Monday, December 23, 2013

Is a Chemical Peel for You?

Chemical peels can vastly improve your skin’s appearance. A chemical solution is applied to the skin, which makes it “blister” and eventually peel off, revealing smoother and less wrinkled skin underneath. Greenville Dermatology offers peels using alpha-hydroxy glycolic acid, beta-hydroxy salicylic acid, and TCA (trichloroaecetic acid). So how do you know if a chemical peel is for you?
Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel?
The most common candidate for a chemical peel is a person with sun-damaged skin, uneven pigmentation, actinic keratosis or acne scarring. Generally, fair-skinned patients are better candidates for chemical peels. People with darker skin can still achieve good results but are more likely to have an uneven skin tone after the procedure. Ask your dermatologist if your skin is right for a chemical peel.
What happens during a chemical peel?
On the day of your peel, your skin will first be prepped for treatment with a thorough cleansing. Next, your dermatologist will apply the chemical solution to your face quickly and evenly. Your dermatologist will watch your skin’s reaction carefully in order to remove the peel at the right time. After the peel is removed, your dermatologist will treat your skin as needed. Patients who get a medium peel may need cool compresses followed by a lotion or cream to soothe the skin. A deep peel will require surgical dressing.
Is there downtime?
Recovery time after a chemical peel depends on what kind of peel is done and how deep it is. After a medium or deep peel, you will have downtime. A deep chemical peel requires recuperating at home for two to three weeks.
When will I see results?
You will see results once your skin heals, depending on the strength of the peel. A light peel can heal in one day, whereas a deep peel can take 14 days or longer to heal. 
How long will the results last?
Most results are not permanent because our skin continues to age. If you have sun-damaged skin or precancerous skin growths called AKs, you will likely continue to see new spots and growths on your skin. 
The results you see after getting a chemical peel depend largely on the skill of the person performing the peel. To protect your health and achieve the best results, a dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon should perform the procedure.
Ask your dermatologist the following questions before getting a chemical peel:
  • What will I need to do before and after the peel to get the best results?
  • Do I have a higher risk for any complications?
  • Will I have downtime?
  • May I see before-and-after photos or speak with patients you treated with a chemical peel?
Dr. Miller is a board-certified dermatologist who performs safe and effective chemical peels on individuals of all ages. For a consultation, please call Greenville Dermatology today at (864)242-5872.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Scientists Discover Key to Tissue Healing

Ever wonder why a child’s scraped knee heals faster than an adult’s? Scientists may have figured out the science behind this phenomenon – researchers have discovered the gene responsible for tissue repair, known as Lin28a. This particular gene, which is active in embryos and children but not in adults, could lead to future advances in the treatment of injuries. 

"It sounds like science fiction, but Lin28a could be part of a healing cocktail that gives adults the superior tissue repair seen in juvenile animals," said the study’s lead author, George Daley, MD, PhD, director of stem cell transplantation at Boston Children's Hospital.

From insects and amphibians to fish and mammals, tissue repair has always been stronger in juveniles than in adults. Although the cause has never been known, Dr. Daley speculates that the Lin28a protein could play an important role. This protein regulates growth and development in juveniles, but its levels decrease with age.

To determine whether this protein might influence tissue repair in adults, Dr. Daley and his team tested their theory on mice. When they reactivated the Lin28a gene (which was dormant in adult mice), researchers were able to regrow hair and repair cartilage, bone, skin and other soft tissues in a mouse model. The protein also stimulated cell proliferation and migration, which are critical for tissue repair. The researchers found that the Lin28a protein achieves all of this by enhancing the mitochondrial metabolism, just like younger animals. This boost of energy in cells allows for faster healing and tissue repair.

"We were surprised that what was previously believed to be a mundane cellular 'housekeeping' function would be so important for tissue repair," said Shyh-Chang Ng of Harvard Medical School. "One of our experiments showed that bypassing Lin28a and directly activating mitochondrial metabolism with a small-molecule compound also had the effect of enhancing wound healing, suggesting that it could be possible to use drugs to promote tissue repair in humans."

This discovery is particularly important because this is the first time a gene has been found to reactivate embryo-like regenerative powers without causing cancer. Scientists are positive that knowledge of the Lin28a gene could be used to develop regenerative drugs to safely heal wounds faster.

Until this “miracle drug” is created, there are products that can speed tissue healing and help wounds heal without scarring. For more information or to make an appointment with us, please call Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Eating for Clear Skin

1. Focus on Fish

Fish is a great source of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which help reduce inflammation in our bodies that can trigger cells to clog pores and cause acne. Fish also contains zinc, an essential mineral that helps control the release of hormones and helps your body absorb vitamin A. Good sources for fatty acids and zinc are salmon, mackerel and sardines.

2. Cut Down on Dairy

Milk and cheese contain components related to the hormone testosterone, which stimulates oil glands in the skin and can set the stage for acne. Before you cut out dairy completely, remember that dairy is an important source of calcium and vitamin D, which are needed for strong bones. You can substitute almond or rice milk for dairy milk, or replace the calcium you would normally get from dairy with calcium-rich, leafy greens (such as kale and mustard greens), broccoli and sardines.

