Back-To-School Skincare Tips

We know that this upcoming school year will be different from the years before. Some are returning to classrooms with masks while others continue with virtual studies. Whatever the school year looks like for you, we are here for all your skincare needs and want to make sure you and your skin are happy and healthy.

Schedule An Appointment

We recommend patients come in annually for a dermatology exam. We are happy to provide you with a full-body exam to check any moles or other suspicious spots on your skin. Bring any questions or concerns you may have about skincare and how to have healthy skin. Don’t hesitate to bring up anything that might concern you, as often a quick check can help diagnose any spots or areas you may be worried about.

Another benefit of scheduling your exam before the start of term is even if you aren’t suffering from breakouts, a routine check-up can help you to start the year out clear and fresh. We can help you determine your skin type or type of blemishes and acne that have been bothering you lately. After your exam, we can discuss what beauty and cosmetic products are right for you and your needs.

Make A Routine

Even if your day is extremely busy with classes, work, or extra-curricular activities, it is important to take time out of your day to care for your skin. Creating a good skincare habit is crucial to having youthful, glowing skin. Your routine doesn’t need to be complex, contain expensive products, or take hours to complete. We can help you find a routine that works for you and your lifestyle.

Do your best to stick to a routine. Though it won’t always mean you’ll have crystal clear skin, regular skincare habits can help you avoid painful blemishes and breakouts.

Be sure to check your products regularly, as cosmetic products do have expiration dates. It is very common for eye makeup and lip products to grow bacteria that can become harmful, so be sure to toss out products past their date and never share products.

Don’t Pop

Though it can be tempting to pop a pimple, especially before a big event, popping your pimples can lead to scarring and may spread acne-causing bacteria leading to more breakouts. Instead, wash with a good cleanser and use topical ointments to reduce the size. They won’t magically disappear overnight. It takes time for products to work, but you should quickly notice a reduction in redness and swelling. By using products regularly, you can also fight off future breakouts and pimples.

Exfoliate

Exfoliation is a key to healthy skin as it works to remove dead cells, bacteria, and debris from the surface of your skin and keep your pores clear. However, it is important not to use an exfoliator that is too rough or to exfoliate too often as it can irritate, damage, and dry out your skin.

If you have sensitive skin, we may recommend only exfoliating once a week while others may be able to do so twice. During your consultation, we can discuss which types are right for your skin type and goals. Always moisturize after exfoliating.

Rest

During sleep, your body works to refresh and repair any damage accumulated throughout the day so that you can awaken ready for the day. Your skin is the same! Make sure you give your body time to rest. Studies show adults should sleep 7-8 hours a day, and growing children need even more.

Choose Warm Water

Even though hot baths and showers sound relaxing and inviting, the harshness can be too much for your skin. The temperature of the water can upset your skin’s balance by stripping away oils that keep your skin hydrated and healthy. It can also lead to inflammation, redness, dryness, and itchy skin. Instead, we recommend using warm water and moisturizing right afterward to lock in hydration.

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Unmanaged stress can lead to forgoing good habits such as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, or remembering to follow a skincare routine. Though we know school and work can be overwhelming, it is important to try to be mindful of your stress levels for both your health and skin!

With summer over, start the year off right by scheduling an appointment with our office. A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and a regular skincare routine can make sure your skin is hydrated, glowing, and beautiful this year. For more information on our skincare tips or to schedule an appointment, contact The Pearl Dermatology today.

Post-Quarantine Rejuvenation at The Pearl Dermatology

Post-Quarantine Rejuvenation at The Pearl Dermatology

As we begin to navigate this next chapter together, we want you to know that our team at The Pearl Dermatology is here to support and serve our patients in any way we can. We realize that quarantine may have taken its toll on our patients, and we want to help provide services that will help rejuvenate your skin, confidence, and overall wellbeing. We have provided information about some of our services that can help you to feel your best!

Botox and Dysport

Botox
If you’re looking for a way to refresh your face and erase signs of aging and stress, Botox may be the solution for you. Different from facial fillers, Botox relaxes tense muscles that cause wrinkles and defined expression lines. When done by a board-certified dermatologist, Botox safely and effectively diminishes wrinkles and lines without leaving you “frozen-faced.”

Patients typically seek Botox to eliminate the appearance of forehead lines, crow’s feet (wrinkles near the outer corners of the eyes), frown lines between the eyebrows, neckbands, and under-eye wrinkles.

