Nails often give the first indication of an underlying disease, a New York dermatologist says. Dr. Joshua Fox, Founding director of Advanced Dermatology P.C. and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery , says changes in the appearance of nails can point to an array of ailments, from a mild nail bed infection to heart disease. He says dark lines beneath the nails may indicate the skin cancer melanoma; white nails may point to liver diseases like hepatitis, half-white, half-pink could mean kidney malfunction; red may suggest heart disease, yellowing thickening nails, with slowing growth, may mean lung diseases such as emphysema; whitish nail beds might spell anemia; a slight blush at the base could be a warning of diabetes; and, irregular red lines at the base may be a sign of lupus or connective tissue disease. “Pitting” or rippling in the nail surface may signify psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. Painful lumps at the matrix or under the nail surface may indicate a wart or tumor.
Short or long, deep red or rosy pink, manicured or all natural, our nails can be a reflection of our personal tastes, our lifestyles, even our career choices. Nails help us manipulate small objects with our hands, and protect the soft tissues of our fingers and toes. But perhaps most importantly – and surprisingly, our nails can often give the first indication of an underlying disease or medical condition in the body. (more…)
Outsmart the bacteria that can make you sick by sporting this season’s new fingernail shape: short and round. “Viruses and bacteria can hide and thrive underneath nails, especially long nails and acrylics,” explains New York City dermatologist Joshua L. Fox, M.D. “Since it’s hard to wash away germs under long nails without a nail brush, keeping nails short can keep you healthy.”
Treating some unsightly birthmarks is easier with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), say researchers from Case Western Reserve University.
Birthmarks can be more than a common cosmetic annoyance. Some of these malformations cause a bluish skin discoloration, local swelling, and pain.
While some of these vascular birthmarks vanish with age and many remain stable, others worsen over time, causing disfigurement and bleeding. Most birthmarks are just colored skin spots, which may be raised above the surface of surrounding skin. In rare cases, they may indicate more serious health problems.
Birthmarks don’t necessarily require treatment. Unless there’s a medical, emotional, or cosmetic reason for removal, many birthmarks could stay harmlessly in place, if that’s what the patient prefers.
Jonathan Lewin, MD, and colleagues recently performed imaging of these vascular birthmarks with MRIs on 15 adults who wanted them removed. He chairs the radiology department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.
Diagnosing these abnormal veins which make up the birthmarks is easy on exam, yet an MRI image is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Imaging assesses the extent of these lesions, which can involve not only the skin but can involve muscle and deeper tissues layers.
Experienced and trained radiologists performed a procedure called sclerotherapy that constricts these abnormal veins that made up the birthmarks. The procedure involves injecting a scarring solution directly into the lesion.
In the study a total of 76 birthmarks were successfully treated. MRI was used to guide and monitor the operation, as well as in verifying results and conducting follow-up examinations.
Without MRI, it can be tough to catch all the veins in such birthmarks, as well as little extensions that often run from the veins into surrounding tissue.
MRI makes those veins as ‘bright as light bulbs’ says Lewin in a news release.
Lewin and colleagues call MRI-guided sclerotherapy for treatment of these vascular birthmarks safe and effective in their report, which appears in The November issue of The journal Radiology.
The researchers also note that using MRI imaging of the birthmark during the procedure significantly shortened the procedure time, easing patients’ anxieties.
The operations length was “the most physically stressful and disturbing part of the entire treatment,” they write.
In addition, patients stayed awake during the procedure and could “directly communicate sensations of pain or discomfort to the performing radiologist, who in turn was able to respond immediately by changing the needle location or the amount of sclerosing agent applied.”
In the past, parents and doctors were often reluctant to treat birthmarks in babies and children, says New York dermatologist Joshua Fox, MD, in a news release.
Fox, who was not involved in the MRI birthmark study, says technological advances (such as laser treatments) have made it possible to treat birthmarks in children at younger ages.
Anti-aging creams can be pricey, but they don’t have to be. Here’s how to get smoother skin for a song.
Brand-new anti-aging creams with the latest uber-ingredients arrive on cosmetics counters every month with big claims (Better than Botox!) and still bigger price tags. But not all effective anti-agers run $570 for two ounces. Most drugstore brands now offer skin-care products with some of the same active ingredients found in their costly competitors (as well as some prescription counterparts). To find the best lower-priced wrinkle erasers and skin smoothers, Real Simple made appointments with top dermatologists then rounded up testers who, over the course of three months, dotted and daubed on dozens of products. Here are the anti-aging overachievers with the top ingredients-and all on a budget. Pretty soon you’ll be the one making big claims (“I got carded buying wine!”).
