If you’re a parent who is taking their kids somewhere warm for their spring break vacation, or you are finally treating yourself to that getaway vaca, look no further because the Dermacenter Medical Spa is here to tell you how to keep your skin safe in the sun!

Sure, going on vacation is a blast, and it feels wonderful to soak up all that natural Vit D, but the last thing you want is to come back with more sun spots, freckles, or worse.. a sunburn! To help keep your skin protected while enjoying beach days, we have created a short list of tips to help you coming back relaxed with no sun damage!

Pack a face sunscreen separate from your body sunscreen!

It’s important that you use at least an SPF 30 on your body (in a perfect world you would use SPF 50), but when it comes to your face it is not only important to use SPF 50 but to make sure it has either ingredient: Zinc or Titanium. Having either of these ingredients in your SPF turns your sunscreen into a physical sunblock. Physical sunscreens block both UVA and UVB rays, which not only prevent sunburns but prevents your skin from aging! It’s also important to invest in a good facial sunscreen so that you don’t end up having other issues, like congestion and acne breakouts!

Our favorite products we carry are Epionce Tinted SPF 50 and GLO Tinted SPF 30. We love the tinted SPF, because it gives you a nice glow at the beach without having to wear make up!

Reapply your sunscreen!

Make sure you are reapplying your sunscreen at least every two hours (more often if you go into the water). Water is reflective, and can put your skin at a higher risk of getting burned. By reapplying your sunscreen at least every two hours, you can prevent your skin from getting burned!

Your moisturizer that has sunscreen in it is not good enough!

When you really think about what your moisturizer is doing for you (penetrates your skin to moisturize), and what your sunblock is doing for you (sits on your skin acting like a barrier to protect you from the sun). Ask yourself, how can one product be doing both effectively!? Exactly, it can’t!! Make sure your sunblock is separate from your moisturizer, and should be the last thing that goes on your face, prior to your make up!

Buy yourself a fabulous new hat

Not only are big hats in this season, but talk about skin protection!! Not only will you look glamorous on the beach, but your face will thank you!

What happens if you end up with sun spots on your face?

We can remove sunspots, freckles, age spots with a laser treatment called IPL. Before getting this treatment, you need to make sure you do not have tan skin when you get this treatment done. You must have been out of the sun for at least 4 weeks, not be on any photosensitizing medications, and not have used any retinol type products in the past week. Our consultations are free, so give us a call at 215-735-7990 or stop by the front desk to schedule your consultation today!


I frequently get asked about what you can do to help with bags under the eyes. We are born with three fat pads under our eyes, and as we get older this fat can start to herniate. Swelling in this area can also be an issue with fluid accumulating around your eyes. The good news is, there are a few different options to treat bags under the eyes!

I always recommend starting with the least invasive treatments, and if you aren’t getting the results you wish, then you can move to the next option.

At-home Remedies that can help with bags under the eyes:

  1. Cool compresses. – Put 2 spoons in your freezer, and every morning place the spoons over your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stay hydrated! This might mean to also cut back on your alcohol.
  3. Allergies can cause puffiness around your eyes. If you suffer from allergies, trying taking a Claritin or Zyrtec during the day and Benadryl at night.
  4. Sleep with an extra pillow so your head is elevated a bit more. This helps prevent the pooling of fluid in your face and around your eyes.
  5. SLEEP! It’s so important to get 8 hours of sleep!
  6. Cut back on the salty foods! Salt causes fluid retention and can make you puffy everywhere not just your eyes.

Next Step –> Skin treatments:

Microneedling – This treatment stimulates collagen and also helps with tone and texture of the skin. With this treatment, you won’t get instant gratification. You will need 3-6 treatments spaced about 1 month apart. The downtime is about 48 hours, in which you are red and should not wear any makeup. You also need to be careful about sun exposure after this treatment. To expedite the healing process and for better results, you can opt to include PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma), also known as the Vampire Facial.

