One of the many benefits of an FSA is that it covers everyday health care costs, which can range from regular medical checkups to blood pressure monitors. But if you have an FSA, you may be wondering whether or not skin problems fall under standard healthcare expenses covered under your account. In other words, are dermatology treatments eligible expenses with your FSA?
Let's take a look at how skin care ailments are handled with an FSA, so you know what you can and can't pay for when dealing with these problems.
Which dermatology treatments are covered?
It's always important to remember that your FSA covers healthcare treatments that are defined by the IRS as medical care, which refers to health care services that can diagnose, mitigate, prevent, cure, and/or treat an injury, illness, disease, or symptoms of a disease.
Skin care treatments that are designed to alleviate a medical condition are covered with your FSA, including:
- Dermatologist – Standard visits to a dermatologist to treat medical skin conditions are an eligible expense.
- Acne – A condition resulting from oily skin and dead skin cells that causes pimples and bumps to grow on your face, ruining proms and selfies.
- Eczema – An inflammation of the skin that causes you to itch.*
- Psoriasis – A condition that causes skin cells to form scales that are dry and itchy.*
- Rosacea – A condition that causes red bumps on your face, similar to a deep rash.*
But wait, there's more. Believe it or not, even Botox injections – yes, the same Botox that made red carpet interviews so fun these past few decades -- are an eligible expense if your doctor is using it to treat a medical condition such as excessive sweating, overactive bladder, and chronic migraines. This treatment may require a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), so check with your FSA administrator on what may be required.
Prescription medication and other treatments for these conditions are eligible expenses, but depending on the type of treatment you need, you may have to get a doctor's prescription or an LMN to receive reimbursement for your expenses. But don't worry if you still have questions -- your FSA administrator can tell you whether the skin care treatment you need requires either of the above for reimbursement.
We've barely scratched the surface on the skin care products available to you. Want a quick snapshot of how many skin care products are FSA-eligible? Start here.
Skin treatments that aren't covered with your FSA
Any skin care treatment that's primarily for cosmetic purposes isn't covered by your FSA. These types of treatments are categorized as general health services that aren't considered medical care and not eligible for reimbursement with an FSA.
Examples of general health skin treatments include laser hair removal, facelifts, acid peels, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and microdermabrasion. While these treatments may provide benefits for your skin, they aren't used primarily to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent a medical condition.
Skin care isn't something you may not think about very often (even though you should), but with your FSA, you can schedule regular visits to a dermatologist to make sure that you're screened for something as potentially serious as skin cancer. So continue using sunscreen and other Use FSA-eligible skin care products (hello, light therapy!) to keep your skin healthy and to help maintain your overall health.
FSA-eligible skin care products we love
dpl II Panel Professional Acne Treatment System
Treat your full face, neck, chest, hands and back in just 8 minutes.
Broad Spectrum Sun and Skin Protection
A variety of broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF15+ protection are FSA-/HSA-eligible!
Don't waste time hunting for ways to spend your tax-free funds. In That's Eligible?!, we'll bring you these updates every Monday, so you don't have to. And for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Since Daylight Saving Time ended in November, you may have noticed that the darker days made you feel more lethargic. That's because when the sun sets, your body begins to produce more of the sleep hormone, melatonin, which preps your body and brain for sleep.
Here are some ways to handle the early-evening melancholy you may experience this winter:
Soak up some light
If you're not getting outside due to a busy schedule, you might be missing out on crucial mood-boosting vitamin D. This vitamin is produced in our bodies when we absorb UVB rays from the sun. Not getting enough vitamin D can make you feel low-energy and even a little bummed out. Set a reminder in your daily calendar to get out for a midday walk in the sun.
Depending on how much the lack of sunlight affects your mood, you might want to invest in a light therapy box. Research has found that light therapy can be as effective as antidepressant medication when it comes to treating patients suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
To get the benefits of light therapy, sit close to a special light box for 30 minutes a day, usually soon after you wake up. You can use this time to sit and read near the light in order to reap its benefits. You might also want to have your doctor check your vitamin D levels.
Seek some natural energy
We know that when the 4 o'clock slump rolls around, many people seek out a java break in order to charge through the remainder of the day. That's not a great idea because caffeine still affects your system for 4-6 hours or longer, according the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. And that's just the half-life -- the total amount of caffeine can stay in your body for much longer, depending on your age, height and weight.
Instead, consider drinking more water, eating healthy snacks, and giving yourself regular breaks in the day to reboot your system every few hours.
Shine a little light on your day
You'll find that getting light exposure earlier in the day can help alleviate that midday slump you're feeling. See if it's possible to work by a window so you're getting more exposure to sunlight—even while you're cranking on work deadlines.
