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


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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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).  

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.