Monthly Archives: September 2016

Clinical Trial Game Strong!

Dr. Sandy is back! Today she is sharing her insight on clinical trials at Johnson Dermatology. It’s such an honor to have Dr. Sandy in Fort Smith. So many patients have benefited from studies that wouldn’t be in our community without her hard work! Here’s one of my favorites frI’m Dr. Sandy….


Are you someone who watches the commercials on TV or reads the advertisements about new medications or treatments? Have you ever wondered how those treatments became available? Have you ever wished there was a better option to treat your condition(s)? Have you ever wanted to personally benefit while helping the world as a whole?

I know that Nina usually does not ask questions of her readers but I am interested to know what your answers or thoughts are to the above questions. (Thank you Nina for sharing your blog again with me. ) Clinical trials provide an avenue for people to participate in research that potentially may help the world and themselves at the same time. The clinical trials and research team at Johnson Dermatology has been very busy. Crystal, Christa and Lara are our trained clinical trials coordinators. They are currently enrolling patients/subjects/people with the following conditions: warts, acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea. Participating in a clinical trial as opposed to receiving regular standard medical care has pros and cons. In my opinion, I think the pros often outweigh the cons—depending on the study. We have turned away many studies if I think the risks of treatment outweigh and potential benefits for the individual participant in the study. This is important to us because the study participant also happens to be our patient. As a physician, I took an oath to first do no harm—I take that oath seriously and so only offer approved or study treatments that I feel offer a great risk/benefit ratio.

Some of the pros of participating in a clinical trial are that you personally help to advance science, you may get cutting edge treatment that is not yet available to the general public at no cost to you, you often get financially compensated for your time, and you are closely monitored by us, the sponsor, the government and many others—yes Big Brother is definitely watching every move in a clinical trial. Some of the cons are that in certain studies you may get placebo (not actual treatment), it often requires more office visits, it often requires keeping a diary and some work on your part.

Obviously, I am a science nerd and am therefore biased. I love clinical medicine and research. The first clinical trial that I participated in was a project assigned to me by the Chair of Dermatology at UAMS during residency in 1997. It was testing Candida skin test antigen for the treatment of warts. That project was exciting. Now, almost 20 years later, I am still studying warts and conducting research. This project also provided me with lots of opportunity to which I am grateful. Even though my family and friends don’t care that I got to work on the medications that are now advertised on television to treat psoriasis, I know and care. Since they don’t care, I am going to share with you that I have been awarded 8 grants and 3 patents. I have participated in more than 40 clinical trials and have written more than 60 scientific articles. I coauthored a book on warts with my mentor Dr. Bob Brodell (to whom I am forever indebted). Since all of that work and $4 will get me my favorite drink at Moka Joe’s (skinny non fat vanilla steamer), I must admit that the best part of clinical research is that I have gotten to closely interact with many international experts and wonderful patients in the past 20 years. Personally, it is so rewarding. One of the best rewards is that one of our patients in her 50’s who has suffered with a debilitating skin condition all of her life now has had clear skin for the past year from treatment from one of the medicines in one of our trials. She acts like a new person—we can tell she is not only healthier, she is also happier. She is one of the many reasons that I love what I do. I truly am blessed to do what I do. I am honored to work with 50 amazing people at Johnson Dermatology. I am honored that together we are able to provide the highest level of Dermatologic care. We not only offer clinical trials so that our patients can receive novel therapies and treatments at no cost. We also offer Mohs surgery, skin surgeries, cosmetic services, injections, skin care education, lasers, light devices, body contouring, allergy testing for contact dermatitis, as well as dermatologic/skin care for all ages from birth until natural death. Thank you all for trusting us with your skin care wants and needs during the past 10 years. We still can’t stop the feeling.

Stay skintastic, Dr. Sandy

Dr. Sandy after only one Ultrashape treatment.

Body Contouring

Dr. Sandy is joining us to talk about body contouring. This is the word we use to describe the non-invasive devices and procedures that dissolve fat, treat cellulite and tighten the skin.

