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Great Skincare While Traveling

A Portable Skincare Routine to Maintain Your Glow On-the-Go

It’s summertime – that wonderful season of vacations and weekend getaways. Vacation is for relaxing, shedding the stresses of everyday life, and perhaps indulging a bit more than usual. It’s refreshing to leave certain responsibilities behind, but some things should come along for the trip, like your skincare routine.

Packing up your at-home skincare routine isn’t the easiest to do – available luggage space is at a premium, and how can you possibly choose which products to bring and which to leave behind? Not to mention those pesky TSA liquid restrictions for carry-ons.

Plus, we know it can be challenging to keep up with routines when you’re on vacation, since letting loose is kind of the point, but the extra time in the sun and heightened activity only increase the need to maintain your skincare.

Luckily, our providers and estheticians have some great tips and guidance for maintaining a skincare routine while you’re on the go.

Traveling’s Toll on Your Skin

Vacationing is wonderful! But for your skin it can be quite the opposite, which is why your skincare routine shouldn’t take any time off.

There are a few ways traveling can impact your skin – even before you get to your destination – but there are ways to stay fresh, hydrated, and glowing on the go.


    Our skin needs a little extra TLC while in flight, thanks to the depressurized – and therefore dry – cabin air. This low-humidity environment can leave skin dry, itchy, and even flakey, especially during lengthy flights.

    Different Climates

      Depending on where you’re traveling, you might be going to a completely different climate. Switching from a cold climate to a hot one, or from a humid climate to a dry one, can wreak havoc on your skin since it has little time to adjust to the change.

      Different Environments

        Planning to sit on a beach for several days? Maybe you’re headed into a big city. Environmental factors like sand, wind, and pollution can give skin a run for its money, especially exposed areas like the face.


          Let’s face it – no matter how relaxing it is once you get where you’re going, there is always some travel stress you can’t avoid. Packing, leaving in time, catching a connecting flight, or long travel hours will cause some stress that can manifest on your skin, especially if you’re prone to stress-related breakouts.


            Summer vacation and sunny days go hand-in-hand, but going from a 9-5 workday spent indoors to a 9-5 beach day under the sun is a shock to the skin and requires extra attention to prevent burns that can quickly put a damper on your trip.

            Whatever factors might be at play on your vacation that can impact your skin, you can be prepared with skincare products that can take on anything your trip throws your skin’s way.

            Overcoming the Challenges of Skincare While Traveling

            Here are the top tips for overcoming some of the biggest challenges of maintaining your skincare routine while traveling.

            Pack products to tackle your travel challenges. Whether it’s a change in climate, days in the sun, or a long flight, consider what you’ll need to care for your skin while you’re away. Here are a few recommendations for different travel situations.

            Decide how you can downsize your routine. Chances are you’re not going to pack up your entire skincare collection. What do you really need for the time you’ll be away? Our dermatologists recommend bringing at least these three essentials:

            Invest in travel-size containers. If you can transfer some of your skincare products to smaller containers, consider purchasing some TSA-friendly sizes for your essentials.

            Try new products before you leave. The last thing you want is to have a bad reaction to a new skincare product while you’re away. Try any new products ahead of time to make sure they work for your skin.

            The Best Skincare Products to Bring on The Road

            Some of our expert providers have weighed in with their favorite skincare products that they wouldn’t leave behind while on the road.

            Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner, Sarah Winholt, NP-C, from our Milford, OH clinic, always travels with:

            Licensed Esthetician, Michelle Nunez, from our Bedford, NH practice recommends the following products as must haves for summer on the road!

            Finally, Medical Aesthetics Provider and Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner, Jill Bickford’s three must-have products when traveling are:

            You might be taking a vacation, but your skin isn’t. Pack your skincare products for your trip and treat your skin just as lavishly as you treat yourself

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            Optima Dermatology on New Day Cleveland – Summer Rashes

            As we enjoy the summer activities, our skin can often react to various environmental factors, leading to uncomfortable and sometimes serious rashes such as poison ivy, poison oak, swimmer’s itch, bug bites and tick bites, tinea versicolor, and more. Dr. Delost recently went on New Day Cleveland to discuss the causes, symptoms, tips for prevention, and treatment options of some common summer rashes. Check out the full interview below!

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            Are Tanning Beds Safe?

