Friday, December 16, 2011

Lash Care and Latisse

As we age, our lashes become thinner and shorter. The lash root is extremely delicate and years of daily wear and tear damage follicles and can cause it to stop producing hair. To get the sweeping, full lashes that always seem to get wasted on little boys, give your lashes a little love and consider trying Latisse.

There are several steps you can take to improve the look and health of your lashes. First, stop abusing them. Mascara may make them look fuller and darker, but the rubbing, wiping, and pulling to remove it can damage your lashes – especially if you use long-lasting or waterproof formulas. Sleeping in mascara is also a big no-no. Choose a mascara that will not dry out or overly stiffen your lashes. Never pull or tug on your lashes and if you use a curler, do so before applying mascara.

A good eyelash conditioner can keep your lashes from becoming brittle and breaking. They contain proteins and moisturizers that protect lashes and can help them look and grow fuller.

If your lashes are healthy, but still not long and lush; you have several options. There are volumizing mascaras, falsies, extensions, and even a medication - Latisse. My clients that have tried Latisse have seen remarkable results. It is a topical medication that gets applied to the upper lash line. It works from the inside out by increasing the growth phase of eyelashes. Improvement is noticeable in four to six weeks as lashes become longer, darker, and fuller.

The application takes less than a minute and has few possible side effects. Originally developed to treat glaucoma, it has a very high safety profile. Redness, irritation, and darkening of the periocular skin occurred in less than 4% of users and went away once the patient discontinued use.

A common myth is that it will darken the iris. This is a rare side effect seen in only 1-2% of glaucoma patients who use the medication in its original form, as eye drops, applied directly to surface of their eyes. And only those with green or hazel eyes are at risk. Latisse is applied to the base of the lashes and has never had a documented case of iris darkening in any of its users.

If you are curious about Latisse or would like to have long, youthful lashes again, we will be running a buy one get one free Latisse special for $120.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Tool in the Skin Cancer Screening Kit

70,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma this year. The most deadly form of skin cancer, it is without a doubt the most serious diagnosis I make in my practice. Caught in the early stages, it is very curable. Unfortunately, too many are diagnosed once it has spread to other parts of the body. 85% of patients with late stage melanoma will die from it within just 5 years.

Melafind, a newly approved imaging and analysis device is a first-of-its-kind. It emits a penetrating light that travels below the skin’s surface and makes detailed, digital images. A computer then analyzes the depth and shape of skin growths and looks for signs of cancer. The results are compared to an archived database of 10,000 images and a recommendation is made on whether a biopsy is needed.

It is not uncommon for a patient to come in with 10 to 20 body moles. I currently rely on my years of training and experience to visually evaluate their size, shape, and color in determining which, if any, look suspicious and need to be biopsied. Some moles will exhibit easily recognizable signs of cancer; many however are not so obvious.

I am excited about this new, non-invasive technology. The system has proved highly effective in clinical trials. In a study of 1,300 patients, Melafind correctly suggested biopsies on 125 of 127 melanomas. It is not meant to replace biopsies, but to help improve a dermatologist’s ability to identify melanomas and reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies.

I think everyone should be aware of this new technology. I hope to bring it to the Upstate and that it will do for skin cancer what mammograms have done for the detection breast cancer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Your Skin Flight Plan

November means the holiday travel season is upon us. Whether you’re off to a family gathering or a much deserved getaway, it’s important to remember when flying that the unique pressurized environment of a plane is rather hostile to the human body. In addition to travel fatigue, swollen feet and motion sickness, flying causes severe dehydration.

Most of us find a relative humidity of 50% comfortable. In-flight humidity levels register at 10%. Considering that the Sahara desert reaches a just bearable 25%, flight conditions are extreme. Since your skin is your largest organ, when you lose moisture, it shows. To protect yourself and arrive in un-wilted condition, I cannot stress drinking water enough. Not soda, not coffee, not alcohol - water. In a 3 hour flight, the human body loses 1.5 liters of water! I recommend bringing your own, so you can rehydrate immediately and continuously.

Before the flight, in addition to making sure you embark well hydrated, apply moisturizer from head to toe. Most manufacturers have travel or sample sizes so you can bring your favorite moisturizer in your carry-on or purse. You will want to reapply often during your flight. Give your face a quick spritz from a water atomizer or small spray bottle before reapplying moisturizer to get an extra moisture boost. Other good items to have are saline eye drops, antibacterial hand wash and lip balm.

My other piece of advice – keep your hands away from your face. Think about the amount of germs covering every surface. Whatever you may have thought, planes are not deep cleaned after each flight. With thousands of travelers having flown on any given aircraft, it’s too easy to come in contact with unknown bacteria that can result in breakouts and skin problems. Use wipes or sanitizer religiously.

We know that part of the appeal of a vacation is a change in routine, as well as scenery, but do not let that extend to your skincare habits. Pack your regular beauty products. An abrupt change in products can upset your skin’s acid balance and cause an unwanted vacation breakout.

Finally, have a safe flight and a great holiday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cut. Color. Cancer Screening?

Your new ally in the fight against skin cancer just might be your hairstylist. Researchers have found that although few hairdressers have been formally trained to spot cancer, many are checking their clients’ scalps and necks for moles and 58 percent have made a recommendation to get one checked.

While fatal melanomas on the scalp are rare, it is an area that is difficult for people to check on their own. Some don’t even realize it is possible to get skin cancer there. Unfortunately our scalps are often ignored when applying sunscreen. If not specially formulated for scalps, sunscreen tends to make hair look greasy. Hair does offer some protection, but part-lines, cowlicks and areas of thinning hair are vulnerable. There are sprays available that offer protection and hats are always a good choice.

If your hairdresser finds a mole, it is important to remember that moles are common. The average person has 10 to 40 on their body and not every mole is cancerous or needs to be removed. The American Academy of Dermatology has published the ABCs of evaluating moles to help you examine your skin. Look for abnormal Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter or Evolution.

