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How To Choose Natural Skin Care Products

How To Choose Natural Skin Care Products

Natural and organic skin care products have become wildly popular over the past few years. As consumers learn that it doesn’t take a ton of perfumes and alcohols to make your skin feel great, they lean more towards labels that say “100% natural” or “certified organic.” The problem with these labels, however, is they’re not always true- there’s no regulation of the terms and manufacturers can label their brands however they want, even if it’s untrue. So, how do you make sure the product you’re getting is truly good for your skin? It’s as simple as looking a little harder and doing a bit of research.

Most labels that say “natural” really mean that their scents are “naturally inspired,” so really it just smells like nature- but isn’t from nature. Look for “all natural” labels as opposed to just buzzwords. You should also avoid products advertising their scents altogether. Fragrance really gives the skin no benefit and can be harsh and irritating.

Make sure you’re reading the labels. And not just what’s on the front, but what’s in the ingredients on the back. Sometimes an “organic” label is used when only one ingredient is truly organic. Make sure there’s ingredients listed like aloe vera, carotene, mint, oatmeal, biotin, and other natural materials. If there’s anything with words like “sulfate” or “alcohol,” it’s probably not organic. Research any ingredients you find that you don’t recognize.

A little brand research goes a long way! Before buying, look up brand you’re thinking about and see what their values and ingredients are. You can learn a lot about a company by combing through their sites and reading product reviews from other buyers.

The USDA seal of approval is another thing to watch out for. Products that have undergone inspection to be certified organic will have this seal, This means the product has been tested and meets the USDA’s safety standards.

By simply paying attention to what you’re buying, you can help weed out the fakes, and find a truly natural product that will keep your skin looking young and healthy.

If you haven’t always taken the best care of your skin need resurfacing, wrinkle treatment, or other services, Zimmet Skin & Vein offer a wide variety of skin treatments for any age. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Why Spider Veins May Suddenly Appear

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but much smaller, and are caused by a backup of blood flow in the vein. They are often red or blue and close to the surface of the skin, creating a web-like or “starburst” clusters. Spider veins are common on the legs or the face and can cover a small or large area of the skin. When these veins suddenly appear, it may be for a variety of reasons. It is estimated that 50 percent of adult females and 10-15 percent of adult males are affected by spider veins, but still it is hard to entirely understand the onset of spider veins and why they occur.

What causes spider veins? [Video]


Though these veins may not set on as suddenly, aging can cause spider veins to appear. As our body weakens and our skin wrinkles, blood flow may become more difficult, causing the buildup that produces spider veins.

Intense Sun Exposure

Exposure to UVA/UVB rays can cause a sudden onset of spider veins. For those with fair skin, spider veins can occur on the face and nose from prolonged exposure to the sun without protection.

Hormonal Shifts

Spider veins tend to be more common in women because hormonal changes are often associated with the sudden appearance of the veins. During puberty, pregnancy, menopause and while on birth control, women are likely to develop spider veins. Pregnancy can also cause spider veins because of the natural increase in blood flow in the body. Typically, these will go away after delivery.


Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate and, with heavy drinking over a prolonged period, this may permanently cause spider veins. Many studies have shown that smokers are also more likely to develop spider veins.

Weight Gain

Being overweight puts more pressure on your legs which could cause spider veins. Doing leg workouts and losing weight can help alleviate any pain associated with the veins and possibly help them go away. If recent, quick weight gain has occurred, spider veins may suddenly appear.

Injuries/Lack Of Movement

Any injury sustained that may put pressure on your legs or blood vessels can cause a back up and allow spider veins to form. Also, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you sit with your legs bent or crossed frequently, spider veins may form from a lack of circulation.


Unfortunately, as with most things, you can’t help genetics. A history of spider veins within the family puts you at greater risk to develop them. About half of all people with spider or varicose veins have a family member who has them as well.

If you’ve recently noticed a development of spider veins on your legs or face, Zimmet Vein & Dermatology offers Sclerotherapy and pulsed light rejuvenation treatments to help minimize or eliminate the appearance of spider veins. Contact us today for a personal consultation.