3. Boost your Beta-Carotene 

Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits, especially carrots and colorful vegetables. Our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, which are important for healthy eyes, supple skin, and a strong immune system. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals that damage the cells through oxidation. Even as little as one carrot a day can improve skin color and may reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. The following foods are rich in beta-carotene: carrots, kale, ketchup, peppers, pumpkin, spinach and sweet potatoes. 

4. Add Selenium

The antioxidant selenium can help preserve skin’s elasticity and reduce inflammatory damage to the skin. Small studies have found that taking selenium supplements improved the skin of patients with severe acne. Whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, and aromatic vegetables such as onion and garlic are all rich in selenium.

5. Water, Water, Water

There are many reasons that you should be getting enough water each day, and keeping your skin hydrated is one of them. Water allows your skin to regenerate faster and flushes toxins from your body. Skin is made up of three layers – the outer layer (epidermis), underlying skin (dermis) and the subcutaneous fat tissue. If the outermost layer of the epidermis doesn’t contain enough water, skin will lose elasticity and feel rough.

Although eating healthy can help improve your skin, sometimes products are needed to banish blemishes. Greenville Dermatology offers several products that can help ward off acne. Call (864)242-5872 today to make an appointment.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Removing Summer Skin Pigmentation

 The harsh rays of the summer sun may have left your skin with age spots, freckles and dark spots. This hyperpigmentation of the skin results from excess sunlight without proper protection from sunscreen. If your skin is affected by pigmentation, it’s not too late! Greenville Dermatology provides several treatments that can help even your skin tone. 

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) is a facial procedure that treats splotchy pigmentation, brown spots and broken capillaries, enhances new collagen growth, and removes fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used on dark spots on the arms and legs. IPL uses short blasts of a polychromatic, high-intensity light to penetrate just below the skin’s surface and break up the melanin that causes uneven skin tone. A series of three to six treatments is recommended for best results. 

Light Chemical Peels
Light chemical peels are designed for light to mild cases of skin pigmentation. Chemical peels not only reverse pigmentation, but also firm the skin and fight against aging. These treatments can be used on the face, hands and arms. Most patients see reduced pigmentation after two treatments a year. 

Retinol Products
In the most basic terms, retinol is the whole vitamin A molecule, one of the best vitamins for your skin. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals and generates cell growth. Products with retinol reduce pigmentation from the sun, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Although you can buy retinol products over the counter, best results are achieved when a dermatologist prescribes a retinol product specifically for your skin. 

There are many treatments and products available to reduce and reverse skin pigmentation caused by the sun. To find out which treatment is best for you, call us or make an appointment today at (864) 242-5872.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are you losing your hair?

Everyone loses hair. In fact, it’s natural to lose approximately 50 to 150 hairs every day. However, hair loss of more than 150 hairs per day can indicate a condition known as alopecia – excessive or abnormal hair loss. Alopecia is generally characterized by a sudden loss of patches of hair, general hair thinning or a receding hairline. Although hair loss is associated mainly with men, roughly half of all women over age 40 experience excessive hair loss. Read on to learn about the different types of alopecia and how we can treat them.

Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. This skin condition is usually diagnosed when clumps of hair fall out, resulting in totally smooth, round hairless patches on the scalp. In some cases, the hair may become thinner with noticeable patches of baldness, or it may grow and break off, leaving short stubs. In all forms of this condition, the hair follicles remain alive and ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. Hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and after many years. The most common treatment for this patchy hair loss is injections of corticosteroids into the scalp every four to six weeks. Children and some adults may be treated with topical corticosteroids applied directly to the skin. Some people choose not to treat this condition, since hair usually grows back within a year.

Androgenetic Alopecia
The most common type of hair loss from the scalp is androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness. Androgenetic alopecia accounts for 95 percent of all cases of head-only hair loss and results when hair follicles become sensitive to the hormone androgen. This condition is hereditary, so having a family history of androgenetic alopecia increases your risk of developing it and influences the age at which hair loss begins, the speed at which it occurs, its pattern and extent. However, family history is not always a factor: research has shown about 12 percent of people with this type of hair loss have no trace of it in their family trees. Androgenetic alopecia is permanent and continues with aging. Early stages of hair loss can be slowed or reversed with medication, and more advanced cases can be treated with hair transplantation.

Telogen Effluvium
This type of hair loss occurs when the body goes through a traumatic event such as child birth, extreme stress, major surgery, malnutrition, or severe infection. This condition can be difficult to diagnose, as hair loss is not always immediate. Hair can begin to shed six weeks to three months after the traumatic event. It is possible to lose handfuls of hair at a time during this period, but hair growth eventually returns to normal.

Traction Alopecia
This condition is caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles from tight hairstyles that pull at hair over time. If the condition is detected early enough, the hair will regrow. Braiding, cornrows, extensions and tight ponytails are the most common styling causes of traction alopecia.

All of these conditions are diagnosed through a medical history and physical examination. The dermatologist will ask questions about hair loss, determine the pattern of hair loss and examine the scalp. Certain tests, such as a hair analysis or blood tests, can help diagnose the condition. Traction alopecia can also be caused by a short-term event such as stress, disease or medication, which can alter the hair growth and shedding phases.

