Dr. Perry on Cellulite


Heavenly Body

Who doesn’t want to look their best for as long as they can? Society puts so much pressure on us to look a certain way, but does it encourage us to feel well, think well and live a purposeful existence? How hard do you work at having your inner light shine so bright that you emanate truth and serenity wherever you go?

The purpose of this article is to define and discuss treatment options for cellulite, the relatively superficial and annoying bane of many a female thigh. With that in mind, I encourage each of you to strive to be a heavenly body as much as you do to have one.

Cellulite is simply old- fashioned fat. The word commonly describes superficial pockets of trapped fat between connective tissue bands which create dimpling or “orange peel” appearance to skin on the thighs, hips and buttocks. There is conflicting research about cellulite and what causes it. Dermatologists believe cellulite can be genetic, and many researchers think there is a hormonal explanation for its development.
Although the causes are unclear, in some cases, the presence of cellulite is considered to be a normal variant of development, but the following factors have been thought to play a role:
Genetics, skin thickness, gender, age, distribution of body fat, hormonal factors (not clearly defined and there are no hormonal treatments being used effectively for treatment at this time)

Cellulite can appear in anyone at anytime, even in teenagers—whether you’re overweight, normal or thin. Generally, it is more noticeable as you age because your connective tissues get thicker and your skin gets thinner. Exercises that work all your lower body muscles from every angle will help to replace lost muscle tissue and give you a tighter appearance. So work your quadriceps, abductors, adductors, hamstrings and gluteals, along with your inner thighs, and outer thighs to make cellulite less noticeable.

Men mostly escape the scourge of cellulite because they have a thicker dermis that acts like a natural “girdle.” In men, the pattern of connective tissue holding fat cells is a cross-hatch pattern with double reinforcement. In women, the connective tissue is patterned like columns, making it easier for fat cells to bulge out between those columns, unlike the small openings between men’s connective tissue.

What to Expect from Treatments

Treatments for cellulite essentially work on appearance only. The surface dimpling is merely a symptom of cellulite. Actually, a treatment that could act beneath the skin would be much more effective than surface treatments, but to date most treatments are on the surface. Some commonly used treatments and their degree of efficacy include:

Dieting brings varied and unpredictable results, from improvement to worsening.

Dietary supplements
No proven benefit and these agents are not under FDA jurisdiction. No valid studies have been done. Ginkgo Biloba, sweet clover, fish oil, soy lecithin are the most commonly used herbal supplement which have been purported to change cellulite appearance by boosting metabolism, improving circulation, protecting against cell damage and breaking down fats.

Creams and Gels
Xanthines, retinoids, and alpha hydroxy acids in creams and gels are the most widely used treatments for cellulite. These products have been shown to reduce fine wrinkles or the roughness of facial skin, but no large-scale studies clearly have demonstrated the reduction of cellulite.

Body Wraps
Covering the body with linens containing a variety of substances like herbal extracts, algae, seaweed and mud have been used for body shaping. The combination of compression and perspiration results in losing fluids temporarily. Body wraps are great for relaxation and skin softening, but they don’t reduce cellulite.

Endermologie® temporarily reduces the appearance of cellulite using a motorized device rolled over the skin for smooth and regulated deep tissue manipulation. This treatment employs the use of an electronically powered device that pulls, squeezes and suctions affected areas. The action increases blood flow and lymphatic drainage, helping to eliminate excess fluid and metabolites. On average, a treatment lasts for 30-45 min and it takes 10-12 treatments before results are noticeable. Regular maintenance treatments will be required, because any improvements are temporary.

It is the first process approved by the FDA for temporary reduction of cellulite appearance. Ongoing research and several clinical trials with Endermologie have shown some promise.

Electrotherapy
Electrical muscle stimulators (EMS) are prescription devices used in physical therapy for treating specific neuromuscular issues. Some of these devices combine direct current with ions of soluble salt and penetrate tissues for some therapeutic benefits. The FDA does not consider these tools effective for cellulite reduction.

Laser/Light Therapy
There are 2 FDA devices that are being used which combine either topical suction or massage with light therapy.

A. Tri-Active- combines laser and suction

B. Vela-smooth combines laser and massage

Both are expensive (thousands of dollars) and afford only temporary reduction in cellulite appearance.

