Pro Advice
March 23, 2017

From the Pros: Stretch Mark Solutions…What Can Be Done Safely?

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Women of all ages regardless of height, weight, or parental status are susceptible to stretch marks. This is a simple fact. Another fact, which will hopefully make you feel a bit better, is that supermodels yes, the bikini models you see in Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, have stretch marks. If you’re like the 95% of the women out there you prefer them gone. Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic in for Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20 offering insights on cosmetic surgery, shared the real deal on stretch mark solutions with several facts on popular procedures and topical options to prevent and remove stretch marks. Here’s what he has to say.

Option #1: Topical Creams & Preventative Foods

“There are a variety of topical treatments, the ones with cocoa butter are the trend, but they won’t do much if anything to improve severe stretch marks. These creams and oils perform better when used as preventive measures because fully developed stretch marks are rarely skin-deep,” explains Dr. Brandow.

Gelatin powder has been suggested as a great way to get more collagen into your system. Coconut oil mixed with beeswax is said to prevent stretch marks especially when applied throughout the day. Eating foods rich in vitamin C can help prevent stretch marks from the inside out. Adding things like red peppers, parsley, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts are good bets.

Option #2: Lasers

Many women who have post pregnancy stretch marks turn to lasers to eliminate this unwanted scarring. Kim Kardashian recently announced via her Snapchat that she would undergo laser treatments to rid her stretch marks. The Coolbeam laser, which is the one Kim Kardashian is going with, requires up to 5 treatments at around $5,000 per treatment which adds up to $25,000. Lasers are known for high level of safety and efficacy and most patients come away very pleased with the result. The treated area heals rather quickly, within a week to three week

“Lasers are far less invasive than a tummy tuck, which has a much longer recovery time. Lasers do have some risk in that they can burn the skin or cause tissue damage. Therefore, it’s very important to choose a doctor who knows what they are doing,” advises Dr. Brandow.

Option #3: Platelet Rich Plasma with Micro-needling

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been around for the past two decades and used to help athletes like Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriquez recover from injury. A few years ago, the “Vampire Facial” made headlines when Micro-needling was added to the procedure offering a vibrant, smooth, flawless complexion. The results were so great that cosmetic surgeons started to explore other parts of the body such as stretch marks on the buttocks, breast, arms, thighs and abdomen.

This calls for blood to be taken from the patient then put into a machine that separates the platelet rich plasma from the blood. It is then spread over the face after the micro-needling is completed. The micro-needling is a process where a pen-like tool with several tiny needles at the tip is carefully guided over the affected area making microscopic holes on both the outer and inner layers of skin. These holes are so small that they heal within a few hours. The process triggers a healing response in the dermis layer which is what causes the fast fading of stretch marks. Doctors recommend micro-needling with PRP over any other treatment because the results are significant and the cost is about $1000 per session. “Micro-needling with PRP is a combination that offers a fast, in office option, with excellent results and is less costly than lasers,” explains Dr. Brandow who was recently on TV speaking of the procedure.

Dr. Brandow adds that the advantage of micro-needling with PRP for stretch marks over lasers is a lesser chance of scarring and skin discoloration. “Skin on the body is more susceptible to hyperpigmentation than on the face making Micro-needling is a safer option for ethnicities with varying skin tones. This is a big advantage over cool beam lasers, IPL or chemical peels,” he explains.

Option #4: The Tummy Tuck

This is the gold standard offering the best results however it’s invasive and the recovery time is longer. Known as abdominoplasty, the procedure removes excess skin in the abdominal region and tightens the muscles. The stretch marks below the belly button are discarded along with the excess skin. “The tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that comes with risk so typically candidates must be non-smokers in good physical health as certain they will not want more kids after surgery. It’s is the only option for complete and permanent stretch mark removal. Recovery time can be up to 6 weeks and again it is critical that one chooses a reputable doctor. A botched tummy tuck can lead to off-centered belly buttons, long thick scars, and dangerous infections,” warns Dr. Brandow.

Ultimately stretch marks are an unfortunate reality that comes with pregnancy, puberty and any other weight or muscle gain where the skin is stretched. There are preventative measures one can take. Be very weary of anything that seems too good to be true and always consult with a credentialed doctor when considering any kind of cosmetic procedure. 

About the Doctor:

Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery is a plastic surgeon with 2 locations in the Philadelphia metro area and a 3rd one at the jersey shore. Named a “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery by Philadelphia Magazine as well as nationally recognized for one of America’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” of this decade, Dr. Brandow is a trusted expert who has developed many innovative, minimally invasive procedures for the face, body and skin. He has been featured on local, national and international television programs including 20/20, CNN’s Headline News, Good Morning America.

