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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

How Early Is Too Early To Begin An Anti-Aging Skin Regimen?

by Francisco Arnold

If you're in your twenties or early thirties and are dismayed to already see the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discoloration, you're not alone. For most people, the first signs of skin aging can begin to kick in while you're still dealing with the last vestiges of stubborn teen acne—an unfair double whammy. What can you do to slow down the aging process and preserve your youthful skin for as long as possible? Read on to learn more about some of the most powerful anti-aging compounds available today and how they can benefit young skin.


Retinol is an exfoliating compound that has reshaped the anti-aging market. By removing the outer layers of skin through chemical exfoliation, retinol allows other moisturizers to do more than just sit on the surface of the skin. Combining retinol or a retinoid with another wrinkle-fighting compound like hyaluronic acid can actually fill in these tiny wrinkles and help your skin retain water. While most young people don't require powerful retinoid to reduce their fine lines and wrinkles, starting on an exfoliation routine before these lines and wrinkles have the opportunity to deepen can keep your skin looking younger longer. 

Because retinol can dramatically increase skin sensitivity, it's usually best applied as a serum or lotion at night. Using retinol before you head out into the sun, even if you use sun protection, can make you far more likely to sustain a skin-damaging sunburn. And even if you're only using retinol at night, it's a good idea to maintain UV protection during the day to avoid skin irritation or redness.


Another anti-aging option that's begun to boom in popularity among the Millennial crowd is Botox, or botulinum toxin. Botox operates by paralyzing small surface nerves, smoothing out frown lines and wrinkles while also reducing the microscopic facial twitches and movements that can accelerate these stress wrinkles. While many older Botox patients will schedule a new Botox session as soon as the effects from the last one have started to fade (usually around the three-to-six month mark), younger Botox patients can usually get by with annual or biannual injections to prevent future wrinkles.


This compound was originally designed as a diuretic and blood pressure treatment but has the positive side effect of clearing up chronic or cystic acne. If you're bemoaning the appearance of lines and wrinkles while still using your teenage acne cream on stubborn T-zone or chin acne, a prescription for spironolactone can provide you with the clear skin you've always wanted.

Work with a dermatologist and compounding pharmacy like Camelback Compounding Pharmacy to find the right cream or other treatment for your skin.