            Why You Should Skip the Tanning Bed and Try These Alternatives

            Being summer-ready has historically also meant having bronzed, sun-kissed skin to show off at the beach on your vacation. There is an entire industry around getting tan, and a big player in that space is the tanning bed. But if you’re thinking of using one, you should first ask yourself: are tanning beds safe? 

            The short answer is no – tanning beds aren’t safe for your skin. In this post, we’ll explain why they’re unsafe, and what you should know about them, and we’ll provide some great alternatives so you can achieve that tanned look without putting your skin in danger.

            Debunking Tanning Bed Myths

            There’s a lot of marketing around tanning bed use that doesn’t mention the significant health risks it poses. Here are 5 myths about tanning beds – and the truth may surprise you!

            Myth 1: Tanning beds are safer than the sun. 

            Tanning beds have long been billed as an easy and effective way to get tan, and have even been falsely heralded as safer than the sun. 

            But tanning beds emit levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that are just as or more intense than the sun, making a tanning bed’s effect on the skin worse than sun exposure. UVA rays from tanning beds can be three times more intense than from natural sunlight, increasing the risk of developing skin cancer.

            The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that tanning beds can increase the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 58% and basal cell carcinoma by 24% – and using tanning beds before age 20 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 47%. 

            Myth 2: Getting a “base tan” from a tanning bed reduces the risk of sunburn. 

            One or two tanning bed sessions to get a “base tan” will not only have zero impact on whether you get a sunburn (you can still get a sunburn even with a deep tan), but it’s no safer for your skin than being exposed to natural sunlight. 

            Myth 3: Tanning beds help your skin produce more Vitamin D. 

            The body produces Vitamin D in response to UVB light, but tanning beds emit mostly UVA light, therefore having no impact on your levels of Vitamin D. The best way to get it is through your diet by eating foods rich in Vitamin D, which is far more effective than UV radiation exposure. 

            Myth 4: You can’t become addicted to tanning. 

            The Skin Cancer Foundation reports there is evidence tanning can be addicting; 20% of women who took part in a Georgetown University Medical Center study showed signs of tanning dependence. Exposure to UV light has addictive qualities as it causes the release of mood-boosting endorphins, which then fade once the tanning session is over and can lead to feelings of depression or sadness.

            Myth 5: There aren’t any serious risks associated with tanning beds.

            Aside from the very serious risk of developing skin cancer, tanning beds can lead to other health concerns or injuries, including burns, premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage such as cataracts and ocular melanoma.

            Safer Alternatives to Tanning Beds

            Sunless tanning options like spray tan or self-tanner leave your skin looking tan without the dangerous UV radiation exposure. 

            One reason tanning beds are popular is that people believe they can’t get an even tan any other way. However, that’s simply not true.

            When applied correctly, spray tans or self tanner look even and natural and won’t leave any splotchy, streaky, orange-hued coloration.

            There are also a handful of additional benefits to choosing sunless tanner over tanning beds (or tanning in natural sunlight). 

            Tanning Bed Risks Have Caught Lawmakers’ Attention

            Because of the data showing increased risks of skin cancer associated with tanning bed use, especially for youth under the age of 20, many states have banned minors from using tanning beds. 

            Jamie Piacentini, a board-certified nurse practitioner at Optima Dermatology’s Scarborough, ME practice, was instrumental in the passing of legislation in 2019 that restricts minors under the age of 18 from using tanning beds in the state of Maine. Piacentini is passionate about creating awareness and taking action around the risks of tanning bed use for anyone, but especially minors.   

            The U.S. House of Representatives has also become involved in advocating for more upfront and clear language around the risks of tanning bed use. 

            This awareness and action comes on the heels of a legislative committee study that interviewed staff at different tanning salons. 90% of staff questioned about safety risks were not truthful, with some saying there were health benefits associated with using tanning beds and no increased risk for a fair-skinned teenager.

            In fact, individuals under the age of 30 are six times more likely to develop melanoma from tanning bed use – and skin cancer becomes more likely if an individual has already sustained a sunburn in their lifetime. 

            The Bottom Line: Tanning Beds Aren’t Safe

            If having tan skin in the summer months or year-round is important to you, sunless tanners like spray tanning and self tanner are great alternatives to tanning beds that keep your skin safe from UV radiation. 