If you would like to learn more about the procedures and treatments by Austin TX Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr. Steven Zimmet, please contact us at (512) 485-7700.

Weight Loss Tips For Diabetics

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 3.01.30 PM (1)Losing weight is a struggle for everyone, but for someone with diabetes, it may seem futile. However, weight loss carries many benefits for those who suffer from diabetes, including lowering your blood sugar, reducing blood pressure, improving your cholesterol and taking pressure off of joints. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise plan, but the following tips can help diabetics jump start their weight loss as well as maintain it. The American Diabetes Association lays out losing weight for diabetics in four simple steps: assess your lifestyle, manage food choices, have support and regular physical activity.

Assess Your Lifestyle

The first step to weight loss as a diabetic is knowing where your current health stands. Be sure to talk to your doctor and let them know you’re planning on starting a new exercise and food regimen, and set goals for yourself. Take a step back and look at your environment, your lifestyle, the kind of foods you buy. Make changes where needed, but the first step is recognizing where change is necessary. If you’re sitting at work all day, make sure to take breaks to stand and correct your posture. If your go-to snack is a bag of chips, replace it with a healthier option. Once you recognize what’s holding you back from your goal weight, you can start to implement changes.

Food Choices

Familiarizing yourself with food groups and what constitutes “bad” and “good” food so you can begin making healthier choices. Portioning your food is important as well, and you need to determine if you’re putting too much on your plate. Your daily calorie intake will need to adjust as well. Cutting just 500 calories a day is safe for diabetics and will improve your health across the board — as long you’re cutting the right things. Carbs, fats and certain proteins need to be distributed across your diet. Try to stop eating out and, when necessary, pack healthy meals to go.

Have Support, but Rely on Yourself

Having a support team of friends and family is important when making a lifestyle change as big as significant weight loss. Many people choose to do diets with another person or a group of people. However, when it comes to your health and weight loss, it’s up to you to make (and stick to!) the changes. Figuring out what strategies work for you and monitoring your food intake makes you solely responsible for your weight. Support of others is a great motivator, but make sure you have your own motivations for wanting to be healthier — you’re more likely to stick to, and reach, your goals that way.

Physical Activity

Being physically active it the best way to improve your health. It can prevent chronic disease, helps with your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol control. To lose weight, you must burn off more than you’re eating and drinking every day. It’s also important to figure out what routines fit your schedule according to your diabetic issue. Aerobic exercise such as running on a treadmill or biking can lower your blood sugar almost immediately. Weight lifting or other prolonged exercises can lower your blood sugar hours later, which is important to note if you’ll be driving or doing other activities that may be inhibited by the drop. As you exercise more, your blood sugar levels must be closely monitored. Trying different exercises to figure out what you enjoy is important as well — if you’re doing an activity you like, you’ll stay motivated and be all around happier.

If you’ve begun weight loss but your skin isn’t catching up or you’re having issues dropping those last few pounds, Zimmet Vein and Dermatology offers a variety of body sculpting services, including Liposonix and CoolSculpting to improve the look and feel of your body. Contact us today to set up a consultation.



Take Our Skin Cancer Quiz!

Even though May is almost over, we’re not done observing Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month! We want everyone to be more aware of this exceedingly common condition and to spread that awareness to family and friends.

To learn more about skin cancer (or to test your current knowledge), take this short quiz. You’ll find the answers below (but no peeking!)

1) Which one of the following is a risk factor for skin cancer?
A. Having relatives who have had skin cancer
B. Having a lot of moles on the body
C. Being fair-skinned
D. All of the above

2) Most skin cancers get cured.

3) Who is most at risk for skin cancer?
A. Teens
B. Women
C. Men
D. Babies

4) The most dangerous form of skin cancer usually looks like:
A. A red, scaly patch
B. A large red bump
C. A small, shiny mole with a central depression
D. A large, irregular mole

5) Only a doctor can detect skin cancer early — self-exams are a waste of time.