If you think you may be experiencing excessive hair loss, avoid brushing or teasing your hair and use a wide-toothed comb. Dr. Miller has had years of experience diagnosing and treating hair loss. To make an appointment with us, please call Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, November 11, 2013 Article: Managing Hair Bumps (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae)

The following is a preview of an article Dr. Miller wrote for Click here to read the full article.

Many men have trouble getting a close shave due to the formation of ingrown hairs. Often called razor bumps or hair bumps, the medical term for these bumps is "pseudofolliculitis barbae" or PFB. PFB is much more common in darker skinned races, but anyone can get them. Mild cases can interfere with social and occupational functioning and severe PFB can lead to scarring and disfigurement.

What Causes PFB?

PFB occurs when the edge of the cut hair is so angled or acute, that it forms a sharp point instead of a flat stub. This occurs more frequently in darker skinned races because the hair is naturally curly or kinky and comes out of the skin at an acute angle. This makes it impossible to cut the hair without forming a sharp point. As the hair begins to grow, the sharp pointed tip of the hair can pierce the skin and allow the hair to grow under the skin, forming a bump. The body treats this ingrown hair like it is a foreign body or splinter and tries to destroy it with inflammation. The inflammation is what causes pus, pain and eventually scarring.

Can PFB Be Prevented?

Preventing PFB can be difficult. The only sure way to prevent PFB is to avoid shaving the hair close to the skin. For some professions, this is not acceptable as many businesses and the military do not allow their employees to grow a beard. Changing the shaving technique and the type of razor that is used can sometimes work. Shaving the hair without stretching the skin does not cut the hair as close, which makes it more difficult for the cut hair to pierce the skin. By using a single blade razor versus using a multi-blade razor, the hair is also not cut as close to the skin and accomplishes the same thing. Shaving the hair "with the grain" or in the same direction that the hair is growing can also help prevent the cut hair from piercing the skin. In some cases of PFB, the act of shaving the skin causes enough irritation that the skin becomes swollen around the hair. This allows the hair to penetrate the skin and causes PFB. In these cases, a soothing shaving balm or mild topical steroid lotion applied immediately after shaving will help prevent PFB. For some patients with PFB, laser hair reduction will decrease the magnitude of the problem and may be an option.

To find out what can be done to treat PFB and scarring caused by PFB, click here to read the rest of the article or call Greenville Dermatology today at (864)242-5872.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dr. Miller's Tips for Updating Your Fall Skincare Routine

Think of your skincare products like you do your wardrobe - you wouldn't wear a winter coat in the summer, would you? Just like your clothes, the products you use on your skin should be appropriate for the season. Now that the leaves are starting to fall in Greenville, it’s time to change tactics and choose products that keep your skin soft and moisturized. The following are Dr. Miller’s tips for maintaining healthy skin during the cooler months.

1. Switch up your cleanser

Opt for a gentle, hydrating cleanser in the fall and winter. Cold weather can dry out your skin, and alcohol-based toners and cleansers with harsh detergents can further irritate your skin. Cream-based cleansers are usually mild and forgiving during the winter season. Look for products with ceramides, which are natural lipids (fats) that help skin retain moisture. Research indicates that people with dry skin have lower levels of ceramides than people with normal skin.

2. Exfoliate!

Although it may seem counterintuitive, using a skin-sloughing agent is actually the best way to treat parched, flaky skin. Use a face and body scrub twice a week to whisk away dead skin cells. For your face, choose a gentle, fragrance-free exfoliant with glycerin, since the skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body. Also look out for oil-based scrubs, which hydrate while they exfoliate. 

3. Use a heavier moisturizer

During the fall and winter months, wind tends to chap the skin and heat from radiators can dry it out. Keep your skin healthy by applying a thick moisturizer both in the morning and at night, paying special attention to the areas around your eyes and mouth. Remember that dry skin makes wrinkles and fine lines look more pronounced. 

4. Remember your sunscreen

You may not be lounging by the beach or pool, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen. A good rule of thumb is to apply sunscreen whenever you leave the house, no matter the weather. Be sure to read the labels carefully – opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB coverage. For day-to-day use, SPF 15 should be fine. If you spend several hours outside, remember to reapply every two hours.

5. Personalize!

Everyone’s skin is different, so the best thing you can do is personalize your skin routine to your own unique characteristics – age, the climate where you live, your skin type, etc. A dermatologist can make individualized recommendations for your skin and suggest products that work well together. Greenville Dermatology’s retail store carries a variety of products that are gentle and moisturizing, perfect for the fall and winter months. To speak with a dermatologist, stop by today or call us at (864) 242-5872. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Skin Cells Follow Circadian Rhythms

We all have a biological clock. An internal system of circadian rhythms that alert our body of the time of day and whether or not we should be sleeping or awake. Up until now it was believed that only our brain followed the ticking of this clock. However, a recent study revealed that our skin’s stem cells also follow circadian rhythms. 

