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Protect Yourself From Too Much Sun This Summer

With the arrival of warmer weather, many people are spending more and more time in the sun.  However, basking in the sun, especially without protecting your skin can lead to wrinkles, premature aging and, worst of all, skin cancer.  Fortunately there are many options to help protect and keep your skin looking great.  But, doctors and aestheticians say that while people are more aware of the sun’s harmful effects, a lot of people still do not apply sunscreen correctly or don’t apply it at all.

“It is really important that people of all ages apply sunscreen daily and apply it correctly. At minimum, this means applying a generous amount of sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure, and reapplying every few hours,” said Cindy Hinkle, an aesthetician at Northwestern Medical Center.

What You Need To Know About Sun Block & Protecting Yourself from the Sun

What does UV mean? Before you select an effective sunscreen, you should know Ultraviolet (UV) radiation that affects the skin are classified as UVA and UVB.

What is UVA? UVA is the longest of the UV.  It can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and plays a major role in skin aging and wrinkling.  Recent studies show it causes the development of skin cancer.  UVA penetrates glass and clouds.

What is UVB? UVB is responsible for burning, tanning, accelerating the skin aging and also plays a key role in the development of skin cancer.  UVB varies by season, location and time of day.  The most intense amount of UVB hits the U.S. between 10:00am and 4:00PM.

What is SPF? Sun Protection factor (SPF) measures the protection provided by a sunscreen against UVB.  It is defined as the ratio of how long it takes for skin to redden with sunscreen compared to without sunscreen.   Although the SPF ratings found on sunscreen packages apply mainly to UVB rays, many sunscreen manufacturers include ingredients that protect the skin from some UVA rays as well.  Higher SPF numbers are preferable, but don’t let an inflated number lull you into a false sense of security, especially because an SPF measures protection only from UVB – not the more dangerous UVA rays.

What is Broad Spectrum? -- When choosing the right sunscreen select a product that provides “broad-spectrum” protection for both UVA and UVB.  If you are going to the beach or pool make sure it is water-resistant and doesn’t wash off in the water.  You want to have an SPF of 15 or higher.

What ingredients should my sunscreen contain? -- When choosing a sunscreen select one that contains ingredients known to filter UVA. These include Mexoryl SX, avobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

What sunblock is best for my kids? -- For children under 6 years of age, choose sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.

What is the difference between a chemical and physical sublock?  There are two categories of sun sunscreens:

Chemical or Physical.

  • The chemical sunscreens protect the skin by absorbing UV radiation.  The physical block light by reflecting UV away from the skin.  Chemical sunscreens contain avobenzone or a benzophenone and PABA.  In rare cases these chemicals can cause skin irritation and should be avoided if you have skin allergies.
  • The physical sunscreens that use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide do not typically cause allergic reactions.  Though new technology, they are process making them more transparent without losing their ability to screen UV.

How do I apply sunscreen? Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun to give it time to absorb into the skin.  Apply it generously and regularly- about 1 ounce every 2 hours-and more often if you are swimming or perspiring.  A small tube containing between 3 to 5 ounces of sunscreen might be only enough for one person during a day at the beach.

What order should I apply sun protection? If you are using a topical medication or skin treatments such a vitamin C, that should be applied first to a clean, just washed face, followed by a moisturizer if needed, sunscreen, makeup, powder and blush. To recap, always apply sunscreen after moisturizer and before your makeup.

Be Skin Savvy. Enjoy a free consultation with our Clinical Nurse at  Dr. Conkright's office for the latest in sun protection and anti-aging.

-Courtesy of the ASAPS

ASPS Reports Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Down in 2009, Up 69% in First Decade of New Millennium

Consumer Interest Continues to Rise According to Study

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2010

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Although it's been a sluggish year for plastic surgery due to the economy, the long-term outlook is more encouraging. According to statistics released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 12.5 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2009, down 1 percent from 2008; up 69 percent since 2000.

"The industry has experienced some economic downturn during the later part of the decade due to the recession, but, overall, plastic surgery has seen growth in the first decade of the new millennium," said ASPS President Michael McGuire, MD. "The current economic climate will likely not have an impact on long-term growth. The largest contributor to the increase in procedures over the past decade has been the advent of injectable wrinkle fighters and other minimally-invasive procedures."

Cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures increased 1 percent, to nearly 11 million procedures in 2009. Minimally-invasive procedures are up 99 percent since 2000. The top five minimally-invasive procedures in 2009 were:

  • Botulinum toxin type A (4.8 million)
  • Soft tissue fillers (1.7 million)
  • Chemical peel (1.1 million)
  • Microdermabrasion (910,000)
  • Laser hair removal (893,000)

"Skin is in," said Dr. McGuire. "Chemical peels and soft tissue fillers like hyaluronic acid are up 9 percent, microdermabrasion is up 8 percent - these are the procedures that patients are opting for despite the economy."

