Mar 15

How To Attain & Maintain A Healthy Scalp

          Scalp health is vital to hair growth. It’s as simple as that. The reasons, though, are a bit more complex. Here, Dr. Palm breaks down the signs our scalps give us that say they are either healthy or not-so-healthy. And if yours is saying the latter, not to worry – she also offers tips on reviving the often forgotten area.

          Our scalps supply the network of blood vessels that nourish the base of the hair bulb, allowing it to grow with the proper nutrition, oxygenation and removal of toxic byproducts. When one of these necessities is interrupted, hair can be greatly effected. The result can be hair loss, sudden shedding, loss of hair density and even changes in hair architecture such as decreased hair strand width, sudden brittle hair or even a change in color.

          Are you having one or more of these symptoms? If so, I’m sure you’re wondering how can you know if your scalp’s health is the reason? Well, according to Dr. Palm, it really depends on the underlying cause for the symptoms. Non-scarring inflammatory conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis (or inflammatory dandruff) can cause redness, flaking, scaling, itching, tenderness and rashes. In some rare cases, acne-like lesions may result. Or, another reason could be an external exposure to a noxious substance, such as a hair dye someone is allergic to, which can cause redness, swelling, itching, hives, scaling, oozing, bleeding and in very rare cases, a systemic-wide body response called anaphylaxis.

          Some extreme unhealthy scalp conditions can lead to scarring alopecia, which is a permanent form of hair loss. In these instances, areas with previous hair can become inflamed, particularly around hair follicles and the hair strand width becomes very small, like peach fuzz. In extreme cases, the affected areas of the scalp can be scarred and completely devoid of hair. Some causes of this condition include forms of lupus and centrifugal cicatrial alopecia. Unfortunately, Dr. Palm says for some of these conditions, effective treatment can be elusive.

Signs of a Healthy Scalp

  • Normal coloration of the skin
  • No visible flaking or redness
  • Not overly shiny or dull
  • Hair density should be normal for the individual
  • No areas of skin breakdown (crust, scabs, acne or lesions)
  • Non-chemically treated hair should be lustrous, strong and the strands should be uniform in width

Tips for keeping a Health Scalp

  • Consistent Hygiene
    This can vary with a person’s age and ethnicity. For example, someone who has a dry scalp may require less frequent washing/shampooing.
  • Avoid possible irritants
    Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) and occasionally peroxide from hair coloring and permanent hair treatments can be severe irritants or causes of allergy on the scalp. If redness, itching, pain, oozing or a rash of any kind develop after a hair treatment, the cause is likely an irritant or allergic contact dermatitis and you should discontinue the treatment.
  • Avoid overly-tight braiding of hair
    The tension of overly-tight braids can cause traction alopecia, which is a permanent form of hair loss over time.
  • Consider products with UV protectant
    If you suffer from thin hair, especially at the top of the scalp, using a product with UV protectant provides sun protection to the exposed skin on the scalp.
  • Eat a balance diet
    A diet compatible with enhanced skin health includes vitamin A, E, monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, omega-3s and 6s as well as good hydration will enhance skin health in general, including the health of your scalp.
  • If you notice a change, see your doctor
    If you notice a change in your skin, consulting an expert is always a good idea. Mild flaking can be treated with an over the counter anti-dandruff shampoo, but more concerning symptoms may require a dermatologist’s guidance for treatment and improvement.

          A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair and following these tips and guidelines are a good way to get there. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call and schedule an appointment to be sure you’re scalp is at its healthiest! For more information on how your diet can influence the overall health of your skin, check out this video:

 


Mar 1

Restylane Refyne & Defyne – The New Fillers on the Block

           Art of Skin MD is one of the first practices in the San Diego area offering Galderma’s newest members of the Restylane family that are changing the game with a very exciting new ability – flexibility. What makes this so exciting? Flexibility means a more natural look, and in the hands of the right injector, that can be game changing.

            Dr. Palm serves as an advisory board member, clinical investigator, national speaker and physician trainer for Galderma, meaning that she has been selected to educate other physicians on products’ use and safety. She has also assisted in studies related to Galderma products. Both Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne were FDA approved in December 2016 and released in the U.S. in January 2017. Prior to this, Dr. Palm was among the first U.S. physicians to inject the product and was selected to learn from Canadian experts outside of the country on injection techniques prior to Restylane Refyne and Defyne becoming available in the U.S.

