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Fort Smith Resolutions


Who has made their New Year Resolutions? I love this time of year when we look at ourselves and think about how we can be better. One year, 10 years ago I made my resolution to be positive about Fort Smith and make it my home. I was born, raised and educated in Fayetteville. I moved here late 2006 after becoming engaged to my now husband, Jarrard. He had been here for 20+ years and was a well known public figure for the FSPD. In Fayetteville I couldn’t go get gas without running into an acquaintance. In Fort Smith I had to go out to eat by myself if my husband was working and it felt like there were little to no yummy restaurants. It was a hard transition for a 23 year old. I had to resolute my negativity towards the move to make things better for myself. Now? Oh Now I LOVE this place. It’s growing into one of the coolest cities in Arkansas! I’ve made the best friends here and have fallen in love with some of our local small businesses. So this year while you try to reach your goals consider letting one of our local small businesses in Fort Smith help you out and you too will fall in love with this city.

If your resolution is…….

  1. Get in Shape. Check out Barre One. This is the best shape I have ever been in in my life. You might have heard of barre before but if you have not taken from Jennifer Glover you haven’t lived. She is the most motivating, fun and energetic instructor you will ever meet. The new and improved location is in Stonewood village across from Mercy hospital. Conveniently located for when I have a heart attack my first class back. Check out their Instagram for all the details @barreone.fs
  2. Eat Healthy. Try Perky Pantry. It’s our local version of hello fresh or blue apron. The recipes are much easier to follow, much quicker to cook and healthier. Consider coming to our event at JD January 16th at 5:30 and sampling their food. They will be offering 20% off a month of delivered meals that night only. Find out more at www.perkypantrygirls.com
  3. Drink more water. Having trouble getting that water intake you need down? Try Carrot Dirt juices. Maybe not water but definetely a drink that packs a healthy punch! Try Kale bro, their pineapple and kale juice that will give you island vibes during these winter months.
  4. Look your best. Become to comfortable in sweats and a t-shirt? No worries because Fort Smith is now home to some of the best boutiques in the state. Try Suite One or Hazels Haven, two of my personal favorites. Also, booming downtown now has Clothologie and The Valley Boutique which are so cute. While downtown check out the unexpected project, grab a cup of tea at Savoy Tea Co. or do an escape room.
  5. Take care of your skin. Okay so I’m betting this is a less popular resolution but your skin is your largest organ so you better bump it up on the priority list. Come get a skin cancer check called a full body skin exam at Johnson Dermatology. We specialize in skin cancer. Get a free skin care consult and find out what products are HONESTLY recommended by a dermatologist! Let one of the top 200 injectors in the United States inject your Botox, Fillers and Kybella. Come check out the largest laser center in the River Valley! Whatever your skin needs and wants are this year we can help you achieve them.

Whatever you have to resolute I hope you all achieve your goals! I hope you utilize everything Fort Smith has to offer you. I hope I get to meet you this year! Come see me and the cosmetic team January 16th at 5:30 at the clinic. We are going to do live Kybella injections, eat Perky Pantry and discuss all things skin! It’s going to be a fun party! Happy New Year!

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Nina Marie

 

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JD gift guide

Who is done Christmas shopping? If you are, what alien planet are you from? I mean how do you do it? Every year I find myself grabbing one last something on the 23rd. If you’re still looking for a few items, join the club. You’re in luck at JD because everyone has skin so you can’t go wrong. Something for everyone. Stop in and grab one of these for that special someone!

The perfect stocking stuffer: SkinMedica Facial Cleanser. On sale while supplies last for $20, usually $38. It’s a great facewash for teens, men, women, I mean anyone really.

The perfect skincare gift for someone that you have no idea what they like: SkinMedica holiday bags. They are a chrome bag great for traveling or just keeping make-up in. They have a travel size of skincare must haves in them so whoever receives it can start a full regimen. On sale for $100.

For that person you’ve been begging to use sunscreen all year: The BOB. Brush On Block. It’s a handle filled a powder sunscreen that brushes on clear. Men who refuse sunscreen because of the “greasy” feeling love this stuff. You can keep it in your golf bag or your motorcycle and it never melts and gets nasty. The best way to get your hunk in sunscreen? Buy it for him, buy the BOB, place it next to his toothbrush so he never forgets to apply. Works every time.

