Monthly Archives: June 2015

Acne Awareness Month

Did you know June is acne awareness month? I almost let June get away from me without an acne post! I love to treat acne. Acne is evil whether you’re a teenager, a mom, a lawyer, whatever, no one likes to suffer with acne. It’s the best feeling ever to help someone feel their best. I want you all to come see me if you suffer with acne because we have so much we can do to help you. In the clinic we use lasers, prescription creams and pills (including Accutane), light treatments and more! But there is a lot that you can do for your acne without even coming to the dermatologist. Here are some things that you can do to help treat your acne without ever seeing a healthcare provider.

1. Stop picking- Your acne will look worse and stay longer. I know it’s hard but try it, I promise the results are worth it!

2. Benzoyl Peroxide- Leave on tends to work better than a wash but they both can be drying and irritating so beware. Avoid the formulas that add fragrance, color or beads that can cause inflammation and worsen your acne.

3. Use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer- Avoid scrubbing, scrubs, cleansers with beads or fragrances and really anything fancy. The plainer the better. Plain white soap for the win! Elta MD AM moisturizer is one of my favs for acne prone skin.

4. BOB sunscreen- Try to avoid some of the comedogenic sunscreen formulas. Use something really light like the B.O.B (Brush on Block). It is a powder sunscreen that comes out of a fancy brush and goes on clear.

5. Retinol- Retinoids are a group of prescription creams that we use to treat acne. They have a little sister called Retinol. Be aware that all retinols are not created equal. This is a product to splurge on. SkinMedica Retinols are proven to be effective and less irritating, give them a whirl.

I hope you guys all come and see me even if you use these tricks. Have an amazing last few days of Acne Awareness Month! Hope to see you at Johnson Dermatology soon!

XxXx, Nina



Walk a Mile in Your Shoes

You never know what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. When I was an ICU nurse and people would apologize that I had to work on Christmas day I would just thank God that I was working and wasn’t the patient in the bed, fighting for my life on a holiday. We often take our health for granted. As you know, I had a little girl almost 9 weeks ago. She had, what I felt, was an awful rash.  She also has a few other problems that we are having to see doctors for and I’m getting a real taste of what it is like being on the other side. Wondering if a call at a certain time means something bad or something good, wondering if I can trust the doctors taking care of my baby, wondering if there is anything I can do. Being sick is a very helpless feeling. To all my patients that I have scared or confused or made things any harder than they already were when you trusted me to help you with acne, a weird mole or rash, I apologize. My hope is that you will always feel comfortable with me. With all that being said I would like to list the top five things someone with a rash doesn’t want to hear. These were the things people said to me when Stevie had a rash that drove the “patient” me (not the health provider me) bonkers.

1. “Is she contagious?” Okay, you’re holding my baby and kissing her and you think I’m just allowing that knowing you’re gonna wake up tomorrow with this funky rash all over your face?!?! No, she isn’t contagious. If we have an obvious rash we will let you know if we are contagious.

2. “Have you tried _______?” I appreciate your advice, sort of, well actually no I don’t. I saw a doctor and they told me what to do. I know you are trying to help but you are making me feel like I’m not doing something that I’m supposed to be doing. You can’t wave a magic wand and make a rash go away in the blink of an eye. Trust me, I’m working on it.

3. “That looks like it hurts.” How do you respond to that? “Yes, it hurts, thanks for noticing.” ???

4. “Who is your doctor?” Does that imply that you don’t think they are doing a good job? Or that you want to make sure you don’t go there? I felt so self conscious being a dermatology nurse practitioner and having a baby with a rash. I felt like people thought I must not know what to do.

5. “How long does that last?” That is the million dollar question. Wish I knew. Asking me just reminds me that I don’t know how long I have to suffer with this rash down to the minute.

Everything that happens in life is an opportunity to change for the better. I wish you all the blessings of change, of making life better. I think I’m a better healthcare provider for having a baby with a rash so I guess it wasn’t SUCH a bad thing.

Hope to see you all this week. It’s amazing to be back at work at Johnson Dermatology so I hope I get to see you and share some of my JOY with you!

