How many units of Botox do I need?

Every patient that sits in my chair gets a full consult. I suspect the most frequently asked question I get in regards to Botox is “How many units do I need?”. Interestingly, almost no one that has had Botox before actually knows how many units they have had in the past. My experienced, Botox savvy patients usually know but most do not recall. I find it interesting that people ask how many units they need but what they really want to know is something completely different. Like “how much will this cost?” Or “how bad are my lines?” Or “how many needle sticks do I have to have”. In our clinic we usually do not sell Botox by units. As a matter of fact we don’t really sell Botox at all. We sell beauty. We sell results. Most patients invest in packages that will make them feel their best Skintastic self. Packages include products, lasers and/or injectables that target a concern. Either way I thought I would try to explain to everyone how many units you really need.

In my opinion, how many units you get is more related to how long your Botox lasts and not necessarily what it looks like. I think that what your Botox results look like are more related to where your injector places your Botox. For example, if I get 40 units of Botox in my forehead and around my eyes it looks exactly the same as if I get 50 units in the same locations. The difference is that 40 units only lasts me about 2.5 months and 50 units lasts me about 4.5 months.

It’s also important to consider what has been studied and FDA approved. That is 20 units for the glabella(the area of the forehead between the brows that makes the “11”lines), 20 units for the frontalis(the muscle that raises the brows that causes horizontal forehead lines) and 24 units for the crows feet. Those are the dosages that have been shown to last 3-4 months. If you get less than that you can expect to either not have satisfactory relaxation or results won’t last the entire 3-4 months.\

Every person is likely to need a different amount of units. Men tend to need more than women since they tend to have bulkier muscles. Every single person is different. We all are born with a gallbladder. Some of our gallbladders come out at some point due to malfunctions and some of us keep our gallbladder our entire lives. Even though it is the same organ it is different in everyone. Same goes for our muscles. One patient may get 20 units in their crows feet and it look perfect and last 4 months and the next patient gets 28 units in the exact same location and it only last 3 months. Their orbicularis oculi muscle is the same muscle injected just different from person to person.

The moral of the story is get an injector you trust. You can’t figure out how many units you need on your own. You need to come in and let me look at your muscles. Let me assess you. Then stay with me. Let me check you in 2 weeks to make sure your botox is perfect initially. Let me make adjustments every 3 months as needed. When I know where I injected last time and can see what adjustments we make your Botox injections could quite possibly get better and better. It’s hard to know who the expert is and who you can trust. I encourage you to make an appointment with my cosmetic coordinator, Margaret by e-mailing and find out exactly how much you need to reach your goals and stay in your budget. You will never pay full price at Johnson Dermatology because we offer brilliant distinctions, elite program and more! We are just an e-mail away to help you reach all your skin goals. And FYI, one of my favorite patients told me this weekend that she needed to come in for her “Ninamen C” so for the record that is what I will be referring to Botox as from here on out!

Stay skintastic, Nina


Illuminate the New year with Lumivive

One of the reasons Johnson Dermatology is unlike any other dermatology clinic is our team. There are many reasons, in my opinion, we give some of the best skincare regimen advice around. Our skincare products are scientifically researched and proven to produce change in the skin, we have tested them all out personally before offering them to patients and we aren’t in a pyramid scheme nor commission situation where we get personal financial gains from you buying our products. Brooke is the star that runs the skincare product show. She has had multiple advanced level training courses and spent months learning about skincare from Dr. Sandy, Honey and myself. If you haven’t met Brooke yet I highly recommend you e-mail her at for a free consult. My favorite new product at JD right now is Lumivive. It has made all my glow dreams come true. I have had so many compliments on my skin since I started this system. I asked Brooke to write a blog about Lumivive to help convince everyone they will love this product as much as I do!!!

From Brooke, our skincare concierge extraordinaire:

Let’s take a minute and answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have a smart phone?
  2. Does your skin look tired or stressed?
  3. Are you lacking the glow in your skin?

If you answered YES to all three of these questions, you NEED Lumivive in your life.

So, what is Lumivive?