For the make-up lover: Jane Iredale brushes are 40% off. Guys. These are legit the softest brushes that have ever touched my face. I lurve them to the moon and back.

For everyone and anyone: Giftcards! While supplies last all giftcards over $500 will come in the holiday bag mentioned above! (That’s $100 of free stuff y’all!)

Merry Christmas everyone, Nina

Team JD

Last weekend I went to a grand opening party for a new salon in downtown Fort Smith called “Five Zero Four”. It was food, drinks, music, photo booth, some best friends and new friends. It was a night anyone would love. By far my favorite part of the night was hearing the new owner talk about her salon. She briefly spoke about the fact that the salon was her dream for downtown Fort Smith and she spent most of her time on the mic talking about her staff. She took the time to introduce every single one of her staff members emphasizing on all their strengths. She was beaming with pride as she spoke of how great each one was and how the teamwork is really what makes the dream work. It’s why I love Fort Smith, shopping small businesses and supporting great female business professionals in our community. That’s exactly what we have at Johnson Dermatology. It goes back to the old adage “you’re only as good as your weakest team member”. We have the best team at JD in all of Dermatology. It’s why you trust us with your skin. Not because you love me as your health care provider(although I know you obviously do) but because you love the gal on the phone that makes your appointment and you smile when you see the beauty that welcomes you into the front door. You’re amazed at how knowledgeable the team member that escorted you to a room was and you are impressed by the competency of the smart cookie at check out.  To top it off, they all enjoy their job and serving you. That’s why you trust all of us as a team. That’s what helps you choose JD. At our last cosmetic team meeting I asked the leaders what makes our patients choose us? What makes our laser team, make-up team, skincare team different? Why should Fort Smithians choose to trust us with their skin. Alice, our amazing lead laser technician wrote an entire blog post explaining why! That’s part of why our laser team is so special. They always go one step further than what the patient and Dr. Sandy asks of them. I would like to share with you why our laser team thinks you should trust JD. Proudly I introduce to you, via her writing, the lead laser tech of the largest laser center in the River Valley, Alice.

Why Choose Johnson Dermatology?

It’s the holiday season and everywhere you turn, businesses and companies are clamoring for your hard earned money by saying, “Choose us! We are the best!” Today, we have many more options to choose from on where we go to have laser treatments done. We also have MANY different laser/light devices to choose from and I know that can be overwhelming for many patients seeking treatment! Whether you are seeking medical and or cosmetic laser treatments, where you go can make a HUGE difference!
Before I was blessed to come and work for Johnson Dermatology, I was a patient here. My first thought when I decided to have a specific laser treatment done was, “I need to go see a Dermatologist.” That might just be the way I’m wired – I’m always the patient that if ANYTHING can go wrong, it happens to me – or it may have something to do with the fact that I’m overly cautious when it comes to having anything done to my face.
My second thought was, what Dermatology clinic do I use? The Dermatologist I had been using didn’t have any laser devices. I had been to Johnson Dermatology once before and I knew they had lasers, but I really wasn’t sure how well they did when it came to laser treatments. I had come in to see Dr. Sandy Johnson once before – the staff was nice and helpful, they were very attentive to me, but that was for a full body check to see if I had skin cancer – not to be treated by a laser that could potentially cause me harm.
When we’re looking for a service or a product we inevitably draw conclusions from things we hear from others, read on the Internet, and experience. “Word of mouth,” is a very powerful tool! We ask questions – Why this brand? Why this clinic? Why this service?
The REAL question is a matter of trust:

