Monday, December 24, 2012

Put down the fruitcake!

As you know, fruit cake and other holiday desserts are loaded with sugar. Did you also know that sugar makes your skin dry and dull and leads to wrinkles?

The cause is a process called glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Unfortunately, the collagen and elastin proteins that help keep our skin firm are most vulnerable to glycation. Once damaged, collagen and elastin fibers become brittle, causing wrinkles to form and skin to sag. According to an article in the British Journal of Dermatology, these negative effects can begin to appear around the age of 35 and rapidly increase after that.

Luckily, new collagen can be built with products that contain retinoids; ask your doctor about lotions and serums that have retinol. Once you have used a collagen building product, it is important to take further steps to keep your skin looking healthy and young.

First and foremost, reduce your sugar intake and apply a broad spectrum sunscreen daily. Next, be sure to drink plenty of water, and consider supplementing your diet with at least 1mg of B1 and B6 vitamins every day.

Green tea is also a great antioxidant. When used topically, it can more easily reach the dermal layer of skin where collagen and elastin reside.

Greenville Dermatology will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but we are happy to share with you a recipe for a green tea face mask that you can mix at home:

·         Brew green tea; double the usual amount of tea, but keep the amount of water the same. You want the tea to be potent.

·         Let the tea cool to room temperature.

·         Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of rice flour; you want a smooth consistency so that it is spreadable, but not runny.

·         (Optional) Add half of a mashed banana and/or mango; banana moisturizes and mango cleanses.

We encourage using prescription lotions and serums for more drastic results, but this mask is a great home remedy to tone skin between treatments.

So, apply your mask, grab a bottle of water and ring in 2013 with great skin!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Does the cost justify the means?

According to a recent article in Medpage Today, an estimated 75,000 cases of melanoma are expected to be reported in the United States in 2012. Considering that melanoma has been tagged as the deadliest form of cancer, it should be no surprise that there is ongoing research to find a cure.

In 2011, a BRAF inhibitor called vemurafenib (marketed as zelboraf), was approved by the FDA after exhibiting significant increases in the survival rates of patients in the late stages of melanoma. Prior to zelboraf, dacarbazine was the only treatment available to those diagnosed with melanoma. However, the medication proved to be effective in only 7-12 percent of all cases. In addition to increasing a patient’s chance for survival, zelboraf has also been shown to improve a patient’s quality of life and self-sufficiency.

Unfortunately, while the statistics relating to zelboraf are promising, the cost for treatment is extremely discouraging. Angie King, a PharmD student at Northeastern University in Boston, has been conducting a budget impact study to determine if the cost of zelboraf justifies its use in Medicaid programs. 

According to King, conventional treatment with dacarbazine would cost $31,873 per year, whereas a year of treatment with the traditional drug plus vemurafenib could cost as much as $314,347. That is a startling difference, but refusing to offer this new treatment due to cost could raise major ethical questions.

Do you think that an expensive drug such as zelboraf should be made available through Medicaid if it saves lives?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Am I right for cosmetic dermatology?

If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, you are not alone. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports that nearly 9.2 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2011.

According to ASAPS, 82% of those cosmetic procedures were nonsurgical, and the top nonsurgical procedures included botulinum toxin type A (Botox), hyaluronic acid, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and IPL laser treatment.

Choosing whether or not to undergo a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure is an important and highly personal decision.  The question is not always “is a cosmetic procedure right for me?” Sometimes you must ask “am I right for that cosmetic procedure?”  To help answer those questions, I want to offer some advice:

DO seek treatment from a trained medical professional
DO understand all of the facts about the procedure that you are considering, including possible risks
DO know all of your options; seek a second opinion if necessary
DO be honest with yourself about your level of risk and pain tolerance
DO have realistic expectations about the outcome of any procedure
DO have a healthy self-esteem and avoid losing perspective

DO NOT buy in to unsubstantiated claims and false advertisements that offer easy and cheap fixes
DO NOT expect to have the same results as another person; everyone is different
DO NOT be passive when discussing a potential procedure with your doctor; be clear about what you want and expect so that both parties are on the same page

Information makes all the difference when deciding if cosmetic dermatology is the right option for you. Be sure to do your research and remember we are always here to answer your questions.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Give the Gift of Latisse® this Holiday Season!

If you are looking for a great, unique gift for a woman in your life, Greenville Dermatology has you covered. We are currently offering buy one, get one free Latisse® kits!