 

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March 17, 2017

Aesthetic Nurse, Jill Caruso Shares 5 Terrific Winter to Spring Tips

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FROM THE PROS:

As we say goodbye to the Winter season and hello to Spring, there are important beauty tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure your beauty regimen continues to thrive through the transitioning seasons. New York City based Beauty Expert Jill Caruso of Fox Vein Care, has come up with the perfect Winter to Spring beauty tips to ensure vibrant skin.

Harsh weather conditions in the Winter can bring anyone’s skin woes, so as the first bud of spring blooms there are a few things to keep in mind. Jill is a Board Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist and her distinctive background in medicine, design, and skin esthetics gives her a unique approach when analyzing a patient’s face and determining an individual treatment. She suggests the following for Winter to Spring flawless skin:

Do not forget your sunscreen – This is not an option, but an essential everyday necessity, regardless of weather, to protect your skin from UV radiation. Also, contrary to popular belief, SPF ratings higher than 30 do not offer more protection and no sunscreen can block more than 97 percent of UV rays.
Be sure to moisturize daily – Moisturizing your face will help you to look and feel younger, resulting in softer, more elastic skin… not to mention it will keep your skin hydrated.
Wash your face every night – This is vital, as it removes not only makeup, but the dirt and dust that accumulates throughout the day. Outside elements as well as makeup clogs your pores with dirt, dust, smoke, etc., however, Jill suggests that soap-less cleansers are okay occasionally as they can act as cleansers with nondrying agents.
Light Chemical peels can be great for the season change – There are lower UV levels during the winter, making it optimal for recovery and an ideal time to prepare your skin for the forthcoming spring season.
Lastly, when it comes to makeup, less is more – People often tend to overdo it on the winter. Heavy foundation, mascara, and lipstick often ages women.

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February 13, 2017

From the Pros: What does Organic Skincare Really Mean?

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Organic has gone mainstream! Everyone these days prefers organic products thinking they’re sparing themselves harmful chemicals. This is especially true in beauty products. While the FDA maintains that chemicals are safe and in small doses many are; these chemicals add up. The average woman uses 10 to 16 cosmetic products daily creating a chemical cocktail in our bodies. The hidden danger is that no one is testing how these chemicals react together. To err on the safe side, more women are choosing organic products. Problem is how can you tell if a product is really 100% organic, what does that really mean, and how is that relevant to your skincare routine?

Dr. Spiezia, Co-founder and formulator of Inlight Organic Skincare is considered to be the global expert in organic skin care. He’s the father of the organic beauty movement in Britain and was voted one of the top 25 “Who’s who in natural beauty” in 2012, 2013 and again in 2015.

Dr. Spiezia explains, “the word organic is a labeling term. It means that the product was produced adhering to very specific and approved methods. It also means that it met the criteria of a third party source. Simply put, for a product to be truly organic it must go through a specific creation process that leaves out certain “chemically based” ingredients. This complex process is what leads to a product you can trust to be free of chemicals.”

Where things get confusing is when we look at the FDA and the USDA. The FDA doesn’t have a formal definition or criteria of what constitutes “organic.” When a cosmetic product claims it’s organic and is labeled as such, it means that it complies with both the USDA and the FDA. However, the USDA standard is clear about organic food, not necessarily beauty products. So in the US there’s no real standard specifically for cosmetics and beauty products. The argument becomes, if it can’t be measured, does it really work and is it all hype.

So why pay extra for organic skincare? Simply put, there are 2 reasons. The good organic skincare products work better, and they are better for you. The challenge is that the smaller companies creating organic products lack the advertising dollars that the non-organic cosmetics giants have. Thanks to the internet, people are able to search on their own for organic brands. Once they find organic products that are top quality and deliver significant results they become loyal.

“When I created Inlight I knew that the terms ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ are so often interpreted in different ways,” explains Dr. Spiezia. The key is really in the accreditation. Consumers need to look for “certified organic” labeling. That ensures that it product meets standards set by a neutral third party resource,” adds Dr. Spiezia.

Inlight has a 100% accreditation from the Soil Association and also proud to be the very first UK skincare company accredited under the new European-wide standard, Cosmos, streamlining the various national standards under one umbrella. Inlight 100% organic skincare is now available in the USA, which gives consumers a product line that they can trust.

The key as with any beauty regime is to understand your skin and how it reacts to what you currently use. The fewer chemicals used, the better. An organic cleanser, moisturizer and treatment serum along with body lotion could be enough to see a fast improvement to skin texture and tone.

