Women with Thinning Hair Can Be Helped by D-Fine Line of Hair Care Products from RXSystems PF


Ask Dr. Samuels:

In a recent press release, our D-Fine line of hair care products was outlined for women who need help with building up their thinning hair and improving the health of their scalps.

Here is a reprint of that press release for the benefit of any of you who may struggle with thinning hair or if you know of someone who does…

RXSystemsPF Introduces D-Fine Hair Volumizing Product Line for Women with Fine, Damaged, Thinning Hair

Scientifically Formulated to Improve Scalp Health and Increase Hair Growth

Fine and thinning hair is a common, often embarrassing condition affecting women of all ages for a variety of reasons. Heat styling and chemicals found in dyes and other hair products can cause dryness and breakage to the hair, while aging, hormonal changes, medication use and heredity can also contribute to fine or thinning hair in women.

And although there’s no stopping the aging process or changing a person’s genes, there’s still hope. Dr. Lawrence Samuels, Chief of Dermatology at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO and founder of skin and hair care product line Rx Systems PF, has formulated a line of hair volumizing products and supplements called D-Fine, available without a prescription, to repair damaged hair strands, deliver critical nourishment and moisture to the hair and scalp, and build healthier, more voluminous hair.

“Hair loss in women and men is not the same. I became interested in women’s hair loss several years ago while performing hair transplants. It was clear to me then that women with thinning hair had different characteristics than men with thinning, balding scalps, so I made it my goal to research and formulate a system to help women feel better about  their hair and themselves.”

“Creating and maintaining healthy, normal hair growth and scalp skin is a daily activity that requires a lifestyle change to maintain the benefits of a good hair care program,” said Dr. Samuels. “Poor health and lifestyle, sun damage, cigarette smoking, poor nutrition, and damaging hair care products all have a negative impact on normal hair growth.”

The D-Fine line of hair volumizing products, which can be purchased online at www.rxsystemspf.com, includes shampoos, conditioners, and vitamin supplements formulated to strengthen and thicken hair, while promoting hair growth:

  • Volumizing Glypoic Shampoo (retail $17.50 for 8 oz. bottle) - Developed with Glypoic Complex™ to repair the surface of the scalp, sweeping away oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells from scalp and hair. Formulated for fine, thinning or chemically treated hair. Generates body and volume for visibly healthier, fuller hair.
  • Volumizing Glypoic Conditioner (retail $17.50 for 8 oz. bottle) - Improves overall body, thickness and manageability for visibly healthier hair. Restores moisture content and pH of the scalp and hair. Formulated for daily use on fine, thinning or chemically treated hair.
  • Physician-Strength Shampoo (retail $17.50 for 8 oz. bottle) – Developed with a Polyhydroxy Acid formula to decrease scalp itching and scaliness associated with scalp conditions, such as psoriasis, seborrhea and eczema. Treats scalp conditions by sweeping away oil, bacteria and dead skin cells from scalp and hair to create visibly healthier scalp and hair. Formulated for all hair types, including chemically treated hair.
  • Deep Repair Protein Conditioner (retail $13.90 for 4 oz. bottle) – Fortified with Keratin Amino Acids and Panthenol. Developed to restore pH and moisturize dry, damaged or chemically treated hair. Penetrates deep into the hair shaft to repair damaged keratin protein.
  • Multiplex Defense Vitamins (retail $22.50 for 100 ct. bottle) A completely natural supplement formulated to strengthen hair and nails and promote healthier skin and scalp. Promotes skin elasticity, moisture, microcirculation and resistance to damaging factors, such as ultraviolet damage and stress.
  • Aminoplex Repair Vitamins (retail $23.50 for 100 ct. bottle) - A completely natural supplement formulated with essential amino acids necessary for hair, skin and nail growth. Rejuvenates brittle and thinning hair for a visibly thicker, healthier appearance. Promotes nail growth and strength also.

