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summer-2019-do-you-use-protection

Do You Use Protection?

Do you use protection? No, not the kind of protection you’re likely thinking of.  It’s a provocative question from the American Academy of Dermatology, designed to get you to think about and use sunscreen regularly.  It’s imperative to slather on the sunscreen during the summer but also important year-round. I’ve been a member of AAD […]

Do you use protection?

No, not the kind of protection you’re likely thinking of.  It’s a provocative question from the American Academy of Dermatology, designed to get you to think about and use sunscreen regularly.  It’s imperative to slather on the sunscreen during the summer but also important year-round.

I’ve been a member of AAD since I began my career as a board-certified dermatologist, and the need for sunscreen has never been greater.  Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in United States.  In fact, one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. It is estimated that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.

By definition, skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Skin cancer affects people of all colors and races, although those with light skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk. It’s why we encourage everyone to wear protective sunscreen daily. We also encourage annual skin cancer checks in our office.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, while basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are the two most common forms of skin cancer. Here are some basic facts about each:

Melanoma is the most serious.

  • Frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
  • Is often treated surgically.  May also require chemotherapy.

Squamous Cell is the second most common form of cancer.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed.
  • Cases tend to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back.
  • Most squamous cell carcinomas of the skin can be completely removed with surgery, radiation therapy or occasionally with a topical medication.

Basal Cell is the most common and slowest growing form of skin cancer.

  • Basal cell carcinomas often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are important.
  • Doesn’t commonly spread to other parts of the body, but it’s still recommended to be removed.
  • Basal cell carcinoma that is superficial and doesn’t extend very far into the skin may be treated with creams or ointments.

While Mohs surgery remains the “go to” treatment for melanoma, it has also been the traditional choice for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma treatment. Depending on the severity of the case, it has drawbacks. Moh’s surgery, even when done by the best surgeon , can develop complications such as post-operative bleeding, infection or scarring   Patients must also stop taking their blood thinners before surgery, which  puts susceptible patients at risk for blood clots or stroke, especially in patients with AFib.  With that, we were looking for an alternative for patients who don’t need Mohs.

At Lehigh Valley Dermatology, we’re excited by the renewed use of superficial radiation therapy (SRT) for non-melanoma skin cancer.  Interestingly, it’s one of the oldest treatments, having been developed more than 100 years ago.  It’s been refined for use today.  In fact, we’ve just added this treatment back into our arsenal at the practice by bringing in SkinCure, a leader in this SRT Therapy renaissance.

SRT is a highly evolved technology that allows high resolution imaging of the tumor, and delivery of safe and precise doses of superficial radiation.  It’s a proven non-invasive procedure that has been used to treat non-melanoma skin cancer for decades.  Because the x-rays concentrate the superficial radiation dose on the skin surface, the treatment has several advantages over surgical procedures for skin cancer.  Cosmetic results are excellent and no cutting is necessary.  Most importantly patients are not put at risk by holding their anticoagulants!  It’s a painless, safe and highly effective non-surgical option for skin cancer treatment. We’re pleased to be putting the power of it to use again in the Lehigh Valley.    

The best offense is a good defense when it comes to fighting skin cancer.  Start with that sun protection and be vigilant with skin cancer checks.  If treatment is needed, technology is on your side.  We hope our provocative question prompts you to protect yourself this summer and year-round.

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Hair On… Hair Off

It’s a running joke that when men lose the hair on their heads, it inevitably shows up somewhere unwanted. Many will shave or wax during the summer.  Others opt for a more permanent solution. I’ve treated thousands of men and women in the Lehigh Valley who have wanted to discreetly and permanently get rid of […]

It’s a running joke that when men lose the hair on their heads, it inevitably shows up somewhere unwanted. Many will shave or wax during the summer.  Others opt for a more permanent solution.