Why should I trust Johnson Dermatology for their laser services?
Physicians, just like companies, and their products/services have to earn a consumer’s trust. So, why, when I was a patient, did I trust Johnson Dermatology for their laser services? I loved their customer service, I truly had NEVER been to any doctor’s office before where they were so attentive to my every need, and I knew that, God forbid, if I did have a problem with my laser treatment that there would be a board certified Dermatologist to make things better.
Now that I am on the clinical side I can tell you MANY factual reasons why you should trust JD with your laser treatments. Here are just a few:
*We do over 2,000 laser/light treatments a year!
*We are one of the largest laser/light departments in the state of Arkansas! Why so many?? Because we want the best outcomes for our patients! Could we use an IPL device to treat for bruising? Yes, absolutely, but why would we do that when we have the best laser for bruising – a pulse dye laser! As Dr. Sandy says, “Why use a Swiss army knife to fix a problem, when all you really need is a hammer?”
*If you do have a spot that causes you, or us, concern we have a provider on staff that will look at it for you. You NEVER want to laser over an area that could possibly be cancer! For instance, we had a gentleman in here not too long ago that was in here for tattoo removal and he had a spot that caused us concern. The next time he was in the clinic for his tattoo removal, we biopsied the spot.
*At Johnson Dermatology, we have a combined 40 years of laser experience, with Dr. Sandy having 20 years alone! Did you know that Dr. Sandy studied and taught lasers in medical school? Dr. Sandy sat on the Arkansas State Medical Board for many years to advise the Board on lasers and their use. She currently is a national speaker on lasers as well.
*If you have a question – we are here to answer it. Part of our job as your laser provider is to educate you, so that you can have the best possible outcomes! Having laser treatments done myself, I know that having a laser treatment can create a lot of questions. We want you to ask us questions!
*Honesty and integrity – our providers and our entire staff take pride in our honesty and integrity to our patients. If you do not need a laser procedure done, I will tell you that you are not a good candidate for a laser treatment.
*Training – Our training does not stop! Trust me, laser technology is constantly changing! Because of this, Dr. Sandy and the entire laser team are constantly training as well as looking at different devices to give our patient the best possible outcomes!!
Why Choose Us? Because we’re The Best of the Best
For three years in a row we have been honored to receive The Best of the Best award. Ultimately, you as a customer have to make up your own mind about Johnson Dermatology. I know that trust is very hard to earn, and easy as pie to break. Trust is based on experience. It’s not our job to give you our trust; we’ve got to earn it.
Lastly, did you notice how many times I mentioned best outcomes for our patients! Obviously, we are patient focused – it is ALL about providing the best of care here at JD! So, I’m inviting you to let us earn your trust.
Sincerely,
Alice

 

Isn’t she amazing? Come in and meet her and our laser team in December because the entire month we are offering a FREE laser hair reduction for underarms package with all purchases of a bikini package!

Have a happy holiday season, Nina
“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.” -Ifeanyi Onuoha

 

GCW

Gratitude Celebration Week. GCW. My favorite week of the year at Johnson Dermatology.  We spend the entire month of November at JD trying to show an attitude of gratitude. We tell each other and our patients what we are grateful and thankful for and focus on our blessings. The week  of Thanksgiving we thank all our patients that trust us with their skin throughout the year with 20% off all cosmetic products and procedures. So today I want to tell you what you need to hurry in and stock up on this week!

  1. Laser hair reduction package. Other than just the savings, laser hair reduction is safest when done without any tan or color from the sun. Since most people need 3-5 treatments once a month, now is the perfect time to start. Be ready for Summer without a razor!
  2. Jane Iredale magic mitt. This is everyone’s favorite stocking stuffer. It’s a very gentle make-up removing cloth. Come in and stock up for the perfect stocking stuffer or small gift to give all your gal frands!
  3. Botox. We all know botox is valued by the hands that it is in. Never have Dr. Sandy and I offered $8/unit Botox from our hands. Normally $12/unit, this week it is $10/unit and for elite members it’s $8/unit. It would be near impossible to find EXPERT hands letting Botox flow out of their needle at this low of a price. All I can say is, if you snooze you lose.
  4. PRP. This is a procedure Dr. Nelson does for hair loss. He draws your blood, spins it down and injects the good stuff into your scalp. Initially you need 4 treatments and then you need maintenance treatments every 3-6 months. My advice? Get your initial treatments at a discount! Come in this week for 20% off! Without that initial sticker shock start up will be easy and maintenance treatments a breeze.
  5. TNS essential serum. I call this stuff the breast milk of skin care products, no formula can exactly replicate it. These growth factors will give your skin life again. The antioxidant side will not let your skin go dry and dull this winter. It’s also the highest priced item I recommend for skin care. That’s why you should get it now, while it’s 20% off. Get the new larger size for even more savings! It’s a skinvestment you won’t regret. Glow girl!

Dont know where to start? Overwhelmed with what to do for your skin with all these options? No worries. I got you covered. E-mail Dani@johnsondermatology.com or Margaret@johnsondermatology.com for a free consult and let us get you to your skin goals!

Thank you so much to each and every one of you for taking time out of your day to read my blog. I’m so grateful for you all.

