Category Archives: Skincare

Winter Skin Tips

Photo by Arthur Smaal


Feeling Dry? As the temperature drops, skin can become parched and dry. Give these tips a try to decrease the effects the wintery weather has on your skin.

  • Turn down the temperature a few degrees in the house at night
  • Don’t blast the heat in your car for prolonged periods of time
  • Use a humidifier
  • Stop taking long, hot showers
  • Apply moisturizer to damp skin
  • Add an emollient-based moisturizer to driest areas if your current moisturizer is not enough
  • Use a leave-in conditioner in your hair and apply from the ends moving upward
  • Drink lots and lots of water!
  • Patients using acne medications or products, you may need to adjust your products or include additional hydration measures if you’re feeling dry or dehydrated

Setting Back the Clock: Winter is the perfect time of year to undo the effects of time, sun, and wind. Now that you have survived the holidays, it’s time to start fresh and focus on “the skin you are in”.

-Schedule a full skin examination to check moles, dark spots, and rough patches that will not heal
-It’s the best time to treat brown spots, sun damage, acne scarring, uneven skin tone, skin tags, red spots and fine lines on the neck, legs, arms, back and chest that winter clothing hides as it heals.
-The Perfect Derma Peel is available in the cooler months to jump start anti-aging, help acne and pigmentation, and scarring.
-PDT (Photo Dynamic Therapy) to treat moderate to severe sun damage and actinic keratosis is easiest to do in the winter as well.
-LHR (Laser Hair Removal) is a process extending several months. Starting now ensures that you are almost halfway done if not more by summer months!


Winter Workouts: Did enhancing your physical fitness make your New Year’s resolution list? Here are a few pointers for keeping your skin balanced and maintained while working out.

  • WASH YOUR FACE FIRST: No matter when you go to work out (morning, noon, or night). Use lukewarm water and do a quick wash before beginning the workout. No one wants dirt, oils, lotion, or makeup clogging their pores as they sweat.
  • BRING A TOWEL: We prefer a hand towel, it’s not too big or too small. If you go with a washcloth, bring two for a heavier workout. Fold the towel several times over and “DAB” your body (Don’t RUB) and then unfold the towel and use a clean portion. Don’t keep using the same damp spot.
  • WASH YOUR FACE IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU ARE DONE: Very important. Don’t wait until you get home, or cool down, your pores will have closed up by then locking in all that sweat. Go straight to the bathroom and use lukewarm warm and do a quick wash again. If you don’t have a place to wash quickly, put some cleansing wipes in your gym bag. We love Cetaphil US Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths, or Envy Medical Clarity MD Skin Clarifying Acne Treatment Pads if you have acneic skin.
  • KEEP HAIR OFF THE FACE: Loosely pull hair back from the face. Make sure you are wiping your forehead, sideburn area, and neck with a clean towel often. Hair products can easily mix with sweat and run down the face getting into pores.
  • DRINK PLENTY OF WATER: We’re mentioning it again because it’s super important. Keep HYDRATED! Replenish your water from sweating. This truly helps maintain healthy skin.

Esthetic Tips


Healthy skin begins with a visit to skin care authority Dr. Peggy Fuller at Esthetics, Center for Dermatology.  Look and feel your best.


On cold mornings you want to warm up, so you jump into a steaming hot shower and follow it up with a hot cup of coffee. Feels good. Must be good for you. No, not for your skin.

Coffee, taking hot showers, even heating your home can cause your skin to become dry. Heated air has less humidity. This leads to dry skin. Caffeine compounds the problem because it literally pulls water from your body. During those hot showers, if your bathroom mirror is steamed, the water is too hot.

Here is a quick, easy solution to soothe dry skin: bathe in lukewarm water with a mild soap formulated for dry, sensitive skin. Then, apply a moisturizer containing humectants and emollients to help prevent moisture loss. And remember to use it throughout the day. Combine these tips with healthy eating and plenty of water to drink and your body will radiate the results – hello happy skin.



The sun, the wind, even time can take a toll on your delicate skin. The result can be age spots, freckles or wrinkles. Exposure of your skin to environmental stressors over time is commonly referred to as photoaging. The ultimate treatment for photoaging? Prevention.

Prevent sun damage and the resulting wrinkles by using sunscreen every day. With careful application, you’ll protect your skin from molecular damage caused by the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, and deflect free radicals that eat away at the skin’s precious collagen and elastin (which make your skin supple, plump, and smooth).

