Clear + Brilliant Laser Treatment- Check it out!

Once again we’re hitting the air waves! Be sure to catch us on Lowcountry Live! Monday, October 29th  (show airs 10-11am). Dr. Germain will be discussing our new procedure the Clear + Brilliant Laser Treatment.

Clear + Brilliant is the latest in laser treatments used to fight the effects of aging skin. Only available to licensed and trained professionals, Clear + Brilliant can reduce signs of aging and effects from the environment on the skin. Sessions range from 10-20 minutes, and depending on your desired result or condition, you can achieve your goal in as little as one session! However, most professionals suggests adding the treatment to your regular beauty routine, as you would facials. 

Clear + Brilliant can give you brighter, smoother skin, reduce fine lines, pore size and wrinkles, and improve your skin tone and texture on the face, around the eyes, chest, back, neck and forearms. What’s the best part? The treatment is non-surgical and non-invasive!

For more information be sure to watch Dr. Germain on Lowcountry Live! This coming Monday, October 29th  (10-11am). And check out the Clear + Brilliant website at

Have You Had Your Yearly Check-Up?

Have you noticed any changes in your skin since the start of the summer? Maybe some new freckles, brown spots, or just a few new signs of aging? These can all be symptoms from our lovely friend the Sun. No matter how many precautions we take or how sun-safewe are UV-rays can still affect us in ways we don’t even realize.

It is just as important to receive a yearly skin check with your dermatologist as it is for you to get a routine physical. After months of fun in the sun, vacations and play it’s a perfect time to get your yearly check. Your risk of getting skin cancer is real. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  

Just like other cancers, you can learn to spot signs and detect problems from home. SkinCancer.orghas great information for helping you self-evaluate your body before your check up, and to detect any changes during the year as prevention.
The best tool is to be educated-know your body and how your skin appears, note any changes, itchy spots or anything irregular and let your dermatologist know. 

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are less serious types and make up 95% of all skin cancers. Also referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers, they are highly curable when treated early. Melanoma, made up of abnormal skin pigment cells called melanocytes, is the most serious form of skin cancer and causes 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Left untreated, it can spread to other organs and is difficult to control. *Courtesy of

Aside from skin cancer, which is the number one risk, over-exposure to the sun builds up over time causing wrinkles, brown spots and leathery skin. Visiting your dermatologist doesn’t only help to prevent skin cancer, but it can also help to eliminate signs from past sun damage. The beauty of it all is whenever you start taking the correct precautions against the sun you can actually reverse the effects, or at least some of them (not to mention stop any additional damage)! 

If you have spent a little too much time unprotected in the sun start
eliminating those weary signs with some simple tips at home:

1- Exfoliate: Everyone’s skin is different and should exfoliate accordingly follow your dermatologist’s recommendations and slough off your damaged and dead skin cells safely and efficiently.
2- Moisturize: Even oily skin needs to stay hydrated, find the right moisturizer for use and use it correctly. This will help even skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and leathery texture.
2- Wear sunscreen year round and daily: SPF 45 or higher is recommended, luckily most moisturizers and foundations have SPF in them now!
4- Use a topical Antioxidant Cream: Use of a good topical cream can renew your skin’s neutral balance, look for ones rich in vitamin C and collagen to replenish your skin’s natural elasticity.

Depending on the severity of the damage and your own personal experience other treatments can be used such as in office microdermabrasion, chemical peels or skin resurfacing.  Germain Dermatology offers an entire line of products geared toward sun damage, as well as anti-aging. Come by the office or visit us online anytime to learn about the products or to make an appointment for your yearly check-up.
Be educated. Use precaution. Get your yearly skin check.
First time seeing a Dermatologist? Know what to expect!
When you see a dermatologist for a complete skin checkup, expect a 10-15-minute visit, including a review of your medical history and a head-to-toe skin examination. This is a good time to ask about any spots you are worried about; your dermatologist can educate you about what to look for, such as any changes in the size, color, borders, or shape of a mole. Typically, a spot that the doctor suspects is cancerous will be biopsied. During a biopsy, a sliver of tissue is removed for evaluation by a pathologist, who confirms (or refutes) the dermatologist’s suspicions.

*Courtesy of

Safely Prolong Your Summer Glow

Spray Tan? Tanning Beds? Bronzers? Selfless Tanners?
Which is the best venue to prolong your glow?

With Kids back in school, schedules busier than ever and beach season coming to an end we all are starting to lose our beautiful sun-kissed glows that we’ve so proudly earned (Only after applying the proper amounts of sunscreen of course.).  It’s a fact that sun lightened hair and bronzed skin tones are a signature for being a Charlestonian, and it is a beautiful sight, only when earned safely; and like all great things this too does fade.
This is the time of year people used to start flocking the tanning beds desperately grasping onto every last bit of that summer touched look. Today most of us know how dangerous the fake-and-bake trend of the past is, however tanning salons everywhere are still opening and thriving. Thankfully advancements such as not allowing minors (under 18) to use indoor tanning salons, and explicit warning labels, have helped spread the word of their hazards.  These precautions may seem small but they seem to be a step in the right direction. “Prohibiting use of indoor tanning for all minors under the age of 18 is critical to preventing future skin cancers,” said Judith Knox, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Springfield Clinic, Springfield, IL. “For years, minors with parental permission have been allowed to visit tanning salons, and research shows that the incidence of melanoma has increased. These trends indicate a problem that is too great to ignore.”
Luckily in today’s beauty market there are thousands of items claiming to do help you achieve, accelerate and prolong your glow without UV exposure. You have bronzing powder, sunless lotions, creams and the ever more popular spray tan options.  Are all of these healthy and as safe as we are told?
The main thing to note is the ingredients. The most common ingredient in most of these products is “dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids in the skin’s surface”.  DHA is approved and regulated for use in imparting color to the human body, but only for external application.  Therefore, According to the FDA most bronzing powders, tinted make-up, sunless lotions, etc are approved for external use and safe as long as used in this way.
Spray tan is an ever increasing trend, and other than not being a cancer risk most people don’t know much about it. The product used for spray tan usually contains the same DHA color additive that the other products we use has. However, when receiving a spray tan, or misting tan, the product has access to your mouth, eyes and your lungs through inhalation.

The FDA provides some great questions to ask about these spray tan sessions:

-Are consumers protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, in addition to the eyes themselves?
-Are consumers protected from exposure on the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane?
-Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting the product?
“If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” the consumer is not protected from the unapproved use of this color additive,” says the FDA.  No noted serious injuries or illness has been reported from the unapproved use, but it’s not 100% proven to be safe.  Long-term testing is still being done and reports are still unclear as to what this chemical can actually do.
It looks like the best option is currently at home self tanners or bronzers.  As spray tans are continually rising in popularity we ask that you consider the risk and take the necessary precautions if you decide to go this route (don’t be afraid to ask questions at your salon or to your dermatologist).  
Want to opt for an at home version? Try our Germain recommended, and sold, Jane Iredalesunless self tanners or bronzers for a flawless sun kissed look.

Here’s to your safe, beautiful, FALL glow!

Hydrating is not just for the Heat

Can you feel that cool breeze in the air? Have you had your first Pumpkin Latte? Yes, it’s Fall. Maybe the season isn’t showing it’s colors so much here in the Lowcountry yet, but we all know it’s that time of year… how? It’s football season!! Whether you are cheering on Carolina or Clemson, pulling for the Panthers, or your own home team, everyone has a case of Football Frenzy this time of year.

With the weather cooling down and tailgate tents going up one thing that is easy to forget is to HYDRATE. We don’t mean with your favorite cocktail, but with actual water. You would be amazed at the effects dehydration, not only has on your health, but also for your skin!
Dehydration occurs when a person loses more fluid than they take in. The common rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water a day… but we also all know we aren’t made from cookie cutters and that doesn’t simply work for each of us. The standard to go by is to drink half of your body weight in ounces per day (If you are 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water daily, or about 9.5 cups of water). We mentioned that your favorite cocktails don’t count, what about your daily tea or coffee? Unfortunately, no. Due to acidic levels and caffeine content water is actually used by your body to metabolize and digest these tasty goods.
Without water most organs cannot function properly: think liver and kidneys. Your skin is the largest organ on your body it needs hydration as much as the rest of you, even from the inside out. Healthy skin contains up to 20% water (dehydrated skin and dry skin are two different ailments, inside vs outside). If you are seeing uncommon signs of acne or unusually dry, worn, wrinkled skin, check your hydration… you could be not getting enough water in your daily diet. Increasing your water intake can simply reduce these symptoms and others as well (such as aches & pains, headaches, and fatigue).  If you feel like adding additional water to your diet doesn’t help visit your dermatologist to eliminate any serious conditions.

Continuous dehydration can also cause premature aging in the skin. When dehydrated skin loses its ability to retain moisture it affects the flow of fluids and nutrients within the skin’s cells, eventually, if not treated, these cells can become damaged. Without proper hydration your skin looses collagen- it literally dries out. Want the best kept anti-aging secret? Drink more water! Many of the latest beauty treatments and creams have collagen, which is a great ingredient (especially if you’ve neglected your hydration for too long), but the best way to replenish and sustain your natural collagen is to stay hydrated.

While cheering on your favorite teams this season, enjoying the cooler weather and all year round remember to carry that water with you (even if it’s between the cocktails)… it will do wonders.
Happy Fall from all of us at Germain Dermatology!