For more information on Dr. Spiezia visit the US Distribution Website for Inlight Skincare.

www.hugyourskin.com

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February 8, 2017

From the Pros: Plastic Surgeon With Red Flags on Plastic Surgery Procedures

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The name of the game today in cosmetic surgery is fast and non-invasive. The reasons are obvious. Nobody wants to be bedridden out of work and off the social grid as they recover. Fast results of a thinner, tighter, younger look within an hour is very alluring. How many of these seemingly miracle procedures actually do what they claim to? We turned to board certified Philadelphia plastic surgeon Dr. Kirk Brandow to breakdown cosmetic surgery hype; which procedures are zeros not heroes.

Kybella

This injection is made of deoxycholic acid, which is actually produced by the body naturally to absorb fat. The synthetic version is a fat cell destroyer injected into the pocket of fat below the chin. So far this is the only location on the body for which Kybella is FDA-approved. Dr. Brandow cautions, “Kybella may shrink fat but it’s also an acid which could burn the skin and cause an abscess or an open wound if placed too close to the skin. Equally important is that it can also destroy the deeper tissues as well which could lead to a dent just under the chin.” Another issue with Kybella according to Dr. Brandow is potential for ‘redistribution of fat’ to other areas of the neck when people gain weight, over time. “The loss of fat in this focused, Kybella, injected spot will look odd when areas around it are heavier looking.”

Instabreast

If you’ve ever considered a breast augmentation, it’s not hard to understand the appeal of “test-driving” a pair of implants for a day. This “try it before you buy it” procedure called Instabreast takes about twenty minutes in office. A saline solution is injected into the breasts until they are enlarged to the desired size. Surgeons who offer the procedure claim that it takes the guesswork out of planning an augmentation by providing patients with 24 hours of experience with larger breasts.

“This is crazy!!” says Dr. Brandow. “How do you anesthetize the breast before you shoot in the saline? Wouldn’t this hurt? Just the thought of it would scare off my patients. Additionally, implants on top of the muscle versus under the muscle look different and the size you use on top looks totally different from the one you would use under the muscle.” Dr. Brandow questions the safety of injecting saline under the muscle in office with a local anesthetic. “I would say it’s a recipe for a punctured lung! Additionally, I would love to know how a surgeon inflates a young, tight skinned, A- cup woman who wants a full C- cup, without causing a lot of pain during that injection.”

Mesotherapy and Lipodissolve as a Fat Dissolver

Several cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists agree that if there is one procedure to avoid when shopping for a slimmer look, it’s one called lipodissolve, a shot that claims to dissolve away stubborn fat deposits. This shot is often part of “mesotherapy;” a shallow injection of a cocktail of substances using a fine needle. “There is really not a single scientific study to show that it definitely works,” says Dr. Brandow. Are these chemicals safe when injected into fat? What happens to this fat? Where does it go? Dr. Brandow feels lipodissolve is an ill-advised treatment. “This is a non-FDA approved use of a material called lipostabil, which can dissolve fat and other structures however, it can cause pain, swelling, hard lumps, ulceration of the skin, and contour irregularities. None of the pharmaceuticals used for injection are FDA approved.”

Laser Liposuction

It seems like everything that has the word “laser” in it today is perceived as a state-of-the-art breakthrough, but in this case, using laser to assist in liposuction is not necessarily so. Laser liposuction uses lasers to liquefy the fat before it is removed, making it easier to vacuum out and they may also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which results in firmer, tighter, and smoother skin. Lasers may also coagulate small blood vessels in the area, which translates to less bruising. What’s the downside? Dr. Brandow points out that, “There is greater risk of burning and therefore, pain. Laser liposuction, Smartlipo and similar procedures add both time and money to the typical technique.”

About Dr. Kirk Brandow

Dr. Kirk Brandow is a board certified plastic surgeon with practices in the Philadelphia metro area. Named a “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery by Philadelphia Magazine as well as nationally recognized for one of America’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” of this decade, Dr. Brandow is a trusted expert who has developed many innovative, minimally invasive procedures for the face, body and skin. These procedures include the Boomer Lift™, the 48 Hour Facelift™, the Scarless Breast Implant, the Multilayered Micro-Lipo Augmentation, the Tumescent Technique for Liposuction and the CO2 Laser Blepharoplasty.

He has been featured on local, national and international television programs including 20/20, CNN’s Headline News, Good Morning America, ABC Action News, TV Globo and Telemundo to provide updates and opinions on the latest trends in cosmetic surgery. Dr. Brandow where he has spoken out on the controversial issues of cosmetic surgery, advising viewers to take a more responsible and more realistic approach to the latest fads and gimmicks in Cosmetic Surgery.

Dr. Brandow served as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Aesthetic and Restorative Surgery as well as a preceptor for many live surgical training conferences where he helped teach other doctors advanced techniques in Cosmetic Surgery.

