BIOTIN – THE HEALTHY HAIR VITAMIN
Patients receiving treatment for hair loss are often recommended to take a vitamin supplement containing biotin. Biotin, a member of the Vitamin B family, is used to improve hair strength and prevent hair growth from being stunted.
Although there are no good clinical studies to support the effectiveness of biotin supplementation in patients experiencing hair loss, there have been so many patients who report improvement that dermatologists continue to incorporate it into hair loss treatment.
In general, it is difficult for vitamins to reach the hair follicle (the root of the hair) and benefit hair growth. Applied externally, vitamins need to penetrate into the deepest layers of the scalp skin to enter the hair follicle. Taken internally, vitamins have to go through one’s gut, bloodstream, and organs before even reaching the hair. Therefore, higher doses of biotin are usually required for hair loss patients to observe any benefit.
NIKKI’S ACNE CORNER – THE BENEFITS OF A TOPICAL RETINOID
Topical retinoids are a class of rub-on medications that are commonly prescribed for the treatment of acne. Derived from Vitamin A, topical retinoids act by increasing skin cell turnover, thus restructuring disorganized skin cells and unclogging pores. Retin-A is the oldest and most famous of the retinoids, but there are many other options now available – common brands include Ziana, Atralin, Retin-A Micro, Epiduo, Differin, and Tazorac.
Topical retinoids are typically prescribed for patients to use at night after cleansing their skin. These medicines are very powerful, so they are to be applied sparingly to the face. In face, a pea-sized amount is enough to cover one’s entire face! Patients are often advised to apply a moisturizer along with their retinoid to help prevent dryness and irritation from the medications. As with all acne medicines, topical retinoids take some time to show results. Acne improvement often occurs 6-8 weeks after treatment is started.
There are some cosmetic perks to using a topical retinoid. The dark spots that are leftover from old acne breakouts fade more quickly when a retinoid is used. Patients often observe more even skin tone and texture, as well as a visible reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, and pore size with use of these medications – all the more reason to be consistent with your prescribed acne regimen!
Traction alopecia is a form of scarring hair loss that results from chronic pulling of the hair. Scarring hair loss, if left untreated, can result in permanent loss of the hair follicle.
Traction alopecia may be caused by hair styles (braids, weaves, ponytails), or aggressive brushing or hair pulling. It usually affects the hairlines, but in the case of ponytails, may affect the top or back of the head. This type of hair loss is initially reversible, but over time, if can result in permanent scarring of the follicle.
Treatment typically involves cortisone injections to the affected areas of the scalp. Topical steroid medications are often prescribed for the patient to apply to the scalp at home. Gentle hair care and avoidance of pulling the hair is imperative to correct this form of hair loss. If medical treatment fails to improve the problem, hair transplant is indicated.
MAY’S PRODUCT OF THE MONTH – ELON MATRIX 5,000 FOR HAIR
Contains 3 building blocks at optimum levels for strong, healthy hair:
- 5,000mcg Biotin
- 100mg Silica
- 50mg L-Cysteine
TEST YOUR BRAIN – MAY’S SKIN SKOOP CROSSWORD
1. the healthy hair vitamin
6. class of rub-on acne medicines derived from vitamin A
8. city our office is located in
9. traction alopecia is a form of ________ hair loss
2. _______ alopecia is caused by tight pulling of the hair
3. topical retinoids are prescribed to treat this skin problem
4. brand name of our office’s hair vitamin
5. our office’s social media name
7. topical retinoids have medical and ________ benefits