            The risks of UV exposure are too great to take chances, especially if you’re under 20. Keep your skin healthy and glowing for longer and stay out of the sun’s harmful rays. And if you’ve already used a tanning bed, you can still protect your skin from developing skin cancer by stopping and switching to a sunless tanning option. And don’t forget to use sunscreen – spray tans and self tanner don’t provide any protection from the sun, and whether you’re tan or not, sunscreen is the only way to prevent sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer. 

            If you’d like product recommendations, have questions about your skin health, or just want a skin check, contact us today to set up an appointment with a provider in your area. 

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            Vitiligo Awareness Month: Causes and Treatment

            Understanding Vitiligo and How to Reduce Its Appearance

            We’re back with another Derm Deep Dive, a series where we provide expert advice from one of our board-certified dermatologists about common skin conditions or treatments. For Vitiligo Awareness Month, we’re speaking with board-certified dermatologist at our Mentor, OH location, Dr. Gregory Delost.

            The Purpose of Vitiligo Awareness Month

            In 2011, June was designated Vitiligo Awareness Month to help raise awareness and spread education about this skin condition that affects 70 million people worldwide.

            Recognizing skin conditions within a designated month helps support individuals with these issues and promotes additional research toward treatment options and management strategies. Suffering from a skin issue can feel isolating and have an impact on our daily lives, but speaking openly, especially about lesser-known conditions like vitiligo, helps create a supportive community and widens access to treatment.

            Vitiligo Awareness Month is an important time for Optima Dermatology and our team of skin care experts to remind everyone suffering from this skin condition that you aren’t alone and there is help out there!

            While many individuals are happy living with vitiligo and consider it as part of their identity, many others struggle with this condition and need greater support and information about treatment and management.

            In this blog, I’ll detail the best treatment options and the most effective approach for treating vitiligo.

            What is Vitiligo?

            Vitiligo is an autoimmune pigmentary disorder in which the immune system attacks melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment, affecting the coloring of the skin. Individuals with vitiligo will experience patches and spots of lighter skin that can occur in a small area or be more widespread. The level and amount of color loss can vary depending on the type and severity of your vitiligo.

            Anyone can develop vitiligo regardless of skin color or tone. It is not contagious, but existing patches of discolored skin can become wider or spread to other areas of the body. The discolored patches are typically lighter than your normal skin tone or a milky white color.

            There are different types of vitiligo, which I’ll explain in more detail below, and if you develop one type of vitiligo, it is possible for it to then develop into a different type over time. The best way to intervene with progression is with treatment and management.

            Vitiligo can also mimic the symptoms of another skin disorder, tinea versicolor, a fungal infection on the skin that causes discoloration, so it’s important to see a board-certified dermatologist if you’re experiencing skin discoloration to ensure a proper diagnosis and treatment.

            Different Types of Vitiligo

            We classify vitiligo in two ways – its stage of development and its type.

            Vitiligo has three stages of development:

            Localized: A small patch or patches of lighter or discolored skin on one or a few areas of the body. Vitiligo may remain in the localized stage for months or years.

            Generalized: Scattered patches of color loss across different areas of the body.

            Universal: A rarer stage of vitiligo in which people lose most of their skin color.

            Vitiligo can move into different stages throughout your lifetime, and there is no way to predict how much color loss will ultimately occur, or how large or widespread the patches will be.

            When vitiligo appears, regardless of stage, it falls into three types based on its appearance:

            Non-segmental vitiligo: With this type of vitiligo, patches of lighter skin will appear on both sides of the body, often on the same appendage or in the same location. This type of vitiligo can continue to grow as time passes.

            Segmental vitiligo. This type of vitiligo typically affects one area or side of the body and after a certain amount of time, the color loss stops and the vitiligo stabilizes.

            Mixed type vitiligo. This type of vitiligo is rare, but individuals who have mixed type experience both non-segmental and segmental vitiligo.

            Depending on your stage and type of vitiligo, your board-certified dermatologist will work with you to develop a treatment plan to manage your vitiligo, which can help minimize the spread and appearance of discoloration.

            Vitiligo Treatment and Management

            I’ve worked with many patients to treat and manage their vitiligo, and I recently spoke about it on New Day Cleveland and highlighted how far treatments have come in just the last few years.

