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Got a question? Ask Dr. Marder about your hair, skin, nails - or any other health or beauty concern.

Do I really need to wear sunscreen on cloudy days?

June P., Minneapolis, MN

Yes! UV rays are just as powerful on cloudy days so don’t let the clouds fool you. Sunscreen not only protects your skin from sunburn on hot summer days at the beach. It also protects you from skin cancer and sun damage, and is your most effective defense against wrinkles and skin aging 365 days/year. You don’t need to apply sunscreen when you go out at night, but even on a cold and cloudy winter day the sun’s UV rays are strong enough to harm your skin. This is why you need to make applying sunscreen part of your daily routine. Always wear a broad protection sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 whenever you go outside, whether you drive, walk, bike, run, golf, or just go to the park for lunch. Be sure you pay particular attention to the areas that are often overlooked; including your lips, nose, ears, feet, hands, forearms, and scalp.

My scalp is itchy and flaky a lot. How do I know if I actually have Dandruff?

Nancy K., Newark, NJ

There are different types of Dandruff. Dry Dandruff might be the result of dry skin due to a strong detergent shampoo or hairspray or from an allergy to coloring or straightening your hair with harsh chemicals. Often Dandruff is caused by too much oil on the scalp. If you have greasy and yellow flakes that do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, you may have seborrheic dermatitis, a more severe form of Dandruff that also leads to itching, redness and skin irritation. Another surprising cause for flakes in your hair and on your shoulders can be the overuse of styling products, which can irritate and cause a chemical irritation leading to dryness and itching on your scalp. However, other conditions such as Psoriasis or Eczema can have symptoms similar to Dandruff, too. See your dermatologist to find out what condition you do have, and if you truly have Dandruff or not. Our products, Dr. Marder’s Total Relief™ Shampoo and Conditioner are the BEST solution on the market today and are specifically created to give you Total Relief™ from Psoriasis or Eczema, as well as Dandruff.

Why do I have Dandruff and how do I get rid of it?

Lauren D., Council Bluffs, IA

What we do know, is that contrary to popular belief, Dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene. Triggers for Dandruff can be not having enough or having too much oil on the scalp, changes in hormones, stress, illness, Eczema, Psoriasis, neurological disorders, a suppressed immune system, or sensitivity to the Malassezia fungus (commonly found on the scalp). What many people don’t know is that some hair care products can also cause Dandruff, especially if they contain paraphenylene diamine (PPD), which can severely irritate your scalp and cause your skin to be red and itchy. Dr. Marder™ Scalp Therapy is specially developed to manage these symptoms and keep Dandruff flakes and itching under control.

I am so frustrated with my curly hair. What can I do to manage my curls?

Susan H., Tampa, FL

First of all, stop fighting your natural hair. The hair texture you were born with can be beautiful, but sometimes curly hair can be difficult to manage. The most important tip to keep your curls looking great is to get a great haircut. Find a stylist who is experienced with curly hair, or who has a curly mane of his/her own. A good stylist will cut your hair in layers that will make your curls fit within each other like puzzle pieces. It also is important to use hair care products that were developed for the special needs of curly hair. Curls can take wild turns and twists that can cause the cuticle to lift, which makes your hair look and feel rough. This also makes your hair’s natural oils have a hard time travelling from your scalp to your ends, which can make curls look dry and brittle. Use the right products and get the right haircut, and you’ll be surprised how good your curls can look.

I like getting my nails done in the salon, but I have had bad experiences with infections. How can I make sure I get a safe manicure?

Anne B., Modesto, CA

Going to a nail salon can pose risks for serious nail infections, caused by excessive cutting of the cuticle or the use of manicure instruments that have not been sterilized properly. The appearance of the salon does not necessarily say anything about how safe and clean the instruments are, no matter how professional, beautiful, or expensive a salon might look. It is good to read online reviews of the salon before going there, and to ask your manicurist about any safety concerns you may have. To be on the safe side, always bring your own equipment to the salon, including clippers, scissors, and files. Keep your instruments clean by using rubbing alcohol after every use. Some salons will let you store your own personal set right there with your name on it. Nail infections can be hard to treat and tend to linger on, so be careful about who does your manicure and pedicure. If an infection occurs see your doctor ASAP to treat the problem as soon as it arises.

Which foods really do help my skin?

Janet V., Boulder, CO

One of the most important things your skin needs in order to be beautiful and healthy is water. It keeps your skin hydrated, helps your cells take up nutrients, fights toxins, and improves circulation and blood flow. The Institute of Medicine recommends eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Furthermore, your skin needs essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which can be found in olive oil, canola oil, flax, walnuts, and fish including salmon, sardines, and mackerel. You should also make sure to feed your skin with antioxidants by including berries, tomatoes, beets, spinach, sweet potato, peppers, beans, apples, grapes and lots of green tea in your diet. Our rule of thumb: the more colorful your foods, the more nutritious they are. Although it is always better to get your vitamins you need from your food, you can also take a supplement like a daily multivitamin, if you don’t think you are getting enough of what you need.

How can I protect my dry hair from damage?

Marie S., Brooklyn, NY

This is a great question! The most important thing to do to protect your hair from damage is to treat it properly. Use Dr. Marder Scalp Therapy Hair Conditioner especially formulated with olive oil, coconut, and reservatrol which can actually increase the “life cycle” of your hair. Ponytails and braids that are too tight can break off hair, damage the roots, and even make your hair fall out, so keep them loose and soft. Your strands are especially sensitive when they are wet, so rubbing your wet hair in a rough towel, combing and blow drying it can cause damage, too. For a gentler blow dry, leave your hair in a warm towel for 15 minutes before styling it. Never use the highest setting. Just as you protect your skin form the sun, you also should protect your hair by wearing a hat or using a light hair spray with an SPF. When it comes to styling: less is more. Enhance the natural look and texture of your hair, instead of trying to change it. Use an emollient mask weekly to fortify your hair strands. Avoid chlorine, sun exposure, and excessively hot water. These can all make your hair more brittle and affect the natural oils in your hair and scalp.

Does exercising really make a difference in how my skin looks?

Heidi T., Brookline, MA

This is an easy question – the answer is a definite YES! Daily exercise does help your skin to maintain its healthy and beautiful complexion. Exercise increases your blood flow which helps carrying oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells, while carrying away waste products, such as free radicals. Exercising helps you to reduce stress that can negatively impact certain skin conditions, such as acne or dandruff. For skin friendly exercising, be sure you apply sunscreen with SPF 30 at least 20 minutes before going outdoors, combine healthy cardio training with strengthening weight training, drink plenty of water or green tea before, during and after your workout, and wash your face once your finished to remove sweat and dirt. You’ll see it will not only improve your skin, but your overall health and wellbeing too.