In the study published by Cell Press in the journal Cell Stem Cell, researchers revealed that human skin stem cells follow a cyclical schedule by carrying out different functions depending on the time of day. 

“Our study shows that human skin stem cells possess an internal clock that allows them to very accurately know the time of day and helps them know when it is best to perform the correct function,” says study author Salvador Aznar Benitah, an ICREA research professor who developed this project at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG, Barcelona). “This is important because it seems that tissues need an accurate internal clock to remain healthy.” 

According to Benitah’s research, the genes that are involved in protecting the skin from certain UV rays are most active during the daytime. In contrast, the genes for repairing damaged skin are most active during the nighttime, or while humans are sleeping. 

By following the body’s circadian rhythms, the skin’s stem cells have found a way to protect and regenerate themselves based on the time of day. When the circadian rhythms are disrupted, skin stem cells age prematurely, causing cellular damage. 

“Our current efforts lie in trying to identify the causes underlying the disruption of the clock of human skin stem cells and hopefully find means to prevent or delay it," said Benitah.

This study shows that although your skin works hard to stay healthy, other measures must be taken to ensure it remains healthy. At Greenville Dermatology, we offer a wide range of products and treatments to help keep your skin feeling young, fresh and healthy. Come see for yourself, or call our office at (864) 242-5872 to schedule a consultation with one of our skin experts. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Did You Know?

Did you know that Dr. Miller is a certified skin expert for With more than 17 years of experience in the dermatology field, Dr. Miller has the answer to all your skincare questions, from how your diet affects acne to treatment options for actinic keratosis.

Read on for a sample question and Dr. Miller’s answer, or click here to view the full article on

Question: How does Botox work?

Answer: Botox and the other neurotoxins, Xeomin and Dysport, have become one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the United States. All three of these products are slightly different forms of the botulinum toxin. What makes them so effective to remove wrinkles?

How Are Wrinkles Formed?

Some wrinkles on the face are formed by repetitive movement of the skin to the point of forming a crease. Similar to folding a piece of paper over and over again, a crease forms in the skin eventually becoming permanently visible. The so-called "11's" of the forehead are formed in this way as are the wrinkles known as the "crow's feet" or "laugh lines". Other wrinkles are formed as a result of a loss of fat under the skin due to aging. These are the so-called "parentheses" and "marionette lines" on the lower face. They are not due to a repetitive movement of the skin.

What Does Botox Do?

Wrinkles caused by the repetitive movement of the skin are the wrinkles that Botox and the other neurotoxins Xeomin and Dysport can improve. When we make facial expressions, our nerves send a chemical signal to the muscles of facial expression telling those muscles to contract, or move. These muscles are attached to the skin and therefore those muscles will move the skin in a characteristic fashion, making a smile, frown or expression of surprise. These muscles have a receptor on them that accepts the signal that the nerves send out. When the signal from the nerve attaches to the muscle receptor, the muscles will contract. That chemical signal degrades within seconds so that the muscle doesn't continue to contract. The Botox, Xeomin and Dysport molecules look like the chemical signal from the nerves that tells the muscles to contract, and attaches to the muscle receptor. However, the neurotoxins do not make the muscle contract. Unlike the chemical signal that does signal the muscle to contract, the neurotoxins take months to degrade instead of seconds. Therefore, Botox, Xeomin and Dysport occupy the receptor on the muscle for several months so that the chemical signal that is still being sent out by the nerves, cannot attach to the muscle receptor telling the muscle to contract. This temporarily paralyses the muscles of facial expression so that the wrinkles called the "11's", or "crows feet" are not formed. After a several weeks of inactivity, any permanent crease or wrinkle formed by movement of the skin will efface since the skin renews itself.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Possible 'Cure' for Melanoma Discovered

Out of the more than 3.5 million individuals in the United States who are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, melanoma accounts for more than 76,000 of those cases. Until now, there has been no cure for the melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, scientists may be on the brink of a medical discovery that could have “spectacular” effects in seriously ill melanoma patients.

In a recent study conducted by Stephen Hodi, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, researchers revealed that a drug called ipilimumab may hold the key to developing a cure for melanoma.

Ipilimumab is a drug that stimulates a person’s immune system, allowing the body to fight skin cancer naturally. In his study, Dr. Hodi examined data from 1,861 patients with melanoma who were treated with ipilimumab during 12 prospective and retrospective studies. His results analyzed ipilimumab’s impact on long-term survival rates. 

The overall median survival rate among patients with melanoma was 11.4 months. Twenty-two percent of the patients survived three years after beginning treatment, and there were no deaths among patients who survived beyond seven years. The longest overall survival in the database was 9.9 years, according to Dr. Hodi. On average, only about 15 percent of patients with Stage IV melanoma (the most severe stage) survive five years after diagnosis. However, this percentage increases with less advanced stages of melanoma.

“These results are important to healthcare providers and patients with advanced melanoma since they provide a perspective on long-term survival for ipilimumab patients who are alive after three years of treatment,” said Dr. Hodi. “Our data, which represent the longest follow-up of the largest numbers of patients on any globally approved melanoma therapy, will provide a benchmark for future medicines for advanced melanoma.”