Checking your skin often improves your chance of finding melanoma early which in turn increases your chance for a positive outcome. So next time you go into a salon ask your stylist to alert you to any moles, but don’t let that replace regular visits to your dermatologist.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Caring for Dark Skin

When thinking about skin care, most people focus on whether they have oily, dry, or sensitive skin and stop there. Just as important as skin type, however, is skin tone. Skin conditions, for the most part, are color blind and will cause problems regardless of whether you have a fair, olive or dark complexion. While light skin is more vulnerable to damage and premature aging from excessive sun exposure, there are several conditions that afflict dark or black skin more frequently and with more severity.

Dark skin is more susceptible to both vitiligo (loss of pigment) and hyperpigmentation. Vitiligo occurs when melanin producing cells are damaged. It affects all skin tones, but is considerably more noticeable on dark skin. If you have this condition there are topical and phototherapy treatments available to re-pigment the skin.

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces too much pigment. It is usually the result of a pimple, cut, scrape, or burn and can even be caused by cosmetic and acne treatments that are not administered correctly. Sunscreen can keep dark spots from getting darker while they heal. However this can take months. Properly controlled chemical peels and skin bleaching can lighten affected areas.

Ingrown hairs are also a common problem affecting blacks and Hispanics who have curved hair follicles. They result in bumps under the skin and can lead to infections and hyperpigmentation. Laser hair removal has shown to be an effective treatment, but because ingrown hairs look similar to acne, it is important to be diagnosed by a dermatologist familiar with ethnic skin.

Other problems for darker skin are eczema and keloids. According to the National Eczema Society, eczema occurs twice as frequently in people of color. Unfortunately, it is often misdiagnosed leading to a thickening of the skin and pigmentation problems. Topical creams and ultraviolet light therapies are effective once the correct diagnosis is made.

Keloid scars tend to develop more in darker skin. They are different from other scars in that they continue to grow for several months and spread beyond the original injury site. Early treatment can minimize keloid development and includes cortisone injections, pressure dressings, and silicone gel applications. Once formed, laser surgery can be used, but it hasn’t shown to be very effective.

As you can see, it is important to treat dark skin gently. Avoid harsh cleansing puffs and products that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Look for cleansers made for sensitive or ethnic skin. Darker skin has a tendency to appear "ashy" when not well-hydrated. Moisturize and use sunscreen daily. It is a common misconception that dark-skinned people don’t need sunscreen, in reality they have the highest skin cancer mortality rates.

Healthy skin is worth the effort and a skin care program specifically tailored for dark skin will bring out the best qualities in an ethnic complexion.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

California Bans Tanning for Teens

“The Young and the Tanless” caught my attention a couple weeks ago as news coverage highlighted California’s ban on teenage tanning bed use. The Golden State has become the first to outlaw anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. There are 30 states that have laws in place that restrict tanning for minors. Current South Carolina law states that for anyone under the age of 18, a parent must give permission in person and that protective eyewear must be worn.

I wholeheartedly support California’s new legislation and would love to see more restrictive policies here. I know it’s homecoming season for most high schools and colleges, if you or your child are thinking about going to a tanning bed to keep your summer color longer – don’t! The World Health Organization has placed tanning beds in its Group 1 Carcinogen Category along with cigarettes and plutonium.

If that doesn’t cause you to rethink tanning beds, consider that the American Academy of Dermatology has research showing that people who have used indoor tanning have a 75 percent higher risk for developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 25 to 29.

I read that Los Angeles County has shockingly more tanning salons than Starbucks coffee shops and McDonalds restaurants. A quick Google search shows that similarly Greenville is not hurting for tanning choices. As an alternative to tanning, please consider using a spray tan. Many salons offer them as a substitute to harmful tanning beds. Or come visit our office, my staff and I can give you guidance on tanning lotions, bronzers and keeping a radiant, and more importantly, healthy glow through the fall.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Allergies and Your Skin

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recently released their 2011 list of “The top 100 Fall Allergy Capitals.” Not surprising to those of us living in the Upstate, several southeastern cities made the top 20, including Columbia, S.C. Our hometown of Greenville, S.C. came in 31st, just above Charleston at 32nd.

Experts predict this fall to be one of the harshest allergy seasons yet. Severe weather throughout the summer including flooding and an active tropical storm season have increased ragweed levels and produced higher quantities of mold spores.

With this allergen alert, it’s important to take steps to manage your allergies and to adjust your skincare regime accordingly.


  • Drink plenty of water and moisturize frequently to ward off the effects that antihistamines can have on your skin.
  • Keep your eyes, nose and lips from becoming chapped or red by using tissues with lotion, aloe or vitamin E.
  • Switch to hypoallergenic moisturizers and make-up.
  • To fight redness, use a bronzer with brown instead of red undertones and look for concealers with a green or gold base.
  • Avoid matte textures which make dry skin look drier. A little shimmer will give your skin a rested and dewy appearance.
  • Blue eyeliners and mascaras will brighten the whites of your eyes, making you look more rested.

To see the complete list of all cities included in the “The top 100 Fall Allergy Capitals,” visit the link below:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Antioxidants 101

We constantly hear buzzwords like antioxidants and free radicals in the news. They have us drinking more green tea and buying products with labels that claim to contain the marvelous compounds, but what are they?

It’s a little strange to think of our bodies rusting, but as we age a similar process of oxidation affects body tissues. Free radicals form in the body as oxygen interacts with certain molecules and trigger a chain reaction in the skin that damages its structure and weakens it on the cellular level. Antioxidants are our bodies’ defense against cell damage. They protect cells and promote healthy aging as they equip our bodies with the ability to fight free radicals caused from such factors as sun exposure, pollution, alcohol and stress.