Liposuction
This is an invasive therapy used for removing fat from reserve fat layers, not the subcutaneous fat layer where cellulite resides. In fact, liposuction in the subcutaneous layer could cause profuse bleeding, swelling and scarring. Therefore, it is not usually recommended for treating cellulite. When large sections of fat are removed with liposuction, the appearance of cellulite is sometimes worse. Endermologie® is often used in combination with liposuction. There is a new combination of laser and fat manipulation called “Laser-Lipo” which reportedly dissolves fat and the deeply penetrating lasers tighten and thicken the skin. No clinical studies have been done on this new therapy.

Experimental treatments include Collagenase.
Collagenase is a naturally occurring enzyme in the body which breaks down collagen. Very preliminary studies have shown some benefit in the appearance of cellulite in a small number of subjects who were injected locally in affected areas. No long term studies have been done to determine the extent and duration of improvement.

Bottom line: Try to keep your hips, butt, and thighs strong and your skin smooth and no doubt, you’ll be one of very few to notice your cellulite.

Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.



Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546).

Dr. Perry on Curly Hair Breakage


Hair Breakage: When Your Hair Has Had Enough


Spring has arrived.

The air is warm with passion and promise for that which is to come.


We eagerly await full bloom and sweet smells of fruit and flower.


A light, delightful rain sprinkles us with renewed hope for joyous times.



I love spring, as this is a time for total renewal. We can renew our relationships with self and others, and hope to restore our faith in that which is important to us. Taking care of our being in better fashion is great to hope for at any time, but spring season offers a special time for starting fresh. With this is mind, I decided to express my thoughts about hair breakage/split ends and what to do about it if you are a wits end. Don’t fret, just make a vow to start anew and do better by you and your hair.

The most common cause of hear breakage is traumatic hair care practices. The mechanism and result of hair breakage is not complicated and is pretty much as it sounds- hair shaft gets weak and snaps. Breakage results in a shorter hair shaft still attached to the scalp and a piece of hair on the floor or in your hand.

Trichoptilosis (split ends) occur when the protective cuticle (outermost layer of hair shaft) is destroyed at some point along the length of the hair. Although this usually occurs at the distal end of the hair, a split can technically occur anywhere along the strand. A normal healthy hair cuticle looks like shingles lying smoothly on a roof. Top causes of split ends include; traumatic hair care practices, overexposure to sun’s heat and dry, cold weather, and excessive hair washing with follicle stripping shampoos (i.e. sulfates).

To prevent breakage and split ends:

1. Gentle daily management and minimal manipulation is critical. Never brush your hair when it is wet, as this causes hair to stretch and weaken. Always use a wide-tooth comb to detangle and comb hair when it is wet or very well moisturized. Start at the bottom (ends) of the hair and gently use the comb to detangle working upwards towards the scalp.

2. Shampoo hair with mild sulfate-free shampoos or conditioners. Some of my favorites shampoo products include Curls Cleansing Cream Shampoo, Mehandi shampoo Bars, Olivella Olive Oil Soap (this is a bar soap made of olive oil and can be used for the entire body).

3. Keep hair well conditioned with the appropriate products. Mineral oil and petrolatum are not healthy for hair as moisturizing agents, as they simply coat the hair and prevent effective emollients from being able to do their job. My favorite conditioners include Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, and Ojon Moisturizing Conditioner.

4. Deep condition at least once a week for at least 30 min with a warm towel, bonnet hair dryer or portable heating head wrap. Some of my favorite, inexpensive products include extra virgin coconut and olive oils, and argan oil. If you want to splurge, Morrocanoil Hydrating Masque and Kerastase Oleo-Resin are great deep conditioners. A little goes a long way for both of these products.

5. Remove split ends regularly. The timeframe for when to trim the hair varies from person to person. On average, a trim every 6-8 weeks of an eighth of an inch is a good rule of thumb to follow. If split ends aren’t removed regularly, the split travels further up the hair shaft leading to thinner and more fragile hair.

6. Avoid direct heat styling (blow drying, curling/flat ironing, hot rollers, and crimpers). This fact cannot be stressed enough. In my personal experience, I have found that an increased use of heat styling leads to the faster and easier development of split ends. Direct heat styling also results in the development of air bubbles within the hair shaft which causes it to weaken. Blow drying, in particular, reduces the moisture content in hair far below its normal level. If an appliance is too hot, it may cause the natural water within the hair to boil which causes bubbles of steam to form. These bubbles cause a weakening of the hair shaft which can then lead to easier breakage at the level of the bubble or somewhere near it.