While this study is a step in the right direction, researchers and physicians are still searching for a cure for melanoma. Early detection from regular skin exams is vital for treating this disease, which is 99 percent curable when detected in its earliest stages. Call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 to make an appointment with Dr. Miller today.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sleeping in Makeup Ages Your Skin


A recent survey found that almost 50 percent of women sleep with their makeup on at least once a week and nearly a third fails to cleanse their skin before bed twice a week. But one reporter’s experiment showed that her skin had biologically aged 10 years after only one month of sleeping with her makeup on.

After hearing these shocking statistics, The Daily Mail reporter Anna Purgslove decided to find out for herself what sleeping in makeup does to skin. Prior to the experiment, her skin was evaluated by a 3D camera. Purgslove then challenged herself to leave her makeup on not just for a night, but for an entire month. She did not use any cleansing products at night, instead rinsing her face lightly and applying fresh makeup each morning. After three days, she could already visibly see the consequences to her skin.

“I had developed a series of tiny white cysts around my eyelashes, and my skin was so dry and taut it felt like a mask,” said Purgslove. “Close inspection of my skin in a magnifying mirror revealed the surface had become flaky and lumpy, a bit like a badly plastered wall. Moreover, the foundation that I had once loved looked dry and crepe-y on my skin.” 

At the end of her month-long experiment, Purgslove was re-evaluated by Stefanie Williams, MD, medical director of the European Dermatology London clinic. Dr. Williams concluded that within a month, Purgslove’s skin had biologically aged one decade. Moisture levels in her skin dropped, wrinkles became deeper and more prominent, and her pores had grown 5 percent larger from physical clogging. Purgslove worried that she had ruined her skin, and her looks, forever.

Purgslove is not alone. Beauty retailer recently surveyed 778 women and found that 47.9 percent confessed to sleeping with their makeup on at least once a week. More than 30 percent of the women surveyed admitted they don’t remove their makeup before bed twice a week.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fruit Flies May Hold Key to Wound Healing

Think twice the next time you reach for a fly swatter. Even though fruit flies can often be a nuisance during a picnic, recent research has revealed that the pesky insects may be quite useful. 

Studies have shown that the cellular makeup of human skin is similar to the exoskeleton in fruit flies, and their outer cells have similar reactions to human wound punctures. According to a presentation at the Genetics Society of America’s 54th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in Washington, D.C., a group of researchers discovered a new way to study wound healing in fruit flies (also known as Drosophila) that suggests new targets for wound-healing drugs for humans. 

Rachel A. Patterson, one of the lead researchers and co-authors from the University of California, San Diego (UCSC) explained that many of the key molecules and proteins involved in wound healing in fruit flies are also involved in wound healing in humans. 

In order to study the biological function of wound healings, researchers punctured the exoskeleton of a fruit fly embryo with a microneedle and then injected the embryo with trypsin. Trypsin activates the genes involved in wound healing and amplifies the response in affected cells. This process allowed researchers to pinpoint the specific genes involved in responding to a wound.

This experiment revealed activities of eight genes that had not previously been suspected to be a part of wound healing. These genes are activated at very low levels or not at all in most cells, but are active when an injury occurs. This discovery will help researchers in the future as they create medicine and treatments to heal wounds.

“I think one amazing application of our studies may be to build a better bandage – containing compounds to promote wound healing,” said co-author Michelle T. Juarez, PhD, an assistant medical professor at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New Year. 

Researchers hope that these studies will also lead to broader discoveries regarding human skin diseases and may provide insight about treatment for chronic diseases, such as eczema, psoriasis and severe dry skin. Although scientists are still on their way to discovering the complexities of wound healing, many topical treatments that can help with skin wounds and scarring already available are safe and effective. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Greenville Dermatology's Retail Store Has Everything You Need

Greenville Dermatology's retail store has everything you need to make you feel and look your best. We carry a wide selection of cosmetic products that are proven to be effective for your skin care needs, from makeup to sunscreen, and even makeup that contains sunscreen.

Today we’re offering you a sneak peek of some of our favorite products. Come in for samples or to talk with a skincare expert about the best products for you!

The Obagi Nu-Derm System is one of our best sellers. This anti-aging therapy penetrates below the skin’s surface to transform skin cell functions at the cellular level. This six step system works to reveal healthy, younger-looking skin, and is ideal if you have age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, rough skin, redness or discoloration.

We promise you will love our gloMinerals makeup! Advanced formulations combine pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, natural high-pigment minerals and the power of antioxidants, and the result is clinically advanced makeup that covers, corrects and protects. GloMinerals cosmetics deliver unsurpassed coverage, broad spectrum UV protection and help combat free radical damage. They are simply the best makeup line available, preferred by dermatologists and leading skincare professionals worldwide.

Greenville Dermatology also carries a wide selection of jewelry products that are perfect for the fashionista in you. Pearls, sterling silver, beads and an assortment of earrings, necklaces and bracelets can all be found in our retail store.

All of the products offered at our office are carefully hand-selected by Dr. Miller to ensure the utmost quality and safety for his patients. One of our skincare experts can provide samples and speak with you about the best products for your skin. Come see us today!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sleep Deprivation Linked to Skin Aging

A new study has revealed a link between sleep quality and skin function and aging. The study, conducted by researchers at the University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center, demonstrated that poor sleepers have increased signs of skin aging and a slower recovery from environmental stressors. Scientists found that poor sleepers also have a worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance. 

The study involved 60 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of the participants classified as “poor sleepers” based on their average duration of sleep and their answers to a questionnaire-based assessment of sleep quality. Scientists conducted a visual skin evaluation and several non-invasive skin challenge tests, including UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption. The study participants also filled out a sleep log for one week. 

The researchers found statistically significant differences between good quality and poor quality sleepers. Using a skin aging scoring system, scientists found that poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of intrinsic skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation, skin slackening and reduced elasticity.
"Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging," said Elma Baron, M.D., Director of the Skin Study Center at UH Case Medical Center and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Sleep-deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin's ability to recover after sun exposure. Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown."

Scientists also found that good quality sleepers recovered more quickly and efficiently from environmental stressors to the skin. For example, poor quality sleepers took more time to recover from sunburn, with redness remaining for more than 72 hours. Another test determined that poor quality sleepers’ skin is a less effective barrier to moisture loss.

"This research shows for the first time that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin's ability to repair itself at night," said Daniel Yarosh, M.D., Senior Vice President of Basic Science Research, R&D, at Estée Lauder. "These connections between sleep and skin aging, now supported with solid scientific data, will have a profound effect on how we study skin and its functions. We see these findings as yet another way we can direct our scientific research toward the real needs of our customers who want to look and feel their best."

This study shows that sleep has a significant impact on skin’s function, appearance, and its ability to act as a barrier from external stressors such as environmental toxins and sun-induced DNA damage. Greenville Dermatology has a variety of products to improve skin appearance and protect it from environmental stressors. Come see us, or call and speak with one of our skin experts at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Genetic Study of Stretch Marks

A new study is the first of its kind to look at the genetics of striae distensae, otherwise known as stretch marks. The study, conducted by the genetic testing company 23andMe, discovered four genetic markers and a strong association between elastin and stretch marks. This research could provide the platform to improve methods of prevention and treatment.

Stretch marks are a type of scarring that appears on the skin in the form of pink, red or purple indented streaks. The marks typically appear after pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss, or growth spurts. Many factors are believed to contribute to stretch marks including genetics, excessive skin distension and prolonged exposure to cortisol.

23andMe conducted a genome-wide association analysis across 33,930 unrelated people of European descent. There were a total of 13,930 people with stretch marks and 20,862 controls within the study. Researchers identified four genetic markers significantly associated with the development of stretch marks that could explain why some people are more susceptible to the skin condition.

The research also indicated that elastin could be the key to more effective prevention and treatment of stretch marks. The analysis identified an association between stretch marks and a variant near the ELN gene that encodes for the protein elastin. Defects in the gene are known to affect the integrity of the skin as well as cause heart defects. The study also identified an association between stretch marks and a variant in the SRPX gene, but more research is needed to understand how this could play a role in this condition.

"Through this first of its kind study, we've identified new genetic associations that can provide deeper insights into the root causes of stretch marks, and we look forward to continuing research in this space,” said Joyce Tung, Ph.D., author and 23andMe director of research. “One intriguing area for further study is the potential effect of genes associated with obesity on the development of stretch marks, both independent of and via changes in BMI. Replicating this work in a more precisely phenotyped population would also be a logical next step."

Popular treatments, including topical creams and laser removal, often focus on stimulating collagen production to decrease the appearance of stretch marks. Although the marks cannot be completely erased, these treatments can help fade stretch marks over time. To learn more or to find out how your stretch marks can be treated, please call to make an appointment with Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

People with Psoriasis More Likely to Develop Other Diseases

A major new study reveals that people with the skin condition psoriasis are more likely to develop other diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study, conducted by dermatologists at the University of Pennsylvania and published in JAMA Dermatology, examined medical records from more than 100,000 people and found that psoriasis was linked to an increased risk of other diseases affecting the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas. Researchers also found that the risk of developing these diseases increased with the severity of the psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that affects the life cycle of skin cells, causing cells to build up rapidly and form thick scales and itchy, dry, red patches. Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting disease that ranges from mild to severe.