Latisse® is a prescription treatment to help grow eyelashes longer, fuller and darker. This is a great product for women of every age, and it has been known to double the fullness of lashes in just 16 weeks. Want proof? Check out this before and after photo:

Before at 0 weeks

After 16 weeks

Call Greenville Dermatology to schedule a consultation and find out if Latisse® is right for you!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Seeing Under Skin

Doctors may soon be able to ‘see’ under the skin as a less-invasive way to detect skin cancer.

Since the 1990s ophthalmologists have used an imaging technique called optical coherence tomography (OCT) to examine eyes, and recently dermatologists have begun to show interest in this technique as a non-invasive way to detect skin diseases, including cancer.

OCT provides high-resolution images, and when used for dermatological purposes, it can show a 3-D network of blood vessels beneath the skin. Researchers from the Medical University Vienna (MUW) in Austria, as well as Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany, used OCT to look at both healthy patches of skin and allergy-induced patches of skin. Scientists were able to see that the blood flow in the vessels to the healthy skin was drastically different than the blood flow in the vessels to the unhealthy skin.

“The condition of the vascular network carries important information on tissue health and its nutrition,” said Rainer Leitgeb, lead researcher at MUW. He goes on to mention that there is a lot to learn about this technique and that the value of this information is very much underutilized.

The hope is that OCT will eventually allow physicians to reduce the number of biopsies performed on patients, but also assess how quickly a tumor is expected to grow. For patients undergoing treatment, OCT could help monitor progress.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I recently came across an interesting link on that lists some common skin cancer myths and correlating facts. I wanted to share it as some of the facts may surprise you!

Myth 1: 80% of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before the age of 18.

Fact 1: Actually, only about 23% of lifetime exposure occurs by the age of 18.

Myth 2: Ingredients in sunscreen may cause cancer.

Fact 2: Current research shows that when used as directed sunscreens are safe and effective.

Myth 3: You cannot get sun damage on a cloudy day.

Fact 3: You can, and you will – 80% of harmful rays can penetrate clouds and fog.

Myth 4: Only Caucasians develop skin cancer.

Fact 4: While Caucasians are at higher risk of developing skin cancer, non-Caucasians are more likely to die from skin cancer because it is more difficult to spot and because of belief in the misconception noted above. Click here to learn more. 

The overall lesson is that you need to wear SPF 15 or higher – no matter your age, skin color or if it’s a cloudy day! For more myths, visit:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vitamin D Receptor May Eventually Treat Hair Loss

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, male pattern baldness affects 35 million U.S. men, and nearly $2 billion a year is spent worldwide on surgical procedures to treat hair loss. Clearly, there is a demand for hair replacement treatments, and a breakthrough may be on the horizon.

The most successful hair loss treatments to date are topical products, such as Rogaine, or surgical hair transplants. Recently, however, scientists have found that Vitamin D and its receptors seem to play a role in hair follicle health. Vitamin D is known for keeping bones and skin healthy, but according to Mark Haussler, a professor at the University of Arizona, Vitamin D receptors are “crucial for the regeneration of hair.” The receptors are believed to activate the hair growth, not the vitamin itself.

Researchers are challenged, though, because hair follicles do not grow hair very well outside of the body. Also, too much Vitamin D can have negative side effects, so any successful potential treatment must be aimed at manipulating Vitamin D and its receptors only in the skin.

Since cancer patients, new moms and many other people suffer from hair loss, a more effective treatment could change a number of lives. For now, we just have to wait and see if this Vitamin D receptor will continue to show promise and if more research will lead to a breakthrough treatment.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trust a Dermatologist

A new study published by Dermatologic Surgery reveals that primary care physicians believe that dermatologists are best qualified to perform certain procedures including skin cancer surgery, botulinum toxin injections, filler injections and laser procedures.

"This is an important study because little was known about physician perceptions of dermatologists, and we know referring physicians want the best qualified specialist for their patients," said Susan H. Weinkle, M.D., president of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, which supported the study with a grant. "This study shows dermatologic surgeons understand the special needs of skin through every stage of life and are skilled providers of advanced surgical and nonsurgical methods for both medical and cosmetic procedures."

The web-based study surveyed 561 primary care physicians in the U.S. Of those, 538 completed the survey, and the results were very consistent.

Complete survey results can be found here.

