Hello, Warriors! We hope you’re doing well and thriving! Welcome to The Breast Place blog, where we cover a range of topics from breast cancer management to skin care treatments to women’s health. We’re committed to sharing the best health practices and treatment options with you! Check out our previous posts about mask-related acne and teach your daughters how to perform a self-exam! Be sure to check back in for more information you need to live your best life!
Today, we’ll be detailing the effect of water on your skin. Whether you’re drinking water or washing your face with it, water plays a vital role in allowing our bodies to function properly. We’ve all been inundated with “remember to drink water’ posts and perhaps you’ve even started to incorporate water consumption into your daily routine. However, the type of water you drink and use on your body can have effects on your skin you didn’t intend for. We’ll go over the benefits of drinking an adequate amount of water, as well as which types of water you should avoid to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy!
Benefits of Drinking Water
According to the ‘Natural Mineral Waters: Chemical Characteristics and Health Effects,’ a scientific paper studying the benefits of mineral water on the body, “water is involved in many body functions, since it serves as a carrier of nutrients and substances in the circulatory system. Furthermore, it is a vehicle to excrete products, eliminate waste and toxins, and it also lubricates joints. However, there is no efficient mechanism of the body's water storage; therefore, a constant supply of fluids is needed to keep water content.” (Quattrini).
Drinking an adequate amount of water can help to tighten skin, maintain your body’s natural pH balance, flush toxins, retain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles, as well as reduce breakouts and the appearance of dark circles. All of that, you say? Yes! And more.
Allowing your body to become dehydrated is detrimental not only to your skin, but also all of your other body functions. Now you’re aware of the importance of drinking plenty of water daily, the next question is...
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day
How much water you consume on a daily basis varies depending on a set of personal factors, including: metabolism, weight, height, and daily activity. While some medical professionals recommend an all-encompassing five to eight glasses a day, others ask you to do a bit of math to determine the appropriate amount of daily water consumption. The formula takes your weight in pounds and divides it in half. The resulting number is how many ounces of water you should consume per day. For example, a two-hundred pound man would drink one-hundred ounces of water per day.
Different Aspects of Water and How They Affect Your Skin
Water may seem simple at first glance. Water is water, right? Well, not quite.
Consider the water aisle at your local grocery store. There are multiple different brands and all manner of different kinds of water available for consumption. We’re here to tell you some of those types are better for your skin, both orally and topically.
Let’s begin with the one most of us have access to in our homes--tap water. Tap water is cheap and widely available, making it the most convenient option for the general population to both drink and wash with. However, as we’ve seen on the news in past years, tap water may not always be the best to drink. Tap water can contain plastic particles, lead, pesticide residue, aluminum, and other contaminants we don’t want circulating through our systems. Extra toxins can and will have an effect on our skin. Therefore, you might want to consider investing in a filtration system to filter out the microscopic contaminants present in tap water. Purified water—water which has been chemically treated to be safe to drink—may be an option for your drinking water as well, but we’ll discuss later why it may not be the best option for your skin.
As well, tap water has a pH of about 7, which is considered neutral. Tap water can run more alkaline, in certain areas. Our skin has a natural pH of about 5 (ideally, 4.7), which is slightly acidic. When our skin is left unwashed for at least twenty-four hours, it generally dips below a 5 on the pH-scale. This pH contributes to what’s known as our acid mantle, which is essential for our skin’s health and health. The acidity of our skin allows resident bacteria to continue living on the skin, but makes the skin inhospitable to other types of bacteria. Breakdowns in the acid mantle can lead to acne and infections. Alkaline soaps and water (such as tap water) can raise the pH of your skin for a temporary period and potentially interrupt the acid mantle. Skin that’s too alkaline is dry, tight, and dull. Meanwhile, skin that’s too acidic is greasy, irritated, and overly sensitive.
As an alternative to tap water, you might choose to drink and wash your face with distilled water. Distilled water is tap water that has been boiled and had its steam collected. This steaming process leaves behind contaminants and is a great option if you don’t trust your tap water. Distilled water, lacking minerals, can sometimes pull minerals from your body and teeth. However, its pH is close to 5, meaning distilled water won’t bring up the pH balance of your skin. That’s why it’s recommended you use distilled water for your skin and drink mineral water instead.
Mineral water is collected from select springs and contains a host of beneficial minerals. Defined as “microbiologically wholesome,” mineral water must be absent of the main contamination factors (e.g. parasites, E. Coli, fecal matter) at the time of collection and marketing. Below is a list of some minerals found in mineral water and how they benefit your body:
Many of these minerals aid in digestion. Digestion plays an important role in the appearance of our skin. Good digestion helps eliminate toxins from the body and reduce inflammation. When our digestive system isn’t operating effectively, our bodies struggle to absorb nutrients and toxins can reintegrate into our systems, then express through our skin.
Not every bottle of mineral water will contain all of these macro and micronutrients. As well, mineral water can be expensive. As well, you should be able to acquire the necessary quantities of these nutrients through a balanced diet. The alternative, spring water (which also contains minerals) isn’t always tested and may contain health risks. Therefore, a combination of drinking mineral water and using distilled (reverse osmosis) water on your face should give you everything you need—both inside and out—to keep your skin looking its best.
Remember to tone after using an acidic or alkaline cleanser to restore your skin to its natural pH balance. Additionally, avoid spending too much time in chlorinated water.
Another important factor you need to consider is the hardness of your tap water. Hard water contains soap scum—dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium—which leaves a thin layer of residue on the skin even after washing with soap. This residue can clog pores and lead to breakouts, as well as worsen skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Hard water can dry skin out and prevent our natural oils from doing their job of conditions and softening our skin. All of this drying can lead to premature aging. If that wasn’t bad enough, those impurities present in hard water can form free radicals which damage healthy skin cells, causing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have an irritated scalp or dandruff, hard water may be making the issue worse. Hard water has been found to be an environmental trigger of eczema.
Soft water, on the other hand, lacks these mineral deposits. Therefore, soft water is gentler on your skin and won’t trigger skin condition flare-ups. Soft water won’t give you the telltale “squeaky clean” feeling hard water will give after a shower, but that’s a positive. Clean skin should feel slick and slippery, not tight. Hard water actually has a difficult time bonding to soap and forming a lather, which makes it less effective when cleansing the body.
If you suspect your water is too hard, you can do a water hardness test to confirm your suspicions. Then, if you were correct, invest in a new showerhead which filters hard water or applies a softening agent. As well, rinsing your skin with acidic water (i.e. ionized water or heavily diluted apple cider vinegar) can remove some of the residue from hard water still present on your skin after washing.
Though you may love hot showers or extol the benefits of a cold shower, the optimal temperature for extended exposure to water is lukewarm. Water that’s too hot can irritate and strip the skin. There’s no harm in splashing your face in cold water or taking a cold shower every once in a while. In fact, we’re sure you’ve read about the benefits of doing this. However, the safest bet every time is lukewarm water.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about how the water you drink and use can affect your skin, in a nutshell. We hope this information leads to noticeable improvements in your skin. And, one last time, drink your water!
Here at The Breast Place we offer a list of facial rejuvenation services, including Excel V+ (vascular laser), Secret RF (micro-needling with radio frequency), dermal fillers, and Botox. Facial rejuvenation can address concerns such as excessive redness, uneven texture, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We also have Dr. Des Fernandes, a skincare expert and founder of Environ Skincare, on-hand to help you with any other skin concerns you may have. Reach out for a consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve your best skin! Until next time, thank you for reading!
What's a Peel, anyway?
By now most of you know The Breast Place and Empower at The Breast Place ladies are obsessed with Environ skin care, and that our staff, including Dr. Beatty, uses the products every day. We have decided to carry Environ Peels so we can start offering the benefits of these peels to our patients.
We want our clients who are new and old to peels, to understand the Environ Peel, and the difference a non-acidic solution makes.
What are Environ Peels?
The principles of Environ peels are based on physiology of skin cells; these are to be protected and treated very well. If the skin cell is aggressively peeled this disrupts the skins natural barrier and water will easily be lost and environmental toxins can enter the skin more easily. Hence Environ peels remove the excess horny layer of the skin and yet maintain the water-proofing barrier qualities of the skin. Environ Peels are ideal for hydrating and refining; they repair cells and encourage cell exfoliation revealing fresh and youthful skin. Especially effective to treat scarring, rough textured, sun damage, acne and rosacea.
How do Environ Peels work?
Environ have a variety of peeling systems, using acidic creams and gels instead of using acid solutions. These peels preserve as much epidermis as possible while at the same time, getting the safest effective concentration of hydronium ions into the dermis. These peels are designed to preserve the architecture of the skin simultaneously stimulating the fibroblasts in the dermis to increase the quantity of collagen in the dermis.
What skin issues do Environ peels treat?
• Environ peels are an ideal way to treat acne that has not responded to prior simple treatments.
• Rough skin will respond very successfully to peeling and skin that is in need of hydrating.
• Wrinkles and fine lines.
• Solar keratoses (known as age spots)
• It enhances facial surgery.
What will my skin feel like during and after my Environ Peel?
During your Environ peel, you may experience a warm, tingling sensation, however most clients experience no discomfort. After your peel, your skin may feel tight and slightly warm.
How long do Environ Peels take?
Environ peels of the face are generally performed in approximately 60 minutes. However, this will vary if it is combined with a facial or if it is done as a stand-alone treatment. During the consultation, Rachel would be able to direct you as to how to go about the procedure. Speaking generally, one would need a series of peels to treat a specific condition.
How long after an Environ Peel may I return to normal activities?
You must avoid sun exposure and tanning beds. Avoid exercise for the 24 hours after your peel and do not pick, scratch or peel your skin. Make up can be applied immediately. You may experience mild redness or tingling following your peel. One to three days following your procedure, you will notice mild to moderate peeling of the skin that can be concealed with the consistent use of mineral makeup.
ENVIRON’S APPROACH TO PEELING
Cool Peeling with Environ
Environ peeling systems that I use are based on
• Lactic Acid which is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid, made from asses milk,(Lac-Pamgel),
• TCA (tri-chloracetic acid), which is a man-made chemical based on acetic acid. These are very safe and allergic reactions or serious medical complications have never been described, (TCA Pamgels) and
• TCA (tri-chloracetic acid) which Environ pioneered in a cream as a peeling agent to give a controlled, even, safe and effective peel. (Acid Cream Mask – ACM)
Advantages of the Environ Peel:
• Versatile system
• Can be customised according to each client’s requirements
• No down time
• Cool and painless
Why are Environ Peels Different?
Environ is different from other companies producing peels, because Environ pioneered the production of acidic creams and gels instead of using acid solutions.
Since strong acid solutions are usually colourless, one might end up doing a deeper peel than intended as one would not be able to see where the skin has been treated once the solution dries. Also, when a strong acid is applied to the skin it burns a great deal.
Effects of Peeling
• Superficial peels: visible effects barely perceptible
• Skin becomes dryer for a while
• Then skin becomes smoother
• Healthy cells survive
• Damaged cells are removed
• Promotes collagen formation
• Blackheads melted / removed
• Acne less active
• Reduces inflammation
• Kills bacteria to sterilize the skin
• Refines enlarged pores.
Care of Skin After Peeling
• Avoid sun exposure, including sun beds, for the next week
• Avoid exercise for 24 hours
• Avoid swimming – chemicals could irritate the skin
• Don’t rub, pick or irritate skin
• Do not use any Alpha Hydroxy products for 24 hours (normal skin) or 72 hours (sensitive skin)
• Avoid Alpha Cream for 1 week before and after an Environ peel
• Moisturize the skin adequately day and night. The B-Active range can be used immediately after the peel.
• Use sunscreen.
Interested in learning more about peels or scheduling a peel? Contact Rachel directly 843-797-1941 ext 203 or email email@example.com!
We are very proud that The Breast Place has been a trusted breast health resource in our community. During this challenging time, we are putting your safety and wellness as well as that of our patient care team first. That being said, we thought a few helpful hints along the way would continue to bring our community together during this time of social distancing.
A patient asked this morning how to address the red patches and eczema inflamed on her skin with all the handwashing. Then one of our team members showed her blotchy, cracked hands as an example.
So what do we do when we have to wash our hands over and over and/or apply sanitizer again and again?
When you are washing your hands to avoid a disease, the last thing you want is to make them so raw that that there is breakage in the skin so that a bacterial or fungal infection develops. Cracks that form on skin can increase your risk of contracting infections through the fissures and also lead to conditions such as eczema.
We cannot stop washing our hands (health professionals are doing it up to 100 times a day) and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people should scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds. Don’t you remember your kindergarten teacher telling you to sing a full rendition of Happy Birthday while washing, to get through the 20 seconds? Those rules still apply today!
Here are some helpful hints to care for your skin after washing your hands:
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which kill the microbes on skin without removing any debris, irritate hands less than soap. We suggest using hand sanitizers when it makes the most sense, like after touching a door handle or another surface that might carry germs, instead of repeatedly washing your hands. However, keep in mind that sanitizer kills 6%0 of what soap kills, including surface debris. It does not replace washing your hands correctly.
Take preventative measures to moisturize your hands after washing them will help. Hand soap should also gentle and fragrance-free – remember, you are not washing dishes!
Once you’ve washed your hands for at least 20 seconds (Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you…you know the drill!), pat them dry rather than rubbing them. Leave just a small amount of dampness and then moisturize to lock in the water.
Immediately use a hand cream to seal in the moisture. Among the many kinds of moisturizers, hand creams are better than body lotion because they are more nourishing. Body lotions, which are primarily water-based, can further dry out skin because the water evaporates while creams, which are often oil-based, will begin moisturizing and protecting washed hands.
We recommend applying thick hand creams at nighttime to give your skin a rest. Put on a pair of cotton gloves or even socks!! For a few hours before bed, or even overnight, you will hydrate and replenish the skin, gearing up to fight the COVID-19 another day.
*Remember, if your skin is sensitive to harsh chemicals, you should handle cleaning supplies like Clorox wipes while wearing gloves.
A Queen; A Survivor
One of the best things we can do as a support group is to tell your stories. You have so much to share with those walking and struggling along a similar path, and no story is stronger than one told by those who need to tell it.
Happy February friends, fellow survivors, and fellow fighters. This month is usually one that celebrates love with candy hearts, cards, and enough rom-com films to drive you crazy. Red, pink, and white everything cover every surface of every drug store, department store, and grocery store that you walk into. But we are no strangers to the color pink. It's not just a color of love and Hallmark Holidays. It's a color of strength, fortitude, determination, and power. It's the color of battle and the color of remembrance. Valentine's Day is just one day, but love is something that should be celebrated in all forms every day. Love is something that keeps us fighting and gives us a reason one way or the other to get up and out of bed and to keep moving. Leave the candy and the cards behind, and let love carry you through all day every day. Don't let one day get you down, let it buoy you in remembering that love and determination are always with you.
In celebration of that idea, we are so excited to open up a new chapter in our blogs. If you have been following us on Instagram and Facebook (which, if you haven't yet, you should!) then you are probably familiar with our posts dedicated to #SurvivorSunday, and asking you to share your survivor stories with us. These are your stories to tell, and no one can tell them better than you. Now that we have had some incredible individuals share their stories with us, we will be dedicating some of our blogs to these people and the stories they have to tell.
We are so very excited to share our very first survivor story with you, and this extraordinary woman might look very familiar. We are honored to share with you the story of Savanna James, who was recently crowned Miss Summerville and will be going on to compete in the Miss South Carolina Pageant later this summer. Her platform is "Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention." How incredible is that? Her story is unique. It is a story about being a high-risk survivor. We are so proud to share her story because she represents more than half of our patient population. We excited to have her as an advocate for awareness and early detection. We are also very thrilled to announce that she will be apart of our team this summer, and will be a part of several upcoming events. Please keep your eyes and calendars open for that.
Without further ado, we turn this blog over to Savanna James, so she can tell you her story.
"Being 24, I genuinely believed that my "adult" life was just getting started. I had moved to Charleston and started working as Vice President of East West Gem Co. I grew up acting and doing pageants, and even though I knew breast cancer was heavy in my family, I didn't think anything could affect me this early. Unfortunately, this reality was shattered at my yearly OBGYN appointment. I was referred to the Breast Place immediately. After meeting with Dr. Beatty, I was advised that it would be in my best interest to have a double mastectomy. The decision to move forward was not easy, especially at my age, but it is one I am very thankful that I was able to make. I have watched several family members suffer and ultimately pass away from breast cancer. I chose to compete for Miss Summerville, sharing my story, because there are so many people who are unaware that they might be living in the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that others will hear my story and seek help, feeling comforted in knowing that they have options. I do not feel like any less of a woman for going through with the procedure. I honestly feel empowered that I was able to make a strong choice, one that could ultimately save my life. As Miss Summerville, and as Savanna, I hope that others hear my story and are influenced to be proactive, get checked yearly and to do self-checks. At 24, I stand with the 1 in 8.
Dr. Beatty and The Breast Place fully supported Savanna’s decision to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy. This decision is huge and personal. It should be thought out by each individual who may be facing it with education and research to understand the risks and benefits of undergoing a major surgery. A mastectomy can be life changing as it alters the appearance of the body you have known from birth and the decision to undergo one with or without reconstruction should not be taken lightly. Dr. Beatty encourages everyone in a similar position to research the pros and cons of surgery and understand that reconstructive surgery can be difficult but beautiful. Here at The Breast Place, we support our patients making decisions that are best for them as an individual as healthcare is not “one size fits all.