7. Chemicals (man-made products used to alter the color and/or texture of the hair) assist in weakening the hair which often results in breakage. Always have artificial coloring agents applied by a Color specialist (a professional) and deep condition at least twice weekly for a few weeks after the treatment. ANY color treatment should be followed by a deep conditioning treatment. Natural, chemical free hair care and coloring products are least likely to result in split ends and breakage.

8. Protect hair from the drying effects of the environment by lightly wrapping hair at night with a satin scarf or sleeping on a satin pillowcase. Keep ends protected with light oils/creams (i.e. coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter). If you want to splurge on great multi-purpose oil, check out Goe oil (www.jaostore.com). It is a combination of several different nutritious oils for skin and hair. Wear protective hairstyles. In cold weather, keep hair protected with silk/satin lined hats.

Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.



Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546).

Dr. Perry Talks Skin Cancer Prevention

Skin Cancer Prevention 101 and Sun Protection

"Don't worry about a thing,

'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.

"Don't worry about a thing,

'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Rise up this mornin',

Smiled with the risin' sun,

Three little birds

Pitch by my doorstep

Singin' sweet songs

Of melodies pure and true,

Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou :")

-Bob Marley's lyrics to “Three Little Birds”


Mr. Robert Nesta Marley (aka Bob Marley) is one of my lifelong favorite artists. He was a very earthy and spiritual man who passed away too early. Fortunately, his gifted messages will always live on through his music. Did you know he passed away from Malignant Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer? Are you as shocked as I was to learn about this part of his history? Given his desire to always impart important messages to assist us in life, I am sure he would want us to understand the importance of enjoying the sun in a healthy way and to prevent skin cancer.

The main reasons to protect against intense sun exposure is to prevent skin cancer; however, other benefits of doing so include a reduction in areas of discoloration/uneven tone, and the prevention of photo aging. Sun protection is best achieved by using the appropriate clothing (long sleeved shirts), wearing sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat and judicious use of sunscreen. Sunscreens have come under some scrutiny and there are some misconceptions about their ability to protect the skin without preventing Vitamin D deficiency. The last step of Vitamin D synthesis occurs in the skin and requires UV light (sunlight). Sunscreens, contrary to popular belief, do not prevent the absorption of 100% of the sun’s rays. They do protect against a portion of the most harmful rays that we expose ourselves to on a daily basis (even on a cloudy day). We receive enough Vitamin D in dietary sources to offset the prevention of adequate Vitamin D formation by the use of sunscreen. In addition, most women should already be taking Calcium and/or Vitamin D supplements to prevent osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), especially if there is a family history of such.

It is recommended that to get adequate protection, one wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 15. SPF 30 affords more protection and I often recommend that patients who are more likely to get sunburns rather than tan OR patients with issues of discoloration use it instead of SPF 15. Sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours while remaining out. Sunscreen should be reapplied after swimming, even if it says waterproof.

Daily use of a facial moisturizer with sunscreen (also used on the hands and chest, if exposed) is also a great way to protect from damaging rays. We are all exposed to UV rays daily, even while driving in a car.

Recommended Products:

-Titanium Dioxide is one of the best physical sun blocking ingredients.

-Neutrogena makes great sunscreen products. Cetaphil and Aveeno have great moisturizers with sunscreen. For those with sensitive skin, Vanicream has a great sunscreen without irritating preservatives, fragrances and dyes.

-Although Shea butter purportedly has some sun protective effect, the amount of protection afforded has not been determined.

Rates of skin cancer have been increasing, possibly due to the destruction of the ozone layer. We are all being subject to more intense and harmful ultraviolet rays. Although melanin (skin pigment) is thought to afford some degree of protection, it is certainly not completely protective. Any individual who notices a rapidly growing mole (nevus) or a newly appearing mole which is asymmetrical, has irregular borders, a variation in color, or a diameter greater than the size of an eraser on pencil should have it evaluated by a dermatologist. These changes could indicate Melanoma. Any new appearing growth which is very rough, scaly, exhibiting bleeding or crusting should also be evaluated, as these symptoms may indicate a Basal or Squamous Cell skin cancer. An annual complete skin examination by a dermatologist and periodic self-exams (including the palms, soles and mouth) are great ways to maintain skin health.


Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546).

Dr. Perry's Guide to Caring for Dry Skin


TURNING INTO A FLAKE?
A Guide to Caring for Dry Skin

When the ash monster comes to visit, you know you need to get busy moisturizing. Dry skin is not only uncomfortable and unappealing; it indicates a lack of attention to your personal well being. We’re all busy these days, but caring for your dry skin can make you feel better and proud that you care enough about yourself to do something special . . . just for you. The following tips can also be used to show your love and concern for someone special. I remember when my late maternal grandmother was in her last days. I bonded with her by massaging her frail, dry hands with thick, fragrant creams. She loved it and did I. Her hands had baked many a cake and wiped many a tear. They deserved all the TLC they could get. So do you!

As the seasons change, so must our skin and hair care regimen. In warmer weather, lighter moisturizers are needed to effectively moisturize without occluding the pores and creating a heat rash. In cooler, dryer weather, more intense moisturizing treatment is required to reduce the irritating effects of dry skin.

Managing dry skin involves three basic steps:

1. Cleansing with mild, nondrying cleansers
2. Gentle exfoliation with body scrubs and a pumice stone for your dry feet (1-2 times per
week)
3. Moisturizing, moisturizing, moisturizing!!

Body washes which contain emollients are a wonderful way to clean dry skin. There are so many products available for this process. Many companies offer products which contain a line of three items for each step. Lucky us!

Exfoliating requires applying a nice body scrub and using a loofah to gently massage away the dead skin cells which cause scaliness. A pumice stone can be used to exfoliate the thick skin which builds up on the soles of your feet.

There are three levels of moisturizing:
  1. Intense- Ointment based products trap moisture onto the skin surface most effectively. These products should be applied to soaking wet skin and massaged in. The extra water on the surface of the skin should be lightly towel dried. You may feel a bit sticky for a few hours until your skin absorbs the moisture. Using an ointment based product on hands and feet then covering with cotton socks overnight provides an intense moisturizing treatment for hard-to-treat areas of dryness.
  2. Moderate- Cream and butter based products are moderately effective in maintaining skin moisture. They can be applied to towel dried skin or during other times of the day. During winter months, it is a good idea to apply a cream based product after hand washing to keep hands soft and supple.
  3. Mild- Lotions and oils are the least effective in maintaining skin moisture; however they are the easiest to apply. These products are better reserved for warmer weather, as they do not tend to occlude the pores as easily as ointments and creams.
If your skin is very sensitive, be careful of using products that have heavy fragrance, as doing so may cause irritation.

Some recommended products:

Dove Body Wash

Neutrogena Sugar Scrub

Archipelago

Pomegranate Body Butter

Pomegranate Sugar Scrub

Pomegranate Polish

For ALL of you strictly natural ladies:

Maile Kawai- - Great body scrubs and emollients in flavors like Lilikon lemongrass, Coffee Macadamia Nut, Sugar Cane Ginger

Pure Fiji- - Sugar scrubs in yummy flavors (Coconut Milk and Honey, Pineapple, White Ginger Lily, and Mango). You can coordinate with the Hydrating lotion, Shower gel, Nourishing oil, and Room mist!

Kai- - Body polish, Body butter and lotion, and Body wash.

Hope this information helps you stay smooth and sleek!



Until next time . . .

Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.




Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546).

Dr. Perry on Hair Loss

Our Resident MD is back, and this time she's talking hair loss and possible solutions.


STRANDED

Tied up, tied down, burned with a hot iron, pulled, and pushed – I feel totally neglected. Why can’t I just be left alone? Why can’t I just be massaged with special care, set free and treated with respect and kindness? I may just break and leave this place. Better yet, I could totally drop out of sight where no one can find me.

Sound like a victim of domestic abuse? Not exactly, this may be your hair crying out for rescue.

Alopecia (hair loss) is frustrating, demoralizing and downright scary. Society puts a great deal of pressure on us to achieve and maintain a glorious mane. Unfortunately, circumstances sometimes arise which causes one to lose hair.

