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Summertime Rashes

Summertime fun can be complicated by rashes.  Sometimes one will develop a rash while wearing a sunscreen.  Does this mean you can’t wear sunscreen? Not necessarily. The rash could be caused by irritation to the sunscreen product or an allergy to an ingredient in the sunscreen.  For example, one chemical sunscreen ingredient, Oxybenzone has been reported to cause both contact allergy and photo contact allergy. In situations of allergy to chemical sunscreens, physical blocking agents such as micronized zinc oxide and titanium oxide may be used.  Patch testing can be helpful to determine more precisely which chemical ingredient is the culprit allergen.

  1. What is the buzz around PRP for hair loss?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) has been studied for many medical indications. More recently, studies support the use of PRP for the following types of hair loss: androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.  Platelets contain many growth factors and these growth factors have been thought to increase cell growth and survival.  The use of PRP which concentrates the platelets promotes hair growth and increased hair density.  Best results with PRP for hair loss require several sessions and a maintenance program.  Foxhall Dermatology is now offering PRP for hair loss.

  1. Which sunscreen is best?

We would suggest in general to pick the higher SPF products as supported by this recent publication.  A recent study by Williams et al., compared Sun protection factor (SPF) 100 and 50 sunscreens. The investigators found that the subjects had more sunburns (56%) vs (7%) on the sites treated with the lower SPF sunscreens. (Williams JD et al. J Am Acad Dermatol 2019).


Women’s Dermatological Society Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship: In the spirit of giving, we are helping to raise funds to support opportunities for under-represented minority medical students to be mentored for a summer by a WDS dermatology mentor. If you are interested in supporting this project, donations can be sent directly to the WDS through the following link.

Learn more here.

Alison Ehrlich, MD, MHS

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