6) Because you got sunburned, your risk of developing skin cancer has increased.

7) Skin cancer is definitively diagnosed by:
A. X-ray
B. Visual observation
C. Skin biopsy
D. All of the above

8) What U.S. state has the highest number of skin cancer cases?
A. Hawaii
B. California
C. Arizona
D. Alaska

9) Which country has the highest number of skin cancer cases?
A. Norway
B. United States
C. Australia
D. Greece

10) Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.


1) D, All of the above

2) True – Most cases of skin cancer are cured, but it is still a major health concern because it affects so many people and if it is melanoma, it is only easily cured if it is detected early.

3) Men – skin cancer is about three times more likely in men than in women.

4) D, a large, irregular mole – Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and is visible as an irregular mole on the skin. Find out what “irregular” means in this previous post.

5) False – Patients themselves are the first line of defense against the progression of skin cancer, because they can routinely check themselves for abnormal moles or lesions on the skin. *Patients cannot diagnose themselves, however. If something looks suspicious they should have a dermatologist examine it.

6) True – Yes, individual sunburns increase your risk of melanoma, as does everyday sun exposure that doesn’t result in a burn.

7) C, Skin biopsy – Doctors will perform a skin biopsy on any suspicious moles or lesions to conclusively determine if there is cancer. The procedure involves removing a tiny sample of the lesion and sending it to a lab for testing.

8) B, California – Sunny California leads the nation in the number of skin cancer cases; Texas comes in 4th place after Florida and New York.

9) C, Australia – Those with lighter skin are more susceptible to skin cancer, especially when they live in a place that enjoys intense sunshine. Australians suffer the most from skin cancer, as the country was largely settled by those of Irish and English descent.

10) True – Skin cancer accounts for 75 percent of all cancer diagnoses in America.

Thanks for taking the quiz — you’re now a bit more knowledgeable about skin cancer. Feel free to share with friends and family and see how everyone measures up!

And if you need to make an appointment with an Austin dermatologist, look no further than Dr. Zimmet of Zimmet Vein & Dermatology. He has over thirty years experience in the field and can help you get the answers you need about your skin. Contact or call our office today.

Are Varicose Veins Hereditary?

You might be under the impression that being in great physical shape will keep you from varicose veins, but sadly this is not the case. While regular exercise might ease the symptoms of varicose veins, good health cannot prevent the onset of vein disease.

Just ask Summer Sanders, the former gold-medal winning Olympic swimmer turned sports commentator and TV show host. Her swimming career waned, but Sanders continued to stay active — especially as a young mother. “Like many moms, my lifestyle requires me to be on my feet constantly. I noticed my legs were heavy and achy after a long day, but I assumed these symptoms were just something I had to deal with,” says Sanders.

She realized she was developing varicose veins — just like her mother. Her mom was a flight attendant who was on her feet for extensive periods of time and suffered from leg pain most of her life. It’s true: heredity is one of the major risk factors of varicose veins. It’s not the only one, though. Other factors include standing or sitting for long periods of time, being pregnant, being overweight or aging.

On her website Rethink Varicose Veins, Sanders points out that varicose veins are not just a cosmetic issue, and that treatment does not have to be mean a scary surgical procedure with lots of downtime. She explains, “My doctor and I decided the best path for me was a minimally-invasive treatment. The procedure was quick and I was back to my regular activities within a short period of time. Now my legs feel great.”

Dr. Zimmet has over 20 years in the field of phlebology and treats patients with the most up-to-date technology in the field. Make an appointment today to have your veins evaluated and discover how vein treatments can bring new life to your legs.

Why Does Skin Sag as We Age?

Getting older is both wonderful and challenging. More years behind you means more experience, perspective and wisdom — but it also means dealing with changes in your once-youthful skin. Along with fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, sagging skin is a common sign of aging. But have you ever wondered why skin gets loose and droopy? (And what you can do about it?)