There are two basic categories of hair loss: Scarring and Non-scarring Alopecia. Within each category, there are multiple causes. It is possible to achieve hair regrowth in many cases of non-scarring alopecia. Scarring alopecia portends a more permanent and emotionally devastating situation, as it means that the hair follicles have been sufficiently destroyed so that regrowth is not likely. Non-scarring alopecia is more common than scarring form; therefore, my discussion will be limited to this type of hair loss. Scarring forms can be the result of extensive and prolonged destructive hair care practices, or a medical condition (i.e. lupus). The skin on the scarred area of the scalp will usually be shiny in appearance and thin in texture. A dermatologist should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.

The most common causes of Non-scarring alopecia are:

Traction alopecia- Hair loss due to traumatic hair care practices such as braiding, twisting the hair too tight or wearing binding hairstyles frequently. This common type of hair loss is usually most prominent around the hairline. Hair is more fragile and subject to breakage in these areas. Solution: Loosen up that hair! You’d probably fall out too if you were bound down too tight. Braiding/Twisting should be done loosely. If small bumps and or pain may appear in newly styled and affected areas, the braid/twist should be immediately removed. If you’ve already been a victim of traction alopecia and are looking for regrowth, treat affected areas with gentle hair care practices. Avoid the use of drying gels and products which may irritate/ dry out the hair and scalp skin. A dermatologist may be able to assist in providing medical treatments which can encourage a better environment for hair regrowth.

Telogen Effluvium- Hair loss due to major hormonal shifts related to pregnancy, stress and major illness. This type of hair loss is frustrating because the hair tends to thin diffusely throughout the scalp. It is normal to lose up to 100 hairs per day, but this condition results in an enhanced rate of shedding causing much more hair to fall out on a daily basis. Characteristic “club hairs” can be detected among the shed hair. They have a small white bulb at the end. Fortunately, this condition resolves on its own without medical treatment. Unfortunately, it can take several months after the hormones have become regulated that adequate regrowth is noted. Solution: Be gentle with your hair and patient for resolution.

Anagen Effluvium: Hair loss as a result of chemotherapy. This is another temporary hair loss state which usually occurs in response to medications used in cancer treatments. Hair will regrow in most cases, after offending medication is stopped.

Androgenetic Alopecia (Genetics): Women can also lose hair in a specific pattern in the crown region of the scalp due to hereditary causes. Some hair follicles in this region are genetically predestined to become smaller and eventually inactive. The hair then falls out. In women with this type of hair loss, the front hairline is usually spared with balding most pronounced in the crown region. Solution: Rogaine (minoxidil) has been used successfully in some cases to achieve a bit of regrowth. Seek the advice of a dermatologist for evaluation of and treatment for this type of alopecia.

Alopecia Areata : Hair loss thought to be associated with immune factors. This type of hair loss can cause solitary bald patches on the scalp (in its mild form) to complete loss of all body hair (most severe form). Solution: Most individuals with the mild form are successful at achieving hair regrowth with the assistance of cortisone injections and/or topical prescription agents. A visit to the dermatologist would be required for these treatments.

Hair breakage: On average, hair grows a half an inch per month. The terminal length of hair (the maximum length) is genetically determined. A major key to being able to fully appreciate increasing hair length is preventing breakage. Eliminating or minimizing traumatic hair care practices (i.e. direct heat styling), and moisturizing sufficiently are the best ways to retain length. Shampooing, Conditioning regularly and deep conditioning treatments with supple moisturizing agents help maintain hair moisture. Curly hair makes it more of a challenge for natural scalp oils to effectively move down the strand. The curlier the hair, the more difficult this process becomes. Therefore, adding moisture to the strands (especially the ends), sealing and protecting them with various styling techniques can really benefit your hair. Fortunately, there are many conditioning products available. Avoid petroleum and mineral oil containing products. These ingredients occlude pores and can lead to facial breakouts.

Treat yourself to a scalp massage regularly to stimulate the hair follicles. This is very relaxing and can help improve circulation which is always a good thing for hair health!

Until next time . . .

Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.



Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546).

Dr. Perry on Ethnic Skin and Acne

Our Resident MD is back and she's talking ACNE.


War and Peace

When you’re ticked off, the last thing you need is to be picked on, pushed around, and squeezed until you burst, right? Same thing for a zit! Picking fights with your breakouts puts you at war with your skin. Your skin will respond by becoming discolored, scarred and possibly infected to show its displeasure. Who needs that? You must LOVE that pimple into submission! Here’s my advice on how to give acne prone skin the care it needs to glow.

