Archive for July, 2018

SPF — Higher really is better


July 28th, 2018 | General Info

A recent study on SPF published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD, 2018; 78: 902-910) demonstrates that higher sun protection factor sunscreens really do provide additional benefit. This study evaluated skiers in a double-blind, split-face, randomized study. In this study, skiers in Vail, Colorado wore SPF 50 on one side of the face and SPF 100 on the other side of the face. They were allowed to do their normal activities and were then evaluated the next day to see if there was any evidence of sunburn erythema. The SPF 100 sunscreen side was found to be significantly more effective in protecting against sunburn.spf sunburned man edmonton

The study supports our belief that if you are going to be out in a lot of sun, the higher the sun protection factor, the better! Another factor that may be important is that many of us apply far less sunscreen than we should, so you might think you are getting an SPF 50. However, you might be applying such a thin layer that you are only getting the equivalent of SPF 20! Consequently, make certain you apply enough sunscreen to provide adequate protection and if you decide to go to a higher sun protection factor, all the better. Your skin will thank you.

Sunscreen helps protect against the development of sun damage and skin cancers. We have many patients who either worked or played outside for many years and they are now seeing the after effects many years later. If you don’t believe it, go to Australia and see what percentage of people have skin cancer. Skin cancer is not fun. Protect your skin–it will thank you later.

Let’s talk about scars


July 27th, 2018 | General Info, Treatments, Uncategorized

Scar treatmentScar treatment can be challenging and requires a multi-dimensional approach in order to be successful. A scar can be the centre of attention but can also be a source of annoyance. For some individuals, scars are a part of who they are, whereas for others they are intrusive and cause insecurity. They can be caused by a variety of reasons such as acne scarring, trauma, and surgery.

Some individuals have thickened keloid scarring, where a scar becomes raised and discoloured. In order to treat the thickened aspect of the scar, many times cortisone injections will be utilized to reduce the thickness of the scar.

On the opposite end of thickened scars, people may get pitted scars where the skin sinks in various regions. These types of pitted scars can be tricky to treat; however, with improvement in technologies and techniques, pitted scars can often be improved. In some cases, Dr. Nakatsui will use an ablative laser to smooth out the skin and reduce the harsh edges that cause shadowing.

A new approach is to promote collagen re-growth in the region.  Through the use of a technology called Percutaneous Collagen Induction (PCI), many tiny needles create tiny holes in the skin. The creation of these tiny holes stimulates collagen formation to help fill in the areas of depressed scarring.

Scar treatment also encompasses hyperpigmentation (darker pigmentation), hypopigmentation (lighter pigmentation), and erythema (redness).  Hyperpigmentation and erythema can be treated fairly successfully with various lasers. Unfortunately, hypopigmented scars are more difficult to treat and currently there is no reliable solution to permanently bring colour back into a scar once the colour is gone.

Certain scars due to trauma are very visible to the human eye because the lines of the scar are fairly linear. Surgically removing the scar and carefully using various closure techniques to break up the linear scar can greatly reduce the appearance of a scar.

Scarring can impact an individual’s self-confidence. With current technology, scars can be improved. For those with scars that affect their self esteem and their daily living, don’t get discouraged as there are many great options to help treat your scars.

For more information regarding the various treatment options for scars please visit: scar revision for more information or you can contact the Groot DermaSurgery Centre at (780)482-1414.