Antioxidants can be taken orally as vitamins or delivered topically. They work under the skin's surface by fortifying the body’s natural repair systems and preventing new damage. Some antioxidants have been shown to reverse some of the discoloration and wrinkles associated with aging and over exposure to the sun.

Remember that even though a product may claim to contain useful antioxidants, it is difficult to know what quantities are in some antioxidant-based products. To be effective as a topical treatment, they need to be in high concentrations and formulated properly to remain stable. Common names to look for are coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid and retinoic acid. If you are considering using an antioxidant for your skin, we can talk about which products are best for you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meet our New Primary Medical Esthetician

Dr. Miller and the staff of Greenville Dermatology are excited to announce LeeAnn Faulkner, as the practice’s new Primary Medical Esthetician.

LeeAnn will work hand in hand with our board certified dermatologists to provide customized medically directed skincare treatments tailored to each patient’s needs. LeeAnn is dedicated to her patients care and offers an expert touch to rejuvenate skin, remove sun spots and even out skin tones. Her expertise lies in clinical and restorative facials, chemical peels and microdermabrasion. LeeAnn is also well-versed in cutting-edge cosmeceutical products & corrective cosmetic treatments.

A graduate of Greenville Technical College, LeeAnn received her Esthetics Certificate Program license, and then went on receive her medical esthetician training from Grace Medical in Summerville, SC.

LeeAnn is excited for the opportunity to provide Greenville Dermatology patients with the best skincare and customer service possible. “I love what I do, and truly enjoy making a difference in my patient’s lives by supporting them with their skincare needs.”


· Facials

· Acne Treatments

· Chemical Peels

· Free Visia Scans

· GloMineral Consultations

· Microdermabrasion

· Waxing

· Electrolysis

· IPL Hair Removal

· IPL Pigmentation

· Fractional Laser Resurfacing

· Capillaries

· Hyper Pigmentation

· Facial Rejuvenation

Call today to book your appointment, mention this blog and receive $25 dollars off your next service with LeeAnn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You a Brilliant Distinctions Member Yet?

Are you a member of the Brilliant Distinctions® program?

Well you SHOULD BE!

The new Brilliant Distinctions Points Program offers fantastic rewards when you visit your physician for BOTOX® Cosmetic and/or JUVEDERM® XC treatments, as well as LATISSE® or VIVITÉ® product(s). You will start earning points that can be used immediately towards discounts on select ALLERGAN products and services.

Members of the Brilliant Distinctions program enjoy:

  • Points each time you get BOTOX and/or JUVÉDERM XC treatments
  • Points each time you purchase LATISSE or VIVITÉ product(s)
  • Redeem your points for big savings on BOTOX, JUVÉDERM XC, LATISSE and VIVITÉ product(s)
  • A personalized monthly eNewsletter that includes:

o Helpful tips, articles and information personalized just for you

o Promotions to earn bonus points, points balances, treatment reminders and exclusive invitations to events in your area

Redeeming points is a breeze for qualified patients - simply login and go to the Redeem Points section on your web page and choose how you wish to redeem your points.

Coupons can be used for a number of great rewards, including dollars off BOTOX Cosmetic treatments, JUVÉDERM XC treatments, and the purchase of LATISSE or VIVITÉ Skin Care product(s).

The more points you earn in the program, the more dollars you can save!

Call the Greenville Dermatology office today at 864-242-5872 where we can assist you in joining Brilliant Distinctions or answer any questions you may have about the program.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Makeup Trends

Fall is almost upon us, and as we see the seasons changing, we begin to notice the makeup trends changing, as well. So this fall make sure your makeup is not only fashionable, but also healthy for your skin. Mineral based makeup is an ideal option to achieve both.

While minerals have been used as enhancers in makeup for some time, new healthier formulas have been developed as of late. These products have been updated to remove potentially irritating fillers like talc, harmful chemicals and synthetic dyes. Instead of chemicals on your skin you get makeup that looks beautiful and is kinder to your skin.

When researching mineral makeup, it is a good idea to look for certain ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Makeup containing these ingredients will be higher quality and better for your overall complexion. At Greenville Dermatology, we recommend Glo Minerals to our patients. This makeup line contains vitamins that additionally improve and heal the skin.

If you are in need of a makeup-makeover call our office today. Medical esthetician LeeAnn Faulkner will help you update your fall look and refresh your complexion with the new Fall 2011 Glo Minerals collection. With so many shades to choose from in matte and shimmering hues, there is something for everyone’s skin tone.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Melanoma and Young Women

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune discusses the sobering fact that melanoma is now the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in young women. Incidents of melanoma have been on the rise in the last 30 years, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and the rate among white women aged 15 to 39 has grown by an average of three percent a year for the last 20 years. The article goes on to state that melanoma “is the most common form of cancer for women aged 25 to 29…and the second most common for females 15 to 30, together the prime age range of tanning salon customers.”

This trend parallels a rise in the use of tanning salons and time spent tanning on the beach. Most women report that after lying in a tanning bed they feel more confident and beautiful, thus leading to more frequent visits. The article states that “despite the warnings and growing body of scientific evidence, young women continue to go to tanning salons, in part, some experts believe, because the tanning salons play down the scientific evidence and play up the benefits of vitamin D from ultraviolet rays."

Most young women do not realize the seriousness of this cancer. In intense circumstances, melanoma may need to be treated with chemotherapy and frequent visits to the dermatologist for the remainder of their lives.

Stay away from tanning beds, wear sunscreen and remember most skin cancers are treatable when caught early. Visit your dermatologist today.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Our office sees a significant increase in poison ivy and poison oak cases at this time of year. With many individuals enjoying the summer weather and spending more time outdoors, they may unknowingly come into contact with these pesky plants.

