Monthly Archives: December 2019

Lighten Up with Dr. Sandy

It is the most wonderful time of the year.   I am so giddy with joy and excitement and gratitude.  We celebrate national gratitude month every November at Johnson Dermatology.  December is full of joy with the anticipation of Christmas and the new year—or in this case a new decade.  This is the best time of year to lighten up.  I am referring to 3 ways of lightening up—emotional baggage, excess weight and hair and dark spots.  The first is difficult for me but I try every year to let go of people, situations, and things that weigh me down as well as to fill up with people, situations and things that bring me joy and lift me up.  The serenity prayer and Pink’s new song Courage are helping me currently to lighten up in this regard.


The second is also difficult this time of year and that deals with excess weight and excess hair.  We should all be trying to continue our good habits of exercise and healthy eating even during this time of celebration and gratitude.  Now is the time to consider ultrashape power.  Three years ago, I tested this painless, permanent fat reduction machine for Johnson Dermatology.  I went down a full pant size and have not gone back up in the pant size.


The first treatment I had performed on myself in dermatology residency was laser hair reduction.  Being Italian, I am hairy —or should I say I was hairy.  We have the best laser hair reduction devices on the market at Johnson Dermatology.  The hair grows in cycles and not all hairs are in the same cycle—that is why humans typically do not shed.  Because of these phases of hair not being in sync, it takes at least 5 laser hair reduction treatments spaced at least monthly for laser hair reduction to be most successful.  I advise starting now to be smooth and ready for summer.


The third way to lighten up this time of year is in regards to dark spots on your skin.  We say to try to prevent worsening of you brown spots, melasma, lentigos, freckles, ephelids, and other hyperpigmentation from March to October.  From November to March, we advise to get aggressive and get improvement.  The past few years have brought much better products and treatments to treat discoloration.   Our picosure laser continues to impress and amaze me at lightening dyschromias/brown spots.  Another luxurious treatment we now offer to lighten up is the dermal infusion for hyperpigmentation…it really makes the skin glow.  To learn more about either of these treatments you should email   As far as what to do at home to help excess pigment, we have created a basic skin care regimen to help.  Part of the program involves a prescription product called hydroquinone.  It is recommended to only use hydroquinone for up to 12 weeks at a time.  This is because long term hydroquinone use can actually do the reverse and darken skin instead of lighten it.  We have partnered with MediSav on Rogers Avenue to be able to offer hydroquinone in a combination for better results.  Since hydroquinone only works on one step of the pigment making process, it should always be combined with Lytera 2.0 to block more of the pigment producing pathway and to maintain the results every day.  Lytera can be used lifelong– not just for up to 12 weeks.  We also all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  It is important to prevent pigment alterations with environmental protection. EVERY DAY, ALL DAY we should all use a broad spectrum sun screen that is at least SPF 30, protects against environmental pollutants, protects against the blue light of computer screens/ devices/ iPads/iPhones and contains antioxidants.  In addition to prevention during the day with sun protection we should all reverse the damage nightly with retinol that will passively exfoliate the damaged skin and improve cell turnover.


We would like to be your partner to help you get and stay skintastic. If there is anything we can do to help you lighten up or be more skintastic, please feel free to email  Hope you enjoy this season and are filled with joy, excitement and gratitude.    Dr. Sandy

Dr. Sandy’s basic skin lightening regimen


Step 1- AHA/BHA cleanser or Aveeno cleanser

Step 2- Lytera 2.0

Step 3- Lumivive AM

Step 4- Faceshield, Even up, or TD&R


*throughout the day use sunSMART behaviors



Step 1- AHA/BHA cleanser or Aveeno cleanser

Step 2- Lumivive PM

After 12 weeks Step 3 becomes Lytera 2.0 & Retinol 0.5

Step 3- JD/MediSav bleach cream x 12 weeks

Step 4- If needed dermal repair cream or other bland moisturizer


For even better results, consider adding one of the following treatments.  You may schedule one of all of them by emailing

  1. in office PicoSure laser treatments
  2. in office Dermal Infusion treatments
  3. personalized JD skin care coach