“For the best results, the products in the D-Fine product line are formulated to work together to create thicker, fuller hair,” said Dr. Samuels. “Proper use is critical for the best results. The D-Fine products contain no harsh chemicals and are available without a prescription. It is the only hair volumizing system available on the market today that is backed with conclusive scientific results.”

About Rx Systems PF

Rx Systems PF® was established in 1996 by Dr. Lawrence E. Samuels, a board-certified dermatologist who saw the need for skin and hair care products that were easy to use, affordable and effective. Dr. Samuels developed the Rx Systems PF line of skin care products – a complete line of pH-balanced, glycolic complex-based products, retinols and moisturizers for the face and body. Rx Systems PF products are sold at selected retailers nationwide and online at www.rxsystemspf.com.

It’s Time to Learn the ABCD Characteristics of Melanoma and Build Your Awareness During Melanoma Awareness Month


Ask Dr. Samuels:

Since this is Melanoma Awareness Month, I felt it was important to republish an article I wrote last year that can help to identify the characteristics of melanoma so that you can detect it early and successfully treat it, if need be.  Unfortunately, the incidence of skin cancer is increasing rather than decreasing, which makes it imperative you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones and know when skin conditions warrant concern.


Have you heard about the ABCD criteria for melanomas? Treatment and cure of melanomas rely on early and accurate diagnosis. The ABCD mnemonic was created for individuals and primary care physicians to create awareness of the clinical features of melanomas.

  • “A” stands for asymmetry.
  • “B” stands for border irregularity.
  • “C” stands for color variation in the same lesion.
  • “D” stands for diameter greater than 6 mm.

Not all melanomas have all ABCD characteristics, but may have a combination of some of the clinical features.  Benign growths can also demonstrate some of the ABCD criteria. Therefore, the ABCD criteria are only a screening tool for clinical evaluation of the skin lesion. Suspicious moles can be biopsied to establish the diagnosis.

Recently, the mnemonic changed to ABCDE in order to increase one’s ability for earlier diagnosis of melanomas. The “E” stands for evolving lesions characterized by change over time. Such lesions are characterized by change in symmetry, change in borders, shape, diameter, and symptoms over time.  Evolving lesions may lack significant asymmetry, fairly regular borders, mild color variation and smaller than 6 mm, but represent a non-healing, changing pigmented lesion.

As with other forms of cancer, self-examination plays a very important role in the early diagnosis of skin cancer.  The earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat.  “Leave no stone unturned”, as they say, when doing a self-exam.  Be sure to look closely at all the following areas:

  • Sides of your body with arms raised
  • Complete front and back of your torso
  • Forearms, underarms, and palms
  • Legs (front and back), feet (soles and between toes)
  • Scalp and back of neck
  • Lower back and buttocks

Moles and suspicious lesions that fulfill the ABCD criteria can be biopsied to confirm a diagnosis, including identifying benign lesions, which require no further treatment.  I, along with the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Cancer Society, advocate the ABCD criteria for the early detection of melanomas and encourage you to perform a self-exam today.

Are Vitamins the Best Solution to Acne Skincare When Hormones Are Involved?


Ask Dr. Samuels:

Acne is most definitely the bane of nearly 80 percent of teenagers and young adults. It affects them at a time in their lives when hormones are “raging,” as if they don’t already have enough stressful issues to deal with during those very important growing up years.

The fact is that a lot of women 25 years of age and older are also affected by an acne condition called acne rosacea. This condition can be affected by hormones, which don’t cease wreaking havoc on your skin (and other physical and mental health conditions) once you’ve reached that magical age of 21.

Hormones obviously play a huge role in acne.  What compounds the problem is that stress aggravates hormones, and so it can end up being the proverbial vicious circle. Unfortunately, hormonal affects can be challenging to treat.

Vitamins can be a helpful asset to your skincare routine and can also be important when considering how to treat acne.  I’ve written articles before addressing the benefits to your skin of vitamin C.  Vitamin A has been known to help with challenging skin conditions; but as is the case with vitamin C, you can’t ingest enough of it orally to actually have an impact on your acne.

