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February 27, 2017
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Winter is upon us, and with environmental changes in temperature and humidity, we also experience changes in our skin. The winter, especially in Northeast Ohio, can have some pretty grueling effects on your skin. Here are some easy tips to keep your skin healthy during the winter.

Apex Winter SkinCare
1. Moisturize
This is the key to healthy skin during the winter months, and the one people usually forget. It’s important to keep your skin hydrated. There are a variety of good, elegant products that you can buy at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Ointments or heavy creams are usually better than lotions at moisturizing your body. For the delicate skin on your face, I recommend creams that don’t clog pores (look for the word “non-comedogenic” on the label), or humectants, which will hydrate your skin evenly without contributing to breakouts.

2. Avoid really hot water
Although taking a super-hot bath or shower feels great after playing in the snow, chances are your skin will be itchy and dry afterwards. It’s perfectly fine to take a bath or shower, but don’t use super hot water. In fact, the best time to moisturize your skin is immediately after a bath or shower. If you have dry skin, using an oatmeal bath followed by a body moisturizer is a good way to prevent dry, itchy skin.

3. Use sunscreen daily
The winter sun and glare from the snow will affect your skin in many ways.  Ultraviolet rays (UVB and UVA) can damage your skin causing sunburns and changes in pigment and texture in your skin. These UV rays are also responsible for skin cancer. Make sure you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, SPF 30 or above on your face and hands during the winter. And make sure your reapply it every 3 to 4 hours if you are going to be outdoors in the sun for a long period of time.

4. Focus on your hands and feet
In the winter, it is common to have cracks and fissures on the hands and feet. This can lead to superficial infection, pain, and more dryness. My recommendation is to use gloves when you are outside and a good hand cream daily. You can also fight dryness and cracked skin by applying an ointment (like petroleum jelly) at night and putting on gloves and/or socks. The skin of your palms and soles is thicker than on other parts of the body, so covering up the area will help moisturizers penetrate the skin evenly.

5. Go easy on your face 
During the winter, avoid using alcohol-based toners, strong exfoliating creams, or peels. My recommendation is to use mild facial cleansers daily to avoid irritation. If you are using products with retinol, make sure you find a good facial moisturizer to use as well.  You can still pamper yourself with soothing facial masks, but do them less often. Look for sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Skincare during the winter might require a little extra thought and effort, but you’ll see better skin in the end. What do you find are your biggest skincare problems in the winter? Comment below with your answer!

Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga is an accomplished dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon, and is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. His practice, APEX Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center, has offices throughout Northeast Ohio, including Solon, Mayfield Heights, and Concord, Hudson, and Parma.



In most cases, depending on the level of care you need and the time of day when you call, you can be seen that day.  Call us at 440-349-SKIN (7546) and ask for a same-day appointment.


February 27, 2017
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You wake up in the morning and there it is: a huge zit in the middle of your face. It seems like no amount of concealer can cover it up, and you feel like everyone is looking at the blemish all day long. Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting approximately 50 million Americans. Nearly 85 percent of all people have acne at some point in their lives, most often on their face, chest, and back. Read on to learn how to prevent and treat acne.

Facts About Acne

  • Acne is characterized by comedones (black heads and white heads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and even the upper arms.
  • Acne usually begins in puberty and is the most common skin disease, especially in adolescents and young adults, but can occur at any stage of life.
  • By mid-teens, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne or acne scarring which requires treatment by a dermatologist.
  • There are often significant physical and psychological side effects associated with acne, such as permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression, or anxiety.

What Causes Acne?
The exact cause of acne is unknown, but there are many factors that can contribute to the development of acne, including:

  • Overactive sebaceous oil glands produce too much oil
  • Pores in the skin get clogged from outside substances like makeup, pollution, or additional oil. Once a pore is blocked, the bacterium P. Acnes (present in everyone’s skin) multiplies in the excess oil and leads to inflammation in the skin
  • Heredity/genetics, hormones, menstruation, and emotional stress can bring on acne or worsen it.

