Ceramides – Understanding these Wonder Molecules

A healthy, hydrated skin with internal moisture control doesn’t need moisturisers, but for those who suffer from dry or oily skin, it is vitally important to address the rate at which water escapes from our skin, otherwise known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss or TEWL.

Water loss is normal, but can be excessive in people with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and ichthyosis. Losing the ability to control moisture levels in the skin is often an underpinning cause for a myriad of other skin conditions, including acne and rosacea, as well as contributing to the signs of skin ageing by leaving the skin dull and lifeless. That’s why skin hydration and water control management are vital to maintaining a healthy skin environment, and should play an integral role in every skin treatment protocol.

Essentially, most skin troubles have more moisture control as a common denominator.

Rosacure 3 Product Set: Take back control of your Rosacea this Winter

The Science

Moisture

Did you know that keeping house plants ensures your skin has a fresh supply of oxygen and can help improve your skin?

The skin is made up of two key layers, the Dermis and the Epidermis. The top layer of the skin is the Epidermis, and the top layer of the Epidermis is the Stratum Corneum. Despite being incredibly thin, the Stratum Corneum acts as the skin’s main barrier, stopping chemicals we come into contact with from getting inside the body, and controlling the rate at which moisture is able to leak out.

Skin lipid structure is critical in the moisture retaining functionality of the skin. The Stratum Corneum contains three types of lipids that have different chemical compositions and functions throughout the body; cholesterol, free fatty acids, and key nine ceramides, numbered 1 to 9, which account for 40-50% of the lipids in this outermost layer.

Ceramides are important to maintaining a healthy skin environment because they assist in controlling both cellular and skin water loss. This helps to prevent dehydration, impaired cellular function and hastened cell death. Skin that can’t increase skin lipid structure usually reacts in one of two ways; in some the skin will become dry and will crack, whereas in others, oil and skin cell production increase in an attempt to slow the rate at which moisture is leaving the skin. This results in thickened, oily skin that can lead to acne, or an exacerbation of acne symptoms – yes, believe it or not, oily skin is often a consequence of a lack of skin moisture.

Aknicare Ultimate Acne Solution (LINK): Medically licensed to target all causes and symptoms of acne

Controlling TEWL is therefore vital to any skin routine that want to encourage a healthy environment; if the skin can control the rate of moisture loss, it won’t end up drying out, or over-compensating with oil and skin production. In short, it’s important to address your skin issues at the root.

The Solution

Hydratime and Nutritime

Now only £5 with any SkinMed Product Set!

The good news is that recent studies have shown that lipids can be replaced with topical preparations. Interestingly, all three lipids (ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids) have to be replaced at a certain ratio to restore the barrier function of the skin; if the incorrect balance of lipids is applied, it actually takes longer for the skin to heal.

This is what we have created in our creams.

Hydratime® and Nutritime® contain a balanced blend of all 9 key Ceramindes, improving skin barrier functions to slow TEWL and restore a healthy environment. Unlike most moisturisers, we don’t simply smear a water-blocking layer on the surface, ignoring deficient water levels deeper in the skin. Instead we improve skin structures from within, controlling moisture in all layers of the skin, so that you can achieve the best possible results from your treatments this winter.

Hydratime® and Nutritime® Plus Face Creams are currently available for just £5 with any SkinMed® product set. Visit our website (LINK) and use Promo Codes HYDRA or NUTRI to get yours

5 Great Reasons to Visit your Local Skin Clinic

Here at SkinMed®, our ultimate goal is to provide you with the best products and advice for your skin, but we are by no means the only skin experts. We have hundreds of SkinMed® accredited clinics all across the country, run by experts who know skin inside and out and can offer advice and treatments for a wide range of skin conditions.

Even if you don’t have a pre-existing skin condition, it’s a good idea to go and see a medical skin expert once a year for a check-up, so you can keep track of things like how your skin is ageing, and make sure you’re not running the risk of developing anything harmful, like skin cancer for example.

That’s why this week on #SkinTheKnow, we’re giving you our top five reasons to go and see the doctor or nurse that runs your local skin clinic so that you can get the right information about your skin, giving you the knowledge to do what’s best for you.

1. You will be seeing a skin expert.

Skin expert

Get your answers right from the experts!

Now, you may think that this goes without saying, but the doctors and nurses that lead our skin clinics are specialised experts in their field and are more well-versed in the world of skin than your GP, with the ability to diagnose over 3000 skin conditions. Despite this, many people, upon finding something about their skin that concerns them, go straight to their GP for a diagnosis, rather than consulting with someone who deals with skin exclusively.