Happy Thanksgiving, Nina

 

 

Want the upper hand?

Having the upper hand usually means having an advantage in a situation. Unfortunately in skin, aging of the hands usually doesn’t have the upper hand. Many of my patients complain their hands look much older than their true age. This might be because we are better at applying skincare products to our face than hands. It might be because we drive frequently putting our hands in the sun’s harmful rays while our faces stay shaded. Protruding veins and tendons tend to develop over the years as we lose the fat layer in our skin and our skin thins. Luckily, we have great treatment options for the hands. Here are some of my favorites.

  1. Creams, serums, lotions. If you apply good skincare to your face pump it into the back of your hand first and apply from there. Whatever product you have left over on your hand just rub it in. SkinMedica total defense and repair sunscreen is a great hand option because it prevents premature photoaging and has antioxidants that repair Brown spots.
  2. IPL. While not a true laser, the intense pulse light device is one of my favorites for hands. It has great results with treating brown spots and it helps to tighten the skin as well. We recommend 3-5 treatments for optimal results.
  3. Radiesse. This is a filler that lasts 6-12 months in the hands. If your concern is crinkly skin and protruding veins and tendons then this is the option for you. It’s a quick in office procedure with immediate results and no real downtime.
  4. ATV. This laser is great for specific brown spots that are driving you nuts. Great for people who don’t need the entire hand treated but just one or two spots. Very effective in results and cost.
  5. Chemical peels. Although I do have this tool in the JD toolbox, in my opinion the lasers and devices we have are more controlled and offer the best results for the hands. I will commonly use a TCA peel for actinic keratosis on the arms and hands which need to be treated for medical reasons rather than solely cosmetic. This brings us to the point of how important it is to have your skin evaluated by a dermatologist before cosmetic procedures.

Don’t neglect those pretty hands. E-mail Margaret@johnsondermatology.com for your free consult ASAP because our Gratitude Week Celebration is coming up and all the procedures and products discussed here will be 20% off!

Feeling grateful, thankful and blessed, Nina

 

Are you ready for Botox?

When should you start considering Botox? When are you too young? When are you too old? Can you be too old or too young? These are good questions I am frequently asked. Today I’m going to try to answer them.

To know when it’s time for you to skinvest in Botox you first need to understand how it works and what it achieves. To understand how Botox works you need to understand what makes wrinkles. The wrinkles that we soften with Botox are lines in motion. That means when you squint repeatedly over the years crows feet develop around your eyes. When you scowl and pull your eyebrows closer together and down, over the years “11’s” develop. Years of muscles repeating the same motions basically etch those lines into the skin. In other words, lines in motion become lines at rest. Botox is a medication we inject into the muscle, not the skin. The Botox relaxes the muscle enough that it can’t etch those lines into your skin. When done by an expert injector, the muscle is not frozen but relaxed naturally resulting in softer lines at rest. Back to the original question, when should you start injections? In my opinion, this age varies from person to person. I believe you should get your Botox at the first sign of a line in motion becoming a line at rest. Don’t wait until you have a deep line at rest. The first sign, make a consult with an expert injector. Although the theory of prevention of lines with Botox is out there I feel it may not be necessary. Why relax muscles that haven’t even started to etch a line in when you can wait until the very first sign of an etched in line and get Botox resulting in no line? Yes, of course if you start now you will never get that line but save your money and start a good medical grade skincare line until you’re ready for Botox.
The difficulty lies in knowing what the first sign of a line a rest developing looks like. I assess skin everyday. I could tell every single person I see everyday if, in my opinion, they would benefit from Botox. Unfortunately most people don’t have that assessment skill. And why should you? That’s not your topic of expertise. That’s why it’s important to have a dermatologist. The only medical specialty that is specially trained in skin. No offense to the pyramid scheme skin care line you are using but Dermatology is where the experts in skin reside. Remember that and make an appointment. Let someone you trust with your skin assess you and let you know where you should be putting your skinvestment money. I have 20 year olds with deeper lines than some of my 30 year olds. I don’t have a particular age number for you as the answer to when to start Botox, but I do have the assessment skills and the knowledge to tell you when you’re ready. So be proactive. Go get a consult. Take control of your skin. The answer isn’t on the Internet. It’s at a dermatology office near you(insert wink emoji here).