Next Step –> Injections:

HA (hyaluronic acid) Fillers are great for bags and hollowness under the eyes. It is the only form of filler that is safe to inject in this area. My favorite product to use for under eyes is Restylane. This procedure takes about 15-30 minutes and costs roughly $600. The results last about 1 year and you can expect 40%-60% improvement. It is extremely important you are being treated by someone with the correct credentials as well as someone who has been performing this treatment for years. There is potential for bruising so you want to make sure you don’t have any events coming up within the next two weeks. Results are instant but you can have a little extra swelling from the injections, this can take a few days up to two weeks to completely go away.

Next Step –> Surgery:

If all else fails, there is a surgery that you can have done that removes these 3 fat pads under your eyes. It’s called a Lower Blepharoplasty. Some Plastic Surgeons require you to have general anesthesia for this procedure, and others perform this procedure under conscious sedation. The actual procedure itself takes roughly 10-15 minutes per eye, there are no sutures and scaring as they make the incision inside your eyelid. You can expect to have a great deal of bruising and swelling in this area that can last a few weeks. The nice thing about this treatment, the results are fantastic and they are permanent

Before we get into all the reasons why an IPL photofacial is great, let’s cover the basics. For starters, an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy is used to treat sun damage, wrinkles, stretch marks and age spots. IPL is also known as photorejuvenation or photofacial. Treatments can be used to erase mild sun damage, brown spots, freckles or irregular pigmentation on the face, neck, chest, hands, arms, shoulders, back and legs. If you suffer from severe acne and experience issues combating the redness and inflammation caused by acne, IPL treatments can help. IPL can help eliminate large pores and thus reduce the appearance of acne on your skin without the need to constantly apply topical products that dry out the skin.

If you suffer from rosacea or any other type of skin condition that diffuses redness into the skin, IPL photofacial therapy is a great treatment solution for reducing the appearance of redness and helping create an even and natural complexion. Have you noticed any broken capillaries around your nose or on your cheeks? We can treat those with an IPL photofacial!

While IPL isn’t necessarily an anti-aging solution, it does have lasting effects in helping reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, sunspots and other indicators of aging. By treating a deeper layer of the skin, IPL stimulates collagen growth and helps improve the skin’s texture, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Another great benefit of IPL photorejuvenation procedures is that they can be done in conjunction with other treatments such a microdermabrasion, chemical peels, Microneedling, and other facial skin treatments that target the outermost layer of the skin. Since IPL treatments target the deeper layers of the skin, they can safely be performed with other treatments that target the outermost layer of skin.


Botox is the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure worldwide and has an incredible safety record for prevention and treatment of wrinkles! I’m sure Botox is one of those things you assumed you would start to doing only once you absolutely needed it. However, it should be something on your radar during your 20’s and 30’s. Doctors say the number of young people who are doing preventive Botox (or as I like to call it, Baby Botox) is growing.

I am a big supporter of Baby Botox. Treating women in their mid to late 20’s and 30’s to stop wrinkles before they ever start makes the aging process slow down dramatically. I believe the best time to start Baby Botox is when you start to develop the earliest sign of resting wrinkles.

Initially, wrinkles will start to show up when you’re making facial expressions, but go away at rest. Unfortunately, over time these wrinkles will start to make permanent marks even when you’re not making a particular facial expression. Slowing down the use of these muscles with Botox early in adult life will prevent the lines from developing. Personally, I’ve been treating myself with Botox for the past 5 years (I’m 31 now) and I get told all the time, “I don’t know why you do Botox! You don’t have any wrinkles.” My response always is, “Exactly. I don’t have any wrinkles, because I’ve never allowed myself to have wrinkles!”

Botox will only get you so far with slowing the aging process down; therefore I recommend a good skin care regimen that includes a Retinol and an SPF that you reapply throughout the day. Last but not least, you can take advantage of the skin care treatments that our DermaCenter offers that stimulate collagen regrowth! After all, we start to lose about 1-2.5% of volume in our face every year starting at a young age.

