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Tag Archives : dermatologist

Protect The Skin You’re In

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Beyond your mother nagging you to death to apply sunscreen before you brave the great outdoors, it’s nice to know that there have been many advancements in the field of skin cancer detection. The level of awareness for the disease has skyrocketed within the last generation alone. I still have visions, from my childhood, of my father sitting on a lounge chair, covered in Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil, holding a bright yellow sun visor inches from his face to maximize his exposure to the sun. Whereas today, I apply SPF 30 sunscreen before I slip into my bikini to ensure that I don’t miss an inch on my face or body. I also apply an SPF hair mask and wear sunglasses as both your scalp and eyes can burn and are not immune to Melanoma either. Ocular Melanoma can present as a freckle within the eye.

But let’s go beyond the sunscreen

It’s critical to visit a board certified dermatologist for an annual skin screening and not only if you fall into the high risk group of those with light skin, eyes and a family history of skin cancer. It’s crucial that everyone go. Often, those with dark skin and eyes assume they are immune from skin cancer and wind up with serious issues down the road due to a lack of screenings and late detection. But don’t go to see a derm only because 1 in 5 Americans will have skin cancer in their lifetime, nor because Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, causes one death every hour. And not only because it’s the most common cancer diagnosis in adults 25 – 29. And certainly not only because children that have experienced 5+ sun burns in their lives are 80% more likely to develop skin cancer, nor because each year there are more instances of skin cancer than lung, breast and colon cancer combined. You must go because this is an easy one to prevent.

A technological leap forward in skin screening

Until recently the protocol for conducting skin screenings was a manual, imperfect process. Even with the expertise of a highly-skilled, board certified dermatologist armed with the appropriate screening tools, a manual process left physicians piecing together notes from the year before with no standardized method for tracking changes in the skin over time.

Enter DermSpectra, a revolutionary new breakthrough in technology that has standardized the skin screening process with digital imaging capable of tracking even the most minute of changes in the skin over time. When it comes to skin cancer, picking up the smallest change in a mole or growth can mean the difference between life and death.

DermSpectra skin cancer awareness monthYour 10 minutes of fame

DermSpectra, or The Box, as Dr. Mitchell Kline, a board certified clinical dermatologist who specializes in Melanoma surgery and staging, lovingly calls it, uses high speed, professionally focused cameras and lenses, customized for the patient’s skin type, to capture a 360 degree view of the skin in its entirety. Its akin to E! Live’s 360 degree camera used on the red carpet at The Oscars to give us a virtually 3 dimensional view of the haute couture fashions that the the A list actors are dressed in. DermSpectra is the very first full body digital imaging system in the United States that captures standardized, high definition photography of the skin. This imaging tool enables physicians to objectively review and monitor critical skin changes over time.

How does it work?

You strip down to your underoos at the very least – if you feel at ease bearing more – even better! Melanoma can pop up in the least expected of areas, even in places where the sun don’t shine. Climb into the DermSpectra Imaging Unit and move through a series of 9 poses while dozens of cameras capture 36.7 MP high resolution photos of the body from a 360 degree vantage point. These images are instantly available and become a baseline for the long term evaluation and tracking of even the smallest changes in the skin over time. All the information is stored securely for the patient’s and physician’s eyes only.

DermSpectra can only be found in three locations in The United States – at Travel Beauty’s go to dermatologist, Dr. Mitchell Kline’s Park Avenue practice on the upper east side of Manhattan, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and Oregon Health and Science University in Portland Oregon.

So what are you waiting for?

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) To Treat Hair Loss

We recently published a piece on treating thinning eyebrows and eyelashes. In my exploration of the topic I also wanted to address female and male pattern baldness. I turned to Dr. Mitchell A. Kline, a board-certified clinical dermatologist with a private practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He specializes in melanoma surgery and staging and non-invasive melanoma detection including total body dermoscopy and DermSpectra full body digital imaging. While Dr. Kline is considered the go-to doctor in New York for skin cancer concerns, his practice also offers a broad array of creative anti-aging and cosmetic treatments including lasers, injectables, fillers, photo-facials and chemical peels.

He is also one of the few doctors in New York that offers Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP facials, otherwise known as the Vampire Facial, as well as PRP for hair regeneration. Dr. Kline is a true innovator and leader in the field of dermatology. When I learned that he successfully grew himself a virtually full head of hair using PRP, I had to learn more. I sat down with Dr. Kline to gain a better understanding of the treatment.

What’s all the buzz about Platelet Rich Plasma?

MK: It seems like every week there’s a new breakthrough cosmetic treatment boasting remarkable rejuvenation and anti-aging benefits. They come; they go. Many amount to more hype than help, with a hefty price tag and minimal patient benefit. So when a treatment like platelet rich plasma (PRP) generates buzz, and sticks around, the dermatological community pays attention, especially when that treatment is rooted in historical medicine. With PRP, we’re witnessing a renaissance in a technique that was officially developed 30 years ago to assist in the recovery of orthopedic and nerve injuries. Now it has gained traction for use in facial rejuvenation and, most relevant to my practice, hair growth treatment that can work for both men and women.

What is PRP and how does it work?

MK: When a new patient comes in for PRP treatment her blood is drawn just like during a blood test and then placed in a centrifuge that is spun, sometimes twice, to concentrate the plasma with rich blood-clotting particles called platelets. The result is what we call platelet rich plasma or PRP. Though this can all sound a little Frankensteinish on the face of it, the procedure is all natural. Everything involved in a ‘traditional’ PRP treatment belongs to the individual patient without the addition of synthetic chemicals or actives. Blood is simply being concentrated through the precise and rapid spinning process. While some practices and physicians add stem cells and other natural hormones to the PRP mixture as part of treatment, this is done predominantly outside of the USA.