Despite popular belief, foods such as chocolate and greasy foods like French fries and pizza do not cause acne. However, some people could have sensitivities certain foods that could contribute to acne or make it worse.  For overall good health, it’s best to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Taking Care of Acne-Prone Skin
If you have skin that is prone to breakouts, there are steps you can take to keep your skin balanced, healthy, and minimize breakouts:

  • Gently wash affected areas once or twice a day with mild, non-drying soap. Vigorous washing and scrubbing can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
  • Shampoo your hair often: daily if it’s oily.
  • Use “non-comedogenic” (does not clog pores) and oil-free cosmetics, toiletries, and sunscreens.
  • Avoid astringents, which may unnecessarily dry the skin.
  • To prevent scars, do not pop, squeeze or pick at acne, however tempting it may be.
  • Seek treatment early for severe acne that does not respond to over-the-counter medications.

How to Treat Acne
If your acne is recurring and doesn’t respond to good skin care and over-the-counter treatments, a dermatologist can prescribe treatment regimen that will work best for your skin:

To treat moderate and severe acne and acne that is resistant to topical therapy, many dermatologists turn to oral antibiotics. Combination therapies using oral antibiotics and topical retinoids have been found effective in managing acne. It is best if less severe forms of acne are not treated with oral antibiotics, and if possible, the duration of antibiotic therapy should be limited because of increase of bacterial resistance.

Use medications and products prescribed for your acne ad directed and allow enough time for them to take effect, which may be 8 to 12 weeks. Oral isotretinoin is the only medication approved for severe recalcitrant nodulo-cystic acne, the most serious form of this skin disease. Mood disorders, depression, suicidal ideation, and suicides have been reported in patients taking oral isotretinoin.  However, a causal relationship has not been established.

Laser resurfacing, chemical peels and fillers provide safe and effective treatment for acne and acne scarring.  Since acne scars are unique in their appearance and often have complex characteristics, patients should consult with their dermatologist to determine an individualized treatment plan for the most successful result. Blue light is a gentle, non-invasive treatment for acne.  Treatments are simple: only 16 minutes once every 2 weeks for a total of 5 treatments.  It is drug free and painless.

Even if it might seem impossible, your acne is treatable. You can best treat your acne once you learn its causes and the best ways to treat it according to your skin type. If you struggle with acne and are ready for professional help, APEX Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center can find the right solution for you.

Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga is an accomplished dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon, and is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. His practice, APEX Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center, has offices throughout Northeast Ohio, including Solon, Mayfield Heights, and Concord, Hudson, and Parma.



In most cases, depending on the level of care you need and the time of day when you call, you can be seen that day.  Call us at 440-349-SKIN (7546) and ask for a same-day appointment.

By Apex Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center
January 25, 2017
Category: Dermatology

Do you have love handles or other fat deposits that just haven’t budged no matter how much you’ve exercised? Non-surgical coolsculptingCoolSculpting treatment can finally help you get rid of that excess fat. Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga and Dr. Brian Moore, your Cleveland, OH dermatologists, explain how you can benefit from CoolSculpting treatment.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting kills fat cells by freezing them. Once they’re dead, they’re naturally eliminated by your body. Because only fat cells respond to the treatment, your healthy cells won’t be damaged by CoolSculpting. The treatment can reduce fat deposits by as much as 20 percent in just one visit.

Is Cool Sculpting right for me?

CoolSculpting treatments are used to:

  • Reduce love handles
  • Get rid of fat deposits in the abdomen and flanks
  • Thin the inner and outer thighs
  • Remove back fat, bra fat and banana rolls under the buttocks
  • Treat double chins and reduce neck fat

What happens during CoolSculpting treatment in Cleveland?

Before treatment begins, a gel pad is placed against your body to protect the skin. CoolSculpting treatment requires the use of a special applicator that uses suction to hold the skin firmly against the device. As you might imagine, the treated area will feel very cold when the applicator is turned on. As the treatment proceeds, the area may start to feel numb, but not uncomfortably so. In fact, treatments provide the perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading or play games on your phone.

Are there any side effects?