When you introduce an anit-aging product into your skin-care routine, it’s important to use the proper amount of it. Since some products can be irritating, they need to be incorporated gradually.
If you want to try a retinal (a vitamin A derivative) cream, apply a pea-size dollop to your face every third night in the beginning, suggests dermatologist Leslie Baumann. Slight itchiness is normal at first. As your skin begins to tolerate the ingredient better, use the same amount every other night. Avoid applying a retinal cream in the crevices around your nostrils. It’s not needed there, and those areas often heat up the cream and cause irritation and redness.
If you are using a nonretinol cream or an anti-ager with sunscreen, coat your face with a dime-size circle of it every day, suggests dermatologist Robin Ashinoff. “Your skin should feel lightly moisturized after you apply it-not greasy or dry.”
How Your Skin Ages
“As early as your 20s, your skin cells don’t turn over as quickly,” says Tina West, a cosmetic dermatologist in Chevy Chase, Maryland. By your 30s, the collagen and elastin in your skin have begun to degenerate, and the effects of those high school tanning sessions crop up in the form of fine lines, dark spots, and enlarged pores. The good news: You can repair much of the damage if you start caring for your skin today (and the sooner the better-wrinkles are easier to prevent than to erase).
Tip: Apply anti-aging cream to damp skin.
“Moisture helps the active ingredients penetrate more deeply,” says Joshua Fox, a dermatologist in Roslyn, New York. If you have sensitive skin, however, apply cream to dry skin, to avoid irritation.
Neutrogena Visibly Firm Face Lotion SPF 20, $19
Active Ingredient: Copper peptide.
Why it works: Copper peptide is a compound that’s found the body. It was originally used by physicians to heal wounds. But over time researchers discovered that the ingredient encouraged the growth of collagen and elastin, the building blocks that keep skin smooth, so it was packed into prescription anti-aging creams, including Neova. Today Neutrogena offers the ingredient in its skin-care line. “The Visibly Firm products are the same as the prescription cream,” says Miami dermatologist Leslie Baumann. The difference? Neutrogena costs $19; Neova Day Therapy SPF 20, $65. Real Simple testers were impressed by its performance. “My skin felt and looked smoother,” said one. “And it feels light and nice-not heavy and oily.” This lotion also has an SPF of 20, making it ideal for daytime use.
Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, $20
Active Ingredient: Retinol (a vitamin A derivative).
Why it works: The gold standard for topical anti-aging ingredients, retinal increases collagen, evens out discolorations, and makes skin renew itself more quickly. “It’s the closest thing to the fountain of youth that you can get in a cream,” says West. “Products like this can be effective because they contain the same active ingredients as prescription products,” says Robin Ashinoff, a dermatologist at Hackensack University Medical Center, in New Jersey. So they’re ideal for women with deeper lines. “The wrinkles-even the bags-around my eyes look a lot better,” said a tester. One caveat: Retinol can leave skin sensitive to sun exposure, so apply it only before bedtime. In the morning, apply sunscreen to protect skin from sunburn.
Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum, $19
Active Ingredients: Pentapeptides.
Why it works: Applying pentapeptides to skin inhibited the breakdown of collagen and increased its production in a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Pentapeptides are made up of the amino acids in your skin, says Zoe Diana Draelos, a dermatologist in High Point, North California. In this gel, which glides over the skin like a luxury cream, the ingredient is accompanied by vitamin E, niacinamide, and panthenol, which nourish the skin and soften fine lines. And it has light-reflecting particles to brighten dark circles. One tester in her 50s, who used this gel consistently for more than a month, received a compliment from her doctor. “He noticed an improvement and wanted to know what I was doing differently,” she said.
Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Lotion SPF 15, $9
Active Ingredient: Coenzyme Q-10.
Why it works: Coenzyme Q-10 is an antioxidant that’s found in the body’s cells. As you age, these cells lose coenzyme Q-10 and your skin becomes more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Using a cream with coenzyme Q-10 will reduce those lines and increase skin’s elasticity, according to Ashinoff. “Coenzyme Q-10 is a very promising new ingredient,” she says. It is also easily absorbed into the skin, and it’s a safe and effective option for women with sensitive skin who can’t tolerate aggressive anti-aging ingredients, such as retinal. Plus, this lotion is fragrance-free and noncomedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores)-another boon for those with easily irritated or acne-prone skin. “Most anti-aging creams make my skin turn bright red,” said one tester. “This didn’t aggravate my skin, so it looked softer and less wrinkled.”
Uneven Skin Tone
Aveeno Positively Radiant Anti-Wrinkle Cream, $14
Active Ingredient: Soy.
Why it works: Besides moisturizing the skin and smoothing fine lines, soy gets rid of discoloration by subtly lightening darker pigments, says Draelos. The combination of strong antioxidants in this cream, which include soy and vitamins E and B5, not only reduces blotches (caused by sun damage, certain birth-control pills, or pregnancy) but protects the skin from future spots, too. For instant improvement, the cream also has cosmetic brighteners to reflect light and diminish dark spots. Still, be vigilant about using sunscreen: “If you don’t use sun protection, you will undo all the good your lightening products are providing,” Draelos says. Testers like the richness of this cream and found that it subtly evened out skin tones over time. And if you are concerned about soy’s estrogen-like effects, there’s no need to be alarmed. According to dermatologists, the small amount used in this topical cream won’t have an adverse effect.
Jergens Repleneshing Multi-vitamin Age-defying Moisturizer, $4
Active Ingredients: Vitamins A, C, and E.
Why it works: A body lotion alone can make your skin look better. “Fine lines can be alleviated with a regular moisturizer,” says West. “It gives skin a temporary plumping effect. But you shouldn’t stop there.” This body lotion includes antioxidant vitamins, which neutralize the free radicals that cause skin damage and lead to wrkinles. And while many creams contain antioxidants, New York City dermatologist Karen Burke favors this blend. “Vitamins E and C work together synergistically,” she explains. “Each vitamin is good on its own, but together they accomplish more than either does alone.” And vitamin A is a proven anti-aging ingredient. The lotion also has a high level of glycerin, which protects skin from dryness.
Common sense tells you that rubbing baby oil on your skin at the beach is a bad idea. Here are four more strategies to keep your skin smoother longer.
Always wear sunscreen. You’ve heard it before, but it’s your strongest weapon against wrinkles. Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging, dark spots, broken capillaries, and a leathery skin texture.
Be consistent. An effective anti-aging regimen is like exercise: It’s more important to stick to a consistent daily routine than to pick up the heaviest weight every once in a while. (And applying a cream is a lot easier than doing crunches.)
Exfoliate once a week with a scrub or a salicylic acid wash. Use only a washcloth if you have sensitive skin. Exfoliating will remove the top layer of dead cells and help an anti-aging cream penetrate more effectively.
Be realistic. A cream can help, but it can’t turn you into a 16-year-old again (and would you really want that?). A good cream prevents wrinkles and reduces their appearance. Do what you can, and get on with your life.
Tip: Use your anti-aging cream on your hands, neck, and décolletage, too.
These parts of the body show signs of age-fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots-just the way your face does.
Turns out you’d be wise to take a few precautions.
ASK FOR CREDENTIALS
Not all states require a cosmetologist’s or esthetician’s license for waxing, so check to see that the person performing your treatment attended a school approved by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.
CHECK YOUR MEDS
Drugs such as Accutane and Retin-A, as well as anti-aging moisturizers with glycolic acid, can increase irritation from waxing. Consult your doctor if you’re taking any meds.
BE ON HIGH-HYGIENE ALERT
Inflamed hair follicles (folliculitis) can be caused by bacteria or fungi. That’s why waxing practitioners must wear latex gloves and use a new wax applicator for each client.
Ingrown hairs, which occur when new hairs curl and grow back into the skin, can be dangerous as well as unsightly. In some very rare cases, an untreated ingrown hair can result in a staph infection that can be so severe as to be resistant to oral antibiotics, according to New York dermatologist Joshua Fox. Meaning: “You’d have to he hospitalized and treated with a powerful antibiotic intravenously.” To keep hair follicles unclogged, aesthetician Gissele Padllha recommends washing with a gentle antibacterial soap and exfoliating daily.
That blush on your cheeks may not be as innocent as you think.
The first inklings are faint: a stinging or burning on your face after a morning
jog or an evening aperitif; a “sunburn” that never quite vanishes. Finally you tire of hearing, “Gee, you’ve had too much sun!” You visit your doctor, who breaks the news: you have rosacea. (more…)
Emphasize skin self-exams during melanoma month in May
The Academy of Dermatology (ADD) has designated May as Melanoma Month. The goal of this campaign is to heighten awareness of this deadliest form of skin cancer. I am writing to encourage you to continue to educate your readers about melanoma. Following is information for a potential news item emphasizing skin self exams as an important component to avoiding melanoma.
February 27, 2004 — Sloan-Kettering researchers note that self exams may reduce melanoma death by 63%.
Advanced Dermatology PC, 2004 The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has designated May as Melanoma Month, to heighten awareness of the deadliest form of skin cancer. This year, the comments of researchers at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in NY suggesting that Skin Self Examination (SSE) can reduce melanoma-related deaths by 63% — will likely place the focus of Melanoma Month squarely on preventative measures.
Dr. Joshua Fox, an official spokesperson for the AAD and founding director of Advanced Dermatology and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery in NY, confirms, We have been recommending Skin Self Examination (SSE) as part of our patient education program for years. But, considering the lethal and tricky nature of melanoma, we must now step up our efforts even further.
Dr. Fox points out that melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer because it is the one most likely to metastasize. It is also difficult for patients to detect, because it evolves as a new mole, or as changes to an existing mole. Without regular Skin Self Examinations, patients can easily miss the signs that melanoma has developed.
Recognizing those signs can indeed have lifesaving results. In a study conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY and reported in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers noted: Results from a single case-control study suggest that skin self-examination (SSE) has the potential to reduce mortality from melanoma by 63%. Despite these encouraging results, SSE rates are low.
Considering the hopeful statistics, the Sloan Kettering researchers designed a 100-patient study to determine factors that could increase their compliance with Skin Self Examination protocols. Researchers found that, by using such novel aids as baseline, whole-body photography and intervention by a health care professional, regular Skin Self Examination rates increased by over 50%. Using a baseline photo book alone as a guide for SSE increased the rate by 17%.
Dr. Fox recommends taking baseline photographs of suspicious areas before beginning a regular Skin Self Examination routine. He then encourages his patients to view each mole critically, using the ABCD approach:
– Appearance: has a mole developed suddenly on previously clear skin, or has an existing mole changed its appearance?
– Border: Is the border of the mole asymmetric (if you divide the mole in half, do the sides match in shape) or jagged?
– Color: Is the mole uniform in color, or is it flecked with darker black and/or red areas? Has its color changed or deepened?
– Diameter: Has the mole grown in size or become raised? Is it larger than the size of a pencils eraser?
While these signs do not confirm the existence of melanoma, they are definite indicators that the mole should be checked by a dermatologist immediately, Dr. Fox notes. He adds, Timing is crucial. When melanoma is caught early, when it has not invaded the deep layers of skin, it is nearly 100% curable. However, when it has metastasized to distant organs, the five-year survival rate drops to a mere 12%.
The AAD estimates that more than 51,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year, and the disease claims nearly 8,000 lives annually. Virtually all people are at risk for melanoma. Those in the highest risk groups include:
– people with a family history of melanoma (parents, siblings and/or children)
– people who have had multiple sunburns and/or extended unprotected exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun and/or tanning beds
– those who have fair complexions, or who tan poorly or not at all
– those with a large number of moles and/or atypical moles on their skin
Just as we have found the key to surviving breast cancer is through early detection, so have we determined that Skin Self Examination can dramatically reduce the mortality rate for melanoma, by early recognition and treatment leading to cures Dr. Fox notes. Simply by increasing the rate at which people comply with simple self exams, we can take a big step forward in stopping this deadly form of skin cancer.
In the high-stakes, ever-evolving world of cosmetic dermatology, there’s a new kid in town. Restylane, a hyaluronic-acid skin filler recently approved by the FDA, is poised to give Botox and collagen a run for their money for the simple reason that blind studies have shown that its effects last 2-3 months longer than those of currently available products. Other pluses include the fact that Restylane is non-animal derived, keeping allergic reactions to a minimum and eliminating the need for time-consuming “skin tests.” Although some doctors have been experimenting with alternate uses for the filler. Dr. Emmanuel Robert Loucas, a leading authority on dermatological surgery who uses Restylane in his practice, suggests sticking to its FDA-approved use for eliminating nasal-labial folds, a.k.a. laugh lines, for now. “This is still a new product,” says Dr. Loucas, “and we simply don’t know as much about its long-terms effects as with products we’ve been using for years.”