How does it work?
Botulinum Toxin A, the scientific name for Botox, provides a buffer to neurotransmitters within the injected muscles, lessening the signal to contract. This releases wrinkles and folds around the injection sites. The full effects of Botox can take 2-14 days to fully develop and can last on average 3 months. Patients may resume all normal activities immediately after treatment. Common side effects, as with all injectable products, include swelling, bruising, bleeding, and itching at the injection site. Most side effects resolve themselves naturally within 24 hours.
Dysport
Dysport® is an FDA-approved purified neurotoxin prescription injection that is primarily used to treat moderate to severe frown lines. To effectively minimize the appearance of frown lines between your eyebrows, Dysport’s purified Botulinum Toxin properties soften the muscles in your glabellar area. Dysport® is incredibly effective which is why it is frequently used to enhance other parts of the face.

How long does Dysport® last?
Dysport® lasts 3 months on average and usually takes up to seven days to take effect.

Photofacials/IPL Treatment

Our photofacials use light to diminish the appearance of broken blood vessels, redness caused by rosacea, and pigmentation caused by sun damage. The special light used ensures that patients have little to no downtime and usually requires 3-5 sessions.

The IPL treatment specifically targets problem areas while leaving healthy skin alone. In our practice, IPL is personally performed by one of our board-certified dermatologists, ensuring efficacy and safety.

With little to no downtime, you’ll be back to all normal activities immediately. It is one of the most effective skin pigmentation treatments available today.

Skin Tightening

As the name suggests, skin tightening is the process of tightening loose skin on the face, neck, and body through cosmetic procedures. Skin tightening can be used to reduce the effects of aging, promote firmer skin, and restore youthfulness. Many of these treatments are non-surgical and can be done in our office.

To begin, we will identify the best cosmetic skin tightening solution for you depending on the targeted area, your desired result, desired downtime, and other underlying medical conditions. Many skin tightening treatments require no downtime, while the downtime for minimally invasive surgical procedures such as AccuTite or FaceTite may vary.

Fillers

Dermal fillers are safe, gel-like injectable substances that smooth creases, fine lines, and wrinkles to rejuvenate your skin and add volume and fullness to your face. Dermal fillers are composed of hyaluronic acid, a sugar-like material that naturally occurs in our skin. These can be used to enhance your lips, fill and define your cheeks, straighten out your jawline, soften grooves underneath your eyes, and many other cosmetic alterations to reduce the visible effects of aging.

FDA-approved dermal fillers can last between six to 12 months before fading and requiring another injection. The lifespan and overall effectiveness of your dermal filler treatment depend on your physiological makeup, the area being treated, and the unique properties of the filler which is why we recommend consulting your doctor before beginning treatment.

Typically, most FDA-approved dermal fillers are also infused with lidocaine to help minimize discomfort during and after treatment. Injecting cosmetic dermal fillers only takes a short amount of time to complete, and most patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately after treatment.

CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting is an FDA approved non-invasive fat reduction procedure that eliminates fat cells through a process known as cryolipolysis, where stubborn fat cells are frozen and eventually die. CoolSculpting gives long term results and naturally eliminates the dead cells from your body within a few months resulting in fat reduction.

The number of fat cells a person has is set during childhood and adolescence and can vary from person to person. When you start to gain weight, those fat cells expand which causes your waistline, hips, thighs, and other areas to expand. A healthy diet and exercise causes these cells to shrink and give you a slimmer shape, but it only changes the size of the cells and does not eliminate them. Coolsculpting is a form of cold therapy that destroys fat cells safely and in a non-invasive manner. Fat cells are more sensitive to the effects of cold vs other skin cells and at a certain temperature will freeze and die off. Your body will then naturally break down the cells through the metabolic process over a few months, leaving you with a more toned and finely sculpted area.

If you have questions about our services or if you would like to schedule an appointment, we encourage you to give us a call today. We would love to help find the right treatment to help meet your goals!

Summer Skin Rehab

Pearl Dermatology skincare for fair skin

As summer comes to an end, it’s time to start focusing on how to repair sun damage and pigmentation that has accumulated over the past few months. It is also time to rehydrate our skin as the cooler temperatures begin to bless us with their presence. So, where do we even start? Our board-certified dermatologists here at The Pearl gives us the inside scoop on what to look for, where to begin, and what products to consider.

First things first, start by revamp your skin care regimen.
During the summer months, most of us tend to use products that help us control oil and shine and commonly contain active ingredients such salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and other neutralizing agents. These products can still be used as part of your regimen, but should be alternated with a more calming cleansers or products. These products will keep your skin looking hydrated and dewy instead of matte and dull.

We recommend having a daily regimen that consists of the following products: gentle cleanser, antioxidant/vitamin c, moisturizer, skin brightener, and a powerful facial sunscreen. If needed, switch your daily cleanser from a normal gel base to a cream cleanser to help restore moisture and protect your skin from the weather changes that can cause dry skin. We recommend always using an antioxidant such as SkinCeuticials Phloretin or CE Ferulic. These two antioxidants serums protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, blue light from our screens, heat, and helps diminish the appearance of discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles.

It is also a great idea to transition to a thicker moisturizer in the fall and winter months. Look for active ingredients such as peptides, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and fatty acids. These ingredients help rehydrate, soothe, and replenish dry looking skin. We love combining SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier followed immediately by their Triple Lipid Repair.

If you have developed some pigmentation from repetitive sun exposure, it may also be beneficial to consider using a skin brightener. Skin brightners work to lighten the appearance of these new sun spots. Two of our favorite skin brighteners include Neocutis Perle and Glytone Brightening Complex. Skin brighteners are also a great way to begin prepping your skin for future laser treatments. By using skin brighteners before laser treatments, pigmentation can be further diminished than using just lasers alone. Consult with your doctor on which skin brightener would best suit your individual needs.

Consider lasers to help lighten pigmentation.
Our Doctor’s prefer to recommend procedures such as Photofacial, Photofractional or LaseMD. Patients typically need about 3-5 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart to improve the appearance of pigmentation, sunspots and photoaging accumulated over the summer months. If needed, these lasers can also be used to treat other areas of the body such as the neck, chest, arms, hands and legs. Some patients notice that as we begin to treat the face, their neck and chest become more noticeable aged. By treating multiple areas at the same time, we can create an even appearance with less pigmentation, improved texture and tone as well as an overall healthier appearance.

Don’t forget your SPF
A common misunderstanding in skin care is that you only need to wear sunscreen when you are out in the sun. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of our sun damage is accumulated from daily commutes and outdoor activities. We recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 40 or higher on the face and an SPF of 50 or higher on the body. Some of our favorite brands include EltaMD, Revision, and Neocutis which offer daily facial sunscreens with tinted options and built in moisturizers.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water every day helps keep your skin looking hydrated from the inside out. Even as the temperature drops and the air becomes drier, our bodies require us to rehydrate ourselves. A humidifier in your room at night is also beneficial. Remember, the secret to achieving radiant and healthy skin is having a good, consistent regimen that you use daily. If you would like to have one of our board-certified dermatologist take a look at your current skincare regimen or create a custom skincare regimen, contact our office at 713-497-1417. To learn more about the different services we offer, please visit our website at www.thepearldermatology.com.

Skin Concerns: How Age Plays a Role

Teens

During our teen years, coming of age often brings along with it many skin concerns. Our teenage years are when many of us develop acne and along with that comes oily skin. The T-zone is of particular concern and may seem to produce a never-ending supply of blackheads. This is when washing our face twice a day is introduced and teens often peruse the drug store isles seeking out the nicest smelling face wash. When good skin care advice comes from a dermatologist, teens tend to pay attention and start to make good decisions for themselves. Your dermatologist may also recommend a light chemical peel or treatment with a light source for an in-office approach to acne treatment. Acne scarring may also be of concern as a teen. Our dermatologists are experienced in both laser resurfacing and micro needling for the treatment of acne scars, in addition to several other procedures that can improve the skin’s texture. Hearing about the importance of sunscreen from a dermatologist can ease the pressure a parent may feel in educating their children about sun protection. Establish care with a dermatologist as a teenager and watch your skin concerns evolve over the years.

our 20’s

In our 20’s, life is busy and we have a lot going on! We may not appreciate the nice smooth, tight skin we have. If we start a good routine early, good skin habits are ingrained in us and become less of a chore down the road. If you are not already using sunscreen daily, then it is time to start. For routine daily usage we recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. This is the time to add a topical vitamin C serum into your skin regimen, which works as an antioxidant and reduces inflammation caused by UV rays, infrared rays, and ozone pollution. IPL (photofacial), chemical peels, and micro needling can all exfoliate, clean out pores, and stimulate low levels of collagen.

