My daughter has some mild eczema and it seems that I have tried everything to treat her skin. During a recent beauty showcase, I had the chance to meet representatives from TriCalm, a steroid-free gel that is designed to treat itching, eczema, burning, psoriasis and more. I was intrigued and as a follow-up I had the chance to interview Dr. Erin Glibert, ?????a board certified dermatologist who specializes in skin cancer prevention and treatment, cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. She is also a dermatological expert on behalf of TriCalm, so I excited to learn more about the various skin conditions that it treats and exactly how it works.
Momtrends: What are some common skin issues that kids deal with? What are some common issues that adults face?
Dr. Erin Gilbert: One of the most common skin conditions I see in my pediatric patients is eczema, which can cause mild itching or more severe symptoms. In the summer, I frequently see kids with poison ivy and sumac and bug bites. When they scratch their skin, the areas often become infected.
Many adults experience dry, itchy skin. This is often due to lack of education on good skin care practices and how the skin changes with age. As we age we produce less oil in our skin, which leads to dry skin and itching.
Momtrends: What are the general ways to treat them?
Dr. Gilbert:Traditional therapy for eczema, as well as bug bites, and poison ivy have focused on gentle skin care as well as prescription steroid-based topical and oral medications. While these remain an important part of our armamentarium as dermatologists, new products can provide itch relief without the steroids. I have found that TriCalm is useful for my patients with minor skin irritations and it allows me to avoid the potential side effects of steroids such as lightening and thinning of the skin and blood vessel overgrowth.
Momtrends: How does TriCalm differ from what is on the market?
Dr. Glibert: TriCalm is a unique product that delivers fast, powerful relief from minor skin irritations such as itching, burning, or stinging without the use of steroids. TriCalm acts on a subset of nerve fibers in the skin that relay the itch signal to the brain. By quieting these signals from the skin, TriCalm relieves the symptoms of itching, stinging and burning. A recent clinical study by a leading itch researcher showed that TriCalm is superior at relieving itch than the popular over-the-counter anti-itch products hydrocortisone and diphenhydramine. (Study: A Novel Topical Formulation Containing Strontium Chloride Significantly Reduces the Intensity and Duration of Cowhage-Induced Itch, 2013, http://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content/download.php?doi=10.2340/00015555-1564)
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Momtrends: What causes itchy skin? Can it be avoided?
Dr. Glibert:There are many causes for itchy skin. I categorize them as "outside jobs" and "inside jobs." Most of them are "outside jobs" (i.e. using drying soaps, not using insect repellants during the summer, wearing irritating nickel-containing artificial metal jewelry). Some are "inside jobs" like eczema or psoriasis, where there is a genetic predisposition.
Taking good care of your skin is always a good first step. I suggest using gentle cleansers that suds as little as possible. I also suggest moisturizing daily and applying sunscreen to any exposed area to prevent skin cancer and premature aging.
In the summer, keep insect repellant on hand when you're outside. Citronella candles always help clear an area of mosquitos, and newer repellants containing Picaridin are my favorites as they don't have the strong smell associated with DEET.
I also suggest wearing long sleeves and pants while spending time gardening or near plants and wooded areas. Poison Sumac and Poison Ivy/Oak cause about two weeks of misery! Remove these clothing items carefully and wash them immediately.
Momtrends: Is there a certain time of the year when itching is worse?
Dr. Gilbert: Summer and winter are prime itch seasons. In the summer I see many patients with bug bites as well as poison oak or sumac. In the winter many patients experience extremely dry skin because the ambient air is dry – largely due to heaters, wind and chapping of exposed areas. At that time of year extra moisturizer and skin care is needed!
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