After what seemed like another long winter, summer is finally here! Before you head outside to soak up some of that Vitamin D, we wanted to go over some facts about sunscreen and covering up, and explain the benefits and challenges of each.


To start, everyone should be wearing sunscreen at least on their face every day, no matter what. But how much protection are you getting from daily sunscreen use? That all depends on the sun protective factor (SPF) and if the sunscreen is “broad-spectrum,” which means that it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens that are less than SPF 15 and are not broad-spectrum are able to prevent sunburn, but they are not protective against skin cancer or skin aging. So, it is important to look for sunscreens that are at least SPF 30 and broad spectrum. With that, no sunscreen is 100% effective. This is because it acts as a filter and cannot block all UV rays, even if used correctly. For example, sunscreens with a SPF of 100 only filter out about 99% of UVB rays.

Sunscreen is also not as effective if you are not applying enough, which is a common mistake. The recommendation is at least one ounce (about a shot glass worth) to all exposed areas of the body and reapply every 2 hours to maintain protection. If you are swimming or sweating excessively, you should reapply even sooner. That amount of sunscreen application can be tough when you are on the go!

Lastly, most sunscreen products are only good for 2-3 years, and those that have been exposed to extreme heat conditions (e.g. your car’s glovebox) can become less effective. So, make sure you are not using that BB cream from 4 years ago that you got on sale at Target, it likely is not providing the same protection it once did.

Covering Up

Most clothing can provide some level of UV protection, so if you are unable to wear sunscreen on exposed body parts, it is recommended to “cover up.” The most effective types of clothing are those that are dark colored and tightly woven, which are not usually the types of fabrics one likes to wear during summer months. Some companies have started to make sun-protective clothes that are light-weight and provide protection even when wet. These types of clothing can get expensive, but if you are planning to go hiking on a sunny day, for example, and do not feel like reapplying sunscreen every 1-2 hours, it could be a good investment. As a rule, you can get an idea of how much protection you are getting from your clothing if you can see light through the fabric. If light can get through, so can UV rays.

Other ways to cover up when outside is to wear a hat and sunglasses. Sunglasses protect not only your eyes, but also the skin around your eyes (warding off crows feet just a little bit longer). Baseball caps can protect the top and front of your head, but leave your neck and ears exposed, so consider also wearing a bandana around your neck (Madewell has some cute ones in their stores right now!). Straw hats are also not usually as protective because they are not tightly woven, so it is better to wear a hat with tightly woven fabric that has at least a 2-3 inch brim, or a “shade cap” with fabric on the sides and down the back for better protection.

In summary, neither option provides 100% protection against skin cancer, so you should do your best to use a combination of both. You should wear sunscreen on your face every day, weather it is underneath your make up or if you have found a moisturizer that contains at least an SPF of 30 in it. Add on a cute wide brimmed hat and some sun protective clothing and you are ready to head outside and protect yourself from skin aging and cancer!


This time of the year is a good time to remind ourselves about skin cancer. There are three main types of skin cancer: squamous cell skin cancer, basal cell cancer and melanoma. I will review the most important information about each of these types to help increase your awareness.

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is very common. It is the second most common type of all cancers. Occasionally it can be aggressive and cause metastasis. The common areas that may contribute to reoccurrence include cancers that develop around the lips and ears. Immunosuppression, tumor diameter and nerve involvement may also contribute to reoccurrence.

Basal Cell Carcinoma is another common skin cancer, but the lesions are rarely metastatic. On the other hand, they do tend to invade/destroy the surrounding tissue. It is much less common in African Americans, and men are 30% more likely to develop BCC than women. The likelihood of occurrence increases as you get closer to the equator. The likelihood also increases with age, specifically between the ages of 55 to 75. Genetic and environmental risk factors are very important contributors in developing this type of cancer. Frequency and intensity of sun exposure are also big factors. Tanning beds can increase the likelihood of developing BCC. While exposure to psoralen plus ultraviolet light (PUVA) does increase its’ incidence, it is not as high of a risk as SCC. Medications that cause increased sun sensitivity also contribute to developing BCC. Chronic immunosuppression is too a contributor.

