Jun 30

Sunburn Prevention & Treatment: Think Red Light and Ferns

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 42 percent of us experience a sunburn at least once a year.  That is an astounding statistic!  We know that a history of severe sunburns is a risk factor for melanoma, and ultraviolet light exposure is strongly related to the development of other skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.   Check out the videos below featuring me (Dr. Melanie Palm) addressing sunburn treatment and prevention on San Diego TV outlets:       UT-TV SAN DIEGO ON PRIMETIME WITH TAYLOR BALDWIN:     SAN DIEGO 6 ON SAN DIEGO LIVING WITH KRISTIN MOSTELLER:     KUSI ON GOOD MORNING SAN DIEGO WITH MIKE CASTELLUCCI:     So what can we do to prevent sunburns and all of the uncomfortable sequelae that follows:  the pink skin, the hot flush to the skin, the feverish body aches, and the flaky skin that follows.  There are some simple and easy to remember steps that can help to minimize the opportunity for the San Diego skin scorching.   1.  USE SUNSCREEEN!  Pick a broad spectrum sunscreen that covers both UVA and UVB.  UVA is related to aging changes in the skin - pigmentation, loss of elasticity, and premature wrinkling.  UVB causes the burn like response following sun exposure.  Most dermatologists including myself recommend a physical blocking agent as one of the sunscreen's active ingredients - like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  Make sure that the SPF is 30 or higher.  Apply sunscreen prior to going outside and reapply often...usually every 90 minutes during outside activities.   2.  Seek shade and avoid peak hours.  Being a part of the beautiful weather is part of being a San Diegan, but that doesn't mean we can't be sun smart.  Try to avoid outside activities during peak sun hours of 10 am to 4 pm.  This is when the UV exposure is most intense and shadows are shortest and hard to find.   3.  Try supplementation.  In addition to the requisite sunscreen use, there are a few dietary supplements that can help minimize the opportunity for sunburn and have a protective role for your skin.  A fern extract for the polypodium leucotomos plant is packaged as capsules called Heliocare.  Ingestion of Heliocare prior to sun exposure is somewhat protective against damage waved by UV waves.  Oral intake of green tea has a similar somewhat protective effect.  However, neither is considered a suitable substitute for photoprotection and both should be used in conjunction with sunscreen.   Prevention is the best treatment for sunburn.  However, if one does occur, early intervention is key.  Contrary to popular belief, there are several measures that can be taken to alleviate a sunburn.  Here are some helpful steps:   1.  Take ibuprofen as soon as possible.  It is an non-steriodal anti-inflammatory that not only alleviates pain but decreases the inflammation associated with a sunburn.   2.  Use a topical steroid.  This is best done at the first sign of a sunburn.  Over the counter hydrocortisone works in a pinch, but a board-certified dermatologist can provide a prescription-strength steroid that better addresses a sunburn.   3.  Put on the red light.  Like the famous Police song "Roxanne," red light also works for sunburns.  A red diode light called the Healite II is used for Art of Skin MD patients to reduce inflammation associated with sunburn and make the redness subside more quickly.  The red light takes mere minutes, is covered by insurance, and is painless.   4.  Seek professional skin help.  If the sunburn is causing blisters, fever, flu-like symptoms, or other concerning side effects, call a health care professional immediately.  Although your dermatologist can handle most significant sunburns, occasionally hospitalization including care in the burn unit may be required to replenish fluid and decrease pain.   5.  Prepare to moisturize.  Once the sunburn has resolved, the skin often peels, sometimes significantly for the next week to 10 days.  It is important to use a moisturizer, and use it often.  Moisturizers that contain ceramides are particularly helpful.  Ceramides are cholesterol-derived, natural occurring fats that normally moisturize our skin surface.  During inflammation, they are depleted.  CeraVe and Cetaphil among others are brands that contain the dry-skin squashing ceramides.    

Jun 27

Fight the Flab: Laser Lipo to Rescue those Arms

Toned, fit, and sleek arms are what is always in.  But if you have been slaving away at the gym and eating salads day in and day out and those pesky upper arms don't seem to want to acquiesce to your fitness and meal routine...perhaps it is time to consider tumescent liposuction.   Here is a quick couple of videos demonstrating both laser liposuction using the Lutronic Accusculpt system as well as subsequent liposuction of the arms:   LASER LIPOSUCTION OF THE ARMS WITH THE ACCUSCULPT LASER:   TUMESCENT LIPOSUCTION OF THE ARMS AFTER LASER TREATMENT:     Surgery may sound scary but at Art of Skin MD we take every measure to make patients comfortable, from the initial consultation, to the pre-operative visit, the procedure itself, and all of the follow-up visits.  Across the board, patients who have undergone liposuction with myself (Dr. Melanie Palm) have expressed how pleased they are with the outcome, how much they regret not having liposuction sooner, and how easy it was to get back to their busy lives.   Liposculpture at Art of Skin MD is performed by a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained cosmetic surgeon at Art of Skin MD.  Patients receive a thorough consultation and examination before a treatment plan is developed, if liposuction is deemed the appropriate treatment.  During the procedure, every opportunity is made to make patients comfortable.  Music of your selection is piped into the open and spacious procedure room, and a pain-free experience is delivered through the use of tumescent anesthesia - dilute amounts of numbing that is placed in the areas of treatment.  This also ensures superior pain-control after the treatment and a quick recovery.  Absolutely no general anesthesia is required - thus tumescent liposculpture is an extremely safe treatment with an outstanding safety profile compared to going "under" for larger procedures.  In fact, there has NEVER been a patient fatality with a dermatologist performing liposuction using the purely tumescent anesthesia technique.   Laser liposuction using the Accusculpt is sometimes added to a procedure.  The laser is used to ease fat removal in certain areas.  The specific wavelength of the laser (1444 nm) is very specific to fat and helps to emulsify unwanted areas of fat. Laser liposuction is extremely helpful in areas needing skin tightening.  Areas of skin laxity under the neck, on the abdomen, or around the arms respond nicely to the tissue tightening capabilities of Accusculpt.   Long-term results following laser liposuction or traditional liposuction take time to mature.  Typically, a final result is not reached for 3-6 months.  In other words, the outcome keeps on improving for several months following the procedure.   Patients do extremely well after liposuction or laser liposuction.  Most patients are back to daily activities within a few days and back to exercise within a week.  The soreness in the day following the procedure is roughly equal to the muscle soreness experienced following an intense workout.  None of my patients have required more pain relief than what is afforded by extra strength Tylenol.  In fact, a couple of recent moms undergoing treatment have sprung back to their life very quickly.  One mother (unknown to me) attended a PTA meeting the day of her procedure and attended a field trip for her child the next day!  Amazing.   Still have questions or curiosity about the procedures described?  Call us at Art of Skin MD at 858.792.7546 or contact us through the Art of Skin MD webpage.  We look forward to hearing from you.      

Jun 23

Total Facial Rejuvenation with Sculptra and Ultherapy

So much is the trend in cosmetic dermatology for subtle, natural-appearing true facial rejuvenation.  The importance of balanced facial volume restoration is now recognized due to a wealth of anatomical studies published in the medical literature in the last 10 years.  Skin integrity changes over time as our facial volume deflates.  This sagging and deflation can be addressed.   The new paradigm in dermatology and plastic surgery is restoration of youthful volume and facial contours.  Addressing loss of volume is addressed with facial fillers or volumizers and skin texture changes and laxity with skin tightening procedures.  What are two products and devices we can use to address volume and skin laxity?  Well, Sculptra for volume and Ultherapy for lift.   In a recent TV broadcast on the San Diego Union Tribune, I address the appropriate techniques for addressing the aging face through true, complete facial rejuvenation.  Catch my discussion with Taylor Baldwin of UT-TV in the by clicking on the clip below:  
Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Melanie Palm of  Art of Skin MD

Sculptra and Ultherapy expert dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm

              Sculptra works as a volumizing agent, inducing new collagen growth in the areas of placement.  The process is gradual but long-lasting, so changes are subtle over time...it allows those treated with Sculptra to be discrete about their treatment.   Ultherapy harnesses the power of ultrasound to lift and tighten tissues.  It is the only FDA-approved device for neck lifting, and it is remarkably helpful in addressing skin looseness called laxity in areas around the brows, lower face, and jawline.   Find out about our summer specials at Art of Skin MD on both facial and neck rejuvenation.  To find out more, contact us through our Art of Skin MD website or by calling us at 858.792.7546.    

Jun 18

Men at Work…without Wrinkles using Dysport

Dysport and Botox work well on wrinkles....for men!  As June is Men's Month at Art of Skin  MD, we want to celebrate the favorite guys in your life by giving them the gift of rejuvenation.  This month the special guys in your life can save big on Botox and Dysport with $100 off per area.   Guys can get Dysport and Botox too!  Minimally invasive procedures and injectable procedures like these are increasing among men, and the opportunity for savings through our Men's month special is a perfect opportunity for handsome gents to try out the wrinkle-treating power of neuromodulators.   Dysport and Botox are approached differently in men versus women.  Men have greater muscle strength in the face that requires approaching them differently.  Men should retain their masculine features, and that is why it is important to have an expert injector treating men.   Curious about Dysport in men?  Here is a quick video featuring myself (Dr. Palm) injecting a typical male patient:         Interested in finding out more about the treatment of Dysport or Botox for men?  Call us at 858.792.7546 or contact us through the Art of Skin MD contact page.