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What’s on Your Skin’s “Christmas Gift List”?

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What’s on Your Skin’s “Christmas Gift List”?
Emily Jorge, DCNP
What’s on Your Skin’s “Christmas Gift List”?

The season of gift giving is upon us, and this Christmas your skin wants to be healthy. Our skin care experts offer helpful ideas for you to “give” to your skin this holiday season. Here are a few of their favorite things.


Below we have asked our skin care providers who work with patients on a daily basis to give us their expert advice. What works for them? What works for their clients or patients? What are a few of their favorite things this holiday season? Here’s what they shared, available over the counter or from your local dermatology office:

  • Kelley Finnell, Executive Director: “Structural changes occur with the aging process such as the slowdown of our cell turnover rate and dehydration of the stratum corneum, the uppermost layer of the skin. I love a procedure called Epidermal Leveling or Dermaplaning, which removes the outer most layers of the skin, leaving it smooth and vibrant. This simple mechanical exfoliation is non-invasive and allows me to keep up with my busy schedule and daily demands without any downtime.”
  • Donna Green, Medical Office Manager:Transformation Cream by Jan Marini is my solution for combating damaged skin and the aging process. It can be recommended for normal, dry, acne-prone, and sensitive skin types. It contains peptides, antioxidants, and other key ingredients that make this patented formula a must-have especially for anyone that needs to go beyond simple hydration. This product is available through our onsite aesthetician.”
  • Jennifer Evett, Front Office Lead: “I am allergic to almost every over-the-counter SPF brand there is, so EltaMD Sunscreen UV Physical or UV Sport comes to my rescue every day. Recommended as an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen by the Skin Cancer Foundation, this product line is noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, and paraben-free. By scattering and reflecting UVA and UVB rays away from your skin, EltaMD sunscreens help prevent sunburn and can decrease the risk of skin cancer and early aging caused by the sun.”
  • Lenae Butts, Medical Records:Aquaphor Healing Ointment has helped me in a pinch whether it’s for my son’s eczema or my chapped lips, cracked hands and cuticles. It’s useful in treating areas of friction and minor burns, minor cuts and scrapes, as well as diaper or teething rashes. It absorbs many times its own weight of water, is stable and odorless. This is an all around great product.”
  • Rebecca Cuthbertson, Skin Care Specialist, Aesthetic Dermatology: “Vitamin C is a vital molecule for skin health by assisting with collagen synthesis and fighting free radical damage. Keratinocytes (skin cells) have a high capacity for transporting vitamin C. I love Jan Marini’s C-esta Serum recently featured in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology because it’s easily absorbed and it’s a stable form of topical vitamin C. It’s hard for me to keep it on the shelves.”
  • Carol Marrs, Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner: “A tool I love to use in dermatology is my dermatoscope. It allows me to examine structures and patterns of various skin lesions more conveniently than with the naked eye, particularly pigmented growths. I recommend this to other health care professionals, especially if they look at skin frequently.”
  • Reagan Parm, Radiologic Technologist:TriCalm, a steroid-free itch relief gel, cream, or spray is what I give patients when they have irritation from SRT (Superficial Radiation Therapy) treatments. I’ve tried multiple other supposedly calming topicals, and this one is the best! It’s alcohol free and ideal for sensitive skin or hard-to-reach areas. It’s cheap and available at most stores.”

And here are some other ideas our experts suggest “giving” to your skin this Christmas, available by prescription:

