Ways to Boost your Skin:

Besides eating the right foods and taking in the right fluids, here are five other ways to boost skin health:

  1. Stop smoking. Studies suggest that tobacco smoke exposure decreases capillary and arteriolar blood flow, possibly damaging connective tissues that help maintain healthy skin.
  2. Get enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic
  1. Protect your skin from the sun. No matter what you eat, be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. The label should say “broad-spectrum,” meaning that it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains a sunscreen.
  1. Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
  2. Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.

Sources: National Institutes of Health;; Mayo Clinic

New Treatment for Depression?

There is a recent pilot study showing botulinum toxin (Botox) might actually help treat depression when used to reduce wrinkles between the eyebrows. What is interesting is this effect lasted longer than the softening of the wrinkles; being still evident after they had reappeared.

Two possible theories are suggested as to why this might be.

The injections made it difficult for the subjects to frown and if they frowned less, they had better social interactions which helped lift their mood. A second possibility, which was favoured by Dr. Magid, the author of the study, was a more biological one.
MRI studies have shown when people are unable to make angry facial expressions there is less activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain which controls emotion. It may be if a person can not frown, the brain does not register the emotion so the amygdala does not get the trigger and as a consequence the person just does not feel upset.

Although this study is interesting, and may well prompt more research, it should be interpreted with some caution. The study was not “blinded” meaning patients could could see the effect of the botulinum on their wrinkles which could definitely influence the results and make the intervention more effective than it actually is. We shall wait and see…

Skin Lightening Interview

See Dr Walker on Channel 4 news interview.  A good piece about the dangers of purchasing and using skin lightening creams or products that contain hydroquinone. It is illegal to sell these creams in the UK but, as Channel 4 soon find out, in reality they are widely available.

We do use creams containing hydroquinone in dermatology practice for some pigmentation problems but because of potentially serious side effects, it is essential the use of these products is carefully supervised by dermatologists.


History of Dermatological Surgery

Interesting recent article about how Dr Neil Walker helped Dermatologists develop more complex surgical skills and pioneered new ways for treating skin cancer here 

Vogue’s Guide to Whose Who in Dermatology…

Here is a sneak preview of the latest dermatology recommendations from Vogue. Vogue do a round up of what is on offer from different Dermatologists across the UK. Stratum Clinics and Neil Walker come highly recommended both for our specialised care in the surgical treatment of skin cancers and of course for our wide range and high quality laser expertise.


Non-Physician Laser Procedures Draw More Lawsuits

We are not surprised by the findings of a study published in JAMA Dermatology that patient dissatisfaction and subsequent legal claims are commoner when laser treatments are carried out by non-medical personnel. This seems particularly true when the procedures are done outside of a traditional medical setting or without close on-site medical  supervision.

The popularity of laser treatments such as hair removal is increasing dramatically and we agree with Dr Jalian, consumers still need to be aware these are medical procedures with significant risks. It seems sensible advice to encourage anyone considering laser or IPL treatment “to enquire about the training, certification and experience of the person performing the procedure”.


Should isotretinoin (Roaccutane) be Banned?

The debate continues as to whether isotretinoin (Roaccutane) causes depression and suicide. We believe it is a good drug if prescribed in the right way to the right patients who are aware of the side-effects. It remains a vital tool in the treatment of acne.


Become an Advocate for the Practice of Ethical Aesthetic Medicine

We agree entirely with the article on the importance of a strong code of ethics in aesthetic medicine We think it is interesting the USA has the same problem as the UK with patients unwittingly falling into the hands of the inexperienced, untrained and unethical. Will stricter regulation help? The article echoes the fundamental ethos at Stratum where we endeavour to do what is best for our patients at all times.


Why we chose Venus Freeze