Monthly Archives: April 2017

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Did you guys miss me this weekend? I missed you too. I totally forgot to post because I was busy celebrating. My youngest turned 2 and I turned 29 again. I have lots of blog posts stocked up from Dr. Sandy and myself so get excited for the future of “the skinny on skin”. This week our newest Dermatologist at JD, Dr. Nelson is guest posting. He specializes in skin cancer surgery and is the perfect addition to the JD team. He has a beautiful wife, Ashley and two little, little ones. Did you see the newborn picture of his son Grant on our facebook? Want to meet him in person? Now is the time to call the clinic and let Dr. Nelson do your skin cancer check. It’s a great way to get to know him and welcome him and his family to Fort Smith. Plus, what better way to celebrate Melanoma Awareness Month than with a full body skin exam? While you’re here ask him what skin care products he uses, his skin is JD flawless. (#Brotox) Here is what Dr. Nelson has to tell us all about skin cancer…..

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of skin cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with 3.5 million new cases diagnosed yearly. Approximately 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer during their lifetimes.  There are three major types of skin cancer:  Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma.


BCC and SCC are the two most common types, and have a very good prognosis if detected early. Left untreated, they will continue to grow and possibly spread.  Our clinic diagnoses and treats over 2,500 of these skin cancers in our community per year.


Melanoma is the 3rd most common type of skin cancer, with about 140,000 newly diagnosed melanomas per year.  Melanoma is the type of skin cancer that can spread and cause death.  We diagnose approximately one new patient with melanoma per week.


Some of the most common risk factors for skin cancer include exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds, a history of sunburns, and having light-colored skin. Thankfully skin cancer can be prevented in many cases by protecting their skin; this includes avoiding tanning beds, avoiding the mid-day sun, wearing wide brimmed hats, broad-spectrum sunscreens, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing.


Dermatologists are the experts in skin cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Every patient is unique, and treating their skin cancer treatment must be individualized.  Our team is highly trained in all aspects of skin cancer management and offer a full range of treatment options.


In May, dermatologists across the country will be offering free skin cancer screenings in their community. In the River Valley, Dr. Sandy Johnson and I will be offering free skin cancer screenings on May 1st and May 4th in conjunction with the Reynolds Cancer Support House.  You can contact the Reynolds Cancer Support House at 479-782-6302 for more information.


If you are unable to come to one of the free screenings, we would still encourage you to contact our office at 479-649-3376 to schedule your yearly skin cancer screening.


Garrett Nelson, MD

Board Certified Dermatologist

Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology



Like This?

Haven’t we all wondered why there is no “dislike button” on Facebook? I can only assume it’s because disliking something feels mean and gives negative connotation. I guess that’s a vibe Facebook doesn’t want. They want a place of happiness, positivity and (most importantly) all are welcome here.

Even if we don’t want to admit it we all feel the need to be liked. Last night at 8:30 PM as I was checking out at the grocery store my 2 and 4 year old daughters were climbing all over the carts and pulling at me and being toddlers. The woman behind me said “oh they are so sleepy, huh?”. If I responded truthfully I would have told her how they never go to bed before 9 on weekdays and 10 on weekends. How they climb all over the place and act more like apes than humans most public places. Explain that they only mind other people and my voice goes directly in one ear and out the other. But that’s not what I said. I wanted her to like me and think I was a great Mom not a terrible Mom that had her hooligan toddlers out past bed time. So, I just laughed and explained how they took their time at the restaurant for dinner so we were out later than expected and my sweet innocent kid’s were just worn out and ready for bed. Not a lie, but the truth twisted into a way this random stranger would still like me.