Recharges – Amplifies – Defends

Lumivive is the booster and game changer in your skin care regimen. It has 27 daytime anti-oxidants and 32 nighttime anti-oxidants that complement the products you are already using containing anti-oxidants. It does not replace any Skin Medica product. Lumivive is a dermal bio-barrier multitasking skin care that doesn’t wash off, wear off, or needs reapplication. When used daily, your skin will have a longer lasting barrier against blue light, LED light, and pollution. Lumivive stays on for 12 hours a day at a minimum. It’s a simple morning and night single step routine that will give you the glowing radiant skin results everyone wants as early as fourteen days – that’s 14 days! Lumivive defends during the day and detoxifies (repairs) and recharges at night.

The Lumivive AM is going to defend during the day against blue light and pollution. Working in a dermatology clinic, we know that tanning bed are two words we never say. Did you know that we all carry a tanning bed in our purse or pocket? Yes, that new tanning bed is called a smart phone! Did you know on average a person is exposed to blue light for about 10 hours per day. YIKES! This isn’t just our phone, it’s a bundle of tablets, computers, tv screens, LED and fluorescent lights. Blue light accelerates the aging and damaging of our skin and can also cause dark spots, wrinkles, saggy or loose skin. Not only on a daily basis are we exposed to blue light, but we are also exposed to pollution. The Lumivive AM will defend against pollution during the day. Pollution has the tendency to make our skin look tired and stressed. These are two types of modern-day threats that are hurting our skin during the day.

The Lumivive PM is going to be recharging your skin overnight. We recharge our bodies by sleeping, but how do we recharge our skin from the damage that has occurred that day? Lumivive PM! While your body recharges at night with sleep, Lumivive PM will repair and recover your skin. Lumvivie PM will give your skin the power it needs to resist the damage that we can encounter during the day. As we age it becomes more difficult for our skin to recover from any damage.

Lumivive will help your skin be radiant and glowing. These products are bundled together and easy to use. If you’re wondering if it’s for all skin types, you’re in luck! It’s perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin. If your skin cannot tolerate a retinol, most people can use a retinol while using Lumivive. We all know everyone should be on a retinol! Overall Lumivive helps with what we are exposed to in today’s world. This is a must for anyone whether you already have a skin care regimen or if you wanted to try a regimen for the first time.  Lumivive will be what your skin thrives on to defend, protect, and give you that natural glow. Take on the challenge and try the Lumivive. Take a picture before you start then two weeks later. New year, new you!

Brooke is going to be offering bounce back coupons and free gift with purchase with Lumivive in January while supplies last. So don’t delay! E-mail and set up your free consult. I promise you will love Brooke and Lumivive as much as I do!


The Amazing Lab

JD’s laboratory has another fantastic post for you to read! This particular post is addressing one of the most common skin cancers, squamous cell carcinoma. Now this one tends to be more aggressive than the one from the previous post, basal cell carcinoma.

There are cells in the epidermis called squamous cells and they are responsible for producing the keratotic barrier between your skin and the outside world. In the malignant form, these cells can travel down into the skin and in some cases develop what we call “keratotic pearls.” The squamous cells even produce keratin to the point they grow outward from the skin to form “horns.”

The first image shows one of the ways squamous cell carcinoma can appear on the skin. The second image is to show what normal skin is supposed to look like under the microscope. The third set of images is what we call a “frozen sections.” It’s a biopsy of a suspected skin cancer that is tested in the lab in under an hour for fast results so the providers can discuss treatment options before you ever leave the clinic! That’s one of the things that sets JD apart from other clinics in the area. The fourth set of images is the same biopsy but stained with our much slower stain for “permanent sections” which provides clearer imaging

The pink dense material seen at the top and in the circular structures (the pearls mentioned earlier) is the keratin produced by the squamous cells which looks drastically different from the strand-like keratin seen in the control sample. The light purple cells surrounding the pearls and at the base of the large pink growth are the malignant squamous cells.

SCC Biopsy Site





Takes One to Know One

At our clinic we practice what we preach. Or we try to anyways. We have a strict no tan, no smoking policy. All of our team members have a skincare regimen and most of them have had laser or chemical peels or injections to have a healthy skintastic face to put on everyday. We try to encourage each other to take care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally and intellectually as well. Many of our employees work out together and diet together. We encourage each other through e-mails often. Our team received an encouraging e-mail from our office manager Shelly recently. She was one of the original JD team members and has helped Dr. Brad and Dr. Sandy build JD from the very beginning. Her before and after photos impress me because she looks younger, healthier and more skintastic then she did 12 years ago! With her permission she allowed me to share the e-mail she sent our team.