            Vitiligo, like many skin disorders, can affect a person’s confidence and impact daily life, but I’m encouraged by the greater acceptance and awareness around vitiligo that has helped individuals consider vitiligo as part of their identity rather than something they need to cover with makeup and hide away.

            That being said, treatment and management help control vitiligo, and there are several options depending on your stage and type.

            Topical Medication: There are topical creams specifically targeted to the immune cells that play a role in vitiligo. By scaring the immune cells away, the pigment can return over time. For some patients, I may prescribe a corticosteroid or a combination of a corticosteroid and another topical medication to help restore color. Ruxolitinib Cream (“Rux cream”) is the only the FDA approved RX cream to treat vitiligo, the images shown below show the results Rux cream can provide over time.

            Light Therapy: Exposure to UV light for a certain amount of time can help trigger color restoration in the skin, and is most effective at treating vitiligo on the face and neck. Because light therapy works slowly, I may prescribe this treatment with a topical medication.

            Oral Medications: If your vitiligo is progressing rapidly, I may prescribe an oral medication like prednisone to help slow down the spread and give us time to use an additional treatment.

            Surgery: In serious cases, skin graft or cell transplant surgery are options to move healthy, pigmented skin, or cells from healthy skin, to the affected areas of the body. 

            It’s important to understand going into treatment that it does take time. The skin’s pigmentation cells need time to return, so results are not immediate, but we have seen remarkable results with these treatments.

            Because the skin’s pigment cells tend to congregate around hair follicles, treatment is especially effective on the face compared to the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

            One easy way to help prevent the spread of vitiligo is to practice good sun protection when outdoors. Skin with vitiligo burns easily as there is no pigment to protect it from the sun’s rays, and sunburn can worsen the condition.

            Find Your Treatment Plan

            Vitiligo can affect anyone at any age, but there are great treatment and management options for everyone. It’s important to visit with a dermatologist to diagnose your vitiligo and begin a treatment plan that is best for you.

            I’d love to meet with you to start a conversation about treating your vitiligo. Schedule an appointment with me at Optima Dermatology’s Mentor, OH practice to establish a treatment plan that will work best for you.

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            Optima Dermatology on New Day Cleveland – Skin Cancer Awareness

            May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, an important time to discuss skin cancer prevention and early detection. Sun damage, as we know, is dangerous for our skin as it can lead to the development of skin cancer. When you protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, you reduce your risk of developing skin cancer as well as premature skin aging.  Dr. Gregory Delost of our Mentor, OH practice recently joined Nicole Marcellino of New Day Cleveland to talk about the common types of skin cancer, the importance of annual skin checks, and tips for choosing and applying sunscreen!

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            Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Facts and Tips to Know for Prevention & Detection

            May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, an important time to educate about skin cancer prevention and early detection. Our skin is our largest organ, which makes it more susceptible to damage. Sun damage, as we know, is dangerous for our skin as it can lead to the development of skin cancer.

            Compounding the risk is the reality that individuals often don’t get their skin checked by a dermatologist or conduct regular self-exams at home. Both are important ways to identify any abnormalities on the skin that should be tested or treated to rule out skin cancer. 

            Early detection of skin cancer is key to making treatment more effective, and although skin cancer is usually visible, it often goes undetected without a professional dermatologist conducting a thorough skin check.

            Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., with nearly 10,000 people diagnosed every day. These rates are only increasing – especially among women and those under the age of 40 – making spreading awareness a critically important mission.

            In this post, we collaborated with board-certified dermatologist of our Scarborough location, Dr. Daniel Cuozzo, to discuss how to check for skin cancer and identify abnormalities. We’re also going to walk you through something called the ABCDEs of Melanoma, which provides a guide to follow in what to look for to identify Melanoma skin cancer.

            How to Perform a Self-Exam for Skin Cancer

            The more regularly you conduct a self-exam, the more likely it is that you will notice any new or different spots on your skin and be able to intervene early. There are elements of our skin that naturally change over time, but you should always err on the side of caution and see a board-certified dermatologist with any concerns.

            Here are the American Academy of Dermatology Association’s recommendations for how to perform a self-exam for skin cancer:

            1. Use a full-length mirror in a brightly lit space to examine the front, back, right, and left sides of your body. Raise your arms to view hard-to-see places.
            2. Examine your underarms, forearms, the palms of your hands, and your fingernails.
            3. Look at the soles of your feet, your toenails, the spaces between your toes, and the backs of your feet and legs.
            4. Examine your neck and scalp using a small hand mirror, being sure to part your hair for a better look at different areas of your scalp.
            5. Check your back and buttocks, also using a hand mirror.

