• What are Chemical Peels?

    The purpose of a chemical peel is to improve the appearance and texture of your skin. Many types of chemical agents can accomplish this, depending on the type of damage you’re hoping to treat. Learn more about the four types of chemical peels we offer. 

    What Do Chemical Peels Treat? 

    All chemical peels are applied by brushing an acidic liquid onto the skin. The purpose is to remove the top layers of skin to encourage new, younger-looking cell growth. Chemical peels aim to treat the following conditions: 

    • Dull color  
    • Uneven texture 
    • Enlarged pores 
    • Photodamage, also known as sunspots, age spots, or liver spots 
    • Mild acne scarring 
    • Blotchiness 
    • Mild to moderate fine lines and wrinkles 
    • Actinic keratoses or other precancerous skin growths (chemical peels are supplementary to other therapies) 

    Who Should Not Get Chemical Peels? 

    While they are considered safe when administered by a qualified dermatologist, chemical peels aren’t right for everyone. You may need to avoid having a chemical peel if you: 

    • Are pregnant or breastfeeding 
    • Have taken Accutane or other acne medications in the past six months 
    • Have a dark complexion, sensitive skin, or extremely fair skin tone 
    • Are prone to keloids, ridged areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue 
    • Have a history of frequent or severe cold sores 

    Before you have a chemical peel, you may need to take antiviral medications, apply retinoid cream, and use a bleaching agent. You should also discontinue facial waxing one week before your chemical peel. 

    Types of Chemical Peels 

    The mildest chemical peels (glycolic and salicylic acid peels) are “lunch break procedures” that require no downtime and cause no true peeling. Deeper peels (TCA and Jessner’s peels) penetrate further into the skin with significant, though temporary, peeling and inflammation. 

     

    • Glycolic acid peels: For visible results with little to no recovery time, consider a glycolic acid peel. This option gently resurfaces your skin to reveal a smoother, younger-looking complexion with improved texture and more even skin tone. 
    • Salicylic acid peels: A five-minute renewal treatment is enough to lift dead skin cells from your face, stimulate new skin growth, and leave your face looker softer and more radiant than ever. Even acne scars and enlarged pores become less apparent. No recovery time is required with a salicylic acid peel. 
    • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels: This medium-depth treatment is a little more aggressive than glycolic and salicylic acid peels. This peel improves the appearance of dull and weathered skin, wrinkles, and acne scars. 
    • Jessner’s solution peels: Store-bought Jessner’s peels are only superficial, while those performed by a dermatologist are medium-depth. Jessner’s can be administered on its own or added to TCA to increase its effectiveness on scars and pigmentation. 

    If you’re interested in learning more about chemical peels, or you’re ready to schedule your appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 682-4715 to speak with a board-certified dermatologist in Salt Lake City about your skin care needs. 

  • Common Rosacea Triggers

    If you have rosacea, you may struggle to manage the persistent redness in your cheeks. While a flushed face is the most common symptom, others include visible blood vessels in the cheeks, red or bulbous nose, acne-like sores, a stinging feeling in the face, and itchy or watery eyes. Rosacea is medically harmless, but it can make you feel very self-conscious. 

    One of the best ways to minimize your symptoms is to avoid rosacea triggers. Here are some of the most common sources of flare-ups among patients with this skin condition.  

    Weather-Related Rosacea Triggers 

    • High heat  
    • High humidity 
    • Cold weather 
    • Windy conditions 
    • Direct sunlight 

    Dietary Rosacea Triggers 

    • Alcohol, especially red wine, beer, bourbon, gin, vodka, and champagne 
    • Hot drinks such as hot chocolate, cider, coffee, or tea 
    • Spicy foods 
    • Dairy products, including yogurt, sour cream, and cheese (cottage cheese is okay) 
    • Chocolate and vanilla 
    • Yeast extract (bread is okay) 
    • Citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas, red plums, figs, and raisins 
    • Vinegar and soy sauce 
    • Liver, eggplant, spinach, and avocado 
    • Lime beans, navy beans, and peas 
    • Pickled or fermented foods 
    • Cured meats 

    Emotional Rosacea Triggers 

    • High stress 
    • Anxiety 
    • Sudden changes of emotion 

    Lifestyle Rosacea Triggers 

    • Saunas and hot baths 
    • Chlorinated swimming pools 
    • Excessively warm environments 
    • Strenuous exercise 
    • Lift-and-load jobs 

    Medical Rosacea Triggers 

    • Some prescription drugs, including topical steroids, vasodilators, and others 
    • Chronic coughing 
    • Menopause 
    • Caffeine withdrawal 

    Skin and Hair Care Rosacea Triggers 

    • Cosmetics containing alcohol, witch hazel, or artificial fragrances 
    • Hydro-alcoholic or acetone products 
    • Substances that cause redness or stinging 

    Tracking Your Rosacea Triggers 

    We recommend writing down each trigger in a journal and recording how your skin responds after being exposed to each one. The National Rosacea Society has a trigger-tracking form you can print off for this purpose. Armed with an understanding of your triggers, you may be able to make changes to your daily routine that keep your symptoms under control. 

