Friday, September 12, 2014

The Beauty of our Hands


“Some people read palms to tell your future, but I read hands to tell your past. Each scar makes a story worth telling. Each callused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory.”  - Sarah Kay

Our hands are a beautiful gift. Whether rough and calloused or wrinkled and fair, they tell a story about our lives. Where we’ve been, what we’ve done, all the good and bad we’ve endured. But, because of the beating our hands take throughout our lives sometimes they can make us look older than we feel inside.

Don’t let your hands age you. Recent technology and research has found that the same treatments we use to preserve and restore the face can also be used on hands.

The first is Radiesse injections. 
Radiesse is a volumising filler commonly used to restore volume and contour to sunken cheeks or chins. Since Radiesse molds to the area being injected, stimulates natural collagen growth, and has proven to have durable and lasting results it is now an on demand product to treat the aging appearance of hands.
*Courtesy of RadiesseTreatment.com 

The second is Fraxel laser treatments.
Fraxel is a non-invasive laser treatment that penetrates the top skin layers and produces light technology to stimulate collagen and resurface the skin.  If you spend a lot of time in the sun, your skin may overreact by producing too much melanin, causing your age (or sun spots) to multiply. Fraxel works with your own skin cells to resurface your skin from the inside out. Due to it’s gentle nature Fraxel has become a popular treatment for reducing the aging appearance of hands.


Don't miss out on our September Hands Special:
Receive 3 Fraxel hand treatments and 2 syringes of Radiesse* for only $1,500.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ultherapy Décolletage- NOW at Germain Dermatology



The revolutionary procedure, Ultherapy, is now FDA approved and available to treat your Décolletage.

Ultherapy is a non-invasive laser based procedure used to improve lines and wrinkles and gently lift your skin. Until recently Ultherapy was only available to treat concerns on the face and neck. Germain Dermatology is thrilled to announce the approval of Ultherapy for the delicate chest area; and are excited to be offering this treatment to patients. Ultherapy Décolletage is the ONLY non-invasive treatment specifically indicated for the treatment of line and wrinkles on the chest.


How does the treatment work?
The safe ultrasound technology uses a scientifically derived amount of energy, temperature and depth measurement to trigger the body’s natural regenerative process, strengthening weak collagen and producing new collagen. It also offers practitioners the ability to see the layers of tissue (through ultrasounds) ensuring the best possible results and treatment locations.

In one, 30 minute, treatment you will safely see gratifying results. Call us today for a consultation and find out if Ultherapy is right for you.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What is a Mohs Surgeon?

We loved this article from EverydayHealth.com. Having an annual checkup and a spot or two removed is definitely less scary than battling skin cancer. If you are seeking treatment for skin cancer or need guidance with an irregular mole visit Dr. Germain, certified Mohs surgeon, for the best care in Charleston.

5 Reasons Why Skin Cancer Surgery Isn’t So Scary
•By Christina Heiser
Get the inside scoop on Mohs surgery, the most popular treatment option for basal and squamous cell carcinomas.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat to minimize your sun exposure.
Veva Vesper has dealt with more than her fair share of skin cancer in the last 25 years. The 69-year-old Ohio resident has had more than 500 squamous cell carcinomas removed since the late 1980s, when the immunosuppressant medication she was taking for a kidney transplant caused her to develop them all over her body — everywhere from the corner of her eye to her legs.

While Vesper’s story is unusual, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, it’s currently estimated that one in five Americans will get skin cancer in his or her lifetime.
Mike Davis, a 65-year-old retired cop, and like Vesper, a patient at The Skin Cancer Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a more familiar story. Earlier this year, he had a basal cell carcinoma removed from his left ear — the side of his face most exposed to UV damage when driving on patrol.
The buildup of sun exposure over your lifetime puts you at greater risk for developing basal and squamous cell skin carcinomas as you age. Both Vesper and Davis had Mohs surgery, the most effective and precise way to remove the two most common types of skin cancer.

“The benefits of Mohs surgery are twofold: One, you’re going to remove just the cells you need to without having to take a lot of unnecessary tissue, and two, Mohs surgery can tout cure rates of 99 percent,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in New York City and the director of dermatologic surgery at New York Medical College.

We asked top experts to answer the most common questions about Mohs surgery.

1. What exactly is it? 
Mohs surgery is named after Frederic Mohs, a professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin, who developed the treatment in the 1930s. “It’s a very tissue-sparing technique, where we go layer by layer, examining 100 percent of the margin in order to trace out the cancer using a microscope,” says Engelman.