Accutane is an acne treatment, which is a synthetic form of Vitamin A. It’s a very good product for treating acne, however, those who use it must be aware (as with any prescription drugs) of the possible side effects.

Birth control pills are also used in the treatment of acne and hormonal fluctuations; however, this is obviously not an option for male patients looking for the best acne products for them.

Keep in mind that the hormonal difficulties are not causing your acne. Clogged pores, skin bacteria, increased oil production, and not enough exfoliation of the dead skin layers are the basic causes of acne. All of these contribute, as well, to the inflammation that is an after affect.  If you make an effort to focus on these issues, the hormones that may be out of whack could have less of an influence on your overall acne skincare problem.

Therefore, when you want to know how to treat acne that you feel is precipitated by hormones, you may want to consider a top acne system that addresses the causes mentioned above without having to use prescription medicines. A cleanser containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid is effective for exfoliating your skin, getting rid of oil and “debris” that could be clogging your pores and dead skin, as well.

It also important to use a topical acne control solution that contains Azelaic acid and salicylic acid. Lastly, to aid in the reduction of bacteria, reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing of existing blemishes, a direct blemish treatment is desirable.

If you have further questions regarding how to treat acne or what you should incorporate into your acne skincare program, I hope you’ll leave a comment below.

Basic Steps for Anti-aging Skincare for Your Eyes


Ask Dr. Samuels:

As a dermatologist, there are certain facial skin issues that I am routinely asked about nearly every day.  I think it’s because you don’t necessarily have to be older, with years of skin abuse, to run up against these problems.  I’m talking about eye puffiness, dark circles under or around the eyes, and fine lines.

Naturally, as with most skincare dilemmas and challenges, it makes sense that getting a jump on these problems by starting sooner than later is important.  It’s quite a bit easier to have an affect on the outcome when you’re taking proactive, preventive measures, rather than reacting to a more serious, glaring condition that already exists.

When I’m asked what causes dark circles, lines and puffiness, it isn’t an easy question to answer; because everyone is different, and there are any number of contributing factors, depending on backgrounds and lifestyles.  Contributing factors can include:

  • UV rays (sun damage)
  • Lack of sleep
  • Smoking (very detrimental)
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise

Also, as they say, you can pick your friends; but you can’t pick your family.  Many people inherit the dark-circle and puffy-eye traits, which makes them harder to avoid.

It should go without saying that, if you want to greatly minimize your chances of having to deal with these eye skincare situations, you should avoid or change whatever contributing factor or factors are applicable to you, if you can.

That being said, the other steps you can take to improve upon the look of your eyes may seem obvious; but many people regularly skip one or all of these anti-aging skincare processes and then wonder why they get less-than-satisfactory results.  The steps to which I’m referring are:

  • Cleansing
  • Specialized eye serum
  • Reparative eye cream
  • Sunscreen

Be sure your skin is clean before beginning any skincare regimen.  When cleansing around your eyes, tread lightly!  The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate.

After cleansing, the primary thing you will want to do is use a product that helps repair the fine lines, dark circles and puffiness. Some methods of treating these skincare problems either don’t work or are a brief, temporary fix.  A quality eye serum can start to replenish the antioxidants to this sensitive area that may have been damaged by the elements referred to above (smoking, sun, etc.). In addition, these antioxidants can boost the firmness of your skin through removing dead skin cells.

The third step in this process is to make use of a reparative eye cream, preferably one that uses peptides.  These naturally occurring components of your skin can also improve its firmness, because they build up the areas with collagen and elastin.

As I have advised in the past, using a good sunscreen (which can be incorporated into your moisturizer) throughout the day, even around the eye area, is extremely important to a total skincare regimen. In this case, sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide will block the UVA rays that contribute to those dark circles under your eyes, as referenced above.

