Monthly Archives: April 2015

Styling Sun Protective Clothing

I spend most of my day educating patients. What is common sense to me (someone working in healthcare) is often very foreign to the general public. My husband gets so irritated when I use medical jargon like he should know what I’m talking about. You say “mole”, I say “congenital compound nevus”, what’s the big deal?!?! Anyways, with Summer approaching I try to mention to all my patients to remember their sun smart behaviors, with emphasis on sun protective clothing and how to properly use sunscreen. Sunscreen is great but sun protective clothing trumps that. Think of sunscreen as your screen door that keeps most stuff out but sun protective clothing as your wooden front door that protects you from the outside elements even better. People always laugh at me when I say they should be wearing long sleeves and pants in August in Arkansas. But I don’t think they realize I do it in style. I might slightly stretch the rules, don’t we all? As I tell my husband often when he forgets to tell me, I make sun protective clothing look good. As you all know, I love local shopping. This Thursday, April 30th at 6:30 at TGIF’s (Friday’s Restaurant) Hazels Haven (one of my favorite local boutiques) is having a fashion show and those who attend get 25% off a new arrival item! I encourage you all to go have some fun and get a discount. I thought I would show you some of Hazels Haven pieces that I think are stylish and sun protective this Summer. Here are my go to Stylin Summer Sun protective picks.

1. A good wide brim hat. Protect your neck, ears and face with some shade in style. Hats are a perfect accessory to almost any summer outfit.


2. Maxi dress- I love maxi dresses during the hot summer months because they are cool and airy but protect your legs from sun exposure. If you pick one like this pink one from Hazels Haven shown below then just add a light kimono or get really fancy and carry an umbrella that can offer shade to your chest, face and arms. Anything not covered with clothing needs to be covered with broad band, water resistant, at least 30 SPF sunscreen every 2 hours while you are out and about.


3. Long sleeves and pants made with an airy material. These are so in style right now. I’m seeing them everywhere. Printed pants are cooler than jeans during hot days and make a statement.  Win-win!


4. Jeans- It amazes me that my step-sons will wear jeans in any weather. I mean he took jeans to the beach for Spring Break. I ain’t complaining either, my husband says  they are much cooler than they are sensible as teenagers.  I beg to differ, I tell myself they are protecting their legs from sun exposure because they are so smart and health conscience.  Pick a pair of “summer jeans” that are white or pale pink or just have a really worn look. Throw on a pair of jeans with a tee and a kimono or dress them up with heels and a tunic, either way you will be protected from sun exposure and looking hip!


All the pieces shown here can be found at Hazels Haven. May is Melanoma Awareness Month so go pick up some styling sun protective clothing to celebrate! Hope to see you all at the fashion show on Thursday, it should be a fun time! I would also like to take the time to mention that I have a 6 day old little girl and literally am having trouble keeping up with what day it is so you may find my posts over the next couple months don’t always fall on Sundays! haha, I’m sure you understand.

Until next time I can stay awake long enough to post on the blog, be skintastic, Nina







The Bittersweet

I get induced on Tuesday with my second daughter. Our plan is for this to be our last (hopefully God agrees with our plan). It has been such a bittersweet weekend for me. I’m excited to give birth to another child but less than excited about the actual labor. I can’t wait for Charlee (my 2 year old) to have a sister but I’m sad she won’t get the attention of an only child. It’s amazing thinking about getting my body back to its old self but depressing thinking about how I will never feel a little miracle kicking and growing inside of me again. All weekend I have been trying to cherish every moment of just the three of us. I’ve been taking pictures of things that aren’t good photo ops just because I want to remember that exact moment. We went out to eat dinner last night just the three of us and as I watched my husband carry out my daughter I almost came to tears taking a picture of it, thinking we will have two next weekend, it will never be just the three of us again. Happy tears, but so bittersweet.



Change is difficult, it doesn’t come natural to us humans. We really are creatures of habit. The only way to get through change is to appreciate the bitter and then focus on the sweet. Because happy people always let the sweet outweigh the bitter. In dermatology we see this a lot. For example, in acne we get rid of all the “blackheads” and pustules and “bumps” but then once your acne is clear the discolorations or scarring are more apparent because they aren’t camoflauged with acne. Your acne is gone, SWEET! You have discolorations and scars now, BITTER. Happy people are just excited their acne is gone and that’s what they focus on while we treat their scarring with laser or whatever other treatment. Sad people just get discouraged that their skin doesn’t look like the Proactive infomercials and give up on their skin. We see it often after cosmetic procedures like Botox and Fillers. We fix the “big” problems like deep lines and then all the patient can notice is the tiny small fine line left behind. Happy people are so excited that the Botox and Filler fixed the big problems they came in for. Sad people just focus on the fine, tiny line they never noticed before and feel dissappointed. So this week when I have my baby I’m going to role model after all my happy patients. All my patients that know how to be satisfied, happy people just by how they deal with the bittersweet situations in life. I admire those positive thinkers that always make the sweet take control of the bitter. Part of why I love my job is being around all you people that inspire me to make my life better. I love all you patients that teach me lessons like how to deal with change and the bittersweet. I know you didn’t get a lot of skin advice this week but I hope you all will consider this post to be sweet.

This is my last post pregnant and I can’t wait to talk at ya next week with a wild sleep deprived post! See you Monday if you need any last minute skin stuff, Nina





Tattoo Talk

The time of year when tattoos are being shown off has approached. Tattoos have gone through phases over the decades in terms of popularity. It seems the young folks have a thing for them at the current time (my 20 year old step-son included). There are some risks to your skin that you probably never thought of that I think you should know before deciding to get a tattoo. Risks other than the idea that maybe you aren’t going to want your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s name tattooed on your right buttock forever. Here are a few things to consider for your skin health before you tattoo it forever.

1. Infection- I think people are of the idea that if they go to a “clean” or “reputable” tattoo parlor then they don’t have to worry about infection. Here is the thing.  Any time you break the skin barrier you are opening yourself up for infection. Ever heard of CA-MRSA? It stands for community acquired methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus which is a bacteria that lives all over our city and a lot of antibiotics don’t work at getting rid of it. If you come in contact with it and your skin is intact then you could probably be carrying it without any symptoms at all, then you get a tattoo and boom! Cellulitis or even an abscess (boil) in your tattoo that could then require drainage or antibiotics or worse, surgery. This could result in damage to the way the tattoo looks and likely a whole lot of unwanted pain.

2. Allergic Reaction- You could be allergic to the tattoo ink. And since every color and type of ink used is different you could have lots of tattoos and then all of the sudden get one to which you have a reaction. This can cause the tattoo to raise up and itch and get crusty and flat out miserable and ugly-not what you were going for I’m sure. Sometimes we can inject steroids into the tattoo to help this problem, sometimes we have to laser it to try to get the ink out of your skin. Sometimes they have to be cut out and replaced with a scar. If it’s a large tattoo this can be a real problem.

3. Skin cancer can hide in your tattoo- Think about it. If you have a black spot of melanoma arise on your natural colored skin it is going to be much easier to recognize than a black spot hiding in a black tattoo. It could delay diagnosis if hiding well enough. If you do have tattoos be aware of this and check them even closer for new or changing moles.

4. You change- Not only do your opinions, likes, dislikes and beliefs change with age but your skin changes too. Not only do you have to worry about the fact that you may not like the tattoo in 40 years, you also have to worry about whether or not a tattoo on your belly is going to look the same after 3 kids. I mean a stretch mark through a heart could actually look cool, turn it into an arrow or something. My eyebrows are lower than when I was 20 so keep this in mind when you ladies go get permanent make-up…. your eyelids most def will be lower in 30 years after all that gravity takes its toll.

5. They hurt- This isn’t a risk really, more like a fact. It’s just one of the main reasons I don’t have a tattoo, ouch! It amazes me how many people fear getting their blood drawn yet have multiple tattoos? huh?

