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:

 


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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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.    

Apr 3

Liposculpture Seminar with Dr. Palm: Shape Up for Summer

Accusculpt laser lipolysis All are welcome to the Art of Skin MD special seminar Thursday, April 11th on the latest in body and facial contouring.  I'm (Dr. Melanie Palm) am pleased to discuss the latest in innovative techniques to address unwanted areas of fat and body imperfections. Here are the Liposculpture Event details at Art of Skin MD:   Thursday, April 11th from 6 to 8 pm (doors open at 5:30 pm) Light appetizers and drinkls will be served     Attendees will learn the latest techniques in minimally invasive liposculpture and laser liposuction using the Accusculpt system.  Liposculpture is performed completely painlessly by the use of tumescent anesthesia and fine sculpting cannulas.  Patients recover quickly from the procedure and there is no need for general anesthesia when using the tumescent technique to numb the areas of liposuction treatment.   Accusculpt laser liposuction system is a 1444 nm laser device used specifically to target unwanted areas of fat and for skin contraction.  Specifically, Dr. Palm uses it for facial sculpting, especially for stubborn jowls and along the jawline and neck.  On the body, the Accusculpt system is helpful in producing skin tightening to the upper arms and lower abdomen.  Accusculpt is performed, in many cases, just prior to traditional tumescent liposuction to enhance the tightening effect following liposuction.   What are areas that can be treated by liposculpture?  The answer is many... the inner and outer thighs, abdomen, saddle bags, hips, tummy bulge (abdomen), waist, arms, back, chest, and double chin can all be improved through liposuction.   So what can be done with the extracted fat?  FAT TRANSFER!  Why not use your own natural "filler" to rejuvenate the face, filling in areas of lost volume such as the temples, nasolabial folds, undereye hollows, and jawline.   At the seminar, I will discuss the procedure from start to finish, and multiple before and after lipo photos of Dr. Palm's own patients will be shown.   Attendance will be restricted to a small group so please RSVP early to attend.   Contact us at Art of Skin MD or call us at 858.792.SKIN (7546) to reserve your place today.      

Feb 26

Dr. Melanie Palm a Featured Speaker at National Laser Meeting ASLMS in Boston

April will be a busy month for laser specialists.  Nationally and internationally-recognized experts in laser science will converge in Boston this April for the laser meeting of the year, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).   I (Dr. Melanie Palm) am among the roster of speakers at this international meeting of the minds on the latest and greatest in lasers.  This year's talk will focus on developments in IPL technology as a part of the resident and fellow symposium.  Teaching the next generation proper techniques and safety is paramount not only to myself but for other members of the ASLMS.  Here is a quick demo of IPL in action for treating sun spots on the hands:     Check out just some of our other laser videos on the Art of Skin MD YouTube station to see how easily lasers can be used to treat many of the frustrating skin problems affecting us all.   Laser Hair Removal:   Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment:   Spectra Peel for melasma or pore size reduction:     Got questions?  Give us a call at (858)792-SKIN (7546) or through our 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).  

Aug 8

Dr. Melanie Palm of Art of Skin MD Announced as San Diego Magazine Woman of the Year 2012 Nominee

  Art of Skin MD is proud to share that Dr. Melanie Palm was announced as one of San Diego Magazine's Women of the Year 2012.  She joins a prestigious group of female leaders in the San Diego community as a collective group of Women Who Move the City.   Dr. Palm nominated woman of the year   San Diego Magazine recognizes dynamic women who work provide significant community contributions and positive change for our Southern California community. Dr. Melanie Palm is recognized as a award-winning and community-minded physician.   Dr. Melanie Palm is affiliated with Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and has lectured 4 times in the past year for their Distinguished Speaker Series. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of San Diego California where she instructs physicians in cosmetic, dermatologic, and laser surgery.   She also has raised over $3000 in the past month for Angel Faces, a nonprofit organization that provides support for adolescent girls suffering from traumatic burn injuries. Dr. Melanie Palm is recognized as an accomplished author, with over 20 journal articles and 3 book chapters to her credit. She is a nationally and internationally recognized lecturer and expert in cosmetic, laser and dermatologic surgery. She has lectured on 3 continents and will lecture in September 2012 in Australia on light and laser technology for sun damage and tanned skin.   Please join the celebration of Dr. Melanie Palm and all the San Diego Magazine Women Who Move the City on Tuesday, September 18th at La Costa Resort from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased on the San Diego magazine website.    

Jul 26

Art of Skin MD and Dr. Melanie Palm Raise $3000 for Angel Faces at Grand Opening

Dermatologist Melanie Palm, MD at Art of Skin MD Grand Opening

Dr. Palm and Staff of Art of Skin MD with Mayor Joe Kellejian and Chamber of Commerce Members

  The Grand Opening of Art of Skin MD on July 19th, 2012 was a huge success!  Dr. Melanie Palm and the staff of Art of Skin MD would like to thank all of the patients, Chamber of Commerce members, the mayor of Solana Beach, industry partners, neighboring businesses, and the friends of Art of Skin MD for such a lovely evening. It exceeded our expectations! We are extremely happy to have made our dermatology home in sunny Solana Beach, CA.
Art of Skin MD staff and physician

Staff of Art of Skin MD--From left: Sarah Anne Dordel, Dr. Melanie Palm, Josephine Barenblit, and Mandy Poulsen

By 5:15 pm a line collected out the door with excited guests looking forward to a tour of the Art of Skin MD facilities, gift bags, an opportunity to speak with Dr. Palm and her staff, as well as dining and entertainment.
Opening Party of Art of Skin MD in Solana Beach