XX, Nina

Hair Style Summer Fun

Sorry I’ve been MIA! Moving, maternity leave, 7 week old baby, two year old… it’s got me a little twisted. Today I got to do one of my favorite things though, hit the salon! I love a good shampoo, cut, color and style. Dermatologists are experts of the skin, hair and nails. Lets get real, a LOT of dermatologist don’t stay up to date on what’s “in” for the hair, nails and skin. I on the other hand refuse to leave the age of 29 and I try my hardest to stay a hip, young, Maltese chick. My hairdresser, Caroline Mackey is super cool and stylin. She keeps my hair on fleek.  If you don’t have a hair dresser, all the girls at Roots salon are fabulux. Today, while I got my hair did, I interviewed Caroline about what’s hip, what’s not and how to keep our hair stylin’ this Summer. She is just too cool to keep all her amazingness to myself and my patients so I have to share with my blog followers too. Hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

Nina: What is the hottest hair trend right now?

Caroline: Balayage hair color, the California look. Very “beach meets festival” look.  Long hair is it. Braids are super hot right now too.

Nina: Pink, purple and even grey seem to be hot colors on the celebs right now. How can a professional woman like myself get in on that trend without loosing my “professional look” while at work?

Caroline: Try some of the temporary sprays for a weekend or an event. They wash out after you wear them. Also, keep it classy by only applying the color to the tips of your hair or “peek-a-boos”not a whole head of purple hair.

Nina: As you know, I love not washing my hair for days or “no-poo” but I’ve wondered how long is too long to go without shampooing? Like how long before I become dread locks?

Caroline: If it looks greasy it’s time to wash but if you can use a dry shampoo and can’t tell you haven’t washed then just keep going. Brunettes usually can’t go as long as blondes because brunettes look “greasy” quicker than blondes do. On average, brunettes can go about 3 days and blondes about 5 days and then it’s time for a wash.

Nina: I know I’ve seen some girls gone dry, damaged and even green after a Summer spent in chlorine. What is a product and procedure you recommend to prevent our pool hoppers’ hair from going bad this Summer?

Caroline: Before you get in the pool dampen your hair (those showers are there for a reason) and apply a good leave in conditioner. My favorite is Davines because it is all organic. If you start going green get Three shampoo from Paul Mitchell. It cleanses the hair and removes the green.

Nina: What cut or style annoys you? Like when they sit down in your chair, looking at it makes your skin crawl!

Caroline: Mullet haircuts…. not Joe Dirt Mullet but when a girl comes in and the front is damaged and short bang-like but the rest/back is long. She doesn’t want to lose her length so she won’t let you cut it, not realizing she is rocking a mullet!  Oh, oh, AND thick, blunt ends.

Nina: All women love the feeling at the end of the day of taking off that bra. Am I right, or am I right?!?! After I have been in a pony tail all day I have that same feeling. It just feels so good to get my hair out of that cute little pony tail! What styling advice do you have for girls who get headaches or just sore scalp after wearing a ponytail for an extended period of time?

Caroline: Ponytail pain is usually caused by using too tight of a ponytail or dry scalp. Try to switch from a high ponytail to a lower one at your nape area. Paul Mitchell tea tree scalp treatment is awesome for dry scalp. When your hair is sore just massage your scalp. Nina sidenote: I’m going to try braids instead of my go-to ponytail look and move my sock bun down and make it messier and looser for a trendier, more comfy look! Also, we have lots of tricks for dry scalp, if you suffer from dry scalp make an appointment at Johnson Dermatology. This is a problem we are really good at fixing!

Nina: We all want to look skinny, right? I mean nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, right? (other than  a good chocolate cake with a glass of wine) So, is there a cut or color that will thin your face?

Caroline: Most cuts and colors to make your face look thinner have to do with detail. For cuts, try bangs if you have a large enough forehead and try some layers or face framing. As for color, pick a color that compliments your eyes and it will take the focus off your face. It’s all about balance.

Thank you Caroline for my new do and keeping me up-to-date with all the cool kids!

To schedule an appointment with Caroline or one of her ah-mazing staff at Roots call 479-226-9330!

Stay Hairtastic, Nina