Your GP may refer you to a dermatologist if they want a second opinion, but you may as well save yourself some time and go and speak to the doctor or nurse at your local skin clinic yourself and cut out the middleman.

Want to find your nearest SkinMed clinic?

2. Find out whats going on with your skin.

FAQ

There’s no such thing as a silly question – remember, knowledge is power!

With your local GP available on the NHS, many people are unwilling to splash out on what they might consider being an unnecessary expense, but many skin clinics will offer a consultation free of charge, or for a small fee that can be redeemed against products and treatments should you want them.

At your consultation, your skin will be assessed in detail, so that you can find out what it needs, what products and treatments would work for you to help you get the results you are looking for, and receive personalised treatment plans so that you can really get the best from your skin.

Remember, the skin is the largest, and arguably most important organ in the body, and should be treated with great care. Seeing a dermatologist can help you look your best, and improve the overall health of your skin.

SkinVital: Usually only available in clinics, our Anti-Ageing Super Serum is now available from our online shop for a limited time only

3. Undiagnosed, or Misdiagnosed Skin Conditions.

Internet

The internet is an amazing tool, but the best resource for a health concern is always a trusted expert

The skin is often an organ that is misunderstood; if you have an upset stomach, it’s easy to assume it’s because of something you ate, but if your skin starts to react badly, how can you tell whether it’s because of something you have exposed yourself to, or whether it’s something medical that needs treatment?

Many conditions, like rosacea, for example, are widely misunderstood even amongst doctors, and can easily be misdiagnosed and mistreated. A lot of people may not even have the time or inclination to visit the doctor when they have a skin complaint, instead, trying over the counter products to try and treat themselves. But if you don’t really know what you are trying to treat, how can you know what treatments to buy?

Rosacea TripleLock: Clinically proven to target all causes and symptoms of rosacea, providing long-term relief in as little as 8 weeks

Then there are the more serious conditions like forms of skin cancer or sun damage, which may not necessarily be visible during their early stages, but can develop into something more dangerous if left unchecked.

A consultation with a medically lead clinic can help you with all of these issues, even if it is only to put your mind at ease and tell you that you have nothing to worry about. They can make sure you have the correct diagnosis for any skin complaints you might have, and offer effective treatments that will deliver real results.

4. Over-the-counter-treatments don’t cut it.

Products

All these fancy products may look impressive, but you really need an expert to tell you what’s going on inside, and what’s right for you

Long-standing sufferers of conditions like acne, eczema or rosacea may feel they have tried every treatment on the market with no effect. There are even those who have had products prescribed by their GP and still haven’t seen the results they are looking for. Medical-lead skin clinics, as well as offering a much deeper understanding of skin conditions and how to treat them, can offer products and treatments not available on the high street or in the chemist.

These products are often medically licenced and clinically proven to deliver results and will be recommended to you because they are right for your skin, and your skin expert will be there to see you through your journey to clear skin, offering help and advice along the way

Acne TripleLock – All-encompassing, medically licenced acne treatment, delivering outstanding results in 85% of patients

5. Spend your money wisely!

Money

As my mother used to say, take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves!

With all the ads you see on the tv, on the internet and in magazines, it can be easy to get carried away with all the latest miracle products. But this dazzling array of expensive looking packaging, fancy names and bewilderingly scientific ingredients can lead to confusion and overspending on products you may not even need. Most of these products are just filled with empty promises, their science-y sounding contents are often just terms that have been made up.

With the sound advice from your skin clinic, you can be sure to spend your money wisely on products tailored to suit your skin and deliver results – without all the trial and error!

Find your nearest SkinMed accredited clinic here

SkinMed® provide clinically proven skin solutions, which, unlike cosmetic brands, are medically licensed in the treatment of many skin conditions and suitable for almost all skin types, with thousands of successful users across the UK and Europe.

The products were created through decades of experience, in collaboration with top dermatologists from all around Europe. Professor Tony Chu, President of the Acne and Rosacea Association UK (ARA UK), endorses and prescribes the products for his patients – you can be certain you’re in the right hands.

If you would like to find out where your local SkinMed® accredited clinic near you, all you need to do is get in touch. We have hundreds of clinics country-wide and our dedicated team will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

We are also offering free skin consultations at many of our clinics for all our loyal customers. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let us know and we can find the nearest clinic to you offering a consultation free of charge.