People with psoriasis were more likely to develop the following conditions (listed in order of increasing likelihood and expressed as an odds ratio):
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), 1.08
  • Diabetes, 1.22
  • Peptic ulcer, 1.27
  • Kidney disease, 1.28 
  • Diabetes with complications, 1.34
  • Heart attack, 1.34
  • Mild liver disease, 1.41
  • PVD (peripheral vascular disease), 1.38
  • Rheumatologic disease, 2.04
This study is particularly noteworthy because of its magnitude. The researchers analyzed 99,385 records and found 9,035 patients with psoriasis, ages 25 to 64.
“As we identify additional diseases linked to psoriasis, patients and physicians need to be aware of the increased odds of [other] serious illnesses, which are especially important in severe cases,” said Joel M. Gelfand, M.D., lead researcher and associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. “The complications from diabetes and links to COPD, kidney disease and peptic ulcers we identified suggest new areas for research, while for the first time, demonstrating how increasing body surface area affected by psoriasis is directly associated with increasing risk of atherosclerotic disease.”
Since the chance of developing these conditions increased with the severity of the psoriasis, this correlation could give researchers clues to how the diseases are connected.
“The link to severity is important for several reasons,” said Gelfand. “First, it establishes a ‘dose-response,’ which suggests, but doesn’t prove, a causal relationship. Second, the findings are clinically important as psoriasis is such a variable disease. By understanding how the degree of skin affected is associated with various health risks, patients and their caregivers can better understand how these study results may apply to them on an individual basis.”
Researchers noted that psoriasis, atherosclerosis and diabetes are all diseases that share chronic inflammation as the underlying cause. This connection could give some insight into the relationship between these diseases.
The takeaway point is that increasing severity of skin psoriasis is an indicator of risk for other serious medical conditions. As a result, comprehensive medical care is important for patients with psoriasis, especially those who suffer from a more extensive degree of the skin disease.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, treatments may offer significant relief. If you think you may be suffering from this skin disorder, call to make an appointment with Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Men More Likely to Die from Skin Cancer than Women


New research shows that men are 70 percent more likely than women to die from malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

The Cancer Research UK studied data from 2011 and found that although similar numbers of women and men were diagnosed with melanoma, 3.4 men per 100,000 die from the disease compared with two per 100,000 women.

Further analysis shows that, of the 6,200 men who develop melanoma each year, 1,300 die from it, while only 900 women out of 6,600 who develop the disease die. 

This gap is predicted to widen even more in the future, since death rates from malignant melanoma are increasing in men, but remaining stable in women.

"Research has suggested the difference between the sexes could be in part because men are more likely to be diagnosed when melanoma is at a more advanced stage,” said Professor Julia Newton-Bishop, Cancer Research UK dermatologist from the University of Leeds. “But there also seem to be strong biological reasons behind the differences, and we're working on research to better understand why men and women's bodies deal with their melanomas in different ways.”

"We also know that men and women tend to develop melanoma in different places – more often on the back and chest for men and on the arms and legs for women. If melanoma does develop on your back then it may be more difficult to spot – asking your partner to check your back is a good idea," said Newton-Bishop. 

According to Cancer Research UK, death rates for men with melanoma have increased by 185 percent since the early 1970s. On the other hand, death rates for women have only increased 55 percent. 

“One of the reasons for the difference [between men and women] may be attitudes towards seeing a doctor. [Women] tend to be reluctant to 'waste' the doctor's time - men are especially likely to put it off,” said Sara Hion, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK.”

“If something goes wrong with the car then you sort it out straight away. The same should go for you - if you, or your partner, notice any unusual or persistent changes then see your GP. The key thing is to get to know your skin and what's normal for you so you're more likely to notice something out of the ordinary,” said Hion.

Key risk factors for melanoma include excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning bed, as well as having fair skin, many moles or unusual moles, and a family or personal history of the disease.

It is essential for people to protect their skin from the sun. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Note that even products labeled “waterproof” or “sweatproof” only protect you for 40 minutes while swimming or sweating. Greenville Dermatology’s retail store carries a wide selection of broad-spectrum sunscreens that are ideal for everyday use. You should also avoid tanning beds, which have been proven to contribute to the development of skin cancer.

“Research has shown that using sunbeds for the first time before 35 can increase your risk of malignant melanoma by nearly 60 percent,” said Hion. 

Early detection of melanoma plus regular skin exams is vital for beating the disease. When detected in its earliest stages, melanoma is 99 percent curable. Call Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872 to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Scientists discover key to sunburn pain

Scientists have identified a molecule that causes the pain we feel after receiving a sunburn. By identifying and inhibiting the molecule, researchers also may have found a way to block the pain.

A team of researchers at Duke University School of Medicine discovered the molecule TRPV4, which is found in the skin’s outer layer. The TRPV4 molecule is a “gateway” molecule that allows calcium and sodium ions into the skin. The team of researchers, led by Dr. Wolfgang Liedtke, MD, PhD, conducted tests involving the TRPV4 molecule on both mouse models and human skin samples.

"We have uncovered a novel explanation for why sunburn hurts,” said Dr. Liedtke. “If we understand sunburn better, we can understand pain better because what plagues my patients day in and day out is what temporarily affects otherwise healthy people who suffer from sunburn."

In the study, scientists engineered mice with an epidermis (upper skin layer) that was missing the TRPV4 molecule. Both the engineered mice and a control group of normal were exposed to UVB rays. While the normal skin blistered and became hypersensitive when exposed to the UVB rays, the skin without TRPV4 displayed very little tissue injury or sensitivity.


Dr. Liedtke and his team analyzed the activities of the TRPV4 molecule and found that when exposed to UVB rays, the molecule causes calcium to flood into the skin cells. The calcium ions bring in another molecule, called endothelin, which causes pain and itching in humans. 

The team then used human skin samples to test this phenomenon and found that TRPV4 reacts the same way in humans.