            The ABCDEs of Melanoma

            Melanoma is a serious skin cancer because it can spread from the skin to other parts of the body. Once it has spread deeper into the skin or other parts of the body, it becomes more difficult to treat. However, when detected and treated early melanoma is usually curable, making a compelling argument for self-exams and annual skin checks with your dermatologist.

            When conducting a self-exam, here is the ABCDE rule for identifying the warning signs of Melanoma.

            A – Asymmetry: One side of the mole is not like the other.

            B – Border: There is an irregular or poorly defined border around the mole.

            C – Color: The mole is multiple shades of color (usually brown), but can also be pinkish or even black.

            D – Diameter: A mole diagnosed with Melanoma is typically the size of an eraser head or larger, but it can be smaller.

            E – Evolving: Your mole either looks very different from other moles on your body or has changed in appearance from when you first noticed it. These evolutions can include color, size, or shape.

            Beyond these points, any skin abnormality, especially one that does not heal, is bleeding, itching, flaking, or changing in shape, color, or size, should be looked at by a board-certified dermatologist to rule out skin cancer and treat any other skin issue you may be suffering from.

            Check at Home – and With Your Dermatologist

            We’ve talked a lot about the importance of skin checks at home and at least once each year with your board-certified dermatologist. Seeing a dermatologist annually is a perfect complement to self-exams, not only for skin cancer prevention but to manage any other skin issues.

            Here is what you can expect from a full body skin check visit:

            Keep Your Skin Cancer Awareness & Prevention Going All Year Long

            We can’t stress enough that skin cancer awareness is important all year round.

            Prevention goes beyond skin checks – daily sun protection is critical and includes wearing sunscreen daily with an SPF of 30 or more, especially on areas that are regularly exposed like your face, neck, chest, and hands. You should also wear sun protective clothing and seek shade when the sun’s rays are the strongest, between 10am and 2pm.

            Skin cancer awareness leads to prevention, detection, and greater success rates for treatment.

            If you’d like to schedule a skin check to discuss your concerns and questions about your skin health, contact us today to set up an appointment with a provider in your area.

            (855) 277–9689

            Sarah Winholt, FNP-C, joins Optima Dermatology’s Milford, OH Practice 

            Winholt and Her Team Provide Expert Medical Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments

            The newest addition to Optima Dermatology’s Milford, OH practice is board-certified Nurse Practitioner Sarah Winholt, FNP-C, who brings several years of expertise servicing patients in the Cincinnati and Columbus regions. 

            Sarah has advanced training and extensive experience performing a range of cosmetic treatments, including neurotoxin injections – such as BOTOX® and Dysport®dermal filler, laser treatments, microneedling, and more. 

            Sarah, who is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in nursing from the University of Cincinnati, and she also holds a Bachelor of Science in Health and Rehabilitative Sciences from Ohio State University. 

            Before focusing her career on medical aesthetics, Sarah worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in an urgent care clinic, where she diagnosed and treated common dermatologic conditions. She also spent several years working as a critical care Registered Nurse (RN) in a hospital. 

            A Patient-Centered and Care-Focused Approach

            Having always been passionate about skin care, Sarah puts every patient at the center of her care, offering a personalized and thoughtful treatment experience. 

            Sarah’s approach to care reflects Optima’s mission to treat all patients the way we would want our family and friends to be treated. Sarah makes it a point to ensure her patients understand every aspect of their diagnosis and treatment and enjoys collaborating with her patients to develop a customized treatment plan. 

            We recently had the opportunity to learn more about Sarah, her approach, and the path that led her to become a board-certified nurse practitioner.

            How/when did you know you wanted to be a Nurse Practitioner? Were you always interested in dermatology and aesthetics and what was your path to get here? 

            I always thought that I wanted to be a physical therapist. I played competitive soccer when I was younger, and I was always in and out of PT for different injuries. This gave me a lot of insight into that career. In undergrad, I started meeting nursing students and they were always so passionate about their career that it was very intriguing to me. I took a course to receive a nursing aide certification and I absolutely loved it. This is when I decided to make a career change.