You may notice a few mild side effects after CoolSculpting treatment, such as redness, bruising, swelling, tingling, cramping, aching or itching. Some side effects go away within hours after treatment, but others, such as bruising, may last a few days.

When will I see results?

The most dramatic changes occur about two months after treatment, but most people notice a decrease in fat deposits within three weeks of their first CoolSculpting treatment.

Banish unattractive fat with CoolSculpting. Call Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga and Dr. Moore, MD, your Cleveland, OH area dermatologists, to schedule your appointment.

By Apex Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center
December 08, 2016
Category: Dermatology

Learn how to protect yourself from your Cleveland area dermatologist.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Each year in America, nearly 5 million people are treated for all skin cancers cancer Apex Dermatology, located in the Cleveland, OH area, specializes in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. Most skin cancers are preventable. To reduce your risk of skin cancer, follow these five tips.

1. Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with long-sleeved shirts, pants and a wide-brimmed hat, which provides provides more protection than a visor or baseball cap does. Sunscreen will not provide complete protection from UV rays.

2. Avoid tanning beds. Think tanning beds are safe? Think again. Lights used in tanning beds and booths emit UV rays and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. If you use tanning beds before age 30, your risk of developing melanoma increases by 75 percent. Using self-tanners is safer than obtaining a tan from the ultraviolet radiation that comes from tanning beds.

3. Seek the shade. For many individuals in the United States, the sun’s rays are strongest between about 10 am and 4 pm. Seek the shade whenever possible between these hours. You will reduce your risk of skin cancer by seeking shade under a tree, umbrella or other shelter when you need relief from the sun.

4. Wear sunscreen year-round. Use sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher. Use a generous amount of sunscreen on all exposed skin, including the tips of your ears, your lips and the back of your neck and hands.

5. Don’t forget your sunglasses. Wear sunglasses year-round whenever you are out in the sun. Look for sunglasses that block both types of ultraviolet radiation — UVB and UVA rays. Sunglasses should block 99-100 percent of both UVB and UVA light.

Most skin cancers can be found early with skin examimations by your physician and by checking your own skin frequently. Don’t take risks with your health. Call Apex Dermatology in the Cleveland, OH area at (440) 352-7546 today to schedule your skin exam. Skin cancer can be treated with more success if it is found early.

By Apex Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center
September 28, 2016
Category: Dermatology

The warm weather may be ending, but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe to put away your sunscreen. Sun damage is just as likely to occur skin protectionduring the winter as it is during the summer. Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga, Dr. Tracy Ringo, Dr. Brian Moore and Dr. Amy Polster, your Cleveland, OH dermatologists, explain why your skin cancer risk doesn’t decline during the winter.

Why am I still at risk of sun damage during the winter?

Even when it’s cold outside, ultraviolet rays from the sun still reach your skin. Those blustery, cloudy days of winter don’t offer any protection from the sun, since 80 percent of the rays can penetrate the clouds. Although UVB rays decrease during the winter, UVA rays remain just as strong.

Exposure to UVA rays not only raises your skin cancer risk, but also causes premature aging. Your chances of developing skin cancer increase if you spend time outdoors year-round, particularly if you live in or visit higher altitudes that expose your skin to a higher level of radiation. When rays reflect off the snow, your risk of sun damage increases even more.

How can I protect my skin?

Wearing sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 will help block ultraviolet rays and reduce damage. Reapply the product often, particularly if you work up a sweat after a downhill run. Your lips can also suffer from sun damage. Protect them by wear a lip balm that provides sun protection.

Although you don’t hear much about it, exposure to ultraviolet rays can also cause cancer in your eyes or on your eyelids. Slipping on a pair of sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB exposure will help minimize the risk.

Winter or summer, the sun’s rays are most intensive at mid-day. Avoid spending long periods of time outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. if you can.

Skin Protection in Cleveland

Are you worried that changes in a mole or new growth on your skin may be signs of skin cancer? Call Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga, Dr. Ringo, Dr. Moore and Dr. Polster, your Cleveland, OH dermatologists, at (440) 352-7546 to make an appointment to discuss your concerns.

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