  • Chad Schoenmann, Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner: “I like Alevicyn because it has so many potential uses. Its primary indication is for itchy dermatoses such as atopic dermatitis. Because it has hypochlorous acid, it acts as a great topical antimicrobial. It is non-irritating, non-cytotoxic, and non-sensitizing. Therefore, it can be used for all ages from birth to the elderly. I like to prescribe it to pretreat areas of skin which have molluscum contagiosum (MC). While it is not a treatment for MC, it seems to help prevent scratching and spreading the virus when applied prior to topical treatment.”
  • Ashley Thurman, Nurse Practitioner: “In 2012 the FDA approved a gel called Picato (ingenol mebutate) for actinic keratoses–those scaly, crusty growths caused by damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This gel quickly became an optimal treatment among my patients because in contrast to former topical chemotherapies, it decreased application time from months and weeks to just 2-3 days, and it didn’t leave any scars as did cryotherapy. Picato is definitely one of my favorite recommendations in dermatology.”
  • Ashley Manning, Tisa Simms, Medical Assistants: “We love Valtrex. This medication is tried and true for our cold sores. It was originally approved by the FDA in 1995 for herpes zoster and went generic in 2009. We take two 1 gram tablets as soon as we feel any symptoms, wait 12 hours later and take two more. We don’t need to add any topicals to our regimen. This works every time.”
  • Jane Clark, M.D.: “I love Aczone (topical dapsone in 5% and 7.5%) gel for hormonal acne in women, typically visualized on the jawline and chin. It takes about 6-8 weeks to work and I tell patients existing lesions may become more tender at first then resolve. Additionally, I recommend Avene Hydrance Optimale Riche Hydrating Cream. Winter weather can dry out the skin and this provides long-lasting hydration. Avene skin care products are available through our onsite aesthetician.”
  • Joe Langshaw, Physician Assistant: “One of my favorites is Epiduo Forte (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide gel 0.3%/2.5%) as monotherapy for moderate acne. It reduces lesion counts, prevents new acne from forming, unclogs pores, and kills bacteria. It comes in an easy-to-use and convenient pump.”
  • Shirin Noorani, Nurse Practitioner:Onexton (Clindamycin phosphate and benzoyl peroxide 1.2%/3.75%) gel is one of my favorite topicals I prescribe for my acne patients. It’s only used once daily and gets good results. Onexton’s formulation was designed to balance the pH of the skin and omits any alcohol, preservatives, or surfactants. Clinical studies show that less than 1% of patients experienced any skin irritation.”
  • Taylor Walker, Registered Nurse:Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that often requires long-term treatment. The development of biologic agents has changed the treatment paradigm for providers managing patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. As a result of biologics, my patients have better clearance, are more compliant because they are maintaining great results, and possess more confidence and happiness. This category of dermatologic drugs is one of my favorites.”
  • Duke Ballard, Physician Assistant; Sheila Wiseman, LPN, Medical Office Manager:HPR Plus Cream is a steroid free moisturizer that contains fatty acids, ceramides and hyalaronic acid to moisturize, repair, and restore dry skin. This works great to maintain the barrier function of the skin and avoid the flares of atopic dermatitis. We recommend this product on a regular basis to our patients. Another wonderful treatment modality we prescribe often is a medication formerly referred to as Accutane, currently known as Isotretinoin, Claravis, Sotret, Myorisan, Amnesteem, and Absorica. These vitamin A derivatives have transformed the management of severe acne, allowing clear skin to become a reality.”

Please contact your local dermatology provider for more information about obtaining any of these gift ideas for your skin.

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About the author


Emily Jorge, DCNP

Emily Jorge is a Certified Dermatology Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) who holds certifications from the Board Certified American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board (DNCB). She also belongs to the National Academy of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners (NADNP), the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA), and Chattanooga Area Nurses in Advanced Practice (CANAP).

She received her Master’s Degree Nurse Practitioner from Southern Adventist University. She practiced as an aesthetician/nurse in the field of dermatology from 2005 to 2011. Since 2012, as a dermatology certified nurse practitioner, she has focused on diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair, and nail diseases as well as the surgical aspects of dermatology. She is a preceptor for students interested in dermatology from area universities/colleges.

Emily is involved in a church plant in Chattanooga and serves as a volunteer for It Is Written. She also volunteers for the AMEN free clinics in Chattanooga, which offer free dental care, general medical care, and health education services to the uninsured and underinsured.

Emily Jorge, DCNP is now accepting patients in Dalton & Calhoun, GA.

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