Researchers went a step further to inhibit the TRPV4 molecule. To try to block the pain caused by long-term sun exposure, the researchers used a compound called GSK205, which specifically inhibits TRPV4 and prevents the inpouring of calcium. Control mice injected with this compound were also resistant to the painful effects of the sunburn. 

"The results position TRPV4 as a new target for preventing and treating sunburn, and probably chronic sun damage including skin cancer or skin photo-aging," said Dr. Martin Steinhoff, co-author of the study from the University of California, San Francisco.

More research is needed to understand how the TRPV4 molecule and inhibitors can help reduce sun damage. 

People who have had at least one severe, blistering sunburn are at an increased risk of skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. All people, young and old, should visit a dermatologist several times a year to check for skin cancer. To schedule an appointment with Greenville Dermatology, call us today at (864) 242-5872.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rosacea May be Caused by Bacteria in Mites

Rosacea is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder that can cause redness and bumps on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. It can be annoying, embarrassing and even painful, and new research shows it could be the result of bacteria that resides in the belly of a mite.

For many years, doctors have known that rosacea was caused by tiny mites that live in the facial hair follicles; however, they did not understand how the mites caused symptoms of rosacea.

Researchers at the National University of Ireland recently conducted a review and found that a bacterium isolated inside the mites, called Bacillus oleronius, may be responsible for the skin disorder.

“The bacteria live in the digestive tracts of Demodex mites found on the face, in a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a researcher with the National University of Ireland. “When the mites die, the bacteria are released and leak into the surrounding skin tissues, triggering tissue degradation and inflammation.”

The bacteria were found to produce chemicals that cause inflammation in people suffering from rosacea. Rosacea-sufferers also had higher rates of these mites than people who did not have rosacea, and thus were exposed to more bacteria.

“Once the numbers of mites increase, so does the number of bacteria, making rosacea more likely to occur,” said Kavanagh. “Targeting these bacteria may be a useful way of treating and preventing this condition.”

The findings from this recent study could lead to insights and new treatment ideas for this difficult skin disorder.

Often times, the inflammation and redness from rosacea cause significant problems for patients, both in terms of appearance and pain. This skin problem typically affects 3 percent of Americans. Individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 with fair skin who blush easily are believed to be at a greater risk, while those with impaired immune systems are also disproportionately affected.

The primary symptoms of rosacea include frequent flushing or blushing, persistent facial redness, bumps and pimples, visible blood vessels, eye irritation, swelling and skin thickening.

While there is no cure for rosacea, medical therapy is available to control or reverse its symptoms. If you think you may be suffering from rosacea, call to make an appointment with Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Taller Women May Have Increased Risk for Skin Cancer

The taller a woman is, the greater her risk for developing the deadly skin cancer melanoma, according to a recent study of American women. 

The study, published in the July issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, found that each 4-inch increase in height is associated with a 13 percent increase in overall cancer risk. The specific cancers noted were melanoma, colorectum, colon, rectum, breast, endometrium, ovary, kidney, thyroid and multiple myeloma.

The study analyzed 144,701 women ages 50 to 79 participating in the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term research program established by the National Institutes of Health in 1991.

“We found that there was a strong, significant association between height and cancer risk, both for all cancers combined and for several specific cancer sites,” said Dr. Thomas Rohan, chair and professor of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

Rohan and his colleagues adjusted for known risk factors of cancer, such as ethnicity, body weight, smoking, alcohol intake, cancer screening and hormone therapy use. The study is one of the most detailed to confirm that being tall independently increases a woman’s chances of developing cancer.

Even though the study was performed on women, it could spell out bad news for men, as well.

“Our study was in women, but when we looked at studies of men as well, it is very similar,” said Dr. Jane Green, a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, England, and the lead author of the largest study to date of the link between cancer and height. “[The link between cancer and height] doesn’t seem to depend on when the study was done, or what the population was, or what the height of the population was on average, or the ethnicity of the population. It may suggest something interesting about how cancer develops in general.”

Similar studies have been performed in other Western populations such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Asia.

“There had been several previous studies but there hadn’t been much done in North America,” said Dr. Rohan.

Although researchers don’t understand exactly why height is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, they have come up with several theories that could explain this phenomenon. Some researchers speculate that because taller people have more cells, and cells can mutate as they divide, this could lead to a greater risk for developing cancer.

Another theory has to do with genetics.

“Eighty percent of the variation in height in Western populations is estimated to be determined by genetics,” stated the study. These same genes may contribute to cancer development, as well.

Rohan would like to see future studies examine the genes associated with height to see if there is a link to cancer.

Does this study mean tall people should worry about their cancer risk? Not exactly. Although there is a link, the association of height and cancer is significant but “modest,” said Green. Being tall actually carries a lower risk of some other diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.

“You’ve got to look at the bigger picture,” said Green.

All people, short and tall, should visit a dermatologist several times a year to check for skin cancer. Take care of your skin by wearing UVA- and UVB-blocking sunscreen whenever you’re going to be outside, and take caution to shade yourself from the sun with appropriate clothing and a hat. To schedule an appointment with Greenville Dermatology, call us today at (864) 242-5872.