I wanted to share with all of you as a follow-up to our meeting on Friday my own skincare journey. From the beginning of my joining the team in 2006 I have suffered from melasma. When I go outside I have to be extremely careful. By this I don’t mean only sunscreen protection with SPF. As many melasma sufferers experience, my condition worsens with heat and I love to be outside, but I am thankful for having access to such results driven skincare. I wanted to share with you the power of all of our tools when combined. As many of you know, I rarely have in-office treatments and mostly rely on my at home products. Recently, I dedided to work on me and wanted to share my results. The first photo I wanted to share because it was before I started the Lytera which combined with retinol made a remarkable difference in my skin. I am a firm believer in the power of our physician grade products and procedures. I have labeled the photos to help you better follow the journey. I especially would like you to look at the difference between the first and last photos and the last two photos which I think really speaks to the packages we are offering patients which include skincare, lasers and injections. It truly is the 3 combined that gave me the final results you see in the last photo which I am happy to say was taken this morning with no make-up. I am excited to say that my pigment really isn’t visible today. I also have experienced for myself the results the full package may achieve and wanted to share so you may see the impact it can have for patients.




This is the photo from 2011 before I began using lytera and had tried multiple products.



Before Chemical peel #1 in 2014



After chemical peel #1 in 2014 before peel #2



09/20/18 Before my 1st pico treatment for pigmentation


This morning no make-up after 2 pico treatments and cosmetic injections.


 Shelly Sparrow

Clinic Manager

Johnson Dermatology

WOW! Shelly had 3 syringes Voluma in her midface and forehead, 32 units Botox in her glabella and forehead and 1 syringe Juvederm Ultra in her lips before the last photo. Her skincare regimen is geared toward hyperpigmentation and is below.

AM- lumivive am, lytera, ha5, td&r, colorescience all calm or even up (alternate)

PM – aha/bha cleanser, tns recovery, lumivive pm, retinol, lytera, ha5

If you would like to learn more about Shelly’s skincare regimen or want a free skin care consult tailored to your needs please e-mail to schedule.

Hope you all have a skintastic week! Nina



Attitude of Gratitude

This month is labeled “Gratitude Month” at Johnson Dermatology. All month we attempt to have attitudes of gratitude. We thank our patients with sales and we tell each other all the things we are grateful for this year. It’s an amazing month. My favorite month of the year. As I scrolled through Facebook last night I saw a post from a Rodan and Fields consultant that bothered me.


It didnt bother me that she said her product is better than prescription medicines but that her information felt misconstrued. My understanding as a Dermatology APRN for the past six years is that the FDA mandates expiration dates and the medicine is effective until that date. I immediately felt the need to write a response about how I felt. I wanted people to know the medical, scientific truth. However, I kept scrolling and instead wrote down things I’m grateful for in regards to this topic. What I have to be thankful for and grateful for far outweighs the people trying to mislead or confuse others about what is best for their skin. I found myself in an excellent mood rather than the probable terrible mood I would have been in fighting the keyboard warriors about prescription acne medications. I wanted to share with you all some of the things I wrote down.

  1. I’m thankful for my education. I got to spend 4 years at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville learning from some of the best nurses in the state! I was blessed to spend another four years at one of the first nurse practitioner programs in Arkansas at University of Central Arkansas. I am so thankful for my education that gives me the confidence and knowledge to help people with their skin!
  2. I’m thankful for science and research! I get to give patients advice on their skin that is proven to work. I can sleep at night knowing the science is there to back up my decisions. It’s an amazing gift God gave us, science!
  3. I’m thankful for social media. I get to connect with people I would not normally get to before their appointments with me. How many of you have watched me inject Botox on Facebook before you ever came to see me? I am so grateful you watch and so thankful for the relationships I’ve made on social media.
  4. I’m thankful for my mentors. Dr. Brad and Dr. Sandy shared their knowledge and taught me for 6 months before I started seeing patients alone. When I worked as an NP in ER you know how much training I got? 3 days. It was three twelve hour shifts of see one, do one, teach one and I was off to the races. Thankfully I had spent 7 years in ICU as an RN but still! I’m thankful they are there every day and still are molding me everyday. You learn something everyday and these two brainiacs are still teaching me! Thank you!
  5. I’m thankful for my team. Honey is the mustard to my pretzel, the cheese to my wine, the Nutella to my banana. I couldn’t give the care I give without her. My pod team, the front staff, the lab….. I could go on and on! I’m so grateful to have a team that allows for empathetic, effective, empowering and efficient care at JD!