Stretch Marks – Pulling a disappearing act with laser’s help
By Linda Carroll
For the first time in more than 20 years, Marlene Dinken is going to have fun shopping for a bathing suit.
No longer will she have to spend hours scrutinizing each suit, searching for the one guaranteed to cover the ripples and ridges left by two pregnancies.
Now because of a new laser therapy, Dinken’s stretch marks are gone. In her case, the “cure” took only one treatment, followed by two months of recovery time, during which the reddish patches of laser-treated skin gradually healed and disappeared.
“Now I don’t see them at all,” said the 47-year-old resident of Bayside, Queens.
Until recently doctors could offer no hope to people with stretch marks. (Yes, some men get them, too.) Once the skin was damaged, there was no way to repair it. Now, with a special pulsed dye laser, a sprinkling of doctors around the country are saying that they can smooth out the unsightly scars.
But the therapy is controversial. Some dermatologists say they just can’t duplicate the successes of their colleagues and, so far, no study of the technique has been published in a scientific journal. Still, preliminary data, presented at a recent meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, appears to show the technique can help.
Stretch marks aren’t just a problem for pregnant women according to Dr. Joshua Fox, the dermatologist who cleared up Dinken’s stretch marks. Growing teens and weight-lifters can also develop the unsightly dimples, said Fox, director of the Skin Laser Center of Queens and Long Island and an attending physician at North Shore University Hospital at Glen Cove.
Experts believe the marks are produced when bundles of elastin and collagen – fibers that give the skin its structure, firmness and elasticity – are stretched so far that they fray and break.
This can occur when the skin stretches to accommodate a growing fetus, or when a person grows fast or gains weight through muscle building.
The dimples form where the fibers rip. Picture a piece of clay being pulled apart. The sides stay thick as the center thins.
“If you look at a stretch mark under a microscope, you can see all the collagen fibers have pulled apart,” said Dr. D’Anne Kleinsmith, who is in private dermatology practice in West Bloomfield, Mich. “The elastic fibers have also pulled apart, and they are curled up in clumps like snapped rubber bands,”
Certain hormones – the glucocorticoids – may make matters worse by altering enzymes that break down collagen, according to Fox. ”Hormones can surge at certain times of life, either because of pregnancy or adolescence, for example.” Steroidal medications, such as those for asthma, can also be a problem, he said.
Doctors aren’t exactly sure how the laser repairs stretch marks, but they think that the device causes minor damage to the skin in the vicinity of the dimple. This then stimulates the skin to repair itself by manufacturing more collagen and elastin, Fox said.
Although one treatment was enough for Dinken, some people need two to three treatments, according to Fox, who doesn’t guarantee improvement. “I promise nothing, because it may or may not work,” Fox said. “But so far, there hasn’t been anyone who hasn’t had at least some improvement.”
Fox tries out the laser on a test area first, at a cost of $200. If it looks as if there’s improvement, he starts treatments at $300 per session, he said.
But with no published data on the effectiveness of laser therapy for stretch marks, dermatologists who haven’t been able to duplicate Fox’s results are disturbed.
“It may be a very nice treatment, but right now, today, it’s totally experimental and unproven,” said Dr. Mitchell Goldman, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Diego. “The fortunate thing is that there’s very little harm that can be done. If a patient wants to spend a few thousand dollars, that’s their choice. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a crap shoot.”
Goldman is still willing to use the technique, though. “Stretch marks can he devastating” he said. ‘I really feel for people with stretch marks. When women come to me, I tell them, yes, we will try to make their stretch marks go away, But they have to understand that the procedure is totally experimental,”
Before Laser therapy came along, creams and lotions were the only option for treating stretch marks.
Generally the success rate was low, according to Dr. D’Anne Kleinsmith, a dermatologist in private practice in West Bloomfield, Mich. “The age-old treatment is cocoa butter,’ she said. “People also used vitamin E creams and oils. But I think, basically, these moisturizers just make the woman feel more comfortable. Stretch marks can be sensitive and tender.”
Another therapy used on stretch-dimpled skin is the acne drug Retin-A.
“Retin-A does seem to thicken skin and increase collagen,” Kleinsmith said. “I’ve prescribed myself, but I can’t say that I’ve seen a great response. You need to use it early, but we don’t like to prescribe it to pregnant women. So the earliest a woman can start is right after she gives birth.”
