I screen, you screen, we all screen for sunscreen!

Published April 5th, 2023

Each day, Dr. Bilu Martin and the the staff at Premier Dermatology, MD get asked-- do I really need to wear sunblock?  The answer is YES!  Exposure to the sun increases the risk of skin cancer.  Taking a daily vitamin D supplement and eating foods rich in vitamin D should be sufficient to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D.  For more information, visit the American Academy of Dermatology's website.

SO WEAR SUNBLOCK.  Every. Single. Day.

Now, there are some guidelines to follow.

1. Sunblocks should be broad spectrum, meaning they block both UVA and UVB rays. 

UVA rays cause the signs of aging (A for Aging): wrinkles, brown spots, and loss of elasticity (read: loose skin).  They pass through clouds and are unaffected by weather.  UVA rays also cause skin cancer. 

UVB rays cause sunburns (B for burning), and vary with the time of day and season.  The SPF rating on sunscreen means the level of protection against UVB rays only.  Sunblocks should be at least an SPF 30.  Anything higher than that doesn't make much difference.

2. Sunblocks consist of two classes of ingredients: chemical blockers and physical blockers.  Chemical sunscreens need to be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure so that they can be absorbed into the skin.  Physical blockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, sit on the surface of the skin and work immediately.  So which is better?  Many sunblocks contain a combination of the two classes.  Some people are irritated by chemical sunscreens, in which case a physical block would be better.  Physical sunblocks also tend to be more sweat resistant (which is handy for exercising). 

3. Sunblocks must be re-applied every two hours, and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.  Use the right amount: a teaspoon full for the face; a shotglass full for the body.  

At Premier Dermatology, MD, in Aventura, we recommend and carry many sunblocks.  Here are just a few we love:  

EltaMD UV Pure SPF 41: a broad-spectrum, chemical-free sunscreen.  It's great for kids and adults whose sensitive skin can be irritated by chemicals.  It's also fragrance-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic (as are all the EltaMD susncreens). Dr. Bilu Martin puts it on her kids every single morning, rain or shine. 

EltaMD Physical SPF 47: also a broad-spectrum, chemical-free sunscreen.  It has a universal tint, so it doesn't appear as "white" on the skin as the UV pure.

EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46: for acne or rosacea prone patients, this broad spectrum sunscreen contains 5% niacinamide, which helps calm redness.  It will not cause breakouts and is very light. 

Skinceuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50: a tinted, broad spectrum, chemical-free sunscreen with a matte finish.  Feels like a bb cream; very cosmetically elegant.

Keep in mind that these sunblocks are only sold to physician offices and authorized dealers.  If bought from an unauthorized website or retailer, you may not be getting the genuine product.  

Don't skimp on sunblocks and just pick any cheap one.  In south Florida, protecting your and your family's skin with a sunblock that is effective is so important all year round.  A single blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma in their lifetime.  Protect your precious skin!

Collagen, we love you!

Published November 7th, 2022

These days, everyone is searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth.  But dermatologists know what the real secret to youthful skin is-- collagen!  Collagen is one of the main proteins that makes up the connective tissue in our bodies.  It's found in our cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, and SKIN!  Collagen is what makes skin look smooth, tight, and healthy.  But over time, collagen starts to degrade.  And environmental factors like too much sun exposure, an unhealthy diet, smoking, and pollution all contribute to its demise.  So what can be done to stimulate collagen?  Turns out, quite a bit.  At Premier Dermatology, MD, Dr. Bilu Martin uses a variety of procedures to amp up production of this precious protein.

Dr. Bilu Martin loves her Cynosure Icon non-ablative fractional laser, which uses a 1540 wavelength to create tiny controlled zones of thermal damage.  The surrounding normal skin sends in fibroblasts, which create collagen to repair the tissue.  The result?  Improvement of fine lines, texture, acne scars, and surgical scars.  Platelet rich plasma (PRP) can be applied while channels in the skin are open and injected into the skin after the laser. PRP contains growth factors to further stimulate collagen.  Laser treatments are recommended 4-6 weeks apart and have minimal downtime.

Aquagold microneedling is another fantastic treatment performed at Premier Dermatology, MD to stimulate collagen.  Platelet rich plasma (PRP) and neurotoxin (Botox, Dysport, and Jeuveau) are put in the Aquagold and Dr. Bilu Martin microneedles on the face, neck, and chest.  The 24 karat microneedles penetrate the skin, depositing PRP and microdoses of toxin.  PRP can also be injected afterwards.  Immediately post procedure, the skin looks taut and glow-y.  One week later, when the toxin kicks in, pores appear smaller and skin looks fresh.  Treatments can be performed every 4-6 weeks.

Sculptra is a biostimulatory injectable made of poly-L-lactic acid.  Dr. Bilu Martin injects Sculptra in the temples, cheeks, jawline, and chest.  1-2 vials are injected 6-8 weeks apart in 2-3 sessions.  Unlike hyaluronic acids that fill and lift with immediate results, the visible effects of Sculptra take time because it stimulates the body to create collagen in the areas injected.  This is an especially great option for the wrinkles in the decolletage (often in combination with laser treatments). 