When you come into contact with poison oak or ivy, the oil, called urushiol, rubs onto your body and almost immediately begins to soak into your skin. Most people are susceptible to an allergic reaction from this oil. If you have encountered either of the plants, it is recommended that you immediately wash the area with soap; this can remove up to 50% of the oil if washed in the first 10 minutes, greatly decreasing your degree of irritation.

After you have been exposed, you can expect to see a rash forming within two days of exposure. The rash typically will last about two weeks and will be itchy and cause significant irritation. Once you have poison oak or ivy, it is not contagious, but ensure you wash anything else that may have come in contact with the oil.

Contrary to popular belief, the fluid that is sometimes seen oozing from the rash does not cause the rash to spread. New areas of irritation showing up on the skin is usually due to having a lesser amount of the oil touching those parts of the skin, thus taking longer for the rash to show up. Another cause of new irritation or rash can be a result of transfer of the oil from clothing or pets. If trace amounts of the oil touch the skin after the initial exposure, it can prolong the rash or make it appear that it is spreading.

Cool wet clean washcloths or gauze applied to the area and allowed to dry on the skin will help especially if it is oozing. Applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone as well may help the itching. If large areas of the body or swelling occur, then its time to make an appointment so that we can prescribe stronger medications to speed up recovery.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Get the Facts about Staph

As your child goes back to school and fall sports begin, make sure you are informed about staph infections.

Staph infections are caused by a type of bacteria called staphylococcus. These bacteria live harmlessly on your skin, but can cause infection if they enter a wound.

Staph infections can spread through contaminated objects and skin-to-skin contact. Sharing bed linens, towels, or clothing with someone who has a staph infection increases your risk of getting a staph infection. Warm, humid environments and excessive sweating can also contribute to the spread of staph infection.

A particularly severe form of staph infection is called MRSA or Methcillin Resistant Staph Aureous infection. It is more severe because it is resistant to many antibiotics and is more easily transmitted from person to person.

Tenderness, swelling, and redness are common signs of infection. If your child develops these or other symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

Help your child prevent staph infection by teaching them about cleanliness and good hygiene. The single most important way to prevent staph infections including MRSA is frequent hand washing. If he or she has a cut, keep the skin clean and dry, use antiseptic ointment, and cover the wound.

For more information about staph and other skin infections, talk to your dermatologist today!

Monday, August 1, 2011

It’s Never Too Early to Treat Aging Skin

Although you may not see laugh lines or crow’s feet yet, it’s never too early to start thinking about aging skin. As we age, our skin becomes drier, thinner, and even begins to sag. By beginning an anti-aging skin care routine early, you can postpone and even reduce the effects of aging.

When you are in your twenties, you should have a skin care routine that includes acne treatment, daily cleansing, and moisturizing. You should also start using preventative aging products. Don’t forget that the sun is one of the leading causes of aging skin, so try to use a product with sunscreen. When shopping for acne products you will want to buy those containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Serum’s that include Vitamin C will also help fight damaged skin.

Once you reach your thirties, it is time to expand your skin care routine. Look for anti-aging products that firm, prevent lines, and repair your skin. Exfoliating is another good way to cleanse your skin and give you a healthier glow. Look for products that contain a retinoid to help improve the overall texture and tone of your skin.

By the time you are forty, you should pick specialized products that target your problem areas. Everyone’s skin is unique and requires different treatment, so make sure your skin is getting the attention it needs. Collagen-building ingredients like peptides are often helpful for more mature skin.

No matter what stage of life you are in, it is time to take care of your skin. Talk to your dermatologist about an anti-aging skin regiment that works for you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

People of Color and Skin Cancer

By the year 2050, the United States Census Bureau predicts that the population will be 50 percent Hispanic, Asian, or African American. That is why now, more than ever, we must raise awareness of the potential for life-threatening skin cancers in people of color.

It has for a long time been an urban myth that only Caucasians are susceptible to skin cancer. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! It is true that people of color are less likely to develop skin cancer due to the genetic makeup of their skin. But this also means that people of color who develop skin cancer are more likely to die from it due to delays in detection and difficulty seeing moles and spots on their skin.

The skin is made up of the epidermis, the dermis, and fat layers. In the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, cells called melanocytes are produced. It is these cells, melanocytes, which determine the amount of melanin or pigment in the skin. The more melanin that is present, the darker the skin will be.

It is melanin that helps defend our skin against the harmful effects from the sun which cause skin cancer. In many ways, it is your own personal SPF. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “in African American skin, melanin provides a sun protection factor approximately equivalent to 13.4, compared to 3.4 in white skin.”

There are several forms of skin cancer. The most common is basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and the second most common is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). There are also other skin cancers, including melanoma. Just as there are various types of skin cancer, those who are affected by them vary too.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer among African Americans. When people of color are exposed to certain skin conditions that prevent complete healing, such as scarring, burn tissue, and ulcerations, there is not the same level of melanin as before. Therefore, the person has a higher likelihood of developing very aggressive skin cancer that can eventually spread to other places on the body and lead to death. As we said before, these are more likely due to late detection which can often mean it is too late for treatment.

No one is immune to skin cancer, be sure to check your skin regularly and visit your dermatologist at least once a week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Say Good-Bye to Your Spider Veins

Dr. Miller is excited to welcome Dr. Kelli Favata to the Greenville Dermatology practice for a limited time this summer. Dr. Favata is a specialist in sclerotherapy, a treatment for the removal of spider veins and smaller varicose veins.

Spider veins are caused by weak vascular walls and inefficient circulation. Small to medium spider veins are removed by injecting a sterile chemical sclerant. This irritates the lining of the vein vessels causing it to become inflamed, harden, and then fade away completely. Outward appearance and the pain associated with problem veins can be significantly reduced with this procedure.

Nearly everyone is eligible for treatment, unless they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Sclerotherapy can be performed on the hands, arms, face, legs, and other delicate areas. The injection process is typically complete in just 15 to 30 minutes. Minor stinging and burning are common during and after the procedure, but are short lived.