You’ll be awake for the procedure, which is done under local anesthesia. The surgeon starts by cutting out a small piece of the tumor with a scalpel. A lab technician then freezes and stains the tissues for the surgeon to look at under a microscope. “Cancer grows like roots of a tree,” explains Brett Coldiron, MD, the founder of The Skin Cancer Center in Cincinnati and an assistant clinical professor at the University of Cincinnati. “What we do [during Mohs surgery] is cut out a disc of skin and check for roots poking through. It’s very obvious under the microscope.”

"Mohs surgery can tout cure rates of 99 percent."Dendy Engelman, MD, dermatologist and Mohs surgeon. If a root is visible, the surgeon will go back and remove another layer of the tumor, repeating the same process until the entire cancer is gone.  “Very rarely do we go past three passes,” says Coldiron.

2. Who should get it?
“Moh’s surgery is very useful around the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears,” says Coldiron. “It’s also useful around the cheek if it’s a larger tumor.” Additionally, Mohs surgery can be performed on the hands, feet, and neck — areas where you’d want to preserve as much tissue as possible, says Engelman.
While Mohs surgery is generally used on basal and squamous cell cancers, in some cases it can be used to treat melanoma, especially if the cancer is thin or confined to the outer layer of skin. “Patients should ask their Mohs surgeon if this a procedure they offer, as not all Mohs specialists treat melanoma with Mohs,” says Engelman.

3. How long does it take?
Expect to be at the doctor’s office for approximately one to three hours. After your surgeon removes the first layer of tissue, which takes about 10 minutes, you’ll be sent to the waiting room for about a half hour while the surgeon examines the tumor.  Then, you’ll be brought back to the exam room to either get stitched up, which takes another 20 minutes, or have another piece of the tumor removed.

4. Will it hurt? 
No more than a biopsy, says Engelman. The area is numbed with enough lidocaine, a local anesthetic that reduces pain, to last for about two and a half to three hours. “The discomfort is minimal — there’s just that initial stick [of the needle],” says Engelman. “You may feel a little bit of pressure [during the procedure], but you don’t feel pain.”

Afterwards, most patients only experience minimal pain. “Certain areas like the scalp, legs, or areas under tension (like skin over joints) may be more sensitive and may require prescription strength pain medication for one to three days post-surgery, but the vast majority of surgeries do not require prescription analgesics,” says Engelman.

5. Will there be a scar?
Yes — but it’ll become less noticeable over time. “It may take six months for the redness to fade and for the scar to settle down, but six months down the road, most patients are happy with the final result,” says Coldiron.

To ensure the wound heals nicely, follow the post-operative care instructions given to you by your doctor, says Engelman. “Moist wounds have been found in studies to heal faster than those left exposed to air,” she says. “The scar formed tends to have a better aesthetic appearance when kept moist and covered with a bandage.”

View Original Article Here

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"5 Signs of a Good Dermatologist"

We loved this article from EverydayHealth.com:
"5 Signs of a Good Dermatologist" by Grace Gold

Whether you want to get rid of adult acne or you're curious about the latest in anti-aging technology, choosing a dermatologist can sometimes be as daunting as the skin problems that plague you. Simplify the search by paying attention to these five guidelines when shopping around.

Not all dermatologists are created equal. Finding the one who will work with you to resolve your particular problems and concerns requires some research. When you’re looking for your ideal dermatologist, use these five guidelines to differentiate the best from the rest.

The best credentials. Report cards matter. Any doctor with a medical degree can start a dermatology practice, but certified physicians boast additional years of supervised study and have passed rigorous exams. Do a free online search to ensure that a prospective dermatologist is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, which is the gold standard for the industry, says Wendy Lewis, the author of America’s Cosmetic Doctors and a cosmetic surgery consultant. She warns, “Many doctors call themselves dermatologists but may be internists, general practitioners, or something else.” Even if a doctor claims to be a “board certified physician,” the certification isn't necessarily in dermatology. If you’re specifically interested in anti-aging options — such as laser resurfacing, wrinkle fillers, peels, and skin tightening — you can check the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery for additional certification. Says Lewis, “Members include top experts in cosmetic procedures.”