Make sure you drink plenty of water during the winter months. It'll help prevent dry skin and you'll feel more energized. Dehydration shows up as feelings of tiredness and hunger. Grab a bottle of water to feel more alert and you'll be more likely to avoid the sugary vending machine snacks you may normally seek out for a boost.
You might even want to try a five-minute meditation using a smartphone app to clear your mind and feel relaxed. (We also recommend combining meditation with a vibrating pain relief mask to amp up the effects.)
Shut down phones and electronics
In our world of constantly-connected tech, we recognize that this one is much easier said than done. Since your body requires darkness in order to produce more melatonin, reducing exposure to electronics that emit blue-wave light is important in order to help you fall asleep -- and stay asleep.
Blue light can be emitted through your smartphone screen, laptop, desktop, and pretty much any tech gadgets you read on. A study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information discovered that exposure to blue light can mess with your body's biological clock and cause sleep disturbance.
Sleep experts recommend shutting down electronics at least two hours before bedtime. You should also change your smartphones and tablets to "night" mode in the evening so you're not absorbing these sneaky blue lights.
Finally, it couldn't hurt to slip on an FSA-eligible lavender-scented sleep mask before bed to block out any environmental light and help you relax so you can fall asleep faster.
Stick to a sleep schedule—even on the weekends
If you haven't logged enough hours of sleep during the week, you might try to make up for this "sleep debt" by sleeping in on the weekend. The problem is, you can't make up for the hours you lost, and now you're throwing off your body's natural sleep and waking times.
Sleep experts suggest keeping your daily sleeping and waking schedule as regular as possible so as to prevent throwing your body "out of whack." If you find that you experience occasional sleeplessness, you might benefit from taking a natural melatonin supplement to help your body fall asleep faster.
Bed Buddy At Home Lavender Relaxation Mask
Fragrant oils and natural herbs in this mask help to soothe aches and pains, restore tired muscles, and invigorate senses.
Intellinetix Vibrating Pain Relief Mask
This mask provides targeted vibration therapy where you need it most. Small vibrating motors provide pain relief from migraines, headaches and sinus pain.
Depending on who you ask, summer vacation may feel like it has just started (your kids) or thankfully coming to an end (parents)! The month of August is a busy one for parents as they jump into back-to-school shopping. But as important as school supplies and new clothes are, planning ahead for your child's wellness is just as important!
Your flexible spending account (FSA) can provide a source of financial relief for the must-have items your kids need to stay healthy as they head back into the classroom. Don't know where to start? Here are a few FSA-eligible items to keep in mind.
Bumps, scratches and scrapes are par for the course if you have a child in elementary school. Time spent in gym class, in the art room or on the playground can result in little mishaps, so keep some bandages handy to quickly take care of minor injuries. Bandages are eligible, over-the-counter products that do not require a prescription for FSA reimbursement.
Cover up those cuts and scrapes with all different types of FSA-eligible bandages for the entire family.
While most people associate allergy season with the early spring, the fall can present its own unique challenges if your child has a ragweed allergy. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, ragweed season begins in August and will hit its peak in September when your child is in the thick of the new school year. Prepare beforehand with FSA-eligible cold & allergy products to keep your son or daughter's symptoms at bay.
Back-to-school can mean back-to-allergies. From allergy tablets to nasal spray to throat lozenges, your FSA keeps you covered.
Wax for Braces
If your child will be getting braces put on in the next several months, getting adjusted to these orthodontic devices can be a struggle. Wax is used in the months after braces are installed to prevent the brackets from causing abrasions on the inside of the mouth. Make sure your child has enough to hit the ground running during the school year with your FSA!
Braces can be uncomfortable, but braces wax is here to help. Relieve irritation caused by braces with braces wax.
Sick days will happen, and one of the best ways to monitor your child's physical health during an illness is with a thermometer. These devices are available in a variety of styles to suit your child's age, such as those that read temperature through the ear, forehead or mouth. Best of all, using your FSA funds will help you save on the cost of this must-have item for parents.
Get easy, quick temperature readings with professional accuracy with a wide variety of thermometers.
Light Therapy Acne System
If you have kids who are making the transition from elementary school to high school, acne is a major issue in their teen years. Instead of harsh astringents and topical treatments, light therapy may be a great alternative! A light therapy system utilizes blue light treatments to destroy bacteria on the skin that can contribute to acne to freshen and clean skin. It can even treat multiple areas of the body in under 10 minutes!
Use the power of light therapy to fight pesky breakouts by killing bacteria with light therapy acne masks.