Thursday, February 25, 2010

These Eyes Have IT!!!

Maybe you have eyelashes like this naturally. I'll bet that you don't. When I see thick luxurious eyelashes such as these in a "woman of a certain age" who is NOT wearing any makeup I am sure of this: she either has glaucoma or she is using Latisse by Allergan.

If you have glaucoma then you use eyedrops that the eye doctor prescribes to keep your pressure in the eyes normal (and prevent blindness caused by having eye pressure that is too high). Glaucoma runs in families so if you know its part of your heritage, please do yourself a favor and have your eyes tested. One of the effects of the glaucoma medication is the effect on the lashes! They become longer, thicker and darker.

Thanks to Allergan Pharmaceuticals, the company that tested this application (making the lashes look fabulous WITHOUT having any effect on the eye pressure of normal individuals), you can get lashes like this without having glaucoma and getting drops in your eyes.

The product is used along the eyelid margin, and is applied much like you would apply eyeliner. You only need to apply it to the upper lid before bed. In no time, the lashes look like the ones shown in this actual patient. You have to get the Latisse from your dermatologist. It isn't covered by insurance because, although it is a prescription drug, its not being used for medical purposes. If you like what you see, as about Latisse during your next office visit.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Vitalize Peel before and after

The weather channel is predicting record snow this weekend. I really want to stay on track with this blogging task so I am giving you my very own before and after photos and describing the process.

One week ago, I had my very capable assistant, Mrs C. Benjamin, give me the "chemical peel". We do this periodically to train other staff and basically I needed one!

After washing my face, she applied the three step Vitalize peel which I find is very well tolerated by most patients. It is not the strongest peel we use, but it is good for mild acne (seen on my face) and some hyperpigmentation. At the end of the peel I held the electric fan near my face for about a minute, which is about how long it stings. Next, she applied the sunscreen and my face felt completely normal. Approximately two days later I began to look as if a mild windburn had happened only on my chin. I was able to cover this with extra moisturizer. This second image is my face one week later. Clear skin. Just in time to put on my ski mask and shovel the driveway!! Just kidding. I should get some help with the driveway....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Amazing Cucumber

This information was in the New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative ways to solve common problems. I have selected the ones that pertain to your health.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid (so important for EVERYTHING), Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down that caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber and get a quick pick-me-up that can last hours.

3. Want to avoid a hangover or a terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients that the body lost, keeping the equilibrium that will defeat a headache and a hangover!

4. Stressed out and don't have time for massage or a visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The steam creates a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams!

5. You didn't bring your gum or mints to your business lunch? Take a slice of cucumber from your salad and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for causing sour breath.

Pass this blog along to everybody you know who could use this information!

Is it true, Dr House??

Many of you may have seen the episode of House that aired on Monday night. There was an African American football player who was sick with some bizarre symptoms as is usually the case on that show. Dr House is right on the money with his assessment of this patient. Do blacks get skin cancer? Absolutely. Is it usually on the palms and soles? Yes it is! We are talking about Malignant Melanoma which is the most deadly type of skin cancer. For reasons that aren't clear, the incidence is increasing at an alarming rate. It affects the white skin of darkly pigmented persons ( ie the palms and soles). When I see a brand new patient in my office, I offer them the opportunity to get a complete skin exam. It doesn't cost any extra, its just the way we get to know our patients . Many times we find something that the patient is not aware of ( eczema, infections, contact dermatitis and yes even skin cancer). I had a plastic surgeon colleague, now retired, whom I used to send a lot of my patients to when their skin tumors were too large for me to deal with in the office. He joked that I was a "cancer magnet" because I found the tumors that no one else did. When patients were reluctant to get completely undressed, I could usually get them to at least let me look at their feet and hands.

The only part of the tv show that did not really ring true was the end of the story. I think that symptomatic patients like the football player have metastatic disease which is not really compatible with long life. Cutting off his toe won't mean that his liver, brain etc will snap back to normal. Science is making strides with metastatic melanoma though. Clinical trials of new drugs are showing a lot of promise and vaccines are being developed. The last point we need to get out to folks is that this diagnosis should prompt every doctor and patient to inform their first degree relatives to get checked. Melanoma runs in families. For more information go to the American Academy of Derm website and look for "Information for patients".