As we age, skin loses its firmness and elasticity. Several factors collide to make this happen:

  • Collagen and elastin, your skin’s supportive connective tissue, makes skin look soft and plump. But as we age both decrease in production.
  • Muscle tissue starts breaking down and weakening with age.
  • Gravity also plays a role. It continually pulls skin down, making it droop a little bit more every year.

Sagging skin can also be attributed to tobacco use, sun damage, genetics or rapid weight loss. While you can’t completely control sagging skin, there are ways to fight it:

  • Commit to a healthy diet that feeds your skin as well as your body.
  • Protect exposed skin every day, regardless of the weather outside.
  • Consider our treatments designed for sagging skin: Ultherapy® and ENDYMED™.

Ultherapy® and ENDYMED™ are non-surgical treatments that are enjoying immense popularity in the cosmetic dermatology world. Would you like to find out how these treatments can lift droopy skin and take a few years (or ten) off your face and neck? Give our office a call to set up a consultation with Dr. Zimmet. Our number is (512) 485-7700.

How to Choose a Sunscreen (& How to Apply it)

Sunscreen is a hugely important tool in the fight against the adverse effects of the sun. It even protects against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. But not all sunscreens are created equal. You probably already know that expired sunscreen will do you no good, but you might not be sure how to choose a quality sunscreen.

First, toss last year’s bottles to eliminate any confusion. Then hit the store to find a new one. When you shop, look for the following to make sure your sunscreen choice makes the cut:

SPF 30 or higher: SPF stands for “sun protection factor”, and it indicates the product’s ability to screen or block the sun’s harmful rays. SPF 30 effectively screens 96.7 percent of UVB rays, so stick with that number or higher.

Broad Spectrum: This means the sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, both of which cause cancer.

Water Resistant: Choose a sunscreen that is water resistant between 40 and 80 minutes. Bear in mind that sunscreens are no longer allowed to say they are “waterproof” or “sweatproof” because it is misleading.

After you’ve found proper sunscreen, you might need a refresher on how and when to apply it. Here are some tips:

  • Use enough! About an ounce (a shot glass full) will cover an average adult body. You need to slather it on all exposed areas. Don’t forget about hands, feet, neck and lips!
  • Apply sunscreen BEFORE going outdoors or being exposed to sunlight indoors.
  • You need to give the product 15 minutes to absorb so it effectively protects skin.
  • Reapply after two hours or after swimming or sweating excessively.

One last tip: Don’t wait until summertime to start using sunscreen–it really is a year-round necessity. Some part of you is exposed to the sun’s rays every day — when you’re driving in your car, walking from the parking lot to the grocery store, or even through the windows in your home or at work. So protect yourself before being exposed.

Tired of seeing evidence of sun damage on your skin? Austin-based Zimmet Vein & Dermatology offers peels, fractional resurfacing, microdermabrasion and pulsed light rejuvenation as solutions to the problems caused by sun damage.

Contact our office to set up a consultation and find out which treatment is best for you.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers You Should Know About

Although it is the most life-threatening form of skin cancer, melanoma is not the only kind of skin cancer that is currently affecting millions in the U.S. and worldwide. To further raise awareness during Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, we’d like to give you a quick rundown of the two most common forms of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common form of skin cancer — about 8 out of 10 skin cancers are BCC. These cancers typically develop on areas that have had lots of sun exposure, like the head, neck and hands. When you do a self-exam, look for the following:

  • Dome-shaped skin growth–often pink or skin-colored.
  • Shiny pink or red bumps or patches
  • Open sores that bleed easily and won’t heal
  • Elevated growth with central depression

BCC’s can take any of these forms. The cancers tend to grow slowly, and they rarely spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body, making them the least dangerous. If basal cell carcinoma does go untreated, though, it can grow into nearby tissues beneath the skin and do damage. It is common for this type of cancer to recur, often within five years of the last one.