Connect with Dr. Brandow via www.brandowclinic.com

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February 7, 2017

From the pros: 9 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know

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Dr. Caitlin Grimes

Most of us don’t exactly get fired up about a visit to the dentist. Often, we let those bi-annual appointments slide and wait to visit the dentist until we have a more serious problem. What many people don’t realize, however, is that regular dental visits and maintaining oral hygiene are closely tied overall health. You wouldn’t skip a visit to the cardiologist if your heart was bothering you, right? Well, the same goes for your dentist.
Dr. Caitlin Grimes at StoneCreek Dental Care has compiled a list of nine important things your dentist wants you to know so that you can achieve optimal oral and overall health:
1. Your mouth is full of bacteria — you MUST brush your teeth. It’s not something we like to think about, but our mouths are full of bacteria – some of which can be harmful to our teeth and overall health. Harmful bacteria erode teeth and contribute to periodontal (gum) disease, which is why brushing your teeth at least twice daily for two minutes is absolutely essential. Remember – brushing is vital, but if you overdo it you may damage your gums. Brush gently at a 45-degree angle to effectively remove the bacteria that causes plaque buildup and decay.

2. Flossing isn’t optional either. If you’re not flossing regularly, you really should be (and your dentist can tell if you aren’t). Flossing removes food debris and bacteria that gets stuck between teeth. Be sure to check with your dentist to make sure you’re flossing correctly!

3. Your dentist can detect issues early. This might seem overly obvious, but the best way to prevent dental pain is to visit your dentist. Many dental issues are not painful initially, so when you visit your dentist he or she can detect any minor issues before they turn into major ones. Your dentist can fill a small cavity, for example, before it has the chance to get infected and cause a painful tooth abscess.

4. Poor oral health contributes to poor overall health. Did you know that if you have gum disease you are much more likely to have a heart attack or stroke? This risk increases when those harmful bacteria travel through the bloodstream to the rest of the body and increase inflammation. Oral health can greatly impact your overall health, and vice versa.

5. Smoking will ruin your teeth. Aside from yellowing your teeth, smoking contributes to bad breath, receding gums and a dry mouth. A dry mouth is much more prone to harboring bad bacteria, leading to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Smoking also decreases your body’s ability to fight off infection in the mouth, and contributes to the development of oral cancer. The bottom line – kick that habit ASAP!

6. Change your toothbrush every three months. Over time, your toothbrush loses its effectiveness. The bristles become frayed and do not work as well as they once did, and the bad bacteria that lives in your mouth builds up on your toothbrush. If you have gum disease, you need to change your toothbrush more often — every four to six weeks. If you’ve been sick, it’s especially important to change your toothbrush afterwards to get rid of any germs.

7. Bleeding gums are usually not “normal.” Bleeding gums can be the result of several factors. You might be using a toothbrush with hard bristles and brushing too vigorously. Bleeding gums may also signal an improper flossing technique. At worst, bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. Regardless of the cause, if your gums are bleeding be sure to ask your dentist about it!

8. There’s more to that regular dental visit than cleaning. Your dentist isn’t just there to clean your teeth and give you a brighter smile. During your regular dental visit, he or she will also check your mouth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer. These issues are much easier to treat if found early.

9. Your dentist is here to help you, not judge you. Some people do not visit the dentist because they are embarrassed about their teeth or an issue with their mouth. Don’t worry — your dentist has been highly trained in treating a variety of issues, and will be able to talk through any concerns you may have and discuss the appropriate treatment options.

With these nine things in mind, be sure to make and keep your regular dental appointments so you can take control of your dental and overall health. Every patient is different, so your dentist will work with you to address your individual needs and ensure you have the healthiest smile possible!

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December 29, 2016

From the Pros: How to Get Mentally Fit for The New Year

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With the start of a new year it is important to reflect back on the prior year, assess what went well, what didn’t and decide where you want to go next. It takes a lot of mental toughness, self-love, and discipline to create the life you want. Simply coasting along on cruise control reacting to life can lead to victim mentality and stagnation. Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services shares some key ways to get mentally fit for the new year so you can move forward successfully. www.comprehendthemind.com

  1. Clear clutter.

Look at your surroundings. If you have junk drawers galore, a messy car, countertops and cabinets that are full of stuff you don’t even use, it is time to clear the clutter. According to Dr. Hafeez, “cluttered spaces reflect a cluttered mind. If you want to wipe the slate clean to allow room for new people and circumstances that serve you, you must get your mind clear. Many of my patients who describe themselves as anxious, stressed or even depressed say they feel better when they start clearing up their physical space.”