Thank you Nina for allowing me to share my thoughts with your blog readers again. Most of you know that I love to exercise, especially run. Yet despite trying to do all of the right things, I still have annoying pockets of fat that will not go away. For years, I have been researching all of the available technologies for a non-surgical way to permanently get rid of fat. Earlier this year, Honey, Nina, Shelly and I really got serious in our exploration of these devices. This is really credited to Honey because she thought there were a few devices that really worked and had good science. We, especially Honey since she is such a research nerd, narrowed our focus to 3 devices—coolsculpting, sculpsure, and ultrashape/ultrashape power. We read a lot, talked with peers across the country, experimented with the various devices and finally chose Ultrashape. Our diligence in research has paid off because after a few months, the results that we and our patients are achieving have surpassed our expectations.

In addition to adding the Ultrashape to our practice, we have also offer Kybella, Velashape and subcision to enhance our figures. Here is the “skinny” on these 3 treatments.

Kybella—Kybella is an FDA approved treatment to permanently dissolve the fat under the chin. It is used to treat “submental fullness”. Since we were one of the first 10 clinics in Arkansas approved by Allergan to inject kybella, we have a lot of experience and are loving the results allowing patients to put their best chin forward. FYI, even Nina and her husband Jarrard have been treated with kybella. If you are interested, we have many videos where Nina and I inject kybella on the Johnson Dermatology Facebook page.

Velashape—Velashape is a wonderful adjunct to Ultrashape Power offering our patients (and us) a way to reduce circumference (the size of my thighs) and cellulite.

Real Johnson Dermatology patient results!
Real Johnson Dermatology patient results!

Subcision—Subcision is a minor surgical procedure we offer in clinic independently or in combination with sublative or velashape treatments. As opposed to the newer treatments and technologies we offer, we have been offering subcision since I graduated medical school 20 years ago. It is a tried and true treatment.

Johnson Dermatology patient after one subcision and sublative session.
Johnson Dermatology patient after one subcision and sublative session.

In case you were wondering how we compared the fat busting devices, here is a chart that we used. I would like to give one more shout out to Honey and Shelly for putting in so much time and energy for allowing us to make the no brainer decision to add Ultrashape Power to our clinic. My jeans and I thank you.image

My before and after 1 treatment with Ultrashape versus Nina’s before and after 1 treatment with Sculpsure

Dr. Sandy after only one Ultrashape treatment.
Dr. Sandy after only one Ultrashape treatment.
Nina before and 3 months after the one recommended Sculpsure treatment.
Nina before and 3 months after the one recommended Sculpsure treatment.

Thank you Dr. Sandy for sharing your knowledge with all my blog readers. I know everyone enjoys learning from you as much as I do. Please join us live on Johnson Dermatology Facebook tomorrow evening to watch a live Ultrashape procedure and participate in Q&A.

If you have any questions or would like a consult for any of the body contouring techniques please e-mail or call the clinic at 479-649-3376. Have a great week everyone!

Stay skintastic, Nina

Dr.Sandy Says

Thank you Nina for allowing me to share some thoughts on your blog. I have been thinking a lot lately about my top tips for the skin. I have really been enjoying the regular snap chat skin tips that you are sharing. We all know that the skin is the largest organ of the body. It is the first organ that people look at when they look at us and judge us. The skin is very important when making first impressions. We all want to take great care of our skin. We want healthy, happy and beautiful skin. It is also advantageous in professional relations and business to have beautiful skin. Did you know that attractive people earn an average of 3 or 4 percent more than people with below-average looks? This is published information in the book “Beauty Pay: why attractive people are more successful” written by Daniel Hamermesh. The trouble is, who do you trust when it comes to the health and beauty of your skin? I think the answer is simple—your dermatologist, but then again I am biased. Dermatologists study the skin for at least 4 years in residency after medical school and college. We love skin. We look at skin all day. We promote healthy skin. Etc. I plan to give you my top practical solutions not just for beautiful skin but also for increased business success. These are some practical solutions to stay skintastic.

Be a nerd. Use science. Trust someone who loves skin. Trust someone who has read the textbooks.image

Make good choices. Eat well, Drink water, Exercise, keep stress low, get enough sleep, pray. All of the habits that are good for our body are also great for our skin.image

Keep your sunblock next to your toothbrush so you remember to use it daily. Good habits matter. Also choose a product that truly protects against UV radiation and environmental toxins as well as repairs damage.image

Invest in a good bikini. Protect your skin.image
Get your skin checked at least yearly by your dermatologist. Skin cancer affects 1 in 5 people. At Johnson Dermatology, we not only provide comprehensive skin care but we also specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.image

