Southcoast Dermatology Blog
April 21, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
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Image resultImage result for CE Ferulic

With spring and summer around the corner, but the air still cool and dry, you may be looking for something to help protect and repair your skin (along with sunscreen of course) that is soothing to dry winter skin.  For that you need antioxidants.  At 7 months pregnant with baby #3, my skin care regimen has been minimized as many of my go-to products aren’t recommended during pregnancy.  The one thing that is safe and essential?  My C E Ferulic by SkinCeuticals. 

The skin benefits of vitamin C are well known and include neutralizing the environmental free radicals that trigger wrinkling, brown spots, and other aging.  Vitamin C also helps smooth and brighten skin, fades brown spots, and treats fine lines by stimulating collagen.  Since it is a powerful antioxidant, it repairs DNA damage preventing aging and skin cancer.  For me, it evens out my complexion, pores, and rosacea-redness, making me feel more confident about facing my day with minimal makeup.  When I do wear makeup, it acts as a smoothing primer for flawless foundation application.  Since it also contains Vitamin E, it is moisturizing for those with dry, sensitive skin (which includes pretty much everyone in New England this time of year).

However, Vitamin C products are not created equal.  They can be rapidly inactivated by light and therefore it is not enough to simply have Vitamin C as an ingredient.  Rather, they must be a high quality, photostable product and C E Ferulic is an antioxidant formula with the most powerful antioxidants available.  15% L-Ascorbic acid is its active, photostable form of Vitamin C that does the aforementioned free radical neutralization which encourages collagen formation and repairs DNA damage.  Alpha Tocopherol is an active form of Vitamin E that is another antioxidant that also soothes and heals dry, damaged skin.  Ferulic Acid is a plant-based antioxidant that also neutralizes free radicals and inhibits melanogenesis (pigment production) caused by the sun thereby preventing brown spots.

After cleansing, you should apply 4 or 5 drops all over your face and neck in the morning.  It does smell a little like coffee but this scent goes away quickly.  Follow with a sunscreen and then makeup if desired.  Enjoy your brighter, more radiant skin!

April 07, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
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Retinoids- A Beauty Essential and How to Use Them Correctly

Image result for retrinal avene
Image result for renova

You’ve heard that retinoids are absolutely essential to a good skin care regimen, but now you’re using them and your skin is dry, red, and peeling?  Well, more than likely that’s because you’re not using them correctly.  Retinoids unclog pores, build collagen thereby diminishing wrinkles and preventing fine lines, and speed cell turnover which evens out discoloration and brightens skin.  They are magical, tried and true, youth-giving, damage-repairing products.  There are many types of retinoids that exist in different forms and are converted in your skin to the active form, retinoic acid.

When you apply a retinoid product that is retinoic acid (these include prescription retinoids which come in a variety of strengths such as Retin-A, Tretinoin cream, and Renova), your skin is able to use it immediately because it's already in the proper form. However, if you use a product with retinol or retinyl palmitate (including most over the counter options such as Rodan and Fields, Oil of Olay, Roc Retinol Correction, Neutragena Anti-Wrinkle, etc), the retinol must first be converted into retinaldehyde and then the retinaldehyde must be converted to retinoic acid before your skin can use it.  During each conversion step, much is lost in terms of the retinoid benefits, rendering the product basically a ‘glorified moisturizer’.  While moisturizers may feel nice on your skin, they have no anti-aging benefits in terms of collagen regeneration or cell repair.  One notable exception is the retinaldehyde form of retinoids such as the physician-dispensed Retrinal by Avene.  With Retrinal or other retinaldehyde products, very little is lost in terms of efficacy during the conversion to retinoic acid, but a LOT is gained in terms of tolerability.  Therefore, a retinoid such as Retrinal is a great option for those with dry, sensitive skin who still want the antiaging benefits of retinoids.

So how do you use retinoids the right way?

  1. Use a Pea Sized amount
  • Less is more when it comes to retinoids.  All you need is a pea sized amount to cover your whole face.  I like to squeeze that pea sized amount of retinoid out of the tube (some types have pumps that dispense the perfect amount in one pump), divide that pea into small dots on my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin, then gently blend the dots over my entire face.  You need to do this fairly quickly or product will dry and not spread.  The point is to use as little as possible to thinly cover your entire face.
  1. Start Slow
  •  Give your skin a chance to adapt to retinoids by starting slow.  For the first 2 weeks apply the product every third night, then increase to every 2 nights for the next 2 weeks, then every other night gradually working up to nightly.  If you become dry or irritated, back off for a couple days and gradually increase again.  This gives your skin time to adjust to the product which reduces irritation.  It may also decrease the initial acne flare that can happen in those using retinoids to treat acne.
  1. Wait 30 minutes after washing your face before applying (when you first start using retinoids)
  •  Applying retinoid to a damp face causes more to be absorbed which can increase irritation.  Also, when you wash your face the natural barrier of your skin is temporarily disturbed and waiting gives it time to recover.  This waiting may not be necessary with a retinaldehyde product like Retrinal due to the aforementioned increased tolerability.
  1. Apply in conjunction with moisturizer
  •  To minimize dryness you can apply a moisturizer.  Ideally, apply moisturizer after your retinoid to avoid decreasing its penetration and effectiveness.  However, if you’re noticing irritation you can apply moisturizer before the retinoid.  Less will penetrate but it will be better tolerated.
  1. Be consistent!
  •  You have to be committed!  It takes 3-6 months to see benefits and if you don’t use it you lose it.  So use retinoids consistently (although not when pregnant!).
  1. Wear Sunscreen
  •  Retinoids make your skin more sensitive to the sun so apply at night and wear a good sunscreen every morning.  You don’t want to undo the great anti-aging benefits you’re getting by using them!

