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:

 


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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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.            

Dec 19

Cold Weather Skin Tips – Eczema Treatment that Works!

The recent record-breaking cold weather that San Diego has been experiencing this Fall and Winter has led to a slew of skin-related rashes and conditions through our dermatology doors.  Here Dr. Palm shares some tips on how to identify if you are vulnerable to dry skin and eczema, and how to best safeguard your skin against harsh weather elements.   Here are some tell-tale signs that your skin is deprived of much needed moisture.  This leaves hands dry and even predisposed to irritating skin conditions like eczema (aka atopic dermatitis).  Affected skin often has the following symptoms:
  1. Itch
  2. Flaking
  3. Scaly
  4. Red itchy patches (eczema)
  5. People predisposed to dry skin often have a condition called "ichthyosis vulgaris."  Patients with this condition often have dry patches on the shins that resemble fish scales, which is how the condition derives its name (ichthy= fish-like).  An easy way to screen yourself is check the palms of your hands.  Patients with ichthyosis vulgaris have many more skin markings and stripes on their palms than those that are unaffected.
  Tips for winter-proofing skin:
  1. Moisturize often using specialized products.
    1. Ceramide containing products such Cerave and Cetaphil Restoraderm are especially helpful.  Ceramides are cholesterol-derived fats that normally moisturize our skin but are in short supply when skin is irritated and dry.
    2. Moisturize after hand washing
    3. Consider use of white cotton gloves at night after moisturizing in severe cases
    4. Temper the temperature of your shower
      1. Use more tepid water and moisturize after your shower or bath to seal in moisture
      2. Colloidal oatmeal added to bath water sooths dry irritated skin (Aveeno is a great brand)
      3. Use of heaters decrease air humidity.  Consider a humidifier or add plants which diffuse water into the air
      4. california dermatologist

        Flowers and plants help combat low humidity levels indoors

      1. Consider decreasing frequency of topical acne or anti-aging regimens if irritation occurs
      2. Consult with professional expertise if condition worsens.  Call the staff of Art of Skin MD to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melanie Palm.Art of Skin MD skin care center

Sep 12

Fractionated Laser Resurfacing (ECO2) –A Fantastic Special for September 2012 to Smooth Skin and Banish Wrinkles

Art of Skin MD and Dr. Melanie Palm are proud to introduce one of the newest laser innovations in laser skin resurfacing, the Lutronic ECO2.  This state-of-the-art device is used to eliminate wrinkles, improve skin texture, remove sun spots, and improve surgical, traumatic and acne scars.   As a special offering to patients, Dr. Melanie Palm is offering an unheard of value for laser resurfacing.  Normally priced at $4500 for the full face, Art of Skin MD is offering to qualified patients laser resurfacing for only $1500 during the month of September 2012.  Patients are encouraged to inquire with the Staff of Art of Skin MD at 858-792-SKIN (7546) to take advantage of this unheard of value.   Fraxel San Diego Art of Skin MD   Fractionated Skin resurfacing and is sometimes referred to as "Fraxel."  This procedure allows for dramatic improvement of facial wrinkles, eyelid droopiness, and vertical lip lines.  Acne scars and surgical scars can be greatly improved with treatment.  For an even more dramatic effect, the ECO2 can be combined with other procedures such as Intense Pulsed Light, Spectra laser treatment, photodynamic therapy, or injectables such as Sculptra for an even more dramatic facial rejuvenation.   Laser skin resurfacing with Lutronic ECO2 can also be used off the face to improve the skin.  The aging neck can be improved following treatment, as can aging hands or the chest or decolletage area.   Results for laser resurfacing continue to improve in the months following treatment.  Fractionated laser resurfacing has greatly decreased the downtime associated with traditional laser resurfacing.  Combining laser resurfacing with wrinkle treatments such as Botox and light fillers can dramatically improve the appearance of the skin.   Contact Art of Skin MD today to schedule your complimentary consultation during this limited time special.  