A healthy diet can also protect your skin from environmental damage. Power foods like spinach, blueberries, tomatoes, and broccoli help protect the skin from

UV and other environmental damage. One last thing to consider: switching from popular but unhealthy diet sodas to green tea can help reduce cellular inflammation associated with aging.

Prevent damage to your skin by carefully applying sunscreen every day and by eating the super foods that help provide additional protection for you precious skin. To see a full list of foods that protect your skin, view our Super Foods Addendum.



Did you know that stubborn sunspots, freckles and even warts can be treated with lasers?

Non ablative lasers produce a gentler type of skin resurfacing without a lengthy healing time. These gentle treatments skim the surface of the skin and cause very little discomfort. Varying colors and strengths of light (in the form of the laser) are sent through the skin which in turn stimulates the production of new collagen. Collagen is the all important substance that provides the plumpness in our faces (think of a baby’s chubby cheeks). The non ablative laser can improve skin tone, texture, and wrinkles; it can even brighten dull and lackluster skin.

One of the most versatile skin fixes, there are many types of lasers used to treat a variety of dermatologic issues. Remember, not all non-ablative lasers are safe for all complexions. Talk with your dermatologist to determine the right treatment for you.



You stare in the mirror and see frown lines between your brows and crows feet around your eyes. Today, dermatologists use a special class of injectables to ‘erase’ those lines and give your skin a more youthful supple appearance.

One of the most common injectables on the market today is Botox ®. This purified protein relaxes specific facial muscles that create wrinkles and deep folds yet produces results that allow for some natural movement without diminishing the desired results on wrinkles and furrows. This injectable wrinkle fighter is generally used around the eyes, between brows and on the forehead.

Also worth noting is that often one or more injectables may be combined with a filler (see tip #5 below) to achieve optimal results. This combination approach of using two or more treatments together is common in dermatology and gives the best results. No two patients are alike and every face is unique.



As we age, our faces change. The youthful building blocks that give babies chubby cheeks disappear. Skin loses elasticity. We develop wrinkles. Deep furrows may form between our brows or around our mouths, diminishing an otherwise healthy, youthful appearance.

Dermatologists can help you reverse the process. Injectable fillers plump up the skin’s structure, restoring volume and the suppleness of youth. The fillers can plump the pout (i.e. enhance the lips) or smooth away unwanted lines and wrinkles, creases, and craters from old scarring by plumping up the contour irregularities resulting in a more uniform appearance.

Hyaluronic acid, collagen and fat are all injectable fillers that dermatologists use on different areas of the face. Derived from both natural and synthetic compounds, soft tissue fillers are considered temporary, semi-permanent or partially permanent since the results will diminish over time. Temporary fillers such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, which last about four to six months, allow treatment adjustments by your dermatologist as your skin changes. It takes a well trained physician to properly evaluate and treat you because every face ages differently.



Hair loss is a very common problem among both men and women. For women, hair loss can begin during the child bearing years and peak again during early menopause. Some men are predisposed to male pattern baldness and begin losing their hair in their early twenties.

Hair loss can be subtle at first; a professional that is acquainted with your hair patterns can notice small changes. Additionally, consider the effect of medications and co-existing medical problems such as lupus, anemia, or thyroid, vitamin and dietary deficiencies which can masquerade as hair loss.

For women, dermatologists recommend examining lifestyle and hair styling habits. Excessive combing, coloring, and blow drying can wreak havoc on delicate hair. The addition of chemical straightening can compound at risk or vulnerable hair and aggravate existing hair loss. A word of caution for women: avoid tight pony tails and hairstyles that create tension by pulling on the hair. An absolute must – have coloring and usage of other chemicals performed by a professional.

Men take notice. If there is a known history of early hair loss or receding hairlines, be aggressive. Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine ®, can be started early and produce good results. Coupled with Propecia ®, an oral medication which can be prescribed by your dermatologist, these two medications used together may produce even better results. Side affects are minor but both medications should only be initiated after consultation with your dermatologist.

Sometimes there’s no way to stop hair loss completely. A good treatment regimen can slow it down. Your dermatologist will play an important role in making a diagnosis and determining the correct treatment.



Throughout the ages, people have searched for ways to look their best. Cleopatra bathed in milk to benefit from the exfoliating qualities of lactic acid. Ancient Roman, Greek and Indian documents mention various salves used for lightening and toning the skin.