Acne (Acne Vulgaris) breakouts are caused by excess oil production usually caused by hormonal shifts. Although acne is most common in teenagers, some adults suffer from an onset way beyond the teen years. In people of color, breakouts can often lead to persistent discoloration long after the bumps have resolved. The face, chest and back are the most common areas of acne breakouts due to the fact that these areas have a high concentration of sebaceous (oil producing) glands. Unfortunately, these are the same areas where residue from hair products can block pores and lead to breakouts (Pomade Acne). A gentle skin care regimen utilizing the correct product ingredients can assist in controlling most mild breakouts. Moderate and severe breakouts usually require the assistance of a dermatologist. There are so many effective medications available to control breakouts these days.

Over the counter product ingredients which help acne prone skin are: Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, and Glycolic Acid. Neutrogena oil free acne wash and Clean and Clear are a basic cleansers which contains salicylic acid. The Proactiv skincare line contains Benzoyl Peroxide. The mdskincare line contains a great group of natural fruit acids. Be careful with using new products on your skin. I recommend performing a test area for 3 full days on a small area under your chin before using a product over your entire face. This helps to determine if you have sensitivity or are allergic to the product. Sometimes, newly treated acne skin become dry, sensitive to the sun and a bit irritated. A light moisturizer with sunscreen of SPF 30 (Cetaphil, Neutrogena, Purpose and Aveeno) each morning may assist in reducing this problem. Sunscreen can also help protect discolored areas from becoming darker, prevent photo aging and protect against skin cancer. Although shea butter has a natural sunscreen property, the extent of protection has not been determined. Try and avoid toners and astringents which contain alcohol (witch hazel included). These can dry out the surface of the skin which can lead to a worsening of acne or irritated skin. Facials are fine, but do not allow the technician to squeeze or pick affected areas and ask what product ingredients are being used. There is a great, cheap product that I recommend if one wants to have the feel of a spa experience, but the convenience of doing it at home for a fraction of the price- Queen Helene Grapeseed Extract Facial Peel Off mask. Be sure to apply a moisturizer afterward.

What to do when you have a big one? First of all, back away from that mirror, and put your guns down! Spot treatment with a Benzoyl Peroxide containing cream and Hydrocortisone 1% cream to reduce the inflammation quickly can reduce the chances of discoloration. Really big lesions can be treated with a cortisone injection by a dermatologist to reduce the swelling and pain quickly. Persistent areas of discoloration can be lightened with product ingredients specifically used for this purpose (hydroquinone, azelaic acid, kojic acid, licorice root extract or bearberry extract). Recently, hydroquinone has come under increased scrutiny and has fallen out of favor in some circles. It has been a mainstay of treatment for lightening areas of dark discoloration. The other ingredients listed above are naturally occurring substances. If discoloration persists, see a dermatologist. You may need a prescription strength regimen chemical peel or laser treatment to assist.

As always, keep your skin well-hydrated and well-nourished by drinking enough water daily, taking a Multivitamin supplement and maintaining a balanced diet.

Until next time . . .
Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.



Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546). The contents of this article are the literary property of Dr. Perry and are copyrighted.

Dr. Perry Talks Healthy Skin

Our Resident MD is kicking off this fabulous series with tips on how to achieve glowing, healthy skin.


SKINTASTIC! How to make your face shine

by Patricia Perry, M.D.


Your chocolate sweetness . . .

Dipped in the sugar of innocence

Sprinkled with kindness and respect

Seasoned with the tincture of time and evident in your cordial restraint

Salt and pepper grace your chin, shining light emanates from your eyes

Your smooth skin glides its way through my memory and

Your bright smile is like lightning to my soul

I wrote this poem after seeing someone who had the most beautiful, clear skin. Does your skin inspire thoughts like this? If not, maybe I can help you get your best skin.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Like any living being, it is dynamic, constantly changing and responds to what it is exposed to.