If you take the time to do these few things as a part of your anti-aging skincare program, improvement in the skin under and around your eyes should show become evident over time.

Treating Hardened Skin with the Best Anti-aging Products and Moisturizers May Not Be Quite Enough


Ask Dr. Samuels:

While the temperatures linger in the 20s to 50s, and we’re snug in our sweaters, woolly socks, and gloves, worries over hardened skin are put on ice, so to speak.  However, when spring begins poking her head out with more frequency, you may start to agonize over what to do with that “alligator skin” you’ve developed on your elbows, the soles of your feet, or other parts of your body that haven’t seen the light of day since November.  This dilemma takes anti-aging skin treatments that you do at home to a whole new level that you may not normally think about.

The cause of this problem stems from dehydrated skin… and I mean many layers of it.  Unfortunately, increasing your intake of water daily is not going to help. The solution is going to entail maximizing the moisture that you apply to this area of hardened, extremely dry skin.  Obviously, your goal is to soften these patches and, in doing so, improve the look of this skin…so you’re not self-conscious about wearing those sleeveless tops and sandals in a month or two.

To increase the moisture content that you’re able to deliver to this dry skin, it helps to add a little moisture BEFORE you actually apply your regular moisturizing agent.  In order to accomplish this, use your shower time to your skin’s benefit.  A couple minutes after you are done is a perfect time to smooth your moisturizing cream into those rough spots prior to drying off.

If you’re intent on getting the most out of a moisturizer for this purpose, you need to keep in mind that lotions are not nearly as good as a moisturizing cream; and products, such as Vasoline, are even better for making that rough skin disappear.  The drawback to that, of course, is the messiness.  It goes without saying that being diligent about your moisturizing routine is key; and the messier it is, the less likely you are to do it.

Don’t worry if you’re not showering every day when you are moisturizing.  You can always simply dampen the specific spot that is problematic.

Although it may sound like much more trouble than it’s worth, if you don’t mind going to great lengths to rid yourself of the alligator look, you can go follow the moisten/apply moisturizer steps; and then wrap the spot with Saran Wrap overnight.  Multiple applications (twice a day) can also speed up the process.

Though I regularly post articles about anti-aging regimens for you skin, including glycolic peels, hardened dry skin is a condition that is going to require special attention.  If you have any questions about this issue or any other skin-related problems, I’d be happy to respond to your comment.

The Benefits of Glycolic Peels


Ask Dr. Samuels:

I’ve been known to use grapes, raisins, and cornflakes to describe the stages of the skin’s aging process.  When you’re young, your skin resembles grapes…round, plump and smooth.  As you begin to age, skin can start to look more wrinkled and shriveled, kind of like a raisin.  Then, if not taken care of properly, and as a result of cumulative sun damage, your aging skin can eventually take on the look of cornflakes…rough, dry, and lifeless.

If you’re unhappy with the look of your skin or want to be sure you’re doing effective preventive maintenance, I highly recommend that you consider glycolic peels.

The glycolic acid in glycolic peels loosens and dissolves the glue-like substance that holds the outer layer of cells to each other and to the underlying epidermis. These thick, piled up, clinging cells are responsible for the appearance of dry, rough, scaly skin, sun-damage spots, and discolored skin.  Not only can glycolic peels help with all these problems, but they can also help to restore the pH of your skin.

In order to guarantee the best results possible, the glycolic peel needs to be strong enough.  For this reason, it’s important that you have the peel done either by a physician or at a salon by a trained aesthetician.

Once the peel is done, continuing on with a healthy skin regimen is very important for maintaining normal exfoliation and skin growth.  One part of your skincare routine could include a reparative cream containing glycolic and alpha lipoic acids.  If just starting the use of this kind of product, start with a lower strength.

Be sure to also include a quality moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or above, containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  This is definitely needed to help ward off further sun damage to your skin, as well as aging.  Winter, spring, summer or fall, UV rays are present, so moisturizer with sunscreen should be used year round.