Today, the simplest way to reduce fine lines and wrinkles is to get rid of the outer layer of skin and expose the fresh new skin underneath. Dermatologists use chemical peels to improve clarity, tone and skin texture. Your dermatologist can choose different peels depending on the problem you want to correct. All are quick and minimally invasive, but some do have mild side effects like mild redness, peeling or flushing.

Lactic, glycolic, lipoic, kojic, salicyclic and others are all a natural means to exfoliate and renew the skin without friction. As a result they can improve moisture retention, soften fine lines, unclog pores and generally promote clearer, healthier and more luminous skin.



You’ve enjoyed the results of facials you had before. Leaving the clinic or spa, your skins probably felt soft and smooth and had that ‘just pampered’ glow. Now consider the idea that today’s modern facial could do all that and more.

Several new techniques being used by dermatologists today use light to create more dramatic results. Pores become smaller, veins less visible, irregularities in the complexion even out.

Using short bursts of light called intermittent pulsed light (IPL), a photofacial helps to erase uneven pigmentation, improve age spots, freckles and other unsightly discoloration using pulsed light energy. Photodynamic therapy involves the application of a special topical enhancement combined with laser and light therapy. The treatment can shrink glands that produce oil, reducing acne flare-ups, and decrease the size of pores for a more even complexion. The light boosts the production of collagen, making your skin more plump and your complexion more luminous.

Photofacials can be done in combination with microdermabrasion, injectables, or chemical peels as your dermatologist deems appropriate.



Pimples. Blemishes. Acne. If you thought you were in the clear after your teenage years, guess again. Hormonal changes, stress, even those workouts at the gym can wreak havoc on the skin for both men and women of all ages.

But pimples aren’t the only blemishes that can mar a perfect complexion. Maybe you have a bit of unwanted facial hair, suffer razor bumps from tweezing and shaving, or just started to notice some irregularities in your skin.

Dermatologists are using new formulations containing glycolic acids and vitamin A enriched creams to treat complexion issues. By unclogging pores, these new products clear and prevent whiteheads and blackheads from forming. Keeping the skin cells fresh and new are an important part of having a glowing complexion. The goal is a smooth look and feel combined with a more uniform skin tone. Now who doesn’t want that?



It’s almost springtime and your skin has that dull and lackluster appearance. Here are some quick and easy suggestions to recapture that healthy glow.

Start with a good night’s sleep. Experts recommend seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly. Try to go to bed and wake up at a consistent time daily.

Add a good moisturizer to your morning routine – there are several on the market or available through your dermatologist that contain hydroxy acids that remove and exfoliate dead skin.

Wear sunscreen every day.

And finally, watch what you’re putting in your mouth. The results of drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet full of super foods will show up on your skin. See our Super Foods Addendum for more information.


***Medical Disclaimer
Esthetics, Center for Dermatology, (ECD) maintains this web site to provide information of a general nature about the specialty of dermatology. Any information in the publications, messages, postings or articles on the web site should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a board-certified dermatologist to address individual medical needs. Your particular facts and circumstances will determine the dermatologic treatment which is most appropriate for you. All information contained within the ECD web site is the copyrighted property of ECD. Reproduction, redistribution or modification of the information for any purpose is prohibited without the express written permission of ECD.

Bridal Q & A’s

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Q: Can I improve my complexion before the wedding?

A: Yes, it is possible.  The earlier you start, the better your chances are to have glowing skin on your wedding day. Even though you’ll be busy with all the wedding planning, now is not the time to neglect your eating habits. Pay close attention to your food selection. Remember…beautiful skin is healthy skin. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains not only will enhance your energy but will also protect your immune system and improve emotional well-being. Be sure to begin each day with a hearty breakfast to provide energy. A balance of proteins, fats, and carbs will keep you fueled through the morning. Excellent choices include a spinach omelet, peanut butter and toast, or high-fiber cereal with low fat milk.For lunch, incorporate vegetables such as a spinach salad topped with turkey, and a chicken sandwich or a veggie burger. For dinner, wild-caught salmon boasts healthy omega-3 acid anti-oxidants, steamed broccoli provides phytonutrients, and whole wheat brown rice contains fiber. In addition, don’t forget to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and remember to exercise daily to help relieve stress, as well as for obvious physical health benefits.