I hope next time you or I feel annoyed we can always try to focus on what we are grateful for instead of going down a rabbit hole. I am so thankful, grateful and blessed to be able to care for peoples skin. Thankful for my readers of this blog.

I’m ready to start Gratitude week with a bang! We had a few cancellations on Friday so if you still want in on the 20% off this week e-mail! You can also come to our open house to buy product or watch a live VelaShape treatment on November 27 from 5-7pm.

Feeling Thankful, Grateful, Blessed and Botox Obsessed, Nina


Gratitude Month is Here!

It’s my favorite month of the year at JD, Gratitude month! All this month we will try to have an attitude of gratitude and we will be thankful. We thank our patients with LOTS of gifts with purchase, sales, discounts, open house (11/27 from 5-7) and more! It’s so exciting. So today I wanted to give thanks for all the cosmetic work I’ve had done to my skin. How did they deal before botox cosmetic? I mean how thankful I am for sunscreen? Girl, bye! I look in the mirror and feel so blessed to have all the resources we have these days to keep our skin young and beautiful. Here is the detailed list of what I use and for which I am very Thankful today.

  1. Total Defense and Repair sunscreen. A sunscreen that feels good on your skin, weightless AND repairs at the same time. Yes. Yes forever!
  2. Retinol. Reverse the damage. Who lives with regret of childhood sunburns? I loved growing up in Arkansas, but that Summer sun ain’t playing! Thank you SkinMedica Retinol for not being so irritating with your anti-inflammatory properties!
  3. Lumivive- protection against the light from my phone, iPad and computer! You know I need that, I’m too obsessed with social media to put my phone down so give me all the protection!
  4. TNS and HA5: life. Smoothing my skin forever and ever! Feel like heaven. Give me glow. Can’t be duplicated. These are the Gucci, Chanel and Prada of skincare. Just e-mail if you don’t already use them. She has coupons for them right now and can tell you why they are must haves and why I believe there are bathtubs full of these products in heaven.
  5. Botox: If you know, you know. The single injectable for which I would give one kidney. My forehead, crows feet and neck require about 70 units of this wrinkle relaxer every 4.5 months. I’m not even scared of high school reunions.
  6. Juvederm Voluma: the filler that pulls up my Kardashian- esque cheeks enhancing my smile lines, tear troughs and jowls all at once. Thank you Voluma for lasting two years. I am grateful for your lift power, smoothness and longevity.
  7. Lasers: I’ve had laser hair reduction, basically full body, because I’m a Maltese dark skinned, hairy woman. It’s life changing. I’ve had PDL to get rid of veins on my legs. I’ve had ATV for brown spots. Thank you to all our laser techs that have so expertly and safely lasered me over the years.
  8. UltraShape Power and VelaShape: Thank you for contouring my abdomen and tightening my skin. Thank you for not hurting at all and not causing any shelving or any problems at all. Just a smoother tummy after two babies. Winning.
  9. Accumax: my acne prone skin is such a nuisance. Since I started Accumax (an oral supplement) my acne is non existent. I so rarely have a lesion and my skin is glowing like never before. Thank you Shelly for bringing this to JD when I was the number one skeptic. Thank you for making me a believer.

I know it sounds like I’ve done a lot to my skin over the past 6 years. I have. I have been taking care of my skin. It’s called health maintenance and I’m not ashamed. If you want to be able to thank all your products and procedures this year because they actually work, then come get a free consult at Johnson Dermatology. We get results. Good results. Just walk around our clinic and look at our staff. E-mail for a free consult! This is the month!

Thank You to all my readers for taking time out of your day to read my blog. I am so thankful for you, Nina

National PA Week!