Unrushed appointments. Exceptional dermatologists don’t look at the clock; they look at your chart and are completely focused on your personal story and your questions. “Your dermatologist should take the time to explain things, address your concerns, and explain treatment plans, as well as any tests you may have to undergo,” says David Bank, MD, president of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. If a dermatologist dismisses your thoughts, is difficult to follow up with, or rushes you through an appointment, it’s time to find someone who values you more as a patient.

No sales pitching. It’s a doctor’s office — not a home shopping television show. The dermatologist and the office staff should never aggressively push products, treatments, or other remedies that don’t specifically address your personal concerns. “If you feel that a dermatologist is selling you, he or she may be more interested in your money than in helping you,” says Dr. Bank.

A generous sampling policy. An office chock-full of mini tubes of various products shows that a dermatologist genuinely wants patients to find the best — and not just any — solution to a given skin problem, and that he or she is conscious of budgets and prescription copay amounts. “If your dermatologist wants you to try a product to make sure it’s right for you before you commit to buying a prescription, it’s a great sign,” says Bank. And don’t be shy; speak up and ask if samples are available, as doctors often have to trash loads of expired samples.

After-hours care. You should never feel left in the dark. Whether you're experiencing an allergic reaction following a treatment or you have a pressing question about it, there should be a way for you to reach the dermatologist during evenings and on weekends. “A good dermatologist will have on-call service for emergencies after hours,” says Bank. Some may have answering services that relay messages, while others may leave an urgent contact number on the office’s answering machine. Rather than finding yourself out of luck after weekdays at 5 pm, find a dermatologist who will be there for you.

Looking for a new dermatologist? Come see us at Germain Dermatology. Dr. Germain and our staff will treat you with the most advance practices and products and make you feel like family. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Irritating Ingredients- Read Your Labels

Unexplained itchiness and rashes are one of the most common reasons for seeing a dermatologist. Reoccurring or worsening symptoms are frustrating for clients who cannot pinpoint a trigger for their conditions. More often than not we discover that patients are suffering from a skin allergy. Many people aren’t aware they have an allergy at all, and some cases can be extremely mild, making it hard to detect a cause. Not to mention, allergies can develop over time and at any stage in life. 

While things like nickel, poison ivy and fragrances are common contributors to skin allergies; there are an infinite number of materials that can cause a contact dermatitis reaction (through contact on the skin); and worse, there are many ingredients we use daily to achieve healthy skin, which can actually cause an allergic reaction. 

Check your labels for these common allergy-inducing ingredients:  
  • Formaldehyde- often listed in products as quaternium-15, is a preservative widely used in the beauty industry to prevent bacterial contamination of products. 
  • Lanolin- an ester produced from sheep’s wool, used to protect the oils on the skin’s surface. It is commonly found in lip balm, soaps and other moisturizing products.
  • Coconut- often listed as coconut diethanolamide, is an increasingly popular ingredient in skin care products. These allergies are known to develop slowly even after months of product usage. Also listed as: coconut oil acid, cocamide DEA, ninol, witcamide and calamide.
  • Balsam of Peru- often listed as myroxylon, is a sticky sap that smells like vanilla and cinnamon. Often found in soaps, perfumes, shampoo and even in food and medication.

It is important to also know that while one may not have an allergy to foods such as soy, coconut, eggs, nuts or dairy a dermatitis skin allergy to the substance is still possible. If you are allergic to certain foods it is highly suggested not to use products containing these items to avoid possible dermatitis and irritation. 

If we cannot easily identify a common cause of your reactions our office offers Patch Testing. This testing will allow us to determine if a skin condition is caused by an allergic reaction to any specific substances and what exactly those are. We also offer a full line of GermainRx skin and body care products which are all oil and fragrance free. 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Botox For Depression- New Medical Insight

Depression is a growing medical concern, with major depressive disorder being the leading cause of disability for Americans aged 15-44. While conventional medications and therapy work for some depression is not a 'one size fits all' condition. Medical teams and researchers have continued to study depression in order to evolve treatment methods, prescriptions and ways to manage this imbalance for many of those suffering without a solution.

Recent studies are suggesting Botox as an effective treatment for Major Depression Disorder. "I know for sure that my patients feel better emotionally after having Botox.  I don’t medically think that Botox can ever be the principle treatment for clinical depression, but I am encouraged in the findings of using it as an adjunct therapy; and a way to make everyone feel a little bit better about life," says Dr. Germain.

The following article by WebMD Health News writer Carolina Cassels, offers insight to this new use of the common wrinkle reducer, Botox- What are your thoughts?

More Evidence Botox Works for Depression
by Caroline Cassels
A single injection of Botox, which is typically used to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles, may be an effective treatment for depression.

