Sunscreen Innovation Act Signed – Too Little Too Late for Some of Us

December 15th, 2014

President Obama recently signed into law the Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA), which will expedite the process of getting sunscreen ingredients already in use in other countries approved in the U.S. While better sun protection will definitely help those young enough to be putting on sunscreen for the first time, for many of us the damage has already been done. Not putting on enough sunscreen or not putting it on at all has left many of us with visibly sun-damaged skin. (Remember – it’s never too late to start using sunscreen the right way to reduce further skin damage and risk of skin cancer.) Since a lot of skin damage from UV rays occurs when we are younger, however, you may want to improve your complexion with a treatment that can reduce or eliminate the damage caused by the sun. One great treatment to improve sun-damaged skin is the Pixel CO2 laser.

Pixel CO2

The Pixel CO2 laser is an FDA approved treatment that resurfaces the skin to reduce the signs of sun damage and aging. You usually can see results after one treatment, but multiple treatments may be required to achieve optimal results. Pixel gives you a younger and more radiant face by reducing the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, and age spots while also tightening the skin. The results can last up to several months and treatments can be repeated for even better results or a touch-up.
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How does Pixel work? The Pixel CO2 laser leaves tissue intact by creating many microscopic perforations in the skin. As the small injuries heal the texture of the skin improves while scars and age spots begin to fade.

Is Pixel safe and does it hurt? Pixel is a safe treatment that Advanced Dermatology has performed on many patients successfully. While the level of pain experienced varies between individuals you will likely feel a similar sensation to sunburn after your treatment.
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Proper Sun Protection is Key!

Remember that while new sunscreen ingredients may improve the level of sun protection proper application is necessary. Even after a Pixel laser treatment you do not have a blank slate to expose your skin to damaging rays from the sun! Post-treatment you should be especially careful to apply sunscreen regularly and seek shade when the sun is at its highest intensity in the afternoon. To schedule a consultation to see if you’re a good candidate for the Pixel CO2 laser treatment contact one of Advanced Dermatology’s 13 conveniently located offices today.

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Ulthera Skin Tightening

December 10th, 2014

If you’re looking to lift and tighten the neck, jowls, or jawline, but don’t know if you need or want a surgical face lift, then Ultherapy might be right for you.

Ulthera is an FDA approved therapy for skin tightening, and is a non-invasive alternative to a surgical facelift. While not nearly as dramatic as a surgical facelift, the results are natural and significant in most patients. And the procedure does not involve cutting, downtime, scarring, or bruising.

Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound waves. This acoustic energy is specifically delivered deeply to various layers of the skin and underlying tissue which stimulates the body’s own collagen response for lifting and tightening the skin and underlying soft-tissue.
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Ultherapy is performed in the office with ultrasound gel applied to the skin. Most patients tolerate the procedure quite well, although we do sometimes prescribe pain and anxiety medicine prior to the procedure just to make it more comfortable. The treatment itself takes from an hour to an hour and a half depending on the areas treated.

The results of treatment generally develop gradually over time, and it can take up to 2-3 months for optimal skin rejuvenation, tightening, and new collagen formation. However, it is not unusual to see immediate lifting results.

Ulthera has been used for several years now, and has an excellent safety profile, and good results. Recently Ulthera was approved to treat the decolletage. If this holiday season your wish is for a more defined jawline, tighter skin, fewer lines and wrinkles on the neck and chest, and maybe even a slight lift to the brow, then consider Ulthera.

About Dr. David Smart

Dr. Smart was born in Salt Lake City and grew up climbing and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and must have enjoyed the harsh winters of the upper Midwest so much that he decided to stay in nearby Chicago to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. With a particular interest in laser and cosmetic medicine, as well as general dermatology, Dr. Smart is excited to join the Advanced Dermatology team as the laser and cosmetic fellow.

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Laser Treatments for Stretch Marks

December 2nd, 2014

Finally, a real remedy for stretch marks: understanding the new laser treatments for stretch marks

They’re hardly a serious disease, but those ugly little ridges that dermatologists call striae distensae (and the rest of us call stretch marks) are a serious concern for many women. According to Joshua L. Fox, MD, founder and medical director of NY and NJ-based Advanced Dermatology P.C. and a leader in treating stretch marks with lasers, “previously, they were all but incurable. Almost 20 years ago we were the first to innovate a laser treatment for stretch marks, which generated attention from all the major TV channels including CBS, WABC, and CNN. Now, with the arrival of today’s new laser treatments, we have even better solutions for treating stretch marks to offer to our patients.”

Explaining Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are scar-like bands that are formed when the skin is stretched beyond its limits in order to accommodate a sudden increase in body size—because of pregnancy, body building, or weight gain, for example—which creates small tears in the skin. Stretch marks can also occur because of hormonal changes (the kind that come with pregnancy and puberty as well as from external agents like hormone replacement therapy and steroidal drugs). Although they can pop up almost anywhere, stretch marks are most likely to occur in areas where the body stores its extra fat, such as the belly, breasts, hips, and thighs (an exception to this rule would be in body builders, who typically get stretch marks in the skin around the bigger muscles, like the biceps). When they’re newly formed, stretch marks look red and shiny, but after a few months will turn a whitish color and often become slightly indented or depressed. While they do become less noticeable over time, once they’re formed, stretch marks are almost always here to stay.