            I have always been passionate about skincare from a young age, so I knew that specializing in dermatology was my goal. I worked bedside as a critical care RN before graduating with my FNP. I wanted to be very experienced before I started working as a Nurse Practitioner. I have been a Nurse Practitioner for the past 5 years and I have specialized in cosmetic dermatology for the last 3 years.

            What is your number one tip when it comes to taking care of your skin? 

            Always protect your skin and apply SPF every day. The trick is to find a SPF that you love so you don’t mind putting it on every morning. There are so many great medical-grade SPF products out there right now. I can help you find your perfect match! 

            What is your favorite aspect of being in dermatology? 

            I enjoy creating customized treatment plans for my patients. It is rewarding to see the improvement of my patient’s skin and the confidence that it gives them. Additionally, I like that we are always advancing and growing as dermatology providers. The cosmetic and medical dermatology fields are rapidly changing with new technology and advancements, which makes it exciting to be continually learning the latest dermatological procedures.  

            What do you enjoy most about treating your aesthetic patients and what is unique about your approach? 

            I enjoy helping each patient reach their aesthetic goal. There is no better feeling than giving my patients the mirror at the end of their cosmetic procedure and seeing their faces light up when they see their results.

            I believe in taking a comprehensive and personalized approach to aesthetic treatments. I take the time to understand each patient’s concerns and goals, which allows me to customize the treatment plan. I take a very natural approach to reach the best possible outcomes.

            Where are some unexpected areas you treat with dermal filler that produce great results? 

            An unexpected area to treat with dermal filler is in the hands. Our hands are often the first sign of our age. We can replace the lost volume in our hands with several syringes of dermal filler and it gives a very beautiful and youthful result.

            What do you like to do when you are not treating patients? 

            I enjoy taking Pilates classes, walking on the bike trail with my dog, and traveling on the weekends. Now that spring and summer are approaching, I spend most of my free time at the lake with family and friends. I enjoy paddle boarding and boating – but really anything on the water!

            What to Expect From Dermatological Care Delivered by Sarah and Her Team

            Sarah and her team at Optima Dermatology & Medical Aesthetics offer exceptional services and have the advanced training and experience to ensure the highest quality of care. 

            She is currently accepting new patients at our Milford, OH location. Request an appointment online or give us a call at 513-327-9244.

            (855) 277–9689

            Optima Dermatology on New Day Cleveland – Vitiligo

            Vitiligo is am autoimmune disease that affects 70 million people worldwide. While there’s no one cure for Vitiligo, a dermatologist can offer treatment plans to help restore a person’s natural skin tone and reduce vitiligo from spreading to other areas. Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Gregory Delost recently sat down with New Day Cleveland to discuss the commonality of Vitiligo, the different types, and newly available treatment options, including Ruxolitinib Cream with results shown in the photos to the right. If you have vitiligo, it’s important to seek treatment with a dermatologist sooner rather than later! Check out the full interview to learn more from Dr. Delost.

            Dr. Delost on New Day Cleveland
            (855) 277–9689

            Rosacea Awareness Month: 4 Steps to Manage Rosacea

            Rosacea Awareness Month with Dr. Reimer and Dr. Polster of Optima Dermatology

            Rosacea Awareness Month: 4 Steps to Manage Rosacea

            We’re back with another Derm Deep Dive, a series where we provide expert advice from our team of board-certified dermatologists about common skin conditions and treatment options. For Rosacea Awareness Month, we’re collaborating with Dr. Amy Polster and Dr. Meredith Reimer on how to manage this skin condition.

            If You Have Rosacea, Here’s What You Should Know

            Rosacea has a reputation as simply being facial redness, but it is more complicated than that. Importantly, rosacea is a chronic condition that can cause noticeable inflammation on the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids, which can then lead to redness, broken blood vessels, swelling, pimples, or pustules.

            The National Rosacea Society reports that rosacea affects about 16 million Americans. While there is no known cause or cure for this chronic condition, it can be successfully managed and controlled with the right treatment plan.

            Rosacea Awareness Month is an important time for us to remind everyone suffering from this common skin condition that you aren’t alone and there is help out there! Here are 4 simple steps to help manage your rosacea.