Investigators at the Hannover Medical School in Germany found that treating the facial muscles involved in emotion with Botox eases symptoms of depression.

"Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions. Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin interrupts this cycle," study investigator Prof. Tillmann Kruger said at a press conference at the American Psychiatric Association's 2014 Annual Meeting.

Novel Approach

According to the investigators, positive effects on mood have been seen in patients who've had Botox treatment for the frown lines in the area above the nose and between the eyebrows. To confirm these results, Kruger and colleague M. Axel Wollmer, MD, from the Asklepios Clinic North Ochsenzoll in Hamburg, Germany, did research on Botox injection as an additional treatment for major depression.

A total of 30 patients with high levels of chronic and treatment-resistant depression were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single injection of Botox or a single injection of saline placebo ("fake treatment").

Six weeks after a single treatment, the Botox group had an average 47.1% reduction in depression symptoms vs. 9.2% in the placebo group.

The investigators found that the effect size was even larger at the end of the study. Improvement was also reflected when other tools were used to measure depression symptoms.

Kruger said Botox may offer a "novel, effective, well-accepted, and economic therapeutic tool for the treatment of major depression."

These findings have since been repeated in two other studies.

The researchers are also testing Botox's therapeutic potential in other psychiatric disorders.

Jeffrey Borenstein, MD, president and CEO of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in New York City, said at the press conference that pursuing new treatments for depression is "crucial."

Borenstein said he'd like to see this line of research pursued in studies that include larger numbers of patients.

Dr. Kruger, Dr. Wollmer, and Dr. Borenstein report no relevant financial conflicts of interest.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

SOURCE:American Psychiatric Association's 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting, New York, May 3-7, 2014.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Suffering From Summer Time Dry Skin?

Has your dry winter skin rolled over to the warm summer months? Dry skin can be frustrating, especially when you are constantly moisturizing with no results. Review our list of sneaky dry skin culprits to see if you are inadvertently feeding your irritation.

#1 Fragrance. No, we aren't saying not to spritz yourself with your favorite perfume; this is referring to the hidden scents in many of your day-to-day routines.  Facial lotions, body lotions, body washes, detergents, deodorants, fabric softeners, fabric sprays and so forth can all contain fragrance which tends to irritate already dry skin or make it worse. Check the ingredients list of your items and eliminate any products containing the word fragrance. We often suggest ‘free’ or ‘clear’ items and non-fragrance skin care products. *Don’t want to throw away your delicious country cucumber melon lotion? Opt for high quality products with natural scents containing ingredients like shea butter, coco bean, honey or vanilla.

#2 Soap. Nothing strips skin of moisture faster than cleansing. This is why those who tend to shower multiple times a day or continuously wash their hands tend to suffer from dry skin. Use gentle (and fragrance free) products, especially hand and body soaps, and moisturize with a high quality lotion/oil within 10-20 min. of washing. *Fabric Softeners can also contain high amounts of soap, which can irritate dry skin, always check ingredients.

#3 Hard Water. Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals like magnesium, lead, and zinc. These minerals can leave a film on skin that causes dryness.  Investing in a home filtration system can get pricey- Dr. Dennis Gross, NYC Dermatologist, suggests a great alternative- add products high in vitamin A and C to your beauty routine to counteract the film left by hard water.

#4 Chlorine & Salt Water. Our skin is only made to withstand being in water for certain lengths of time. Whether swimming in a pool or ocean, taking a bubble bath or a long shower water can ultimately strip the natural oil barriers protecting our skin. During the summer, especially in coastal regions like Charleston, water activities can cause or worsen dry skin symptoms. To make things worse, both, chlorine and salt water dehydrate your skin intensifying the affects of the water. *Moisturize after a long swim, as you would after a shower, to best control the effects. Those with severe dry skin can apply lipid based products that will actually block the damage from prolonged water exposure.

#5 Air Conditioning. Yes, it is a fact that both heat and air conditioning can harmfully affect the moisture levels of your skin. Air condition pulls humidity out of the air causing, worsening or irritating dry skin. *Running a humidifier in your bedroom, or even your office, (through summer and winter) can help to balance the moisture in the air and relieve dry skin.

If your dry skin doesn't improve with these lifestyle alterations, worsens or becomes painful come visit us at Germain Dermatology. Dr. Germain and staff are experts in skin care and will help you get to the root of your dry skin! Call today 843-881-4440