If you are not referred to a dermatologist, but are looking for one on your own, here is my advice:

   1.  Determine if you need a general dermatologist or cosmetic dermatologist and find the doctor that best 
             fits your needs.   
               2.  Visit his or her website and read the bio to be sure that your potential doctor is board certified in 
 3.          3.  Schedule a consult and be prepared with a list of questions

When it comes to your skin, trust a dermatologist - primary care physicians agree!

Monday, October 15, 2012

It Might be Mites

According to a review published by the Journal of Medical Microbiology, scientists are closer to establishing what they believe is a bacterial cause of the skin condition rosacea. Rosacea, a reddening and inflammation of the skin, is mostly found around the cheeks, nose and chin. In more serious cases of rosacea, skin lesions may form and could lead to disfigurement.

Statistically, 3% of the population is affected by rosacea. The majority of patients with this condition are women with fair skin between the ages of 30-50; weak immune systems have also been linked to rosacea. While previously no specific bacterial cause had been found, rosacea is typically treated with antibiotics. However, the recent review by the National University of Ireland reports that bacteria within mites on human skin may cause rosacea.
These mites, Demodex folliculorum, are shaped like worms and live harmlessly around hair follicles on the face. The number of these mites increases with age, and the mites are more prevalent among those with rosacea, which has led to the indication that they are linked to the cause of the condition.
“The bacteria live in the digestive tracts of Demodex mites found on the face, in a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, who conducted the review. “When mites die, the bacteria are released and leak into the surrounding skin tissues – triggering tissue degradation and inflammation. Once the numbers of mites increase, so does the amount of bacteria, making rosacea more likely to occur.”
While learning about mites on the skin is a bit unsettling, the good news is that this discovery may lead to the development of improved rosacea treatments. According to Dr. Kavanagh’s review, some pharmaceutical companies are already working on a way to control the population of mites on the face, so new, more effective treatments for rosacea may be available sooner than we had once thought.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Psoriasis May Be a Risk Factor for Diabetes recently published an article reporting that patients with psoriasis may be at an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes over the general population and that the risk is highest in patients with severe psoriasis. The study referred to in this article was conducted by Dr. Ole Ahlehoff from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte.

Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up on the surface of the skin, resulting in itchy, red patches that are sometimes painful. Cases of psoriasis can range from mild to severe and can affect different areas of the body, including the scalp, nails, underarms and groin.

According to the article, patients with mild psoriasis have an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes of 49% over the general population. In addition, those patients diagnosed with severe psoriasis are more than twice as likely to also be diagnosed with diabetes. These are startling findings, especially considering that there are approximately 125 million reported cases of psoriasis worldwide.

“Diabetes and psoriasis share an underlying inflammatory process and an abundance of risk factors, and therefore, it is not surprising that psoriasis has been proposed as a risk factor for new onset diabetes,” said Dr. Ahlehoff, who announced the results of this study at the European Society of Cardiology meeting; the study’s results are detailed here.

“Screening for diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with psoriasis is warranted,” Dr. Ahlehoff concludes. He suggests that a yearly screening should be sufficient.

While the cause of psoriasis is not fully known, researchers suspect that it is related to the immune system and how it reacts to the environment. Some triggers have been identified and should be avoided if possible. These include: infections such as strep throat, injuries to the skin including cuts, scrapes and bug bites, stress, cold weather and heavy alcohol consumption.

In some cases, psoriasis may be more of a nuisance than a major health concern; however, this is a disease that can often lead to joint problems and now, possibly Type 2 diabetes. Even in the mildest cases of psoriasis, it is important to consult with a medical professional. If you think you may have psoriasis or would like more information, I encourage you to call us at 864-242-5872 to schedule your appointment.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Skin Virus May Be a Cure For Acne

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting 40 to 50 million people. In fact, nearly 85 percent of people will have acne at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, while acne is prevalent, safe and effective treatments are not. 

The good news is that researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Pittsburgh have discovered that a harmless skin virus, called phage, may be used to treat acne. This virus occurs naturally on our skin, and its purpose is to target and kill the bacteria that cause acne. Unlike antibiotics, however, phages target only the bad bacteria. Scientists found that there are 11 versions of the phage virus, and they all share similar DNA coding and carry a gene that creates the protein endolysin. This protein is thought to destroy bacteria by breaking down their cell walls.

"Antibiotics such as tetracycline are so widely used that many acne strains have developed resistance, and drugs like Accutane, while effective, can produce risky side effects, limiting their use," said Dr. Jenny Kim, director of the UCLA Clinic for Acne, Rosacea and Aesthetics.