Dr. Favata will be at Greenville Dermatology from July 18th to the end of August, so call and make your appointment today!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Questions to Ask Before Getting Cosmetic Dermatology

Deciding to undergo cosmetic dermatology is an important decision. Before you jump into it, there are a few questions you should ask your doctor.

Questions you should ask:

1. Do you know your dermatologist?
It’s ok to ask for a background or examples of past work. It’s your body so you need to be comfortable.

2. What are your options?
Ask your doctor about your treatment options and which he/she would recommend for you. This includes both products and costs that you are agree with.

3. Who administers the procedure?
If your doctor isn’t the one who will be with you on the day of your procedure, find out who will be and ask to meet him or her. It can also be reassuring to ask where your procedure will take place so you know what to expect.

4. What are the typical results?
Always ask about the recovery process and be aware of any potential side effects. You should know what to expect and be prepared

Your dermatologist should also ask you some questions:

1. What is your medical history?
Your dermatologist should know your complete medical history before performing any procedure.

2. What results are you looking for?
Your dermatologist should care about what is important to you.

3. Do you have any questions or concerns?
Your dermatologist should be willing to give you ample time and his or her full attention to make sure your questions are answered and you are confident in your decision.

Remember: You’re in charge of your body. Take control and be confident in your decisions by choosing the right dermatologist and asking the right questions!

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Rules for Sunscreen Labels from the FDA

When you walk down the sunscreen aisle at the drug store, the variety of products can seem endless. Each brand makes different claims about its ability to block the sun, stand up to sweat and swimming, or protect you while you tan.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released new regulations for sunscreens that will set standard guidelines to measure the effectiveness of sunscreen products. These new guidelines will go into effect next year in hopes of assisting consumers with the task of choosing a sunscreen. That, in turn, will hopefully make it easier for you to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful effects.

One of the changes to be implemented will be with the manufacturers of sunscreen, and what they can and cannot claim on their labels. Sunscreen can no longer be marketed as “sunblock.” Products that protect against UVA and UVB radiation will now be labeled “broad spectrum.” Sunscreens that do not protect against both UVA and UVB rays will carry a warning.

If a product wants to claim to lower the risk of cancer, it must be SPF 15 or higher; if they are lower than SPF 15, they will carry a warning. The FDA has also proposed that no product can be labeled higher than SPF 50.

Marketing claims such as “waterproof” or “sweatproof” are now prohibited. Water resistance will now be made in terms of time – 40 minutes or 80 minutes. The FDA is also taking a closer look at sprays. You should always be careful to accurately apply spray-on sunscreen, especially when it is breezy by the pool or at the beach.

It will take one full year for the new regulations to go into effect, so don’t expect to see a total change to that row of sunscreen labels in the drugstore until next summer. To read more details about the FDA regulations, visit

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Dark Side of Tanning

With warmer weather finally here, it’s only natural for young men and women to head to the beaches or their local swimming pools to catch a few hours of sunlight. Having tanned skin often goes hand-in-hand with feeling more attractive and confident.

However, these pool and beach ventures can pose a serious risk to your health. UV radiation exposure from indoor and outdoor tanning is the leading cause of skin cancer. Individuals who tan indoors increase their risk of melanoma by 75%. While skin cancer is a prominent side effect of tanning, other risks are likely, such as burns and injury to the skin, premature aging of the skin, and immune system suppression.

Despite the risks and potential impact that tanning indoors and/or outdoors can do to your skin and health, young women and teens continue to pursue the bronze glow. A recent study showed 86% of tanners recognize that tanning beds could lead to skin cancer.

So why do people continue to tan despite the many health risks that are associated with indoor and outdoor tanning? In a recent survey, 35% of respondents felt peer pressure to be tan. This pressure might arise more intensely when special events are approaching, such as graduation, prom, galas, and even bathing suit season.

It is important that teens understand there are healthy alternatives to tanning. Spray tans, sunless tanning lotions and gels are great alternatives to traditional tanning. These products contain the chemical DHA which acts as a safe tanning ingredient when applied externally on the skin.

Fighting the sunlight’s dangerous UV rays with healthy alternatives to tanning will provide your skin with a more youthful complexion. But most importantly, it will significantly decrease your chance of developing skin cancer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Think Skin Cancer is Rare? Think Again!

On May 14th, I participated in a free skin cancer screening at St. Francis Hospital. The participating physicians and I saw 171 people.

Out of those screened, 31 people had some form of skin cancer, either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Fifty-six others had actinic keratosis, a precancerous growth.

Twenty-four participants had atypical moles. Doctors also found possible melanoma on two people and suggested biopsies for another 53 participants.

And that was just in three hours!

Though skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer, it is also the easiest to prevent. Using sunscreen, reducing sun exposure, and getting regular check-ups are a few easy ways to lower your risk.

Remember, the earlier you detect skin cancer, the easier it is to treat.

As skin cancer awareness month comes to a close, don’t forget about the risks. Talk to your dermatologist about a skin cancer examination today!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hats off to Greenville Dermatology’s hats

Did you know Greenville Dermatology sells stylish and functional hats that boast an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+?

Greenville Dermatology is proud to sell protective hats from the popular brands Scala and Wallaroo.

Both brands are committed to providing the best sun protection possible while offering a variety of styles to suit your taste. From fedoras to fishing hats, from visors to bucket hats, Scala and Wallaroo are guaranteed to have a hat for you.

In addition to the plethora of sizes, shapes and colors, Scala and Wallaroo hats offer generous brims for optimal coverage and high quality wicking fabrics that keep you cool.

The hats are tested and rated to block 97.5% of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The UPF demonstrates how well the fabric protects your skin from UV rays.

Hats range from as low as $11 to $42, allowing you to have the protection you need, no matter your budget.

