Health

DNA + Copper: Skincare Genius

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Are you ready to hear about Derm Clinic’s latest dermatologic skincare obsession? From DNA damage control to anti-aging solutions, Neova Skincare has you covered. In the vibrant city of Charleston, we all want to look young forever, and Neova can help with that.

The introduction of copper in skincare products is quite fascinating. Studies have shown that copper initiates positive changes in mature skin that is experiencing loss of elasticity as well as dullness and wrinkles. Copper peptide, a common ingredient found in skincare products, is used to promote and produce collagen and elastin in the skin. By combining Copper Peptide with DNA-Repairing Enzymes that repair the sun-damaged DNA in your skin, you could look younger and healthier.

 

If you’re feeling down and negative about your appearance due to aging, turn to Neova for better looking skin through advanced technology using copper peptides. Neova has been seen on television shows such as the Today Show, The Doctors, and multiple news programs as well as mentioned in many magazines such as Vogue, Allure, Star, Dermascope, Marie Claire and more. The Neova line can help your skin repair damage and rediscover the youthful glow that you thought was long-gone years ago!

 

Are you curious to see what our medical dermatology services can do for you and your skin? Call Derm Clinics of Charleston at (843) 795-7546 to inquire about our products & services that best suit YOU. We accept same and next day appointments, so you get the skin you’ve always wanted without the wait!


The Sun, Your Skin and EltaMD

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At Derm Clinics, our primary concern is your health and happiness. We’re here to provide you with excellent dermatology services and advice, which is why we choose only the best products for our patients. Although it’s been a very rainy summer in Charleston, it’s still imperative to protect your skin and you’ll need the best skincare products to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are skin care products important?

Our skin needs moisture to prevent dryness. An all over moisturizer applied daily will help prevent wrinkles and keep skin moist. Our favorite EltaMD products seal moisture into the surface, thus preventing evaporation and lasting throughout the day.

 

Are sun care products really necessary?

Of course they are! As we’ve mentioned before, more than two million people in the United States each year are diagnosed with skin cancer & the sun causes 90% of these cases. Don’t believe us? Take a look at these sun facts, they just might change your mind:

  • Overcast days are not much safer than those that are sunny, as 70-80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can get through the clouds.
  • The sun is about 80% stronger when reflected off sand and snow.
  • The sun’s rays increase in intensity about 4% for every 1,000-foot rise in altitude.
  • It’s better to play or engage in sports before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. If that’s not possible, try to avoid being out at high noon.
  • In general, kids can get all the vitamin D they need for strong bones from fortified milk, salmon, vitamin supplements and/or brief, casual sun exposure.

 

So, why use EltaMD?

Our faces are in the public eye every day. Don’t we strive to keep youthful,

wrinkle-free skin as long as possible? EltaMD skincare products focus on providing safe, effective skin care that includes deep, gentle cleansing and intense moisturization for all skin types, including the most sensitive skin. With EltaMD products, you will see individualized results specific to your needs as they offer natural broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Skincare plays a very important role in our lives, and sun-care is important for all ages and races. Make moisturizer and sunscreen a part of your daily routine. As time progresses, you’ll be glad you did!

At Derm Clinics Charleston, we strive to provide you with the perfect dermatology solutions for your specific skin type. If you’re looking to update your skincare products, come in to sample our favorite products, or contact us at (843) 795-7546 for scheduling services. If you have any questions regarding EltaMD or other products we love, please don’t hesitate to ask!


May is Melanoma Awareness Month

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May is not just the beginning of beach season here in Charleston, SC, it is also Melanoma Awareness Month. With warmer weather promising more outdoor fun, it’s important to be aware of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Thankfully, it is highly preventable with a few lifestyle changes.

Melanoma Awareness Month

Melanoma is a skin cancer that develops in the skin’s pigment cells. Although melanoma is not as common as other types of skin cancer, it can be potentially lethal because of its ability to spread to other areas of the body. Often melanoma appears on the skin as a blemish, spot or mole. Not all blemishes, spot and moles on the skin are melanoma, but the ABCDEs of melanoma can help determine if you need to get checked by a dermatologist:

  • Asymmetry: if a spot or mole on the skin seems bigger on one side than the other.
  • Borders: if a spot or mole has an irregular border or shape from other spots or moles on your skin.
  • Color: if a spot or mole is mutli-colored or a different color from other spots or moles on your skin.
  • Diameter: if a spot or mole is bigger than a pencil eraser.
  • Evolution: if there is a change in the size, shape, or symptoms of a spot or mole.

More than half of melanoma cases develop from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.  But don’t worry; if staying indoors is not in your summer plans, there are several things you can do to reduce your chance of potentially harmful sun exposure – we recently covered them and the traits that make a person more at risk for developing skin cancer in our blog: Skin Cancer Screenings: A Summer Must.

Although monthly self-exams using the ABCDE’s of melanoma are an important way to determine changes in skin appearance, the only person melanoma can be diagnosed by is your dermatologist. In addition to monthly self-exams, annual skin cancer screenings performed by a dermatologist are an important step in staying healthy.  A skin cancer screening is a visual inspection of your skin performed before any symptoms are present. If something appears abnormal during the screening, a biopsy will be taken. The biopsy will determine if the abnormality is cancerous or not.
To schedule a skin cancer screening appointment with Derm Clinics Charleston, contact us at (843) 795-7546.

 


Skin Cancer Screenings: A Summer Must!

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The temps are heating up here in Charleston, SC, which means lots of fun in the sun! Before hitting the beach there are some facts you should know about skin cancer: when to get screened and what precautions to take to avoid getting cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. That being the case, it is important to know about the different types of skin cancer, as well as the preventative measures to decrease the chances of having skin cancer.

 

More than two million people in the United States each year are diagnosed with the most common types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These types of skin cancer are easily detectable as alterations or changes in the skin occur. If alterations and changes are noticed quickly enough, they are promptly examined by a dermatologist who also performs a biopsy. Non-melanoma skin cancers, because they are easily detectable, are also easily curable.

 

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer; luckily, it is not as common as other types of skin cancer. Melanoma is potentially lethal, and new cases of malignant melanoma have been steadily increasing since 2005.

 

People with the following traits are more susceptible to skin cancer and should receive lifelong dermatologic surveillance as well as perform monthly self-exams:

  • A family history of melanoma and other skin cancers
  • Atypical moles (irregular borders, color variation, or are asymmetrical)
  • Skin that burns easily/fails to tan
  • Freckling, blue eyes or red hair
  • A history of blistering sunburns

 

The most preventable cause of skin cancer is the sun. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), adequately protecting one’s skin from the sun is an easy way to prevent skin cancer. Here’s how:

  • Avoid tanning beds. The same dangerous ultraviolet light from the sun is used by tanning beds.
  • Seek shade during the sun’s apex (10am – 2pm). If your shadow is shorter than you, get out of the sun.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses whenever possible.
  • Near sand, snow and water? Use caution, as those surfaces reflect and intensify light and can cause skin damage regardless of the temperature.
  • Wear sunscreen. Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen on your skin before sun exposure (Sun Protection Factor of 30 or higher). Reapply every two hours regardless of the weather.

 

Along with lifelong dermatologic surveillance, we may recommend that you undergo a skin cancer screening. This screening is a visual inspection of your skin, performed by a dermatologist. These screenings are performed before any symptoms are found, if something appears abnormal during the screening a biopsy will be taken. A pathologist will evaluate the biopsy and determine if the growth is benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
To schedule a skin cancer screening appointment with Derm Clinics Charleston, contact us at (843) 795-7546.


Rosacea 101

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What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin disease that usually begins with having a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The National Rosacea Society has designated this upcoming April as Rosacea Awareness Month, so we find it an apt time to help you & the general public understand this condition.

More than 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea, so taking the time to help create awareness of this common skin disease is crucial.

Rosacea Symptoms

FIrst, rosacea is a very complex skin disease that has numerous symptoms. Aside from excessive blushing or flushing in the face, the redness can also spread beyond the nose and cheeks, reaching the forehead and chin, and even the ears, chest and back all at the same time.

However, rosacea is much more than just redness; the many signs and symptoms of rosacea are so diverse they have consequently been assigned to four subtypes. If you’re concerned that you may have any of the following symptoms, contact us immediately.

Subtype 1: Facial Redness

Medical name: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea

Symptoms: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels, stinging, burning and swelling

 

Subtype 2: Bumps and Pimples

Medical name: Papulopustular rosacea

Symptoms: Redness, swelling, bumps (papules), acne-like breakouts or pimples (pustules), red patches

 

Subtype 3: Skin Thickening

Medical name: Phymatous rosacea

Symptoms: Excess tissue, skin thickens and has bumpy texture, often results in enlargement of the nose and irregular surface nodules (bump-like lesions)

 

Subtype 4: Eye Irritation

Medical name: Ocular rosacea

Symptoms: Red, irritated, watery, or bloodshot eyes, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, sty-like effects, and recurrent styes

Talking About Rosacea

As with discussing any visible disease, talking about rosacea and insensitive questions can be frustrating and embarrassing. Don’t worry – you’re not alone when it comes to experiencing these situations. Trust us, many individuals feel uncomfortable and humiliated, but that’s why we’re here for you!

Because April is Rosacea Awareness Month, we’re here to educate the public on how to talk about the condition and to create awareness on this common skin disease. Here are some tips to follow when talking about rosacea or trying to share information:

  • Many adults have it (16 million Americans), so you are part of a very large group. You are not alone, not everyone is aware of rosacea and may not know how common it truly is.
  • Often times people confuse facial redness with heavy drinking or poor hygiene – both of which are untrue about rosacea. Point out these facts to anyone who is confused. Let them know the condition is unrelated to cleanliness, and although heavy drinking can aggravate the disorder, the symptoms can be just as severe in someone sober.
  • Rosacea is a condition that comes and goes and is worse during flare-ups. This fluctuating nature is due to specific triggers, so let people know of personal triggers you are avoiding and that you are helping control the condition with medication.
  • Subscribe to Rosacea Review and encourage others to educate themselves on the topic. You may know someone with rosacea or have a friend who should see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment – encourage them to be knowledgeable about the condition.

 

How to Treat Rosacea

If you believe you may have rosacea or have previously been diagnosed, the following tips can help:3

○      At the first sign of symptoms, treatment often controls the disease and eliminates the visible effects and feelings such as burning or itching.

○      Treating it early can stop the condition from getting worse – before it becomes more difficult to treat.

○      Rosacea may not go away on its own and tends to worsen as time goes on.

○      Different types of rosacea (see ‘Rosacea Symptoms’ above) need different treatments.

○      Over The Counter treatments may worsen your rosacea, as some contain ingredients that cause rosacea to flare up. Prescription treatments from your doctor are specific to your individual’s needs.

  • Learn what triggers your rosacea. There are many everyday things that can cause flare-ups, including sunlight, stress and many foods and beverages. Every individual has different triggers, which is why it’s crucial to determine your personal triggers so you can avoid them.
  • Follow a rosacea skin care plan. Also an important role in controlling rosacea, the right skin care regimen can help keep rosacea under control. There are products that are too harsh and can worsen your condition.

In additional, there are support groups available and other resources that help many with the disorder live more comfortably.

Do you think you have any of the following symptoms or need help controlling your rosacea? We’re here to help, so please contact us for any concerns you may have. We offer laser treatments for blood vessels and generalized redness and can prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.

If you have any friends who you may want to share this information, or want to help create awareness with the general public, please feel free to comment below or to share this post.


Charleston Dermatology Tip: The Proper Way to Apply Sunscreen

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After reading our previous blog post on sunscreen, New FDA Rules on Sunscreen, you should be aware of how to choose the right sunscreens for effective protection. However, the correct application of sunscreen isn’t monitored like the label requirements and can make as much or more of an impact on your skin’s protection from the sun. Living in sunny, warm Charleston means that you’ll need to take extra precautions to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

As a dermatologist located in the Lowcountry, we receive many inquiries regarding sunscreen application: How often should you apply sunscreen? ‘Frequent’ is a vague term often used on labels, but doesn’t offer much depth in instruction. And how much is an adequate amount to apply? How early prior to going outdoors do you need to apply?

These important factors can make a vast difference in the effectiveness of your sunscreen, so follow the steps below according to the AAD for the proper way to protect your skin.

Who?

Who needs sunscreen, you ask? Well that’s a trick question – because everyone needs to wear sunscreen. Skin cancer appears on people of all skin colors, of which many incidents could have been avoided if proper skincare had been implemented.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting more than 2 million people with more than 3.5 million skin cancers. Applying sunscreen the correct way is crucial for everyone to having healthy skin.

What?

The AAD recommends everyone use sunscreens that offer broad-spectrum protection (UVA and UVB rays), SPF 30 or higher, and lotions that are water resistant. (Check out our blog to help you pick the right one.)

When?

Apply sunscreen every day. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can pass through the clouds and penetrate your skin. In addition, snow and sand increase the need for sunscreen. Ever gotten a goggle tan-line from going skiing? That’s because snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays. Make sure you apply sunscreen 15 minutes BEFORE going outside.

How much?

Most people only apply around 25% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. In reality, you must wear a generous amount to cover your skin completely – a full ounce, the amount of one full shot glass, should be enough to cover all of your exposed areas.

Re-apply every two hours or after swimming or excessively sweating, according to the directions on the bottle. Studies have shown that applying every 20-30 minutes is more effective than waiting 2 hours.

Last but not least, make sure you’re covering those tricky spots – lips, ears, scalp and the tops of feet, for example. Your lips are also at risk of cancer, so apply a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher for full coverage.

Thinking back, do you think you’ve been applying enough sunscreen for adequate protection? Have you noticed yourself using more sunscreen with the new FDA regulations in place?


A Dermatologist’s Guide to Eyelash Loss and Treatment

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Many may not think to turn to a dermatologist for hair loss, but this is an issue Dr. Myers can help address. Additionally, hair loss is not isolated to the follicles on a person’s head – eyelash thinning can be a traumatic experience and cause the individual to become self-conscious of their appearance.

From thyroid conditions to allergies and blepharitis (explained below), there are many varying reasons why your eyelashes may be thinning or falling out.

Some of the main causes of eyelash loss include:

  • Chemical Allergy to Mascara – This can actually be quite common. The chemicals used in popular mascaras can cause itchiness, swelling and watery eyes.
  • Blepharitis – Commonly known as inflation of the eyelids, this is one of the most common reasons for eyelashes falling out and is usually caused by infection, trauma or allergies.
  • Alopecia Areata – Also known as AA, this physical condition is where the immune system breaks down and attacks hair follicles on the body.
  • Thyroid Condition – There are two varying types of thyroid conditions and both can have a negative effect on your eyelashes. If you see dull, coarse or brittle eyelashes, seek the opinion of a doctor.
  • Trichotillomania Tangle – A psychological condition when someone knowingly or even unknowingly pulls out their eyelashes due to stress or tension.

Natural eyelash loss can also occur, so it is important to avoid panicking. Weak lashes usually fall out and are then quickly replaced with new, healthy lashes. As long as your eyelashes are steadily growing back, you have nothing to worry about.

No matter the cause of eyelash loss, we look at ways that everyone can improve their lashes, in length and in volume. In some cases, even if your eyelashes grow back steadily, people like to enhance their lashes using prescription treatments, such as Latisse. This is a product we carry and are able to provide a prescription.

If you are located in Charleston and are interested in eyelash treatments or have concerns about hair loss, make an appointment with us – we provide next day appointments with our dermatologist and specialists.


New FDA Rules on Sunscreen

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It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, especially when it comes to protecting your skin. That is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come up with new rules for sunscreen manufacturers and labelers to better protect consumers and their knowledge of the products they are using.

In 2011, the FDA announced significant changes to sunscreen products in order to help consumers make buying decisions and to help them use these products to protect themselves more efficiently. The measures being taken include the following:

    • Establishing standards for testing and effectiveness of sunscreen and requiring labels to accurately reflect test results
    • A regulation proposed limiting the maximum SPF value label to “SPF 50+”
    • A data request for safety and effectiveness information formulated in dosage forms (i.e., sprays)
    • A draft guidance for sunscreen manufacturers on how to test and label their products according to these new measures

On June 18, 2012, the final FDA regulations became effective that determined which products are allowed to say “Broad Spectrum” on their label. When doing so, the FDA didn’t want to commence a shortage of sunscreen available, so the compliance dates for testing and labeling were moved to December 17.

Products that pass the broad spectrum test provide UVB and UVA protection and will be properly labeled as such. Sunscreens that aren’t broad spectrum will be labeled with the following warning, “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.”

There will be water resistance claims on the front label stating either 40 minutes or 80 minutes based on how long the user will get the expected SPF level of sun protection while swimming or sweating. In addition, labels are no longer allowed to say “waterproof” and “sweatproof” or identified as a “sunblock.”

Finally, sunscreens aren’t allowed to claim instant protection upon application or that users are still being protected after two hours from application, unless they submit accurate data and it’s approved by the FDA.

With these new regulations being rolled out, you will be better informed as to which sunscreens suit your needs. Before buying any sunscreen, make sure you read the labels front and back to ensure you know what you are purchasing. Don’t forget that not all sunscreens are made equal, so choose wisely! And when in doubt, contact us and we can provide any information needed.

What do you think of the FDA’s stricter regulations?


The Basics of Acne, Prevention and Treatment

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Let’s face it, most of us get it, but no one wants it. That’s why we’re here – to share everything you need to know about acne and provide some best practices for how to treat it.

Let’s begin with the basics. The term ‘acne’ refers to plugged pores, pimples and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and even the upper arms. For most, acne begins in puberty but can still occur on adults up to their ‘50s.

Acne lesions are either inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Non-inflammatory includes open or closed comedones. Open comedones are known as whiteheads, and closed comedones are known as blackheads. Acne scarring occurs often and is most prominent in patients with inflammatory acne.

Acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans and is the most common skin disorder in the US. Nearly 80% of 11- to 30-year-olds are affected – mostly on the face, neck and back. By mid-teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne or acne scarring, which requires treatment from a dermatologist.

The causes of acne have been contemplated for years, but the most common known causes or triggers are emotional stress, menstruation, oil and grease from makeup or the environment, hereditary factors, and an increase in male hormones found in both meals and females. A common misnomer, chocolate and greasy foods have not actually been shown to cause acne.

The best way to care for acne is not to pick at it; this helps you avoid scars. If acne doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications, seek treatment early. General hygiene can also help with treatment, by washing affected areas twice a day with mild soap and water. Vigorous washing can irritate your skin and worsen your acne.

Also, shampooing your hair every day if it’s oily and using oil-free cosmetics and other products, such as sunscreen, will help prevent acne. Often, antibiotics that are taken orally are prescribed for acne. The antibiotic Isotretinoin is the only proven medication that safely and effectively controls the most serious form of the skin disease, known as severe cystic acne.

If you have mild acne and mild scarring, you are considered a good candidate for microdermabrasion, a process that scrapes away the surface to stimulate new cell growth. Also, new laser and light-based technologies have demonstrated that they improve mild to moderate acne after several sessions.

Lastly, professional treatment provides safe and effective treatments for acne scarring. Consulting with a dermatologist is recommended for everyone due to the fact that acne scars are unique and have complex characteristics. Determining an individualized treatment plan for you will lead to the most successful results.

 

Information from the American Academy of Dermatology.


Vitamin D and Sun Exposure

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Vitamin D is often overlooked as an important part of your skincare and overall health. There are a plethora of warnings against the sun and getting too much exposure, but many don’t realize that controlled amounts of sun exposure are essential to your health.

 Vitamin D

Fortunately, the sun isn’t the only way to get a proper daily dose of Vitamin D. According to Healthy Skin Care, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen. It exists in several forms, so you don’t have to sun bathe to get a proper intake. Calciferol is the most common form. Once it is ingested or produced, the kidneys and liver begin to convert it into an active form that the body can absorb.

However, you must pay close attention to your diet if you are planning on getting your Vitamin D intake from consumption. Items such as fish oil, salmon, halibut, soymilk and orange juice are high in Vitamin D. Yet the most efficient way to get your Vitamin D is through sun exposure.

The traditional way to get your daily dose of the healthy vitamin is by spending time in sunlight. This is the easiest way, yet one of the most dangerous if you don’t control the amount of sun exposure you are getting. Only ten minutes of sun exposure is enough to absorb healthy amounts of Vitamin D when you aren’t protecting your skin with sunscreen. Those with darker skin need a little bit more exposure to produce the same amount of Vitamin D, and fair skinned individuals need very little exposure. As always, don’t forget your sunscreen every day, especially if you are going to be in the sun for prolonged periods of time!

A major benefit of Vitamin D is in the treatment of psoriasis. It is used around the world to treat this skin problem because it plays a part in skin cell metabolism and growth, and because of this, it is also effective in treating itching or flaking. Effective Vitamin D creams are only available by prescription, so seeing a doctor is necessary in order to receive proper treatment.


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