I actually do like tattoos, on other people. I just feel for the people that have one of the above happen to them and feel helpless or feel like no one ever told them these things could happen. I’m for sure not saying don’t get a tattoo, I just want you to be educated on all the risks so you can weigh them against the benefits properly. IF you change your mind after a tattoo just remember, Johnson Dermatology has a laser to help you get rid of it!

“Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you’ve ever imagined.”  -unknown

Have a happy week, hope to see you at the clinic this week because it’s my last week before maternity leave! Talk atcha soon, Nina

Laser Love

Lasers are some of the coolest tools for skin spruce up…… when used correctly. The trouble is that there are so many “lasers” out there. It’s difficult for the public to chose which laser is best for them and where to go to find it because of all the options. At Johnson Dermatology we have 4 lasers, each one with its own unique purpose. As always, coming in for a consult is always best because often times people who want peels get lasers or people who want lasers get fillers or people who want creams get peels. We have lots of options and each individual might need a combination of treatments or one over the other. Since we are skin experts we are good at you telling us what bothers you and us suggesting a treatment plan that gets you results. With that being said, here is my JD laser run down for dummies.

1. Pulsed Dye Laser- Think of this as a laser for anything red. It works great for broken blood vessels on the face or those “red moles” called angiomas. We use it for small varicosities of the legs, acne, red or pink scars, stretch marks, redness of the face and red birthmarks. This is one of the least painful lasers in my opinion. There is no downtime. Sometimes, depending on how tough we set the settings, you can have some redness or even bruising. For most things we tell people to expect 3-5 treatments one month apart.  We use this laser if you have bruising that we want to go away faster than your body will get rid of the bruise.

2. YAG laser- We use this laser for skin tightening and hair reduction. For hair reduction it only works on dark hairs because the light is targeting pigment (dark) and if the hair is white then the light has nothing to target. We tighten stretch marks or that crepe-like skin of the neck, face, chest or abdomen. With this laser expect 3-5 treatments monthly to get expected results and then a touch-up about once a year (give or take). In my opinion, this laser hurts a little more than the PDL but it’s quick so you can do it.  We also have a “painless ” hair reduction laser. In my opinion this should be called a “less-pain” laser, it still hurts but less than the YAG for hair reduction.

3. ATV laser- This is our tattoo removal laser. It works best on black ink. If you have colored tattoos come in and let us take a look and we can tell you what type of results to expect based on the colors. This dude hurts! We generally numb you with lidocaine injections before your treatment. Number of treatments varies and cost is based on the size of the tattoo. We also use this laser for brown spots. Expect the area lasered to look pretty rough for a week or so. If you have a brown spot on your hand lasered with the ATV it will look like  a blistery sore and then as that heals it lightens and brightens and takes the spot with it. I have seen varying reactions after tattoo lasering but most people have some blistering or at least sore spots over the next week after treatment.

4. Sublative “laser”- This one isn’t actually a laser as in it doesn’t use light to work. This device uses micro-needling combined with radiofrequency. This treatment option can come with some down time. It is awesome for stretch marks, scars such as acne scarring and for tightening of fine lines. I have never seen acne scars improved like I have with this device. One of my favorite things this one does is lines and bags and drooping of the eyelids. Because this isn’t a “light laser” we can get very close to the eyes and it makes a huge difference in the tightness and wrinkles around the eyelids.  After receiving this treatment you can have some redness, swelling and little squares of red dots where the skin was penetrated for about 5-7 days. Some people have no downtime and others have a full week of recovery, each individual is a little different and each area of the body we treat is a little different in terms of reactions to the treatment. I usually recommend you add TNS growth factor to your aftercare regimen with this device to enhance results even more so we have some packages that include that skincare product.  This “laser” can be used on all skin types including dark colored skin.

I get a lot of questions about lasers so I hope this helps.  You can not be tan when you get treated or you run the risk of discoloration so if you are interested now is the time, before Summer hits. We have packages that make each individual treatment cheaper too.

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine. “-Dwight L. Moody

So this week let your light shine, or let us shine a light on you that helps your inner light shine! Either way, keep it skintastic! Happy Easter to all! -Nina