However, it’s important to remember that hats only protect what they cover. Wearing sunscreen is critical to protect the rest of your body!

Call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 to get your hat today and protect your head from harmful UV rays!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sun Protection Tips for Working Outdoors

On average, outdoor workers receive five to 10 times more sun exposure each year than indoor workers. For those who work outdoors more than indoors, you are at a greater risk for skin cancer.

According to SunSmart, there are five simple steps that will protect your skin and reduce your risk.

Seek shade! Limit your sun exposure by working in the shade, indoors, or when UV levels are lower, such as in the early morning or late afternoon.
Slip on sun protective work clothing.
Slap on a sun protective hat, such as a Scala or Wallaroo hat sold at Greenville Dermatology.
Slide on sunglasses, preferably ones with ultraviolet protection factor.
Slop on SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen. It’s crucial to use sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, meaning it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Following these small but important points will keep your skin safe and diminish your risk of skin cancer and prevent you from being another skin cancer statistic.

For more information on sun protection and to schedule a comprehensive skin cancer screening, call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Save Our Skin!

Did you know that more people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than all other types of cancer combined? The truly disturbing fact is that skin cancer is the most preventable type of cancer.

Through education, early detection and protection, the number of skin cancer diagnoses in the future can diminish drastically. In fact, 99% of people today survive skin cancer with early detection.

The sun does not discriminate, nor are you only at risk when you have a bathing suit on. We commonly make the mistake of only applying sunscreen when we go to the beach or pool and wear a swimsuit, but no matter the color of your skin or where you are, you are at risk for sun damage.

I strongly encourage my patients to apply sunscreen as part of their morning routine. The product line I stand behind and offer at my office is Anthelios. A product of La Roche-Posay, Anthelios has an advanced formula that protects against both UVA and UVB rays while still feeling light and non-greasy on your skin.

La Roche-Posay and Anthelios didn’t stop at making trusted sunscreens. They also started a campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of being unprotected in the sun. Save our Skin, or SOS, is making strides to educate people, young and old, about skin cancer and how to lower your risk.

Join the cause by signing up and La Roche-Posay will donate to organizations such as The Skin Cancer Foundation. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll receive a gift certificate for Anthelios products just for signing up.

To learn more about SOS and to join the cause, visit
Call (864) 242-5872 to make your appointment today for a full body examination or to speak with me about Anthelios.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stressing Stress Relief

More than ever before, life is stressing us out!

You may be familiar with the common effects of stress such as poor sleep or insomnia, headaches and even heart attacks, but from a dermatological aspect, stress can greatly affect your skin, hair and nails, too.

It’s normal to lose hair as part of its life cycle, but stress can significantly increase hair loss. You can lose up to ½ to ¾ of your hair, which may not fall out until three months after the stressful event. It takes a while to affect your hair, but will take an additional six to nine months to grow back!

Stress also can affect your skin by aggravating pre-existing conditions such as psoriasis, acne and rosacea. It also dehydrates your skin, which lowers the skin’s ability to repair itself.

When you’re tense, cortisol levels in your body shoot up, causing an increase in oil production and possible acne flare-ups. Worse yet, higher cortisol levels have been shown to advance the growth of harmful melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

To help fight against stress-causing acne, I prescribe to my patients topical treatment that they can apply to troubled spots to help decrease flare-ups and speed up recovery. I find that when patients feel more in control about handling stress, their stress levels actually decrease.

Brittle, broken nails are another result of stress. Stress not only weakens nail beds but also may form habits such as rubbing or biting nails, which also damage or destroy your beautiful digits.

To lower your stress, figure out what is the source of your stress so you are better equipped to handle it the next time.

You can also decrease the negative effects of stress when you exercise more, lower the temperature on your showers or baths, use detergent-free soaps and sunscreen, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

For more information or for treatment options to help lower the side effects of stress, call (864) 242-5872 today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is Your Diet Affecting Your Skin?

Your diet is helping slim your waistline and keep you staying healthy, but if you’re not careful, you could be depriving your body of essential vitamins and antioxidants that keep your skin glowing. Read on to see if your diet passes the test!

Mediterranean Diet
This diet emphasizes fish, leafy greens, olive oil, fruit and red wine, all of which are heart-healthy options that may also protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Eating fish helps skin keep its elasticity, while leafy greens such as spinach and olive oil protect against UV damage.

Doctor’s Orders: Red wine contains an antioxidant that your skin loves, but drinking too much can leave your skin dry.

Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
Fresh produce and whole grains contain an abundance of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that are known to cause aging. Plant-based protein sources such as beans not only contain pimple-fighting zinc but also decrease inflammation that causes redness and premature wrinkles.

Doctor’s Orders: This diet is typically low in fat, but including ground flaxseeds and olive and safflower oils helps your skin stay hydrated.

High Protein, Low Carb Diet
Minimizing your intake of bread and pasta can decrease the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn may reduce breakouts. Whole grains, fresh produce and lean meats provide you with antioxidants and collagen-building protein.

Doctor’s Orders: It’s important to limit your intake of red meat because animal fat can increase free radicals that age your skin.

Low Fat Diet
Vegetable oils contain linoleic acid, which strengthens the skin barrier that keeps moisture in and irritants out.

Doctor’s Orders: Cutting back on animal fat keeps free radicals in check, but your skin needs fat because it helps absorb antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins as well as strengthen your skin cells. Focus on unsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts and foods rich in omega-3.

High Carb Diet
Carbohydrates that act like fiber keep you feeling full, which help you resist snacks with high fat and sugar counts that produce oil and clog pores.

Doctor’s Orders: Be sure you are getting enough lean protein and fresh produce that arm your skin with antioxidants and skin-strengthening fats.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The 411 on Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a very popular cosmetic facial service due to the quick procedure is quick and little to no downtime. At Greenville Dermatology we offer two types, glycolic and TCA peels.

