A Houston based dermatologist is the mastermind behind the new AcneApp, an iphone application that was designed to help treat and/or eliminate your acne. The new app was inspired by professional acne light treatments, sometimes known as blue light therapy that uses light energy to kill the bacteria that causes acne.
The AcneApp, is supposedly a mini version of traditional acne light therapy, and alternately emits blue and red lights to kill acne bacteria and ultimately clear up zits. The app recommends use of the “light therapy” at least two minutes per day.
Does the acne light app really work? In our opinion, no. The laser and light energy used in professional acne light treatments are much more powerful than those that would be emitted from a cell phone light bulb covered by a blue or red screen. So far, the FDA agrees with us and has not validated nor even investigated these claims.
If you have a real acne problem, you should make an appointment with a board certified dermatologist, and not rely on a blinking cell phone app to cure the problem. Any of the dermatologists at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta will be happy to meet with you and develop a treatment plan most suitable for your needs.
Why? Not only will Dermatology Associates of Atlanta post links to interesting health/ dermatology news and information related to better skin health, but as a fan, you will be privy to exclusive specials not available to the general public! Fans of DAA can enter into contests/drawing for gift certificates and complimentary services or receive special discounts on our most popular procedures. Becoming a fan is also an easy way to ask our dermatologists and experienced staff any questions you may have via the wall and/or discussion page! Even if you are not a facebook user, the DAA fan page is public, meaning you can click on the link below and still view our page. The Dermatology Associates of Atlanta fan page is the ultimate resource for DAA specials, dermatological news, skin care tips and more! We invite you to become a fan and invite your friends… and as always, we thank you for your support!
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More and more people are opting for hair removal and turning to laser hair removal and electrolysis. But, what are the differences between these popular methods and which is the best option for you? Dermatology Associates of Atlanta gives a rundown of the pros and cons of each:
Laser hair removal involves the use of a hand-held laser device that emits light energy beams onto the treated area. The light beam targets dark coloring (of the hair) and works to impair the hair follicle, destroying growth, and causing the hair strands to fall out within the following two weeks. Because laser hair removal targets dark pigment, this method works best on people with light skin and dark hair. Hair that is too light may not be picked up on; and skin that is too dark may be negatively affected by the laser, and in some cases, result in scarring.
Laser hair removal treatments are relatively fast (about 20-30 minutes to treat the underarms). Because hair grows in three different cycles, 4 to 5 sessions will be needed to achieve optimal results. Patients will experience some mild pain during treatment – feeling like the snapping of a rubber band on the skin. However local anesthesia may be requested and the pain does not last longer after the procedure.
While laser hair removal is FDA approved for hair reduction, it is not approved for permanent removal. While most patients are very happy with their results, the results are not always 100 percent, especially with light or fine hair.
Electrolysis, on the other hand, is a method of removal using a needle, which is inserted into the hair follicle and sends a current of electricity into each individual follicle to destroy its growth. While this sounds painful, it is usually described as a mild discomforting pricking sensation when performed by a skilled electrologist. Unlike laser hair removal, electrolysis can be used on any color hair or skin type, even blond and gray hair. Because each individual follicle is treated during a session, electrolysis takes longer that laser hair removal and requires more overall sessions (anywhere from 15 to 30) to achieve maximum results.
Electrolysis is also the only FDA approved treatment for long lasting hair removal and can even be 100 percent effective on the light and fine hair that a laser misses.
While both methods of hair removal have their pros and cons, it is best to talk with a certified electrologist to decided which method is the best option for you and your skin/hair type. Jan Buckley, Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s in-house electrologist, is certified in clinical electrology and is a graduate of the International Center for the Study of Electrology. Visit our website for more information or to set up a consultation.
Every New Year people make resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, and save money. But almost everyone neglects their skin health when making promises to themselves for the New Year. For 2010, considering making better skin care part of your improved lifestyle. Here are some “Skin Resolutions” you should considering adopting as we ring in the New Year:
Wear Sunscreen! Many of us remember to slab on the SPF while laying out on the beach, or relaxing at the pool, but neglect to think about dangerous sun exposure on an everyday basis. When you are exposed to the sun, you should be wearing sunscreen – even if it is cloudy, even when it is cold. An easy way to start wearing sunscreen regularly is to buy a skin moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply lotion to your face and body after you get out of the shower in the morning like you normally would, except with a new SPF lotion, you will now also be protecting your skin from sun damage.
Get your moles checked! We know you have been putting it off, but the New Year is as good a time as ever to schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists and get a full body check. Being proactive about your skin health will help dermatologists to catch any problem areas early. In the event of a cancerous lesion detection, your skin cancer diagnosis and treatment will be so much better if it is dealt with in the early stages.
Develop a skin care plan specific to you! In the midst of our busy lives, oftentimes our everyday skin care gets put on the backburner. But everyone’s skin is different and needs different products and treatments to make it as beautiful and as healthy as possible. Make an appointment with a dermatologist or one of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s experienced staff members. Whether you have blotchy skin, oily skin, dry skin, or acne – there is a solution to finally give you skin confidence!
Pamper yourself! Dermatology Associates of Atlanta has an in-house Medical Spa called Skin Medics™ to take care of all your skin care needs. Everyone feels more confident with smoother, healthy looking skin, so treat yourself to a chemical peel, facial, or microdermabraison treatment to maintain healthy, youthful looking skin.