Breast cancer doesn't choose who it claims. A pageant queen, a mother, a doctor, a sister, a friend, it doesn't matter. What does matter is exactly what Savanna shares, and that is to be aware and stay on top of your health. Take control and take your yearly checkups and self check-ups seriously. At just 24, she made a powerful decision, that although scary, empowered her and gave her the power of taking a step in her battle against cancer. We hope that Savanna's story does give you hope to seek help and take comfort in the fact that there are always options available to you. We are very grateful that Savanna found comfort and help with us, and we hope that if you're looking for the same, you know that our doors are always open to you. Don't live in the "shadow of cancer", but come out into the sun.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Savanna. We are so excited to see where your journey takes you, and to continue working with you in the future. We would also love to hear YOUR stories and to share your experience to comfort and inspire others. If you would like to share, email us your story and a photo of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may be featured on our social media or in an upcoming blog post.
Remember, don't let Cupid's arrow get you down, and don't let it pop a hole in your sails. Love is something that we celebrate daily, and something we celebrate with you daily. Your journey is a daily struggle. It's hard, messy, scary, and frustrating. Remember that you have a place you are always welcome, and please know you are never alone.
Blogs for Breasts
Sometimes you just need to find a connection or a voice that echos your own during your battle with breast cancer or during your recovery. Where better can you find that without leaving the comfort of your couch than the hundreds of blogs out there?
Some of the biggest things we are proud to offer are support, guidance, knowledge, and awareness. We've said it before and we will say it again: finding your tribe and support group before, during, and after your treatment is imperative to your well being. You need love and support to help fight your battles, even if that just means sitting with a friend, bringing a family member to your treatments, or sharing your story with others. No matter what that looks like for you, make it your own and an important part of your life. There might even be some support and love found in places you never expected and from people you'll never meet. You can read all the books, pamphlets, and articles give to you by your doctor. But finding a voice that echoes your own is very important. It makes you feel heard, relatable, seen, and not alone.
Some of the best places to find this connection today is in the hundreds of blogs written by men and women who are or have been in your shoes, and by their family members. You don't have to go far to look for them, just from the comfort of your home on your phone or computer. We wanted to share some of the top blogs out there that deal with breast cancer on a multitude of topics. No matter where you are on your journey, you will find a voice for exactly what you need to read and hear. If these blogs don't speak to you, there will be one out there waiting for you.
My Cancer Chic
From the heart and pen of a young breast cancer survivor named Anna, comes My Cancer Chic. Anna was diagnosed at 27 and during her treatment, it was hard to find women to connect with that were age and going through the same thing she was. She created her blog to share her story to hopefully find others like her and a place to pour her passion for style and beauty into. She is now three years into remission and carries her mission statement of love, support, and fashion for all who need it.
To read Anna's blog, follow the link below:
Breast Cancer? But Doctor...I Hate Pink!
The tough as nails Ann Silberman is the author of this blog whose "never back down" motto shows in every post. Her to the point, honest, and truthful experiences give a real day to day insight into her treatments, therapies, and live victories she enjoys along the way. She's very open about her Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and fills her blog with joy, humor, and grace. Her blog chronicles from the beginning of her experiences in 2009 to today.
To read Ann's blog, follow the link below:
Booby and the Beast
Writer Jen Campisano was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at 32 and started her blog to keep friends and family updated. When she beat her diagnoses, her blog turned its focus towards mothers needing help to handle their metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. She is a proud activist working hard to raise awareness, fighting to find a cure, and is currently writing a book.
To read Jen's blog, follow the link below:
Let us Be Mermaids
Written by Susan Rosen, she uses the unique and beautiful image of a mermaid to remind women fighting with metastatic breast cancer that just like mermaids, they are strong, sensual, feminine, and incredible beings. The blog and the comparison serve as a reminder that everyone is inspired and awed by their presence. She's finding beauty in a time when it's easy to lose that feeling.
To read Susan's blog, follow the link below:
The Breast Place
We want to make sure our followers and the beautiful women we work with know that we also have our own blog. We write two blog posts a month for our patients, friends, and those looking for comfort and information. Our blogs range from updates within our offices, to day to day life, and educational tidbits. They have a consistent thread of support and inspiration through them all.
To visit our blog, follow the link below:
You have a voice that needs to be heard. If you haven't found yours yet, we hope these blogs and these women help a little bit every day.