  1. Exercise a little bit. 

Dr. Hafeez who also helps people overcome body image issues encourages aiming for smaller attainable wins. “People set high fitness goals for the new year and then fall off after a month or less. This leaves their self esteem shot which is when self loathing and depression can sneak in.” She advises setting a reachable daily goal of perhaps walking 10,000 steps per day. There are step-counting apps available to measure how much you walk and they add up quickly. “When you see accomplishment on a daily basis you stick with it, this sets your mind in a positive direction,” says Dr. Hafeez.

  1. Eat mind-boosting foods.

Mental fitness also has to do with how well our minds work. A loss of memory or the ability to concentrate or focus can easily shift with an improved diet. “Research finds that along with other benefits, foods rich in Omega-3, such as some fish and nuts, as well as those full of antioxidants can help protect the brain from memory decline.” So eating more fish such as salmon and add fruits such as blackberries and blueberries to your diet can help. The good news is that brain boosting foods include delicious options such as chocolate, guacamole (avacados) and sunflower seeds.

  1. Color! The adult coloring book bandwagon is a good one to jump on. According to Dr. Hafeez coloring requires total focus on the present. The repetitive motion of coloring provides relief from stress and anxiety by entering a meditative state. “Not everyone can sit still and breathe for 15 minutes per day, but they certainly can color. It’s absolutely a fun way to achieve mindfulness and shake off the day,” explains Dr. Hafeez.
  1. Apologize and forgive.

A fast way to mental fitness is forgiveness! “Carrying around resentments and guilt wears us down and can lead to serious illness such as cancer or stroke. If you experienced a tough break up, divorce or perhaps the 2016 political climate led to arguments and lost friends, reach out apologize and seek forgiveness and move on. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone a hurtful behavior. Forgiveness frees you and the other person making it easier to move forward.

  1. Learn something new. 

Challenge your brain by learning a new language, how to cook, paint, do Tai Chi. Pick something you think would be interesting or useful to learn and learn it. If you avoided cooking your whole life, learning the basics will serve your brain very well. According to Dr. Hafeez, “the more we can activate the cognitive functions of our brains the better our short and long-term memory and hand eye coordination will be.”

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind orwww.comprehendthemind.com

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December 27, 2016

VERY, VERY SUPRISING USES FOR BOTOX THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH FOREHEAD WRINKLES

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When most people think of Botox the first thing that usually comes to mind is wrinkle reduction. Indeed, Botox is the world’s most popular treatment for eradicating wrinkles and fine lines.  The toxin is specifically FDA approved for treating frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) and lines around the eyes (crow’s feet). In addition to being the gold standard for wrinkle reduction, Botox can also be used to treat a variety of issues, both cosmetic and non-cosmetic. Dr. John Zannis is a New Bern, North Carolina board certified plastic surgeon. He provides a list of conditions that Botox has been used to treat.

Acne

Botox can curb oil production, reducing breakouts. “To totally treat acne, you’d need to use doses of Botox so large they’d prevent you from constricting your facial muscles,” says Dr. Zannis. “But tiny amounts of Botox injected very superficially help reduce oil production, and you can still have facial expressions.” Though he’d recommend it for almost any patient struggling with acne, Zannis would likely advise trying another dermatologist-prescribed treatment, like spironolactone or birth control pills, first. And though it can technically be used to quell oil production anywhere on the face, he cautions against using it all over because of potential effects on muscular activity (a.k.a. frozen face). The most effective and common area for using Botox to curb oil production, he says, is the forehead.

Gummy smile (not FDA approved)

A “gummy” smile, one that’s characterized by a smile that shows too much of the gums, usually results from “excessive lip elevation” when the upper lip rises too far above the upper teeth when smiling. Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the upper lip’s retractor muscles so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will seem better-balanced. It can be done in about five minutes. Usually lasts for four to six months. Costs range from $200-$300.  Dr. Zannis says, “This technique is not for the novice Botox injector. Too much, and your lip won’t raise enough, too little and you will need more, or if injected asymmetrically, you might have a funny asymmetrical smile.”

Urinary incontinence.

Overactive bladder problems affect up to 20% of women over 40. For severe cases where medications do not provide complete relief, Botox injections into the bladder wall may provide relief lasting about 6 months.

Psoriasis
Psoriasis is uncomfortable, itchy, and not exactly easy on the eyes. Luckily, this flaky skin condition could be a thing of the past thanks to Botox. Though psoriasis is technically incurable, Botox minimizes the activity of inflammatory cells that bring on outbreaks.

Excessive Sweating

For those who suffer from excessive sweating, however, summer isn’t always the sunniest time of the year. Thankfully, Botox could be a saving grace for those attempting to manage this condition, which is officially known as axillary hyperhidrosis. Studies show that just a handful of injections can reduce underarm sweat for up to TWO years. Um, where do we sign up?