October 6-12th, 2018 is National Physicians Assistants week! All week we will be celebrating PAs and their contribution to the health care field. At Johnson Dermatology we have one amazing PA, Honey Schaumburg! She is my work sister and I can’t imagine my life at JD without her. She is the calm to my storm. She is wisdom to my insanity. She is the logic to my crazy. She is overall an amazing human and I wanted to dedicate this blog to her and why everyone should get to know her.

Reasons to celebrate Honey this week:

  1. She is a psoriasis expert. She is frequently on advisory boards for Psoriasis drugs called biologics to give her expert advice.
  2. She has a caring heart and loves to serve. She recently visited Peru for a medical mission trip.
  3. She can balance it all. She has a beautiful daughter, sees patients full time, is active in her church and still manages to work out and be a wife. I’m exhausted just thinking about living that life.
  4. She takes care of her team. Ask any of her nurses, she always makes sure they get plenty of time for lunch, feel appreciated, she honors and respects them. I feel sorry for my team just thinking about how spoiled Honeys team is at work!
  5. She is smart. Graduated top of her class, not many PAs can say that!
  6. She is Dermatology certified. A rare species in the PA world.
  7. She is beautiful. I mean not sure this is a professional attribute but it’s true so I had to add it to the list.
  8. She will listen to your needs. Honey always seeks to understand before being understood. I have always been jealous of her ability to listen and I think it’s one of her best traits that makes her a great health care provider.
  9. Honey takes action. In the specialty of biologics and psoriasis one could argue they are the most difficult medications to get to the patient. You can’t just write a prescription and pick them up at the pharmacy. It takes hours of writing letters to insurance companies, giving her staff desk time to do prior authorizations and applications for programs to get the drugs. It’s a lot of extra steps and Honey (and her biologic team) get it done when others probably wouldn’t take the time to do those extra steps for patients.
  10. She is organized. She always takes care of me when we travel. When we have something that has to be done she always reminds me. She is one of the most organized health care providers I know. Every patient benefits from that!

If you know a physicians assistant you should tell them how great they are this week! If you know Honey send some really great treats that I can get a bite of too! If you don’t know Honey and you have dermatological needs make an appointment! It’s easy as e-mailing

Happy National Physicians Week to all the Skintastic PAs out there! We appreciate you and all you do for our communities! Especially you Honey, the best work sister around! Muah, Nina

Men Skincare

I honestly could not wait until Sunday to post this blog by Connor, one of our lab technicians. He wrote all about skincare for men! Did you know that 9% of all non surgical cosmetic procedures last year were men and 64% of those were heterosexual men? It’s officially time to get your anti-aging skin care routine in check boys!!!


This is for all of the guys out there. When you hear the word “skincare” your mind probably automatically goes to makeup, lotion, or some product which most guys would deem “feminine.” I’m here to tell you that is not the case. I know. Men are supposed to be MANLY! Growing beards, chopping down trees, and sharing a cold one with the boys. However, skincare covers a wide variety of products and methods developed for everyone and some even specifically for men. While you’re out there chopping down trees, are you wearing any type of sunscreen? “But Connor, we are men. We don’t need sunscreen.” Just stop right there.

At Johnson Dermatology I cannot tell you how many skin cancers I see come through the laboratory whether that is from biopsies or full-on outpatient surgeries. I would argue the skin cancers I see more often come from men than women! I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with G.I. Joe and one of his most famousphrases, “knowing is half the battle.” Keeping that in mind, some of the causes for the difference are the lack of knowledge men have about skincare as well as some biological differencesbetween men and women. Here’s some intel from the frontline:

Women apply sunscreen more often than men.
It is believed men have less fat under their skin as well as less collagen and elastin in their skin which makes them more likely to develop skin cancers.
From ages 15 to 39, men are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group.
An estimated 9,320 people will die of melanoma in the U.S. in 2018: of those, 5,990 will be men and 3,330 will be women.
Men are twice as likely to develop basal cell carcinoma and three times as likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma.
The susceptibility becomes worse the more you age.
Some researchers hypothesize the hormone, estrogen, is a factor in preventing the development of melanoma as well as other cancers.

There is a lot of good information not mentioned here that isoutlined in these articles so I’ll leave links to them down below.