“Even though stretch marks are visible on the skin’s surface, they’re actually formed in the dermis, which is the skin’s middle layer,” says Dr. Fox. That little detail makes them notoriously tough to treat, as topical agents simply can’t penetrate past the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin. “Up until recently, people didn’t have many options,” Dr. Fox says. Prescription medicines like tretinoin (Retin-A) might help a little with the newer marks, but older marks were essentially impervious to creams. “You could waste your money on creams and lotions, have an operation like a tummy tuck, or just live with them.”

But not anymore! Today, doctors can treat stretch marks—even the old ones—with lasers, and achieve very real major improvements after only a few treatments.

Tips for Understanding Pulsed Dye Laser for Treating Stretch Marks

stretchmarksDr. Fox was the first to report use of a pulsed dye laser to treat stretch marks, and recently demonstrated success in his own research on more than 300 patients. “Our research, along with other published studies, has shown that the pulsed dye laser can be really effective against stretch marks,” he says. “We found that the laser could improve the discoloration and reduce the size and depth of stretch marks and improve the skin’s elasticity by about 50-65 percent, which is a big improvement.” Other research has confirmed these findings, he adds. For example, one study found that treatments combining the laser with a device that administers radiofrequency waves produced measureable improvements in roughly 90 percent of patients tested.

Other lasers are also helpful in treating stretch marks without downtime. One recent study found significant improvement in the light color of stretch marks with the Excimer Laser. We have also found the Fractionated 1550 Fraxel to be quite helpful in lightening up the scar tissue and making stretch marks appear less. All these lasers require no downtime.

The pulsed dye laser administers short bursts (or pulses) of light that specifically target reddish areas in the skin and/or the collagen, and therefore has been used for many years to treat things like enlarged blood vessels, rosacea, and red birthmarks. Moreover, in addition to its ability to treat these conditions, the pulsed dye laser also works to increase collagen and elastin, two key proteins in the skin responsible for its structure and elasticity.

Dr. Fox notes that new stretch marks can often be significantly or dramatically improved in just one visit, while older marks typically require at least two or three treatments, spaced several weeks apart. Today’s lasers are much easier to handle than earlier models, as they produce much less bruising and almost no pain, just a mild snapping sensation. In addition, pulsed dye laser treatments involve no downtime: Patients can resume all regular activities right away.

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Cold Weather Brings Dry Skin

November 21st, 2014

moisturizerMeteorologists are predicting an unusually cold winter this year. Therefore we need to re-evaluate our skin care routines and take precautions against the dry skin that accompanies freezing temperatures. Our skin is the largest organ in the body. Its primarily function is to serve as a barrier to keep germs, bacteria, and viruses out of our bodies to prevent illness and disease. Dry skin is uncomfortable and makes us even more prone to getting sick. Here are some tips to prevent dry skin:

Short & Cool Showers

It’s very difficult to have a short and cool shower during the winter. Even though it feels good to linger in a hot and long shower, water tends to be very drying – especially hot water. Try to minimize the length of your shower and make it as lukewarm as possible.

Moisturize

Moisturizing is very crucial during the winter and especially after showering. As soon as you finish showering, washing your face or hands, always apply moisturizer on the skin while there is still a little bit of hydration on the skin.

Exercise

Exercise promotes healthy circulation. It increases blood flow which nourishes skin cells.

Drink Water

Drink water to hydrate the skin from inside. Drink lukewarm or hot water, or tea without sweetener.

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Dr. Smart on How to Get Full, Plump Lips

November 10th, 2014

fulllipsHaving full, plump lips is often considered a sign of good health and youth. Symmetric, well-shaped, proportionate lips are generally regarded as alluring and a cross-cultural sign of beauty. For these reasons injectable lip enhancements are common and popular procedures in the cosmetic physician’s office.

As we age, the lips can slowly lose their fullness and shape. The distance between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip sags and slightly lengthens, giving the upper lip a longer and thinner appearance. Adding or restoring volume and shape to the lips is an easy non-invasive way to quickly enhance overall beauty in many patients.

Lip enhancement is simple, quick, and carries immediate reward with relatively low risk. A good lip enhancement is generally subtle, accentuating the natural shape of the lip, correcting any asymmetry, and sometimes simply adding volume.

When done well, the effect is impressive and patients are very pleased. If you are someone who wants to accentuate the shape, improve proportion, or correct some of the volume loss that has happened over time, then you might be a good candidate.

Contact us at Advanced Dermatology today to schedule your consultation for lip enhancement. We have 13 conveniently located offices in New York and New Jersey. Click here to book your appointment.

About Dr. David Smart

Dr. Smart was born in Salt Lake City and grew up climbing and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and must have enjoyed the harsh winters of the upper Midwest so much that he decided to stay in nearby Chicago to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. With a particular interest in laser and cosmetic medicine, as well as general dermatology, Dr. Smart is excited to join the Advanced Dermatology team as the laser and cosmetic fellow.

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