Squamous cell carcinoma: This is the second most common form of skin cancer — about 2 out of 10 skin cancers are SCC. These cancers commonly develop on sun-exposed areas, especially the face, lips, ears, neck and backs of hands, but they can also appear inside the mouth and genitals, or begin in scars or actinic keratoses. Look for the following signs of SCC on your skin:

  • Rough-feeling bump or lump
  • Open sore that won’t heal
  • Flat, reddish, scaly patch
  • Dome-shaped growth that gets crusty or bleeds

If squamous cell carcinoma is allowed to advance it will spread to lymph nodes and distant parts of the body, causing severe health problems.

The good news is that almost every form of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma can be cured, especially when the cancer is found and treated early. If you have any concerns about a spot or patch on your skin, the best thing you can do is make an appointment with a dermatologist who can assess the spot and perform a skin biopsy.

Your health is worth it. Contact Zimmet Vein & Dermatology today to get started.

What Should I Expect at a Professional Skin Cancer Exam?

What to look for to detect malignant skin cancer:

This month is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so if you have been waiting for some added motivation to get your skin examined by a physician, let that fact be it.

types of skin cancer

Health organizations all over the country are stepping up efforts to raise the public’s awareness of skin cancer. A large part of the effort is dedicated to encouraging people to get their skin checked out by a dermatologist, and for good reason: the majority of skin cancers are successfully treated when detected early.

Wondering what to expect at your dermatologist’s office during your full-body skin exam? Don’t worry, it’s a short and painless visit, but a very important one. Dermatologists are specially trained to analyze the spots or lesions on your skin, and determine which ones might be cancerous. Expect a head-to-toe visual examination while wearing a hospital gown that will take about 10-15 minutes, depending on how many moles you have. Digital or photographic images of spots may be taken, and if there is a suspicious mole, a biopsy might be performed to confirm or deny the presence of cancer.

To prepare for your skin cancer exam, do the following:

  • Perform a self-exam before your appointment and take note of any suspicious looking spots or changing spots on the skin. Report your findings to your doctor.
  • Remove nail polish from fingernails and toenails, as skin cancers can form on nails or nail beds and will need to be inspected by the dermatologist.
  • Write down any questions you have about preventing or treating skin cancer so you can ask them at the appointment.

Aside from doing your best to stay protected from the sun’s harmful rays, early detection is your best bet against all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma–the deadliest kind.

Need to make your appointment? Contact Zimmet Vein & Dermatology online or give us a call at (512) 485-7700.

How to Perform a Self-Exam for Melanoma

Unlike some forms of cancer, melanoma is preventable and highly treatable when caught early. Signs of the cancer are visible on the surface of skin, so the first line of defense against melanoma progression is you. Protect yourself by conducting monthly self-exams to inspect moles and other marks on your body for abnormalities or changes.

To prepare for your self-exam, first find out what to look for by getting familiar with the “ABCDs” of melanoma. If you see any of the following signs, make an appointment with your dermatologist.

Asymmetry: Look for moles that appear different on one half from the other half.

Border: The borders of healthy moles are smooth and defined, not irregular, jagged or blurry.

Color: Look for spots with uneven or intensely dark color. Some can show shades of red, blue or white.

Diameter: Melanomas tend to be larger than 6mm (about the size of a pencil eraser or a pea), but they can be smaller.

For the exam find a private, well-lit room and a hand-held mirror. Your goal will be to inspect every inch of your skin from head to toe, as melanoma can develop on any part of the body — even if that part has never been exposed to the sun.

  • Check your face, neck, ears and scalp. Use another mirror to check hard-to-see spots.
  • Examine arms, including underarms, hands, between fingers and under fingernails.
  • Check shoulders, chest and torso. Don’t forget your sides.
  • Look over legs and feet, including the soles of feet and the spaces between toes.
  • Use the hand mirror to check the back, buttocks and genital area.

If you see anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at Zimmet Vein & Dermatology. The sooner melanoma is detected, the better your chances of full recovery. Contact us today.

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Austin, Texas

1500 W. 34th Street
Austin, TX 78703
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