What is Botox?

BotoxToday, the word Botox usually brings only one thought to mind: wrinkle reduction. However, you may or may not know that Botox, or Botulinum Toxin Type A, is a derivative of botulism; a substance sometimes more associated with horror than help.

Botulism, a toxic bacterium, has been known to man for thousands of years. Occurring naturally, especially in improperly preserved foods, the toxin can cause severe illness and even death. In ancient times, men learned how to extract botulism from rancid meat, such as dried blood sausages, to poison their enemies.

Roughly 200 years ago, scientists and physicians began to study the toxin in depth. They discovered that within 18-36 hours of ingestion, subjects would experience double vision, slurred speech, muscle weakness, and ultimately, death.

After years of study, researchers learned that the toxins in botulism come in many forms, and that not all were bad. In the early 1980s, San Francisco ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Scott was the first to utilize Botulinum Toxin Type A. Looking for a cure for Amblyopia and Strabismus, or crossed eyes, Dr. Scott noticed that in small doses, the Botulinum Toxin Type A had the unique ability to relax targeted muscles, thus releasing the effected eye.

In 1987, two Vancouver doctors accidentally uncovered the unexpected aesthetic properties offered by the toxin. Dr. Jean Carruthers was an eye doctor, treating blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking) with a diluted version of Botulinum Toxin Type A. Over time, she noticed that when the toxin was injected closer to the forehead, wrinkle lines between the brows would go away. Dr. Carruthers’ husband was a dermatologist, and was quick to use his wife’s anti-wrinkle discovery in his own practice. This pair of physicians became pivotal researchers, further developing the Botox we use today across a variety of cosmetic and medical needs.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic use more than 10 years ago, Botox has grown to become a billion-dollar industry. Today, Botox is America’s number one non-surgical aesthetic treatment. Aside from the cosmetic benefits of modern Botulinum Toxin Type A, smoothing facial lines and wrinkles, the substance is now used to eliminate chronic migraines, ease a spastic bladder, and improve a variety of muscle/movement disorders.

To learn more about Botox, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.

Posted: October 15, 2017 By:

Chemical Peel Side Effects

Chemical PeelA chemical peel is a facial resurfacing technique that uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. It involves the application of toxic chemical solutions to the skin in a controlled manner, producing controlled tissue death and resulting in a superficial wound. As the tissue damage is repaired by the natural healing process, the skin’s appearance is improved.

Chemical peels can cause various side effects, including:

  • Redness. Expect some redness of the skin after a chemical peel. With deeper peels or with certain skin types, redness can be severe. It may fade within a few weeks, or it may last several months. The strength of the solution used for the chemical peel will determine how much redness will occur and how long the redness will last.
  • Changes in skin color. A chemical peel can cause treated skin to become darker than normal (hyperpigmentation) or lighter than normal (hypopigmentation).
  • Crusts or scabs may develop on areas treated with any type of chemical peel as the skin reacts to the trauma of having a mild acidic solution applied to it. Phenol peels can be expected to result in some crusting as the old layer of skin exfoliates and the underlying layer of skin emerges.
  • Sensitivity to Light. A chemical peel can increase a patient’s sensitivity to sunlight so avoidance of sun exposure is usually advisable for several months after the treatment. Wearing sunscreen is highly recommended following a chemical peel.
  • Rarely, a chemical peel can cause scarring – typically on the lower part of the face. Antibiotics and steroid medications can be used to soften the appearance of these scars.
  • A chemical peel can cause a flare-up of the herpes virus – the virus that causes cold sores. Rarely, a chemical peel can lead to a bacterial or fungal infection.
  • Heart, kidney or liver damage. A deep chemical peel uses carbolic acid (phenol) which can damage the heart muscle and cause the heart to beat irregularly. Phenol can also harm the kidneys and liver.
  • Flaking and Peeling. Flaking and peeling are normal chemical peel side effects that are temporary and relatively minor. A patient must not pick at the flakes and peeling skin because pulling off peeling skin before it is ready can result in infection and scarring.

Patients should have an understanding of potential chemical peel side effects prior to treatment to help them make an informed decision about undergoing the procedure. The best way to determine if you are a candidate for a chemical peel is through a consultation with Dr. Holy at The Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix. For more information about chemical peel side effects or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.

Posted: October 8, 2017 By:

Spider Veins – Part Two

Spider VeinsSpider Vein Treatments:

Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins. During this procedure at The Center for Advanced Dermatology, Dr. Holy injects a chemical solution into the spider veins with a very fine needle, causing them to slowly shrink, collapse and eventually disappear. The procedure is performed in the office, is almost pain-free, and requires no down time.

