The dilated blood vessels called couperose are harmless but are most visible beneath a thin, dry skin, especially on the cheeks, sides of nostrils and around the eyes. Their appearance can increase with age because the skin’s functions slow down and the skin becomes thinner. “Electrodessication,” likely the method recommended by the dermatologist, can eliminate these fine, spidery red lines. The current passed through a fine needle along the surface of the skin (there is no puncturing) coagulates the blood and breaks down the dilated vessels which then disintegrate and are absorbed by the body. Tiny scabs may form but they should heal within a few days. Another method not as widely available involves the injection of a medication into the vessel with the same effect as the current. There is less chance of scarring with this method but with both methods there is always a chance of reccurence, especially on a sensitive skin. Remember that these treatments are addressing the effect and not the cause.

To help prevent further damage, avoid sun exposure and always wear a sunscreen. Avoid excessive alcohol, smoking and extremes of temperature, so use warm water to wash and do not linger in hot baths. Do not use harsh facial scrubs and choose cosmetics that are for sensitive skins. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in vitamin C, which helps strengthen blood vessels. High blood pressure and excessive facial massage can also contribute to the formation of couperose. In other words, as much as possible, avoid stimulation to the circulation of the skin both internally and externally.

There are cosmetics designed especially to help soothe the skin and eliminate the redness that contributes to the condition. Look for products for “sensitive skin.”

My husband and I recently moved into a new townhouse and while I do not feel that the move was traumatic for either of us, in the past month hisĀ hairĀ has been falling out at an alarming rate. Perhaps this would not have prompted me to write but today I noticed that my own hairline seems to have receded overnight on the left side. I am most curious to know if you have any ideas as to the causes and what is to be done? We are non- smokers, eat well, use a variety of shampoos and don’t use blow dryers.

Hair loss is largely a male problem and is primarily due to genetic factors and if a woman has a problem with baldness, it is also likely to be hereditary. The genetic factor becomes more dominant as the person ages.

It is normal for the scalp to shed 100 to 150 hairs per day, but, if a person is under extreme duress, the scalp can lose up to 500 to 600. Other common causes of hair loss are prolonged tension on the hair or scalp e.g. due to a tight ponytail, brushing too hard with a stiff nylon brush or combing too strenuously with a fine sharp comb, rubbing the scalp with the fingernails while shampooing or the excessive beating of water on the scalp from a shower. Widespread hair loss can be due to a general infection such as a kidney infection or pneumonia or high fever. When the body’s immunological system is being strongly challenged or when resistance is sharply lowered, the hair stops growing. This is a temporary hair loss and the hair will regrow after the body has returned to normal. Some medications, liver disease, tumors or cysts, crash diets, and emotional factors can also cause hair loss.

You may not necessarily be aware of the stress that changes in life cause, but moving does rate very high on the stress scale, even if it is a happy move. If you see no regrowth in a few months or if you detect other symptoms such as scaling, itching, redness, then contact a dermatologist for a consultation.

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