    Treatment Options for Rosacea 

    Unfortunately, rosacea doesn’t have a cure. However, in addition to avoiding your triggers, you can also pursue treatment options that make your condition less prominent. Some of these include Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photorejuvenation therapyVbeam Perfecta Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL), and topical creams applied directly to the skin.  

    If you think you might have rosacea, or you’re eager to find a treatment option that works for you, please contact Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology in Salt Lake City, UT at (801) 682-4715 to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists. 

  • Skin Mole Mapping

    It’s perfectly normal to have up to 60 moles by the time you’re 25. You may have had a few when you were born, but most moles develop gradually into adulthood. Most moles are simply cosmetic changes to the skin and will never cause problems. However, keeping an eye on new and changing moles can help you catch skin cancer early. The trick to knowing every inch of your body is to print out a body mole map and record what you see over time. 

    Begin with a Skin Cancer Self-Examination 

    While it’s recommended that you see a dermatologist for professional skin cancer screenings once a year, this is something you should also do at home once a month. The most common places for skin cancer to develop include the face, chest, arms, calves, and other places that receive the most sun exposure.  

    Still, skin cancer can develop anywhere, so be sure to take a good look at every part of your body during a skin self-exam. Remember to check your underarms, between your fingers and toes, the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, and your scalpUse a full-length mirror and a hand mirror or get help from another person to examine hard-to-see areas. 

    Record Your Moles 

    The American Academy of Dermatology has a skin cancer body mole map you can download for free. You’ll see that the chart includes the front and back of your body, your head from four different angles, and the bottoms of your feet. 

    As you examine your skin, mark your moles in the appropriate places on the map and number them as you go. Then, there’s a place to document the characteristics of each mole for your records. 

    Print out 12 copies of the body mole map for each person in your family so everyone can fill it out once a month for a year. This makes it easy to see which moles are changing or taking on concerning characteristics as the months go by. 

    Know the Warning Signs of Skin Cancer 

    Becoming intimately familiar with the locations and traits of your moles is important because cancerous moles have unique characteristics. If you notice any of ABCDEs of skin cancer, call a dermatologist right away. These include: 

    • Asymmetrical moles, where one half looks different from the other 
    • Borders that are irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined 
    • Colors that vary from one part of the mole to another 
    • Diameter that exceeds the size of a pencil eraser (6mm) 
    • Evolving moles that change color, shape, or size relatively rapidly 

    At Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology, we have more than 30 years of experience providing skin cancer treatment to Utah residents. Our team of board-certified dermatologists can provide the effective, compassionate service you’re looking for. If you have any troubling moles, or you’re looking for dermatology services in Salt Lake City, please contact Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology online or call us at (801) 682-4715. 

  • Avoid These Common Skin Care Fails

    You strive to take good care of your skin every day, but are you sure you’re doing everything right? Here are some of the most common skin care fails we hear about and how to avoid them. 

    Forgetting Your Hands and Décolletage  

    Most people’s skin care routine only includes their face. However, the hands and décolletage (comprised of the neck, shoulders, upper chest, and upper back) are also highly visible areas of skin that can develop signs of aging. 

    The easiest way to protect these sensitive parts of your body is to wear sunscreen and other forms of sun protection. For a more significant anti-aging effect, consider trying retinol or retinoid products. 

    Failing to Moisturize Oily Skin 

    People commonly fall for this skin care fail because it stands to reason that oily skin doesn’t need additional hydration. However, excessive oiliness could be the skin’s way of compensating for lack of hydration. Because of this, starting a healthy moisturizing routine could actually improve the condition of your skin. 

    If you have an oily complexion, make sure you choose a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. If you also have sensitive skin, avoid artificial ingredients, including coloring agents and fragrances. 

    Over Exfoliating 

    Exfoliation is necessary to remove dead skin cells and other debris that stick to your skin. It’s so effective that it can instantly improve the look and feel of your complexion. In the long term, exfoliation improves cellular turnover, which can decrease the onset of visible aging. 

    However, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Exfoliating every day or with too much intensity can cause irritation and inflammation. If you remove dead skin cells mechanically (by scrubbing your face with a washcloth or loofa), you can exfoliate up to three or four times a week. If you prefer using chemical exfoliation (by applying mild acids that react with your skin), limit yourself to once or twice a week.  

    Failing to Wash Your Face Before Bed 

    Leaving makeup on overnight prevents your pores from breathing. This can lead to dullness, dryness, irritation, and acne breakouts. Even if you don’t wear makeup, you should wash your face before bed to remove sweat, dirt, and pollutants from your skin. Failing to do so could disrupt the overnight cell turnover process, accelerating the signs of aging as a result. 

    Sleeping on a Dirty Pillowcase 

    As you can imagine, pressing your face against a grimy, old pillowcase for eight hours a night isn’t good for your skin. Launder it once a week, along with the rest of your bedding, to ensure only clean sheets and pillowcases come in contact with your skin all night long. 

    At Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology, we offer cosmetic skin care services and dermatologist-recommended skin care products to help you look and feel your best. For more help protecting your skin, please contact us online or call (801) 682-4715 and schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist in Salt Lake City, UT.