After puberty, our skin may still suffer from hormonal acne and be on the oilier side, thus finding a daily sunscreen may be a challenge. Even though wrinkles are usually not of big concern, this is the time getting in a good routine, sun protection, and daily sunscreen will make all the difference in the years to come. Many of us don’t realize skin cancer is the most common type of cancer for people in their 20’s, making it ever so important to have a dermatologist you trust early on.

our 30’s

Our 30’s is when reality sets in…we will not stay young forever. This is when some insecurity may begin. This is the time when the aging process of the skin begins to speed up. Did you recently notice your first wrinkle? While the skin is still producing collagen and elastin, some wrinkles may become evident, skin texture may begin to change, and skin care concerns shift. Our eyes are usually the first place we start to notice signs of aging. Dark circles under eyes and crow’s lines become evident as our bone structure begins to change and we may think we look “tired”. Brown spots may accumulate if we weren’t great about sun protection as a child or teen.

Regular use of a retinoid slowly builds collagen and starts to bank it for later. Topical antioxidants (Vitamin C & E) and sunscreens are essential to our skin care regimen. IPL (photofacials) are a nice low-down time procedure to eliminate brown spots and help any rosacea that may be brewing. A touch of neurotoxin (Botox or Dysport) is also a good idea, as we now know neurotoxin can prevent the formation of deep lines down the road. Fillers, such as Restylane or Juvederm, can correct under eye dark circles, plump lips, and maintain good facial volume. This is the time when focusing on prevention is key, aka prejuvenation. The time is now to create a reservoir of collagen in our skin with procedures such as Ultherapy, which is safe in all skin tones.

our 40’s

Our 40’s is when we really start to feel like we look our age. Wrinkles become deeper, volume loss is more obvious, skin texture changes, and skin laxity starts to creep in. Thus, by our 40’s we should be using a good anti-aging skin care regimen with a retinoid, antioxidant, peptides, and growth factors. Laser skin resurfacing and injectable fillers (Sculptra, Voluma, Restylane, and Juvederm) can really help to refresh our look and neurotoxins continue to play an important role in further prevention and correction of lines. Regular skin tightening procedures such as Ultherapy are optimal for prevention of skin laxity. Fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing can be used to tighten skin on the upper and lower eyelids. Maintenance is key!

our 50’s

Our 50’s are a time of direction and comfort; however, we may feel the need to look as good as we feel. We may also feel insecure in the work place and want to keep up appearances with our younger colleagues. Some concerns in our 50’s are deeper lines, volume loss, skin laxity on the face and body, and leg veins. With these concerns thankfully come solutions. We can offer the best of facial re-volumization with fillers such as Sculptra, Voluma, Restylane Lyft, and others. Skin tightening with Ultherapy and pairing Ultherapy with Sculptra can turn back the clock on the aging décolletage, face, neck and even the buttock, thighs, and arms. Neurotoxins continue to be effective and can be injected into the neck’s platysmal bands for smoothening. More aggressive laser resurfacing with a CO2 laser may also be appealing starting in the 50’s.

Our 60’s & 70’s

In your 60’s & 70’s you may be delighting in the joy of retirement. But just because you are taking it easy, doesn’t mean you want to look retired. In your 60’s, your skin is noticeably lax, thinner and drier than in years past. The natural aging process takes a more visible toll on the body, but with the help of experts, you can rejuvenate your skin and take years off your appearance! It is a great feeling to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself.

Some of the most frequent concerns expressed by patients age 60 and older are saggy, creepy, dull sallow skin. Wrinkles, thin lips, eye bags, and volume loss are continued concerns. Full face fractionated CO2 lasers can literally iron out wrinkles and give you back creamy healthy looking skin. Ultherapy tightens the face and neck and lifts the brows. Fillers and neurotoxins continue to keep you looking fresh. Our board certified dermatologists can skillfully select a combination of services to give you the best possible outcome in the shortest period of time. A long-term plan with maintenance is the key to keeping you looking great in the years to come.

Please contact our offices for more information or to schedule your appointment.