To view my new video regarding glycolic peels posted on eHow Health, click here.

8 Attributes of Facial Moisturizer SPF 35 Review


Ask Dr. Samuels:

Everyone once in a while it’s permissible to toot our own horns, right?  I’m very excited and flattered that my Facial Moisturizer SPF 35 was recently reviewed at: beautytidbits.com.

If you follow my blog or have tried RXSystemsPF products in the past, you may already be familiar with our Facial Moisturizer SPF 35, which incorporates zinc oxide into its broad spectrum UVB/UVA sun protection.  The full product description is:

Facial Moisturizer SPF 35 with transparent zinc oxide provides complete broad spectrum UVB/UVA protection. This Dermatologist-developed and tested SPF moisturizer offers unmatched protection from the sun’s harmful rays and an antioxidant formulation designed to provide excellent anti-aging benefits. The lightweight texture won’t clog pores, it’s hypoallergenic, very hydrating and oil-free. Regular use of sunscreens over the years may reduce the chance of sun damage, some types of skin cancer, and other harmful effects due to the sun

The attributes that the reviewer liked about the RXSystems’ moisturizer were:

  • Reliable sun protection
  • No white residue
  • Lightweight texture and instant absorption
  • Non-greasy, near matte finish
  • Appropriate for all skin types
  • Wears well under make-up
  • Nice scent
  • Reasonable price

I was holding my breath to see if there was an equally long list of things she wasn’t crazy about, but the only thing she mentioned was the container that it comes in.  There wasn’t anything product specific!

If you’d like to read the whole review and check out an informative website of “beauty tidbits”, all you need to do is click here.



Serums and Moisturizers…What’s the Difference?


Ask Dr. Samuels:

To serum or not to serum…that is often a question asked these days when pondering a good skincare regimen.  In answer to this “dilemma”, you should look to understand the difference in what a serum can do for your skin and what a moisturizer is meant to do.

Whether you are using an anti-aging serum, one intended for skin brightening or any other kind of serum, the process by which they work is the same.  When using a serum, which has a lipid-soluble base, the active ingredients and nutrients that it contains are meant to penetrate deeper into the epidermis…something that your moisturizer is not intended to do.  Moisturizer molecules, which are bigger, have a base that allows them to stay on the surface to support the outer portion of your skin.

If you’ve been unsure about when you should use a serum, keep in mind that hydrated cells allow better penetration of the active ingredients in your serum.  For this reason, you should apply it after cleansing (about 2-3 minutes) before going to bed.  Your moisturizer should be applied afterward to avoid the presence of any barrier that could be created and might prevent your serum’s penetration.

For a little more of the scoop on serums, check out this article in Bella Sugar.


Types of Rosacea You May Not Know About


Ask Dr. Samuels:

As mentioned in my earlier blog post, there are millions who suffer from rosacea without even knowing it. The fact that there are four different sub-types of rosacea that can afflict sufferers helps to explain why there may be confusion regarding a “diagnosis” of certain skin problems and symptoms by those not familiar with them.

The first sub-type of rosacea is called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea…not nearly as hard to recognize as it is to pronounce! This sub-type is the most common and is what much of the population, in general, would think of when somebody mentions rosacea. It is routinely seen across the forehead, cheeks, and nose. Other symptoms of this sub-type are:

  • Telangiectasias (abnormal dilation of capillaries just below skin surface)
  • Flushing
  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Swelling


Sub-type 2 of rosacea is called papulopustular rosacea, which pretty well describes the symptoms of this sub-type…papules (bumps), pustules (pimples), and red patches. It has been called the “classic” sub-type. Papulopustular rosacea very much resembles acne (without the blackheads) and is sometimes called acne rosacea. Again, those dealing with Sub-type 2 rosacea may experience stinging or burning.



When talking about phymatous rosacea, sub-type 3, the most recognizable symptom is the development of excess tissue in areas of the face, including the chin, ears, forehead, cheeks, and…most significantly…the nose (think W.C. Fields). In addition, thickening of the skin in these areas, as well as nodules, may also occur.