This need to feel liked drives us to act a certain way. It’s why I sometimes avoid product reviews on my blog. I don’t want the people that sell the product or make the product or use the product to not like me. I have realized this is a disservice to my readers. I don’t recommend things based on feelings, money or friendships. I recommend products and procedures based on science. I have a masters degree in the science of nursing. I am literally specifically trained to practice evidence based (scienctifically founded) nursing. So since Bridgett and I have been reviewing products on snapchat we have had multiple requests for the Rodan and Fields review. I thought it was more fitting to put it in a blog but if you want a quick review on any product whatsoever, just snap us (@jdermatology) and we will shout it out.

The unblemish regimen was most requested so that’s what I’m going to address today. If you like this review and want to learn about another regimen they offer just ask me in the comments.

According to the Rodan and Fields website the Unblemish regimen is $120 before shipping. Here are the products/steps with my review.

  1. Sulfur wash. I think sulfur wash is a fine wash for acne treatment. This one however has 40 ingredients (I counted) and one of them is alcohol which is drying. Another is red dye which can trigger perioral dermatitis. And then there is fragrance (yuk) which can irritate and inflame the skin. I would pass.
  2. Second step is a toner. I generally do not recommend toners. No offense to this specific toner I just find them to be more drying and irritating than helpful. I pass on all toners without prejudice to any specific toner.
  3. The third step of the regimen is the “dual intensive acne treatment”. Its active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide 5%. Benzoyl Peroxide is an ingredient that I recommend all my acne patients use if they have never had an intolerance before. Here’s the thing about this specific one- it’s got over 40 inactive ingredients that are unnecessary in my opinion. Number one inactive ingredient is water, number three is benzyl alcohol. This is 2 chambers of 0.76 ounces. Now here is my real problem. Go to Wal-Mart and get equate brand benzoyl peroxide gel 10% and it only has 6 ingredients! Simple basic- gets the job done for $3.13 in a 1 ounce package. I mean….. you pick.
  4. The final step in the regimen is an oil control lotion broad spectrum SPF 20. Now that just annoys me. If this is a truely dermatologist made brand then why only SPF 20? The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of at least 30 and most derms agree. I’m thinking in my head “girl if derms really put their minds into this, they at least would have gotren the sunscreen right!”….. c’mon sunscreen is like the peanut butter to our jelly, the fries to our cheeseburger, get it together!

Overall I do like that this regimen has a benzoyl peroxide and that it is only 4 steps. I don’t like that there is no retinol. Any derm expert will tell you that after benzoyl peroxide you should be on a retinol or prescribe you a retinoid if you have acne and aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding. I also don’t like the price point. In my opinion you can get the same active ingredients MUCH cheaper. I don’t enjoy talking about products I don’t recommend. It makes me feel like I am gossiping behind people’s back. But I consider all my readers my friends and I am just giving you my opinion. I follow the American Academy of Dermatology guidelines for treating acne which is evidence based. There are lots of opinions out there and I hope mine doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. I must say that particular sunscreen hurt my feelings though. I do hope that my opinions help someone’s skin. Someone who might read my blog and go to wal-Mart and get some equate BPO and have less acne for $3.13. If I help just one person, then it’s worth the few that may not like me. We do everything with a purpose, right? Sometimes it can’t just be so that you like me.

Happy Easter, hope you’re hoppy with this blog, Nina


Team JD Behind the Scenes

Who wants to hear some of the behind the scenes JD work that was done this weekend? Dr. Sandy guest post is another amazing one. Be sure you follow us on snapchat (jdermatology) to follow along with her there too!
Ellie Goulding sings “I do what I love and I love what I do”. Well, Ellie and I have this in common. Fortunately, I work with a team of people who feel the same. At Johnson Dermatology, we strive to give every patient the very best experience and outcome when they contact and interact with our clinic. From the time you choose to contact us via phone, email, social media, etc to when you come to the clinic to when you are at home following your skin care program and every step in between, we want you to feel skintastic.
In order to create this experience, we work a lot behind the scenes outside of regular patient care hours. These include team meetings, team trainings and team parties. We apply extra effort as a team and as individuals. For example, Dr Nelson just attended the national American Academy of Dermatology meeting. Lisa, our lab manager, visited 2 other labs in the state to ensure that our patients get the best pathology experience and results.
I am not sure what you did this weekend but Crystal and Christa, two of our clinical trials coordinators, attended an investigator meeting in Chicago so that we can offer another great clinical trial to our patients suffering with eczema. I spent the weekend at a skin care educational event where I was honored to present some of our research and experience at Johnson Dermatology. It was fantastic. I got to share the stage with amazing people and scientists. We chatted about a new product from Skin Medica called the HA5 lip plump system. The basic science rocks. The results from our patients and other patients from around the country however exceeded results. The JD team is excited to share this product with you. Just wait until you personally get to experience the enhanced results when you combine our lip injections in the office with your at home applications of HA5!!!