From this information, we can see that we men need to take better care of our skin. I know I haven’t for most of my life and I’ve had a few blistering sunburns which increases your chances of developing skin cancer.7 However, the best thing I can do now is to change the way I treat my skin. I may not be able to fully repair the damage that has been done, but I can take stepsprevent it from going any further. That means choosing the right products to use for the protection of my skin.

We guys tend to not think/care about the quality of skin productsor a lot of things for that matter. If it’s cheap and seems to do the job then why go with anything else right? While I agree with that mindset for most things, you should not skimp on sunscreen. Yes, the sunscreen at the convenience store is easy to grab, but be sun smart. Go to Walmart, Target, Walgreens, or somewhere like them and pick up a decent sunscreen like Nina’s choices of Bare Republic or Pacifica (at least SPF 30, fellas!). JD also offers a wonderful selection of sun protectants from SkinMedica that are proven to work! What’s even better is they go on dry so it won’t affect the scruff and they don’t run when they get wet.

For the women with men in their lives, be sure your guy takescare of his skin. We may do a lot of stupid things that may make you wonder how in the world we’ve managed to live this long(see image below), but maybe being sun smart would be a good place to start getting us on the right track. When he goes out to chop trees, watch a football game, hunt, fish, or whatever elsewe guys like to do, tell him to put on plenty of sunscreen and even a wide-brim hat. If he argues, give him “the look” (scariest thing I’ve seen from my mother).

As an important side note, Johnson Dermatology offers special skin care kits specifically designed for men. Just ask for the regiMEN. It has everything you’ll need to take good care of your manly skin so you can continue to do the manly things we men like to do and look good while doing it.

Be SkinSmart to be SkinSafe so you can be skintastic!



September Favorites

What a whirlwind life is! What a blessing to have a three year old and a five year old. What a blessing to have a job that keeps you traveling. In September I have been to Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, soccer games every Monday, Thursday and Saturday and dance every Tuesday. It’s a busy life and it’s a short life. The days are long but the years are short. Don’t remember which patient told me that when she saw my pregnant belly six years ago but that might have been the truest statement I have ever heard. Although I might not have set aside time to blog in September I definitely set aside time to try out some new products and for the first time in a while I have noticed a significant change in my skin so I HAD to share with you! These have been my recent game changers.

  1. Accumax. I am someone with acne prone skin. God given acne prone skin. Girl, I’m in Dermatology and ain’t nobody in derm got time for acne, nobody! I use my retinol like I use toothpaste-never forget. This month I added Jane Iredales supplement Accumax 2 pills in the AM and 2 at night and it has changed my acne game. My skin is overall smoother and much less prone to acne. Highly recommend. Not an antibiotic, safe as long as not pregnant.
  2. Colorscience total eye. Now it’s thick. If you don’t use concealer this may not be your bestie. But if you use eye cream and concealer you can now put those in one step. It has the best applicator that cools the undereyes in the AM and wakes you up. It’s has sunscreen to protect too! It’s a 3 in 1 product and is my new go-to everyday during my get ready routine. Check out the details on our product highlights on IG.
  3. Lumivive. It’s the newest product from SkinMedica. It’s a two product packaged deal. There is a day and a night. The day protects you from blue light and considering that’s what comes off your iPad and phones if you’re reading this you need it. It’s very thin so you won’t feel like you’re adding a product but your skin will be happier and in turn I got a new glow up! The night helps restore your skin as you sleep. This allows your current products to be amped up. When I started accumax I got a little peely, red and inflamed. I started the Lumivive and it restored my skin to a very happy place. After a month of use my skin is glowing like never before AND I know I’m a step ahead of all my friends. I know that in 10 years when I go to my high school reunion they will all be 10 years of blue light protection behind me. So my skin will be healthier appearing. They will have brown spots and wrinkles that I won’t. We all know it’s a competition for who has the best skin and I’m in it to win it! If you feel like your skin regimen needs a pick me up then try Lumivive. It won’t disappoint.

Here is my one month change in my skin, always getting better! One step closer to aging backwards! Want to age backwards with me? E-mail for a free consult and to learn more about my September Favs and more!


Obvs this is my bathroom selfie and not a professional before and after but WOW!

