeaudamatopac.wordpress.com

I am always looking for new blog topics or interesting products. Send your  ideas to kasey.drapeaudamato@gmail.com.

I have been asked if I receive any financial incentive to mention products in my newsletter/blog and the answer is no. I only comment on products that I have used myself or that I recommend to patients because they have unique benefits.  However, I am a clinical trainer for both Medicis (Dysport/Restylane) and Allergan (Botox/Juvederm).

For my fellow tech-y followers, I have started  daily skin and lifestyle tweets on Twitter! To stay up to date on the latest, you can follow me @kaseydamatopac . For those Facebook fanatics out there, I have also created a FB fan page! Go ahead and “like” the page to stay up to date on the latest in skin care! http://www.facebook.com/KaseyDrapeauDamato

Confidence Beyond the Skin-Making the Most of Your Doctor’s Appointments in 2012!

 Happy New Year!

We all made it through 2011 and it is time to establish your lofty New Year’s resolutions! Of course, the most common resolutions are always to lose weight, quit smoking, or spend more time with your loved ones. In my opinion, the most important resolutions are the ones that focus on taking care of oneself, with an emphasis on living a happy and healthy lifestyle. For example, many of us tend to procrastinate on our routine health check-ups, but wouldn’t it be nice to start the year off with a clean bill of health? Personally, I like to schedule my own check-ups in December and January so that I can start the new year with a sigh of relief and feeling great!

Whether you decide to schedule your annual medical appointments now or later in the year, it is important to learn some basic tips and consider some common situations, that will allow you to get the most out of your appointment with your medical provider.  For example, Doctors do not like to run behind schedule, but so often we as patients find ourselves sitting for hours in the waiting room, which can be irritating and lead to a tense encounter with our provider. On the other hand, many patients have a lot of anxiety about seeing their doctor and forget to mention some of their major concerns at the time of the visit. Here are some tips that will allow you to clearly express what is going on with your health and still allow your doctor to have adequate time to examine you.

1. Make sure that you are seeing a qualified professional. You want your medical provider to be board certified in the specialty that they are practicing. This has become more of a concern with the increase of Medi-spa cosmetic treatments and discount offers like those available through Groupon.

2. Write down the concerns that you want to discuss with your doctor so even if you are nervous, you won’t forget something you wanted to share.

3. Try not to have more than 2-3 concerns to discuss during one office visit. Doctor’s typically do not schedule more than 15 minutes for a routine visit, which allows for 2-3 concerns to be addressed adequately. If you have more than 2-3 concerns, schedule an additional visit to allow the doctor enough time to thoroughly assess all of your concerns.

4. For each of your medical concerns the doctor will want to know these key points:

(Use the acronym WWW FARE to help you remember)

What is the problem – Is it itching, pain, burning, etc?

Where is the problem (head, stomach, etc)?

When – How long have you had the problem?

Frequency – How often do you have the pain?

Aggravating Factors – What makes it worse?

Relieving Factors – What makes it better?

Effect on Function -Is it limiting your normal activity?

Don’t forget to mention any medications or supplements that you currently take and any medication allergies. If you are a new patient, make sure to update your new doctor about your general health status.

If you are able to answer the above questions briefly, your doctor will have a good idea of what direction to take with his/her questions and exam. Make sure that you feel comfortable to ask any questions at the end of the exam.

I hope 2012 brings you much health and happiness, and that you will not need to spend much time in a doctor’s office! Because I am having so much fun with this newsletter/blog, I have decided that one of my resolutions will be to write  bi-monthly articles which will launch on the 1st and 15th of each month! Please send me any ideas that you have for additional topics and feel free to share the blog articles with your friends and loved ones!

Blog topic suggestions can be emailed to kasey.drapeaudamato@gmail.com

I have been asked if I receive any financial incentive to mention products in my newsletter/blog and the answer is no. I only comment on products that I have used myself or that I recommend to patients because they have unique benefits.  However, I am a clinical trainer for both Medicis (Dysport/Restylane) and Allergan (Botox/Juvederm).

For my fellow tech-y followers, I have started daily tweets on Twitter! To stay up to date on the latest, you can follow me @kaseydamatopac . For those Facebook fanatics out there, I have also created a FB fan page! Go ahead and “like” the page to stay up to date on the latest in skin care! http://www.facebook.com/KaseyDrapeauDamato