Keeping Lips Sun Safe

Jul 30 2014
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Kayak-sport01Keeping lips sun safe is equally as important as any other part of the body where sunscreen is necessary.

Lips are extremely susceptible to sun damage because of its thin layer of skin. Without any SPF lip balm protection, this area is a target for extreme sun damage.

So while out there enjoying those sports on water or land, a solar defense is needed.

Likewise, lips don’t have melanin like other parts of the body. What this means is that without a natural pigment, this part of the body will burn from sun exposure.

As many already know, collagen keeps skin looking young and lips have this biological ingredient. We are also aware that collagen can be destroyed from UV light. When lips are damaged from the sun, a breakdown in collagen occurs, causing wrinkles.

Other triggers for sun damaged lips are the following:

  • Cold sores
  • Sun blisters
  • Actinic cheilitis
  • Skin cancer

Actinic cheilitis is a lesion condition caused by the sun. When one is diagnosed with it, their lips become inflamed and the lower lip area becomes dehydrated and cracks. The skin also becomes very thick. Some patients also have a white and/or pale discoloration and there is excessive wrinkling. Some of these lesions are also considered pre-cancerous.

According to recent numbers, annually, there more than 3,000 new cases of lip skin cancers reported. And majority of them are diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma.

It’s always important to visit a San Diego plastic surgeon or dermatologist for any suspicious skin blemish activity.

In the summer months, while at the pool or the beach, the reflection from the water and sand brings the UV exposure to a higher level.

For women, wearing traditional lipstick will not protect lips. In fact, wearing a non SPF lip gloss can actually cause more UV damage due to the moisture content and shine.

Here are some tips for lips for the whole family:

  • Purchase a SPF lip balm
  • Apply at least 30 minutes prior to going outdoors
  • The higher the SPF protection, the better
  • Reapply often

It’s important to remember that lips need to be protected not only during the summertime, but all year long.

New study: The effects of diabetes with weight-loss surgery

Jul 26 2014
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Weight loss surgery is extremely transforming for every patient. At the end of their weight loss and when they have achieved a stable weight, many opt for a post-bariatric body contouring surgery. This procedure removes any excess skin.

Being that our San Diego plastic surgery office performs this procedure to help patients complete their weight loss journey, we generally keep track of new studies in weight-loss surgery.

A recent one was just revealed from Manchester University and was highlighted this month in the Science Daily but published in the Endocrinology journal. It’s entitled, “Why weight-loss surgery cures diabetes: New clues.”

In essence, researchers are getting a better grasp as to why a significant group of gastric bypass surgery cures Type 2 diabetes.

The article reads, “Our research centered on enteroendocrine cells that ‘taste’ what we eat and in response release a cocktail of hormones that communicate with the pancreas, to control insulin release to the brain, to convey the sense of being full and to optimize and maximize digestion and absorption of nutrients,” said the study’s team leader.

It went on to say that the “Type 2 diabetes cure” may very well be linked to the “actions of specialized cells” within the intestine which emit a boost of hormones, also referred to as a special cocktail in the research report, when people eat.

Originally, researchers thought there was only one gut hormone cell. Now, there are found to be six of them; and, one is the hormone which controls hunger called ghrelin.

“Our research centered on enteroendocrine cells that ‘taste’ what we eat and in response release a cocktail of hormones that communicate with the pancreas, to control insulin release to the brain, to convey the sense of being full and to optimize and maximize digestion and absorption of nutrients,” said study team leader, Dr Craig Smith, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Cell Physiology. He went on to say in the research report, “Under normal circumstances these are all important factors in keeping us healthy and nourished. But these cells may malfunction and result in under or over eating.”

In the research study, it’s reported that 75% of obese patients with diabetes are cured following a gastric bypass surgery. The research team is analyzing and understanding why this is the case by finding out more tangible answers.

“This is where things start to get really interesting because the most common type of gastric bypass actually also bypasses a proportion of the gut hormone cells. It is thought that this causes the gut hormone cells to change and be reprogrammed. For us, understanding how these cells change in response to surgery is likely to hold the key to a cure for diabetes,” said Smith in the research report, also noting how one day drugs may cure obesity and Type 2 diabetes rather than weight loss surgery.


Quick Tips To Prevent Summer Acne

Jul 22 2014
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It’s the middle of summer right now which means temperatures are rising higher.

Those prone to acne may be battling it a bit more at this time, whereas, those who normally don’t get acne may be seeing pimples.

