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Archive for April, 2015


Ultrasonic brushes

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

CLICK HERE for the Living Healthy blog article with Dr. Shim

A number of patients have asked me about ultrasonic brushes. I happen to have published the first US-based research article on microdermabrasion. These brushes are the same idea (remove the stratum corneum-the top layer of the skin) and stimulate circulation and inflammation, but with even less efficacy than microdermabrasion since there is no abrasive tip or vacuum. Does anyone remember the Buf-Puff? Not harmful if used wisely but not a miracle either.

Temporarily it would help the skin look more even by removing the outer dull layer of skin, and help skin products penetrate better. I would just avoid overusing them, particularly with a history of rosacea or retinoid use. Microdermabrasion has a lot of science behind it surprisingly. Have not seen anything much on the Clarisonic in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The article mentions that I am a NY-based dermatologist-well maybe in my residency (or maybe towards my retirement ;) )

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Twins update

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

5 going on 15

Many of my patients ask for an update on my twin girls. Here is a current photo. Where has the time gone? They look like they are going to ask me for the keys to the car in this photo. Someone recently chatted me up in the Santa Monica parking lot, asking me how I like my BMW X3 (a love/hate relationship). Turns out he is having twin girls as well. This led to a friendly 20 minute conversation about twin parenting. There is a special bond (or look of despair) that twin parents all have. In a nutshell, forget the fancy strollers, just get something sturdy, light and quick to collapse in the car, don’t get too many clothes and have a shower. He told me he is having a “man shower.” That was hilarious but genius. I’m trying to picture what happens at a man shower, but I can’t really. “Hey Dude, thank’s for the diaper pail and onesies! High five!”

In any case, the elementary school search is over. Thank you to all of you for your advice and support. Proud my girls will be entering a very nice school in the Valley which shall remain nameless (well, they have great security, so I shouldn’t be too worried). I was so happy to tell my patient the other day we got in. They are a famous family in the music business and she has always encouraged me to apply there. Thanks to You Tube, the girls and I have already memorized the school fight song, which is quite catchy. One of them is asking if she can star in their next video and the other is excited about their school swim team. I have committed myself to learning more basic Spanish and French in the car, god knows I will have plenty of time to kill on the road!

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In memoriam: Fredric Brandt, MD

Monday, April 6th, 2015

I was sad and shocked to hear of my colleague’s passing. Dr. Brandt was a great lecturer and a kind man. Despite his flamboyant persona (I LOVED the outfits he wore to our meetings-I can still picture them in my head), he was an intelligent and thoughtful dermatologist who knew what he was talking about and had complete enthusiasm about Botox and fillers. During panel discussions, I remember being on his same wavelength-I’d have the same questions as he did! Our former fellow, Dr. Alysa Herman, has worked in his Florida practice. I was glad to have learned much from him and to have met him. His loss is our specialty’s loss and I will truly miss seeing him at meetings. It won’t be the same.

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Zinc oxide is the best sunscreen

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Everyday I am asked multiple times what sunscreens I recommend.
Zinc Oxide is the best sunscreen. It provides the broadest and most long lasting protection. However, when i mention this ingredient, everyone immediately thinks of the thick paste lifeguards use. That’s not exactly what I am talking about. Every sunscreen by law is required to list the “active ingredients.” As long as zinc oxide is one of the ingredients, I am happy, however, I truly believe zinc and titanium dioxide are the best combination. Many people are concerned about nanoparticles in the mineral sunscreens, however, unless 1) you have a nanoparticle formulation and 2) you have lots of open skin -such as with an extensive eczema, there is not any significant penetration. I’d be much more concerned about the chemical sunscreens such as avobenzones which are absorbed into your body through your skin and metabolized in the kidneys.

I have many people on the Verdure sunscreen waitlist. We are anticipating a May launch and I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I will provide you some other options during your annual skin check.

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