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Ezine 42 May 2006

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Skin Care Tip:

Benefits of wearing Antioxidants under your Sunblock

In these days of a skin cancer epidemic, daily use of an SPF of 15 or higher is being pushed everywhere you turn. Most moisturizers, foundations, and even mineral makeup have SPF incorporated into their ingredients. This forces us to wear sunblock daily since we use these products anyways. Wearing sunblock daily has many benefits, which include preventing fine lines and wrinkles, lowers the risk of skin cancer, uneven skin tones, hyper-pigmentation, and rough, leather-like skin textures.

The sun is everywhere! Believe it or not, the UV rays come through clouds and even glass. This is why daily use of sunblock is so important. UV rays work to destroy the skin’s natural line of defense and this is where the potential to pigment skin, produce premature aging and even skin cancer actually originates. Unfortunately, sunblocks do not protect 100% against the sun’s harmful rays. This is where antioxidants come into the picture. Antioxidants work to fight free radical damage. Free radicals are an atom or group of atoms with an unpaired electron which forms when oxygen interacts with certain molecules.

By adding an antioxidant, such as Vitamin C or E, to your sunblock or moisturizer, you can dramatically help to minimize free radical damage. Adding these vitamins can help to prevent skin cancer as well as premature aging. Most sunblocks only protect up to 94% of the sun’s harmful rays, which is why adding an antioxidant can be of tremendous benefit. Antioxidants can help fight the damage that still penetrates through the sunblock. Sunblocks do not usually protect against free radical damage. Sunblock typically only work to prevent the skin from absorbing the harmful UV rays, which cause free radical damage.

Remember, by using both a sunblock and an antioxidant as a line of defense against the sun, you can help minimize signs of aging, such as fine lines, as well as minimize pigmentation, uneven skin textures and even skin cancer. The best physician-strength lines are neaclear and Obagi seem to be the most popular, best tolerated and most effective. neaclear was started by a plastic surgeon and Obagi by a dermatologist. Who better knows about your skin??

Anti–aging Tip:

Tips to Living Healthy

With more and more people suffering from chronic illnesses, healthy living is becoming the newest way to live life and to help prevent diabetes, heart disease, cancers, obesity and more. As most people know, diets do not work alone, no matter how dedicated you are to losing weight or living healthier. The best way to lose weight and help prevent disease is to make a “lifestyle change.” Here are some ways to help live a healthy life, prevent weight gain and even minimize your risk for a life-threatening illness:

1. Water: Learning to replace sugary beverages with plain old water is difficult for some, especially when you have to drink 8-10 glasses daily. Putting a fresh lemon or lime in your water, can help give it a flavor and make it not seem so bland. Even the “healthy” Propel and Gatorade beverages contain high amounts of sugar and the electrolytes they replace are meant for athletes only. Diet sodas contain high amounts of sugar and chemicals and can alter your appetite and induce weight gain, as well as stimulate inflammation in the body, (which is linked to chronic illnesses).

2. Green Tea: Some people just cannot give up their daily cup of coffee or tea. Simply switching to Green tea offers a caffeine boost but also has antioxidants as well as phytonutrients, (especially EGCG). People with heart disease can benefit from drinking Green tea, but no more than 1-2 cups daily, since all teas contain caffeine.

3. Red Wine: There is fine line with alcohol and wine consumption. The benefits from red grapes are just as high, especially if you are a non-drinker. Red wine has been studied with regards to preventing heart disease, lowering cholesterol and even decreasing the risk of some cancers. Red wine is produced from the skins of red grapes and contains high amounts of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

4. Diet: Eating a balanced diet full of lean protein, fruits and vegetables and whole grains is a key to maintaining weight and keeping your heart and body healthy. Lean protein can be found in lean cuts of red meat (which should be kept to a minimum) as well as chicken and fish. Soy contains essential amino acids, healthy fat and phytonutrients and can be found in vegetarian dishes and Veggie meats, such as burgers and hot dogs. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and add a full spectrum of color to your diet and plate. As a general rule, the more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the higher the health benefits. Eating frozen fruit and vegetables contain high amounts of nutrients because they are frozen at their peak of their harvest. Whole grains are not “evil carbs” that the fad diets once made them out to be. Choosing whole grains over “enriched whole grains” have more fiber and are proven to help your gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems the most.

