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.


Fillers and the Coronavirus Vaccine

Published January 18th, 2021

Coronavirus turned 2020 upside down.  However, there are now two vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) available for Coronavirus, which is a great step forward in ending this pandemic. 

You may have heard reports in the media of swelling in areas of fillers in some who received the Moderna vaccine during the trial.  Here are the facts and what they mean: there were three reports of swelling in the areas where fillers had previously been injected out of the 15,184 patients who received the Moderna vaccine in the trial.  The swelling occurred 1-2 days after the vaccine was given.  This reaction occurred in less that 0.02% of people who received the vaccine.  Swelling in each case resolved.  Of note, one patient had a similar reaction after a flu vaccine in the past.  No cases in the Pfizer vaccine trial were reported. 

The ASDS (American Society of Dermatologic Surgery) published guidance regarding dermal fillers and the vaccine are as follows:

  • Dermal filler inflammatory events very seldom occur with both hyaluronic acid and non-hyaluronic acid fillers.
  • Evidence suggests these reactions can be immunologically triggered by viral and bacterial illness, vaccinations (i.e., influenza vaccine) and dental procedures.
  • These rare adverse events are temporary and respond to treatments such as oral corticosteroids and hyaluronidase, and often times resolve without treatment.
  • Patients already treated with dermal fillers should not be discouraged or prevented from receiving vaccines of any kind. Patients who have had vaccines should not be prevented from receiving dermal fillers in the future.
  • In the Moderna mRNA-1273 trial, three reactions were possibly related to dermal fillers out of 15,184 vaccine recipients. It is unknown how many subjects in the trial had previous treatment with dermal fillers.
  • Dermal fillers should be administered by board-certified physicians who are experts in both the injection of dermal fillers and management of complications arising from them.

The bottom line: vaccines prevent diseases and having a previous history of fillers is not a reason not to get the vaccine when the opportunity arises. 


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Collagen, we love you!
Published November 7th, 2022

These days, everyone is searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth.  But dermatologists know what...

Learn More