Monday, September 30, 2013

Fruit Flies May Hold Key to Wound Healing

Think twice the next time you reach for a fly swatter. Even though fruit flies can often be a nuisance during a picnic, recent research has revealed that the pesky insects may be quite useful. 

Studies have shown that the cellular makeup of human skin is similar to the exoskeleton in fruit flies, and their outer cells have similar reactions to human wound punctures. According to a presentation at the Genetics Society of America’s 54th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in Washington, D.C., a group of researchers discovered a new way to study wound healing in fruit flies (also known as Drosophila) that suggests new targets for wound-healing drugs for humans. 

Rachel A. Patterson, one of the lead researchers and co-authors from the University of California, San Diego (UCSC) explained that many of the key molecules and proteins involved in wound healing in fruit flies are also involved in wound healing in humans. 

In order to study the biological function of wound healings, researchers punctured the exoskeleton of a fruit fly embryo with a microneedle and then injected the embryo with trypsin. Trypsin activates the genes involved in wound healing and amplifies the response in affected cells. This process allowed researchers to pinpoint the specific genes involved in responding to a wound.

This experiment revealed activities of eight genes that had not previously been suspected to be a part of wound healing. These genes are activated at very low levels or not at all in most cells, but are active when an injury occurs. This discovery will help researchers in the future as they create medicine and treatments to heal wounds.

“I think one amazing application of our studies may be to build a better bandage – containing compounds to promote wound healing,” said co-author Michelle T. Juarez, PhD, an assistant medical professor at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New Year. 

Researchers hope that these studies will also lead to broader discoveries regarding human skin diseases and may provide insight about treatment for chronic diseases, such as eczema, psoriasis and severe dry skin. Although scientists are still on their way to discovering the complexities of wound healing, many topical treatments that can help with skin wounds and scarring already available are safe and effective. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Greenville Dermatology's Retail Store Has Everything You Need

Greenville Dermatology's retail store has everything you need to make you feel and look your best. We carry a wide selection of cosmetic products that are proven to be effective for your skin care needs, from makeup to sunscreen, and even makeup that contains sunscreen.

Today we’re offering you a sneak peek of some of our favorite products. Come in for samples or to talk with a skincare expert about the best products for you!

The Obagi Nu-Derm System is one of our best sellers. This anti-aging therapy penetrates below the skin’s surface to transform skin cell functions at the cellular level. This six step system works to reveal healthy, younger-looking skin, and is ideal if you have age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, rough skin, redness or discoloration.

We promise you will love our gloMinerals makeup! Advanced formulations combine pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, natural high-pigment minerals and the power of antioxidants, and the result is clinically advanced makeup that covers, corrects and protects. GloMinerals cosmetics deliver unsurpassed coverage, broad spectrum UV protection and help combat free radical damage. They are simply the best makeup line available, preferred by dermatologists and leading skincare professionals worldwide.

Greenville Dermatology also carries a wide selection of jewelry products that are perfect for the fashionista in you. Pearls, sterling silver, beads and an assortment of earrings, necklaces and bracelets can all be found in our retail store.

All of the products offered at our office are carefully hand-selected by Dr. Miller to ensure the utmost quality and safety for his patients. One of our skincare experts can provide samples and speak with you about the best products for your skin. Come see us today!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sleep Deprivation Linked to Skin Aging

A new study has revealed a link between sleep quality and skin function and aging. The study, conducted by researchers at the University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center, demonstrated that poor sleepers have increased signs of skin aging and a slower recovery from environmental stressors. Scientists found that poor sleepers also have a worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance. 

The study involved 60 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of the participants classified as “poor sleepers” based on their average duration of sleep and their answers to a questionnaire-based assessment of sleep quality. Scientists conducted a visual skin evaluation and several non-invasive skin challenge tests, including UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption. The study participants also filled out a sleep log for one week. 

The researchers found statistically significant differences between good quality and poor quality sleepers. Using a skin aging scoring system, scientists found that poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of intrinsic skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation, skin slackening and reduced elasticity.
"Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging," said Elma Baron, M.D., Director of the Skin Study Center at UH Case Medical Center and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Sleep-deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin's ability to recover after sun exposure. Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown."

Scientists also found that good quality sleepers recovered more quickly and efficiently from environmental stressors to the skin. For example, poor quality sleepers took more time to recover from sunburn, with redness remaining for more than 72 hours. Another test determined that poor quality sleepers’ skin is a less effective barrier to moisture loss.

"This research shows for the first time that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin's ability to repair itself at night," said Daniel Yarosh, M.D., Senior Vice President of Basic Science Research, R&D, at Estée Lauder. "These connections between sleep and skin aging, now supported with solid scientific data, will have a profound effect on how we study skin and its functions. We see these findings as yet another way we can direct our scientific research toward the real needs of our customers who want to look and feel their best."