Stay Skintastic, Nina

Sunscreen Tips from JD staff

Some of you may not know that we have an in house lab at Johnson Dermatology. We have a board certified dermatopathologist, Dr. Amy Hudson right here at JD. That may not sound like a big deal but she is one of only five in the entire state of Arkansas! That’s the type of specialized care you get at JD right here in the River Valley. One of our awesome lab team members Beth might be who processes your skin sample if you have a biopsy at Johnson Dermatology. I can only imagine that looking at pieces of skin cancer all day would enhance your motivation to wear sunscreen. Beth has become a sunscreen expert over her four years at Johnson Dermatology and she wanted to share that knowledge with you. Knowledge is power. Let her give you the power to keep your skin young and beautiful!

From Beth:

Being quite pale, sunscreen has always been a staple in my outdoor life.  As a child, I was envious of my siblings who were allowed to continue swimming past the one hour mark while I had to move to the shade, dry off, reapply and wait fifteen minutes.  Despite my parents and my own vigilance against the sun, my father and I spent a lot of time applying cold Aloe Vera to each other’s sun burns (I inherited his skin tone).  Even into adulthood, I kept sunscreen in my purse, car, and backpack at college, pretty much anywhere I could possibly have need of it.  I also avoided sun exposure of more than fifteen minutes (I will burn in that time), because honestly sunburns hurt.  When I began working at JD, my eyes were opened to a whole new reason to avoid sunburns, skin cancer.

I had heard of skin cancer before. I knew it was a possibility, my grandmother had it when I was younger.  I even accepted that I would probably have it at some point in time.  What I didn’t understand was how serious it could be.  Research shows that as few as five blistering sunburns in your lifetime double a person’s risk of melanoma, the worst kind of skin cancer.  But getting any sunburn as little as every two years can triple your risk of getting skin cancer.  That’s not just the blistering ones, that’s if you just turn a little pink.  I cannot count the times I have been burnt in my lifetime.  So knowing that I have a high probability of getting skin cancer at some point, I made it my goal to protect my children to the best of my ability.  I learned a lot about what I had been doing wrong.

Did you know that sunscreens expire?  My grandmother had a pool in her backyard, and I know we just used whatever sunscreen we could find that hadn’t dried up.  This meant digging through the medicine cabinet to find a bottle stashed behind five years’ worth of old pills.  When we went fishing, we grabbed the pink bottle of Coppertone baby that had been under the seat for years.  How many sunburns did I get because we were using a sunscreen that was well past the three year mark?  Well not anymore. Now I buy new sunscreen every year just to be safe.

Did you know that sunscreen left in the heat doesn’t work as well?  Heat degrades the components of sunscreen much faster than if they are left at room temperature.  That sunscreen that I left in my car thinking I was being smart, it probably wasn’t protecting me as well as I thought it was.  If sunscreen is separated, meaning it has a watery layer to it, you most likely need a new one.  The sunscreen in the boat definitely wasn’t working.  Now I have a bottle in the house to apply before we leave for a day in the sun and one that I carry in my purse or the diaper bag for reapplication.  If they separate out, I throw them away.

Did you know you can get cancer in your ear?  My parents were always reminding me to get the backs of my ears when I applied sunscreen, but never once did I slather it around inside my ear.  Working in the laboratory at JD, I see cancers from all over the body.  I was shocked when I began to see multiple cancers from inside the ear, not just the outer rim.  I was even more shocked when I started seeing how much had to be cut out on ear cancers.  Entire chunks down to or even through the cartilage sometimes have to be removed to clear the cancer.  If my fingers can reach it, there is sunscreen on it.

Did you know that your hair may not protect your head from the sun?  I have always had really thick hair so I never thought about this, but when my daughter was born I could see her scalp.  Now you’re probably saying no duh, and yes I knew babies start out with thin hair, but if I could see her scalp so could the sun.  I had to rub sunscreen into her scalp through her hair.  It gave her a very funny hairdo and didn’t want to wash out, but at least I felt she was protected.  I even started wearing hats to keep the sun from burning my scalp where my own hair parts.

I now no longer envy my siblings ability to tan.  In fact they are quite tired of me nagging them to wear sunscreen.  So that’s what I’ve learned about sunscreen since working at Johnson Dermatology.  Hopefully it will help you better protect yourself and your family.


Thanks Beth! That was awesome! Stay sunscreentastic! Nina