Cosmetic surgical procedures decreased 9 percent, with more than 1.5 million procedures in 2009. Surgical procedures are down 20 percent since 2000. The top five surgical procedures in 2009 were:

  • Breast augmentation (289,000)
  • Nose reshaping (256,000)
  • Eyelid surgery (203,000)
  • Liposuction (198,000)
  • Tummy tuck (115,000)

"It would seem, as innovations in cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures increase, surgery will continue to decrease," added Dr. McGuire. "However, as the economy rebounds, more patients and Boomers will continue to seek surgical body contouring procedures (liposuction, tummy tuck), eyelid surgery and breast augmentations. In fact, breast augmentations are up 36 percent since 2000."

Echoing Dr. McGuire's words, new consumer data from an online survey conducted in March by Harris Interactive® on behalf of found America's interest in cosmetic procedures to be on the rise. According to the survey, more adults would choose to have "work done" if money was not an issue in the 1st quarter of 2010 (69%), as compared to 4th quarter 2009 (54%) - an increase of 15 percent. There is also high interest for "Mommy Makeover" type procedures: more than one in four (29%) of those who would get cosmetic work done if money were not an issue would have a tummy tuck, 23% liposuction, and 15% a breast lift. Eyelid surgery was the top procedure for those planning to have a cosmetic surgical procedure within the next 12 months (27%).

*courtesy of the ASPS,

So you have had plastic surgery, now what?

Well, you have finally done it! After weeks, months or even years of contemplating having a cosmetic surgical procedure performed you did it. Now what?  You look in the mirror at yourself and finally feel that sense of confidence that you lacked for so long. At least that is how I feel. Yes, I had my nose done, and I LOVE IT!  I was bruised and swollen for a few weeks, and my nose is still changing, but it was all worth it, and I would do it all over again if I had to.  Do I look different?  Some people say no, but its not about what others say or how they feel about my decision to have surgery, it never was, it's about how I feel, it always has been.  I feel more sure of myself, I do not shy away from pictures, I walk with a little more pep than I used to.  No, it did not change my life. I still worry about my family, money, doing my job well, and if my summer clothes will fit this year, but I do all of this now with more confidence in myself.  So, what I am trying to say is plastic surgery is not the answer to all your problems. It will not fix that relationship in your life that is broken, or help you get that new job you have always wanted. However, it can help you to put your best foot forward when confronted with some of life's little challenges.  Remember, this is only my experiences and my opinion, but if it helps you take your first steps towards feeling beautiful too, then having my surgery will have changed more than just my nose.

Good Luck!

Danielle Blevins

The Perfect Bra for YOU!


It can be tough finding the "perfect" bra for you, especially because most breasts are not made equal.  One breast may be larger then the other, or you may need a special bra for a special occasion.  The best place to start is your local lingerie boutique to have a professional bra fitter measure you for an accurate bra size.  Most women are wearing the completely wrong bra size which can make wearing a bra very uncomfortable.  Once you have acquired the perfect bra size for your body, it is time to start looking for your perfect bra!

  • For a bra that feels like it is barely there look for a streamlined, molded cup style in a lightweight fabric.  This will be good for everyday wear.
  • For those women with 2 different breasts size, try placing a silicone insert into the side of your bra that is smaller.  Or try the mix-and-match cups from Fruit of the Loom.
  • For full coverage and strength to hold up larger breasts look for a bra with generous cups, thick side bands, and sturdy straps.
  • For a bra to wear with your backless gown, try Nu Bra's Ultralite adhesive bra which sticks directly onto your skin.
  • If you are looking for a large cup size with a small band size (such as a 30D), try Fantasie's Zoe bra.  Bands start at 30 with cup sizes rising to a G.
  • Looking to add more sex appeal?  Pick a push-up bra to enhance your body, and play with colors and prints.
  • For a bra that is not noticeable under a white T, search for a seamless skin-tone bra.  The key is to find a bra that matches your complexion.

Every woman should own 3-5 everyday bras, plus a convertible strapless for special occasions and a high-impact sports bra for workouts.  Most bras have a shelf life of about a year, but you must take care of them.  Bras do not belong in washing machines, rather they should be hand washed with baby shampoo or gentle detergent.  If you MUST use a washing machine, place them in a lingerie bag and run on the gentle cycle with cold water.  Finally, always hang your bras to dry.