AGe Spots: prevent and treat in Torrance

Posted by & filed under Anti-Aging Treatments, Anti-aging vitamins and creams, Home products for skin care.

In the eternal battle to ward off the visible signs of aging, the battle to prevent age spots is one worth fighting.

You know the enemy.  Age spots (also called “liver spots”) appear as medium to large, flat freckle-type growths that appear on the hands, face and arms. They typically occur after age 40 in fair skinned people who have spent time in the sun.    Age spots prevent and treat in Torrance

What causes age spots?

In a word: SUN!  Age spots develop in areas of sun exposure after many years in the sun. The usual age of onset is 40-50. Some patients may have a hereditary predisposition.  The name “liver spots” is a misnomer. They are not due to liver disease.  The medical name is lentigo or lentigines.

Some patients over 40 develop tan or dark brown warty growths called seborrheic keratosis.  These are another type of age spots. Topical treatments used for lentigos do not work for keratoses since the latter are thicker.

What treatments are available for age spots?

Topical Therapy

The first step is to begin a prescription strength home program. Typically dermatologists prescribe a combination of hydroquinone, a skin brightener with tretinoin, a prescription strength exfoliator. Since this combination may be irritating, a low potency topical steroid is often added in. Triluma and other brands such as our HQRA+ combine the three medications into one product. This “triple bleaching cream” is used at night with another skin brightener in the am. Other ingredients that reduce pigmentation include topical vitamin C and kojic acid.

Fanatic sun protection is key during treatment and to prevent recurrence.

  • Wear SPF daily. I recommend#30 SPF or more. And remember to reapply if you are outdoors more than 90 minutes. Protect yourself – face, arms and hands while you are driving.
  • Wear a hat and cover up: Sun protective clothing in the form of long sleeve shirts, sun sleeves and wide brimmed hats really works. In fact, clothing blocks the sun better than sunscreen.
  • Avoid midday sun: If you can schedule activities earlier in the day or after 4, you will be protected from midday intense sun.

Laser Treatments for age spots

If three months of topical therapy does not resolve the problem, do not despair. There are several types of lasers that work for brown spots.

For overall skin resurfacing which treats both wrinkles and brown spots, I recommend the Fraxel Erbium laser or the Fractionated CO2 laser. The Fraxel laser is safer for the face and arms. It does require a series of 4 treatments for optimal results.

If just a few spots need treatment, the VBeam pulsed dye laser is effective. A second  treatment may be needed after 3 or 4 weeks, if the lesion does not resolve. Other laser options include the Yag laser and the Pico laser. The latter is also used for tattoo removal

Freezing or Cautery for age spots or brown spots

If the lesions are thick or raised above the skin, laser treatment may not be effective. The raised lesions are another type of age related growth called seborrheic keratosis. These growths are often treated with cryosurgery or freezing. Electrocautery, which destroys growths with heat is another option. Cautery is an optimal  choice for removal of seborrheic keratosis in darker skinned patients as  there is less chance of pigmentary alteration.

A few tips about age spots.

Keep in mind that treatment of age related spots is considered cosmetic and is typically not covered under your health plan. Fees for removal of a few up to 15 spots may run up to several hundred dollars

Can age spots be dangerous?

Usually not, although It is important to see a dermatologist for evaluation, as some lesions you are calling age spots may actually be precancerous. If you are concerned about age spots , contact our Torrance office for a skin exam.





anti-aging eye treatments Torrance

Posted by & filed under Anti-Aging Treatments, Beauty Tips, wrinkle treatments.

  • In office treatments designed for you:

It is possible to combine several non-surgical cosmetic procedures for a result that is specific to the patient’s needs. For example severe sun damage on the chest with wrinkles and excessive redness may be treated with a vascular laser combined with a skin resurfacing laser for optimal results

  • Non-surgical Cosmetic Procedures  are gaining in popularity

Even patients who are candidates for a face lift are opting to try non -surgical cosmetic procedures such as  skin tightening with Ultherapy (ultrasound) or radio frequency before deciding on surgery. These treatments stimulate new collagen to provide subtle rejuvenation of the neck and jawline. Patients like the “no downtime” aspect of these procedures.

Non surgical body contouring is also gaining in popularity, although results are not comparable with liposuction. Kybella, which is FDA approved for fat reduction under the chin, is being used off –label for small areas of fat deposits such as around the knees.