Finally, the right skincare is essential.  UV rays from the sun degrade collagen, causing sun exposed skin to appear dull and wrinkled.  A broad spectrum sunblock that blocks both UVA and UVB rays should contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Applying enough and frequently are key.  A retinol cream at night helps to lighten sun spots, increase cell turnover, and stimulate collagen.  Ask us about it at pdmd.

Ultimately, the battle to keep and stimulate collagen is an every day one.  Luckily, we have a variety of treatments available to keep skin looking healthy and youthful!


The what's what in fillers at pdmd

Published June 23rd, 2022

Donna Bilu Martin, MD, FAAD discusses filler treatments at Premier Dermatology, MD.  Dr. Bilu Martin is a board certified dermatologist at Premier Dermatology, MD in Aventura, Florida.  She is an expert in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. 

The In's and Out's of a full body skin exam at the Dermatologist

Published January 11th, 2022

1. Dermatologists look EVERYWHERE.

Yes, everywhere.  From the top of the head down to in-between toes, including the groin area and buttocks.  Skin cancers and abnormal moles can come up where the sun doesn't shine, so it's important to have a thorough exam.  There's no need to feel shy or embarrassed.  Dermatologists are medical doctors who, in addition to completing four years of medical school, have had an additional four years of internship and residency training.  To become board certified like Dr. Bilu Martin, dermatologists take a rigorous board exam and re-certify every 10 years.  Our medical training and experience make dermatologists the experts in skin conditions.

2. Skin exams should be done once a year.

Just like a yearly checkup at the internist, regular full skin examinations allow for earlier detection and treatment of skin cancer and abnormal moles.  People with a history of melanoma or multiple non-melanoma skin cancers may require more frequent exams, based on their dermatologist's recommendations. 

3. Dermatologists are not concerned with hairy legs or non-pedicured toes.  Or non-matching undergarments.

Your doctor does not care if you haven't shaved all winter long!  Dermatologists are busy looking for suspicious spots when we conduct our exams.

4. Early detection saves lives.

Diagnosing and treating skin cancer such as melanoma in its earliest stages greatly improves prognosis.  In fact, for very early stage melanoma located at the site where it started, the 5 year survival is 99%.  When basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are found early, they can be easily treated in the office.  

5. Kids can get full body skin examinations.

Having family members with melanoma, being fair skinned, having light eyes, and a history of sunburns all increase the risk of melanoma and other types of skin cancer.  Kids with many moles or with risk factors would benefit from skin exams.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones and schedule a full body skin exam in 2022! 

Technology and Beauty

Published October 3rd, 2021

Ah, technology.  The ability to access information and connect with others by using our devices is truly amazing.  We can get what we want and find things out in a matter of seconds, just by clicking an app or a site on our phones or tablets.  But with convenience, comes a price.  And who pays the price?  Our skin!

It's true.  Staring down at our devices, scrolling through social media can lead to the dreaded "tech neck:" horizontal lines and wrinkles on our necks.  And the blue light emitted from devices has been shown to accelerate the aging process by damaging proteins and killing cells-- leading to wrinkles, sagging skin, and dullness.  The light can lead to hyperpigmentation as well: darker spots, the same way ones that come out with too much UV light exposure.  Squinting at our tiny screens can lead to Crow's feet around the eyes.

So what's a technology loving person to do?

First and foremost, a great skin care regimen is key.  Protect skin daily with a broad spectrum sunblock that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  At Premier Dermatology, MD, we carry multiple sunblocks by EltaMD and Skinceuticals.  Products like Vitamin C serums and topical Resveratrol help repair antioxidant damage.  Peptides and growth factors stimulate collagen and help to tighten the skin.  Retinol creams (not for women who are pregnant or nursing) increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as work to improve hyperpigmentation.   

Dr. Bilu Martin uses Botox or Dysport to soften Crow's feet.  She injects PRP (platelet rich plasma) under and around the eyes to improve fine lines and texture.  For the neck, Dr. Bilu Martin uses a combination of treatments, including Botox or Dysport to soften vertical and horizontal bands.  She places dissolvable PDO threads to both lift and soften horizontal lines in the neck. In addition, Dr. Bilu Martin performs a series of laser treatments to the face and neck to improve texture and fine lines with minimal discomfort or downtime.  Aquagold, with or without PRP, is another favorite treatment at pdmd to improve the appearence of pores, fine lines, and dull skin.  In this treatment, a combination of Botox/Dysport and hyaluronic acid (plus or minus PRP) is microneedled all over the face, leaving skin glowing.

Audrey, our amazing aesthetician, uses a variety of treatments, including microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, medical grade skincare, masks, and chemical peels to improve damage and hyperpigmentation.  The Vi peel, one of her favorite treatments, is a superficial peel that is usually done in a series.  Skin will peel for a few days, resulting in brighter, smoother skin. 

This October at PDMD is the perfect time to take advantage of our specials and combat damage from technology.  To schedule your appointment with Dr. Bilu Martin and Audrey, call us at 305-521-8971.



Latest on blog

I screen, you screen, we all screen for sunscreen!
Published April 5th, 2023

Each day, Dr. Bilu Martin and the the staff at Premier Dermatology, MD get asked-- do I really need to...

Learn More