Acne can cause both physical and emotional scars, so this discovery may literally change people lives. It could be many years before this treatment can be fully developed and available as a cure. In the meantime, if you or someone you know is battling acne, schedule a consultation with us today. We can identify what may be causing skin irritation and recommend the treatment plan that is best for you and your skin. Call us at (864) 242-5872 to schedule your appointment.

Friday, September 28, 2012

FDA warns L’Oreal over “anti-aging” claims

For those of you using over-the-counter “anti-aging” products, you may be interested to hear a recent warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

L’Oreal has been warned by the FDA to adjust the claims they are making about some of their anti-aging products.  Statements like “boosts the activity of genes” and “stimulate cell regeneration to reconstruct skin to a denser quality” indicate that the products “are intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body,” classifying them as drugs that would require FDA approval under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The products in question include items from L’Oreal’s Genifique, Absolue and Renergie lines. Because these products have not been tested by the FDA for safety and effectiveness, consumers are dependent on the manufacturer for information about their products. If that information is inaccurate, they are left without a trusted source for knowledge.

This is where Greenville Dermatology can help. We carry a wide selection of cosmetic products that are proven to be effective for your skin care needs. I carefully hand-select all of the products offered at our office to ensure the utmost quality and safety for our patients. Schedule an appointment with our office, and we would be happy to provide recommendations tailored to meet your skin care needs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are Sunless Tanners Safe?

Many patients ask if self-tanning products are unsafe due the color additive dihydroxyacetone – better known as DHA. Generally, dermatologists consider this way of achieving a tan very safe when compared to alternative tanning methods.

DHA, a sugar molecule that bronzes just the top layer of the skin, is the only coloring agent that has been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has been a common ingredient in cosmetics for many years. Self-tanning products are available as lotions, creams, sprays and wipes and typically contain 3-5% DHA. Results generally occur within a few hours, and the color will fade in 7-10 days as you naturally shed skin cells.

There is no hard evidence that DHA is harmful or carcinogenic to humans when applied topically and in the small, recommended doses. When applying or administering spray tanners, be sure not to ingest or inhale the product. Protective gear should be worn to cover the eyes, mouth and nose.

I recommend maintaining your natural complexion, but if you prefer a darker skin tone, self-tanners are the safest route. The scariest option is undoubtedly a visit to a tanning salon. Nearly 30 million people use tanning beds each year in the US; of those, 2.3 million are teens. Below are some alarming facts on indoor tanning, which can also be found at

·         Those who make just four visits to a tanning salon per year can increase their risk for melanoma by 11 percent and their risk for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma by 15 percent.

·         Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.

·         Frequent tanners using new high-pressure sunlamps may receive as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from sun exposure.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Think Before You Ink

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, it could come with an unwanted side effect: a skin infection. Recently, health officials linked an increase in skin infections caused by tuberculosis-related bacteria to contaminated ink – not dirty needles or unsanitary tattoo parlors. While cases of infection caused by the contaminated ink have been confirmed across the United States, Fox News reported that the largest outbreak was in Rochester, N.Y. There, 19 people showed the same raised, bumpy rash covering their tattoos.

Historically, the health risks associated with getting a tattoo were infections such as hepatitis, staph or tetanus. These were typically caused by unsanitary conditions or unsafe practices. The recent infection outbreaks caused by ink used at otherwise sanitary tattoo parlors is an additional cause for concern. "Even if you get a tattoo from a facility that does everything right, it's not risk free," said Dr. Byron Kennedy, deputy director of the health department in New York's Monroe County. Health officials advise tattoo artists and ink makers to use only sterile water to dilute ink to prevent contamination.

As a dermatologist, I recommend thinking twice before making any permanent alterations to your skin; however, if you do decide to get a tattoo, be sure to ask what type of ink is being used and make sure that the parlor you choose takes all necessary precautions to prevent infections. Furthermore, if you are concerned that your tattoo may be infected, seek immediate medical attention.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adult Acne – It Can Happen to You

Acne does not discriminate by age, gender or race. Anyone can get acne, and for adults, blemishes can be very embarrassing. The first step to managing and preventing breakouts is to understand their primary cause. Acne develops when pores become clogged by the oil in our skin. This oil is called sebum, and our bodies make more of it when our hormones surge, which is why acne is so common among teens. In addition, it explains why women may get breakouts right before periods or in the years leading up to menopause.