If you have been keeping up with the healthcare reform news, you have probably heard the criticism surrounding the proposed “Botax” or tax on elective cosmetic surgery procedures. But after much opposition and lobbying from pharmaceutical companies, the cosmetic surgery tax has been thrown out, and a new tax on tanning beds has been thrown in.
The new bill proposes a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning salons. This addition, plus a .9 percent increase in Medicare payroll tax for high earning households, is expected to generate about $86.8 billion dollars over a 6 year time span.
The former plan to tax cosmetic surgeries was highly opposed because it would be the first tax of its kind to place a levy on a medical service. A tax on tanning beds may be more widely accepted because it is known to cause harmful UV damage. However, like the “Botax” which was criticized for unfairly targeting middle class woman, the new tanning bed tax can also be opposed for this reason (as woman are by far the biggest consumers in the indoor tanning industry).
While we at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta may or may not agree with the proposed healthcare reform bill, we absolutely agree on the dangers of tanning bed use. While the harmful effects of tanning beds were long suspected, a study earlier this year confirmed the link between tanning beds and skin cancer.
Safe sun exposure should be practiced and tanning beds avoided at all costs! If you have used tanning beds in the past, make sure to come into schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dermatologists to get your moles checked.
If a tan glow is what you desire, there are safer options, like spray tans and bronzing makeup which can be used. Remember to never sacrifice the health of your skin!
Dermatology Associates of Atlanta World News Highlight: Chinese Study Finds Evidence of Leprosy Genes
One of the most ancient, and literately relevant, skin diseases is leprosy. It has been around for over 4,000 years, was well known in ancient China and was even mentioned in the Bible. Now that treatments are available for leprosy patients, the disease does not carry the same stigma as it once did. However, new evidence has been uncovered that suggests that scientists have been wrong about the causes of leprosy.
The long term study done in China, and recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found seven gene mutations which appear to increase a person’s susceptibility to the disease. This evidence refutes the previous claim that scientists have made about leprosy not being an inherited or congenital disease. While leprosy can indeed by “contagious”, this study shows that this is not the only way for a person to contract the disease. This new evidence suggests that leprosy is influenced by a person’s genes and that if a parent contracts leprosy, more than likely, their offspring will too.
The study looked at the genes of 706 leprosy patients and 1,225 non leprosy patients, finding the seven mutated genes in all of the leprosy patients. The genes found are classified as “susceptibility” genes, meaning that a person with these genes will not necessarily contract leprosy, but will be more susceptible to it if exposed.
This is an important discovery, because although leprosy isn’t a problem in countries like the US or China, it is still prevalent in developing nations. In the future, people with leprosy susceptibility can be identified before they contract the disease and permanent damage is made.
Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, affects the skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and nerves. Unfortunately, any nerve damage to leprosy patients is permanent even if they are recovered from the disease. While it is pretty unlikely that you will come into contact with leprosy in your lifetime, we at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta believe it is interesting to discover new knowledge about the skin and various skin diseases – especially diseases like leprosy that have been around for so many years!
While Botox® is more commonly known as a wrinkle remover, scientists and physicians are figuring out more and more new ways to effectively utilize this injectable. Most recently, a study was introduced that links Botox® treatments with relief from chronic pain. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the study presented at their 2009 Plastic Surgery Conference involved eight chronic pain suffers, who all received one injection a month for nine months. The results showed a 31 percent improvement in daily pain control, with results lasting up to 17 months.
While scientists will have to do more research on the effects of Botox® on those with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in order to gain FDA approval for this use, the potential for chronic pain relief through injections is promising. Similar studies also link Botox® to relief from chronic migraines.
Other FDA approved uses of Botox® beyond the traditional wrinkle removal include injections in the armpits for excessive sweating, bladder spasms, and relief from neck, back, and eye muscle spasms. With more that 5 million injections of Botox® performed last year alone, wrinkle removal is still the number one usage of this injectable. In the future, Dysport®, the cosmetic injectable competitor to Botox®, may also be FDA approved for these uses – but because it is new to the market, more testing will need to be done.
The staff at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta have a wealth of experience performing injections of both Botox® and Dysport® to help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles of the face. Dr. Karempelis, for example, has performed over 14,000 injections alone! To find out more, or to schedule a consultation contact our office.
For those of you that are familiar with frequent shaving, you know how easy it is to get irritation or painful ingrown hairs. But sometimes shaving and waxing can lead to a more troublesome condition known as folliculitis. Folliculitis is caused by an infection of the hair follicles by bacteria, viruses or fungi; with the most common type of infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The result from this infection? Itchy and or painful bumps in and around your hair follicles.
There are several types of folliculitis that show up in different ways on the body. The most common categories include:
Superficial folliculitis: This type of infection affects the upper part of the hair follicle and can cause clusters of red bumps, pus-filled blisters, red and/or inflamed skin, as well as itchiness or tenderness.
Deep folliculitis: This is more serious type of folliculitis that starts deeper in the skin surrounding the hair follicle and thus can infect the whole hair follicle. Deep folliculitis can manifest as a large swollen bump and pus-filled blisters and can cause pain and possible scarring once the infection has disappeared.
Folliculitis occurs in damaged follicles, and while you have the greatest amount of follicles on your head, the condition can occur virtually anywhere. The most common causes of this type of infection are due to shaving, friction from tight clothing, excessive sweating, skin conditions causing inflammation (like acne), skin injuries, and unbreathable materials on your skin (such as adhesive tape).
If you are showing symptoms of severe folliculitis, you need to make an appointment with a board certified dermatologist; because ignoring the problem could lead to scarring and permanent hair loss.