5. Avoiding Trans and Saturated Fats: Saturated fat can be found in red meat and dairy and should be kept to a minimum in our diets. Our bodies can handle some saturated fats, which comes naturally from animals that produce our meat and dairy. Trans Fats, which are man-made, come from food corporations to help extend the shelf-life of certain foods. These fats cause many medical problems and chronic illnesses by clogging arteries, which affects our whole body by causing inflammation. We can get “good fats” from olive oil, walnuts, and flax seeds.

6. Daily Multivitamins: Unfortunately due to the mass production of fruits and vegetables, they do not contain the same amount of vitamins and minerals that they used to. Taking a multivitamin daily can help to replenish the nutrients that our bodies are not receiving in our diet.

7. Omega Fatty Acids: Omega Fatty Acids, especially Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been depleted in the last several decades. This is dangerous because deficiencies of this nutrient are linked to inflammation in the body, central nervous system and cardiovascular system. Our diets have been high in Omega 6 but low in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. By balancing this out from eating fish, walnuts flax seeds and soy, we can help our bodies prevent inflammation.

8. Reduce Stress: Stress has both a physical and emotional effect on our bodies and health. Irritable bowel syndrome, most likely caused by stress because we take on too many tasks and really don’t know how to say no. Over time, this builds up inside and not only do we suffer from depression and anxiety but we also begin to see physical ailments because of chronic stress. A simple remedy to stress is ‘buy less, work less and sleep more.’

9. Exercise Daily: Regular exercise not only helps us maintain weight, but it helps to reduce stress. All you need is 30 minutes a day for a minimum of four days a week. Begin slowly and eventually work up to 60 minutes a day for six days a week. This not only helps to drop or maintain your weight but it helps keep your heart healthy and control and/or overcome chronic illnesses.

10. Smoking: This is the biggest health issue, unfortunately most smokers suffer from addiction and this is a difficult habit to kick. Smoking not only affects the smoker but it affects those that surround themselves with a smoker. Secondhand smoke is a silent killer and can affect you more than if you actually smoked. Overcoming an addiction to smoking is one of the best thing you can do for your health.

Plastic Surgery Tip:

Amino Levulinic Acid (ALA) Peels with or without Laser IPL Treatments

Amino Levulinic Acid or ALA is a topical solution used to make skin cells sensitive to certain kinds of light. Skin treated with ALA and then exposed to a special light, dies and then sloughs off. This should only be applied by a physician or a highly trained skin care specialist because ALA is used to treat Actinic Keratosis (wart-like growth on the skin that can possibly lead to skin cancer) on sun-exposed areas of the skin or other skin lesions. ALA attacks only the areas where it is applied and does not affect other areas.

Treatment using ALA is also used for the treatment of Acne lesions. The ALA is applied to the skin and left on without washing the skin usually for 30 – 60 minutes. The skin is then exposed to either a Blue light (Acne treatment) or Optical light (FotoFacial, control pigmentation and/or Post-inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation). This stimulates the ALA to begin working and you may experience some mild stinging and/or burning sensations, which will go away within a day. Your skin may turn red and look irritated, like a medium-depth peel. This will go away after a few days. After the treatment, you will be given specific instructions to care for your skin for the first few days which includes:

  • Avoiding any contact with the sun and wearing an SPF of 30 or higher as well as a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Staying indoors as much as possible.
  • Avoiding beaches, snow, and/or surfaces where light may reflect.
NOTE: During the first week, Sunblock will NOT protect the skin from sun-sensitivity.

To see before and after patient pictures, please click here.

During your consult with Dr. Speron, the patient will discuss their desired goals on an individual level. Then they will further discuss the course of treatment and potential complications at the appointment time. Please check out the wealth of information on our site by clicking here.

Make sure you chose a board certified plastic surgeon. A call to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASPS at 1-888-4-PLASTIC (ie. 1-888-475-2784) can tell you which doctors are legitimate plastic surgeons with outstanding qualifications. You can also visit the ASPS web site at The ASPS is the only one of the 24 boards approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties that certifies physicians in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body.

To help you in making your decision, please click here to check out the 7 critical questions to ask any plastic surgeon before letting them touch you!

By far, the most important factor in the success of your procedure is the surgeon you choose. So please choose wisely...