Glycolic peels involve applying alpha- and beta-hydroxy peeling agents in tailored concentrations for two to five minutes. The chemicals slough away dead skin cells and penetrate the upper layers of the dermis to smooth away fine lines, improve complexion and dry out an acne flare-up.

These peels also strengthen the effectiveness of other skincare products because the peel eliminates a layer of skin allowing the product to penetrate deeper.

The only effects patients will experience from a glycolic peel are mild redness or irritation.

Another type of chemical peel that is available at our practice is a TCA peel. TCA, which stands for trichloroacetic acid, is a deeper peel that reduces fine lines, smoothes skin’s texture and improves effects of sun damage.

TCA is often used in higher concentrations instead of laser resurfacing to diminish acne scarring, soften wrinkles and remove the surface layer of dead skin cells to reveal radiant skin.

In low concentrations, TCA peels require no downtime. The higher concentration peels may require one to two weeks of downtime to allow the skin to heal.

Chemical peels are a great way to improve complexion and give your skin back that healthy glow, but it is important to remember the increased risk of sun damage. After a chemical peel, using sun protection when you step outside is essential.

For more information about chemical peels or other cosmetic procedures, or to schedule an appointment, call (864) 242-5872. You’re just a phone call away from radiant, youthful skin!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Kids & Sun Exposure

Did you know that just a few serious sunburns could greatly increse your children's risk of developing skin cancer when they're older?

Kids love playing outdoors, but the extra sun exposure is harmful to their skin. It's important that children cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

Be sure to put sunscreen on ears, noses, lips and the tops of feet, and take sunscreen with you to reapply throughout the day, especially after swimming or exercise.

It only takes 15 minutes for unprotected skin to be damaged by sun exposure. Pink sunburn and tan skin both indicate sun damage to your skin.

Infants are even more affected by the sun and should avoid sun exposure at all costs.

If your teen is going to the tanning bed, talk to them! The AAD, the World Health Organization and others fully support legislation that prohibits minors from accessing tanning salons or other artificial tanning devices.

The best thing you can do for your children is educate them about the dangers of sun exposure! Sun protection practices wane around the age of 9 or 10, so talk with your kids about the importance of protecting their skin.

For questions or to schedule an appointment to discuss sun exposure, call (864) 242-5872.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AAD publishes latest Psoriasis guidelines

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recently published its newest edition of Psoriasis guidelines that examines the use of a variety of treatments for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients.

The guidelines stress the importance of treatment plans that are tailored to the individual patient because there are many factors that can affect treatment, from the severity of the disease to the overall health of the patient.

Nearly 7 million Americans have psoriasis, a chronic skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches of skin that itch and sometimes bleed. Psoriasis is widely known for affecting the skin and joints, however new research suggests that psoriasis patients are at an increased risk of developing serious medical conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, lymphoma and obesity.

The newest guidelines emphasize to dermatologists the importance of regular health screenings and continual monitoring of their psoriasis patients, and also discuss the key role that patients play in improving their outcomes.

The AAD encourages patients to not deviate from their treatment plans and keep their dermatologists informed of any concerns. Additionally, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients should avoid common triggers such as increased stress, smoking and consuming alcohol.

If patients notice changes in their condition or experience signs of associated medical conditions, they should consult their dermatologist immediately.

Call (864) 242-5872 today should you have any concerns or would like to schedule an appointment.

To access the guidelines, click here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Probiotics- The Super Bacteria!

Probiotics are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to alleviate digestion problems such as irregularity, diarrhea, IBS and lactose intolerance. However, probiotics don’t just provide benefits internally. Dermatologists are learning the incredible benefits that probiotics offer your skin.

One main cause of acne is an overgrowth of bacteria on the skin’s surface. Probiotics taken orally help treat acne-prone skin by regulating bacteria in the stomach. They can also be applied topically to protect against harmful bacteria and restore skin’s protective barrier and normal bacterial flora to help prevent breakouts.

Not only do probiotics help combat acne but they also improve eczema by creating good bacteria that release oxygen so skin breathes easier, blood flows and skin balance is restored.

These powerful bacterial microorganisms even aid in the fight against premature aging. Sun, smoke and pollutants all speed up aging by destroying the skin’s protective barrier and increasing skin’s elasticity that eventually causes wrinkles. Probiotics work to balance skin’s moisture, boost cell function and regenerate skin cells so skin becomes softer and smoother.

Taken daily, probiotics will boost the effectiveness of the skin products you already use. Other daily supplements typically take weeks or even months to show results.

Probiotics are a great addition to your daily routine that will have you feeling and looking better, inside and out!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Didn’t get the gift you really wanted on Valentine’s Day?

My gift to you is longer, more beautiful lashes!
Right now we are offering buy one, get one free LATISSE® kits. This is a terrific opportunity to try the product everyone is talking about!

LATISSE® is one of the most requested products in my office, and the first and only FDA-Approved lash growth treatment used for the purpose of eyelash enhancement. With LATISSE®, my patients can expect to see longer, fuller and darker lashes in as little as four weeks. It is an excellent alternative to false eyelashes and leaves patients with natural looking and feeling results.

LATISSE® uses the active ingredient bimatoprost, which works with the eyelashes you already have to make them longer and fuller. The product is a topical solution you apply once a day to the base of your lashes.

The potential of LATISSE® was discovered accidentally as a side effect from a glaucoma medicine called Lumigan. Patients who used this medication developed longer and thicker eyelashes.

Years of research followed and LATISSE® was created by the pharmaceutical company, Allergan. Allergan performed studies and made changes to ensure that LATISSE® was safe and effective for general public use.

