Unsightly Cellulite: What Is It and What Can Be Done?

January 28th, 2015

Leading Dermatologists Drs. Joshua Fox and Aza Lefkowitz Provide Tips for Patients

Cellulite is not harmful. The dimpled, puckered skin that characterizes cellulite is a normal variant in the way fat beneath the skin is distributed. But the appearance of cellulite, which is most often found on the thighs and buttocks of as many as 8 out of 10 women, is distressing for many. “While there is as yet no single solution that can permanently eliminate cellulite,” says Dr. Joshua Fox of Advanced Dermatology, P.C., there are steps a woman can take and there are effective treatments that can reduce cellulite and improve the appearance of the skin.”
Slim woman body on white background

What causes cellulite?

Cellulite is most common on those parts of the body that have fat deposits under the skin. When the fat pushes against connective tissue, the skin above it puckers, causing the distinctive bumpy look of cellulite. It is more common in women than in men because fat and connective tissue are distributed differently in the skin of women and men. Cellulite also becomes more common as skin loses elasticity with age. “Cellulite may become more noticeable with weight gain,” says Dr. Aza Lefkowitz, Associate Director of the Smart Lipo Unit at Advanced Dermatology PC, “but lean people have cellulite as well. Genetics are thought to play a role in determining who will develop cellulite. Other factors that may affect its development or visibility are diet, exercise and metabolism – how the body burns energy.”

Dr. Fox offers several suggestions on how can cellulite be reduced

  • Weight loss and exercise won’t eliminate cellulite but losing pounds through a healthy diet and strengthening the muscles of the legs, thighs and buttocks will improve appearance by helping keep the body taut and smooth and improving skin tone and texture.
  • Massage therapies have been developed that utilize a hand-held, electrically powered device that kneads the skin between rollers to smooth its texture. Endermologie® from LPG Systems, cleared by the FDA to be used for temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite. Treatment typically constitutes six to eight 35-minute sessions. Bella Contour mixes massage with ultra sound technology with gentle electrical stimulation to achieve circumference reduction and appearance in cellulite.
  • Laser and light therapy are used with the goal of disrupting and shrinking fat tissue, sometimes in conjunction with massage to soften the connective tissue and reduce the dimpled appearance. Cold lasers like Zerona and others can damage fat cells painlessly and decrease cellulite.
  • Thermage CPT, Ultherapy, Thermi-RF and other devices. Talk with your dermatologist about all of these options to see which might be best for your situation.

“There are a wide variety of topical creams and other treatments that purport to reduce cellulite,” says Dr. Fox, “but there is little evidence that they are effective”. “The best advice we can give is to try to avoid the development of cellulite or to minimize its severity by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight (and avoiding yo-yo dieting), drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding smoking.” Dr. Lefkowitz states that in his opinion, the least invasive tightening methods include superficial Thermage CPT and ThermiRF with a heating device under the skin.

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Dr. Smart on Treating Your Skin Well

January 23rd, 2015

clearskinThere are a few very basic recommendations and practices that should be included in any basic skin care regimen. Appropriate moisturization and exfoliation, protection from harmful UV radiation, and avoidance of the significant damage caused by harsh toxins such as those found in cigarette smoke. And certainly, especially in patients with lighter skin tone, the use of topical retinoids. Retinoids are a class of chemical compound commonly found in cosmetic creams and have long been used to treat various skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

A study published in this month’s Journal of Drugs in Dermatology explores the efficacy and tolerability of two topical treatments for photoaging, photodamage, and fine lines/wrinkles on the face. The study compares two commonly used retinoid compounds, retinol and tretinoin.

Retinol is an over the counter compound found in many cosmetic creams marketed to treat wrinkles and to rejuvenate the skin. Tretinoin is a similar but much more potent compound available through prescription only. It is also frequently harsher on the skin then retinol and causes more burning and dryness.

The results of the study were impressive, with patients noting significant improvement in wrinkles and brown spots. The study found that the cream containing retinol was just as effective as the prescription strength tretinoin cream in treating sun damage as well as fine lines and wrinkles and brown spots.

While this can motivate discussion on multiple levels, the take home message is clear. Not only is good skin care important for your health, but it will also improve your appearance. The study used products from SkinMedica, a skin care line that we at Advanced Dermatology have supported and sold for some time now, because it works.

Take care of your skin. You only get one face. Treat it well.

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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Keloid Scar Removal

January 21st, 2015

In some people when a scar forms it continues to grow into what is called a keloid. Treatment for a keloid becomes more difficult the longer it’s left to grow. It is important for anyone who is susceptible to developing keloids to avoid situations where their skin is punctured and scarring may develop. This includes surgeries and getting tattoos or piercings. People with darker skin pigmentation are more likely to have this skin disorder. There is no known cure for stopping keloids from happening so prevention is the best solution! There are solutions however that your dermatologist can discuss with you to remove them once they develop. Here are a few options that we perform at Advanced Dermatology, P.C.

Cortisone Injections – Safe injections of a steroid to reduce the size of a keloid are repeated every one to two months. Even after monthly treatments the scar may still be visible.

Surgery – Removal of the keloid through surgery is possible but leaves open the possibility of developing another keloid since an incision is made in the skin.

CryoshapeCryoshape flattens keloids by freezing them. The treatment uses a cold probe that significantly reduces the size of keloid scars by freezing them from the inside out. Recurrence rates after Cryoshape are much lower than many of the other treatments.

SRT-100 – Radiotherapy technology that is also used to remove skin cancer can flatten and reduce keloids. The Skin Cancer Radiotherapy Center in Roslyn Heights, New York, an affiliate of Advanced Dermatology, was the first to offer this innovative treatment on Long Island.

The best way to determine what keloid removal option is right for you is to consult with one of our board certified dermatologists who are keloid removal specialists. We have 13 conveniently located offices in New York and New Jersey. Click here to contact us today!

See what one of our patients had to say about the Cryoshape treatment:

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Acne Treatment Do’s and Don’ts

January 20th, 2015

Maybe you’ve heard some of these tips before but are you following them? Hopefully some reinforcement can help get you on the right track to clearer skin!
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DON’T pop your pimples! Popping pimples is the number one thing you should avoid and likely the hardest advice to follow. Pushing and prodding at a pimple increases inflammation and can cause long term negative effects like pigmentation changes and scars. If you really need to get rid of a pimple fast see your dermatologist!

DO wash your face, but not too much. Washing your face twice a day is important to remove dirt and makeup and keep pores clean. Over-washing can lead to dry skin and irritation – stripping the skin of oil and moisture that are essential to skin health. Wash twice a day with gentle cleansers and warm (not hot!) water.

DO use moisturizer. Using moisturizer is especially important in the winter months when the harsh outdoor cold and indoor heat can both cause skin to crack and dry out. Put moisturizer on as soon as you get out of the shower to lock-in and protect your skin’s moisture.

DON’T touch your face all the time. When you touch your face you are transferring whatever you’ve touched to an area that is very sensitive to developing acne. Try to avoid touching your face too much and avoid picking or scratching at your skin.

DO stick to your skin care regimen. A regular skin care regimen developed between you and your dermatologist is essential to follow with a committed attitude. If your dermatologist says you should be using a specific product every day you should follow this as strictly as possible. Often it will take some time following a skin care regimen before you see the results so stick to it and don’t be discouraged!

Still having problems with acne? There are many solutions that your dermatologist can discuss with you to solve your acne problems. There are wide range of treatments from prescription medications taken orally or applied topically, light based treatments like Acleara, and other treatments like chemical peels. Get in touch with us today to schedule your consultation at one of our 13 conveniently located offices. You don’t have to suffer through acne – there are solutions!

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Miss Tennessee Gives miraDry Thumbs Up

January 16th, 2015

Recently the reigning Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis spoke about her experience with embarrassing sweating and how she overcame it with miraDry. Lewis said, “I was like ‘well if this is something that’s normal and a lot of people have it, why not get rid of it so you don’t have to deal with it anymore?’” Many are now considering getting miraDry to reduce their underarm sweat whether they have a condition or not. So what is miraDry and how can it help you get your sweat under control?

The miraDry procedure is an innovative treatment for excessive sweating that is long lasting. It permanently eliminates sweat glands under the arm using precise electromagnetic energy. Body odor will be reduced as well, since body odor is the result of sweat combining with bacteria on the skin. Over 90% of the 35,000 patients treated so far have been satisfied with the results. The procedure is FDA approved to treat underarm sweat, requires no incisions, and is done in only one to two treatments. Although initially used to treat people with a condition called hyperhidrosis, it is now used to treat anyone who just doesn’t want to worry about sweat anymore!

Watch a miraDry procedure being performed

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Warmer weather is closer than you think and soon you won’t be able to hide excessive sweating under a coat or sweater. Sweat stains on clothing can be embarrassing and hinder you from doing what you want with confidence. Are you interested in stopping underarm sweat for good? Schedule a consult with one of Advanced Dermatology P.C.’s expert dermatologists today! We have conveniently located offices throughout New York including Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Westchester and offices in Ridgewood and Summit, New Jersey.

See how the miraDry technology works

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