Contact Us:

Phone: 0333 247 2474 – Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Live Chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

How to Get Rid Of Acne Scars: Chemical Peels and Derma Needling Treatments Can Help Clear Skin

Most of us have suffered with acne at some point, especially during our teenage years but even when treated, the aftermath can still persist – acne scars. However, the bad news stops here as there are a number of treatments that can help prevent and reduce the appearance of scars for clearer skin.

Prevention and intervention are crucial when it comes to treating acne to lower the odds of scars forming; 95 percent of acne patients develop post-pimple hyperpigmentation to some degree. First, it’s important to identify the type of acne scars, since they come in many shapes, sizes, and even colours. The most common are depressed or pitted scars, which result from inflammatory acne, or papulopustular acne —  lesions that consist of red blemishes, pimples, papules and pustules (zits) and larger swollen lesions (nodules). Depressed scars sit on collagen-rich scar tissue, preventing the skin from repairing the scar.

SkinMed recommend Derma FNS Needling to treat acne scars. The Derma FNS pen is an electronically powered micro needling device. The pen utilises the multiple needle head to deliver many thousands of tiny holes to the bottom layer of the skin to encourage skin rejuvenation and promote complete and skin remodelling from scars, stretch marks, lines and wrinkles.

These tiny channels stimulate the skins natural healing process and it begins to dissolve old rigid collagen, whilst then releasing serum growth factors, stimulating the production of new collagen and elastin development. A complete skin remodelling treatment.

We also recommend Enerpeel, the bespoke peeling system which can be used to treat acne scarring. Enerpeel is not your normal chemical peel. It is a chemical remodelling system designed to achieve maximum results with minimal downtime. It remodels your skin. Enerpeel uses carrier molecules, which carry exfoliators, remodelling agents and treatment ingredients into the skin. Different Enerpeels contain complementary treatment ingredients, used treat specific skin conditions.

Call us on 0333 247 2474 to find your nearest clinic providing these services.

 

Scarring: The story of our lives told on our skin

Forget wearing your heart on your sleeve, you wear the story of your life on your skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ, which is subjected to numerous traumas over a lifetime which leave enduring marks, such as bites, burns, rashes, acne attacks , injuries and surgical incisions. By protecting your skin and treating it well you can help stop a disfiguring scar from becoming inevitable and permanent.  Dr Joshua Fox founder and director of New York & New Jersey-based Advanced Dermatology, PC & the Centre for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery states “We now have some keys ways to help prevent scars, and even treat existing scars so they’re much less noticeable.”
How scars form
There are many contributing factors that determine the formation of a scar. These can include:

  • The depth of the injury. The deeper the impact of the trauma on the skin increases the risk of scarring. If you suffer a deep cut or burn on your face, it is wise to consult a doctor for stitches to decrease the scale of scarring.
  • Acne. Acne is a major cause of scarring; popping a pimple maybe a great temporary solution to improve the appearance of spots, but in the long run, it can cause permanent marks on the surface of your skin. If you have squeezed your spots and have been left with acne scarring, help is at hand.
  • Terproline products provide key ingredients to replace damaged collagen and elastin, it triggers the breakdown of the scar collagen and provides the skin with the means to replace this with new smooth elastic skin. In the meantime a great product to use to dramatically reduce the size of your pimples rapidly without the risk of acne scarring, would be the Aknicare range, especially the Skin Roller, a product specifically designed to reduce a large spot quickly before scarring can occur. It can reduce a spot in a matter of hours, this provides rapid relief to keep your pimples at bay. To prevent a breakout altogether try using one of SkinMed’s tailored-for-you acne busting product sets.
  • Trauma Location. There are areas of the body that are more prone to scarring than elsewhere, such as the middle of the chest, the earlobe and the tip of the shoulder. Scars that form on the joints are often more visible due to the stretching and movement during the healing process.
  • Age. A person’s age is a major contributor that determines the formation of a scar. The older you get the less capable your cells are at efficiently carrying out the wound-healing process and the skin takes longer to heal. Younger people heal more rapidly and in a lot of cases this can trigger an over healing response leading to hypertrophic or raised scars.
  • Family history and skin tone play a vital role in your proneness to an overly aggressive healing process. When this occurs, you can develop elevated hypertrophic and in some even keloid scars. The NHS describes this process “Collagen gathers around the damage and builds up to help the wound seal over. The resulting scar usually fades over time, becoming smoother and less noticeable. However, some scars don’t stop growing. They ‘invade’ the surrounding healthy skin and become bigger than the original wound. These are known as keloid scars”. You have a greater risk of developing keloids if you have darker skin.
  • Infection. Ensure you thoroughly clean the wound at the time of trauma and ensure that all foreign bodies, for example glass and dirt particles, are removed from the area. If the wound becomes infected, more white blood cells disburse to the trauma site and are more likely to leave traces of their presence in the form of more severe scarring.
  • Hard Scabs. It is essential not to pick¸ this will not only remove the scab but you are also stripping away new skin cells which delays healing, doubling the risk of scarring.