Guests of Art of Skin MD

 
Solana Beach dermatology practice Art of Skin MD

Attendees watching the Ribbon Cutting ceremony

The evening officially kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Dr. Melanie Palm, the Chamber of Commerce, and a short introduction by Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Joe G. Kellejian.
Art of Skin MD grand opening

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Dr. Melanie Palm

San Diego dermatologist with mayor Joe Kellejian

Dr. Melanie Palm with Mayor Joe G. Kellejian

The evening included delicious bites and libations by Woody's and phenomenal entertainment by acoustical talent Ottopilot. Over 200 guests enjoyed the festivities including cupcakes from Cupcake Love and gift bags with oodles of swag including local Beachwalk businesses gift cards, discount vouchers for Art of Skin MD, and chocolate delectables by Jer's Chocolates.   Most importantly, the evening's silent auction and opportunity drawings raised over $3000 for Angel Faces.  The funds raised will help support Angel Faces in its Annual Retreat, as well as its ongoing efforts to optimize the potential of adolescent girls whom have sustained burn or traumatic injuries.   Silent auction and opportunity drawings included a golf retreat to La Costa Resort, dining and entertainment along the 101 in Solana Beach, and rejuvenation specials by Dr. Palm, including Botox, Dysport, and Restylane treatments.  The most coveted prize, a $4000 treatment of LaViv, was announced near the end of the evening.   Art of Skin MD is off to a spectacular support and we thank the community of Solana Beach for being so supportive in all of our efforts.

Jul 4

New FDA Rules on Sunscreens – What San Diego Adults and Kids Need to Know

Lovetoknow.com recently contacted me (Dr. Palm) wanting to know the scoop on changes in Sunscreen Labeling for the coming year according to the new FDA 2012 Rule.  Here are some of their questions and my answers below.

  1. The FDA's new sunscreen regulations can make consumers worried and confused. How can they be sure they are choosing sunscreen that offers adequate and appropriate protection for their needs?   "There are two important things to look for...1. That the sunscreen is "broad-spectrum" meaning that it covers both UVA and UVB rays and that the SPF is sufficient. The FDA recommends a Sun Protection Factor of 15, many dermatologists including myself prefer at least 30 SPF." 2. Consumers could also be confused about UVA and UVB protection. Can you briefly explain the, and why people need to be protected from both kinds of rays?and UVB cover different wavelengths of the ultraviolet spectrum of light radiation.  UVA are longer wavelengths (340-400 nm)--I usually tell patients that the "A" in UVA stands for "Aging"--UVA can cause skin aging effects related to significant sun exposure and UV exposure. These include sun spots, pigmentation, and wrinkling related to sun exposure. UVA has been related to some melanomas."  
Melanoma screening by Dr. Melanie Palm, a cosmetic surgeon in San Diego diagnosed this melanoma early
UVB are shorter wavelengths (290-320 nm). UVB is blocked by window glass, but UVA is not. The "B" in UVB can bring to mind "Burning." UVB is related to the red sunburn response seen after significant sun exposure. UVB is strongly related to the formation of nonmelanoma skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Because both wavelengths have carcinogenic potential, a broad band spectrum sunscreen protecting against UVA and UVB is necessary.
Squamous cell carcinoma in San Diego

Squamous cell carcinoma of the scalp

  3. Many people buy sunscreen according to the SPF level. Under the new guidelines, will the SPF level still be as important, or is it more important consumers purchase one labeled broad spectrum?   "As explained above, these labels mean different things. SPF refers to the level of UVB protection. Broad spectrum coverage refers to the sunscreen's ability to protect against both UVA and UVB. Both are important, and understanding the difference is crucial to selecting an adequate sunscreen." 4. How will consumers be able to tell the difference between a sunscreen that was labeled according to the new regulations?   "These are relatively subtle changes in nomenclature--the way of describing the sunscreens. Waterproof is gone, replaced by water resistant and very water resistant. Broad spectrum will mean coverage against both UVA and UVB." 5. Many budget-conscious consumers purchase sunscreen at discount and closeout stores. After the FDA deadline, will these places still be able to carry sunscreen with the old labels? If so, what should consumers look for in the labeling to be best protected?   "My understanding is that these products can still be displayed as long as they are not expired. Products manufactured after the new FDA rule is in place will have to abide by the new Rules. Consumers should look for labels stating both UVA and UVB coverage. Ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, Mexoryl, and avobenzone (oxybenzone) are key ingredients for adequate UVA coverage. An SPF of 30 or above should be sought for adequate UVB coverage." 6. The new rules won't allow sunscreen to be labeled waterproof, only water-resistant. How long does a sunscreen, even one labeled water-resistant, really last?   "Water resistant is defined as sunscreen effective for at least 40 minutes of activity in the water. Very water resistant allows for 80 minutes. Sunscreens are strictly tested to be awarded this designation. However, patients are encouraged to reapply sunscreens after heavy activity including water sports by many dermatologists. At a minimum, most dermatologists recommend reapplication every hour and one-half to two hours when outside." 7. Do you have any other tips on what individuals should consider when it comes to purchasing their sunscreen protection?   "Choose a formulation you will use. If a product is thick and a body area needing to be covered is hair-bearing, this does not make for a good outcome. Apply sunscreen evenly and liberally. Rub in spray on products. Furtermore, the vast majority of consumers under-apply sunscreen. A full one-ounce should be applied to the body with each application (size of a shot glass). This means a typical bottle of sunscreen should only last 4 applications."
Proper sunscreen application is explained by Dr. Melanie Palm, a board-certified dermatologist in San Diego, CA

Proper amount of sunscreen (1 oz.) for full body application