Today there are many effective acne treatments. No treatment works overnight, so it is imperative that you stick with a regimen for 4-8 weeks to see significant improvement. If non-prescription cleansers are not giving you your desired results, it is time to see a dermatologist.

Doctors can prescribe a variety of treatment options, such as antibiotics to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation; birth control pills to help balance hormones; or in extreme cases, isotretinoin may be prescribed.  In-office procedures may also be included in your treatment plan. Light therapy, chemical peels and acne removal are among the treatments that may be recommended.

Without treatment, acne can lead to scarring, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. No one should have to deal with those struggles when a dermatologist can offer relief from skin irritations and breakouts. If you are an adult with problem skin or are interested in improving your complexion, call us today for a consultation.  Greenville Dermatology wants to help you feel your best!

Monday, August 27, 2012


Skin cancer is a scary topic, but when found and treated early, skin cancers are often curable. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends performing regular self-exams after an initial visit to your dermatologist. For most, a monthly self-exam is ideal, but ask your doctor if you should be doing checks more frequently.

At-home skin exams need to be a habit and not a burden. Studies are being conducted to determine if technology can help increase patient knowledge and behavior related to the detection of melanoma. Researchers are examining if reminders via email or text, along with online tutorials, could lead to more self-exams. As a result, this could lead to an increase in the early detection of skin cancer. Currently, similar learning programs and reminders have proven effective in cases of breast cancer screening, asthma control and sun safety, according to MedPage Today.

Having a doctor to perform a full-body exam will ensure that any existing spots, freckles or moles are normal. From there you can do exams at home, checking for any changes or new growths. A visit to Greenville Dermatology could be a preventative measure that will save you from concerns in the future. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, 864-242-5872. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Patients Beware:

Although illegal medical procedures have always been a problem, the number of illegal medical spas in the U.S. is growing, and with it, the number of botched procedures and patient injuries. It is important that patients educate themselves on the dangers of these illegal “medspas” to ensure safety, and make the safest decisions possible.

According to the International SPA Association, over 1,500 medical spas opened in the U.S. from 2002 to 2010.These medspas or “medi-spas” provide services such as laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and Botox injections. Although these cosmetic treatments are considered medical procedures, in many cases, medical professionals are not supervising. Many times, patients assume the person performing the procedure is a registered nurse or otherwise certified, but licensed staff in these businesses are becoming increasingly rare.

Dr. M. Christine Lee, a California dermatologist, is an avid supporter of more extreme regulations after treating patients since 2000 with nerve and eye damage, severe burns and permanent scars from medspas. In 2004, she saw over a dozen women with faces covered in black stripes, due to burns from a botched laser hair removal treatment, all from the same medical spa. Lee said she now sees at least five patients every month with treatments gone wrong.

Illegal medspas have become such a problem as of late, that the State of California has taken a step toward correcting the issue for good, and is implementing punishment with a bite. California governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill which will greatly increase fines and jail time for anyone found guilty of illegally operating or aiding in the illegal operation of a medical business.

The message to heed from the medspa situation is this: before going through any type of medical procedure, make sure that both the business as well as the personal service provider are in compliance with state laws and certified. A white coat does not guarantee a person’s safety in the outcome of such serious procedures. All procedures done through competent physicians and professional companies result in successful and enjoyable results. This is one of the many benefits of turning to a board certified dermatologist for all of your skin care needs.

For more information on safe cosmetic procedures, consult Dr. Miller at Greenville Dermatology.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Makeup That is Good for Your Skin?

Many of us may be ashamed to admit this, but we probably are not always as proactive as we should be when it comes to daily skin protection, specifically on our face. It is a common misconception that you don’t need to wear sunblock while out running errands or walking the dog, but even just a few minutes in the sun can lead to long term skin damage.

In the past, many sunblocks made for the face were notorious for causing breakouts and irritation. Thankfully, cosmetic companies have begun adding SPF to their products in an effort to help protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays.  Since there is no such thing as too much sun protection, using makeup with an SPF is the perfect solution to anti-aging and skin protection, all while looking your best.  Oh and doctors’ orders- be sure that when choosing a sunscreen or makeup product with SPF that it is 15 or higher!

At Greenville Dermatology, we offer GloMinerals , which is a mineral based makeup that protects and heals the face. Of all the protective products offered, the GloMinerals facial moisturizer is a client favorite.