Here are some of the suggested foods for a healthy you…and healthy skin:

  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brown Rice
  • Cantaloupe
  • Green Tea
  • Lean Poultry
  • Olive Oil
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Water, water and more water
  • Wild-Caught Salmon or Tuna
  • Whole-Wheat Bread







10 “Campaign for Clear Skin” Tips

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1. Deal with any chronic skin problems early.  Though it is never too late for intervention, most skin care issues are handled best when treated early.
Start 1 year to 6 months ahead.2. Get rid of unwanted hair. Embarrassed about facial hair?Why risk irritation with shaving and/or waxing. Consider laser hair removal for long term hair reduction and toss that razor goodbye.
Start 1 year to 2 weeks ahead.3. Look relaxed with Botox injections.
Do you look like you’re frowning when you’re not? Do you squint all the time?Consider Botox to relax the lines between your brows, 2 weeks before the event so you’ll look totally relaxed. It can also be used to relax smile lines around the eyes and furrows on the forehead.
Last treatment to be rendered 2 weeks ahead.4. Rejuvenate skin with superficial peels.
Go for the glow with light chemical peels once a month or enhanced microdermabrasion every 2 weeks to help improve skin tone, texture, and tautness. Don’t forget the neck, back, chest, and décolleté if your dress is strapless or low cut. Peels help diminish fine lines and wrinkles and can do wonders on rough, spotty skin.
Start 2-3 months to 1 week before.

5. Take a serious look at your nutrition.  If you don’t already do so, start drinking ½ of your body weight in ounces of water. Example: 130 lbs/2 = 65 ounces of water. Water not only hydrates you, but also leads to clear skin.By all means exercise regularly; you’ll not only feel good but exercise diminishes stress and enhances the immune system to help prevent illness.
Start 6 months to day before.

6. Stay away from caffeine.  Avoid items such as caffeinated drinks, sweet tea, coffee, and soda as well as greasy foods. Start paying attention to what you eat. Veggies and fruits are better for your skin than fast food.
Start 6 months to day before.

7. Never let them see you sweat.  Whether sweating causes occasional worries or near-constant embarrassment, there are treatments and techniques to limit and stop sweating. No sweat, no worries – just a beautiful and confident bride.
Start 8 to 10 weeks prior to the big day.

8. Fillers can fill fine lines; provide volume, and plump lips. The longevity of fillers can last several months or longer. If you have never had a filler treatment, it is probably a good idea to be conservative the first time around to make sure you like it.
Start 2 months to 1 month ahead.

9. Don’t ignore skin problems.  There have been great advances in treating broken blood vessels, brown spots, sun damage, pigmentation problems and acne, including new topical treatments, non-invasive laser treatments, enhanced dermabrasion, and chemical peels. It’s your skin… see a dermatologist.
Start 1 year to 1 month prior.

10. You only look as good as you feel.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with planning. Practice regular stress management by indulging in stress-relieving activities such as exercise, meditation, and quiet time. 8 hours of sleep work wonders on renewing the mind. REMEMBER, don’t forget to smile…you’re getting married!
Start 6 months to day of.

Image Source: Kip Beelman Photography via Style Me Pretty

The Best Bridal Tip You Never Thought About

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As any excited bride, you have a long to-do list, to create the wedding of your dreams.  Here’s one important thing you probably haven’t included:

A visit to your dermatologist.

Brides should start planning as soon as possible – and that includes a campaign for clear skin. “Though it’s never too late for intervention,” says Dr. Peggy Fuller of Esthetics Center for Dermatology, “most skin care issues are handled best when treated early.Don’t forget, dermatologists are medically trained to diagnose and treat skin problems, as well as diseases of the hair and nails.At Esthetics Center for Dermatology, Dr. Peggy Fuller and her staff use the latest technology, medical recommendations, and cosmetic advances to help brides achieve glowing and healthy skin. The newer procedures freshen, heal, and revive lackluster or damaged skin, with choices that include the use of topical treatments, light peels, enhanced microdermabrasion, specialized facials, injections, and non-invasive laser treatments. Dr. Fuller can also customize a daily skin care regimen, so that special glow can continue beyond the big day!Esthetics Center for Dermatology is a state-of-the-art medical facility with a spa-like ambience, located in the historic neighborhood of Elizabeth, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Let the team at Esthetics craft the perfect plan to give you healthy, radiant skin for your wedding day. Please call us at 704.370.2700 soon to schedule an appointment!

Image Source: JSA-Europe