Of course, the cure for stretch marks is never to develop them in the first place. Pregnant women can lessen the chances of developing marks if they take care to gain no more than 25 pounds, Kleinsmith said.
They can also try to support their skin, Kleinsmith suggested, by wearing a loose girdle or extra large support hose with a control top. “You want to make sure they’re loose enough that you’re not compressing the baby.” she said. “For example, if you’re normally a size B, you might want a queen size when you’re pregnant.
Botox has been shown to reduce visible aging,help stop appearance of a permanent frown
By Joshua L. Fox
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? When other people see you, what do they see? Our appearance often reveals our emotions. If we’re happy, a glow may be seen in our faces. And if we’re not having a good day, our faces may also tell that story through tightened muscles and wrinkles. Our facial expressions change as our emotions do.
Some people are perceived as being weathered, upset, or angry even when they’re not. This is because of the lines between their brows or because they always seem to be frowning. If you are one of these people, Botox may be right for you.
What is Botox?
Manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Allergan, Botox (botulinum toxin type A) is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It helps reduce the appearance of unwanted expression lines on the face. Most of these wrinkle lines are caused by excessive muscle contractions. In simple, nonsurgical procedures, only a few tiny injections that take only about 10 minutes to complete are injected into specific muscles, blocking the release of acetyicholine, a chemical that would otherwise signal those wrinkle-causing muscles to spasm, or contract. The results are a smoother-looking appearance because of the less-frequent muscle movement. The effects can be seen within a few days and last for up to four months.
Is Botox safe? Botox has been used safely and effectively for more than a decade in the treatment of eye muscle disorders, as well as neurological movement disorders that cause severe neck and shoulder contractions. Last year alone, Botox was rated number one among the 8.5 million cosmetic procedures performed, with a 46 percent treatment increase from 2000.
Where can I get Botox? Is Botox right for me?
Because treatments are simple, any health care professional can administer Botox, but cosmetic physicians are generally more experienced in doing so. Fortunately there are cosmetic dermatologists in Queens who are experts in the area.
Botox is safe, effective, and affordable for everybody. Though the treatments are relatively risk-free and simple, the most important advice doctors could give patients is to make sure that their chosen physician is an expert in Botox treatments because even simple procedures can result in unwanted side effects if treatment is not administered accurately.
Fresh Meadows Center Uses Laser to Treat Skin Diseases
By Francesca Kefalas
The Advanced Dermatology P.C. and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery Skin Laser Center in Fresh Meadows recently celebrated an open house for what it calls the most Advanced Dermatology P.C. and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery operation in Queens and one of the most progressive in the New York City area.
Dr. Joshua Fox said the center has seven lasers that are used for dermatological care, more than any of the hospitals and medical centers in Queens and most of the medical facilities in Manhattan.
“You really need to have many lasers for many purposes,” Fox said.
Different lasers are better for different purposes, Fox said.
“The trick is to know which things are treated best by the different lasers,” Fox said. Each laser has its pros and cons.
Lasers are being used to remove warts, port wine stains, age spots and other skin discolorations, Fox said. He said although some of these conditions are cosmetic and do not cause physical problems, they can cause emotional stress.
“It can affect people’s lives,” said Fox, who pointed out that a skin disease can be more debilitating in some ways than other kinds of illnesses.
“It’s immediately noticeable,” he said.
Fox said he has treated teenagers who believe they have severe acne and won’t leave the house. Yet, he said, their acne is not severe in medical terms, but severe psychologically.
Fox said lasers have also been extremely effective in removing tattoos. He and the other doctors who work at the skin laser center have been trying to develop the procedure for removing stretch marks, which they can eliminate at this point.
“We’re not just doing cases,” Fox said. “Were making observations and contributing to the research.”
The doctors also have been working on ways to treat children that are not as frightening as conventional methods. He said often a doctor will first show the child what procedure will be done on a doll.
Fox works with a host of other doctors, many of whom have specialties. The doctors have three offices: the one in Fresh Meadows at 58-47 188th St., one in Roslyn and one in Commack. He said there are about seven doctors who work out of the Fresh Meadows office.
The Fresh Meadows office has the most lasers, but all of the offices have lasers, Fox said, The lasers can cost more than $100000 a piece. Despite the cost of the lasers, Fox said he strongly believes in using them for dermatological procedures.
“Its the wave of the present,’ Fox said, “It’s not the future.”