At your next appointment, ask our medical aesthetician Trivette Hatcher about the benefits of using mineral based makeup and if mineral makeup might be right for you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Office Location Opening Soon

We are proud to announce our new office location. It will be located on the "easy side" of Woodruff Road. We will be opening our doors late August. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Drinking Caffeinated Coffee Linked to Lower Risk of Skin Cancer

Good news for all you coffee addicts out there!

A recent study involving 113,000 participants over a 20-year period found that people who drink three or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of getting basal cell carcinoma than those who don’t drink caffeinated coffee.
Each year, 2.8 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer. Within that number, basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer.
For researchers and dermatologists alike, this is an exciting development in skin cancer research. “Caffeine may help the body kill off damaged skin cells,” said Dr. Josh Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. "If you get rid of these cells that are damaged, then they don't have the opportunity to grow and form cancers."
Overall, researchers identified caffeine as the key ingredient in reducing a person’s risk of getting basal cell carcinoma; when participants drank decaffeinated coffee, they did not experience the same benefits. In addition to coffee, other caffeinated items like soda, tea and chocolate were also linked to a lower risk of obtaining basal cell carcinoma.
Dr. Zeichner noted this discovery is intriguing, but people should not immediately go out and drink coffee and soda by the gallons. At this time, Zeichner and other researchers believe additional research needs to be conducted on this subject.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Best and Worst Cities for Skin

A recent study by Daily Glow revealed the best and worst cities in America for your skin. The cities that ranked at the top of the list tend to have little sunshine and low ozone rates.  The worst cities for skin are hot, dry and have a lot of sunshine. Specifically, California contains three of the five worst cities for your skin in the country.

Daily Glow determined that Portland, Oregon, is the best city for your skin due to low pollution and ozone rates.  Las Vegas, Nevada, is the worst city for your skin due to the high population of smokers and high amounts of sunshine. Although Greenville was not included in this study, researchers found nearby Charlotte, North Carolina, to be the seventh worst city in the country for your skin because of high ozone and pollution levels.

As reported on Good Morning America, the study looked at the 55 biggest cities in America and determined the rankings based on the number of melanoma cases, percentage of smokers and number of dermatologists per capita. The study also took into account the amount of tanning salons per capita, climate conditions, air pollution and ozone rates.

Below are the top five best and worst cities for your skin:

Best Cities for your Skin:

1.       Portland, Oregon
2.      San Francisco, California
3.      Seattle, Washington
4.      Baltimore, Maryland
5.       Chicago, Illinois

Worst Cities for your Skin:

1.       Las Vegas, Nevada
2.      Phoenix, Arizona
3.      Fresno, California
4.      Sacramento, California
5.       Los Angeles, California

Monday, July 9, 2012

Skin Tips for Summer

It’s summertime, and that means more outdoor activities and, unfortunately, more sunburns. I always tell my patients to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater and to stay protected in the sun; however, did you know that certain foods can also improve and protect your skin if you are burned? Two recent articles in Martha Stewart Magazine  and Whole Living  revealed numerous ways to reduce or prevent a sunburn.

One way to help rid of a burn or a sunspot is by watching your sugar intake. Consuming less sugar will help reduce the imbalance of skin discolorations and sunspots. Additionally, to reduce the chances of getting melanoma by 5 percent, drink two cups of coffee a day. Drinking caffeinated coffee can potentially help self-destruct precancerous cells in the body. Alongside coffee, caffeinated green tea is a recommended to drink before going out into the sun. Polyphenols, active compounds found in green tea, can help fight against UV radiation.

Eating your fruits and vegetables is another great way to fight sunburns or sunspots. Tomatoes, carrots and broccoli are healthy foods that can help reduce inflammation after a sunburn. Eating grapes and berries is another way to reduce inflammation. The skin on the grapes and berries contain a strong anti-inflammatory compound to help reduce sunspots and sunburns. Lastly, using herbs and spices in your food can help reduce inflammation and redness on the skin.

Give these tips a try and consult Dr. Miller and his knowledgeable staff with any additional questions you have to keep your summer skin at its healthiest!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Solutions for Minimizing Scars

For some, scars get in the way of one’s daily life and can bring along feelings of self-consciousness.  At Greenville Dermatology we offer a range of options that can help with the disappearance of your blemishes. Whether your scar is from acne, an accident, or a surgical procedure, we care about helping our patients find solutions to the pesky facial marks that don’t seem to go away.

