Kenneth Beer, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist in Palm Beach, Fla., and the director of, an online skincare company. He is also the director of The Cosmetic Bootcamp, which trains physicians in best practices for cosmetic medicine. Dr. Beer is an instructor in dermatology at the University of Miami, and he is an A.B. Duke Scholar at Duke University. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and received his dermatology and dermatophathology training at the University of Chicago. Visit Dr. Beer's office at

Get Summer-Ready Skin

Tuesday, 20 April 2010 10:26 AM

As the weather heats up and we start heading outdoors again, there are several things we can do to get our skin ready for summer. Now's the time to visit a dermatologist, inspect last year's sun protection, check moles, remove hair, and treat your acne.
The American Academy of Dermatology has done a wonderful job of creating a skin cancer awareness campaign and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery has a skin cancer screening program that helps patients identify skin cancers before they become problems.
May is a good time of year to visit your dermatologist. If you haven’t had your total skin exam, it’s time to make your appointment. I like to look at my patients once a year from head to toe.
For anyone who has a history of melanoma or suspicious moles, more frequent examinations may be indicated. As we have noted in earlier articles, any spots that are bleeding, getting thick, becoming scaly, or otherwise changing should be brought to the attention of your dermatologist.
If you can not find someone to look at your skin, go to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery website and see if you can find a dermatologic surgeon.

Tackling Acne
Minor acne problems are a frequent skin problem that can be fixed. There are a few reasons why people develop acne, including bacteria, hormones, and oil (sebum). Each of these is treated differently and a visit with the dermatologist can help find an appropriate treatment based on your particular skin type.
For women, changing some of the hormones can make a huge difference. Many times, I change patient’s birth control pills or add in something to counteract male hormones (Aldactone) and see dramatic responses.
Blackheads and whiteheads may be cleared with Retin A and salicylic acid washes and pads (available without a prescription). A new laser, Isolaz, has changed the way I treat acne. By focusing a laser on the acne, I can frequently improve the patient’s skin dramatically.

Pre-Summer Procedures
Simple cosmetic procedures can also make a difference, such as chemical peels, laser hair removal, and injections with fillers.
Laser hair reduction procedures decrease the hair growth, and although they work really well (depending on the laser and energy used), the treatments require several visits and they don’t get rid of every last hair. However, the time saved in shaving or waxing more than make up for the cost of the treatment.
Chemical peels are increasing in popularity as inexpensive ways to help treat pigment and acne. Salicylic acid peels may be used every four to six weeks in increasing strengths to help even the skin tone. These peels are relatively mild and do not require the longer downtime of deeper peels.
One great aspect of chemical peeling is that it is possible to custom fit the peel to your skin type and goals. One cautionary note -- if you are going to get a lot of sun exposure, you need to protect your skin from the sun once you have begun a peel series. If you fail to do this, you will be creating pigment and damage at the same time you are fixing it.
This year there are two types of Botulinum Type A Toxins available -- Botox and Dysport. Each has its own strengths and I compare them to Coke and Pepsi. I inject both and have patients who prefer one or the other. Either way, with increased sunlight and squinting, now is the time to consider getting frown lines injected and buying polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes.
The newer fillers contain anesthetic that really makes a difference in the comfort of treatment. Whether it is Restylane, Perlane, or Juvederm, the products are all now available with lidocaine included in the formulation.

Get a Leg Up
Leg veins bring many patients to my office in April and May. The first time that they are able to put on shorts or a bathing suit seems to bring a host of new vessels on the legs.
The good news is that most of these can be injected (and there is a new FDA-approved leg vein treatment). The bad news is that it takes a few sessions to start to see improvements, so now is a good time to begin.

To learn more about Dr. Beer, visit and

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As the weather heats up and we start heading outdoors again, there are several things we can do to get our skin ready for summer. Now's the time to visit a dermatologist, inspect last year's sun protection, check moles, remove hair, and treat your acne.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 10:26 AM
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