            STEP 1: Identify Potential Triggers

            The first step is to work with your dermatologist to identify what might be triggering your rosacea. Triggers can include any of the following:

            STEP 2: Create a Management Plan with Your Dermatologist

            Second, your dermatologist will provide guidelines to help determine the best ways to manage your specific triggers. When it comes to triggers that exist in your everyday life, there are some best practice lifestyle changes that can help alleviate symptoms:

            Rosacea may be caused by triggers that are harder to pinpoint, or it may not be responsive to lifestyle changes. In addition to lifestyle changes, there are other treatment options your dermatologist may consider, including:

            STEP 3: Give it Time

            It’s important to remember that because rosacea is a chronic condition, symptoms won’t alleviate right away. Additionally, every patient is different, and the dermatologists at Optima Dermatology recognize that what works for one of our patients may not work for another.

            The right treatment plan could take time to identify. We may have to try a few different therapies before we find one that works for your specific form of rosacea. Patients should allow up to 12 weeks for a treatment plan to do its job. Time to remission may vary – and therefore, patience is key.  

            STEP 4: Stay Consistent

            If you’re trying to eat healthier, having a vegetable with dinner one time won’t do much for your overall health. Making any kind of lasting impact requires consistency and a dedicated effort. To truly prevent flare ups – or at least minimize their frequency and severity – you need to be consistent with your treatment and not just treat your rosacea during flare ups.

            It can be frustrating to have to wait for results, especially when dealing with an issue that impacts your appearance. However, rosacea treatment takes time and commitment. Improving a skin condition is part of our overall health and wellness, just like eating more vegetables. Consistency and patience will generate better results.

            If you’re dealing with signs and symptoms of rosacea and need help identifying triggers and developing a treatment plan, our team of expert dermatology providers are here to help. Request an appointment today!

            (855) 277–9689

            Meet Siobhan Arey, PA-C

            Siobhan Arey, PA-C, Joins Optima Dermatology in Scarborough, ME

            Optima Dermatology is excited to introduce Siobhan Arey, PA-C, a board-certified physician assistant who provides dermatology services in our Scarborough, ME practice. Siobhan has been caring for patients since 2017, and treats a wide range of skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Siobhan also provides screenings and treatments for skin cancer. Siobhan earned her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from Le Moyne College. She earned her Master of Public Health from Syracuse University, and received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience from the University of Maine. Following her undergraduate work, Siobhan spent two years contributing full-time service to the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), an anti-poverty program. Siobhan is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Maine Association of Physician Assistants, and the Pi Alpha National Physician Assistant Honor Society. She also co-authored survey research regarding telemedicine in dermatology practice during the pandemic, which was published in JAAD and Cutis.

            Putting Patients at the Center of Care

            Originally from Gorham, ME, Siobhan has been treating patients in the state since 2021. Her approach to dermatology services is thoughtful and caring, and Siobhan embodies Optima’s stated commitment to treating all patients the way we would want our family and friends to be treated.  Siobhan involves her patients in their skin care, ensuring you understand and are part of decisions around diagnosis and treatment. Education and trust are core to her approach to patient care. We recently had the opportunity to learn more about Siobhan, her approach, and the path that led her to become a board-certified nurse practitioner.

            Where did you go to college?

            I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Maine. I then attended Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University’s joint program for my masters in public health. I completed my physician assistant training at LeMoyne College. What made you decide to pursue a career in dermatology? What did the path to get there look like? Dermatology wasn’t on my radar, but it was my first unit in PA school and after that I was hooked. I was very fortunate that my professor from that unit acted as a mentor. I did my electives in dermatology during school and received an offer for a dermatology position immediately after graduating. I worked at Upstate Medical University until I moved back to Maine. I have had excellent physician and PA mentors for whom I am very grateful, and I continue to keep in touch with them. The dermatology community is an amazing collaborative group.

            What are your favorite aspects of dermatology?

            I love the hands-on nature of dermatology, as well as the concentration and attention to detail needed to be an excellent dermatology provider.

            On your journey to becoming a board-certified physician assistant, what was the best advice you were given?

            The thing that unites us is that we will all be patients one day, so treat every patient the way you would want to be treated if you or your family members were seeking care.

            What is your number one tip when it comes to taking care of your skin?

            Sunscreen always! And take inventory every month for new or changing spots. Reach out to a dermatology clinic for skin cancer screening appointments yearly or as recommended by your provider.

