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. 

Dr. Palm also likes combining the power of a physical sunscreen with other ingredients that fight inflammation, reduce free radical production and promote anti-aging effects on the skin. She says to look for ingredients like tocopherol (vitamin E), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), polyphenols (plant-based antioxidants such as resveratrol and green tea) and niacinamide (vitamin B3). 
Art of Skin MD Brightening Vitamin C Serum

Understanding the breakdown of what is in sunscreen is the first step in being able to make informed decisions when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If you’re still unsure as to which one best suits your needs, Dr. Palm has a few favorites all dependent on when she uses them. She also recommends reapplying every two to three hours and immediately after swimming.

 

Dr. Palm’s Sunscreen Picks

For the Face

EltaMD UV Elements Broad Spectrum SPF44 | Art of Skin MD | San Diego

 

Easy Reapplication

Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF Brush

For the Body – Everyday Use

EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30

For the Body – Outdoor Activities

EltaMD UV Sport SPF 50

 

Stop by or call us at 858-792-SKIN (7546) if you have any questions or need any assistance in selecting your perfect sunscreen. We are happy to help you make sure you're protecting your skin as best you can!


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


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


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.

Continue reading


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.
Continue reading


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.