 

Tropical Travel Tips from Your Derms

The Pearl Dermatology tropical travel tips

Are you beginning to plan for your next tropical getaway? Before you go make sure to pack your bag with some of our favorite derm picks to keep your skin safe and protected. Let’s think of what our skin might encounter as we head south … sun, water, citrus, & insects. Some of the most popular winter getaway vacations for those of us in the States include Hawaii, Costa Rica, Belize, southeastern Mexico, and the Caribbean islands. Not only do these destinations share gorgeous sandy beaches, water, and wildlife, they are also located close to the equator. The closer your vacay spot is to the equator, the more intense the sun’s rays become. Thus making it easier and faster for your skin to become burned.

First things first, sunburns increase the risk for skin cancer and skin aging, so make sure to come prepared with plenty of sunscreen! We recommend our patients use mineral based sunscreens, ie those containing zinc and/or titanium aka physical blockers. Physical blockers are preferred as they are less likely to cause skin irritation vs chemical based sunscreens (avobenzone, oxybenzone, or PABA). Look for physical blockers with nanotechnology, such as micronized zinc, which reduces the white chalky appearance of sunscreen and gives the sunscreen a more cosmetically elegant feel. Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before heading outdoors as it will need time to form a barrier to protect your skin. Make sure to apply a thick enough layer. A “shot glass” size of sunscreen is the amount needed for an average adult. Reapply every 90-120 minutes and/or after getting wet.

For the face, avoid aerosol sunscreens as they can cause eye and airway irritation. Instead choose oil-free creams, lotions, or sticks. My favorite is Elta MD Clear SPF 46, it great for acne, sensitive, and pigment-prone skin. It goes on white, rubs in clear in seconds, feels silky, and will not yellow your white swimsuit or clothing. If you have acne, consider using Elta MD Clear on other acne-prone areas such as the neck, chest, and upper back. For your body, reach for aerosols, creams, or lotions . Don’t forget to protect your lips with a sunscreen containing lip balm. We wear Colorescience Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35.

Now lets turn our attention to the water. Whether your snorkeling, deep sea fishing, surfing, playing in the pool, or running along the beach your skin is directly exposed to the sunrays from above and those reflecting off the water. Some of the worst sunburns I have seen in my patients occurred while snorkeling. If you are planning any of these fun activities, consider getting a SPF surf shirt (aka rash guard) before you go. SPF fabrics have come a long way and chic versions with SPF 50 are readily available. Check out Shopbop, Lululemon, Roxy, J. Crew, & Letarte. Also remember to pack are your favorite Jackie O shades and a fabulous sunhat. Look to Eugenia Kim, Eric Javits, and San Diego Hat Company for a broad brimmed sun hat or create your own inspired by some pinterest ideas.

Let’s imagine you have been beachside for a few days relaxing, having some tasty margaritas, and practicing your best safe sun techniques. Then, you notice numerous little red dots have appeared on the back of your left hand and wonder what might be happening? It is could be phytophotodermatitis (phyto=plant, photo=light, dermatitis = skin inflammation), and your dermatologist sees this condition quite frequently in patients coming back from beach vacations and cruises. Phytophotodermatitis occurs when the oils or juice of lemons, limes, or oranges gets on your skin followed by sun exposure. It results in an intense inflammatory skin reaction leading to an intense red rash, which may blister, 24-48 hours after the exposure to the citrus juice or oils. The rash can be arranged in a line or curvy shape if the juice ran down your arm or little dots if the juice was sprayed on the skin while squeezing the fruit. If the juice was on the palm of hand and fingers it can produce a handprint-shaped rash if you touch another part of your body. A few days later, the redness fades and the skin turns brown.

So how can you prevent phytophotodermatitis? Enjoy your favorite cocktail, but remember to wash your hands if consuming drinks or handling fresh citrus fruit while in the sun. If you think you accidentally touched your skin with a citrusy hand, then go wash both areas with soap and water. Seek medical attention for any severe pain, itching, swelling, or blistering. The brown pigmentation that remains after the redness has resolved can be improved with a prescription skin brightener and/or laser procedures from your board certified dermatologist back in the States.

Finally, don’t forget many of these tropical locals have insects such as no-see-ums, sand flies, and mosquitos. When traveling to areas containing mosquitos capable of transmitting viruses like Zika, Dengue fever, & Chikungunya, make sure to pack insect repellant. The CDC recommends insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil. Just remember to apply your insect repellant on TOP of your sunscreen, keep windows and doors closed at night, and if your hotel room is not well sealed/screened, then consider sleeping under bed nets.