After the injections, the treated area will be compressed with bandages or wraps and you will need to wear compression stockings for about a week. This makes the procedure more effective and speeds healing.

Sometimes multiple sessions are needed for the best effect.

Laser/Light Treatments – In spider vein laser treatment, a high-intensity beam of light is pointed at the spider veins, heating them up and destroying them, eventually causing them to disappear. Laser treatment is considered the optimal treatment for spider veins on the face and can be used on other parts of the body, but it’s rarely used on the legs. It may take multiple treatments for full effectiveness.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment is much like laser treatment, but it’s not as precisely focused. IPL uses concentrated pulses of light which selectively damages and destroys abnormal veins, including small spider veins and small vascular birthmarks. Intense light therapy is best suited for vascular lesions located slightly deeper in the skin than those treated with other procedures. This treatment may be recommended when other options can’t effectively treat the superficial vein.

Both laser and IPL treatments may be an option for some patients who are unable to undergo sclerotherapy, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Results of Spider Vein Treatments

It can take several weeks to see results from both light-based treatment and sclerotherapy. It is possible that not all treated veins will disappear completely after a single treatment, so multiple sessions, spaced out, may be required.

To learn more about spider veins and treatment options in Phoenix, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.

Posted: October 1, 2017 By:

Spider Veins

spider veinsSpider veins, known medically as telangiectasia or venulectasias, are a mild form of varicose veins that appear on the surface of the skin as thin red, purple lines often in web-like patterns. Spider veins commonly appear on the surface of the thighs, calves and ankles but can also appear on the face. Spider veins aren’t always just an aesthetic concern, but can occasionally cause symptoms like swelling, itching, night cramps, fatigue, aching and/or burning.

There are typically three spider vein patterns:

  • A spider web shape, where veins radiate out from a central hub
  • An arborizing pattern that resembles branches on a tree
  • Thin, separate lines

Spider veins are typically caused by abnormal blood flow in the veins and weakened vein walls. Other factors that contribute to the development of spider veins include:

Age: The likelihood of developing spider veins increases with age.

Genetics: Spider veins tend to run in families.

Prolonged Standing or Sitting: Not moving around enough can lead to vein damage or make existing vein conditions worse.

Blunt Trauma: Physical damage to your veins can cause them to not work properly and develop spider veins and varicose veins.

Sun Damage: This can lead to spider veins on the face, especially if you’re fair skinned.

Pregnancy and Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy can increase estrogen (the female sex hormone) in your body, which may weaken your vein walls and contribute to the development of spider veins.

Obesity: Being overweight puts extra pressure and stress on your circulatory system.

Spider veins don’t typically go away on their own and usually require treatment. If you experience spider veins, there are minimally-invasive procedures to effectively remove or reduce the appearance of your spider veins. The two kinds of treatments available for spider veins use either chemical injections or light to shrink your veins so that they eventually fade away and disappear.

Spider Veins Part Two to be continued…

Dry Skin

Dry SkinDry skin is a very common condition characterized by a lack of the appropriate amount of water in the epidermis, the most superficial layer of the skin. While dry skin tends to affect males and females equally, older individuals are typically much more prone to dry skin. The skin in elderly individuals tends to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants. Areas such as the arms, hands and particularly lower legs tend to be more affected by dry skin. Dryness of the skin is also affected by the amount of water vapor in the surrounding air, the humidity.

The epidermis is normally composed of fat (lipid) and protein. The lipid portion of the epidermis helps prevent skin dehydration. When the skin’s fatty oils are removed, the skin loses its protection and loses moisture more easily. As skin becomes dry, it also may become more sensitive and prone to rashes and skin breakdown. This condition is sometimes referred to as xerosis. Dry skin may be an entirely invisible skin condition or may cause a fine, dry, powder-like appearance of the skin. Untreated, dry skin may become irritated and result in a red rash (xerodermatitis).

Dry skin may be a mild, temporary condition lasting a few days to weeks. For some, dry skin may also become a more severe, long-term skin problem. Symptoms of dry skin include discomfort from skin tightness and itching. In addition, external factors such as weather can affect the severity of skin dryness. For example, cold or dry air and winter weather can worsen dry skin. Individuals whose occupations require more frequent hand-washing and sanitizing may experience dry skin more often. Dry skin may also be a side effect of some medications.

