Monday, December 22, 2014

Gift Ideas that will Give to Your Skin All Year Long

Photo courtesy of Greenville Dermatology

In addition to providing high quality skin care and cosmetic treatments to patients in the Greenville area, Greenville Dermatology has a large retail store on site that is stocked with a variety of cosmetic products, including makeup and sunscreen, as well as skincare solutions and accessories to help protect your skin. These products are carefully hand-selected by Dr. Matthew Miller due to their high quality and safety for all skin types.

If you are looking for last minute gifts for friends, family or yourself, consider stopping by our office and checking out these amazing products:

·         For your best friend: Obagi® products. To help supplement her regular beauty routine, this transformative collection of skin care products and systems will improve penetration of prescription and cosmetic agents across the skin barrier.

·         For your mother: Neocutis products, which are designed to heal the skin while diminishing visible signs of aging and keep her skin looking fresh.

·         For your niece: glo.minerals™ cosmetics. For your active but beauty conscious family and friends, this line of cosmetics delivers unsurpassed coverage, broad spectrum UV protection and help combat free radical damage. 

·         For your jetsetter friends: Chic accessories that will help block UV rays when your friends escape to warmer climates in the winter months. The boutique at Greenville Dermatology is stocked with sunglasses, hats, makeup, scarves and visors that can protect your skin from the sun.

·         For yourself: Latisse™ solution, which is an FDA-approved treatment that grows longer, thicker and darker eyelashes. Transform your lashes in 2015!

All of the above products are available for purchase at our office at 369 Woodruff Road in Greenville. For the holidays, we have special pricing for some of these products, so be sure to consider these items as you are collecting your last minute gifts and preparing your own skin for the winter.

For more information on how these products could benefit your skin, and what else might be right for you, make an appointment with one of our dermatologists. Call Greenville Dermatology at 864-242-5872 to schedule an appointment today.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Introducing Dr. Leslie Poinsette!

Dr. Matthew Miller and Greenville Dermatology are pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Leslie Poinsette to the practice in 2015. Dr. Poinsette is a native of Greenville with extensive ties to the Upstate of South Carolina. She has been in formal practice of Dermatology for thirteen years and is board certified with the American Board of Dermatology. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Poinsette is married to Dr. Michael Poinsette of Riverside Family Practice in Greenville and they have three children. 

Get to know Dr. Poinsette before you meet her in the office! 

What inspired you to choose dermatology?
Dermatology allows for the care of children, adults and the elderly. There is always variety to the day with acne problems to skin cancer surgery to cosmetic procedures. It is never the same day twice. successful solution for each ailment.

What is your personal skincare routine?
I like to keep it simple and economical. I wash with Cerave Facial Foaming cleanser and moisturize with Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30.

What are some skincare products that you can’t live without?
Renova is my go to for anti-aging treatment and I use Obagi Clear to help with sunspots. I've recently tried Botox and Latisse and am hooked!

How do you change your skincare routine from season to season?
I always increase my use of sunscreen in the summer.

What types of things do you do to stay healthy?
I make time to be active and like to run, hike and bike. I also try to eat "whole foods" and less white or over-processed foods. I also spend time with family and hug my kids a lot.

What are your favorite things to do in Greenville?
We love to bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail, hike Table Rock Mountain, and kayak on Lake Keowee.

What is your favorite place to vacation?
At home with my family!

What is your favorite movie?
Family Man with Nicholas Cage. I watch it every Christmas and it reminds me of how blessed I am to have the crazy life with kids and work.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
We always try to visit the Roper Mountain lights and the "redneck" Santa at least once, and we try to have Christmas movie nights with hot chocolate a few times and watch our favorites like ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ On the actual holiday, I love having “breakfast for dinner” with our extended family on Christmas Eve night, attending Christmas Mass as a family, and listening to my husband read ‘Twas the Night before Christmas to our kids before they go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Dr. Poinsette will begin seeing patients at Greenville Dermatology on January 2, 2015. For more information or to schedule an appointment with her or any of our other doctors, please call Greenville Dermatology at 864-242-5872.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Protect Your Skin from Air Pollution

With the arrival of colder weather, it is important to remember that UV exposure is not the only danger your skin faces. Outdoor and indoor air pollution is a constant threat and can cause a variety of issues, including premature aging, dryness, skin rashes, eczema and acne. It is helpful to know how air pollution can harm your skin to better understand ways to prevent this damage.

Recent research is causing doctors and scientists to agree that next to UV rays, pollution is one of the main sources of skin damage. As our outer layer, skin is our first defense against the increasing free radicals in the atmosphere. During repeated exposure to air pollution, proteins and lipids in our skin barrier are broken down by the gases in the atmosphere. This can lead to the breakdown of collagen, and over time, will lead to serious damage.

Outdoor pollution comes in many forms, including ground-level ozone, which is a gas created from the toxic emissions from cars and factories combined with sunlight. Dirt particles from smog and gas can also affect the surface of the skin, increasing inflammation and causing premature aging.

Indoor air pollution can be caused by a number of things as well, and while not entirely unavoidable, we should be aware of them. Particles from pressed wood products and foam insulation can cause dry skin, irritation and rashes. Second-hand cigarette smoke can also negatively affect skin condition.

While densely populated urban areas and areas with high levels of manufacturing are at a greater risk for air pollution damage, poor air quality can affect all types of communities. Therefore, it is smart to take preventative steps to reduce the damage caused by pollution. Large beauty and pharmaceutical companies such as Estee Lauder are taking note of this and are also offering more products to counteract this damage.

·         Antioxidants: These helpful substances that can fight free radicals can be applied topically (in a serum) or eaten in foods like brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, leafy greens and blueberries.
·         Plan ahead: If poor air quality conditions are forecast, try to wear long sleeved shirts.
·         Clean regularly: Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and vacuum regularly to clean dust particles. Keep air filters clean.
·         Stay hydrated: Moisturizers will help keep your skin strong against the pollution particles.
·         Healthy routines: Deep clean your face daily to remove the tiny particulate matter that can collect in your pores.

Over time, pollution can be harmful to our skin, and it’s important to prevent as well as treat that damage. Our team at Greenville Dermatology can recommend products or treatments depending on the severity of the affects to your skin. Call Greenville Dermatology at 864-242-5872 to schedule an appointment today.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Teaching Children Healthy Skin Care Habits

A lifetime of healthy skin practices can begin early by encouraging your children to make smart skin care decisions. Many of these habits can be developed at a young age, which will help prevent problems such as acne or skin cancer later in life. While most skin issues will not occur until a child is between 10 and 13, establishing a routine—like brushing your teeth twice a day—can begin much sooner. The best time to start is between ages 5 and 8, when children begin to take responsibility for their own hygiene.

Here are some key practices to encourage with your child:

·         Daily facial cleansing: This important step can be added into a child’s morning or bedtime routine. It is important to use warm water and a gentle cleanser, especially with young children, as a more powerful cleanser can irritate eyes and sensitive skin. Look for products that are marked as gentle, non-abrasive and do not contain alcohol.

·         Hydrating products: Children’s skin can dry out just like adults, especially in winter months. Hydrating body washes can help keep skin moisturized in the bath or shower, and a light moisturizer applied after washing can help keep skin soft. These tools can be especially helpful for pre-teens that experience dry or itchy skin. Look for products that contain shea butter, which is known for its natural moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

·         Sunscreen usage: Teaching your child to use sunscreen is essential for a lifetime of healthy skin, especially as melanoma cases have increased by 2.9 percent in people under the age of 20, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. While many children understand that sunscreen is necessary at the beach or the pool, parents should also remind children to keep sunscreen handy for all outdoor activities, whether it is a short walk with the dog or a trip to the zoo. Sunscreen should always be SPF 30 or higher, provide broad-spectrum protection and be used throughout the year.

·         Early signs of acne: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne, and nearly 85 percent of all people will have acne at some point in their lives. Because this is such a common skin issue, make sure to discuss acne with children as they approach their teenage years so they are prepared to spot it in the beginning stages. For mild or moderate acne, over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will be the best for young teens in order to maintain healthy skin. If those milder treatments are not effective, it is important to seek professional care and help your child find a solution that works best for their skin.

·         Set a good example: Modeling good skin care habits and taking care of your own skin will help children learn how to care for their skin independently. If children see healthy skin habits in action, they will be much more likely to emulate those routines as they grow older. 

Skin health is an important part of your child’s physical development. If you are concerned about any potential issues, it is always best to seek professional advice. At Greenville Dermatology, we treat patients of all ages and can help your child find the right treatment that will work best for his or her needs. Call Greenville Dermatology at 864-242-5872 to schedule an appointment today.

Monday, October 6, 2014 Are Antibiotics Necessary To Treat Acne?

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

Teenagers have gone to dermatologists for years to help them get rid of their pimples and blackheads. For decades, dermatologists have relied upon oral and topical antibiotics to treat their patients' acne. When initially used for acne in the 1960's, antibiotics worked extremely well. However, over time, the acne bacterium has become resistant to many antibiotics and the use of antibiotics in acne as a necessary treatment is now being questioned.

Why Use Antibiotics In Treating Acne?
The theory behind using antibiotics in acne stems from research that shows that in most cases of acne, there is an overgrowth of a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes). Since there is an overgrowth of P.acnes, it stands to reason that an antibiotic may help. The antibiotic reduces or eliminates P. acnes, therefore improving the acne.

What Is The Problem With Antibiotic Use in Acne?
Reducing the bacterium that causes acne by using antibiotics may seem to be a good idea, however, there are several problems. First, once the antibiotics are stopped, P. acnes can start to grow again requiring ongoing antibiotic use. Eventually, P. acnes becomes resistant to the antibiotic being used and therefore, another antibiotic is necessary. Furthermore, it has been shown that P. Acnes can transmit its resistance to other more harmful bacteria. Secondly, the antibiotics used do not target only P. acnes. Other bacteria in our bodies, many of them beneficial, are eliminated as well and this can lead to other problems, particularly in the intestines. Lastly, P. acnes can be found and cultured from people who don't even have acne just as easily as it can be found on people who suffer from acne. Therefore, reducing or eliminating P. acnes may not be as important as it was once thought.

For more on this topic, including the alternative methods for treating acne, read Dr. Miller’s full article on

When trying to decide if you’d like to use antibiotics as a treatment for acne or try an alternative approach, be sure to consult your dermatologist first. At Greenville Dermatology, our skin care experts can help you determine what treatment is best for your skin. To schedule an appointment, call (864) 242-5872 today. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Protect your skin with the right clothing

As temperatures begin to drop this fall, it’s time to think about protecting skin from the elements. Changing your summer skin care regimen to adapt to the crisp fall air should still include all the basics – a hydrating cleanser, a thicker moisturizer and, yes, more sunscreen. But protecting skin from the sun, wind and (albeit rare) sub-freezing temperatures of cooler seasons should also include additional clothing.

A majority of the 3.7 million skin cancers diagnosed in the U.S. annually are caused by UV radiation from the sun, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Clothing absorbs and blocks much of the sun’s harmful radiation and is our first line of defense. Plus, accessorizing can be fun!

Here’s what we recommend:

Layer on the layers
Weather in the South is unpredictable – hot one minute and cool the next; and the sunshine can be deceiving. In warmer temperatures, layers that can be removed will allow skin to breathe and prevent sweat from irritating the skin. Keep long-sleeved options handy in colder temperatures to avoid exposing skin to unexpected wind and cold.

The types of clothing you choose also matters – tightly woven fabrics like denim and wool have smaller holes between the threads and block more UV rays than open weaves like lace. Synthetic fibers like polyester and rayon offer the greatest protection, while cottons offer the least. Some manufacturers offer sun-protective clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label, which indicates what fraction of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the fabric. Look for products that offer UPF of 30 or higher.

Choose the Right Accessories
Even the most disciplined person can forget to put sunscreen on the scalp, neck and tops of the ears. However, these areas receive the most sun exposure and are particularly susceptible to the two most common forms of skin cancer: basal and squamous cell carcinoma; and, people with melanoma of the head and neck are almost twice as likely to die from the disease as patients with melanomas on other parts of the body, according to the Foundation. Hands and feet are also some of the most exposed areas of the body.

Thankfully, cooler temperatures make hats, scarves, socks and gloves safe and stylish options to protect these sun-prone areas. Experts recommend a wide-brimmed hat or one that at least covers the ears and back of the neck for the most protection. If you choose a smaller hat, opt for a stylish scarf or neck gaiter that can be draped around the neck and even pulled up over the nose and cheeks. Other great options include ear muffs or headbands that cover the ears.

Sunglasses are not just for summer. The sun’s UV rays cause up to 90 percent of the visible changes attributed to aging, such as wrinkles, brown spots and sagging skin, as well as skin cancers around the eyes. In fact, five to 10 percent of all skin cancers develop on the eyelids, according to the Foundation.

Look for sunglasses that cover as much of the eyes, eyelids and surrounding skin as possible. Check the tag to verify that they block 99-100 percent of all UV radiation (UVA and UVB). Prescription eyewear can also be coated for UV protection.

The retail store at Greenville Dermatology offers several sun-protective accessories, from gloves and hats to scarves and sunglasses. Visit our retail store at 369 Woodruff Road to check out our Summer Specials or call Greenville Dermatology at 864-242-5872 for more information.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Future of Dermatology

One of the most exciting things about medicine is that it is constantly evolving. New technologies are changing the way doctors deliver care, the way patients engage in health care and the advancement of scientific research. Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for example. At the time of this post, the ALS Association had raised more than $94 million to help find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease by way of a bucket and a smart phone. As impressive as that is, it’s just a sample of the most extraordinary things happening at the touch of a button.

A recent issue of Dermatology World examined the future of technology in dermatology and how practice models are changing as a result. Below is a roundup of some of the latest – and future – advancements their panel of experts hope will help us take better care of our patients.

Pain-free exams

The idea: Using non-invasive devices to examine skin, make a diagnosis and monitor treatment – in person or from the comfort of your home is not far off. For example, MelaFind is already being used to see under the skin’s surface to determine whether a lesion needs to be biopsied, and a new device called Melanoscan can use psoriasis light boxes and 30 cameras to take full-body images and monitor lesions for change. The future of dermatology includes the possibility of patients attaching special microscopes to their phones and sending pictures of their skin to doctors from anywhere.

The bottom line: Patients save a trip to the doctor and discomfort from a painful biopsy, and doctors can provide more rapid and accurate diagnoses. The International Skin Imaging Collaboration Melanoma Project is developing standards around technology, techniques and terminology in order to regulate these practices.

Technology that facilitates patient-doctor communication

The idea: Computer-assisted diagnosis will be a game-changer for doctors and patients, according to Jack Lewin, MD, chairman of the National Coalition on Health Care. His prediction involves an app that would formulate a diagnosis based on patient and doctor input of symptoms, medical issues, etc. “That will allow us to reduce the disturbingly frequent rate of misdiagnosis and/or use of therapeutics that will not be helpful to a patient for a number of reasons: maybe because of their genetic individuality, maybe because of a history of allergy,” explained Dr. Lewin.

The bottom line: Together, doctors and patients working with computer software can provide a more accurate, low cost and timely method of diagnosis. Many apps are already in development for this.

Customized medication

The idea: Using an individual’s genome and the disease they have to create medication that is customized for them. While we are beginning to use more biologics, or drugs derived from living cells that target specific gene pathways of diseases, this treatment is still in its early days. Daniel M. Siegel, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at the State University of New York at Downstate School of Medicine and past president of the Academy of Dermatology, hopes that as we get more targeted with biologics, we’ll get to a point where we can really target treatment toward a specific individual’s genetic makeup.

The bottom line: Biologics are believed to have fewer side effects than traditional medications because they are targeted to specific disease processes. While biologics are still being heavily scrutinized, several have already been approved by the FDA for treatment of psoriasis.

Greenville Dermatology strives to pursue the newest advances and cutting-edge technology to better serve our patients and is already using some of these resources. To learn more about how these advancements might help your skincare needs, call Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872 to schedule an appointment with our specialists.

Monday, August 18, 2014

5 Hidden Risks of Psoriasis

As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). This autoimmune disease causes raised, red, scaly, itchy patches to appear on the skin and can be a debilitating condition. But while the itch and red patches can often be managed with topical creams and medications, some “silent” symptoms of psoriasis are the most dangerous. A growing body of research has shown people with psoriasis are at an increased risk of developing other chronic and serious health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Here’s the breakdown:

High blood pressure and cholesterol – In a 2011 study at the University of California Davis, dermatologists found that people with psoriasis have a harder time controlling their high blood pressure and needed more medication to control their hypertension than people without the skin condition. Researchers also found that people with psoriasis are more likely to have high cholesterol.

Heart disease – People with severe psoriasis are 58 percent more likely to have a major cardiac event and 43 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to research. A 2012 study funded by the NFP showed that inflammation over large areas of the body caused by psoriasis can lead to inflammation in major arteries, such as the aorta. Combined with increased risk factors for high blood pressure and cholesterol, the risk of heart attack is significantly increased. The good news is that aggressive treatment of psoriasis can lead to a significant decrease in the risk for developing heart disease.

Diabetes – A 2012 study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that people with severe psoriasis are also 46 percent more likely to have type 2 diabetes and those with mild psoriasis have an 11 percent increased risk of developing diabetes. The connection was true even in the absence of traditional diabetes risk factors, such as obesity. However, obesity is also a risk factor for psoriasis, so maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular diabetes screenings are important preventive measures for people with psoriasis.

Cancer – Research has also shown a connection between psoriasis and certain types of cancer, such as a squamous cell carcinoma (a form of skin cancer) and lymphoma. The exact link between psoriasis and cancer is still unknown, but some scientists believe some medications used to treat psoriasis could be the culprit. Talk to a dermatologist about your overall health and risk factors to ensure the best treatment for your needs is prescribed.

Depression – About one-quarter of people with psoriasis suffer from depression as a result of the emotional distress caused by the embarrassing skin condition. In fact, the NPF says people with psoriasis are twice as likely to become depressed as the rest of the population. Studies have shown that treating psoriasis can alleviate the symptoms of depression.

With proper treatment and healthy lifestyle choices, people with psoriasis can prevent more serious health problems. If you suffer from psoriasis, talk to your dermatologist about what you can do to reduce your risk of developing these deadly conditions. Call Greenville Dermatology at 864-242-5872 to schedule an appointment today.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 Things to Know About Exfoliation

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

It is hard to open a beauty publication these days without reading something about exfoliation and the importance of it. There are a host of products on the market as well that advertise that they help to exfoliate the skin. Here are some important things to know about exfoliation.

What Is Exfoliation?
To understand exfoliation, it is first important to understand the way our skin is made. New skin cells are formed only at the lowest layer of the skin. Once the skin cell is made, it will slowly be pushed upwards by new skin cells being made beneath it. As it is pushed up, it flattens out and becomes harder and thicker with a substance called keratin. Once on the surface of the skin, the skin cell will eventually dry out and fall off naturally. When the skin cells fall off, it is called “exfoliation.” Since exfoliation happens naturally, we should only have to help ourselves exfoliate if there is a problem with the skin. Not everyone has to exfoliate.

Who Should Exfoliate?
While anyone can exfoliate, not everyone needs to. Teenagers with acne, people with oily skin, and those with aging skin can all benefit by exfoliating. Acne and oil can hinder the natural exfoliation process and cause dead skin to pile up. As we age, the rate at which new skin cells are formed slows down, leading to dull looking skin. By exfoliating, we can speed up the rate of cell turnover, making skin look younger.

Who Should Avoid Exfoliation?
People with sensitive skin and a skin condition called rosacea can actually create more problems by exfoliating. Exfoliating with a sensitive skin condition or rosacea can make the skin very red and inflamed. People with these conditions are better off using anti-inflammatory products to calm the skin.

How Do I Exfoliate?
There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical. For some people, all that is required is simply washing the face with a clean washcloth and gently scrubbing the face with exfoliation cleanser. For more severe cases, using a hand held rotary device such as a Clarisonic, or getting a microdermabrasion may be necessary. For people with more sensitive skin, mild cleansers with fruit acids such as glycolic acid may be more appropriate. A dermatologist can determine if even more aggressive exfoliation needs to be performed such as facials or chemical peels.

What Are The Benefits Of Exfoliation?
When done correctly, exfoliation can improve the skin tone, texture and appearance. Skin conditions such as acne improves. Dull, sun damaged skin can become more youthful in appearance.

What Is The Downside Of Exfoliation?
People with sensitive skin who exfoliate can make their skin more red and irritated. Over aggressive exfoliation for any skin type can result in excessive irritation and other problems. Exfoliation at home should only be performed once or twice a week. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and facials should only be performed once a month or less. Small, hard, white bumps called “milia” can form if over aggressive exfoliation is performed.

When trying to decide if exfoliation is right for your skin, be sure to consult your dermatologist first. At Greenville Dermatology, our skin care experts can help you determine what exfoliation regime you should follow and what type of products are best suited for your skin. To schedule an appointment, call (864) 242-5872 today. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

10 Surprising Activities that Could Ruin Your Skin

We are all guilty of bad habits that we continue to do because, well they’re habits. What we may not realize is that some of these common habits can be damaging to our skin. To help you understand how your daily routine is affecting your skin health, we put together a list of 10 surprising activities that could ruin your skin:

·         Swimming – In the height of summer, nothing feels better than a refreshing dip in the pool.  Unfortunately, chlorine can be damaging to the skin. Even after a shower, chlorine can cling to skin and react with topical medications, cleansers and lotions. Avoid this pitfall to summer’s favorite activity by using an extra sudsy soap after swimming.

·         Taking long, hot showers – Taking long, hot showers is a refreshing way to relax, especially after a busy day. But, this steamy retreat can also cause the outermost layer of the epidermis to strip away, making your skin scaly and dry. Keep your showers warm enough to be comfortable, and allow for only short bursts of steaming hot water.

·         Testing too many products – Trying new skin products can be dangerous if you have sensitive skin or unknown allergies. Always test new cleansers, cosmetics and lotions on a small patch of skin, such as on the arm. Avoid testing products on the face until you are sure the products are safe for your skin.

·         Talking on the phone – Chatting for hours on the phone can cause breakouts and rashes along the jawline and cheek. Use a speaker phone when available and use antibacterial wipes often to keep your phone and skin clean!

·         Getting hair products on your face – Hair products can clog pores and cause breakouts. Use a clean towel and cover your face to protect skin when applying hair sprays. Wearing a sweatband when working out will prevent products from dripping onto your face as you sweat.

·         Squinting your eyes – Squinting can lead to fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Wearing outdated contacts and glasses will cause you to squint more often, so be sure to avoid unnecessary aging by keeping your eyewear updated.

·         Waxing too often – If you love to stay hairless, know that too much waxing can result in raw skin and increased bumps. Take at least a three-week break to let your skin regenerate.

·         Exfoliating too often – Body scrub lovers beware. Exfoliating too much can strip the skin of its necessary oils needed to maintain a natural glow. Keep your exfoliating ritual to only once a week for best results.

·         Sitting in the sauna – Saunas are wonderful for pre/post workout downtime. What most people don’t know is that hanging out in the sauna for too long will cause sagging overtime. Keep your sauna and steam room usage to a minimum.  

·         Cooling off in air conditioning – While we like to crank up the air conditioning during these hot, humid summer months, it can be damaging to the skin. Air conditioning strips the air of the humidity and moisture your skin needs to look and feel its best. Bump up the temperature on your air conditioner and get fresh air as often as possible to help your skin retain moisture.

Making a few small changes in your daily routines can give your skin the healthy glow you desire. For more information about the best regimen for you, talk with one of our skin care experts at Greenville Dermatology.  To schedule a consultation or annual skin screening, call (864) 242-5872 today.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Swimmer’s Ear Strikes Again

The height of the summer season means more and more people flocking to the pools and beaches to cool off from the sweltering heat. It also brings with it an increased risk of swimmer’s ear, or inflammation of the skin in the ear canal. In fact, 44 percent of all swimmer’s ear cases occur between the months of June and August.

