Dr. Taub’s Spring 2018 Letter

Dear patients, colleagues and friends,

As you have probably noticed, we are in the process of expanding our Lincolnshire office. We are hoping to be in the new space (adjacent to the old space) by end of May, while we renovate our current space. We are scheduled to be finished with construction by mid to late July, and will then occupy the entire second floor. Keep your fingers crossed! Thank you so much for your patience while we are still in the construction process.

Also, thank you for welcoming Dr. Kaniszewska with open arms. If you have already met Dr. Kaniszewska, you will have noticed that she is very open, easy to talk to, and has a wealth of knowledge about dermatology. She is a fantastic addition to Advanced Dermatology’s team!

I wanted to tell you about my meeting at the American Academy of Dermatology in San Diego where I spoke on “The Latest and Greatest Cosmeceuticals.” There are some new ways of achieving skin renewal through topical non-prescription therapy and I was fortunate to be a part of research for this breakthrough. By now you have probably heard of the skincare brand DefenAge®. DefenAge® products contain molecules called defensins. Defensins are released by our own white blood cells when they come in contact with bacteria. When this happens, our healing abilities are triggered by way of stem cells, that are located in our hair follicles. These stem cells only become activated by defensins, while inactive they are held in reserve. Since defensins are able to activate stem cells, this skincare is able to make new skin. The new skin is produced from stem cells that have not been exposed to overuse, toxins or ultraviolet light, which makes them more effective. This is a new and exciting way of approaching skin renewal. I like to think of this new process as more “biologic”; instead of adding something we might not have enough of, our ingenious biology is being simulated and activated in order to produce what we need! The study conducted in our office for these products (DefenAge® Kit) was a 3-site study and we were the lead investigators. By the time you’ll read this, the study will have just been published (April) in an important peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (JDD). DefenAge® products ($15 for a starter kit and ranging from $55–$285 for the clinical power trio) are available for purchase at both skinfo® locations, as well as online at skinfo.com.

I love to go to meetings and am a true dermatology nerd! I never get tired of learning new techniques and thinking of ways to improve results, decrease potential side effects and minimize recovery time. While in San Diego, I was able to hear some of my intellectual heroes and heroines speak. Dr. Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone, (my favorite book of all time) spoke inspiringly about how to keep human relationships and touch in our medical interactions, despite our proliferating technologies. Jennifer Doudna, PhD, spoke about her lab’s discovery of Crispr, a mechanism for being able to edit genetic material, that I am sure will win her a Nobel prize. This discovery will enable us to reverse and possibly cure many terrible human genetic defects. I also had the privilege of seeing Malcom Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Outliers: The Story of Success, and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Gladwell spoke about how technologies are invented years before somebody figures out how best to utilize or popularize them. This can be seen with the invention of the radio and many other technologies. Initially, the radio was intended for the sole purpose of receiving the news, but sadly it never caught on as the news in the 1920s was rather mundane. It wasn’t until a promoter realized he could broadcast the highly anticipated boxing fight between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney LIVE that radio became popular. Even the telephone was imagined as a way to call the store to check if something was in stock before going there, or as a business-to-business convenience. It wasn’t until people realized they could talk to their friends and family that this became a widespread technology!

The month of May is skin cancer awareness month, so both Dr. Mahoney and Dr. Kaniszewska wrote articles on pre-skin cancers called actinic keratosis, as well as the range of common skin cancers. We know that body checks and skin cancer screenings are a big part of why you come to see us, so it never hurts to include skin cancer education as a refresher! The newsletters will always include information on sunscreen – its that time of year when we all need to break out our hats, sunglasses and sunscreen, so we can enjoy the outdoors without feeling guilty!

Last fall I participated in something called “Iron Surgeon” at the American Society of Dermatology Surgery, which required me to present in 10 minutes the best combination of anti-aging strategies that I have used on my patients. I learned by putting that presentation together, sometimes tried and true are just as good, if not better than new. For instance, using the Fraxel® laser, which is 10-year-old technology, has proven the test of time. It gives us consistent and excellent improvement for scars, wrinkles, sun damage (brown spots and dull skin) and even actinic keratosis (pre-skin cancer). Although Fraxel® treatments include some downtime, you can’t beat the results. All of us lead such busy lives that it is hard to have a “healing time” especially on our face, which is always exposed. Sometimes we need to take a few days of extra special care to “clean up” some of the wear and tear on our skin! I have been pretty good about taking care of my skin, therefore I have little sun damage, but I think that I am going to have to get Dr. Mahoney to treat me with Fraxel® on my face, neck, chest, arms and hands this fall to undergo my own renewal!

Hope you all have a wonderful spring and summer. (Go Cubs AND SOX!) Enjoy and protect yourselves,

Amy Forman Taub, MD, FAAD
And the Staff of Advanced Dermatology
and skinfo® Specialty Skincare Boutique