          What makes these fillers different from other hyaluronic acid fillers already available? The hyaluronic acid strands of both Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne are bonded together in a way that creates a smooth gel that may provide not only a longer duration and less swelling than some other fillers used for wrinkle reduction, but also allows for more movement due to its flexibility. One of the most dreaded fears of patients is looking as though they have an unnatural appearance, and this is when choosing the right injector can make a huge difference. Dr. Palm is careful to select the right injectable dermal filler for each patient, and with the smoothness of both Restylane Refyne and Defyne, when injected by expert hands, they lend themselves to a very natural result by integrating into the areas of injection extremely well.

 

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Feb 3

How Your Shower Routines Are Damaging Your Skin – And How To Fix Them

Shower Skin Damage? Last month, Dr. Palm answered some must-know skincare questions for Shape.com talking specifically about how seemingly-harmless shower routines could be damaging your skin. She breaks it all down with what you could be doing wrong, why it’s damaging and how to fix it!

Using the Wrong Soap
The wrong soap can be very drying to the skin. Some of the most popular brands of soap available over the counter (for example, Irish Spring, Dial and Lever 2000) use soap detergents to cleanse the skin. This might sound harmless, but these soaps strip skin of not only dirt but also the natural moisturizing factors that keep the skin barrier intact and keep the skin hydrated.

The Fix
Look for soaps that contain moisturizing agents, such as ceramides. Ceramides are a naturally occurring cholesterol-derived component to our skin that is devoid when skin is dry or eczema-prone. A great face and body wash that Dr. Palm recommends is our Art of Skin MD Antioxidant Soothing Wash.

Art of Skin MD Antioxidant Soothing Wash

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Nov 21

Why We Love Mineral Makeup, And You Should Too!

This time of year brings many social gatherings, our calendars are filling up with fun parties and outings as we are sure yours are! We all want to look our best, so for many of us, that includes glamming up with our favorite outfits and of course having a bit of fun with makeup! There are so many choices out there, so we want to break the basics down for you and give you the information to be able to choose the right foundation for your skin's needs.

Benefits – Why We Choose Mineral Foundation

These foundations are great because the main ingredients in most of them (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ferrous oxide) are either anti-inflammatory, provide great sunscreen protection (as a physical blocking agent), or provide natural, mineral-based color for the skin.  They are ideal for many skin types, but in particular can help calm sensitive and rosacea prone skin and the anti-inflammatory properties of many of the formulations help to improve acne prone complexions.  The mineral based foundations work great with oily complexions, helping to absorb unwanted shine.  Newer liquid mineral foundations are better for mature skin, and don’t settle in fine lines the way earlier formulations sometimes could.

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Nov 10

The Down & Dirty on Blackheads

Blackheads are a form of non-inflammatory acne called “open comedones.”   Basically, a mix of sebum (oil) and skin cells get caught in the pores and oxidize, forming the characteristic brown–black color of comedones.

Number one rule when you have a blackhead is don’t pick at it! If you pick a blackhead, the area around the hair follicle and oil gland may get inflamed. This inflammation or trauma, the mix of sebum or skin cells, and the presence of a bacteria called P. acnes can cause non-inflammatory acne to become inflammatory. Inflammatory acne is characterized by redness, tenderness and cystic lesions. Inflammation in the area can lead to pain, unsightly acne cysts and in the worst-case scenario, it can cause scarring. Basically, you don’t want to stoke the fire of a well-behaving blackhead and create an inflamed and far worse situation.
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Oct 20

Summer Skin Rescue Photos

We had such a great time hosting our 4th Annual Summer Skin Rescue Event on Thursday, September 29, 2016. We are grateful for all of the patients, both established and new, who came out to support us and partake in the fun the evening offered! The photos are so great, we had to share! Hope you enjoy and hope to see you all again soon!  