It was also rewarding to share my personal story how HA5 has improved my rosacea so much that I no longer use prescription products and “need” lasered less often.

One of the best parts was being able to #brag about our awesome team. It may take a village to raise a child but it takes a team to provide the highest level of effective, efficient, empathic and empowering care (our motto). So thank you to the JD team for all that you do and thank you to every person who trusts us with the care of their skin—whether in clinic or online. Without you, we would not be able to do what we love and love what we do.

Stay Skintastic, Dr. Sandy


Rosacea Awareness Month

An estimated 16 million Americans are effected by rosacea according to the National Rosacea Society. They have great resources at for people who want to learn more about rosacea. Rosacea has four subtypes including redness, papules and pustules (pimples), skin thickening and ocular (in the eyes). Even though we can not cure rosacea we can control its symptoms. Similar to the nature of high blood pressure you can take a pill to make your blood pressure normal but it isn’t cured because if you stop your medicine the symptoms return. There are lots of options and I recommend you make an appointment with your dermatologist to hear what would suit you best. Here are some of the exciting options we have at JD changing the game in Rosacea.

  1. Pulsed dye laser- works well for redness, broken blood vessels and “pimples”. We recommend 3-5 monthly treatments for semi-permanent results. You will likely need a “touch-up” treatment about once/year. Feels like a rubber band popping you. Not painless but not a big deal. In my opinion it’s one of the least painful lasers with powerful results.
  2. SkinMedica HA5: This isn’t an FDA approved treatment for rosacea or anything but it’s the cream of choice for Dr.Sandy on her own Rosacea. It’s ability to pull water into the top layer of your skin(epidermis) helps rebuild the irritated, red skin of rosacea. Bonus is that it treats fine lines and wrinkles making it a no brainer for women who are more commonly affected by Rosacea.
  3. Clinical trials: We have another Rosacea study starting up in April so if you are interested e-mail I don’t know the details of this particular study for Rosacea patients yet but hopefully I will very soon. Clinical trials are a great way to make the world a better place in science. Getc one of the newest treatments out there and get healthcare for free. That’s a win-win-win!
  4. On the horizon is the newest FDA approved topical for rosacea called Rhofade. It’s a competitor to Mirvaso that claims to be better about rebound redness. These are both prescription creams you put on in the morning that treat redness. For those of you that could not tolerate Mirvaso then Rhofade should be available to prescribe very soon. If you haven’t tried Mirvaso or didn’t know there was a cream for redness come see one of us at JD or ask your derm. This is one of my husbands life changing creams that he uses for his redness.

These are some new and innovative ways we treat rosacea. Although the tried and trues are still available and I use them in our practice daily the new stuff is just exciting. That’s the great thing about science in medicine, we keep learning new ways to improve our patients outcomes. If you or someone you know suffers with symptoms that might be Rosacea then April is a great month to recognize that and seek advice for your skin health. Your skin is your largest organ, it deserves health maintenance too.

Make sure you follow Johnson Dermatology on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and snapchat as we celebrate Rosacea awareness month with education and specials!

Roses are red, Violets are blue, if you have Rosacea we want to help you!

See you this exciting month at the clinic, Nina