It’s normal.

This is a common occurrence during the summer months.

The warmer weather actually jumpstarts oil production. In turn, our pores may become more at risk with getting clogged with debris, makeup and dirt.

Here are some quick tips to help battle current and future breakouts:


  • Team up with a skin care professional, such as a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. They will have an inventory of result-driven skin care products.


  • Utilize a morning and evening skin care routine which includes a gentle, non-soap facial cleanser and oil-free moisturizer.


  • Don’t shy away from sunscreen. Instead, wear an oil-free broad spectrum sunscreen. Again, a doctor’s office will have the right selection or point you in the right direction.


  • Applying a daily moisturizer is important but this time of year, you’ll need to scale back to avoid more pimples. And remember, an oil-free moisturizer.


  • Leave the foundation for evening time. Instead consider a tinted sunscreen or even a CC cream for coverage during the day.


  • Wash your face both morning and night with a non-soap cleanser. However, if you find yourself sweating, be sure to wash your face as soon as possible.


  • For makeup, try using a mineral based makeup.

While summer time is a great time of year, our skin care does need to change with the seasons.


What to expect from a rhinoplasty recovery

Jul 19 2014
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Google Images

Google Images

One of the most common facial cosmetic procedures is a nose job.

Medically referred to as a rhinoplasty, this surgery reshapes the nose in a variety of ways such as the width, profile, nostrils and nasal tip.

Because nose surgery in San Diego is a sought after procedure, many like to know what they can expect from a recovery. Like any surgery, each person recovers at a different rate.

However, as a general rule of thumb, here are some guidelines on what to expect.

Done as an outpatient procedure, patients can go home the very same day. A couple days following surgery, patients may feel some nasal discomfort and a headache.

Beforehand, during the preoperative appointment, a patient’s San Diego plastic surgeon will have prescribed some medication to help minimize any discomfort so they can rest better.

Upon arriving home, it’s recommended to have a patient’s head elevated for the first 24 hours after surgery. Also on the postoperative instructions list will be to apply cold compresses frequently, which will help considerably with swelling and bruising.

About 10 days after surgery, one can expect another appointment with their surgeon to remove their splint. At the same visit, if any sutures were used, those will be removed, as well.

Bruising is generally localized to the lower lid areas. Majority of this discoloration will disappear in approximately two to three weeks. Generally, patients feel comfortable going out in public in about two weeks and can use makeup to conceal any residual bruising.

Swelling, however, is a bit different.

Majority of the swelling will recede in three weeks. While majority of the postsurgical swelling is resolved within this timeframe, it can take up to a year for all nasal area swelling to disappear.

While people may want to return to work quickly, most doctors recommend taking a week or more off. In many instances, depending on the type of work a patient does, they can work remotely from their home when they start to feel better, but are not quite ready to go out into public just yet.

As for resuming normal exercise, this may take up to two months. A patient’s surgeon will give them this timeframe.

Another item people tend to dismiss when thinking about having a nose surgery is eyewear. This is highly important because the nasal bones take weeks to heal. For those needing to wear corrective lenses, they will get specific tips on how to wear their glasses, and when they can start wearing them intermittently.

The steps of recovery take patience, but after it’s all done, patients find the aesthetic benefits and results are well worth it.

Seasonal Produce For Healthy Skin

Jul 15 2014
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Google Images

During the summer months, we are often reminded on how to care for our skin with solar protection and seeking shade between the hottest hours of the day.

The sun’s rays are most powerful between the hours of 11 am to 3 pm.

While sunscreen, shade tips, and a Retin-A treatment is great to ward off premature skin damage, summertime also means there are some fruits and vegetables on the list which are great for skin, as well.

That old adage, “You are what you eat,” can prove true for skin. Staying hydrated with water is important, but not many are aware that fresh produce can be hydrating, too.

This time of year, there is an overwhelming amount of tasty seasonal produce.

Below is a skin-friendly shopping list to add to your diet:


This fruit contains about 90 percent water which invariably hydrates the body. Rich in vitamin C, this vitamin also helps encourage collagen.


Berries are great antioxidants for the body and skin. The berry shopping list includes blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and any other berries you can find.


The primary ingredient for a cucumber is water, so add them to your salads or eat them as is. And if you’re adding them to a salad, be sure it contains dandelion greens because they are great for the skin, too.

Citrus Fruits:

Citrus fruits are abundant with vitamin C, amino acids, lysine, and proline. It’s a great combination to promote collagen and help fight off free radicals.