Jul 15

Sun Safe Skin Tips for Del Mar Races & Opening Day

Opening day is this week and Art of Skin MD wants to give you tips to keep your skin safe where the surf meets the turf!  The forecast calls for lots of sunshine and warm weather, which means sun safety is even more important amongst the dazzle of sundresses and fascinators.   Here are the Dr. Melanie Palm top tips for keeping it cool during Race Season:   1.  Slather on Sunscreen.  New FDA guidelines were released this year regarding best practices and proper labeling and usage of sunscreens.  Sunscreens should be broad spectrum, meaning they cover both UVA and UVB rays.  UVB rays cause the redness associated with sunburn, and UVA causes aging changes to the skin like sun spots, skin texture changes, and loss of collagen - not exactly the fashion statement to make on Opening Day.  Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens are great as they act as physical blockers of the sun and offer broad spectrum protection.  Art of Skin MD offers a variety to choose from including the Elta MD line, Revision, Neocutis Journee, and the Art of Skin MD line.
top sunscreen choices san diego

Elta MD sunscreen offers cosmetically elegant formulations of micronized zinc oxide preparations

                      2.  Be unforgettable with Sunforgettable by Colorescience.  Got limited space in your purse or pockets to carry sun protection?  No problem.  We have a solution that fights shine and protects skin.  The Sunforgettable brush by Colorescience is an award-winning formulation endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation.  This brush delivers zinc-based sunscreen powder as a sheer film that works on skin that already has sunscreen or makeup applied.  It is great for the stands, Turf club, and even beyond.
Art of Skin MD sunscreen brush

An elegant and compact brush system, Sunforgettable packs a powerful punch against harmful UV rays

                        3.  Prep with a pill.  Heliocare, a popular supplement, classified as one of the newer popular "sunscreen pills" can be a potent and helpful supplement to good photoprotection.  Although not a substitute for good sunscreen habits, popping Heliocare prior to an afternoon of fun in the sun can work synergistically with sunscreen to increase your threshold of protection against UVA exposure.  Heliocare contains several agents to help against unwanted UV rays and is great for patients battling pigmentation such as melasma, or those with sensitivity to the sun.  Heliocare is a combination of potent antioxidants including the an extract of the fern plant Polypodium leucotomos, beta carotene, and green tea.  Taking Heliocare 1-2 hours before sun exposure can help to boost the effects of sunscreen.
Fern extract pill for sunburn

Heliocare supplement is consists of a combination of potent antioxidants including the polypodium leucotomos fern plant, beta carotene, and green tea

                                4.  Seek shade.  A broad-brimmed derby hat is a great way to provide shade protection to your face.  The San Diego hat company makes UPF hats perfect for Opening Day.  Many styles are available at our local Beachwalk retail boutique Safarlou.  Escape to the Turf Club or the shady portions of the general admission stands to protect that glowing skin from the sun.  Check out the chic, stylish chapeaux offered by Safarlou in the YouTube video from the TV segment featuring Art of Skin MD below:     5.  Repair from the day of fun near the sun.  Feeling the burn from your fun in the sun?  Repair your skin using growth factors from the Neocutis line.  Neocutis' PSP exclusive human growth factor technology is featured in the Art of Skin MD favorite eye cream Lumiere Riche.  The Biocream and Biogel by Neocutis both contain the human growth factor to repair collagen and get your skin back on track.
Neocutis Journee sunscreen san diego

Neocutis line of skin products harnesses the collagen-repairing properties of growth factors

                        6.  Red alert:  Red light for sunburn.  Made the unfortunate mistake of getting a sunburn at a day at the Races?  Have no fear, Art of Skin MD offers the Healite II, an innovative red diode light that decreases the inflammation and redness associated with sunburn.  Best of all, treatment is affordable and sometimes billable to insurance in the treatment of sunburn.  See the clip below to understand how Healite works as I explain on the recent CW6 TV segment:     Have a great time at the Races this year.  Be sun safe, and when in doubt about how best to protect your skin during the summer months in San Diego, contact Art of Skin MD through the Art of Skin MD contact page or by calling our qualified staff at (858) 792-7546.        

Mar 5

San Diego Laser Expert Dr. Melanie Palm on Melasma and Laser Hair Removal

I just arrived back from Miami for our national meeting called the American Academy of Dermatology.  It was full of the latest and greatest on all the advances in Medical Dermatology, cosmetics procedures, and advances in laser technology.   At the AAD, I had the privilege on lecturing several times on a variety of laser techniques.    See the photos below on the packed audiences that attended the laser lectures.
National California laser expert Dr. Melanie Palm of Art of Skin MD discusses melasma treatment.

Dr. Melanie Palm breaking down melasma at the AAD exhibition hall.

        One of the most exciting and well-received information that I presented was on the treatment of melasma.  Melasma is a vexing problem for many women, especially in warm sunny climates.  Melasma is a pigmentary disorder that is caused by a combination of a hormonal source of estrogen and sun or UV exposure.  These triggers cause our pigment producing cells called melanocytes to overact, producing patchy areas of hyperpigmentation or brown spots.    Below is a before and after of a melasma patient after Spectra laser treatment.  
Spectra melasma treatment san diego

Melasma patient before and after treatment with the Lutronic Spectra laser.

  Another series of well-attended lectures for which I was invited to speak was on effective laser hair removal.  I addressed the ease and comfort of laser hair removal using the Lutronic Advantage - it can treat an entire male back in 7 minutes!     Check out our Fuzz-Free Fridays specials on laser hair removal.  Have questions?  Call us at Art of Skin MD at (858) 792-SKIN (7546) or through the Art of Skin MD Contact Page.            

Oct 16

Hand Rejuvenation: You asked for it, here it is (IPL and Radiesse)

We had so much positive feedback from our video on Perlane use for restoration of volume on the back of the hands that by popular demand, here is a series of videos on complete hand rejuvenation including first Radiesse filler for volumizing atrophic, volume-depleted hands and IPL for removing brown spots due to sun exposure.   Radiesse is a calcium-based injectable filler called calcium hydroxylapatite.  It is FDA-approved for facial volumizing for folds and wrinkles such as the nasolabial folds.  It is an excellent filler for the back of the hands, and when used in appropriate volumes, has no downtime, little swelling and no bruising!  A unique feature of Radiesse is that it causes something called "neocollagenesis."  This means that placement of Radiesse stimulates your own body to form collagen in the area of placement, allowing for a longer-lasting filling effect.  Typically, Radiesse lasts approximately 9-12 months, although this varies depending on the site of filler placement.  Dr. Palm mixes lidocaine in Radiesse prior to filler placement, ensuring that the experience is extremely comfortable for the patient.   Dr. Palm uses a special technique to fill the back the hands that makes it quick, easy, without side effects, and most importantly, painless!  Dr. Palm fills the hand with Radiesse using blunt shaped cannulas.  These are dull instruments that are not sharp like needles.  Similar to fat transfer to this area, Radiesse placement using cannulas avoids trauma to surrounding structures on the hands such as tendons, veins, fat, and skin.  Therefore there is no pain, and minimal disruption to the area of Radiesse placement.  This means minimal swelling, little chance for bruising, and increased safety with the procedure.  Check out the video below to watch Dr. Palm place Radiesse in the back of the hand.     After completing volume restoration to the hands, it is important to address pigmentary changes such as sun and age spots on these sun-exposed areas of the skin.  Ultraviolet light and sun exposure, especially UVA exposure, causes brown pigmentation to the skin.  Uneven pigmentation to the skin ages us.  A study done by Proctor & Gamble almost 10 years ago showed that the appearance of brown pigmentation can increased the perceived age of our skin by a decade--10 years!  Therefore, having a clear complexion on our skin provides a youthful look.   Many of us protect our face but neglect the skin on our neck, chest, and hands.  This ends up giving our age away.  IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is a quick and easy way with no downtime to eliminate signs of photoaging.  IPL is a broad band light source that goes after and eliminates brown pigmentation and red discoloration.   At Art of Skin MD, patients are pre-treated with topical anesthetic, and then forced air cooling and cooled gel is provided during treatment so that the IPL procedure is actually a relaxing experience, rather than an uncomfortable one.  After IPL treatment, brown spots turn darker and flake off in 1-2 weeks.  Red discoloration takes several weeks to improve.  A series of IPL treatments is usually recommended, although 1-2 treatments on the hand with the M22 IPL device from Lumenis can make a dramatic difference.  There is no downtime associated with IPL, although sunscreen use, as always, is an important part of follow-up care and also to protect your results.   Check out Dr. Palm performing IPL on the hands in the short video below.  Contact Art of Skin MD today to schedule your consultation or call our highly qualified staff at (858) 792-SKIN (7546).