This study shows that sleep has a significant impact on skin’s function, appearance, and its ability to act as a barrier from external stressors such as environmental toxins and sun-induced DNA damage. Greenville Dermatology has a variety of products to improve skin appearance and protect it from environmental stressors. Come see us, or call and speak with one of our skin experts at (864) 242-5872.

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Genetic Study of Stretch Marks

A new study is the first of its kind to look at the genetics of striae distensae, otherwise known as stretch marks. The study, conducted by the genetic testing company 23andMe, discovered four genetic markers and a strong association between elastin and stretch marks. This research could provide the platform to improve methods of prevention and treatment.

Stretch marks are a type of scarring that appears on the skin in the form of pink, red or purple indented streaks. The marks typically appear after pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss, or growth spurts. Many factors are believed to contribute to stretch marks including genetics, excessive skin distension and prolonged exposure to cortisol.

23andMe conducted a genome-wide association analysis across 33,930 unrelated people of European descent. There were a total of 13,930 people with stretch marks and 20,862 controls within the study. Researchers identified four genetic markers significantly associated with the development of stretch marks that could explain why some people are more susceptible to the skin condition.

The research also indicated that elastin could be the key to more effective prevention and treatment of stretch marks. The analysis identified an association between stretch marks and a variant near the ELN gene that encodes for the protein elastin. Defects in the gene are known to affect the integrity of the skin as well as cause heart defects. The study also identified an association between stretch marks and a variant in the SRPX gene, but more research is needed to understand how this could play a role in this condition.

"Through this first of its kind study, we've identified new genetic associations that can provide deeper insights into the root causes of stretch marks, and we look forward to continuing research in this space,” said Joyce Tung, Ph.D., author and 23andMe director of research. “One intriguing area for further study is the potential effect of genes associated with obesity on the development of stretch marks, both independent of and via changes in BMI. Replicating this work in a more precisely phenotyped population would also be a logical next step."

Popular treatments, including topical creams and laser removal, often focus on stimulating collagen production to decrease the appearance of stretch marks. Although the marks cannot be completely erased, these treatments can help fade stretch marks over time. To learn more or to find out how your stretch marks can be treated, please call to make an appointment with Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

People with Psoriasis More Likely to Develop Other Diseases

A major new study reveals that people with the skin condition psoriasis are more likely to develop other diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study, conducted by dermatologists at the University of Pennsylvania and published in JAMA Dermatology, examined medical records from more than 100,000 people and found that psoriasis was linked to an increased risk of other diseases affecting the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas. Researchers also found that the risk of developing these diseases increased with the severity of the psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that affects the life cycle of skin cells, causing cells to build up rapidly and form thick scales and itchy, dry, red patches. Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting disease that ranges from mild to severe.

People with psoriasis were more likely to develop the following conditions (listed in order of increasing likelihood and expressed as an odds ratio):
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), 1.08
  • Diabetes, 1.22
  • Peptic ulcer, 1.27
  • Kidney disease, 1.28 
  • Diabetes with complications, 1.34
  • Heart attack, 1.34
  • Mild liver disease, 1.41
  • PVD (peripheral vascular disease), 1.38
  • Rheumatologic disease, 2.04
This study is particularly noteworthy because of its magnitude. The researchers analyzed 99,385 records and found 9,035 patients with psoriasis, ages 25 to 64.
“As we identify additional diseases linked to psoriasis, patients and physicians need to be aware of the increased odds of [other] serious illnesses, which are especially important in severe cases,” said Joel M. Gelfand, M.D., lead researcher and associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. “The complications from diabetes and links to COPD, kidney disease and peptic ulcers we identified suggest new areas for research, while for the first time, demonstrating how increasing body surface area affected by psoriasis is directly associated with increasing risk of atherosclerotic disease.”
Since the chance of developing these conditions increased with the severity of the psoriasis, this correlation could give researchers clues to how the diseases are connected.
“The link to severity is important for several reasons,” said Gelfand. “First, it establishes a ‘dose-response,’ which suggests, but doesn’t prove, a causal relationship. Second, the findings are clinically important as psoriasis is such a variable disease. By understanding how the degree of skin affected is associated with various health risks, patients and their caregivers can better understand how these study results may apply to them on an individual basis.”
Researchers noted that psoriasis, atherosclerosis and diabetes are all diseases that share chronic inflammation as the underlying cause. This connection could give some insight into the relationship between these diseases.
The takeaway point is that increasing severity of skin psoriasis is an indicator of risk for other serious medical conditions. As a result, comprehensive medical care is important for patients with psoriasis, especially those who suffer from a more extensive degree of the skin disease.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, treatments may offer significant relief. If you think you may be suffering from this skin disorder, call to make an appointment with Greenville Dermatology today at (864) 242-5872.