            How would you describe your approach to treating patients?

            I like my patients to actively participate in their care. I do my best to explain everything and offer education and encourage self awareness to prevent skin cancers and treat skin conditions.

            What do you like to do when you are not in the office?

            Being on the water at the lake or at the beach and hiking! Maine is such a beautiful place and I love enjoying the outdoors with my family.

            What to Expect From Dermatological Care Delivered by Siobhan and Her Team

            Siobhan and her team at Optima Dermatology offer exceptional services and have the advanced training and experience to ensure the highest quality of care.

            She is currently accepting new patients at our Scarborough, ME location. Request an appointment online or give us a call at 207-770-5621.

            (855) 277–9689

            Optima Dermatology on New Day Cleveland – Cosmetic Treatment Options

            Cosmetic treatments are for everyone! Aesthetic services have continued to gain popularity amongst men in recent years, particularly procedures that address the top three areas men are most concerned about – the hairline, jawline, and eyes. There are a range of non-surgical treatment options to help provide a refreshed, rejuvenated, and natural look. Dr. Gregory Delost of our Mentor, OH practice recently joined Nicole Marcellino of New Day Cleveland to talk about treatment options for these top concerns. Check out the full interview to learn more!

            Optima Dermatology's Dr. Gregory Delost on New Day Cleveland
            (855) 277–9689

            Combat Dry Skin with the Right Skin Care Routine

            Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Stead Shares the Best Products

            We’re back with another Derm Deep Dive, a series where we provide expert advice from one of our board-certified dermatologists about a specific topic in skin care. For this edition, we’re speaking with Dr. Jennifer Stead, DO, FAAD, from our Bedford, NH practice, about the best products to combat dry skin and help you maintain a healthy and effective skincare routine.

            It’s important to take care of your skin in the morning and again at night before you go to bed. Dr. Stead recommends the following morning and nighttime products.

            Morning Skin Care

            Set your skin up for success every day. A good morning skincare routine helps protect your skin from exposure to UV rays, dirt, bacteria, sweat, and other damaging factors.

            Try these products to give your skin a barrier against anything your day throws your way.

            Revision Gentle Foaming Cleanser

            This soothing, soap-free foam cleanser gently and effectively cleanses skin with a rich, velvety foam. The combination of chamomile, aloe vera, and allantoin helps calm and moisturize skin, leaving it feeling smooth and soft.

            Revision Soothing Facial Rinse

            This calming, alcohol-free formula gently hydrates and refreshes skin with each cleanse. A unique blend of plant and algae extracts leaves skin feeling soft and smooth and helps keep skin at its optimum pH level.

            Alastin HA

            Instantly boost skin hydration with this hyaluronic acid serum that promotes long-term skin plumping, anti-aging, and hydration, while also minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

            Nighttime Skin Care

            A nighttime skincare routine is the perfect way to wind down, and it doesn’t have to be complicated! First, wash away dirt and impurities with the Revision Gentle Foaming Cleanser used in your morning routine. Your skin revitalizes itself during the night, so why not give it some help with skin care products that repair and rejuvenate the skin while you sleep?

            EltaMD Skin Recovery Night Mask

            This nighttime mask repairs and regenerates skin three times faster at night than during the day, making it a staple of your nighttime skin care routine. It helps strengthen the skin barrier, visibly reduces redness, improves hydration, and gives your skin a well-rested, radiant glow. Plus, it is free of dyes, fragrances, and parabens, is non-comedogenic, and is suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin types.

            Isdin Melatonik

            Try this restorative nighttime serum-in-oil, which works while you sleep to help your skin recover from daily stresses. Its 3-in-1 formula contains melatonin, bakuchiol, and vitamin C, which together stimulate your skin’s natural antioxidant defenses and help restore vitality and elasticity for healthy, more radiant skin.

            Sticking to a Healthy Routine

            Remember that consistency is key. Try to maintain a regimen for three months for proper evaluation, and don’t give up too quickly. If you are testing too many products at once or moving on after a couple of weeks, it’s hard to know what’s working!

            Are you in the Manchester area and have concerns about your skin or want to discuss the best approach to your skincare? Schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists or providers for an initial consultation and to get started on a path to healthier, happier skin.

            Please note that the available skin care products vary by location.