Also great in salads, this fruit helps protect the skin with its robust ingredient, lycopene, which helps with collagen production.

This summer, take advantage of all the seasonal fruits and vegetables around. But remember, still use caution with a solar defense when outdoors. Think of this tasty produce as another great part of summer and way to look and feel even better.

When to plan a tummy tuck

Jul 11 2014
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Moms see positive improvements with rejuvenation surgery.

Moms see positive improvements with rejuvenation surgery.

A tummy tuck procedure is performed on and sought after by both men and women.

While men may not have to plan “ahead of time” for the procedure, women generally are mindful on when they should proceed.

Both men and women, however, should be at a stable weight.

Also known as an abdominoplasty, it is a great procedure for women who have had children. Typically, liposuction is used during the surgery to help slim the waistline and abdominal area.

An abdominoplasty removes excess, stretched skin as well as stretch marks created by the pregnancy.

Also during a pregnancy, abdominal muscles may have become detached. The surgery, however, can restore and correct a woman’s abdominal strength once again.

Ideally, it is best for women to have children first and then a tummy tuck. Since this surgery is elective, a woman has the option to plan the right timing for the procedure.

If a woman happens to become pregnant after a tummy tuck, the general recommendation is waiting a year after the surgery. However, it’s not the ideal way to approach this body contouring procedure.

Following the birth of another baby, a tummy tuck revision may be scheduled at a later date, if needed.

Ideally, though, it’s best for a woman to have an abdominoplasty after she has had her family.

To learn more about a tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Bolitho invites you to call (866) 738-9360 or e-mail the office at to book an appointment.

Determining if an eyelid surgery is the right procedure

Jul 05 2014
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As one matures, their eyelid contours will inevitably change as time pushes on. These variations may include extra slack skin, fatty deposits or a mixture of both.

An aesthetic plastic surgery on the eyelids, which is also called a blepharoplasty, can produce impressive results; and, it’s one of the most gratifying cosmetic procedures which many patients encounter.

San Diego eyelid surgeries are highly popular.

Oftentimes, those who do not know someone has had an eyelid surgery have a difficult time pinpointing why they look so much better. Many times, people contribute the change to a well-rested appearance.

Removing redundant skin and fatty deposits will transform eyes to a more youthful look.

Both men and women seek eyelid surgery for either their upper lids, lower lids, or both.

However, one of the main questions people often ask their potential San Diego plastic surgeon is whether or not they need a brow lift to correct the upper eyelid issue or a blepharoplasty. And that’s a great question.

During a consultation, a board certified plastic surgeon will determine if the excess skin on the upper lid is from a descent of the brow or indeed directly from the upper eyelids.

A gentle forehead and brow manipulation will assess the brow at its youthful position.

As a rule of thumb, for females this brow position is around one centimeter over the bony margin of the orbit, whereas for men, the ideal position for men is at the bony margin of the orbit.

If the brow manipulation resolves the extra skin on the upper eyelid, then a brow lift is needed. If not, then an eyelid surgery is the recommendation.

New skills and techniques for a blepharoplasty have also included the use of a strategic fat transfer for the lateral and upper lid portions. While not suitable for all patients, some do benefit from this fat transfer.

During the youthful years, generally, the inner part of the eyebrow naturally curves upward. As one matures, this fatty area may reabsorb causing saggy skin. So, for some patients, this fat transfer offers a fuller and younger appearance.

Following upper lid surgery, sutures are generally removed in about a week. Typically, postoperative bruising lasts two to three weeks. During this timeframe, wearing dark sunglasses is very helpful; and, when the plastic surgeon approves, concealer makeup can be used for camouflage techniques.

On the other hand, swelling for the upper lids rebounds quicker than the lower lids. For the upper lids, swelling will recede in about two weeks.

The results of an upper eyelid surgery are a younger, smoother, and toner appearance.



Chemical Peels During the Summer Months

Jul 02 2014
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Google Images

Google Images

San Diego chemical peels are popular all year round. And the best results are done as a series.

There are a number of non-operative facial rejuvenation treatments and chemical peels are on this roster.

As mentioned before, a series of the right chemical peels can have excellent results.

Chemical peels, either an AHA or TCA, can offer many facial benefits such as reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

Those who have challenges with acne scarring also find a series of chemical peels helpful, as well.

With that said, if a chemical peel appointment happens to be scheduled during the summertime, you must be very careful when going outdoors afterward.