What’s happening beneath the skin
Scars are caused as a result of burns, surgery or injury and form as part of the healing process. New skin collagen fibres are rapidly produced to mend this damage and they form a dense network of bound fibres in the area of injury, resulting in scar tissue, which has less elastin and hyaluronic acid incorporated and hence has a different texture to the surrounding skin. The collagen fibres all stick together to create a rigid less elastic tight skin texture.
Collagen fibres in the lower levels of the skin along with soft keratin in the upper skin layers provide skin strength and shape. Collagen exists in different forms, but the important ones related to the ageing process and skin damage are Collagen Type-III (mobile dynamic youthful collagen) and Collagen Type-I (known as scar collagen).
Skin cells called fibroblasts produce new Collagen Type-III fibres, which are single stranded and flexible. These strands are linked together by elastic fibres called elastin, which together create a network that can bend and expand and then contract back to normal, so skin maintains its shape.
Elastin (and fibronectine) gives the skin elasticity and work in conjunction with collagen to provide skin structure and ‘springiness’. Loss of elastin leads to reduced elasticity, so when skin creases it takes longer for these creases to expand out again. Scars have very little elastin associated with them and are mainly many compressed collagen fibres ‘stuck together’.
Hyaluronic acid is a sugary long-chain fibre which attracts and holds water, forming a jelly-like filler which provides skin plumpness and firmness, and keeps the collagen and elastic network in place. As we age, hyaluronic acid levels reduce causing the skin to lose plumpness, leading to lines and wrinkles, where again elastin levels are reduced and collagen fibres come into contact with each other and link together more easily as hyaluronic acid levels reduce. In a way wrinkles are like mini-scars in structure.
Scar prevention and over the counter remedies
Although it is not possible to prevent a scar from occurring, it is possible to help your scar heal better and become less visible. It is essential to thoroughly clean the wound to reduce the risk of infection. Applying a protective layer of a hydrating ointment can keep the area moist and promote a more regular healing response and helps new skin cells to migrate to the site of trauma as the wound closes. Moisture can also encourage bacteria so some may recommend incorporating an antibacterial agent or a disinfectant. To prevent infection, clean the wound and replace the bandage daily until the wound is fully healed. If the wound becomes warm or painful to touch, oozes yellow puss, redness extends beyond the site of the wound or you develop red streaks, it is possible that you have developed an infection and it is wise to seek medical advice.
Terproline® stimulates fibroblast activity, while providing the raw materials for new collagen and elastin. Terproline®  improves the elasticity and extensibility of the skin, accelerating tissue repair by triggering removal of old/scar collagen and increasing production of new collagen and elastin, promoting faster, more uniform healing and recovery. Terproline® has remarkable properties in promoting the skins rejuvenation response, by sustaining results for longer and by increasing collagen and elastin development.
How medical advice can help
Not only can scarring have a devastating effect on an individuals’ self-confidence, it can continue to cause pain. In these circumstances it is wise to seek medical advice, as there is now a wide range of treatments available.
Some of the most difficult scars to deal with, especially emotionally, are keloids and hypertrophic scars; because the scar will be raised and red. There are treatments available to reduce the inflammation and the redness, such as steroid injections and laser treatment. These treatments to have what is referred to as ‘downtime’, where a client feels they cannot go out in public after invasive treatments due to redness and swelling. Dr Fox states “You need to stay home after these procedures since your skin can be raw.” If you are looking for a non-invasive treatment, with no added downtime, Terproline Professional®, a clinic strength product, has been shown to reduce keloids and hypertrophic scarring. It is also an excellent product to use if you choose to have invasive treatments. It’s best to use this product before and after many cosmetic procedures that cause skin trauma, such as chemical peels, lasers and injections due to its protective and recuperative properties. Terproline® has remarkable properties in promoting a much better response from rejuvenation procedures, reducing complications and sustaining results for longer by increasing collagen and elastin development. When used in conjunction with Fillast®, these products achieve a high hyaluronic acid environment by promoting a more youthful Collagen Type-III environment