Monday, December 14, 2015

Tips for the First Time Injectable Patient



It’s that time of year we all love, holiday season.  Most of us will be getting together with loved ones to celebrate the end of year and what’s to come for 2016.  It may also be the time of year where you are considering an injectable. You’ve heard about them, your friends have it done and you want to give it a try, but are nervous.  Here are some helpful hints for achieving the best results.

1.       Do your homework.
With so many products on the market these days it can be hard to know what does what.  Patients often think that Botox and Fillers are interchangeable. In reality, they do two totally different things.  Botox is a medication that is injected into our facial muscles. For those of us who are very expressive, it helps relax our muscles to prevent us from making deep lines.  Filler such as Voluma and Juvederm do exactly as the name implies, they fill and add volume. Botox and Fillers are treatments we recommend doing together.


2.       Pick the Right Provider
We all love a great deal, but when it comes to our face and injections, we want to make sure we are picking a provider with expertise in cosmetic injections. If it seems too good of a deal, it probably is.  All of the providers at Florida Skin Center have undergone numerous training sessions on cosmetic injectables.  Dr. Badia has close to 20 years of experiences with cosmetic injections and her PAs have a combined experience of over 13 years with these procedures.

3.       Maintenance
In order to stay looking great, you will need maintenance treatments.   Effects of treatment will vary depending on which injection you have done. Our providers will be more than happy to recommend a good maintenance program for you to maintain your desired look.

4.       Follow Providers Orders
There is no one that wants you to be happier with your treatment, than your provider.  Taking simple precautions like avoiding OTC pain medications prior to treatment are key to helping you achieve your desired look with less downtime.  Another key to achieving your desired look, it to listen to your providers recommendation on the type and amount of product you need.  Leave it to us experts to help you decide what you need to get your ideal look.




We Wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December Promo: 30% OFF

This month only, Florida Skin Center is offering 30% off ALL products. This includes all SkinMedica, SkinCeuticals and ColorScience products, Latisse, HLCC hair vitamins and shampoo, and more!
Also, with the purchase of any package, you will receive a gift bag worth $80 in goodies! Specifically, our gift bags will include sample sizes of SkinMedica's AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, Retinol 0.5%, Lytera and Total Defense & Repair SPF.
Take advantage of this generous promotion before it ends on 12/31/15.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Perfect Holiday Gift

Are you looking for that perfect holiday gift this year? Give the gift of beautiful skin!

 Florida Skin Center gift cards can be used for any service or product offered including:

Skin Medica Products
SkinCeutical Products
Botox
Filler
Latisse
Facials
Chemical Peels
Microneedling
Exilis
Laser Hair Removal
Any other services or products offered at Florida Skin Center

And what’s better than that…. In the month of December, when you purchase a $100 gift card you will receive a complimentary $10 gift card.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Face Washing 101

1. Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser, one that does NOT contain alcohol.
2. Use your fingertips to gently rub in cleanser. Using a washcloth, sponge, or anything other than your fingertips may irritate your skin.
3. Resist the urge to scrub! Scrubbing your skin will cause irritation.
4. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a soft towel, do not rub dry.
5. Apply moisturizer to a damp face, this helps lock-in moisture. When applying around the eyes, be gentle.
6. Limit washing to twice a day, and after sweating. Wash once in the morning, and again before bed. Also wash your face after excessive sweating, like right after a gym session.

At Florida Skin Center, we have several facial cleansers tailored to suit your skin type. Ask our knowledgeable staff to help you choose the right cleanser for your skin!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why Not to Skip the Toner in Your Skin Care Regime

Why is toner and important part of your daily routine?
    A good toner is an essential part of your daily facial cleansing regimen. It helps to get the face clean and refreshed by removing extra dirt, oil, and pollutants from throughout the day. By using a toner as an extra step of cleansing, you are allowing whatever products and/or medications you are using to penetrate the skin better. Note however that toner and astringents are not the same thing, and beware of buying these products over the counter. Astringents are alcohol based and a very drying and irritating to the skin.
   Toners also help to keep your skins pH in balance. Some washes and astringents alkalinize the skin, and this can disturb the skins natural acidic balance. This can lead to the skin producing excess oil to help restore its natural pH.
   Toner also helps to improve the look of the skin. Most toners contain glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids that provide mild exfoliation. This helps reduce the size of pores, improves the texture of skin, and helps with fine lines and wrinkles. These properties also help to prevent ingrown hairs.
  At Florida Skin Center we have a variety of toners to pair with any skin type. Consult with any of our skin care experts to see what toner is best for you!
   

