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.