I’ve treated thousands of men and women in the Lehigh Valley who have wanted to discreetly and permanently get rid of hair in a variety of places (men often ask for back and shoulders.  Women aim for the underarms, legs and bikini line).  I am proud to say I was one of the first physicians in the country to use lasers to remove hair.  Since then, I’ve been active in the development of new treatment parameters to make certain laser hair removal remains safe and effective. Typical treatment to reduce and remove hair involves a series of four to six treatments, spaced six weeks apart.  The hair needs to be treated across the entire growing cycle to make sure you get it all.  So if you want the hair removed before summer, it’s best to start the process in the Fall or Winter.

All that said, one laser is never enough.  Always look for a practice with experience and access to multiple lasers to treat multiple kinds of hair.  Your skin tone and hair color all work into the equation.  A person with light skin and dark hair responds to many systems, but patients with light hair need different wavelengths of light to successfully treat and reduce hair.  I cannot tell you how many blonde or gray haired laser hair removal patients we see after they’ve cashed in a Groupon at a laser clinic with just one laser, only to be disappointed with the results.  Shop around!  Currently, we are using Palomar’s Icon™ system as our primary system at our Bethlehem office. The Icon system utilizes the revolutionary SkinTel system that performs exact pigment typing that allows for optimized and safe laser parameters, while our long pulsed YAG laser is reserved for resistant hair in patients with darker skin types.  Other available lasers for hair removal at Aesthetica include the Spectra Q-switched YAG laser, the Lutronic Advantage, and the Viora V20.

There’s something for even the most stubborn cases.

On the opposite side of the discussion, there are men and women who struggle with hair loss.  There are emerging solutions for that, too.

We always suggest our patients try topical treatments first (things like Rogaine, etc.) or oral medications.  If those fail, surgical hair transplants have been widely used for years.  Now, we have an exciting option that can delay or completely negate the need for surgery, platelet rich plasma (PRP) that can stimulate hair growth at the site.

PRP utilizes the body’s own potent growth factors found in platelets to stimulate natural hair growth. By delivering the platelet-derived growth factors to a patient’s area of thinning hair, PRP treatment is able to promote the growth of healthy hair.

We use the Selphyl® system in our office.  We take a small sample of your own blood and spin it in a centrifuge, separating the platelet rich plasma.  The PRP is injected into the scalp, stimulating each hair shaft.  Most patients come in for a series of three different visits.  While not instant, optimum results are seen in the first 12 months.  Hair gets thicker, more hairs grow, and fewer are lost.  Results are natural and lasting, often improving over time.

Sports medicine has used PRP for years to treat injuries to the Achilles tendon, joints and muscles by stimulating stem cells. In the case of hair loss, the injected platelets prompt inactive or newly implanted hair follicles to enter an active growth phase, causing the hair to start growing again.

While none of the hair reduction or replacement treatments are typically covered by insurance, the cost ranges from hundreds of dollars versus the thousands you can spend on surgical solutions.

Whether it’s hair on…or off.  We’ve got you covered!

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Winter-Wonders

Winter Wonders for your Skin

Winter is often the time to wear layers and cover up. Believe it or not; it’s actually the best time of year to focus on improving your skin. Many cosmetic dermatology treatments take a series of sessions to get the best results, and no one will ever know what you’re doing since you’re dressed for […]

Winter is often the time to wear layers and cover up. Believe it or not; it’s actually the best time of year to focus on improving your skin. Many cosmetic dermatology treatments take a series of sessions to get the best results, and no one will ever know what you’re doing since you’re dressed for winter! Here are four different conditions we commonly treat this time of year:

1 Sun Damage

As we age, our skin ages with us. Irregularities in pigmentation, called liver spots or age spots, can form. Skin loses youthful tension and collagen, creating wrinkles, and exposure to the sun can give us irregularities called sun spots. Laser Skin Rejuvenation is the process of bringing youthful firmness and complexion to skin that has suffered aging, wrinkles, or sun damage, and restoring a young-looking appearance and youthful feel to the skin.