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 27

Dr. Palm–National Physician Trainer and Sculptra Advisory Board Member–Hosts Special Sculptra Savings Day Thursday, August 16th

National trainer Dr. Melanie Palm has promotion for Sculptra Aesthetic on August 18th in San DIego Expert trainer and injector Dr. Melanie Palm is sharing an exclusive savings through a rare Sculptra promotion.  Patients booking appointments for the Art of Skin MD Sculptra Day on Thursday August 16th will receive a savings of up to $450 when purchasing 3 vials of Sculptra Aesthetic.  Appointments are scheduled from 8 until 5 pm.  Those interested in these significant Sculptra savings may call Art of Skin MD at (858) 792-7546 to secure their appointment with Dr. Palm.  Early scheduling is encouraged, we have already had a tremendous response to this special.   Sculptra Aesthetic is a biostimulatory agent, meaning that it encourages your own body to build collagen and replace volume loss on the face.  It is composed of poly-L-lactic acid, a milk-like sugar that stimulates new collagen growth, or "neocollagenesis" over a period of months.  Sculptra Aesthetic provides natural looking results over time, and has a duration of at least 25 months according to FDA labeling.  Some patients may even notice appreciable skin texture improvement, and this will soon be investigated in a clinical study.   Dr. Palm has vast experience with Sculptra Aesthetic.  She has been using the product for over six years.  She serves as a national physician trainer, training other board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons on safe and effective injection techniques with Sculptra.  In fact, she has been one of the top 5 physician trainers for Sculptra Aesthetic since 2010.  She serves on the Sculptra Advisory Committee, a group of approximately 15 physicians selected by the Company for their experience and expertise with the product.  Dr. Melanie Palm has been the first author on several articles on Sculptra for facial revolumizing, including an upcoming article in the September issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.  In this article, she shares her personal experiences and tips for other physicians in using Sculptra Aesthetic for restoring facial volume related to aging.  Additionally, she discussed patient comfort and satisfaction related to the Sculptra injection procedure.

Jul 9

Dr. Melanie Palm, Solana Beach Dermatologist at Art of Skin MD, Selected for Patient’s Choice Award

Dr. Melanie Palm of Encinitas, CA has been ranked among the top physicians in the nation based on patient reviews.  
San Diego (Solana Beach), CA (PR NewsWire) July 9, 2012-- A select few physicians were honored with the prestigious 2011 Patients' Choice Award, and this year they include Dr. Melanie Palm.  This is Dr. Palm's second consecutive year in receiving this award, which highlights some of the most respected physicians in San Diego, California, and the U.S.   Melanie D. Palm, MD, MBA received her graduate training at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and the Booth Graduate School of Business.  She currently serves as an assistant clinical professor at the University of California San Diego and is the Director of Art of Skin MD, a state-of-the art facility specializing in cutting edge delivery of medical and cosmetic dermatology for San Diego residents.   Only doctors who have received top scores by their patients and pass other quality measures are awarded the Patients' Choice Award. In fact, of the nation's 720,000 active physicians, just 5 percent were accorded this honor in 2011.     Every month, millions of patients across the U.S. access websites like Vitals (http://www.vitals.com) to share feedback about their experiences with their doctors. Patients rate various components of the care they receive, such as the accuracy of their diagnosis, the amount of time they spent with the doctor, and the doctor's bedside manner and follow-up care. Patient's Choice ranks the top reviewed physicians and looks at other quality measures to compile its yearly list.   Dr. Melanie Palm commented on the recognition: "This is quite an honor for me. I am very pleased to have been selected and grateful to my patients who went out of their way to rate me and give me positive reviews."   For more information on this Patients' Choice Award winner, please visit Dr. Melanie Palm's profile on PatientsChoice.org.   Following the publication of Dr. Melanie Palm's selection for the Patients' Choice Award, American Registry seconded the honor and added Dr. Palm to The Registry™ of Business Excellence. An exclusive recognition plaque has been designed to commemorate the honor.   For more information on Dr. Melanie Palm, located in Solana Beach, CA at Art of Skin MD please call 858.792.7546 or visit the www.artofskinmd.com .   Patients' Choice provides in depth information on doctors in your area who have been recognized and awarded for outstanding patient care and expertise. The Patients' Choice Award is the honor roll of physicians who have received the highest ratings by their patients.   American Registry, LLC, recognizes excellence in top businesses and professionals. The Registry™ includes over 2 million significant business and professional recognitions.