Melanoma is the most serious of skin cancers. Patients with stage I disease are likely to be cured. The other stages of Melanoma may develop metastatic disease.

Risk factors include:

  1. When the lesion, or a change in the lesion was noticed
  2. Personal/Family history of melanoma
  3. Severe sunburns in childhood
  4. Personal history of cancer-prone syndrome
  5. Immunosuppression
  6. Prolonged psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy

Patients tend to have red or blond hair; light eye color; a fair complexion; and increased number of melanocytic nevi.

Important predictors of skin lesions likely to be melanoma are known as the ABCDE criteria (asymmetry, border, color, diameter >6, evolution). In addition, the ABCDE criteria was enhanced to include change (preexisting lesions, modification over time or new lesion, especially in individuals over 40).

It is very important to observe changes of the skin on your feet, hands and nailbeds. Unfortunately these are common areas that patients tend to skip when applying sun screen.

Obviously prevention is key for all of these different cancers. It is best to apply sun screen 20 minutes before being exposed to the sun. Tanning is not recommended. Since it is difficult to recognize skin cancer, make sure that you see a dermatologist for whole body skin checks. This significantly decreases the likelihood of developing any of these cancers.   While we as primary care physicians are trained to detect skin cancers, because of the complexity of some skin cancers and the lack of availability to technology that dermatologists use to help detect these cancers, these exams are best done with a dermatologist who can biopsy any lesions.

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the DermaCenter.  It’s fast, convenient and affordable.  Laser hair removal targets the hair follicles melanin with bursts of intense light energy. This damages the hair follicle, reducing unwanted hair. There are a handful of different effects included with this treatment; therefore it is important to consult with a certified laser technician to provide you a safe and effective treatment.

There is a common misconception that people believe that laser hair removal is permanent. It provides hair reduction, but not permanent hair removal.

Clients should expect to have treated hairs fall out in one to three weeks. Clients can expect to lose 10% of hairs in each treatment session. The melanin of your skin varies and determines how many treatments you should sign up for. Most clients require 6 to 10 treatments spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart to see a 70% to 80% reduction.  Typically, annual maintenance treatments are needed for a few years. Every client is different; some may notice regrowth in a few months, while others may never need to shave again.

The question I am commonly asked is if facial hair removal and body hair removal are the same. Facial hair is very different than hair on the body.  The body will yield faster results.  Keep in mind lasers cannot completely prevent more hair growth because our bodies are constantly changing as we age, some people will lose body hair and some may grow more in new places. Lasers can destroy your hair follicles but cannot prevent new ones from developing.

Results vary by hair color, eye color and skin type.  Red, white and grey hair cannot be removed with laser treatment as they lack pigment that the laser needs to be attracted to. Laser hair removal works best on fair skin and dark hair because the laser can target the melanin of the hair follicle. A simple way to find out if you’re a good candidate for the treatment is to pluck your hairs to determine if your hair follicles are dark. If you find this in more than 3 to 5 follicles in the area you’re interested in, then you are safe to book your appointment. However if you are not sure, you are always more than welcome to come in for a free consultation.

To get the most effective laser hair removal results is to:

  1. Stay out of the sun 4 weeks prior to treatment.
  2. Shave as much as you can to give the hairs a chance to grow through thicker and more pigmented.
  3. Shave the area 24 hours before treatment so the laser/light will focus on the follicle underneath the skin and not the hair shaft
  4. Stick with intervals 4 weeks to 8 weeks apart in booking your next appointment.
  5. Lather up on sunscreen for protection and to prevent discoloration or irritation.
  6. Exfoliate the area to prevent ingrown hairs.

