Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification System

The Fitzpatrick skin type is a classification system designed by Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick of Harvard University in 1975. A person's Fitzpatrick skin type is determined primarily by the skin's reaction to the sun and secondarily by the person's genetic background and natural skin color. It is used to predict the possibility of adverse effects following any type of treatment. For example, people with higher skin types have an increased risk for developing dark discoloration after procedures such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing. These risks can be minimized by pre-treatment and post-treatment with brightening agents such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, azeleic acid, arbutin, and licorice extract. The classification system is shown below on a scale of I to VI with type I being the fairest and always burning but never tanning after sun exposure and type VI being the darkest and never burning but always tanning after sun expoure. Patients with lighter skin types tend to have blonde or red hair and blue or green eyes, and often have many freckles. Patients with darker skin types tend to have black hair and dark brown eyes.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Niacinamide for the Skin

Niacinamide is a vitamin B3 analog that is found in many food such as meat, milk, and vegetables. It is structurally similar to niacin, but does not have the same effects such as flushing of the skin. Niacinamide has many beneficial effects on the skin which is why it is found in many skin care products. As an anti-inflammatory agent it decreases redness and calms the skin in conditions such as acne and rosacea, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin. Niacinamide also plays a role in correcting discoloration, which helps those with melasma or discoloration caused by sun exposure. It also stimulates blood flow to the skin and production of ceramides which provide hydration to the skin. This leads to improved moisturization of the skin, which naturally decreases with age. It also leads to improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. With all of these beneficial effects, it is no wonder why niacinamide is found in so many products ranging from prescription-strength products to anti-aging creams to over-the-counter moisturizers and sunscreens.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Aesthetic Show 2012

The Aesthetic Show 2012 was held at the convention center at the Aria resort and casino in Las Vegas, NV April 12 - 15, 2012. This was the sixth annual edition of the show organized by Michael Moretti, president of Medical Insight and editor of the Aesthetic Guide. The theme this year was Hollywood, with an emphasis on teaching people about procedures through television, and it coincided with the launch of Aesthetic TV. Doctors and their staff members came from around the world to learn about what's new in aesthetic medicine such as Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, lasers, and skin care products. Exhibitors ranged from laser companies to skin care lines to textbook publishers. Numerous world renowned leaders in the field gave talks about various topics. Dermatologist Dr. Michael Gold of the Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, TN, a world expert in the field of aesthetic medicine, gave talks on Botox, fillers, lasers, and skin care. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Alexander Rivkin of Westside Aesthetics in Los Angeles, pioneer of the non-surgical nose job and a regular on numerous television shows, gave talks on non-surgical rejuvenation of the nose as well as using television as a platform to promote one's practice. There were even talks about practice management, marketing, and social media. The highlight of the show was The Aesthetic Awards hosted by Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon of the award winning TV show "The Doctors." Awards were given to doctors for their work on facial and body rejuvenation. Additionally a raffle was held and many prizes were given away; the grand prize was a laser by Palomar Medical. The event was a great hit again this year and we look forward to the conference next year.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fillers for the Lips

Dermal fillers are great for enhancing the skin. As their name implies, they are used to fill volume to areas on the skin. While the most common area to treat is the smile lines or nasolabial folds, they can also be used to enhance the lips. Fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane can be used to volumize the lips or provide definition to the borders. The effects typically last about one year. Other fillers such as Radiesse, Scupltra, and Artefill should not be used in the lips. Everyone is different and there are a lot of considerations to think about when adding filler to the lips. These include the thickness of the lips from top to bottom, the width of the lips from side to side, the definition of the borders, the ratio of the size of the upper lip to the lower lip, the angles of protrusion of both lips, the location of the upper and lower teeth relative to each other and the lips, the distance from the nose to the upper lip, and the distance from the chin to the lower lip. Keeping all of these in mind is important when deciding how to add fillers for the best results. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should not have filler treatments.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New FDA Sunscreen Regulations

On June 14,  2011 the FDA announced new requirements for over-the-counter sunscreen products. In the past the only labeling requirement has been the SPF value, which measures how many times longer a person can be in the sun before getting sunburned after applying the sunscreen compared with not applying it. This does a good job in addressing the UVB damage, which causes burns. But there is another part of the ultraviolet spectrum called UVA which causes skin cancer and premature aging. Beginning in the summer of 2012, sunscreens with UVA and UVB protection and SPF of at least 15 will be labeled "broad spectrum." Be sure to look for this on the label when deciding on a product. The other change will be that the maximum SPF value will be 50, so any products with SPF value of greater than 50 will be labeled SPF 50+. This is because sunscreens with SPF greater than 50 have not shown to be more protective against premature aging, sunburns, and skin cancer when compared to those with SPF 50. I recommend daily use of a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30.