  • Growth factors to reverse signs of aging

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) , derived from your own blood is being used in new ways as part of cosmetic skin rejuvenation. It can be applied topically to the skin after micro-needling  ( a new type of peeling procedure) to stimulate new collagen. And, it is being used after laser resurfacing to facilitate faster healing. Platelet Rich plasma injections  into the scalp  are  used to stimulate hair growth for those who have age-related hair thinning.

  • Younger patients are opting for preventing wrinkles with  non-surgical cosmetic procedures 

I have observed an uptick in young women, under 35, requesting Botox for treatment of facial lines that are barely visible. There is no study to date showing that starting Botox early prevents lines and wrinkles. More longterm research is needed to answer this question

Anti-aging skin care products are being more widely used by women and men under forty. Taking care of your skin at a younger age has benefits, especially if daily sunscreen use is part of the routine.  Of all the wrinkle prevention methods, sun protection and avoiding smoking are the two most important.

  • Hot product trends for 2018

Face masques or home exfoliating treatments are hot. I am a fan of Societe Deep Thermal Masque with clay and sea salt and our Ca Skin Institute self heating home masque. Used weekly both products renew the skin and leave it glowing.

If you are thinking about trying a non-surgical cosmetic procedure in 2018, call our office to schedule a cosmetic consultation.

clear skin travel tips

Posted by & filed under Beauty Tips, Skin Care Tips.

I am often asked about how to keep skin clear while traveling. It is especially challenging during the holidays when travel is more stressful. Stress, lack of sleep and eating too many holiday sweets can cause acne to flare, while dry air on airplanes and winter weather often cause eczema to flare up. Follow these clear skin travel tips to maintain glowing skin this holiday season.

Clear Skin Travel Tips

  • Pack your Beauty and Skin Care products:

If your skin is sensitive or acne prone, make sure to take your cleanser, packed in the proper size container. Changing cleansers can disrupt the skin’s balance and precipitate a breakout. And, take the moisturizer and sunscreen that works with your skin, especially if you are traveling overseas.  Those who are prone to acne or skin rashes –  don’t forget to take your prescribed medication.  If you can’t fit it all, use the body lotion and shower gel provided at your hotel.

  •  Moisturize

The night before traveling on an airplane, apply a coat of moisturizer on damp skin. This will increase skin hydration. Reapply in the morning and take a small container of moisturizer in your purse to apply in flight.  For glowing skin, use tinted moisturizer before you land and forgo foundation.

  • Control oily skin

The stress of travel can increase oil production in the T-zone or jawline. If you are prone to oily skin, use a toner pad with salicylic acid on these areas before you travel. Take one with you and use just before landing, followed by some oil-free moisturizer. I love the acne pads in our own product line – they combine 2 acne fighters –Salicylic and Glycolic acid, for optimum results.

  • Keep your hands off your face

Here’s a clear skin travel tip that is frequently overlooked. Airline tray tables, seat belts and lavatory door handles are covered with bacteria. Many health experts recommend wiping off your seat belt and tray table with bleach wipes before touching these items.  At minimum, keep hand sanitizer with you and use it in flight. (These tricks may also prevent that post trip cold!)  Even with that, one of my top clear skin tips is : ” keep your hands off your face” This will prevent you from  picking up bacteria which can cause a variety of skin problems.

  • Slather on Hand Cream

Hand sanitizer, commercial soaps in public restrooms and dry air on airplanes can cause dry skin on your hands and hand rashes, if you are prone.  One of my top clear skin travel tips for hands – keep a tube of heavy hand cream in your travel tote and apply it often.  It is especially important to use it after using hand sanitizer.  For those with sensitive skin-select fragrance free hand creams with only a few ingredients such as Avene Xeracalm or Cerave Hand Cream.

  • Prevent red, puffy eyes

Dry air on airplanes causes dry eyes. Take some OTC lubricating eye drops to refresh after a nap.  For smooth glowing skin around the eyes-bring along a small amount of eye cream to apply just before landing.

  • Chose travel makeup wisely for glowing skin

    • Skip mascara on airplanes. It is sure to smudge after a nap. Ditto for eyeliner and cream eye shadows. Instead use eye shadow powder, applied over a primer for longer wearability.
    • Use moisturizing lipsticks and keep a Chapstick or clear lip gloss on hand.
    • If you must use foundation, use a light powder over moisturizer
    • Skip bright or dark nail polish which shows the chips, in favor of a pale or clear tone.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

The dry cabin air can cause dehydration- in your skin and your body. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, both cause further dehydration and opt instead for lots of water, 3-4 glasses minimum. Not only will your skin be refreshed, but you will also reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs. Getting up to use the restroom a few times will also help! When you land drink 4-6 additional glasses of water to replenish.