Swimmer’s ear occurs when water is trapped in the ear for an extended period of time and bacteria found in water breaks the skin barrier through cuts or scrapes in the ear canal. Once the skin barrier is broken, it opens up an entry point for the water bacteria to infect the area. The infection causes the skin to become inflamed and swell. This can be incredibly painful because there is not a lot of room in the ear to accommodate the swelling.

Anyone who goes swimming can get swimmer’s ear. Not surprisingly, the more time you spend in the water – lakes, ponds and pools alike – the more likely you are to develop this irritating condition. Those who clean or scratch their ears regularly are especially prone to swimmer’s ear because of an increased risk of trauma to the ear canal.

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include ear pain, itching and yellow and white discharge. The difference between a middle ear infection and swimmer’s ear is the presence of pain when the ear lobe is gently pulled. Tugging on the lobe of someone with swimmer’s ear will create movement in the infected canal and cause pain.

Studies suggest that topical treatments work best for uncomplicated swimmer’s ear. Antibiotic ear drops with or without a topical steroid may need to be prescribed to help decrease swelling. Treatment typically lasts a week before it is completely healed, but most patients feel relief from pain within three to four days of starting the drops.

To help prevent swimmer’s ear, remove any lingering water after swimming or bathing, shake your ears dry and place two to three drops of rubbing alcohol in your ear to evaporate the water.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent swimmer’s ear or other summer-related skin issues, visit Greenville Dermatology and speak to one of our skin care experts today. Call (864) 242-5872 to make an appointment.

Monday, July 14, 2014

TheraClear™: The Facts and Benefits

More often than not, most of the patients we see are suffering from mild to severe acne and are looking for a way to achieve fresher, clearer skin. While antibiotics are often prescribed to remedy problems with acne, the use of antibiotics over an extensive period of time can often cause more problems down the road. Luckily, in the past few years, a new device called TheraClear™ has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of acne.

TheraClear™ is able to treat multiple causes of acne in a single treatment. Using a pneumatic tip that gently suctions the skin into a chamber, the device is able to remove blackheads and oil from the skin and unblock pores. Simultaneously, a broad band of intense light is emitted to selectively kill the acne bacteria and leave the good bacteria intact.

After a single treatment, patients are able to see improvements. A series of four to eight treatments seven to ten days apart is recommended for optimal results. Each treatment is relatively painless and takes between 10 to 20 minutes. After the initial series of treatments, patients can receive maintenance treatments as needed.

TheraClear™’s mode of killing bacteria and suppressing oil glands is the leading technology for treating acne. Based on Theravant research, 85 percent of patients have excellent results, 10 percent show satisfactory improvement, and only 5 percent show little improvement. While TheraClear™ does not cure acne, it is proving to be successful in treating acne without the use of medication.

If you are interested in receiving TheraClear™ treatments, call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 to set up an appointment today. 

Monday, July 7, 2014 Article: Six Ways to Improve Wrinkles

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

Almost everyone would like to look younger. However, we all differ in how severe our wrinkles are. We may have a few fine lines or deep furrows or we may have a combination of fine lines and deep furrows. Here is a list of wrinkle reducers from the least invasive to the most radical to help us improve our wrinkles.

1. Sunscreen
Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher with the words "broad spectrum" on the label every day and frequently reapply it.

2. Topical Exfoliating Cleansers and Retinoids
Use an exfoliating cleanser that contains glycolic acid to increase the turnover of skin cells on the face and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Adding a topical retinoid cream such as Retin-a at night also improves and preserves the collagen layer that becomes damaged with age.

3. Chemical Peels and Facials
Chemical peels and facials are more aggressive ways to exfoliate the skin. One peel or facial can accomplish what using an exfoliating cleanser would do in weeks to months.

4. Laser Resurfacing or Tightening
The next step in reducing wrinkles is laser resurfacing or lasers that tighten the skin. There are two types of lasers that resurface the skin: ablative and non-ablative (more commonly known as "fractional"). Non-ablative resurfacing is very safe, but may take multiple treatments to accomplish significant improvement in wrinkles. Lasers that tighten the skin target deeper layers of the skin and can be very painful, but the resulting tightening of the skin can improve a significant amount of wrinkling.

5. Neurotoxins and Fillers
One way to reduce wrinkles quickly is with neurotoxins (Botox and its competitors) and fillers that target the brow lines, “crow’s feet” and the so called “parentheses and “marionette” lines around the mouth. Newer products such as Sculptra and Voluma replace the volume lost in our faces as we age which reduces deeper wrinkles. The improvement that these products offer lasts from 3 months up to over a year.

6. Facelift
The ultimate wrinkle reducer is the facelift. For some, this may be the best option. A facelift used to be a very major procedure and still can be. However, there are abbreviated versions of a full face lift that can be done on an outpatient basis.

Most cosmetic doctors agree that a combination of treatments usually works better than a single treatment. To speak with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon about the best plan for your skin, call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 today.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Beware of Bedbug Bites

We continue to hear news about those creepy little bedbugs popping up in mattresses, particularly in hotels. With summer underway, travel season is in full swing and many of our clients have been asking how they can protect their families from the itchy bites caused by bedbugs.

Bedbugs can live behind walls and wallpaper, in the seams of upholstered furniture, behind electrical outlets, under wall-to-wall carpeting and inside bed frames and mattresses. Contrary to popular belief, there is no association between bedbugs and dirt. They simply feed on blood from animals and humans and like to live nearby their food source. That is why infestations are commonly found in areas with high rates of turnover – like apartment buildings and hotels. Getting a bedbug infestation can be as easy as one jumping into a suitcase and traveling back home with you.

Bedbug bites are characterized by itchy, red welts that typically appear in clusters, with each cluster containing three to five bites in a zigzag pattern, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Here are some tips for treating bedbug bites:
  • Clean the bites. Wash the affected area with warm soap and water.
  • Treat the itch to prevent scratching. Scratching can cause the skin to become infected. Apply a corticosteroid cream to the bites to minimize itching.
  • Seek treatment. According to the AAD, you should see a dermatologist for treatment if you have several bedbug clusters, blisters, infected skin (where bites feel tender or ooze pus), or if you form an allergic skin reaction resulting in red, swollen skin or hives.

Treatment may require an injection of an antihistamine, corticosteroid or epinephrine for a severe allergic reaction. An antibiotic or over-the-counter antiseptic medication may be necessary to treat any infections. For itchiness, an antihistamine pill or liquid medicine might also be prescribed. It is important to visit a dermatologist during these circumstances to determine what treatment is right for you. Consult a pest-control company to find out how to get rid of bedbug infestations.

If you think you might have bedbug bites, follow these tips and call Greenville Dermatology today at 864-282-5872 to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tips for Skin Care on a Budget

You don’t need to use the most expensive products to have fresh, youthful skin. You can keep your skin healthy without breaking the bank by keeping these helpful skin care tips in mind.

1.     Cleanse Regularly
Don’t let a 12-hour period go by without using some sort of cleansing treatment or product on your skin. Stick to gentle, non-abrasive cleansers that do not contain alcohol. Cleansing regularly will help keep your pores from clogging, resulting in pimples and blemishes.

2.     Use Sunscreen Every Day
Sunscreen doesn’t just help protect your skin during the hotter months. Applying sunscreen to your skin every day will help protect your skin from sun damage year-round. Apply sunscreen every day to prevent wrinkles and age spots from developing.

3.     Compare Ingredients in Products
Just because a product is more expensive does not necessarily mean it is more effective. Next time you’re shopping for skin care products compare the ingredients listed on the back. Oftentimes you can receive the same benefits from a different product for a lot less money. Focus on the active rather than added fragrances, which can actually irritate skin.

4.     Use Petroleum Jelly
This wonder product can help your skin in a variety of ways. Petroleum jelly is great for moisturizing your skin and lips, preventing chafing, protecting minor scrapes and bumps, and can even be used as diaper ointment. Plus, it is inexpensive and available in bulk.

5.     Consider Dual-Function Products
Not only will this help your wallet, but it will help you save storage space, too. Look for products like moisturizers or lip balms that contain sunscreen for extra protection. Dual-function products are great if you’re always on-the-go and don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the mornings.

In addition to paying attention to these helpful tips, it is important to schedule a skin consultation before you begin using new products. By talking with an expert, you’ll discover what types of skin care products and regime will yield the best results for your skin. To schedule a consultation with one of Greenville Dermatology’s skin care experts, call (864) 282-5872 today. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tanning Beds Cause Same Damage as Sun

This summer everyone is looking to achieve that ‘healthy sun kissed glow.’ Unfortunately, that glow is nothing more than the beginning of sun damage. In fact, tans and sunburn have the same harmful effect on your skin.

Both sunburns and tans cause DNA damage to your skin, which increases your risk of developing melanoma. To make matters worse, a lot of people are increasing their exposure to damaging UV radiation and their risk for developing melanoma by turning to tanning beds.

Tanning beds often exceed “safe” UV limits, despite the claims of salons. The risk has become so great that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an order to reclassify sunlamps and ultraviolet lamp products used for indoor tanning from low-risk to moderate-risk devices. This reclassification brings stricter regulations to help protect consumers and public health.

The order also includes a strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18. Teens are at a special risk because their bodies are still developing – as their bodies change their cells are more prone to the damage of UV radiation. This puts them at a greater risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

While these stricter regulations are a step in the right direction, we still have a long way to go when it comes to protecting our skin from UV radiation. If you are trying to achieve that ‘summer glow,’ look to alternative options like spray tans or tanning lotions. These low-risk options help add color to your skin without causing the damage that a tan from UV rays would.

To browse Greenville Dermatology’s line of sun-safe products, stop by our retail store. Or to schedule your annual skin screening, call 864-282-5872 today. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Stem Cells Help Repair Damaged Skin

According to a recent study, we all hold the secret to healthier, younger-looking skin – in our stem cells.

The International Stem Cell Corporation, a leader in stem cell research, discovered how to use non-embryotic stem cells to help develop therapies and cures for regenerative diseases such as blindness, diabetes, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease. During their research, they also discovered how stem cells can help rejuvenate skin cells.

Stem cells, which are highly potent cells, have a unique ability to notice and replace damaged or diseased tissues throughout the body. When damage occurs, they “wake up” and go straight into action, helping to regenerate the cells that were lost or harmed. For our skin, that means stem cells may help to repair sun damage and slow the process of natural aging.  

Scientists were able to stimulate the skin’s own ability to repair itself by extracting non-embryonic human stem cells and adding them to topical creams. According to an independent clinical study, 93 percent of the individuals who used this treatment experienced improvement in skin hydration, 73 percent experienced firmer, tighter skin and 63 percent experienced improved skin tone and brightness. 

While this type of treatment is still in the experimental stages, stem cell skin care is proving to be a very promising solution to damaged and aged skin.

To browse our current line of anti-aging creams and skin care products, visit our Greenville Dermatology retail store today. To make an appointment with one of our skin care specialists, call (864) 242-5872. 

Monday, June 2, 2014 Article: Six Facts That Would Surprise You About Melanoma

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

1.     Melanoma Can Occur On Areas That Never See The Sun
Surprisingly, melanoma can occur on any skin surface, including those that have never been exposed to the sun. In fact melanoma can occur on areas inside the body such as the retina of the eye, and the lining of the spinal cord.

2.     Sun Exposure Is Not The Only Risk Factor For Melanoma
Getting blistering sunburn increases your risk for melanoma. However, some estimates say that having a first degree family member such as your father, mother, sister or brother who has been diagnosed with melanoma, can increase your risk by 60 times more than someone who does not have that family history.

3.     Melanoma Is Not Always Dark In Color
While the majority of melanomas are dark or black in color and irregular in shape, they can be red, pink, purple and skin colored among other colors. For this reason, any new growth on the body should be examined by a dermatologist and biopsied, if necessary, to determine if it is cancerous.

4.     Melanoma Affects All Races
While Caucasians are 20 times more likely to develop melanoma than dark-skinned people, dark-skinned people can and do get melanoma. About one in 50 Caucasians will get melanoma, while about one in 1000 dark-skinned people will get melanoma.

5.     Melanoma Is The Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancer For Young Adults
Melanoma is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for people aged 25-29 years and is the second most common cancer in young adults aged 15-29 years old. Therefore, annual skin screening by a dermatologist should begin early in life, particularly for people with a family history of melanoma and a history of sunburn.

6.     The Incidence Of Melanoma Is Increasing Faster In Females Aged 15 to 29.
Melanoma is being diagnosed more frequently in females aged 15 to 29 than it is in males of the same age group. This is postulated to be due to high-risk tanning behaviors. Just one session in a tanning bed increases the risk for melanoma by 20% and each additional exposure to a tanning bed increases that risk by 2%. Studies show that people who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk of melanoma by 75%. For this reason, many states have imposed a ban on tanning bed use by minors under the age of 18 years old.

It is extremely important to schedule regular skin screenings in addition to taking preventive measures to protect your skin. To schedule your skin screening with Greenville Dermatology, call (864) 242-5872 today. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greenville Dermatology Supports ‘Don’t Fry Day’ to Prepare Families for Summer

Last Friday, Greenville Dermatology hosted our first ever ”Don’t Fry Day” event to encourage sun safety and raise awareness of skin cancer in support of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. It was a huge success!

We handed out 1,000 free bottles of sunscreen and T-shirts at high-traffic pedestrian and shopping areas as everyone was heading outside to kick off the Memorial Day holiday. We also shared tips for keeping skin safe during the hot summer months.

Some of the important tips we shared for staying safe in the sun include:

·         Applying sunscreen generously and often
·         Wearing sun protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses
·         Seeking shade as often as possible

In addition to these preventive measures, it is also important to schedule regular skin screenings. In fact, 99 percent of skin cancers are curable if caught early, and skin screenings play a large role in detecting skin cancer in the early, treatable stages. Exams are painless, only take 15 minutes and could save your life.

While skin cancer affects people of all races and skin types, those with lighter skin or who burn easily are at a higher risk of developing this deadly disease over time. You should have regular skin screenings if:

·         You have an immediate family member who has had melanoma
·         You have had even one case of severe sunburn, especially if you are fair skinned
·         You are age 40 or older, especially if you have fair skin and if you have had prolonged exposure to the sun

Click here to learn more about detecting skin cancer.

Stop by Greenville Dermatology for a skin screening and to stock up on sunscreen before you head outside this summer. Contact our office at (864) 242-5872 to schedule an appointment.