Fortunately, dry skin is usually mild and can be easily remedied. Simple prevention and treatment measures are very effective in the treatment of dry skin. Basic dry skin prevention includes avoidance of harsh soaps and chemical cleansers. If you are experiencing dry skin, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix by calling 602-867-7546 or visiting mddermsolutions.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy, who can diagnose and treat your unique skin issues.


SilkpeelSilkPeel is one of the most advanced and dynamic skin treatments available today. SilkPeel features a revolutionary new form of exfoliation known as Dermalinfusion. SilkPeel is a type of microdermabrasion, with the drying effect of the traditional aluminum-based crystals and the hydrating effect of liquid solution delivery. Standard microdermabrasion uses crystals to “sand blast” the skin. SilkPeel gently removes rough surface cells with a diamond tip wand. At the same time, debris is suctioned from the skin and pores while a soothing infusion of special-action serum is pressure-assisted into the skin.  The name SilkPeel aptly fits the procedure since your skin will feel silky when the procedure is complete.

SilkPeel moisturizes dry and flaky skin and clarifies oily or acne-prone skin, providing a brightening boost and balance to discolored and imbalanced skin. Simultaneously providing exfoliation and the Dermalinfusion topical delivery technology, SilkPeel goes beyond the effects of traditional microdermabrasion. And because it is non-invasive, patients can immediately return to work or other daily activities immediately following their procedure.

What problems will Silkpeel improve?

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun damage and rough skin
  • Superficial scars
  • Uneven skin tones
  • Acne and acne scarring
  • Dry dehydrated skin

The SilkPeel technology offers a personalized approach, resulting in a fresh feeling and incredible looking skin. This procedure is painless and safe, and desired results are achieved quickly without discomfort or the potential complications of more invasive treatments. To schedule your SilkPeel skin treatment in Phoenix, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com. Dr. Holy will tailor a procedure to meet the specific needs of your individual skin.

Dermatitis Treatments

DermatitisDermatitis treatments vary depending on the cause:

Contact dermatitis. Treatment consists primarily of identifying the cause of the rash and then avoiding it. Sometimes creams containing hydrocortisone or other stronger steroidal creams with or without wet dressings may help relieve redness and itching. It can take as long as two to four weeks for this type of dermatitis to clear up.

Neurodermatitis. Treatment is aimed at controlling the itching, preventing scratching and addressing underlying causes. Hydrocortisone and similar lotions and creams may help soothe your skin. You also may find that wet compresses provide relief. Because anxiety and stress can trigger neurodermatitis, antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs may help prevent the itchiness. Also, counseling can help you learn how your emotions and behaviors can fuel, or prevent, itching and scratching.

Seborrheic dermatitis. Medicated shampoos are usually the first treatment choice. Commonly used shampoos contain tar, pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid or ketoconazole as their active ingredient. Hydrocortisone creams and lotions may soothe non-scalp seborrheic dermatitis.

Stasis dermatitis. Treatment consists of correcting the condition that causes fluid to accumulate in your legs or ankles for extended periods. This may mean wearing elastic support hose or even having varicose vein surgery. You may also use wet dressings to soften the thickened yet fragile skin and to control infection.

Atopic dermatitis. Treatment typically consists of applying hydrocortisone-containing lotions to ease signs and symptoms. If your skin cracks open, your doctor may prescribe wet dressings with mildly astringent properties to contract your skin, reduce secretions and prevent infection. If itching is severe, your doctor may suggest you take antihistamines. Light therapy, which involves exposing your skin to controlled amounts of natural or artificial light, also may help prevent recurrences.

Perioral dermatitis. Treatment for this condition usually involves the oral antibiotic tetracycline. You may need to continue this treatment for several months to prevent a recurrence. Your doctor may prescribe a very mild corticosteroid cream in the initial phase of treatment to reduce signs and symptoms of perioral dermatitis. When stronger corticosteroids are used, the condition may return temporarily and even worsen when the medication is stopped.

For all types of dermatitis, occasional use of over-the-counter antihistamines can reduce itching. If you have a form of dermatitis and would like more information about treatment options, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com today.

Posted: September 4, 2017 By:

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month

Hair LossThe American Academy of Dermatology has designated August as Hair Loss Awareness Month. About 35 million men and 21 million women in the US suffer from hair loss. Hair loss can have a profoundly negative effect on social, personal and professional life.

Common types of hair loss include:

Androgenetic Alopecia: Also called pattern alopecia, this is the most common form of hair loss and affects both men and women. It is a genetically determined disorder and the symptoms change according to one’s gender. Male pattern baldness is characterized by loss of hair on the top and front of the head. Female pattern baldness is characterized by loss of hair on the top and crown of the head. This hair loss in women usually starts in the central part without affecting the frontal line.

