Hair Loss

Hair loss, medically referred to as alopecia, is a common complaint among patients visiting the dermatologist and can be the source of significant physical and psychological stress.

Hair loss can appear in many different ways depending on the problem that’s causing it. It can come on suddenly or gradually and affect just your scalp or your whole body. Some types of hair loss are temporary, while others are permanent.

As we age our hair naturally begins to thin. For both men and women, the most common cause of hair loss is heredity. Other contributing factors may include underlying medical or hormonal problems, medications, excessive weight loss, stress, chemotherapy or radiation.

Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include:

Gradual thinning on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead. Women typically retain a line of hair at the forehead but experience a broadening of the part in their hair.

Circular or patchy bald spots. Some people experience smooth bald spots, often about an inch across. This type of hair loss usually affects just the scalp, but it sometimes also occurs in beards or eyebrows. In some cases your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair falls out.

Sudden loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or even after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.

Full-body hair loss. Some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back after treatment ends.

The key to properly treating hair loss is having a board certified dermatologist who is experienced in hair loss diagnose the cause of your hair loss. At The Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix, Dr. Holy will evaluate your condition and discuss a customized treatment plan created just for you.

If you have noticed hair loss, contact us at 602-867-7546 or to schedule a consultation today.

Posted: August 19, 2018 By:

Types of Acne Scars

Acne scars are one of the most frustrating aspects of acne. Severe acne can leave patients with deep marks and raised scars on the surface of the skin, and sometimes these marks can seem impossible to treat. There are various types of acne scars; they come in many shapes and colors and may be raised or depressed. Understanding the type of acne scar your skin exhibits is essential when learning ways to treat them and avoid permanent scarring.

Depressed Scars: Pitted acne scars are the most common type of scars left behind by severe acne, and these scars generally sit on top of collagen rich scar tissue. This tissue prevents the skin from repairing the deep indentation.

Boxcar Scars: Boxcar scars are characterized by an angular shape and exhibit sharp, vertical edges. Normally found on the temple or cheek, they can develop in a variety of depths. These scars may resemble those left behind after chicken pox.

Ice Pick Scars: Ice pick scars are a common consequence of inflammatory acne breakouts. These types of acne marks look deep, seeming to extend far into the skin.

Rolling Scars: Rolling scars are shallow depressions with broad bases and poorly defined borders. They occur when multiple bands of tissue develop in deeper structures of the skin’s surface and can become more noticeable with age.

Raised Acne Scars: Raised acne scars are less common than pitted scars and are often associated with inflammatory acne. They are often more obvious than depressed scars and may be more difficult to treat.

Keloid Scars: These scars form when excess collagen production causes scar tissue to form in excess, even after the wound is filled in. Collagen is produced to help heal the skin damage, but when this collagen spreads beyond the wound left behind by an acne blemish, larger scars can become raised. The severity of keloid scars varies with different skin types but are more common in patients with darker skin tones.

Hypertrophic Scars: Hypertrophic scars are noticeably raised and may have a lumpy appearance. They are very similar to keloids but tend to be smaller and fade over time and are much more common.

There are numerous treatments available to heal acne scars including laser and light therapies, subcision, dermal injections, chemical peels and more. To learn more about acne scars or if you’re interested in acne treatment in Phoenix, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology today by calling 602-867-7546 or visiting

Posted: August 12, 2018 By:

Cystic Acne

While acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, a small portion of acne sufferers develops cystic acne, the most severe form of Acne Vulgaris. This painful skin condition is characterized by large, inflamed acne lesions that form deep within the skin and result in painful, large bumps visible from the surface. Unfortunately, this ailment can be hard to treat but there are options available to help alleviate the pain and effects associated with this skin condition.

What Causes Cystic Acne?

It’s important to understand the causes of acne. When pores become blocked by excess sebum, skin cells and/or bacteria, an infection can rise up in the pore. Cystic acne is what may result from the most severe types of pore blockages. Those who develop cystic acne struggle with painful lesions under the skin. These acne blemishes are embedded deep within the epidermis, and unlike pimples and pustules, they don’t come to a head on the surface of the skin. Along with painful, inflamed acne lesions, patients with cystic acne may also exhibit numerous comedones, which can be both open or closed, referred to as blackheads and whiteheads, respectively.

A variety of factors including genetics, hormonal changes and lifestyle factors such as stress and diet can contribute to cystic acne.

Cystic Acne Scarring

Long-term cystic acne can produce permanent damage in the form of:

  • small, deep pits, known as icepick scars
  • larger pits
  • shallow depressions in the skin
  • red, raised scars

Treating Cystic Acne

The treatment of severe, cystic acne requires the help of a specialist physician and some self-care measures. Drug treatment can be effective at preventing cysts and scarring.

The first thing you should do if you find a cystic acne growth is to see a dermatologist ASAP. The faster that you attack the acne without allowing it to develop further, the better the chances of healing quickly without a scar.

If you are experiencing acne or other skin issues, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or to schedule an examination with Dr. Holy.

Posted: August 5, 2018 By:

Chemical Peel Side Effects

A chemical peel is a skin resurfacing technique that uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the 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 acid 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 and 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

Posted: July 25, 2018 By:

Wrinkle Prevention

Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. Although they are inevitable, there are things you can do to help prevent them.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Wrinkles typically appear in areas that are most exposed to the sun, such as your face, neck or the back of your hands. The sun’s harmful UV rays damage the DNA in your skin cells, which causes your skin to age and become less elastic.

Some sunlight is important because your skin uses it to produce vitamin D which helps to build and maintain strong bones. However, too much sun is harmful. If you’re going to be out in the sun for extended periods of time, cover up your skin, use sunscreen and seek shady areas. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Stop Smoking

There are many reasons not to smoke, and wrinkled skin is as good of a reason to quit as any. Smoking dries your skin out and narrows your blood vessels. This reduces the supply of oxygen and vital nutrients to your skin and can cause changes to how firm your skin is. So, people who smoke are more likely to have facial wrinkles at a younger age. Puckering up your lips when you smoke also causes lines to form around your mouth.

If you smoke, try to give up. This will be good for your general health, as well as good for your skin.

Stay Hydrated

Healthy skin starts from within. Stay hydrated with water, coconut water and green tea (which is full of antioxidants). Not only is moisturizing from within important, but water rids your body of toxins.

Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

There are several lifestyle changes you can make to help your skin stay youthful and prevent wrinkles:

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Your skin needs a good supply of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Alcohol can dehydrate your skin, leading to wrinkles.
  • Keep active. Simple activities, such as walking, improve circulation and help deliver more oxygen to your skin.

Whether you have just started to notice the first signs of aging on your skin or your wrinkles have already settled in, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or to learn more about wrinkle prevention tips and treatments that can help you look younger.

Posted: July 15, 2018 By:


Dermaplaning is a simple and safe aesthetic procedure for exfoliating the epidermis and ridding the skin of fine vellus hair. Because dermaplaning is a quick procedure with few to no adverse effects, it has quickly gained popularity among medical professionals across the country.

During the procedure in Phoenix, Dr. Holy uses a scalpel and delicate touch to gently scrape the surface of the skin using light feathering strokes. The dermaplaning process takes about 30 minutes and leaves the skin soft and smooth with few to no adverse effects.

Men and women of all ages can benefit from dermaplaning. Important factors that help to determine the effectiveness of treatment include:

  • Skin type
  • Skin coloring
  • Medical history

This is a great treatment for patients who are pregnant or nursing who want skin exfoliation but are not allowed to use peeling agents on their skin because of the risk that the chemicals will be absorbed into the blood stream. It is also a great choice for patients who have excess vellus hair on the skin. This hair often causes a buildup of dirt and oils in the follicles, so removing the hair gives the patient healthier looking skin.

Possible short-term side effects are:

  • Red and swollen skin. It may appear scraped for several days.
  • Tingling, burning or aching may occur.
  • Swelling and scabbing may occur.
  • As the new skin begins to grow, it may appear and feel swollen. The skin may also be sensitive and bright pink in color. Protection from the sun is very important following this type of procedure.

Many patients are often concerned that the hair will grow back heavier and darker after dermaplaning. This is not the case. As long as the hair is superficial vellus hair, it will grow back at the same rate and texture as before the treatment.

To schedule a dermaplaning treatment in Phoenix, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or

Posted: July 8, 2018 By:

Treating Acne Scars

Acne is the most common skin condition in teens and is a problem for 5-10% of adults. Thankfully, we have several treatment options for patients in Phoenix who are dealing with acne and acne scarring.

Controlling Acne

The first step to treating acne scars is to get the acne under control. Depending on the severity, various oral and topical prescriptions may be recommended. Once the active acne is controlled, resulting scars can be treated.

Types of Acne Scars

There are four distinct types of acne scars:

  • Ice Pick Scars – deep, narrow depressions
  • Boxcar Scars – rectangular or oval shaped depressions
  • Rolling Scars – a waved fibrous pattern with soft edges
  • Hypertrophic Scars – raised scars

Acne Scar Treatments

Treatment options for acne scars include lasers, dermal fillers, chemical peels and dermabrasion. Many times a combination of treatments is required to deliver the best results.

  • Laser Resurfacing – Laser treatments ablate the top layer of the skin, making scars shallow and less defined. They also stimulate collagen below the acne scars. Laser treatments are generally not recommended for darker skin types due to possible hyperpigmentation.
  • Dermabrasion – This acne treatment “sands down” acne scars. The abrasive action improves your skin’s contour as a new layer of skin replaces the treated skin, resulting in a smoother, refreshed appearance.
  • Chemical Peels – A chemical peel is a treatment in which a chemical solution is applied to skin to remove the damaged outer layers. These acids chemically exfoliate the top layers of skin. As the treated skin comes off, fresh new skin layer with improved tone, texture and color replaces it. This exfoliation caused by the acne-skin peel eliminates or reduces the appearance of acne blemishes and scars.

At The Center for Advanced Dermatology, our goal is to help you feel good about your skin again. Contact us today at 602-867-7546 or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy. During an examination in Phoenix, Dr. Holy can determine the best option for treating your acne scars.

Posted: July 1, 2018 By:

Kybella Aftercare

Kybella is a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment for the removal of submental fat – a double chin. Kybella is composed of a synthetically produced deoxycholic acid, a compound naturally produced by the liver to break down fat. You can now melt away your double chin without liposuction or surgical procedures, just a series of simple injections!

Kybella was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 as a treatment for adults with moderate-to-severe fat below the chin, known as submental fat. For our Kybella patients, a series of simple injections in Phoenix can quickly produce a more youthful profile.

Unlike other injectable treatments, such as dermal fillers or Botox, the results from Kybella are permanent. When properly injected into submental fat, Kybella will permanently dissolve your double chin with no need for any anesthesia.

Most Kybella patients will typically require 2 to 3 treatments, with 15 to 20 injections, according to the custom plan developed for you by Dr. Holy.

After your Kybella treatment, you should expect some swelling and redness. You may also experience bruising, pain, numbness and firmness in the injection site. This will normally last less than 5 days, and for some patients may last up to 14 days. You may have slight swelling of the area for up to a month.

  • You can apply ice in the first 48 hours to help with the swelling and discomfort.  It is important to not place ice directly on the skin.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for 3 days after your treatment.
  • Sleep with your head elevated for 3 nights after your treatment to help minimize swelling.
  • Do not scratch, pick at, massage or manipulate the treatment area.
  • You may apply your normal skin care regimen to the area, including cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen etc.

To find out if Kybella treatment is right for you, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holy.

Posted: June 24, 2018 By:

Options for Lip Augmentation

Full, well defined lips are considered a sign of youthfulness and beauty. Enhancing the lips is a great way to instantly make a person’s face appear more balanced and attractive. Lip augmentation is a popular procedure that adds volume and fullness to the lips. As we age, the volume we once had can depreciate and leave us with thinner, sometimes wrinkled lips. Using a variety of techniques and materials, there are several options to help you achieve a beautiful, sexy pout. For achieving those pouting, beautiful lips, Dr. Holy at Phoenix considers many different options. There are both surgical and non-surgical methods for lip enhancement that have proven quite safe and effective.


Fillers are an excellent and non-permanent way of increasing lip volume. Because Dr. Holy is diligent with placement, the results from fillers can have very natural looking results. Human-based collagen, bovine-based collagen or hyaluronic acid-based fillers can be injected into your lips to restore volume. These fillers last for about 6 months and you will see results almost immediately. Typically, these injections won’t feel any different than natural lips.

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting is a great option for increasing volume in your lips by transferring fat from one part of your body to your lips. Since the fat is your own tissue there is little to no risk of infection or extrusion. As with most fat grafting procedures, the end results can vary over time. As your body settles, only a percentage of the transferred fat will survive which is something to keep in mind because that means over time the results can vary. It is also good to consider that any weight fluctuation can have an effect on the end result.


Lip implants provide permanent lip augmentation with more refined results. The surgery is pretty simple and can take about an hour to complete. Surgically, implants are placed in the top or bottom lip to add volume and create your desired look.

In Phoenix, Dr. Holy can help patients achieve a more aesthetically pleasing look through the various lip enhancement options. To learn more about how to make your lips more voluptuous, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or today.

Posted: June 10, 2018 By:

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal at The Center for Advanced Dermatology is a permanent solution to eliminate unwanted hair. Hair can be removed from nearly any part of the body, treatments are fast and there’s no recovery time.

During laser hair removal in Phoenix, pulsating beams of light target the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The intense heat from the laser damages the follicles, inhibiting future hair growth. Since this procedure works by targeting melanin, it is most effective for people with light skin and dark hair, although advanced technology has made laser hair removal an option for individuals with dark skin as well. Common areas of the body that are treated include legs, underarms, upper lip, chin and bikini line.

Immediately before the treatment, the hair will be trimmed. The laser equipment will be carefully adjusted according to your hair and skin specifications. A cold gel or special cooling device will be applied on the skin to protect the outer layers as well as to help the laser penetrate the skin. The hand-held laser instrument will be held against the skin as the treatment is performed. Small areas such as the upper lip may only take a few minutes, while larger areas, such as the back, may take several hours.

Common side effects include skin irritation, temporary redness, swelling and pain. Laser hair removal may cause the treated skin to become lighter or darker, but this is usually temporary.

A minimum of six treatments is generally recommended depending on the area to be treated. You will start to notice a visible reduction in hair growth from the second or third treatment and the results get better after each treatment. You may require one or two touch-ups per year, but regular waxing and shaving will be a thing of the past!

A consultation with Dr. Holy will help determine what results you can expect based on your needs, skin and hair types. Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology today at 602-867-7546 or to schedule your laser hair removal appointment.

Posted: June 3, 2018 By: