A Q & A with Kristy Fleming, MD, FAAD
Board-Certified Dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon
Question: Why is fall the season for dermatology?
In truth, many dermatologic treatments are technically a form of very controlled skin damage. Damage activates the bodies innate repair system to replace old injured cells with new healthy cells, generate collagen, and restore fragmented elastin. Temperate fall weather provides a much more comfortable healing environment than the summer heat of Southern California.
2. Untanned Skin
Lasers are incredibly powerful exact devices designed to target a precise wavelength (color). Be it brown sunspots on the face, red vessels around the nose, or hair on the legs, the laser treatment is most safe and effective when there is the greatest differentiation between your skin color and the desired target.
3. Sun avoidance
One of my favorite treatments is photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT is a medical procedure that clears pre-cancers (so usually covered by Medicare/most insurance companies), but also provides an excellent cosmetic result.
However, this treatment requires strict sun protection. I tell my patients: “Pretend you are allergic to the sun. Better yet, pretend you are a vampire.” Even a quick jaunt to the mailbox without appropriate sun protection will leave you feeling like your skin is on fire!
4. The Holiday Rush
The holidays are quickly approaching and everyone is eager to look their best for visiting family and annual parties. This is our busiest time of year for cosmetic treatments and appointment availability can be scarce. Nevertheless, we can almost always accommodate a “Botox emergency.”
Quick tip: If you have a big event, we recommend scheduling your cosmetic procedure at least 2 weeks prior in order to ensure you’re looking your best!
The holidays also mean schools are on break. This is a great time for kids and college students to catch up on their skin issues without having to miss school or incur additional travel expenses.
5. Insurance Woes
Unfortunately, medical insurances dictate much of our ability to treat our patients. Some patients are losing their insurance at the end of the year, while others have met their extremely high deductible and are anxiously trying to have any outstanding procedures performed before the deductible is reinstated anew. We understand these concerns. Our office stays open during winter break and we frequently extend our hours, but we definitely recommend scheduling your appointment as soon as possible.
Question: Now that summer is over, are we safe to put away our sunblock until next year?
Answer: Definitely not! Don’t be fooled by overcast skies, clouds are poor protection from harmful UV rays. I’ve treated many patients with severe sunburns who mistakenly believed sunblock was unnecessary without sunshine.
Fleming Dermatology & Aesthetic Center
23141 Moulton Parkway, Suite 110, Laguna Hills
(949) 916-5956 | FlemingDerm.com