Can’t wait to see you at the clinic this week. Gearing up for our Gratitude celebration in November and it’s going to be great!
Stay Skintastic, Nina

Drug Store Picks

I am often recommending to you medical grade skincare. Injectables, lasers and topical anti-aging products are all skinvestments that I feel are game changers in taking care of your skin over the years. However, there are also drug store skin care items that I use regularly and save a buck or two. Here are my money saving skin care finds.

  1. Vaseline. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I use this as my body emollient straight out of the shower. Game changer. Winter is approaching, get you a jar.
  2. benzoyl peroxide. This is an acne medication found over the counter. I saw a gel at Target this weekend for $3.49. If you have acne prone skin this is a great starting point for you. I pair it with my retinol at night since I’m a dewy acne prone kinda gal.
  3. Albolene moisturizing cleanser. $5.56 at wal-mart. People ask me how I remove my make-up. This is it. It’s only 5 ingredients: mineral oil, petroleum, paraffin, ceresin and beta-carotene. Put some in your hand or on a cotton swab and it will melt your eye-make-up off for 1/4 of the price of those expensive make-up melters. I then use a cleansing cloth to wipe it all away.
  4. Cetaphil cleansing cloths. I use them to wipe away make-up(see #3) at night or when I need a quick cleanse. Not like a bird bath cleanse or anything. But after a work-out before running to the grocery store. Or washing my face after falling asleep on the couch while walking to my bed. They are gentle and non-irritating. Must haves for the working Mom or teenagers on the go.
  5. Maybelline super stay matte ink. This lipstick is not for the faint of heart. I swear I apply this stuff at 6am before work and it’s still perfect at 4:30pm with no re-application and more eating than any lips should have to endure(#whatsadiet). It’s not terribly drying although I do a dose of HA5 to my lips in the am before application to boost my moisture level. I recommend color heroin for a popping red that is great for Summer and can take you into the holidays. This isn’t a must-have unless your name is Nina Copeland and you can’t go without a lip color at all times. All times.

Go hit the drug store and try out some of my money saving faves. Let me know what you think. Leave a comment, tell me on our Facebook page or our Instagram. Or you could send me a snap!

Love to hear from y’all! Keep it Skintastic, Nina

Dermatology Saves Lives

For those of you that don’t know my background, I started as a nurse aide on OB/GYN unit at Washington Regional Medical Center In 2000. As a very young child I always wanted to be a plastic surgeon. I joined the healthcare academy in high school and that’s how I got involved in nursing. One of my very first mentors professionally was a nurse who taught at my high school. She helped me get my CNA license. I then worked through college at an outpatient surgery center and immediately after graduating became an ICU nurse. I worked as an ICU nurse from California to Florida. I only cared for people who did not know if they would live or die that day. I recovered open heart surgery patients and neurology patients. I took care of people on life support after traumatic injuries. Some of the medications I gave people would be keeping them alive. If I made a mistake it could literally kill someone. I loved that work and I was successful in that field. When I graduated with my Nurse Practitioner license I was offered jobs by neurosurgeons, cardiologist, cardiovascular surgeons, emergency rooms and hospitalists. All doctors who had learned to trust me and had seen my skill set over the years. So when I took a job in Dermatology you can imagine what some of my colleagues said. “Why are you going to waste all your knowledge in Dermatology?” Or “Have fun popping zits all day” and maybe the most annoying “You will be so bored there”. But I knew in my heart the reasons I wanted to be in Dermatology with Dr. Brad and Dr. Sandy as my mentors (I had only met Honey  briefly at that time but she has become one of my biggest supporters and mentors me still daily). I knew that I wouldn’t have to wonder if those people who moved out of ICU ever lived a fulfilled life. I knew that I wouldn’t be shocking hearts into normal rythym but that I would be changing lives. I knew that I would be working for a company that cared about their patients more than their numbers. I knew that I would be valued as a provider. I knew that I would get to know my patients and learn what was important to them and be able to help them reach their skin health goals. I made the right decision. I have never looked back. I am blessed. One of my beautiful patients wrote something to talk about how Johnson Dermatology and the medication dupilimab for atopic dermatitis has changed her life. Here is her story. I hope you read it and all understand how Dermatology saves lives.

By the time I was 2 weeks old my parents started to notice my skin was a little different. They never imagined this would be the beginning of a very long road.
It started with patches and cracks , from there it began to get infected. After months of trying to find therapies that healed my skin I was officially diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis ( Eczema). Mine was considered severe, so I was started on steroids very young. At that time that really was the only treatment they could offer. Due to my severe case I was on a strong steroid called prednisone 2 to 3 times a month after I was a year old. This therapy was after trying betamethosone and topical steroids. I was also kept on antibiotics to help keep the infection down. I had a very strict regimen of 20 minute baths to soak my skin . I would then have to be covered from head to toe in steroid ointments and creams. By morning my skin would be dry so we would have to repeat this. This has been my life since I was born. Not only was this emotional for me but for my parents, sister, and family. These treatments were so painful because my skin was open. My parents told me as I got older I used to scream everytime we had to apply medicine. I remember it felt like my body was being lit on fire. I was prescriped atarax and benadryl to help me sleep and comfort the pain . This treatment did end up being unsuccessful because it caused night tears. I continue to use benadryl as a treatment when needed for itching .
As I got older I started to really realize how different I was . No one else had to pay attention to their skin like I did. No one my age felt pain like I did or had to have help from my parents in the morning opening their arms or legs. This was due to pus from my skin being cracked open and scabbing over. The creases in my arms and legs behind my knees would stick together. These were daily struggles for me that no one could sympathize with . There were times I felt very isolated and had to hide my skin from embarrassment. Due to my eczema being so severe I also developed severe Asthma. This led to more medication and years of trying to find inhalers that controlled it. I honestly felt like I was always sick and missed out on so much as a kid .
After years of being made fun of and constantly being asked “ what’s wrong with your skin?” I started to accept myself and realized this is a strength , not a weakness. I started to take real interest in my disease instead of despising it. I quit wearing hoodies to hide it and started being okay with explaining what I have. I started to explain to people that my disease does not make me ugly and that yes it hurts but I will not let it get the best of me .
Eczema not only affects your skin and body physically it is an emotional disease. It has caused me alot of anxiety especially with bad flare ups. It has made me feel alone. It made me worry no one would ever want to hold my hand or accept that my body was covered in this rash. There has been alot more to my eczema than I ever thought imagineable .
I was diagnosed with an allergy to the cold weather. I have grown up with severe allergies specifically pollens and grasses, dust and animals. I also had food allergies to eggs and peanuts. I was prescriped an Epi-Pen for my peanut allergy because of anaphylaxis . needless to say I was no stranger to allergies. But…. this was definitely new to me. How could you be allergic to the weather? Well I am . The cold really started to affect me. My legs were covered in so many hives you could see them through my clothing . My hands swelled so bad I could not make a fist. My joints started to be affected as well . These were new symptoms to my eczema I had never experienced. After moving to New York with my husband I started to experience severe joint pain . My hands started to curl up to the point I could not use them . This was the most difficult experience I ever had with my eczema. I never had to deal with this much pain.I went through multiple tests from rheumatology and dermatology I kept getting the same answer, “we have never seen this with eczema”. It was really discouraging and exhausting. I’m a very athletic person. I am optimistic. I was in school to become a nurse and help others. This was very discouraging . It was hindering my career, my life . For once my skin was stopping me. I continued to be told that it was environmentally induced. This gave me hope that when we moved back to Arkansas my skin would get better. I would stop having the severe joint pain . We did eventually move home and my skin did not get better. This was probably the lowest point for me. I didnt know how I was going to continue my life like this . I was in so much pain. I am a nurse so it was affecting me at work as well not being able to use my hands. I could barely walk due to my severe bone pain in my feet and ankles. I finally decided to start a medication called cyclosporine in hopes this would help. This and prednisone did help for about a month . After that month I started to get severe infections. It was one after another for about the next 6 months . I finally decided I could not take the cyclosporine . I was told there were no other treatments for me at that point. I was truly so sad. My skin was at its worst and there was no hope. I had so many cracks in each knuckle my gloves at work were inbedded every time I tried to take them off. My back was so raw my scrubs stuck to it every time I got up. I had a severe staff infection on my scalp . I never could have imagined I would be this bad.
I finally got a glimpse of hope soon after all of this . I was told there was a new drug being approved called Dupilumab . It was an injection for people suffering from eczema and asthma. In trials people had experienced great success. I was so happy and could not wait to try this medication. I ended up being apart of a clinical trial for this through Johnson Dermatology . I have always wanted to use my Eczema to help others with research and I was finally getting a chance to do that. After just a month my skin started to improve with Dupilumab. This meant so much more to me than just my skin looking better. This treatment and the support I received from Johnson Dermatology gave me quality of life back I had been hoping for. This injection gave me the hopes that I could have a successful pregnancy in the future. This treatment was and is a true blessing .
If I can say one thing about my eczema its that it is a gift. It has taught me so much and continues to teach me about my self and others. It has given me the strength I need to be a compassionate daughter, sister, wife, and nurse . When people ask me now “ what’s wrong with your skin?” I proudly say I have eczema. I am not ashamed. Its something I have to live with every second of every day. I still have a strict regimen every night and every morning. Our skin is our largest organ. Most people do not even think about it daily. My skin is different, it is dry, scaly and cracked . I have to really take care of it but it makes me who I am . I have learned I am not alone, I am not isolated, I am not ugly . I am strong. I am a person, beautiful inside and out.