Traction Alopecia: This hair loss is produced by constantly pulling the hair, by wearing the same hairstyle daily or using weaves. This type of hair loss can be avoided by taking care of your hair and protecting it from damage.

Alopecia Areata: This type of hair loss occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. Experts do not know why the immune system attacks the follicles. Alopecia areata is most common in people younger than 20, but children and adults of any age and gender may be affected.

Based on your individual situation, you have several options to solve hair loss issues including surgery, laser treatment, topical treatments, hormones and hair building fibers.

While hair loss is a year-round struggle for many, hair loss awareness month is an opportunity to inform and educate those who want to learn more about the condition. If you have noticed thinning, shedding or balding hair, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule a hair loss evaluation with Dr. Holy.

Posted: August 28, 2017 By:

Dermal Fillers for Lips

Dermal FillersLips are an important part of facial beauty. Like our eyes and nose, they are a defining and prominent feature of the face. Lip augmentation using dermal fillers is a procedure that can improve your smile and freshen your face with youthful looking, plumper, softer and smoother-looking lips. This aesthetic treatment is quick, safe and effective and requires no downtime.

Dermal fillers for lips are popular among individuals of all ages looking to rejuvenate their smile. A radiant smile can add youth and vibrancy to your appearance. A simple and safe injection treatment can add volume and definition, balance asymmetric lips or reduce the appearance of fine, vertical lines. It is especially effective for those with naturally thin or thinning lips.

During a thorough consultation in Phoenix with Dr. Holy, he will carefully examine you, discuss your goals and realistic expectations, and recommend the appropriate method of treatment for your lip augmentation. If you decide to receive dermal lip fillers, you may be treated the same day as your consultation.

The procedure begins with a topical anesthetic cream applied to the lips. This ensures that the injections administered by Dr. Holy will only cause minor discomfort. Dr. Holy will then administer the dermal lip filler treatment via tiny injections that are virtually pain free. At the end of the procedure, the areas will be massaged to create a smooth, soft and natural result.

There is no downtime after the procedure. Patients can return to their everyday activities immediately following the treatment. You may experience some bruising, swelling and tenderness which can last between 24 to 48 hours after the injections. You will then be left with plump, voluminous lips.

Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule a consultation or for more information about dermal fillers for lips.

Posted: August 20, 2017 By:


The simple definition of dermatitis is inflammation of the skin. In most cases, the early symptoms of dermatitis are characterized by dry, red, itchy skin. Since many things can irritate the skin, it is helpful to narrow the diagnosis to a specific category of dermatitis, even though treatment can be similar for most types of skin irritation and inflammation.

The categories of dermatitis are:

Contact Dermatitis typically causes the skin to develop a pink or red rash which may or may not itch. Pinpointing the exact cause of contact dermatitis can be difficult. Among plants, the leading culprits are poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac, although contact with certain flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables irritate some people. Common chemical irritants include detergents, soaps, some synthetic fibers, nail polish remover, antiperspirants and formaldehyde (found in permanent-press fabrics, polishes, artificial-fingernail adhesive, particle board and foam insulation). Wearing rubber gloves, unwashed new clothes or plated jewelry can also cause contact dermatitis if the person is allergic to these substances. The inflammation is frequently caused by cosmetics, perfumes, hair dyes, topical medicine and skin-care products.

Nummular Dermatitis consists of distinctive coin-shaped red patches that are most commonly seen on the legs, hands, arms and torso. It is more common in men than women and the peak age of onset is between 55 and 65. Living in a dry environment or taking very hot showers can cause this condition.

Atopic Dermatitis, also called eczema, causes the skin to itch, scale, swell and sometimes blister. This type of eczema usually runs in families and is often associated with allergies, asthma and stress.

Seborrheic Dermatitis consists of greasy, yellowish, or reddish scaling on the scalp and other hairy areas, as well as on the face or genitals, and in skin creases along the nose, under the breasts and elsewhere. This condition is called cradle cap in infants and is likely related to hormonal changes affecting the glands. It may be aggravated by stress.

Stasis Dermatitis is caused by poor circulation and can happen in people with varicose veins, congestive heart failure or other conditions. Veins in the lower legs fail to return blood efficiently, causing pooling of blood and fluid buildup and edema. This leads to irritation, especially around the ankles.

If you have skin inflammation, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy to check for dermatitis or other skin conditions.

Posted: August 13, 2017 By: