Downtown: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Suite 930 - Chicago, IL 60611
Bridgeport: 3303 S Halsted St (Knapp Medical Center), Suite 207, Chicago, IL 60608

312-861-3911  Fax: 312-861-3912

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October 24, 2013
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Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

It’s that time of year- you can’t turn a corner without seeing a pumpkin. From muffins to lattes to front porches, they are the brightly colored mascots of fall. And as it turns out, pumpkins are packed with benefits that are great for the skin, too:

-       Natural fruit acids and alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) help speed skin cell turnover, resulting in a smoother, brighter complexion.

-       Vitamins A (beta carotene) & C are potent antioxidants that help stimulate collagen production and reverse the signs of aging.

-       Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which has been shown to be helpful for acne.

We are very excited to introduce a special chemical peel for the fall: the Phyto Pumpkin Enzyme Peel. This relaxing and effective treatment leverages the many natural benefits of pumpkin to reverse the signs of sun damage and aging, resulting in brighter, more even skin tone and a smoother texture. Chemical peels and pumpkins: 2 things we love at D&A, together at last! Call now to schedule your appointment, and reap the benefits of this favorite fall staple!

May 05, 2013
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If you’ve ever found yourself wandering around a department store or cosmetics boutique, confused by the number of products that claim to turn back time and make your skin look better than ever, you are definitely not alone. Many of my patients come in with a bag full of expensive products, unsure whether or not any of them are working and overwhelmed by the complicated regimen they are supposed to follow. Patients often ask me to help them cut through the hype, and to recommend an anti-aging skin care regimen that is effective, simple, and won’t break the bank.  So here, in a nutshell, is my advice:

1. Wear sunscreen- every day, rain or shine. Yes, yes, I’m sure you’ve heard this before many times, but it really is great advice! The sun can wreak havoc on your skin in so many ways. It can greatly increase your risk of getting skin cancer, which I will talk about in a future post, but for the purposes of this article, let’s focus on the other types of damage ultraviolet light can cause to the skin. Over time, excessive unprotected sun exposure can cause fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, scaly patches (which may be pre-cancerous), and a rough, leathery texture to the skin. As with pretty much everything else in medicine and health, prevention is better than cure, so start protecting your skin as soon as possible with daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. I recommend SPF 30 for daily protection, and SPF 45-50 for more intense or prolonged sun exposure (outdoor exercise, skiing, beach or sunny vacations, etc).   Two favorite sunscreens of mine that patients love are Elta Clear SPF 46 (great for acne or rosacea-prone skin) and Skinceuticals SPF 30 Sheer Physical Fusion (a good choice for both daily use and post-procedure, such as lasers or chemical peels). If you like to multitask (I know I do!), try Revision SPF 45Intellishade Tinted Moisturizer; it has a magic one-shade fits all formulation, and layers beautifully under makeup. Keep in mind that the SPF rating only gives an indication of UVB protection; we do not currently have a rating for UVA protection, so your best bet is a sunscreen that states it is “broad-spectrum.” If you only do one good thing for your skin each day, wear sunscreen. Pure and simple.

2. Exfoliate your skin on a regular basis. The two most well known exfoliants are retinoids (such as retinol and tretinoin) and  alpha-hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid). Incorporating one or both of these compounds in your skincare regimen can result in dramatic improvement over time.

Of all the anti-aging products out there, I think retinoids have the strongest scientific evidence behind them to prove their effectiveness.  Retinoids help build new collagen, increase turnover of skin cells, and unclog pores. Translation? Fine lines and wrinkles are improved, your complexion is brighter, and pores appear smaller.  Retinoids can also help treat and prevent acne, and can help fade the discolored marks that acne can leave behind. Milder strength retinoids (such as retinol0 are available in many over-the-counter formulations; stronger retinoids (such as tretinoin or tazarotene) require a prescription.  Any retinoid has the potential to cause irritation, redness and peeling of the skin, so I suggest that you work your way up slowly to regular use. Start by applying a pea-sized amount of your retinoid cream only two nights per week, and wait at least 15 minutes after washing your face before applying it (application on damp skin can increase irritation).  After two weeks of twice weekly use, increase to three times per week for a few weeks, and increase to nightly use after that only if you can tolerate it. You will still get good benefit by sticking to retinoid use three times per week, but maximal effects may take longer to see.  Ask us about the retinoids we carry in our office: Avene Retrinal Cream, Neocutis Nouvelle, and Renova; we can help you decide which product is best for your skin type.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid) can be added to your skincare regimen along with retinoids, or, if your skin is too sensitive for retinoids, can be used in place of them for exfoliation. These acids are naturally occurring, often derived from sugar or sugar cane (glycolic acid) or milk sugars (lactic acid). These products sweep away dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, revealing the healthy skin underneath and resulting in a rejuvenated, more luminous complexion when used regularly over time. These exfoliants may also help increase the penetration of other anti-aging products into the skin, increasing their efficacy.

If tolerated, you may use a glycolic acid lotion every morning (such as Glytone Step 1 Exfoliating Lotion) and a retinoid cream every night.  Alternatively, you may do a glycolic acid peel or mask at home once a week. You should not layer retinoids with alpha-hydroxy acids because they will render each other ineffective; separate them out into AM & PM products. Make sure you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day (see point #1), since these products may make you more sensitive to the sun. Vivité Daily Lotion with SPF 30 is a great glycolic acid lotion with a built-in sunscreen, making it an ideal choice for morning use.

3. Fight DNA damage with antioxidants. I’m sure you’ve heard that a diet rich in antioxidant foods is good for your overall health. Similarly, topical products containing potent antioxidants are crucial for the health of your skin. Well known antioxidants in skincare products include vitamin C, vitamin E,  ferulic acid, phloretin, green tea, and coffeeberry, among many  others. These compounds neutralize free radicals created by ultraviolet light, pollutants and oxidative stress; these free radicals can damage DNA and initiate the cascade that results in skin cancer, sun spots, wrinkles, and the textural changes that are caused by photodamage.  Antioxidants are available in various forms, most commonly serums and lotions; they can be layered under sunscreen and makeup in the morning, be used as part of your nighttime regimen, or both.  We love the antioxidant serums by Skinceuticals: CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF.

4. Strengthen and repair the skin with a growth factor. Growth factors are small proteins that stimulate the formation of new collagen and elastic fibers, and promote the repair of damaged skin; use of growth factor products can improve the texture and elasticity of the skin, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration. Neocutis Biocream is a wonderful growth factor cream that many of our patients use as a night cream, and is a bestseller in our office.

Of course, your regimen should be uniquely tailored to your skin type, and should address your specific skincare goals.. I recommend that you use the above guidelines as a starting point for building your skincare regimen, and let us help you answer any questions you may have along the way.

Thanks for reading- and stay tuned for more posts from D&A. 

Dr. Patel



October 08, 2012
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e2: Sublative & Sublime Laser Treatment

10% Off Full and Partial Face Individual Treatment

15% Package of 3 or more Treatments

Sublative and Sublime Rejuvenation are treatments that use fractional bi-polar radio frequency to penetrate deeper through the skin, maximizing collagen production while keeping the top layer of the skin intact. These treatments are effective for treating fines lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and for overall skin tightening.

**Package must be purchased by October 31, 2012.

Treatments must be scheduled and performed within 6 months of purchase.



Glytone Mini Peel and Mild Gel Wash Package                                                                                                     

 Glytone Mini Peel Gel has won Allure Magazine’s Best Of Beauty Award! The gel provides a safe, at-home superficial face peel that creates more radiance in your skin.                                                                                                            

Glytone Mild Gel Wash is an exfoliating wash that improves skin texture and minimizes breakouts when used regularly. It is a patient favorite and tolerated by most skin types.  

August 21, 2012
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August 2012: Enjoy 15% off all product purchases, and 30 dollars off any cosmetic service!

September 2012: Buy 3, get 1 free! Rejuvenate and exfoliate your skin with a series of Silkpeel® microdermabrasions or chemical peels.

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH: (please call or stop in for more information)

August 2012: Revision Intellishade® SPF 45 is an anti-aging tinted moisturizer for all skin types. This product is a patient favorite! It is formulated to match every skin tone; one shade really does fit all. It provides powerful sun protection against UVA and UVB rays, and also contains pepties, botanical extracts and antioxidants for anti-aging benefits. The moisturizer is available in an original formulation for dry skin types, and a matte formulation for those with oily skin.

September 2012: Skinceuticals Phloretin CF is a powerful antioxidant serum that has been featured in numerous beauty magazines and really delivers results. Antioxidants defend skin against toxic free radicals caused by sun exposure; these free radicals can cause DNA mutations and cell damage. Phloretin CF contains 3 powerful antioxidants: phloretin (derived from the bark of apple trees), ferulic acid (derived from plants), and vitamin C. When used regularly, this serum helps to stimulate collagen formation, diminish hyperpigmentation, and helps to protect the skin's DNA. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen plus Phloretin CF every morning and rest assured that you are being proactive about protecting and nourishing your skin.