Addressing your skin concerns during a consultation can help us create a customized solution to rejuvenate your skin. A combination of the highly sophisticated skin care products and the latest laser and light sources for rejuvenation of your skin will be recommended and a timeline established.

2 Spider Veins

If you cover up your legs during the summer because of unsightly (and sometimes uncomfortable) spider veins, winter is an excellent time to treat. Spider veins typically appear on the face or legs and inherit their name from the blue or red spider web shape they take. Since it’s good to have options, we have many lasers at Aesthetica for the treatment of leg veins and spider veins including the visible light V-Beam® Perfecta Pulsed dye laser and Palomar’s Icon™ System. A number of long-pulsed YAG lasers, the Cool Touch Varia V3 laser, and Cutera Excel V laser, are also utilized in treating leg veins.

3 Hair Removal

If you’re sick of shaving or waxing, laser hair removal makes good sense for you. It’s fantastic for people with brown hair and can be performed on the legs, underarms, and bikini line. In fact, I was one of the first physicians in the United States to perform laser hair removal and actively participated in the development of effective treatment parameters for this procedure. Currently, we are using Palomar’s Icon™ system as the primary treatment tool at our Bethlehem office. The Icon system utilizes the revolutionary SkinTel system that performs exact pigment typing that allows for optimized and safe laser parameters. We also have solutions reserved for resistant hair in patients with darker skin types. It’s one of the very first treatments we offered at our practice, and we continue to run specials to make it cost effective (look for one in early 2017).

4 Body Contouring

If you enjoyed a little too much holiday cheer, Aesthetica offers excellent solutions for body contouring. While they aren’t for weight loss, our new Exilis Ultra, Cellutone® and the Viora Reaction systems are used to treat stubborn spots that don’t respond to diet and exercise. We can address lax upper arm skin, baby belly ” pooch,” love handles, “bra fat,” waist and belly areas, “saddle bags,” and cellulite!

As always, it’s best to come in so we can customize a solution for your specific treatments. The right time to get started is now to allow yourself ample time to get ready for summer 2017.

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5-dermatology-must-dos

5 Dermatology Must Do’s This Summer

When you’re a business person, it’s important to put your best face forward.  No matter what your age or stage, keeping your skin in good health is important. It’s your largest organ after all!   Here are 5 “Must do’s” to keep your skin healthy this summer. 1 Wash your face with your own products.  Beyond […]

When you’re a business person, it’s important to put your best face forward.  No matter what your age or stage, keeping your skin in good health is important. It’s your largest organ after all!   Here are 5 “Must do’s” to keep your skin healthy this summer.

1 Wash your face with your own products.  Beyond a bar of bath soap, wonderful skin care products are made specifically with men and women in mind.  Everyone should wash their face daily with products designed for your skin type and then follow with moisturizer.  Your skin care specialist can help steer you to products that will work best for you (or you can try one I invented-MDRejuvena- available at Aesthetica Cosmetic & Laser Center).

2 If you’ve spent most of your life soaking up the sun, it’s important to schedule an annual skin cancer checkup with a board certified Dermatologist.  If you have a history of skin cancer in your family, you should be seen more often.  It goes without saying that you should wear broad spectrum sunscreen with at minimum of 15 SPF daily.  If you’re planning to be outside, use SPF30 or more and apply often.  You should also avoid tanning beds year round.

3 Since youth is often valued in the workplace, keep an eye on signs of aging.  If you’re starting to see wrinkles, consider minimally invasive and no downtime procedures. Injectables including Botox® and cosmetic fillers such as Juvéderm® can provide both fullness and smoothness to the skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the forehead, eyes, as well as a sagging neck skin.  We feature products by Allergan and Galderma in our practice, which allows us to customize these products to bring out the best in you. We also pride ourselves in offering the very latest in cosmetic and laser technology.  My years as a medical researcher in the field has helped us tailor treatments to address the common signs of aging including; sagging skin around the face, fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