One option we use at Greenville Dermatology to diminish scarring is through the use of fractional laser technology. The Palomar ICON laser has been a successful solution for scar removal for many of our patients.  Laser scar removal with Palomar is appropriate for use on all skin types, we use pulses of laser light to coagulate scar tissue and trigger healthy new tissue to form in clients' skin. Healing time is minimal, infection risk is eliminated and little to no pain is felt.

Retinoids can also help reduce scar thickness and redness. Greenville Dermatology offers both topical and oral Retinoids which can not only diminish scarring, but can also prevent future acne outbreaks.

For more solutions to scarring and acne, make an appointment with Greenville Dermatology today so we can evaluate your scar and find the best option for you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teens Justify Tanning Beds

A recent research article conducted by the Archives of Dermatology found that college students don’t see tanning beds as a health threat due to the fact that dangers exist everywhere in our society.

In a survey conducted, researchers discovered that 59% of the 600 college students polled agreed with the sentence “tanning bed use can make me ill, but everything causes cancer these days.” Furthermore, 52% of the students polled believed that “tanning bed use is no more risky than lots of other things that people do.”

With this attitude, researchers and scientists alike agree something needs to be done about justifying these rationalizations. “The type of thinking that there is danger all around you, and hence unavoidable, is a common way of justifying risky behaviors," said behavioral scientist Smita Banerjee, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  

For Banerjee, it’s important to understand what drives a college student when rationalizing their actions. Once this is understood, healthcare professionals can create a stronger awareness on important issues.

When MSNBC reported this story on June 18, they also posted related videos about the new dangers of spray tanning. With more stories and research coming out about the dangers of alternative tanning we recommend that you practice moderation and stay up to date on breaking stories. For more information about the potential dangers of tanning, contact Dr. Miller at Greenville Dermatology.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Spray Tanning May Pose Serious Health Risks

In the past, Greenville Dermatology has mentioned the benefits of spray tanning versus traditional tanning beds. However, recent findings conducted by a panel of ten medical experts show that spray tanning may have potential dangers and pose serious health risks.

According to the panel, dihydoroxyacetone (DHA), an active chemical in spray tanning solutions can cause DNA damage and genetic alterations on a cellular level.

“These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies," said Dr. Rey Panettiere, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.  "And if that's the case then we need to be wary of them” said Panettiere.

According to ABC News, DHA should not be inhaled or digested. After launching an investigation, ABC News found that a lot of tanning salons do not offer nose plugs or mouth protectors to prevent inhalation or digestion of the fumes. Furthermore, the FDA only approves DHA in tanning lotions and not the DHA in spray tanning.

More studies need to be conducted before any real recommendations are made.  It is not known at this time how much spray tanning, if any, can be done before levels become hazardous.  I will certainly be monitoring any developments and for now recommend moderation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Will you give the gift of “BRO-TOX” for Father’s Day?

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BOTOX® is the most common cosmetic procedure in America right now. Over 11 million men and women are using this minimally invasive injectable to improve the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the brows. Lasting anywhere from four months to a year, this might be the perfect solution for your Dad this Father’s Day.

In the past, BOTOX® has been perceived as a predominately female procedure; however, increasingly more men are opting for BOTOX® to smooth away their fine lines and wrinkles. According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 363,000 men received BOTOX® in 2011 and 337,000 men received BOTOX® in 2010.  In fact, more men in 2010 chose BOTOX® treatment than any other form of cosmetic surgery or enhancement. The rise of BOTOX® by male patients has been labeled as “BRO-TOX.”

If you think your Dad is too manly for “BRO-TOX”, think again. Not only does it reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but BOTOX® also helps manage migraines, headaches, muscle spasms and excessive sweating.  Men also tend to prefer Botox because the effects are temporary, lasting only three to four months. Good Morning America recently investigated the trend of “BRO-TOX,” check out their segment to see why BOTOX® might be the perfect gift for your dad this Father’s Day.

Call Greenville Dermatology to secure a gift certificate for your Dad or book an appointment with Dr. Miller today. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Truth about Melanoma and Men

With the summer months in full swing, it is vital to be constantly applying sunscreen to reduce the risk of getting skin cancer.  Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer and men especially need to protect themselves from the sun.

In a recent study by Reuters Health, researchers discovered that women with melanoma are more likely to survive this specific type of cancer than men.  Women are also less likely to have skin cancer reoccur.

