Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wipe Out Those Wrinkles

A beautiful, youthful appearance comes from within. Sometimes rejuvenating that appearance requires more than just topical treatments to address the loss of facial volume. One of the more popular, non-surgical cosmetic procedures that can replace that lost volume is dermal fillers.
Dermal fillers are used to smooth out and create volume in areas of the skin that have aged and wrinkled over time. This includes a variety of substances such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and other materials, which are both naturally occurring and man-made. Generally they are used to do things such as plump lips, smooth out wrinkles on the forehead or around the face and to prevent the motion, which displays wrinkles.
Dermal fillers have become increasingly popular as a means to help reverse the skin changes that are associated with aging. Seeing as the goal of using dermal fillers is to return the skin to its original youthful state, these products are being used to reduce or eliminate wrinkles.
Before Treatment



After Treatment
There are many different FDA- approved fillers that Dr. Germain offers. These include:

·  JUVÉDERM Injectable Gel: This smooth consistency filler, also made with hyaluronic acid (HA), is particularly suited for treating nasolabial folds (also called "smile lines"), the creases between your nose and the corners of your mouth. It can also add fullness to lips. The results of JUVÉDERM can last up to 1 year.

·  Restylane and Perlane: These fillers are made with hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring substance already found in your skin. Restylane and Perlane restore lost hyaluronic acid for improved volume and hydration that will last about 6 to 9 months. Dr. Germain uses these fillers to reduce wrinkles and augment lips.

·  RADIESSE: Unlike other dermal fillers, RADIESSE actually stimulates the growth of new collagen. This means that the results last longer than other fillers – often more than 1 year. RADIESSE, made with tiny calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres, can be used on nasolabial folds as well as other facial lines and wrinkles. Dr. Germain is an extremely experienced injector with RADIESSE and performs many treatments.

·  SCULPTRA Aesthetic: Long lasting, with subtle results over time, SCULPTRA aesthetic is an easy way to get a natural-looking, youthful appearance. Made with poly-L-lactic acid, SCULPTRA gradually replaces lost collagen for results that last for up to 2 years.
After using the dermal fillers, it is not uncommon to experience some redness, swelling, or bruising. If this does occur, it will fade quickly and can be covered with makeup. How frequently treatment with a dermal filler needs to be repeated varies with each specific filler and even with each patient. Generally, you can expect results to last anywhere between 6 months and 2 years.
To learn more about dermal fillers and the services that Dr. Germain and her staff offer, you can request a consultation online with Dr. Germain or call her office at (843) 881-4440.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Banish Your Blackheads

Living in the Lowcountry, we all know that we have to protect our skin from sunburns and other skin conditions, but did you know that during these humid summer months, your skin may also develop blackheads? 
Blemish Clearing Gel can help get rid of blackheads
A blackhead is a yellow or blackish bump or plug on the skin that is a type of acne. Contrary to the common belief that it is caused by poor hygiene, blackheads are caused by excess oils that mix with the skin. 
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it affects more than 40 to 50 million Americans today.
Pore Refining Mask sold at Germain Dermatology
Frequent causes of blackheads are genetics, hormones, some medications, stress, humidity, and physical irritation. When it is humid and someone suffering from acne sweats, the sweat may mix in with the oils in the skin, which could cause blackheads.  Tight clothing, which chafes or rubs an area of the skin, may also result in blackheads in these humid conditions. Pregnant women may also get blackheads, which is usually a result of significant changes in their hormones.
It is also very common for teenagers and young adults to get blackheads. While it is unknown why, a growing number of women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s have blackheads according to the American Academy of Dermatology. 
Basic Acne Control System
Blackheads can be treated with products that don’t require a prescription but it’s in your best interest to sit with Dr. Germain for a consultation if you’ve never had one.  Look for products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. However, sometimes medicine may not work if you have a severe case of blackheads. In this instance, it is best to make an appointment with Dr. Germain and her staff for a consultation on other treatments or procedures. For more on the Germain Rx Acne systems, please visit the products section at www.germaindermatology.com
Here are a few tips to help manage blackheads:
  • Do not pick, scratch, or squeeze blackheads as this can cause scarring
  • Do not under any circumstances tan to get rid of blackheads. Doing so increases your risk of getting skin cancer.
  • Be gentle to your skin. Scrubbing your skin will not clear blackheads and can often times make them worse. 

Remember, your skin is your largest organ, so just like your dental cleanings or yearly annuals, make your appointment with your dermatologist today by calling us at (843) 881-4440. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Feeling Itchy? The Scoop on Poison Ivy


As the weather gets warmer, many residents of the Lowcountry love to spend their free time camping or hiking in the woods.  While this can be a fun family activity, it is important to beware of poison ivy.
Poison ivy can cause rashes and in severe cases swelling and severe blisters. The rash is caused by an oil found in the plant known as urushiol. The itchy, blistering rash often does not start right away. Generally it takes 12 to 72 hours after the oil comes into contact with a persons skin before the rash appears.  It is not uncommon for a persons skin not to develop a rash after the first time their skin comes into contact with the urushiol.  The next time it happens though, the skin will more than likely be more sensitive and the common symptoms for poison ivy will occur.
There are a few ways to get this rash:
Direct Contact: By simply touching the poison ivy, you can get a rash. Every part of the plant – the leaves, stems, roots, and flowers – contains the oil.
Indirect Contact: Urushiol can stick to almost anything. For example, if you touch a gardening tool or even your pet’s fur that happens to have the oil on it, you can get a rash. It is important to be careful so as not to have anything come into contact with poison ivy.

Airborne Contact: While burning these poisonous plants may seem like a good idea, doing so will release particles of urushiol into the air, which can stick to the skin.

Poison ivy is not contagious either. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is not possible to get this rash from touching someone who has the rash. This is because the skin absorbs the oil too quickly. You cannot get a rash from getting the fluid in the blisters on your skin.

Most people see the rash go away naturally in a few weeks. There are a number of things that a person can do to make the skin feel more comfortable during this time though. This includes applying hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to the rash, taking antihistamine pills, placing cool cloths on the skin, taking cool showers or lukewarm baths, and most importantly not scratching the areas of the skin where the rash is.

Anyone that gets a rash from one of these poisonous plants should wash all articles of clothing that they were wearing when they came into contact with the plant as well as washing anything else that may have come into contact with the plant. This includes things like sports equipment and gardening tools.

One of the best ways to prevent poison ivy rashes is knowing what the plant looks like so you can avoid it altogether. On these plants, there are three small leaflets on each leaf. In the Lowcountry, it grows on a vine. In the Spring, the plant grows yellow-green flowers. It also may have green berries that turn off-white in early fall.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a person should use a skin care product that helps prevent the skin from absorbing the urushiol to prevent a rash from poison ivy. These products usually contain bentoquatam. It is also recommended that you wear long pants, long sleeves, boots, and gloves when around these plants.

While most of these rashes go away without treatment in a few weeks, it is important to seek treatment if you have one or more of these reactions:

·      The itching doesn't go away.
·      You have rashes on several areas of your body.
·      You have a fever.
·      Your face swells.
·      Breathing or swallowing is difficult.

In these instances it is best to seek treatment from Dr. Germain and her staff immediately.