Friday, December 16, 2011

Lash Care and Latisse

As we age, our lashes become thinner and shorter. The lash root is extremely delicate and years of daily wear and tear damage follicles and can cause it to stop producing hair. To get the sweeping, full lashes that always seem to get wasted on little boys, give your lashes a little love and consider trying Latisse.

There are several steps you can take to improve the look and health of your lashes. First, stop abusing them. Mascara may make them look fuller and darker, but the rubbing, wiping, and pulling to remove it can damage your lashes – especially if you use long-lasting or waterproof formulas. Sleeping in mascara is also a big no-no. Choose a mascara that will not dry out or overly stiffen your lashes. Never pull or tug on your lashes and if you use a curler, do so before applying mascara.

A good eyelash conditioner can keep your lashes from becoming brittle and breaking. They contain proteins and moisturizers that protect lashes and can help them look and grow fuller.

If your lashes are healthy, but still not long and lush; you have several options. There are volumizing mascaras, falsies, extensions, and even a medication - Latisse. My clients that have tried Latisse have seen remarkable results. It is a topical medication that gets applied to the upper lash line. It works from the inside out by increasing the growth phase of eyelashes. Improvement is noticeable in four to six weeks as lashes become longer, darker, and fuller.

The application takes less than a minute and has few possible side effects. Originally developed to treat glaucoma, it has a very high safety profile. Redness, irritation, and darkening of the periocular skin occurred in less than 4% of users and went away once the patient discontinued use.

A common myth is that it will darken the iris. This is a rare side effect seen in only 1-2% of glaucoma patients who use the medication in its original form, as eye drops, applied directly to surface of their eyes. And only those with green or hazel eyes are at risk. Latisse is applied to the base of the lashes and has never had a documented case of iris darkening in any of its users.

If you are curious about Latisse or would like to have long, youthful lashes again, we will be running a buy one get one free Latisse special for $120.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Tool in the Skin Cancer Screening Kit

70,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma this year. The most deadly form of skin cancer, it is without a doubt the most serious diagnosis I make in my practice. Caught in the early stages, it is very curable. Unfortunately, too many are diagnosed once it has spread to other parts of the body. 85% of patients with late stage melanoma will die from it within just 5 years.

Melafind, a newly approved imaging and analysis device is a first-of-its-kind. It emits a penetrating light that travels below the skin’s surface and makes detailed, digital images. A computer then analyzes the depth and shape of skin growths and looks for signs of cancer. The results are compared to an archived database of 10,000 images and a recommendation is made on whether a biopsy is needed.

It is not uncommon for a patient to come in with 10 to 20 body moles. I currently rely on my years of training and experience to visually evaluate their size, shape, and color in determining which, if any, look suspicious and need to be biopsied. Some moles will exhibit easily recognizable signs of cancer; many however are not so obvious.

I am excited about this new, non-invasive technology. The system has proved highly effective in clinical trials. In a study of 1,300 patients, Melafind correctly suggested biopsies on 125 of 127 melanomas. It is not meant to replace biopsies, but to help improve a dermatologist’s ability to identify melanomas and reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies.

I think everyone should be aware of this new technology. I hope to bring it to the Upstate and that it will do for skin cancer what mammograms have done for the detection breast cancer.