Breast Lift
Are your breasts in need of a pick-me-up? Instead of going under the knife and getting permanent augmentation, some experts have suggested a quick and easy Botox lift.  Dr. Zannis says that, “Those looking for a modest improvement are said to be able to temporarily plump their assets thanks to injections into the pectoralis minor chest muscle.”

Depression

The benefits of Botox® may be more than skin deep; two recent studies suggest that it may help alleviate the symptoms of depression. In a study published in the May 2014 issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research, more than half of participants who had moderate-to-severe depression showed a substantial improvement in depressive symptoms following one injection of Botox® between the brows. This improvement lasts longer than the cosmetic effects, suggesting that the effect may be more than just feeling better about your appearance. Botox® is not approved to treat depression.

Teeth Grinding

Injections of Botox® were used to control involuntary muscle tension and spasms long before it became the go-to wrinkle buster. Dr. Zannis says that, “these neurotoxin injections may weaken the chewing muscles enough to reduce bruxism (teeth grinding) without affecting your ability to chew, talk and smile. Results last about four months. Botox® is not yet approved to treat bruxism.”

Migraine Headache

Botox® is approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraine headaches in adults who have 15 or more headache-days a month, each lasting four hours or more. Studies that led to this indication show that BOTOX®® prevents up to nine headache-days a month (vs seven for dummy injections). Other research hints that the neurotoxin may also help with low cerebrospinal fluid headaches and cluster or “suicide” headaches.

 Brow Boost

Much like lines form over time, your brow may also drop or droop. Botox cosmetic treatments can also be used to improve the appearance of the brow. Dr. Zannis explains that, “the treatment essentially freezes the sagging muscles in place and gives the brow more stability. Lifting the brows in this way leaves you with a less tired and younger, fresher appearance.”

Jaw Reduction (off label use)

Botox can be used to perform jaw reduction (commonly called jaw line softening). Injecting Botox into the masseter muscle (the primary muscle used in chewing actions) reduces its overall size; transforming an overly square and masculine appearing jawline into a more feminine oval or heart shape. 

Dr. John Zannis is a New Bern, North Carolina board-certified plastic surgeon and best selling author. A graduate of Stanford University and The University of Cincinnati Medical College, he received his formal training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina under the guidance of world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Louis Argenta. During this time, he performed over 5,000 surgical procedures and covered all aspects of plastic surgery including cosmetic surgery of the face and body, complex reconstructive procedures of face and body, cleft lip and palate surgery, hand surgery, facial and jaw fracture repair, and reconstruction following massive weight loss. He blends his interests and studies of classical art and symmetry to his surgery practices. Connect with him via twitter @JohnZannisMD or his website www.zannisplasticsurgery.com  

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December 13, 2016

Expert Tips: Avoiding Uber Scams This Holiday Season

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Office parties, family gatherings, special get-togethers with friends, and New Year’s Eve galas—‘tis the season of celebrations galore! It’s that time of year when the festivities, fun, and drinks flow freely. So RSVP and plan for a safe and sound ride home. With a tap of your smart phone, an Uber driver will get you from door-to-door safely. Uber is a transportation network in hundreds of cities worldwide that allows users to download an app, connect with a driver near them, and get a ride to their desired destination. For many people, Uber has become an alternative to taxi services. But be aware, some recent reports have warned of complaints ranging from non-Uber drivers picking up passengers and price hikes during peak times. Below, Justin Lavelle of PeopleLooker provides a few smart tips to help keep you safe and protected on your ride home:
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Staying on Top of Common Uber Scams This Holiday Season