Top five terrible things you can do to be unloving and disrespectful to your skin:

    1. Unprotected sun exposure. Apply a moisturizer with SPF 30 daily to sun exposed skin (UV rays pierce clouds and windshields). When going outdoors for extended periods of time, apply sunscreen of SPF 30 about 30 minutes before going out and reapply every 2 hours. Please reapply after going in water (i.e. beach/lake/pool).
    2. Smoking. In addition to causing lung disease and cancer, smoking assists in aging the skin at a faster rate. If you’ve already started, put down those cancer sticks. If you haven’t started, don’t!
    3. Poor diet/ Poor hydration. As with all other aspects of health, ingesting five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily along with adequate amounts of water daily are great for your skin, nail and hair well-being. A general multivitamin daily and an Omega-3 fish oil supplement are also beneficial to skin health.
    4. No exercise/ regular and consistent physical activity. Thirty to forty-five minutes (3-5 times a week) of an activity which raises your heart rate is not only beneficial to lung and heart health, the skin benefits as well.
    5. Poor/No skin care regimen: A consistent regimen of cleansing and moisturizing is of paramount importance in achieving your best skin. Dry skin may need the regular assistance of exfoliation.
Wash your face with clean hands or a soft washcloth and a mild cleanser (i.e. Aveeno, Basis, Cetaphil, Purpose, Neutrogena product lines) every morning and evening. After cleansing in the morning, apply a moisturizer with sunscreen of at least SPF 30. In the evening, depending on specific skin care needs, apply a basic moisturizer or a polishing alpha-hydroxy acid/ glycolic acid containing cream. Many antiaging products which contain retinol, pentapeptides (i.e. ROC and Oil of Olay) are best used at night. These products can improve very fine lines and wrinkles, but are not able to successfully eliminate deeper lines and wrinkles. A visit to the dermatologist for antiaging treatments can be a good way to improve more intense wrinkles. Be careful with harsh alcohol containing astringents and toners (i.e. rubbing alcohol and witch hazel). They can dry out the surface of the skin and lead to irritation. If you have acne prone skin, be careful with excessive scrubbing. You may worsen your breakouts and cause irritation.

Exfoliation can be an effective way to eliminate dead cells which build up on the skin surface. A mild facial scrub which contains salicylic or glycolic acid used a few times a week can assist with this process. (i.e. St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub). Always moisturize after exfoliating. A visit to the dermatologist can provide you with the opportunity to have a chemical peel. Chemical peels are a wonderful way to rejuvenate the skin and even out the tone. Ask your dermatologist about the Vitalize peel. This is a wonderful peel which works well in skin of color. It contains salicylic and glycolic acid. Treat yourself!

Keep your lips protected by using a lip balm with sunscreen (i.e. Neutrogena and Kiels).

Tip: Always test new products before using over your entire face. It can take up to three days before a reaction occurs, therefore, a test trial should be performed under the chin or on the inner arm area for 72 hrs. Apply the product once a day, for three days, in the same designated area. If redness, swelling, burning or itching occur in that area, discontinue use of that product.


Until next time . . . Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.



Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546). The contents of this article are the literary property of Dr. Perry and are copyrighted.


Related Articles:
Dr. Perry Talks Skin Care and Natural Hair

Dr. Perry Talks Skin Care and Natural Hair

The doctor is in, and she's providing expert advice on skin care, healthy hair growth, scalp issues, and other natural hair issues. Meet Dr. Perry:


Patricia Perry, MD, is a New York trained dermatologist who recently relocated to California. She received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. Her residency in dermatology was completed at Columbia University’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Division in New York City, where she also served as Chief Resident. She has practiced dermatology in New York and in Hartford, Connecticut and maintains medical licensure in both states.

Dr. Perry’s clinical areas of expertise include the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer and disorders of pigmentation, as well as anti-aging and skin rejuvenation treatments and techniques.She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, the National Medical Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Drum roll please..... Dr. Perry is also a fellow curly! She ducked and dodged the hot comb from ages five to nine, and rocked a relaxer from nine to 34. She then transitioned slowly by getting milder and milder relaxers for two years, and then stopped altogether for six months. She big chopped in 2002 and never looked back. She heat styles occasionally for trimming sessions, and to switch things up a bit; her hair in the pic above is the result of a blow-out and flat iron. Her staple style is a chic, curly bun! Below is the result of a Twist-n-Curl. She commented, "I find that Moroccan oil products and Monoi Tahiti Tiare oil work wonders for my fine ends".




 **If you have a question for our resident MD, please send your emails to [email protected]  Use "The Doc Is In" as the subject line. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...