Thank you so much for this inspirational story from our JD patient. I thank God that I was a patient in that clinic that day and she was my nurse. As soon as we met, I knew she was a perfect candidate for the clinical trial. This is how Dermatology saves lives. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in a clinical trial then e-mail study@johnsondermatology.com

Stay Skintastic and don’t let anyone talk you out of your dreams or tell you that what your choices and missions are in life are less than theirs. Always go change lives the way you know you should. Nina

Specializing in Skin Cancer while Providing Comprehensive Skin Care

Dr. Sandy has done it again. I absolutely love when she guest posts on the skinny on skin. This blog makes you go hmmmmm. Then makes you want a skin cancer full body exam. Go ahead, you’re intrigued, read on……
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is important since breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women.
Did you know however that skin cancer affects 1 in 5 people (men and women)?
Did you also know that melanoma is the most common form of cancer in women ages 15-29 years?
Did you know that one American dies approximately every hour from melanoma?

Whether or not you already knew all of this, you may find more about skin cancer and other skin cancer statistics on our website www.johsondermatology.com as well as the American Academy of Dermatology’s website www.aad.org. You will also find other helpful information about prevention and treatment of skin cancer. We take skin cancer prevention and treatment seriously at Johnson Dermatology. We still hold true to the vision that Dr Brad and I created when we opened the clinic in 2006 “Specializing in Skin Cancer while providing comprehensive skin care”.

Time for more questions—
Did you know that Dr Brad was the first fellowship trained skin cancer dermatologic surgeon in the region—including Ft Smith and NWA?
Did you know that every year since we opened in 2006, we have offered and will continue to offer free skin cancer screenings?
Did you know that Dr Nelson joined the JD team in 2016 because he also believes in our mission and vision and wants to offer the highest quality care to patients, especially patients with skin cancer?
Did you know that the number of patients with skin cancers and melanomas seen at our clinic have steadily increased in the past few years?

Here are some more sobering statistics about skin cancer at Johnson Dermatology.

The following are how many patients at our clinic were diagnosed with melanoma
In 2014, 35 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.
In 2015, 48 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.
In 2016, 48 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.
In 2017 (January through September), 47 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.

The following are how many specialized skin cancer surgeries with frozen sections were performed at our clinic for the same time periods.
In 2014, 1220 surgeries were performed at JD.
In 2015, 1339 surgeries were performed at JD.
In 2016, 1612 surgeries were performed at JD.
In 2017 (January through September) 1364 surgeries were performed at JD.

These specialized skin cancer surgeries are performed under local anesthesia at our clinic by Drs Brad and Nelson. They cut out the skin cancer with the smallest amount of normal skin around and under the tumor then gives that tissue to our amazing in clinic lab team who processes the tissue into frozen sections that Drs Nelson or Brad look at with the microscope. If they got all of the cancer cells then they close up the surgical wound as skintastically as possible. If there is a small piece of cancer left anywhere, they go back and remove some more tissue from that area and repeat the process until there are no more visible cancer cells. It is because of this tenacity that Mohs surgery has cure rates of 95-99% as compared with 90% with excision. Because we specialize in skin cancer, we offer not only Mohs surgery but we also offer excision, electrodessication and curettage (ED&C), creams, photodynamic therapy, chemical peels, laser, etc for skin cancers and actinic keratosis (pre cancers). When looking for a skin cancer surgeon, training and experience of the surgeon as well as of the lab team is important. Lisa, who now manages our lab team of 6 full time people and some helpers, has been working in the lab for more than 10 years. She and the team are skintastic and work extremely closely with Drs Brad and Nelson as well as with Dr Amy. Dr Amy is a board certified dermatopathologist extraordinaire on the JD team with more than 20 years of experience.

I know if you are reading this, then I am probably preaching to the choir. However, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Get your birthday suit checked by your dermatologist at least yearly. Do self skin exams monthly. There is research that shows that having a significant other who helps do your skin exams also helps to catch skin cancers early. Also please try to prevent skin cancers and premature aging by using a sun block with antioxidants that is also broad spectrum against UVA/UVB/IR daily; using retinol nightly to reverse the damage caused during the day; wearing your sun hat, sun glasses and sun protective clothing; seeking shade; avoiding the peak sun hours of 10 AM to 4 PM; and if want to take it a step further consider taking Heliocare or Niacin. Email samira@johnsondermatology.com. Samira will help you schedule you an appointment to have your spot(S) checked and/or to have your entire skin checked.

In summary, the skin is the largest organ of the body and your window to the world. Protect your tatas but also protect your skin.

Stay skintastic, Dr.Sandy.

Botox isn’t Botox

When I found out I was pregnant I had no idea who to choose for a pediatrician. I called other mothers to find out who took good care of their children. I asked other doctors I knew who took the best care of babies. I called to see who had nurse practitioners or who sent acute illnesses to the ER. I did NOT however call to see which pediatrician was cheapest. On the other hand, when I found the hair dryer I just had to have all I cared about was the cost. I checked every on-line site I could find to get the cheapest price of the same hair dryer. Because no matter which online site I bought the hair dryer from it would come to my door step exactly the same. Now that hair dryer in my hands never could fix my hair exactly like my hair dresser (Caroline Mackey at Roots) could fix my hair. Who knows the feeling? Your hair looks so good when your hair dresser does it so you buy the same curling iron, shampoo, conditioner and hair spray but then when you use all the same tools your hair looks completely different! Never as good.

Botox is a tool. Just like that Hair dryer. If you take every single injector in the United States and take their Botox vials and set them on a counter they all come from Allergan (the company that makes Botox cosmetic)exactly the same. However, in whose hands that vial is placed makes all the difference. The injector may mix it any concentration he/she chooses, place it to lift the brows or drop the brows, make a smile symmetrical or make it crooked, shelf the cheeks around the eyes or open the eyes up youthfully and naturally. Good and bad results can come from a vial that once looked the same sitting on a counter. Just like that hair dryer that I searched all over the Internet for the best deal. Once it was in my hands I got okay hair-do results but once placed in my hair dresser, Caroline’s hands, I had the best hair I could possibly have. If it was placed in the wrong hands I could have my hair singed off.
That’s why Botox isn’t Botox. That’s why when you shop around for Botox you should be shopping for an injector, not a price. Shop for Botox like I shopped for my pediatrician, not my hair dryer. Ask a friend who you think looks great where she is injected. Call the clinic and ask what type of experience the injector has, did the injector train at an 8 hour course on a free weekend or was he/she trained by dermatologists or plastic surgeons? Ask how much they inject, 10 people a month or 100? Ask what awards they have won. Ask the person you’re talking to on the phone if they have had it done and why they trusted their injector. Johnson Dermatology offers Botox at $9-$12/unit depending on what program you’re in with our clinic. So I hope you know I don’t make these suggestions because we are expensive(we are competitively priced with other expert injectors) and I want to validate that. I make these suggestions because Botox may come in a bottle the same but I promise it goes out of the needle differently. I often joke that our clinic could run an episode of “Botched” from all the corrections Dr. Sandy and I perform. It’s not a funny joke. It’s scary and sad and I would love to prevent it from happening, even if it means the patient spends a few extra dollars. Thank you for trusting Dr. Sandy and I as your injectors. If you would like to come interview us in person because you’re interested in injections, then come this Friday, September, 29th and watch us inject live. We are going to have a lunch and learn at noon that day. Please RSVP to Dani@johnsondermatology.com or margaret@johnsondermatology.com if you plan to join the fun!
Have a Skintastic week , Nina