May 23

Sunscreen Breakdown – What You Need To Know

What’s in your sunscreen is just as important, if not more important as its SPF number. When deciding which sunscreen to purchase, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the multitude of choices out there. This is why Dr. Palm talked recently with Elle.com to discuss the differences between the two main “groups” of sunscreens and why one is very much superior to the other. The active ingredients in sunscreens are what separate the good from the not-so-good – and they are divided into two broad categories: physical and chemical. 

Physical vs. Chemical – The Breakdown

What they’re made of

Physical sunscreens are often referred to as “natural” sunscreens, because they are made up of either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or both).  These are the only FDA-approved physical sunscreens and are both minerals, which is the reason they are often labeled as “natural.” 

Chemical sunscreens are made up with ingredients that are often hard to pronounce, such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, homoscalate, octinoxate and octocrylene. 

How they work

Physical sunscreen agents work by reflecting light that reaches the skin’s surface back into the environment. Many dermatologists, Dr. Palm included, prefer a physical-based sunscreen for this very reason. Zinc oxide has excellent coverage across the UV spectrum, even better than titanium dioxide, and published scientific literature shows that neither of the two are absorbed from the skin’s surface into the body. In fact, even micronized forms (where particles of sunscreen are invisible to the naked eye) cannot and do not penetrate the surface of the skin. They simply sit atop the skin’s surface, acting as a shield and reflecting the light back into the environment.

Chemical sunscreens work by converting light energy into heat on the surface of the skin, which may contribute to sun damage to the skin over time. The heat causes inflammation on the skin, which can cause premature aging. Anyone with melasma should be very weary of chemical sunscreens, as the heat produced on their skin by chemical sunscreens can further aggravate their pigmentation.

What to Look For When Shopping For Sunscreen

Dr. Palm recommends looking at the active ingredients on the label of the product. A physical sunscreen should list zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both. She recommends using a zinc-based sunscreen with a 7% or higher concentration of zinc oxide. It’s also important that a sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or more and that it states it is “broad spectrum,” meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB. 

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May 8

Skin Cancer or Just A Mole?

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in an effort to help spread awareness, Dr. Palm was asked by Glamour Magazine to share not only her knowledge but also photos of her patients’ skin cancers for an article in their May 2017 issue.  As this can often be a confusing and sometimes scary topic, Dr. Palm is passionate about breaking down the information in an effort to educate as many people as possible and encourage patients to be proactive when it comes to their health.

While getting skin checks at least once per year is imperative, there are signs and symptoms that can be cause for concern. Here, Dr. Palm breaks down the differences between what is “normal” and what is cause for a visit to your board-certified dermatologist.

Normal Mole
Normal moles develop through our mid- to late-20s, and any moles that develop beyond this point in time should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist.
Art of Skin MD Normal MoleWhat a normal mole looks like: Continue reading


Apr 20

First-Time Fillers: A Patient’s Perspective

I was 31 years old when I first had Botox injections. Up until that point, I had really only done peels and facials. I’ve never liked needles, so the thought of them going into my face was not one I was fond of. However, I also was not fond of the creases between my eyebrows, so off to the dermatologist I went. And when I saw the results, I wished I had started sooner.

When deciding where to go, I did my research. The one place I kept hearing wonderful things about was Art of Skin MD – that the facility is state of the art, the providers are the best of the best and the staff is wonderful. It made my decision easy, and I scheduled my consultation. From the moment I made my initial appointment, they lived up to their stellar reputation. And upon arriving to my appointment, everything I’d heard about Art of Skin MD was absolutely true. Another one of the top reasons that I came to Art of Skin MD as a patient is that looking natural is incredibly important to me, and they are known for doing just that. It’s not that I don’t want to age, it is that I want to age gracefully.  I immediately loved that both Dr. Palm and her Registered Nurse, Jessica Scott, approach toxins with that in mind – my face looks fresh, never frozen.

Dr. Melanie Palm and Registered Nurse Jessica Scott
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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. Continue reading


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!

 


Apr 30

SolSearch at Art of Skin MD hosted by Dr. Melanie Palm

Click here to vew photos of SolSearch 2014! We are excited to celebrate the fourth annual SolSearch event at Art of Skin MD in Solana Beach, California to raise awareness and funds for skin cancer research. Continue reading