Did you know February is heart health awareness month? Many people are not aware that having a healthy heart and normal blood pressure can aide in the fight against premature aging and other adult skin issues. Elevated blood pressure can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and under eye bags. These problems may occur for a few different reasons. High blood pressure causes lack of oxygen to vital organs, such as the skin, and sleep disorders (lack of sleep). When the skin cells are lacking oxygen, the skin becomes dry leading to pronounced wrinkles and lines while lack of sleep does not allow the skin to naturally heal and repair itself.

Overall, maintaining a healthy heart and normal blood pressure is not only important for your overall health but also plays a big role in your appearance. Having a well balanced healthy diet, exercising daily, and reducing your sodium and alcohol intake are things you can do to improve your blood pressure which will leave you looking and feeling your best!

Skincare doesn’t end at the end of the summer! Your skin is a huge organ which protects you from the outside elements. Whether this is heat, cold, wind, water, a butter knife or a single bacterial cell – your skin has the capacity to protect you from all of these items and more.

In exchange, as with any item you value – your skin does need to be treated a certain way to ‘hone’ its protective properties and this treatment is a year-round process.

Depending on your climate, winter cold can be drying on the skin, so using a moisturizer on exposed areas such as your face, ears and hands can keep your skin from over drying and cracking in the cold – a process that exposes it to further damage.

Some people get cold rashes all over their body – this skin also needs to be moisturized to prevent the same consequences – overly dry skin can crack and bleed leading to further damage and possible infections.

Another skincare procedure many people opt out of in the winter is using sunscreen! The UV rays that can cause not only skin cancer but also simple ‘skin aging’ changes such as wrinkles affect our open skin whenever the sun is up, so using sunscreen is a vital part of keeping your skin healthy and protected.

At the DermaCenter we offer many types of Sunscreen, including Environ, Avene and La Roche Posay.  Our aestheticians can consult you to see which type of sunscreen is best for you. Please call the office to set up a free consultation to see what products are best for your skin!

If you didn’t know, – November is Healthy Skin Awareness month. Maintaining healthy skin starts from the inside out. A well balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and hydration are critical. Diet combined with proper skin care,which includes in office treatments and at home regimes, will keep you looking your best.

A well balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables provides your body with the vitamins and minerals necessary to combat free radicals which can lead to premature aging. Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants that prevent damage to the molecules that support your skin cells. It is important to ingest these vitamins as well as apply them topically to provide the ultimate protection against these damaging free radicals.

Along with fruits and vegetables, it is very important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated will not only leave the skin glowing but also rids the skin and body of harmful toxins. Staying hydrated with water can also minimize fine lines on the face by keeping the skin looking plump and firm. It is recommended  to drink 8 full glasses of water as a daily minimum.

Lastly, a consistent skin care regime that includes in house medical spa treatments and at home products, are the finishing touches in keeping your skin looking its best. A basic regimen consisting of at least a cleanser, moisturizer and spf is recommended. There are many other products you can incorporate into your regimen to keep the skin healthy and address specific problems such as rosacea, hyperpigmentation, acne, fine lines and wrinkles. Two treatments that we offer here at the Dermacenter that will keep the skin healthy and glowing are chemical peels and microdermabrasions. It is important to exfoliate the skin with these treatments because it rids the skin of old dead skin cells so new healthy ones are able to generate. When the skin is not exfoliated old skin cells pile up on the surface leaving the skin looking dull and dry which can also lead to acne or more visible fine lines and wrinkles. At the Dermacenter Medical Spa, we carry cosmetics by Environ which has a product line geared to every skin type. Check out the link below to find out more information on Environ or come in for a consult to meet your Dermacenter aesthetician and discuss which products are best for you to get your skin back to being healthy!


1632 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-735-7992
Fax: 215-735-7991


Mon & Wed:  8am – 8pm

Tues, Thurs, Fri: 8am – 4pm

Sat: 9am – 2pm

Sun: Closed

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