Spring Cleaning for the Skin

Now that spring is here, we are all working in our yards and homes, getting ready for the outdoor season. It is a good time to evaluate how we are preparing the largest organ of the human body, our skin, for the coming spring and summer months. It is also a good time for us to try to repair our skin from the drying winter months. The ABC’s of good skin care are: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Hydrate and Protect. Let’s start with cleansing. We all think that we know how to cleanse the skin.  A good facial cleanser should be water soluble, gentle, rinse off easily, cleanse effectively and not irritate the skin. In general bar soaps are to be avoided as the materials that cause them to retain the bar shape can be pore clogging and drying.  Over scrubbing the skin can strip the skin of its protective oils and barriers, which can lead to irritation and in some cases, worsen acne. High pH levels can also create a more drying of the skin as well. The best cleansers are those with a low alcohol content to avoid drying out drier, more sensitive skin types. Detergent based cleansers will work for most skin types except those that are very dry or sensitive. Cleansers with alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxyl acids are helpful to provide exfoliation, but in a cleanser form, may not be in contact with the skin long enough to have a significant effect. 

The Clarisonic brush, which is available for purchase at our Indianapolis and Carmel skin care center, PhasesTM,  uses an ultrasonic technique to remove the dirt and dead cells in a gentle fashion.  The manufacturer says it removes six times more makeup than manual cleansing. In our use in the practice, we have found it is an excellent tool to gently cleanse and remove the bacteria and debris from the skin, while avoiding abrading the skin, and maintaining an intact healthy protective barrier.  Clarisonic results 

Clarisonic                          

In my next blog I will talk about exfoliation.

Dr. Jan Turkle

New Jersey Women Receive Bathtub Caulk Injections from Unlicensed Provider

You have probably heard or read recent news stories about six New Jersey women who received buttocks enhancement injections from “unlicensed providers”. It seems the providers, who have not been identified, injected a substance into the women that is believed by authorities to be diluted silicone bathtub caulk. The women were subsequently hospitalized, had surgery to remove the silicone and were given antibiotics.

This story points out the importance of knowing who is providing any plastic surgery procedure and their qualifications. Unfortunately there are disreputable people who try to prey upon patients all over the country. Being an informed consumer can help guard you against falling victim to them. Beware of prices that seem to be too good to be true. Do your homework. Is the provider a board-certified plastic surgeon or a licensed medical provider? Is he or she well established in your geographic area? If a physician, does he or she have privileges at one or more local hospitals?  Ask questions and check out the provider. If you don’t receive answers you are comfortable with consider scheduling a consultation with a surgeon whose credentials and reputation you can verify. 

Stem Cells and Breast Augmentation

You may have read or heard recently about the use of adult stem cells for breast augmentation. This is a new technique undergoing clinical trials in the U.S., although it has been undergoing testing for some time in Great Britain and Japan. In this procedure, fat cells are taken by liposuction from other areas of the patient’s body, such as the hips, thighs and stomach, processed with a special machine to extract regenerative cells and then inserted into the breasts as a graft.  The fat volume retention is estimated to be 80% or more. Results are not immediate; it takes several months to see the final result. It is predicted that most patients can expect an increase of about one cup size. It was reported that in Japan, women paid $25,000 for this procedure. One clear disadvantage to this procedure is that the breasts will not be firm, if they were soft or sagging before the procedure, they will remain that way.

It will be a number of years before this procedure is FDA-approve in the U.S. Extensive clinical trials need to be performed, especially to overcome safety concerns. We are not sure how the fat grafts might affect the results of mammograms. Even more concerning, we do not yet know if these cells can somehow go awry and become tumor cells. We currently participate with Indiana University in stem cell research by providing fat specimens from patients that have specifically consented for their fat to be removed in surgery to be used to further this area of investigation.  No tissues are submitted for this purpose without the patient’s written consent. This is a very exciting area of research and promises to be helpful in several areas of medicine. – Dr. Jan Turkle

What’s your skin age?

Do you think your skin looks better or worse than that of others your age? Do you worry about what your skin will look like five or ten years from now? In our Indianapolis/Carmel skin care and laser center, PhasesTM, we have a device that allows us to see the damage under your skin’s surface that is not yet visible to you.  

VISIA Computer

A VISIA Complexion Analysis is a multi-spectrum image, which gives us a measurement of six different skin factors: wrinkles, spots, pores, unevenness (color variations),  prophyrins (bacteria) and UV spots. After the imaging, we can give you a comparison of your complexion to that of other patients of your age and ethnicity.  What does that show you? It shows you your skin age, which may be younger or older than your chronological age. Most importantly, VISIA enables our aestheticians to offer you the best treatments and products for your skin.  Call Phases at 317-848-8101 to schedule your VISIA Complexion Analysis. –Dr. Jan Turkle

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