Follow these clear skin travel tips for glowing skin this holiday travel season.   And my best wishes for a very happy and meaningful holiday!



Over 50 winter skin care tips

Posted by & filed under General, Skin Care Tips.

If you’re over 50 and you’re looking for winter skin care tips from an experienced dermatologist, check out these answers to common questions.

Should I drink more water to improve dry winter skin?

Dry, winter skin is not likely to improve by drinking more water. Water is good for your body and skin. After exercise  it is especially important to hydrate. When we drink water it is absorbed into the bloodstream, which ultimately hydrates the cells. It won’t help with patchy dry skin. A good moisturizer with key ingredients such as ceramides or hyaluronic acid, used twice daily will help.

Is it a good idea to use a heavier face moisturizer to combat dry winter skin?

CaSkin Biotherapy Phyto- Restorative Night CreamMoisturizing is vital in winter. Heat on indoors, sun damage, age and menopause all contribute to dry skin. The product choice should be based on your skin type. If your skin is oily, chose a light moisturizing lotion, labelled “oil free”.  Most people over 50 have dry skin and benefit from a night cream with hydrating ingredients such as ceramides (one of the lipids present in the skin) or hyaluronic acid. To combat sun damage, look for a product that has antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, green tea, resveratrol (the ingredients in red wine) or others. Our CaSkin Biotherapy Phyto- Restorative Night Cream  is very effective and includes several of these key ingredients. Night creams nourish your skin while you sleep and are a great investment for the winter.

What is the best soap or body wash for dry skin in winter?

There are many options for moisturizing soaps or body washes. If you suffer from winter skin, avoid deodorant soap. Look for products labelled “sensitive skin” or for “eczema”. I am a fan of unscented Dove Soap and Cerave Body wash.  The key step is applying moisturizer to damp skin after showers.

What is the best way to treat itchy skin in winter?

applying body lotionItchy skin in winter is often due to dryness. Apply a body lotion on damp skin after showers daily. If you are noticing peeling skin on the arms and legs, try an exfoliating body lotion with glycolic or lactic acid.  Dry skin associated with redness is a sign of eczema. See a dermatologist for the correct prescription medication to treat it!

How do I combat dry, chapped lips?

Aquaphor ointmentChapped lips are usually due to lip licking. Try using a bland ointment like Aquaphor or Vaseline every few hours until the problem resolves.  And, avoid lip licking.  Stay away from products with flavors or menthol as you may become allergic to these ingredients over time.  Sun exposure in summer or winter may also cause wrinkled, dry skin on the lips. Make sure to protect your lips with an SPF containing lip product when doing winter sports. If the problem does not resolve, it may be more than dry skin. See a dermatologist.

How do I treat dry hair in winter?

Spending the summer in the sun can result in dry hair, especially if you color your hair. Years of color treatment catch up with you in the 50’s ! Try a hair mask several times a week. There are many hair masks on the market. Currently, I am a fan of L’Oreal Color Vibrancy Intensive Repair Mask. It is important to leave it on for 3-5 minutes per the instructions.  Hair dryers are also a culprit; try using dryers on cool or skipping the dryer one or two days a week.

What is the solution for dry, peeling nails?

There are several causes of dry nails: having your hands immersed in water too often, menopause, overuse of silk wraps and genetics.  I recommend using gloves for all wet work. Apply artificial nails, if at all, only for special occasions and remove within 2 weeks. Try cuticle oil or hand cream rubbed into the nails and cuticle nightly.

How can I improve winter skin tone?

Societe Deep Thermal cleanserExfoliating treatments are a great way to give your skin a holiday glow. My favorite product for holiday skin care is the Societe Deep Thermal face mask which contains clay and sea salt. The five minute treatment can be done once or twice weekly to remove dead skin cells and provide skin renewal. Topical retinol (an OTC Vitamin A) or tretinoin (prescription strength Vitamin A) also provide this benefit with regular use.  For immediate results, try a light exfoliating peel or microdermabrasion performed by an esthetician. I am a fan of  Dermsweep microdermabrasion with Elizabeth our esthetician. This advanced skin care treatment includes exfoliation and infusion of skin serums tailored to your skin needs. Contact our office for information and scheduling.

Follow these tips for glowing skin and healthy hair and nails this holiday season!