4 If you are bothered by heavy sweating, sometimes deodorant isn’t enough.  Botox injections in the area can help but you must repeat treatment ever few months.  We also offer an FDA-approved in-office procedure called miraDry™.  In fact, we were the first practice in the state of Pennsylvania to bring it to patients and have since become one of the premier providers of this treatment in the country.  MiraDry uses microwave energy, delivered in a handheld wand, to “zap” sweat glands.  Two treatments are typically needed to complete the process but improvement can be seen after one.  The procedures are done in my dermatology office and are spaced six weeks apart.  Our first patients, who had the procedure over two years ago, still report that they are sweat free!

5 Finally, if you struggle with embarrassing toenails, sandal season can be especially difficult.  Millions of men and women have onychomycosis (the fancy name for toenail fungus infections).  You see the ads all over TV and radio for prescription medications.  You can avoid harsh chemicals and pills by trying treatments like Q-Clear™, available at Lehigh Valley Dermatology.  It’s the only FDA-approved laser on the market designed to clear nails in patients with Onychomycosis.  It’s painless and takes very little time–just less than a minute per nail.  There’s no downtime and a series of treatment is cost effective.

Don’t let the summer heat get you the best of you.  Your skin will thank you.

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Fall Skin Care

The Essentials As sun drenched bathing suit season transitions to the frost of Fall, most people are getting ready to pack away their summer clothes and pull on a sweater. Before you do, it’s time to evaluate what the summer sun did to your skin. Start with a skin analysis using technology like the Can […]

The Essentials

As sun drenched bathing suit season transitions to the frost of Fall, most people are getting ready to pack away their summer clothes and pull on a sweater. Before you do, it’s time to evaluate what the summer sun did to your skin.

Start with a skin analysis using technology like the Can eld Visia System we have in our of ce. This special camera sees “under” your skin, reveal- ing damage unseen by the naked eye. It can identify sunspots, age spots, and wrinkles and gives you a peak at the future.

Once you have a true picture, there are a number of ways to reverse and slow the damage caused by sun exposure. While many face creams on the market promise results, we believe you’re better off with professional treatments. Facials, microdermabrasion, microneedling, and IPL light treatments all work alone or combined.

Facials are a perfect place to start. We’re especially fond of one called the HydraFacialTM. It pumps moisture back into the skin and can be tailored to all skin types. Follow up with the right skincare at home and invest in a ClairsonicTM brush to use once a day.

We also offer advanced, no downtime treatments with devices like the Clear + Brilliant PermeaTM, which is perfect for young patients, with mini- mal damage. It’s good for pores, texture, and ne lines. It’s a cumulative treatment, meaning the more times you do it, the better results you get.
If your skin needs more, IPL and Fractional laser light treatments can be customized to each and every skin issue. Because of our years in the medical research eld, we are able to offer a wide range of treatments to address the common signs of aging, including sagging skin around the face, ne lines and wrinkles, age spots, skin damage and scarring from trauma, sun exposure, or acne. The pulsed dye laser treats anything pink or red, like scars, rosacea, and broken capillaries. Fraxel Thulium focuses on texture, pore size, ne lines, and brown spots.

RF Microneedling, using devices like the Dermapen and In ni, allow us to infuse serums deep into the skin, adding the moisture the sun dried out. Downtime varies, but is usually minimal.

So why now? Fall is also the ideal time to start treatments that require a series of visits. With the help of advanced lasers, we can remove tattoos, tackle spider veins, remove hair, kill toenail fungus and even stop exces- sive sweating, but the truth is, all of these require time. The best time to start is now. While most patients start thinking of these kinds of things after the holidays, Spring is too late to start and expect optimum results.

One last piece of advice, the technology is changing constantly, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed when you start doing your own research. Like many medical treatments, it’s often better to tackle an issue with more than one device. Lasers are frequently used in combination with other therapies, and in this eld, timing is everything. Fall is the perfect time to start saving your skin.

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