Dr. Heidi Anderson-Dockter


By Heidi Anderson-Dockter, MD
March 17, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
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Our team had a great experience at the Kybella Connect Expert Forum this weekend.  We had a private training session in which we honed innovative techniques with Dr. Steve Yoelin from Newport Beach, CA.  The following day was a didactic conference spent sharing and learning practice pearls with other colleagues.  While we’ve been getting great results with Kybella since its FDA-approval in 2015, it was exciting to learn new ways to achieve even better and faster results. 

What is Kybella?  It’s a product that can be injected to reduce or eliminate a double chin or submental fullness.  In this new world of ‘Selfies’, ‘Skype’, and ‘Facetime’, we are now aware more than ever of our double chins and jawlines.  These can be the result of weight gain and aging but often genetics are to blame.  By the time you reach adulthood, you have a predetermined amount of permanent fat cells stored in your jawline and upper neck.  Until recently, only surgical intervention such as liposuction or a lower neck lift could address these problem areas. 

Fortunately, now we have Kybella, the injectable that permanently dissolves fat under the chin.  It is an injectable (and yes that means needles) but they are quick and generally well-tolerated. Kybella is synthetic deoxycholic acid which occurs naturally in the body and aids in breakdown and absorption of dietary fat.  When injected into the fat beneath the skin, Kybella destroys fat cells reducing fullness under chin and contouring your profile.  There are very few side effects and did I mention it PERMANENTLY destroys fat cells?  What was emphasized at the expert forum this weekend, was to truly achieve the fastest and most desirable results, injections of more product spaced over 3-4 treatments is generally what is required. The additional product and treatments generally do not lead to an incremental increase in swelling or bruising but do yield much better results.   For more information about Kybella, before and after photos, or to book an appointment, please visit our website page Cosmetic Services

Dr. Heidi Anderson-Dockter



South Coast Dermatology Physicians, Dr. Susan DeCoste and Dr. Heidi Anderson with Drs. Steve Yoelin and Sarah Levey

at the Kybella Connect Forum March 11th 2017 Boston, MA


By Heidi Anderson-Dockter, MD
April 29, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: EltaMD   Sunscreen  

Packing my favorite sunscreens for Disney World this week!



#dermmom #eltamd #practicewhatyoupreach

**Remember that EltaMD is pharmaceutical grade and only dispensed by physicians


Heidi Anderson-Dockter, MD

By Heidi Anderson-Dockter, MD
April 29, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: EltaMD   SkinMedica   Sunscreen   Sun   SPF  

You don't have to avoid beach vacations or hide inside all summer! As a mohs surgeon and mother, there is nothing more important than skin cancer prevention and protecting my kids. I love dressing them in rash guards with UPF 50 (Sun Smarties is a favorite brand) and wide brimmed hats (my son lost his wide-brimmed hat in the ocean the last day of our trip, hence the backup baseball cap in photos).  For sunblock for all of us, I love the Elta MD line of sun protection as it is broad spectrum, made of transparent "micronized" zinc oxide (and therefore not chemical sunblock), non pore clogging, and the water resistant ones are VERY water resistant.  These have withstood the 'beach to ocean to pool and repeat cycle' that my kids run me through on vacation.  I like to start my summer and vacation days with the UV Pure Water Resistant SPF 47 for face and body and then reapply every 2 hours with that or the UV Aero if the kids get very sandy or wet.  You have to be careful with the spray sunscreens to be diligent about thorough application, but I believe the sprays do have their place when it comes to reapplying sunblock on active kids who will barely hold still. We also all get a slathering of the UV lip balm (under lipstick it also doubles as a protective lip primer) as skin cancer on the lips can be extremely aggressive and devastating.  For everyday wear, if I'm not going to be in the water, I like Elta MD UV clear facial sunscreen or Skin Medica total defense and repair sunscreen which has antioxidants for antiaging and UV repair.  Think of this as a sunscreen with multivitamins for your skin.  Whichever combo of protective clothing/sunblock  you choose, rest assured that you can still be safe and have fun in the sun!

#protectyourkids #widebrimmedhats #swimshirts #EltaMD #BantheTan #IReapply

Dr. Heidi Anderson-Dockter


Full Disclosure: Although my practice does sell Elta MD and Skin Medica products (as they are exclusively physician-dispensed),  this is an unsponsored post. All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for them.

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