  • Always Use the Uber App. Remember there is no human interaction with Uber. Uber rides can only be requested through the Uber app, so never accept street solicitations from those claiming to be from Uber. The app is free and easy to download on your smart phone. If someone approaches you at an airport restaurant, or other location claiming to be Uber, tell them you’ve already reserved your ride.
  • Upfront Pricing and Unauthorized Charges. Uber uses something called “Upfront Pricing” that estimates the cost of your trip upfront and charges you for that amount. In many instances, the actual trip price and upfront price can be off by quite a bit and Uber pockets the overage. If you feel the difference is excessive, contact Uber support straight away. Also, Uber passengers have found additional charges to their account for trips they didn’t take. Always double check the amount charged to your credit card to confirm the amount is correct and to make sure the trips are valid.
  • Watch Out For Surge Pricing. Price increases often take place during major events like concerts, known closing times of bars and nightclubs, and holidays. While a quick ride at 2:00 on a Mondayafternoon might seem quite reasonable, if you try the same distance during a popular event, it’s very likely that you’ll end up paying several times the standard rate. Pay attention when reserving the ride or you may not even find out about the price increase until you receive your credit/debit card statement.
  • Wait for Your Driver Inside. Uber recommends that all passengers wait indoors in a safe spot until the driver arrives. The app offers a notification of the driver’s arrival. This feature helps keep you safe and provides an extra layer of protection against being solicited by a non-Uber driver.
  • Confirm Your Driver. Before getting into any car, always check that it is the correct car by confirming your driver’s car model, license plate, and name via the Uber app.
  • Choose Backseat Riding. If you’re riding solo, opt to sit in the backseat. This ensures you have the choice of exiting either side of the car to avoid moving traffic. It will also give you some space from the driver.
  • Monitor Your Trip. While enroute to your destination, monitor the trip in your app and share your trip details with friends and family so they know where you are and when you’ve arrived safely to your destination.
  • Be Leary If Your Driver Tells You That He Accepts Credit Cards Or Cash. With Uber, you never need to carry cash. Fares are charged to your payment information that’s on file.
  • Do Not Share Personal Information. Do not share your personal information with your driver, such as telephone number or personal information. There is no reason the driver would need this information.
  • File a Complaint for Unsatisfactory Service. If you felt your trip was unsatisfactory due to such things as a rude driver, threatening behavior, or reckless driving, contact Uber support and file a complaint. If you have a valid grievance, they will usually give you a ride credit as a compensation within 24 hours.
  • An Additional Word Of Advice. Don’t disregard security precautions when creating and using online accounts and apps. For example, scammers might take pricey Uber rides in various locations that are then charged to your Uber account. In some cases, they even might invent fake Uber driver­ accounts and charge nonexistent rides—called ghost rides—to your account.
Credit for Justin Lavelle of PeopleLooker

Justin Lavelle is Communications Director at PeopleLooker.com (https://www.peoplelooker.com). PeopleLooker is the fast, affordable, and easy way to access public records and search for people. Find out ages, marital status, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, criminal records, and more. PeopleLooker is a popular tool for online daters who use the app to check the background of potential dates.

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December 1, 2016

From the Pros: TOOTHPASTE MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE

FINDINGS SUPPORT THE HYPOTHESIS OF REDUCTIONS IN HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES

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The prestigious American Journal of Medicine (The Green Journal) published the results of the study titled, “Randomized Trial of Plaque Identifying Toothpaste: Dental Plaque and Inflammation,” in their October 19th issue which found that Plaque HD®, a plaque identifying toothpaste, significantly reduced dental plaque in the mouth and inflammation throughout the entire body.

In this study, 61 healthy subjects aged 19 to 44 years were randomized to Plaque HD® (n=31) or placebo (n=30) for 60 days. Changes from baseline to follow-up in dental plaque and hs-CRP were accessed:

  • Plaque HD® significantly reduced dental plaque when compared with the placebo toothpaste
  • Plaque HD® significantly reduced hs-CRP when compared with the placebo toothpaste

Inflammation is intimately involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and is accurately measured by high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a sensitive marker for cardiovascular disease. Heart attack is the No. 1 cause of death in the world and the United States, killing over 370,000 men and women each year. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 129,000 men and women each year.1

The senior author was Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., who also authored the seminal article on inflammation, aspirin and heart disease published in 1997. In addition to conducting his groundbreaking research, Dr. Hennekens is the first Sir Richard Doll professor and senior academic advisor to the dean in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, and the coauthors included investigators at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Dentistry and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Last month, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine noted that his 1997 study, “Inflammation, Aspirin, and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Apparently Healthy Men,” was their most influential over the last 20 years. That original research from the landmark Physician’s Health Study, in which Dr. Hennekens was founding Principal Investigator, was the first to demonstrate that C-reactive protein, a sensitive marker of inflammation, predicted future heart attacks and strokes.

Dr. Hennekens stated, “the observed reduction in inflammation among those assigned at random to Plaque HD® supports the hypothesis of a reduction in risks of heart attacks and strokes.”

The Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Medicine, Joseph Alpert MD, a renowned cardiologist, took the unusual step to write an accompanying editorial: “Can a toothpaste reduce risks of heart attacks and strokes?” He opined about the relationship of oral health to heart attacks and strokes which he first learned from his father, a dentist.

“I am pleased and inspired by these results which suggest that the use of Plaque HD® can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes,” commented Lawrence Hier, DDS, MS, the CEO of TJA Health LLC and inventor of Plaque HD®. “Plaque is dangerous and an enemy of dental and overall health. Dental plaque has long been suspected to be a contributor to heart attacks and strokes.”

Plaque HD® is the first plaque-identifying toothpaste that reveals plaque so that it can be removed with directed brushing. In addition, the product’s proprietary formulation, Targetol Technology®, contains unique combinations and concentrations of cleaning agents that weaken the core of the plaque structure to help the subject more effectively remove the plaque.