During a study in Netherlands researchers looked at over 2,600 patients with early stages of melanoma. For 2 to 12 years, these men and women were followed as they underwent treatment. At the end of the study, results concluded that women were 70 percent more likely to beat skin cancer than men. Researchers are still not sure of the exact reasons, but have predicted that women’s genes and eagerness to go to a doctor may play a part in surviving more than men. Women are more likely to go to the doctor after seeing a change or blemish on the skin and this act can help catch cancer while it is still in its earlier stages.  Researchers ruled out that estrogen may be a part of the reason.

Overall, doctors and researches alike cannot stress enough to men the importance of seeing a dermatologist if you see a questionable change on your skin.  Going to see a doctor early can make all the difference and save your life!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Age-Fighting Skin Treatments for Men

June is Men’s Health Month, and at Greenville Dermatology we understand your need to prolong the aging process as much as possible. Fine lines, wrinkles, and aging of the skin are all a part of getting older. At Greenville Dermatology we are dedicated to helping men find effective and personalized solutions that will work in extending your young and healthy looking skin.

Below are three age-fighting skin treatments for men that can be practiced on a daily basis.

1. Wear Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is vital to reducing the effects of the aging process. Sun damage contributes to 80% of the signs of aging in adults. Constant application of sunscreen can also reduce the risk of obtaining skin cancer.  While outside, constantly apply sunscreen to the face and exposed areas of the body to reduce the chance of developing sun spots or dark spots. Most people only put sunscreen on during the summer months. However, it is important to remember to put sunscreen on year round.

2. Cleanse Your Skin Both Day and Night

A good cleanser is a great anti-aging regime that will help stop the buildup of oil and dirt. Men, a cleanser does not mean just your normal soap and water! At your next visit to Greenville Dermatology ask us what cleansers are best for your skin type. If you cleanse both morning and night you can find your skin to be more refreshed and rejuvenated. 

3. Find a Good Moisturizer

Every morning after cleansing and shaving it is important to moisturize your face. When you moisturize you are locking in water that will help revitalize skin by hiding wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, moisturizing is beneficial because it helps sooth your skin after shaving.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Skin Cancer Rates Rising in Young

I’ve had parents bring in children with stiches or facial injuries wanting to know how to prevent scars.  Often my advice is to simply keep the area free from infection and apply a broad spectrum sunscreen.  A scar may develop, but with children the overall likelihood is that over time it will fade.  This, however, doesn’t work with sun damage.  A burn will be replaced by new skin, but under the surface the damage is cumulative.  It builds over a lifetime increasing the risk for developing skin cancer.  And just so you know, experts agree that a serious burn at age 4 poses much more danger than the same burn at age 25. 

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  With an increasing number of teens and young adults now being diagnosed with skin cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending that pediatricians and primary doctors start stressing prevention during well-visits.  My recommendation for parents is to make sun-smart behaviors a habit while children are young.  It’s really no different than teaching kids to wear a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

  • Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen on all exposed areas year-round.
  •  Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on the entire body and long-sleeved clothing and wide rim hats during any sun exposure.
  • Limit sun exposure to mornings and late afternoons when the sun is weaker.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Skin cancer has the advantage of being the only cancer that can be seen on the surface of the skin.  By performing a skin self-exam, you can detect early the warning signs of skin cancer and increase your chances of a good outcome with early treatment.  Adults should regularly examine their skin once a month looking for abnormal skin growths and changes.

Although basal cell carcinomas usually appear on sun damaged, over-exposed areas of the skin, skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body.   In a self –exam it is important to check the all over the scalp, soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, and even beneath finger and toenails.

The American Academy of Dermatology has published a Body Mole Map on their website at  It walks you through how to do a skin exam, the ABCDE’s of evaluating moles, and how to map and record your findings.

To begin it is helpful to have a full length mirror, a handheld mirror, plenty of light, and the Body Mole Map or similar.   Some things to look for are:

Moles that are different from the rest, itches, bleeds, or is changing in any way — even if the mole is    smaller than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser)
Sores that never fully heal
Translucent growths with rolled edges
Brown or black streaks underneath a nail
Clusters of slow-growing, shiny pink or red lesions
Waxy-feeling scars
Flat or slightly depressed lesions that feel hard to the touch

If you find a suspicious lesion, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer has a high cure rate when detected early.