Put your moisturizer in the shower. It is much easier to stay greasy when you apply a thick cream after you pat dry in the shower. Dry skin becomes unhappy skin.image

Ingredients matter. White petrolatum is a great moisturizer and treatment for irritated skin. Vaporizing rub is great for treating unhappy toenails and fingernails as well as many other conditions. Science, not cost, is what matters when maintaining skin health.image

Again, ingredients matter. I personally chose ingredients that I believe in to apply to my skin. I use retinol to reverse the damage I cause as well as to build collagen which in turn prevents wrinkles and skin cancer. I apply TNS growth factors to help keep my skin juicy and firm. I apply HA5 which helps my skin produce more hyaluronic acid and appear less red and scaly.image

I feel naked without a great lip color. I admit it that I like accessories. I chose a lip color that accentuates my skin and my mood.image
Most people will tell you the eyes are the window to the soul. There are many tricks to keep your eyes, and soul, looking young. Check out the April 17, 2016 edition of for practical ways to keep the eyes looking skintastic.image
Finally, we all need a little work every now and then to stay skintastic. Think of all of the previous suggestions as ways to keep your skin/car running and looking good. However even with great daily maintenance, we all need a little tune-up every so often. I personally rely on a regular schedule of laser treatments as well as injections of Botox Cosmetic, Juvederm ultra plus and Voluma to keep up my skin health and beauty.image

If you have any other questions or concerns about your skin, please contact us at Johnson Dermatology for an appointment or for a free consult with one of our skin care educators. I am so excited that our clinic team, technologies offered and buildings are growing. We now have 6 providers Dr Brad, Dr Amy (our dermatopathologist), Dr. Nelson, Honey, Nina (of course) and myself. We are here to help you and your skin. We would love to help you earn that extra 3-4% of income. Stay skintastic.

Thank you so much Dr. Sandy for being the best mentor. Thank you for always sharing your knowledge with all of us! You always have the best guest blog post!


Labor Day is always the perfect 3-day weekend to say Good-Bye to Summer. I’ve already had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season and since college football has started I think we are all feeling Fall approaching. I saw lots of you celebrating outdoors this weekend. People were experiencing the Unexpected tour in Fort Smith (so cool if you haven’t checked it out), enjoying the lake, attending football games, spending time in the pool and barbequeing in backyards. Along with all this outdoor fun I’m sure some of you got a {insert gasp} sunburn. Here are some tips for taking care of your skin after sunburn.

  1. Hydrate. Drink extra water. Hydrate your skin too. Use lots of moisturizer. More than usual. I recommend a plain thick white cream that comes in a jar. Think cream not lotion, jar not pump, plain not fancy. I like Cerave, Cetaphil and Vanicream brands.
  2. Avoid gimmicks. Every year I see some new over the counter miracle sun burn reliever. “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is” is a famous saying for a reason. Avoid high fragrances, colors (including green and pink) and other additives that can dry out the skin or irritate it.
  3. Use hydrocortisone. If you want an over the counter to rub on I usually recommend hydrocortisone to decrease the inflammation. Just be careful about putting it on the face- extended use can cause acne, thinning of the skin and even stretch marks.
  4. Cool showers and ibuprofen for pain. People are often tempted to use over the counter lidocaine or benzocaine creams for the pain but these can actually irritate the skin. Cool showers help decrease the heat in the skin.
  5. Leave blisters alone. Don’t pick and pull off blisters. Let them heal and protect you from infection. If you peel off the roof of a blister it can put you at increased risk of infection.

If you feel sick or dizzy you may need to seek medical help. I hope you all followed all my sun protection advice previously given and don’t need these tips but if you did get a sunburn I got your back (or shoulders or face or wherever you burned). There is so much going on at the clinic this month that you can’t miss out on! If you don’t follow us on snapchat-go now (jdermatology) because I’m doing a morning show series with Bridgett (cosmetic coordinator assistant) giving skin tips daily and it’s really fun. Thursday evening we are having live Kybella injections and if you come watch you are entered to win a year of Botox or Voluma! We are going to have a HUGE loop giveaway on Instagram (jdermatology) this month so go follow us there too! Oh and we are giving away a skin make over to one deserving person on Facebook live Thursday so follow us there too and watch the magic happen!!!

Happy Labor Day everyone! Can’t wait to see you all this September because it’s going to be the best yet!!!

XOXO, Nina