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Brilliant Distinctions: Are You Taking Advantage?

Brilliant distinctions is a reward program offered at participating physician offices, and here at Florida Skin Center. By purchasing Allergan products or treatments, you collect points that can be redeemed for savings on future visits. When you purchase an Allergan product at our office, you can instantly sign up for this program using your email, and start collecting those points!. Once you’re a member, simply log in to your BD account, click Redeem points, and follow instructions from there.

So what products does Florida Skin Center offer, that qualify for BD points? The list is long, but the following products and treatments qualify for this rewarding program:
All SkinMedica products (such as Lytera, TNS Essential Serum, cleansers and toners)
SkinMedica peels
Botox Cosmetic
Juvederm XC
Juvederm Voluma
Latisse

Ask any of our staff members at Florida Skin Center for more information on this program, we’d be happy to get you enrolled!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Look Great This Holiday Season: Natural Looking Results with Botox and Fillers

“Tis the season” for family get-togethers and social gatherings! Put your best face forward this holiday season!
     As you grow older and wiser, you begin to experience a natural loss of collagen and facial fat. Collagen is a key component of what gives skin its youthful look and elasticity. These natural skin support systems start to break down in your 20’s which leads to a loss of definition throughout various areas of the face, and leads to wrinkling. Genetics, as well as behavioral and environmental factors influence the skin aging process. 
    At Florida Skin Center we offer a variety treatment for fine lines and wrinkles including Botox and Fillers. These products help to achieve a natural more youthful and rested appearance.

Appointments are available daily in our Cape Coral and Fort Myers locations. Call today to schedule!

Also, during the months of November and December our FAN members will receive a COMPLIMENTARY Zone of Botox with the purchase of a vial of Juvederm filler

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Makeup Dos and Don'ts

It’s that time of year, when zombies, ghosts and witches will be making their way down the streets with bags full of treats.  But it’s more than stomach aches we have to worry about.  If we are not careful, the Halloween makeup we wear can wreak havoc on our skin




This Halloween Season you don’t have to suffer from itchy skin irritation days after Halloween.

Test out makeup on a small part of your skin (behind the ear) before applying it to your entire face to avoid any potential allergic reactions.

Look at the ingredients in your makeup.  Anything with emollient laxatives, talc or hydrocarbons can be toxic to the skin.  Also be wary of dyes such as those in fake blood.

Take off the makeup as soon as possible.  After a long night of walking around the neighborhood it may be tempting to just put the kids to bed, but not before having them cleanse their face and body with a mild cleanser such as Cetaphil.

We wish you all a safe and spooky Halloween.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dermal Fillers: What You Need To Know

  With so many options out there for dermal fillers in the cosmetic industry, as a consumer it can be hard to know what is best. There are many products that differ in what they are made from, how they work  to improve fine lines and wrinkles, and the longevity of the results.
    Our providers have experience and have undergone training with the different types of dermal fillers. They have done significant research to determine which products offer the most optimal and natural results, while providing the best safety profile for our patients.
  At Florida Skin Center we chose to correct fine lines and wrinkles with Juvederm Ultra Plus, and Juvederm Voluma. These are dermal fillers made up of a natural substance the body produces known as Hyaluronic Acid. This substance works by filling the areas of volume loss, and helps to maintain fullness by attracting and binding water. Hyaluronic Acid has the capacity to bind water at 1000 times its volume. The results from these fillers are immediately seen. Results will last between 9-12 months for Juvederm Ultra Plus, and up to 2 years with the Juvederm Voluma.
   Other options on the market for dermal fillers include those made from collagen, Calcium Hydroxylapatite, and Poly –L Lactic Acid.  These fillers are more likely to have side effects such as allergic reaction, significant swelling and bruising, and granuloma formation or bumps under the skin. Also, the results from most of these products are not seen until weeks to months later since they help to stimulate collagen formation.

 Are you looking to improve your fine lines and wrinkles for a more rested and youthful look? Call today for an appointment with one of our experienced providers, and ask about our promotion on fillers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Melanoma: Ugly Duckling Sign


Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, is responsible for the death of one American every hour. Even more, it is estimated that one in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime. Fortunately, the 5-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is treated and detected before it spreads to lymph nodes is 98%.

So how can we protect ourselves from developing melanoma? The most obvious answer is sun protection. Use an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every 2-3 hours when exposed to direct sunlight. Also, wearing wide-brimmed hats and UV protected clothing increases your protection.

Also, being aware of the ABCDEs of melanoma can help you catch the disease early on. Look for the following:

Asymmetry- One half looks different from the other
Border - The border is irregularly shaped
Color Variability - Different shades of brown, black, gray, red and white
Diameter > 6 mm
Evolving - The lesion is changing in size, shape or shade of color


*Picture by medcomic.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

This Week is PA Week : Meet Our PAs

This week is PA week and is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating Physician Assistants  and the amazing work they do every day.
A physician assistant (or PA) is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services.
At Florida Skin Center we have 3 certified Physician Assistants that see and treat patients on a daily basis.
   Shirisha Vallarapu is a Board Certified Physician Assistant with over 10 years of health care experience. She has been awarded Diplomate    status from the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (DSDPA).                                                                                                                       Shirisha graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a B.S in Microbiology. She then attended Nova Southeastern University where she received a Masters in Medical Science and a B.S. in Physician Assistant Studies.At Florida Skin Center, Shirisha sees patients for routine skin checks and problem visits. She also does the majority of the surgical procedures at the office including routine biopsies and excisions, as well as, specialized procedures such as sclerotherapy.  She has extensive training in laser procedures including hair removal, tattoo removal and vascular treatments. Shirisha also has experience with dermal fillers and Botox Cosmetic. Shirisha frequently gives lectures locally to fellow colleagues as well as lectures on the importance of skin health throughout the community.  Shirisha enjoys spending time with patients and is always trying to further her dermatology knowledge by attending conferences and workshops.



   Brooke Drew is a Board Certified Physician Assistant who is a member of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistant (SDPA) and Florida Academy of Physician Assistants. She has been awarded Diplomate status from the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (DSDPA)
   Brooke graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. She received her Physician Assistant training from Nova Southeastern University. She received a Masters in Medical Science and graduated with High Honors.
   Brooke has experience in Dermatology research, and bringing new generic medications to market. At Florida SkinCenter, she performs routine skin checks and also see’s patients for problem visits. Brooke performs biopsies, excisions, and cryotherapy. She also performs cosmetic procedures such as laser, Botox and dermal fillers. 



Yamile Solis is a Board Certified Physician Assistant who holds several professional memberships. She is a fellow of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, Florida Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, Florida Society of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
   Yamile graduated from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She then received a Master of Clinical Medical Science (MCMSc) from Barry University’s Physician Assistant Program in Miami Shores, Florida where she completed an externship in Dermatology.
   Yamile focuses on prevention, wellness and patient education, while making individualized care a priority. At Florida Skin Center, she performs routine skin checks and sees problem visits. Yamile also performs biopsies, excisions, cryotherapy and laser procedures. She is bilingual in Spanish and enjoys yoga, traveling and dancing.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What is Molluscum?

  The dreaded molluscum contagiosum, in our office this diagnosis is all too common. 
Molluscum are tiny little bumps on the skin caused by a pox virus called molluscum contagiosum virus. Because it’s a virus, the bumps spread very easily. They eventually disappear on their own, but that can take a year or two.  Because they are a pox virus they often times will leave little divots on the skin similar to a chicken pox scar.
           In children who have skin conditions such as eczema, these bumps spread even more easily. And there is a stigma that goes along with having them since they are contagious. Often times, parents are at a crossroads with how to deal with these pesky little bumps. Many pediatricians recommend not treating these lesions if your child has just a few.                     
           However, if your child has lots of them, if they are in visible areas, if your child has eczema or if they are spreading you can see a pediatric dermatologist for easy, painless treatment. We have a variety of treatment options available for our patients with Molluscum ranging from topical medications to in office treatments. If you have any questions please give us a call.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Can’t swallow pills? We might have the Solution.


With insurance companies requiring patients to use more and more generic medications, which tend to be large and bulky, compared to brand medications, swallowing pills can become quite a problem.  In fact, one third of the population has trouble swallowing pills.  This lead some researchers in Germany to come up with some techniques for making pill swallowing easier.

The first is the Pop Bottle Method
The idea is to put the tablet on your tongue and then close your lips tightly around a plastic bottle filled with water. Suck water from the bottle as you tilt your head back, and the pills should go down easy.

The second is the Lean Forward Technique.
Put the capsule on your tongue, take a medium sip of water, and lean your head forward as you swallow.

The next time you are in a situation that requires you to take large pills try these techniques and see if they work for you.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Total Defense & Repair: New Superscreen?

          Aside from UVA and UVB rays, which we know to cause premature aging and skin cancer, there’s another wavelength of light that is harmful to our skin. Infrared radiation, or IR radiation, is invisible to the naked eye, but can be felt as heat. Sources include heat from campfires and heat from the sun. It is estimated that nearly 54% of the sun’s radiation is infrared, and about 65% of the energy generated by IR-A radiation (a type of IR radiation) reaches the skin’s dermal layers.   

Recent evidence shows that IR-A rays induce significant free radicals in the dermis and diminish the skin’s antioxidant capacity. As we know, free radicals are damaging to the skin, and can cause skin cancer and pre-mature aging. At Florida Skin Center, we carry a product that protects against IR radiation! SkinMedica’s Total Defense and Repair is one of the very first sunscreens to protect against such radiation, in addition to protecting against UVA and UVB rays. We offer both tinted (SPF 34) and water resistant (SPF 50) sunscreens. Even more, Total Defense and Repair reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improves the appearance of damaged skin. Ask one of our staff members or providers to discuss the benefits of this “superscreen” at your next visit!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Want Brighter, More Youthful Eyes?

Struggling with dark circles under your eyes? Wishing you had longer, fuller lashes? Florida Skin Center can help you address these concerns. This month only, we are offering 15% off of 3 products that will help you achieve brighter, more youthful looking eyes. Latisse, TNS Eye Repair, and Colorscience’s mascara.
Latisse is the only FDA approved prescription for the treatment of inadequate eyelashes. Applied once a day to the edge of your upper lashes only, Latisse works by lengthening the growth phase of hair, thereby producing longer, darker and thicker lashes. Results are seen in 8 weeks, with significant improvement at 16 weeks. When used in conjunction with Colorscience’s mascara, results are even more dramatic.
Colorscience created mascara that not only works on the appearance of lashes, making them thicker and longer, but also works on the health of your lashes. This mascara contains a pro-vitamin conditioner which helps to prevent breakage. Even more, this mascara is water resistant, and contains no harmful products such as talc, which is found in most over-the-counter mascaras.
Our third product is TNS Eye Repair. This product is for our patients struggling with dark under-eye circles, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. It contains growth factors and retinol which help reduce the signs of aging by nourishing the skin and exfoliating dead skin cells. TNS Eye Repair also helps remove excess iron under the eyes, which is responsible for dark circles.  
If you’re struggling with any of the above, then take advantage of this monthly promotion and call our office to schedule an appointment. FAN members will receive an additional 15% off.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pregnancy and Skincare: What's Safe?

As expectant mothers, we want the best for our babies, especially when they’re growing in our bellies. From eating healthy foods, to caring for our skin in the safest way possible, all is done in the best interest of our unborn child. So what skincare regimens are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
First, lets look at the most common skin concerns shared by expectant mothers: acne, stretch marks, and melasma. We pray that by the time we enter child-bearing age, we’ve left acne and its debilitating memories in the dust. Unfortunately, acne responds to changes in our hormone levels, which is why acne can be triggered during pregnancy. Moreover, many of the acne treatments available, both by prescription and over-the-counter, contain known teratogenic ingredients such as retinoids and salicylic acid. The safest way to control acne during pregnancy is to wash daily with a gentle cleanser. At Florida Skin Center, we offer a pregnancy-safe facial cleanser formulated for  acneic skin. Acne can be treated after pregnancy by conventional methods, so long as you are not breastfeeding.
Stretch marks! Some say it’s genetic, others say it’s related to how much weight the mother gains, but all will ask: “How do I get rid of them?” Stretch marks occur because of a breakdown in the elasticity and collagen of the skin. Moisturizing with a gentle lotion or cream can somewhat help to prevent stretch marks from growing larger; however, there’s no magical cure that will fade them away completely. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, there are several treatments that can help regenerate collagen and even-out discoloration. This includes microneedling and a product called Scar Recovery Gel. Used in conjunction, patients have noticed significant improvement in the appearance of their stretch marks.
Lastly, let’s talk about the mask of pregnancy, melasma. Some women will develop a dark discoloration on their cheeks, chin, nose and forehead, as a response to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. This is known as melasma. Fortunately, there are many approaches to treating this problem after pregnancy and breastfeeding. At Florida Skin Center, we offer lightening agents, chemical peels, cleansers and toners specifically formulated to target and treat melasma.
           So fret not ladies. Acne, stretch marks and melasma can all be treated after pregnancy and breastfeeding; however, keep in mind that many of these treatments can be harmful if used during pregnancy. Make sure to consult with you dermatology provider or OB/GYN if you’re unsure about the safety of a certain product. And rest- assured that after you’ve welcomed your bundle of joy into the world, there are treatments available to help you feel wonderful in your skin again!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

7 Tips for Healthy Nails


  1. Keep nails clean and dry. Moist environments are conducive to fungal infections and brittle nails.
  2. Do not remove your cuticle. The cuticle serves as a protective barrier. When we remove it, we expose ourselves to the possibility of infection. If you’re having a manicure or pedicure, ask your nail technician to simply push your cuticles back.
  3. Trim your toenails regularly. Keeping them short will decrease the risk of trauma and injury. It will also decrease the risk of ingrown nails.
  4. If your toenails are thick and difficult to trim, soak your feet in warm salt water. Mix one teaspoon of salt in a pint of water and soak for about 10 minutes.
  5. Avoid “digging out” ingrown toenails, especially if they are infected and sore. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, see your provider at Florida Skin Center.
  6. Wear shoes that fit! This one sounds simple enough, but wearing the wrong shoes can really affect our toenails. Shoes that are too tight may cause our nails to thicken from the trauma of constant rubbing. Also, wearing closed-toe shoes can make nails brittle. Alternate between closed-toe and open-toe shoes when ever possible.
  7. Wear flip flops in wet environments. If you’re going to the pool or using public showers at the gym, protect your feet with sandals. This reduces the risk of fungal infections of the toenails and feet.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

50% off Laser Hair Removal, Now Through September!

          Are you tired of plucking, waxing and shaving? Trying to get rid of dark hair in unwanted places? You may be a candidate for laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is a non-invasive procedure used to permanently reduce unwanted dark hair. So how does it work? The laser passes through the skin and gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles that are in the growth phase. The heat generated by the laser breaks apart the hair follicles and destroys them. Over the next two weeks, you will notice your hair gradually falling out. Bursts of cold air called liquid nitrogen are sprayed with each passing of the laser, to help reduce discomfort.
          Candidates include all skin types, male and female, except those who are pregnant. The laser only works on dark hair, which means that it cannot destroy blond or gray hair. Treatments are scheduled 4 weeks apart, and patients are instructed not to have sun exposure for 2 weeks before and after treatment. And remember, laser hair removal will give you permanently delayed hair growth, which means about 85% clearance after 5-7 treatments. Results may vary depending on the size being treated, and the amount of hair in each region.
           At Florida Skin Center, we are currently offering 50% off laser hair removal packages, now through the end of September. Call our office today and schedule an appointment to begin your journey towards permanently reducing unwanted hair.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Got watery eyes, a runny nose, or itchy skin?



Got watery eyes, a runny nose, or itchy skin?  It may be due to the pollen levels in your city.  What is a pollen level?  Pollen levels or pollen counts are the pollen concentration based on any location within the nation. A pollen count is the measurement of the number of grains of pollen in a cubic meter of air. As the pollen number increases, people with allergies will have more symptoms of their allergies.  Below is a sample pollen count. 




Take the first step to relieving your allergy symptoms with a simple skin allergy test.  Florida Skin Center offers allergy testing for environmental and food allergies.   The procedure is safe for children and adults, taking less than 30 minutes, and allows patients to determine what is causing their allergy symptoms.  With this information, the providers at FSC are able to assess the degree of your allergy and determine the best way to treat your symptoms.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hair Loss: What Causes It?

         Excessive or abnormal hair loss, also called alopecia, can be influenced by many factors, and is loosely defined as the shedding of more than 100 strands of hair per day. Such influencing factors include thyroid disease, nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, genetics, and psychosocial stressors. Depending on the cause of alopecia, patients will present with different patterns of hair loss including androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium and alopecia areata.  Androgenetic alopecia, or male/female pattern hair loss, is the most prevalent type of hair loss and is inherited. In men, you see a gradual regression of the anterior hair line. In women, you see gradual loss of hair in the mid-scalp region.
       Patients who present with telogen effluvium complain of generalized hair loss and thinning. Causes include psychosocial stressors such as changing jobs, going through a divorce, and financial hardships, as well as other stressors to the hair follicles including pregnancy, hypothyroidism, and nutritional deficiencies. Hair loss tends to stop spontaneously after a few months, but there are several treatments that can restore hair growth in the mean time. This includes over-the-counter-Rogaine (minoxidil) for both men and women, Propecia (finasteride) for men only, and Nizoral (ketoconazole) shampoo. These same treatments are used for patients who present with androgenetic alopecia, although hair restoration tends to be slower and limited in these patients due to the genetic basis of their hair loss.
       Lastly, alopecia areata is described as rapid and complete hair loss in one or more round or oval patches. The exact cause is unknown, but thought to be due to an autoimmune response in the body, related to diseases such as vitiligo, lupus and thyroid diseases. Some patches tend to re-grow without any treatment in several weeks. Stubborn patches may need to be treated with a topical or injectable corticosteroid in order to accelerate re-growth. In any case of alopecia, your provider will order routine blood work to determine the cause of hair loss.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

          What is psoriasis? Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the immune system with predominantly skin and joint manifestations. It usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, hands and feet, but may also affect the fingernails and toenails and even inside the mouth. Psoriasis affects approximately 2% of the U.S. population and occurs in two peaks: 20-30 and 50-60 years old; however it can affect all age groups.
What does psoriasis look like? There are several clinical subtypes, including: plaque, inverse/flexural, guttate, erythrodermic and pustular psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most prevalent subtype, with about 80% of patients exhibiting this clinical picture which includes red patches, papules, and plaques that are covered by silvery scales and are sometimes itchy.
How is psoriasis diagnosed and treated? Plaque psoriasis, the most common subtype, is usually diagnosed clinically. Patients with localized plaque psoriasis can be treated topically with high potency steroids in combination with a Vitamin D analog (i.e. calcipotriene). In patients with moderate to severe disease, systemic therapy should be initiated, in addition to topical treatment. Systemic therapy includes, phototherapy, oral medications such as methrotrexate and cyclosporine, and biologic agents such as Humira and Stelera.
It’s important to remember that psoriasis is a lifelong disease that can affect all aspects of a patient’s quality of life. As many as 50% of these patients will experience symptoms of depression, and many others will feel socially stigmatized. As clinicians, it’s important that we address both the physical and emotional consequences of this sometimes debilitating disease.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Truth about Vitamin D

 Most people know that being out in the sun can provide them with a certain amount of Vitamin D, the vitamin necessary for building and maintaining strong and healthy bones. However, relying on natural sunlight and tanning beds for Vitamin D comes with a hefty price tag. These methods of tanning expose us to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which we know can lead to skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
 
Getting vitamin D from a healthy and balanced diet, offers a healthier and much safer alternative. Consider foods such as spinach, almonds, tofu, avocado, oily fish (salmon & tuna) and broccoli, to name a few. Also consider taking multivitamins containing Vitamin E.
        
And if you’re still a bit skeptical about the harmful effects of UV radiation, consider the following facts compiled by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):

1 UV rays can cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. There is significant scientific evidence to support the fact that UV radiation from the sun and tanning devices is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).
2 The number of diagnosed cases of skin cancer continues to increase. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during his or her lifetime.
3 Dietary sources of vitamin D do not prematurely age the skin or increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Dietary sources such as the ones mentioned above, and vitamin supplements are safe methods for receiving your daily dose of Vitamin D.
4 People need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for bone health. Vitamin D increases the body’s ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that are essential for healthy bones. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is fundamental to prevent osteoporosis in men and women who are 50 years of age and older.
5 Vitamin D from food and dietary supplements offers the same benefits as vitamin D obtained from UV light, without the danger of skin cancer. The body cannot use Vitamin D until the liver and the kidneys process it. The usable form of vitamin D created by this process is the same, regardless of how it enters the body. So why not facilitate this process in the healthiest way possible?

Lastly, how much Vitamin D should you be getting? Based on current scientific evidence, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is:

400 IU (International Units) for infants/children 0-1yr
600 IU for children, teenagers and adults 1-70yr
800 IU for adults 71+ yr