How does this come into play with hair loss treatments?

MK: Unlike the popular vampire facial, that involves microneedling the PRP into the face, PRP for hair loss involves injecting the PRP into the scalp through a series of sterile injections. There is no pain, wounding or visible evidence that anything has been done to the treatment area.

Are there any side effects?

MK: Bruising is rare even for those patients on blood thinners. This is likely due to the clotting action of the platelets in the blood. Some mild warmth can be expected in the hours after the procedure but that’s about it.

How does it work?

MK: While the science is still catching up to the procedure, what is clear is that the growth factors present in the highly concentrated platelet and plasma mixture (which is effective at healing and anti-inflammatory support) helps to stimulate hair growth by converting resting hair follicles into an active state.

What results have you seen to date?

Platelet Rich Plasma To Treat Hair LossMK: Before introducing a treatment into the practice I always try it on myself first. 18 months ago I had a large, smooth balding area and decided to try PRP therapy without topical or oral therapy. When I reached the third month I was growing substantial amounts of fuzz over my previously smooth, bare bald spot. At that point I began the daily process of using enhanced minoxidil topical hair treatment daily in conjunction with PRP. After three more months I was stunning my patients, some of whom were calling me Benjamin Button. My before and after pictures reinforced what I knew, I was re-growing hair! While major studies on PRP remain small and results still can vary widely, our practice has seen great, even transformative, results with PRP treatment. We’ve seen results for both male and female pattern hair loss.

Who is a good candidate for this treatment?

MK: The range of patients who can benefit from treatment is vast. There can be great results when PRP is used in conjunction with hair transplant treatment or even for some patients who are suffering from mild to severe hair loss and for whom hair transplant surgery is not an option. It’s also never too late to get started. Our oldest PRP patient is 86 years old and thrilled with her results!

What other treatments work well with PRP for hair loss?

MK: After seeing success with PRP alone, our practice has started to combine PRP treatment with the FDA approved oral finasteride (Propecia) for those men and women willing to take it orally. We also prescribe a topical minoxidil in a proprietary blend to help boost results. Retinoids and topical male hormone blockers can work well too. In addition, we are working to further improve consistent and even more stunning results.

What scientific advancements are in store for PRP down the road?

MK: While the current PRP treatment process is quick, safe and extremely simple for patients, we are always striving to use equally safe topical additives that will act with synergy to improve PRP for frontal as well as vertex (top of the head) androgenetic alopecia. Other types of alopecia as well as stem cell treatments are in collaborative trials outside of the USA in several countries. We look forward to seeing what results are possible with these innovations. There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time for patient care and innovative hair loss treatment!

For more information on Dr. Kline, please visit Kline Dermatology’s website.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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How to Prevent an Itchy, Flaky Scalp This Winter

Every winter I receive a flurry of questions relating to dandruff. While the colder months have their many charms, ‘tis also the season for flakes and itching. Luckily there are many effective methods of combatting this common annoyance; from changes in your diet and lifestyle to the use of targeted products. In turn, looking after your scalp in such a way will improve the general health of your hair – a happy scalp goes a long way to promoting happy hair days.

The Science

Dandruff usually occurs when a yeast naturally found on the scalp (called malassezia furfur) overgrows. This causes skin cells to replicate themselves much more rapidly than they should, resulting in tell-tale flakes and itching. Most of us will experience dandruff at some point. The scalp is sensitive to external as well as internal changes, such as a shift in seasons, a change in diet, rocketing stress levels and fluctuating hormones.

Culprit: Diet

Certain foods are known to worsen an itchy and flaky scalp. Not everyone’s mind you – what may upset your scalp may be fine for someone else. However, at our Clinics in London and New York we have found that full fat dairy products, very spicy or sugary foods and white wine and champagne are the worst offenders – basically all the decadent things in life! Some people find that just one piece of cheese or a glass of their favourite Sancerre can flare-up symptoms. If you are prone to dandruff, try finding your trigger foods and drinks by process of elimination. Let us thank our lucky socks red wine and spirits are not on the list…

Culprit: Stress

Stress can upset the delicate balance of scalp flora. We aren’t entirely sure of the exact mechanism, but it’s probably because stress can increase male hormone levels, which in turn can affect the scalp. Stress may also play havoc on the immune system. Regardless, the most effective way to combat stress-related dandruff is to find an effective way to manage stress levels. At our Clinics we suggest mindfulness, meditation, Pilates, getting enough sleep and doing low-intensity exercise a few times a week.

Culprit: Not Shampooing 

Flakes aren’t always ‘true dandruff’. They can also make their debut when you aren’t cleansing your scalp often enough. After two days of not shampooing, dead skin cells simply accumulate on the scalp, become visible and irritate the skin. To prevent this problem, try to wash your hair at least every other day. If you simply cannot do this, which I know is often the case for those with coarse or curly hair, use an exfoliating scalp mask once a week and an antimicrobial scalp toner every morning and evening.

Culprit: Scratching

Scratching an itchy scalp can set off a vicious cycle. You scratch; the scalp gets more irritated and itches even more. You scratch again – and on it goes. Anytime you feel the urge, reach for a soothing anti-microbial scalp toner and dab it onto affected areas. We make a hand-bag friendly scalp toner called Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner.

Product Cures 

You should use a targeted shampoo and scalp toner every day and an exfoliating scalp mask twice weekly until symptoms clear. Then reduce to every other day with the shampoo and toner for another 10 days.

When to See a Doctor 

Dandruff is a non-inflammatory scalp condition. If your scalp is red, bleeding or inflamed or your flakes are very thick and hard to remove you may have another scalp condition and should see your doctor, trichologist or dermatologist for treatment.

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