Ocular rosacea, the final sub-type, can be evidenced by the following:

  • Bloodshot and watery eyes
  • Dryness and itching
  • Burning
  • Blurred vision
  • Swollen eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Feeling of having objects in the eye
  • Telangiectasia (see definition above) of the conjunctiva (mucous membrane lining of the inner eyelid and part of eyeball) and lid margin.


Obviously, with any of the symptoms exhibited by these four sub-types, a physician should be consulted. There are numerous treatment options for rosacea (see last week’s blog post), and leaving it untreated could lead to worsening of the condition.

Creating a Treatment Plan for Your Rosacea


Ask Dr. Samuels:

For millions of sufferers, the fact that there is no known cure for rosacea can be disheartening. The good news is the condition is definitely treatable. In fact, by not treating rosacea you run the risk of having the symptoms worsen.

It is definitely important to work with a physician who can help with choosing the appropriate treatment plan, depending on the type and severity of your rosacea. The treatment options for rosacea can include antibiotics, topical medications, anti-hypertensives, lifestyle changes, and even laser treatments.

Rosacea is an inflammatory condition; and antibiotics can help to reduce inflammation, as well as inhibit blood vessel formation, which is at the heart of this skin problem. As is the case with most antibiotics that are prescribed, they aren’t intended for open-ended use, most especially because of the fact that your body can become resistant to the medication.  Not to mention that there are usually numerous side effects that can accompany antibiotics. Once the more irritating and severe symptoms have subsided, other treatment options can help keep the rosacea under control.

Working with your physician, a treatment plan can be created that might include other oral medications (aside from antibiotics) and topical medications. These options can help to reduce the redness and inflammation and, depending on what is prescribed, might also work on oil-producing glands in the skin to lessen outbreaks of acne rosacea. When using topical medications, a good rule of thumb is to wait after washing your face approximately 30 minutes prior to applying them to avoid stinging. Give the medication another few minutes to dry if you are then going to apply moisturizers, make-up, etc.

One option that can be worth researching with your physician is laser treatments. These treatments can help reduce the blood vessels that start to become more visible under the skin and possibly other symptoms, such as “pimples”.  However, it is extremely important to enlist the counsel and services of a physician who has experience and is skilled in the use of lasers for rosacea therapy.

Lifestyle changes can be as simple as changing how you wash your face to something more challenging, such as controlling the stress in your life.

When cleansing your face, use lukewarm water rather than hot, use your fingertips rather than abrasive washcloths or scrubbing sponges, and avoid products that contain alcohol and fragrances.  If you are shaving your face, consider using an electric shaver in lieu of a typical razorblade shaver.

Other lifestyle changes involve trying to avoid, as much as possible, the triggers that were discussed in last week’s blog: sun exposure, hot drinks, red wine, spicy foods, etc.

In 2007, the National Rosacea Society conducted a survey to determine how rosacea affects sufferers emotionally and mentally in their daily lives. The survey results showed that:

  • 76% had lower self-confidence and self-esteem
  • 70% of those with severe symptoms were negatively impacted professionally when interacting with others
  • 38% shared that they avoided social engagements and being out in public
  • 30% revealed it caused them to miss work

The vicious circle this can create is that stress can aggravate rosacea and the aforementioned results of having rosacea can cause that stress. Learning stress reduction techniques can certainly be of benefit. Some patients have been prescribed anti-hypertensives to lower their blood pressure (high blood pressure is a trigger), which can reduce certain symptoms (such as severe flushing).  This most definitely is not an option for everyone and must be seriously discussed with your physician.

Treating rosacea and minimizing the symptoms are very doable. If you suffer from rosacea, you owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can about the condition, and talk with your physician to find out what might be the best treatment for you.

If you have rosacea and either have an encouraging story to tell about how you are treating it or have further questions about dealing with it, I’d like to hear from you.