“The direct test of the hypothesis that Plaque HD® reduces risks of heart attacks and strokes requires a large scale randomized trial of sufficient size and duration designed a priori to do so,” stated Dr. Hennekens. “We are already preparing an investigator initiated research grant proposal to the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) with coauthor Patrick McBride, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health as Principal Investigator.”

Dr. Hennekens added, “this trial is important and timely because a positive finding would have enormous clinical and public health implications.”

For more information about Plaque HD®, please visit: www.plaquehd.com.

ABOUT Plaque HD®: Plaque HD® is the first professional plaque-identifying toothpaste. Plaque HD® uses Targetol® Technology to highlight the plaque missed while brushing, giving you that fresh-from-the-dentist feeling every day. With regular brushing, the 1-step, easy-to-use Plaque HD® formula fights cavities, freshens breath, and helps prevent gum disease. By brushing daily with Plaque HD® toothpaste, in addition to improving your oral hygiene, you are also enhancing the health of your entire body since plaque in the mouth is closely linked to many systemic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.

1American Heart Association “Heart Disease, Stroke and Research Statistics At-a-Glance.” Available online at: https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_480086.pdf

Last accessed on October 7, 2016

 

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November 2, 2016

4 Ways Your Cellphone Might Be Making You Ugly

Woman sending a text message on her mobile phone

Woman sending a text message on her mobile phone

Our cellphones have become so vital to our daily lives. Research has shown that the average person checks their phone 85 times a day and that we spend a total of five hours using our cellphones to browse the web or use apps. For many, our smartphone is the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we check at bedtime. Although quick glances at our phone may seem harmless, it can in fact be affecting us physically, mentally and emotionally. We caught up with some experts who help explain the ugly side of excessive cellphones use.

  1. Ugly posture.

When we look down at our cellphones we are straining our necks and slouching our shoulders. Doing this can cause some serious damage to our overall posture even leading us to lose up to an inch to an inch and a half of height. “I see up to 10 patients a week complaining of severe neck and shoulder pain. When asked how often they use their phones the typical response is all the time. When pain becomes chronic and severe, surgery has to be considered,” explains Dr. Richard Samperisi, CoFounder of Campus Chiropractic Center at Florida International University & Functional Medicine Practitioner.

  1. Ugly eye strain, bags and wrinkles.

Not only can staring at your phone all day cause serious neck and shoulder pain, the extreme use of our phones is leading to various eye conditions such as blurred vision, eye strain, headaches and dry eyes as well as to a condition they like to call “tech neck.” For those concerned with cosmetics and eye appearance constant squinting leads to wrinkles and under eye bags. New Bern, North Carolina plastic surgeon Dr. John Zannis explains that a combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures that address under eye bags, drooping and sagging usually range from 5 – $10,000 with a recovery time of up to 2 weeks. He’s also seen a rise in complaints about neck lines and wrinkling skin attributed to excessive cell phone use.

  1. Ugly skin.

Are you constantly struggling with breakouts around your cheeks or chin? Instead of blaming hormones, junk food or a bad skincare routine consider looking at the device in your hand. “Our cellphones are filled with bacteria. We are continuously touching them with dirty hands, throwing them in our bags, stuffing them in our pockets or putting them on counter tops. Then without even thinking twice we put our phones right up to our ears where all of that bacterium from those dirty areas wreak havoc on our face,” offers Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Kaly Papantoniou.  She suggests frequently wiping the phone screen and using a face wash with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to rid bacteria from building up.

  1. Ugly Manners

We see people at restaurants who are more focused on snapping a pic of their meal than enjoying each other’s company. Our persistent use of our cellphones can be affecting our relationships with the people and world around us. “When we focus more on our digital lives rather than the individuals we are with; we are not only giving off the impression that we do not care about what they have to say, we are also letting valuable and meaningful moments pass us by,” explains Dr. Sanam Hafeez a New York City based neuropsychologist and teaching faculty at Columbia University. She suggests putting the phone down and even going cell free twice a week.

Give it a try and see how cutting down on your phone use can also cut down on the ugly.

About the doctors:

Dr. Richard J. Samperisi, DC, of Miami, Florida, is a New York Native who completed his Doctoral studies at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia. His post-doctoral education focuses on functional medicine and clinical nutrition.

Dr. John Zannis is a New Bern, North Carolina board-certified plastic surgeon and best selling author. A graduate of Stanford University and The University of Cincinnati Medical College, he received his formal training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Connect with him via twitter @JohnZannisMD or his website www.zannisplasticsurgery.com

Dr. Kaleroy (Kally) Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology.  She is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou via twitter @DrPapantoniou or her website www.DrPapantoniou.com

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or at www.comprehendthemind.com

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