There has been a growing interest in the product since it was introduced in early 2009, and with this interest has come misconceptions. Many patients are concerned about using LATISSE® because they are afraid that it will change the color of their eyes. As earlier stated, the medication that is used in LATISSE® was originally created as a glaucoma medication. In extremely rare instances, there was a change in eye color when the glaucoma medication was applied directly to the cornea. However, in the clinical trials there were no patients that reported this side effect. At Greenville Dermatology, my patients have never experienced a change in eye color.

As with any prescription treatment, you should consult a doctor to determine if LATISSE® is right for you. Call Greenville Dermatology (864-242-5872) to make an appointment and find out how you can benefit from LATISSE®. You’ll be batting those lashes with confidence in no time!

Week 0

Week 16

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Radiant Winter Skin

That's right, it doesn’t have to be a bleak midwinter for your skin!

We have had more snow this winter than we’ve seen in over twenty years and your skin is starting to show it. If you’re experiencing the typical winter dry skin, I have some advice that will help ease the irritation and itch.

You have heard that drinking eight glasses of water a day is key to keeping your body healthy and hydrated, but it is a common myth that drinking a lot of water will help hydrate dry skin.

Instead of guzzling gallons of water, there are a few things that will help and not leave you feeling bloated! For example, hot water tends to dry out skin, so when showering and especially washing your face, turn the faucet until the water is lukewarm. When finished, apply moisturizing lotion while your skin is still slightly damp so your skin will absorb it more quickly.

Not only hot water but also hot air will dry out your skin. If you have to have the heat on (and who doesn’t in this cold weather?) turn on a humidifier to keep moisture in the air.

Postpone the facial peel until the weather warms up. While exfoliation keeps your skin glowing, masks and peels draw moisture out of your face.

I have access to a wide array of gentle cleansers, masks and moisturizers that will keep your skin looking radiant even in the blistery, winter months. Call (864) 242-5872 today to schedule an appointment!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Instantly Youthful

There is no way around it. As we age, our skin changes. Over time, the natural volume of youthful skin begins to diminish as wrinkles and folds form. To combat this specific type of skin aging, the dermatology world has relied on new techniques to help patients stop the hands of time. Juvederm does just that.

Juvederm, or "filler", is the fastest growing non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States. Juvederm consists of a very smooth gel made of hyaluronic acid - a naturally occurring substance in your skin - that helps to add volume and hydration.

As we discussed in last week's blog, BOTOX Cosmetic is not a filler. BOTOX Cosmetic relaxes muscle activity and is used to treat moderate to severe lines caused by the dominant frown muscles between the eyebrows.

With Juvederm, I am able to ease the product under the skin and instantly restore your skin's volume, while smoothing away facial wrinkles and folds, like your "smile lines" or "parentheses" (nasolabial folds - the creases that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth).

Juvederm provides a smooth, natural look and feel, so everyone will notice how great you look (but no one will know)! Juvederm is a convenient procedure and results are almost instantaneous.

The injection process takes about 15 minutes and normally, patients return to work, school or their usual routine, right after the procedure. Our office will provide cold compresses to help reduce swelling or bruising and make-up may be worn immediately after treatment.

Juvederm is FDA-approved for use in the United States and is the ONLY hyaluronic acid (HA) filler that will provide you with beautiful results lasting for up to 1 year. Call our office to learn more about Juvederm so you can start seeing results today! Olivia, After:
Olivia, Before:
Lisa, After:
Lisa, Before:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clear Up Confusion - And Wrinkles

I've been intending to write about cosmetic services for some time. Of all the cosmetic procedures I perform in my office, Botox is the most popular, and in a lot of cases it is the most misunderstood. This blog post will provide some insight into the Botox procedure and hopefully clear up any confusion.

Botox was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002, and since its inception into the marketplace it has fast become a favorite procedure for A list celebrities and housewives alike.

The protein Botox is injected into the facial muscle that controls the unwanted wrinkle and prevents nerve impulses from reaching the nerve. The surrounding skin then relaxes and produces a smoother area. Botox is specifically useful to rid a face frown or worry lines, crow’s feet, lip wrinkles, uneven brows and even severe underarm sweating. The result is the end of wrinkle-free days for its millions of loyal users.

It takes a skilled dermatologist to pinpoint the exact location of injection necessary to optimize the effects of Botox without causing any adverse reactions or downtime. I have been injecting Botox for eleven years, and because of my familiarity and advanced techniques, my patients suffer no downtime and minimal to no bruising.

The effects are natural and beautiful and require absolutely no downtime (many patients come in for appointments on their lunch break). You may be asking: what should I expect during the procedure? Botox takes only a few minutes, is virtually painless, and the amazing results can last up to four months.

I know many readers and patients are concerned about the “frozen face” look we see in the media and with celebrities, but this image of Botox is extremely rare. In fact, the majority of these expressions are as a result of surgical procedures like brow and face lifts- not Botox.

I encourage any of my patients who are looking for facial rejuvenation to schedule a consultation so I can explain in detail all of the options available to help you look and feel your best. Call our office at 864-242-5872 to make your appointment. Below are several before-and-after pictures that allow you to better understand what Botox can do for you.

Before After

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Myth 6: You just have to let acne run its course

Busting Myths on Acne! Myth 6 of 6
Myth 6: You just have let acne run its course.
There is no cure for acne, but it is treatable, which means you shouldn’t give up. From over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription products to micro dermabrasion and light therapy, there are so many ways to fight acne.

If OTC products aren’t cutting it, let’s set up an appointment and discuss a plan of attack. Every product is different, and one may work for someone else that doesn’t work for you, so we’ll keep trying until we get results you’re happy with.

Be careful not to overuse acne medication. If you use your products more than recommended on the label or by the dermatologist, you may actually cause your acne to worsen by drying out and irritating your skin.

At Greenville Dermatology, we have a wide selection of facial cleansers, topical treatments, oral medications, and cosmetic procedures to choose from. It’s time to be proactive about your acne. Start 2011 off right and call (864) 242-5872 today to make your appointment!