Your plastic surgeon’s office will guide you on the skin protection you need for a solar defense.

Some simple steps include:

1. Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher.

2. Applying a soothing moisturizer such as “Calm After The Storm” from MyBody

3. Spending as little time outdoors when possible especially between the hours of 11 am to 3 pm (if you find yourself outdoors, seek shade frequently)

4. Wearing a wide brimmed hat and large sunglasses

The goal of a chemical peel is have optimal results so it’s highly recommended that patients listen to the guidelines given.

To learn more about chemical peels and the youthful results they can bring, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Bolitho or one of his skin savvy team members at (866) 738-9360 or e-mail the office at

The best sunscreen tips

Jun 27 2014
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FreeDigitalPhotos by Graur Codrin

FreeDigitalPhotos by Graur Codrin

Many have already purchased their broad spectrum summer sunscreen. That’s the first step in keeping skin safe. The next step is to understand how to wear it well.

Here are some quick tips to ward off those San Diego sunburns, keep skin healthy, stop premature aging in its tracks, and help avoid skin cancer.

Yes, skin cancer.

Annually, it’s estimated that more than 3 million people are still diagnosed with skin cancer. And sadly, people still succumb to melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

During summertime, it’s important to be reminded of sunscreen basics.

Here are some tips for healthier skin:

Sunscreen Shopping: Find a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. And buy water resistant. Even if you’re not into water sports, people still sweat with the high temperatures.

Once Is Not Enough: Slathering on the sunscreen just once a day isn’t enough. When retreating to the outdoors, sunscreen needs to be reapplied every couple hours. And after a dip in the ocean or pool, it needs to be reapplied immediately following a beach towel wipe down.

Don’t Be Frugal: It’s reported that people do not apply enough sunscreen. For an adult, one ounce is the right amount for coverage for one application.

The Forgotten Areas: Don’t forget the body parts which are often sunscreen neglected such as the backs of legs, ears, tops of hands and feet, and receding hairline areas.

Makeup SPF Protection: While makeup offers SPF in its ingredients, don’t rely too heavily on it because the protection numbers are often not high enough. Go ahead and apply an oil-free, lightweight broad spectrum sunscreen underneath makeup – apply sunscreen like makeup, with an application sponge for even distribution every single day.

On The Road: Some make the mistake thinking that while in the car they are protected from harmful sun rays. That’s only half right. Window glass protects drivers and passengers from UVB light, not UVA light.

While these sunscreen safety tips are meant to keep everyone safe, it’s still important to check oneself for any unusual patterns on their skin such as skin spots, moles or changes with preexisting moles. San Diego plastic surgeons who specialize in skin cancer removal are often the right doctor to visit for any suspicious areas on the skin.

To learn more about sunscreen safety or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bolitho regarding an unusual skin spot or mole, he and his team invite you to call (866) 738-9360 or e-mail the office at

Understanding the types of breast lift scarring

Jun 24 2014
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FreeDigitalPhotos by Adamr

FreeDigitalPhotos by Adamr

There is an array of reasons as to why a woman may want to undergo a breast lift.

She may have lost shape after breast-feeding her children, dropped weight, or lost volume merely by aging.

These types of natural scenarios cause a woman’s breasts to stretch and sag.

Whatever a woman’s reason, a breast lift can solve the problem by raising them and restoring volume.

While this type of San Diego plastic surgery is very popular, most women want to minimize scarring associated with it and plastic surgeons do their best to fulfill those wishes.

While minimal scarring is important for a woman, the ultimate goal is achieving the ideal shape and size of the breast after the mastopexy, the medical term for this procedure.

An incision can range from circumareolar, to keyhole or even an anchor incision.

A circumareolar incision leaves a scar only around the nipple. While this scar is minimal, not every woman is a good candidate for this incisional procedure; and, especially if they have excessive redundant skin.

This is because a patient may need more than a circumareolar mastopexy since it limits the amount of skin to be removed.

A keyhole incision, however, involves scarring around the areola and down the center of the breast.

The other, an anchor incision, has the same keyhole pattern but with an additional scar underneath the breast.

Some breast lifts result in more scarring to achieve the right shape and size.

The amount of skin removed is in direct proportion to the type of surgical scar.

A consultation with a San Diego board certified plastic surgeon can help a woman decide what type of breast lift is right for her, along with learning more about the surgery and recovery.

Consultations are an ideal way for a patient to locate a surgeon with whom they are comfortable.

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