Sunscreen: make it a year-round habit

As the weather gets cooler and we don't see as much sunlight, please remember to keep wearing your sunscreen! There are two ultraviolet rays from the sun that can cause skin cancer and skin damage: UVA and UVB. Even on a very cloudy day, about 80% of the sun's UV rays can pass through the clouds. Daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best preventive measure you can take to protect your skin from skin cancer and premature aging caused by too much UV exposure. The SPF (sun protection factor) rating only gives you an indication of the UVB protection of a sunscreen; there is no rating system in the United States for UVA. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30-45; it should also say "broad spectrum," which indicates it has UVA protection as well. The FDA recently changed its  labeling requirements for sunscreens to minimize confusion and protect consumers against false claims; these changes are still being implemented by manufacturers and we will update you once they are fully in place.

If you have questions about which sunscreen is best for you or have a history of allergy or breakouts with sunscreen use, please come into the office and we can help you in your selection.

Common colder weather skin ailments

As we enjoy the last few weeks of summer and head into fall, there are some skin conditions that may start to worsen as the weather gets colder and the air becomes drier. Gentle skin care and the regular use of moisturizers is especially important during the fall and winter months. Below is some basic information on a few of the most common conditions we see in the office during the winter months: psoriasis, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition characterized by redness and scaling of the skin; the scalp, nails and joints may also be affected. It is a fairly common condition; both adults and children may be affected. The affected areas of the scalp and skin may be itchy or may not cause any symptoms at all. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease; this means it is caused by an abnormal response of the patient’s immune system, which attacks the patient’s skin as though it is a foreign substance. Common triggers for psoriasis flares include winter weather (due to decreased sunlight), stress, and infections.  While we do not know yet what causes psoriasis, some cases may be inherited and multiple family members may be affected. Over the past few years, new research has shown that patients with psoriasis may be at higher risk for heart disease, so it is important that psoriasis patients have regular follow up with their primary care provider to be monitored and treated for other cardiac risk factors, such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.

Many treatments for psoriasis are currently available, and the decision of which treatment is best for you will be based on the severity of your psoriasis and the risk factors of each treatment.  Topical medications (such as steroid creams and vitamin D ointments) work well for smaller focal areas of psoriaisis. Steroid foams and sprays are convenient and effective for the scalp. For patients with more extensive involvement, Dr. Patel may recommend laser therapy, phototherapy, or injectable medications.  Oral medications are also an option but less commonly used now that newer options with less required monitoring are available. If you have been diagnosed with or think you may have psoriasis, please call the office for an evaluation and discussion of treatment options.

Eczema is a catch-all term for dry itchy skin. There are several types of eczema, and they have different clinical presentations.  While we do not yet have a cure for eczema, we do have a good understanding of how to control the symptoms:

Barrier control: Patients with eczema have a defect in their skin barrier, which causes a decrease in the natural moisturizing factor of the skin as well as in increase in bacterial colonization (mainly staph bacteria). Prescription creams and over-the-counter moisturizers are available that help to strengthen barrier function and allow for better moisture retention in the skin.

Inflammation control: While moisturizers and gentle skin care are critical in the treatment of eczema,  many patients will have flares of itching and dryness that require prescription anti-inflammatory medications. The most commonly prescribed medications for eczema are topical steroids and topical immunomodulators ( such as Protopic® and Elidel®), but patients with severe extensive involvement may require short-term oral medications to suppress the immune response and get the disease under better control.

Phototherapy: Patient with more extensive or severe eczema may benefit from a form of treatment known as phototherapy. Certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of eczema. Phototherapy is a carefully controlled method of delivering these wavelengths under a doctor’s supervision, using specialized devices such as light boxes or lasers.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very common rash that is most often seen on the scalp, face and chest; the ears, underarms and other areas of the body may also be affected. It is sometimes mistaken for dandruff.  Seborrheic dermatitis is a harmless condition that results in red scaling patches that are sometimes very itchy and irritated. This condition is thought to be due to a yeast (Malassezia) that is a common inhabitant of human skin; patients with seborrheic dermatitis are more prone to reacting to this yeast. The condition tends to be worse in the winter months; it may also flare during times of stress or illness.

The mainstay of treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is an antifungal shampoo or cream to help reduce the amount of Malassezia yeast on the skin; some patients may also require anti-inflammatory creams such as topical steroids to calm down the redness and itching associated with the rash.