Archive for August, 2011

Finding a Dermatologist in Los Angeles County

Choosing a dermatologist is a challenging task, but with organization and preparation it can be an easy first step to taking care of your skin’s health and appearance. You can be assured that you’re in good hands with Los Angeles County dermatologist Dr. Raskin because he uses the latest techniques and advances in the field of dermatology. He caters to patients in Santa Clarita and following areas:

  • Granada Hills
  • Sylmar
  • Mission Hills
  • Valencia
  • Newhall
  • Canyon Country
  • Stevenson Ranch
  • Castaic
  • Canyon country
  • Agua Dolce
  • Val Verde
  • Filmore
  • Camarillo
  • Ventura
  • Oxnard
  • Quartz hill
  • Acton
  • Piru
  • Santa Paula

Visit our new Santa Clarita Dermatology Facility

We have moved to a brand new location. Our address is:

Kelly Johnson Pkwy
Suite 245
Santa Clarita, CA 91355

We look forward to seeing you. If you’re interested in setting up a consultation, please click here to contact Dr. Raskin and the team at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Care

How Tattoo Removal Works

In most cases tattoo removal is done by using the Yag laser. Over time your body naturally breaks down the particles in tattoos. This is what causes tattoos to fade over time. The yag laser accelerates the process for the tattoo. The laser breaks up the particles in a tattoo. The smaller particles are then naturally removed by the body. Each time the tattoo is lasered more and more particles are broken apart and the body will continue to remove the smaller particles.

Not all tattoos are created equal. Some will come out easier than others will. Tattoos that were done using low quality ink will usually be removed easier. A simple rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the darker the tattoo is the easier it will be to be removed. Colors such as red and pink will often time remain in the skin and cannot be removed. Black or dark color tattoos are most likely to be removed by the Yag Laser. It is important remember that everyone’s skin is different. A black tattoo on one person might come out after just 4 or 5 treatments. The same tattoo on someone else might take 8 or 10 treatments. It all depends on how well that person’s skin washes out the broken particles.

Tattoo removal should only be done by a trained professional, which is usually a dermatologist.

Featured Tattoo Removal Specialist on

The Best Cure for Skin Cancer

Featured in The Magazine of Santa Clarita

Preventing skin cancer is becoming a bigger issue in today’s world. Worries about the depleting Ozone layer in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the resulting increase in Ultraviolet (UV) exposure has made skin protection an even higher priority for people than ever before. But what happens when you already have skin cancer? There needs to be more information provided about skin cancer treatments such as Mohs Micrographic Surgery.

Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized, highly effective and most advanced technique for the removal of skin cancer. Mohs surgery differs from other skin cancer treatments in that it permits the immediate and complete microscopic examination of the removed cancerous tissue, so that all “roots” and extensions of the skin cancer can be eliminated. Due to the methodical manner in which tissue is removed and examined, Mohs surgery has been recognized as the skin cancer treatment with the highest reported cure rate.

Mohs micrographic surgery has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer, with a cure rate of up to 99% for certain tumors. Due to the fact that the Mohs micrographic surgery procedure is micrographically controlled, it provides the most precise method for removal of the cancerous tissue, while sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue. For this reason, Mohs micrographic surgery may result in a significantly smaller surgical defect and less noticeable scarring, as compared to other methods of skin cancer treatment. The Mohs micrographic surgery procedure is recommended for skin cancer removal in anatomic areas where maximum preservation of healthy tissue is desirable for cosmetic and functional purposes. It may also be indicated for lesions that have recurred following prior treatment, or for lesions which have the greatest likelihood of recurrence.

Most insurance policies cover the costs of Mohs micrographic surgery and the reconstruction of the resultant surgical area. You should contact your insurance carrier directly for the most current payment information relative to this surgery.

As with all forms of surgery, a scar will remain after the skin cancer is removed and the surgical area has completely healed. Mohs micrographic surgery, however, will leave one of the smallest possible surgical defects and resultant scars. Often, wounds allowed to heal on their own result in scars that are barely noticeable. Even following extensive surgery, results are frequently quite acceptable. In addition, scars do have the ability, through the body’s own natural healing properties, to remodel and improve in appearance for a six to twelve month period. There are also many other techniques available to the patient for enhancement of the surgical area following skin cancer surgery. Depressed or indented scars may be elevated and raised scars can be smoothed using laser resurfacing or chemical peeling techniques. This surgery may only be performed by a Board Certified Dermatologist.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery Center of America was founded by Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bernard Raskin. Dr. Raskin has performed Mohs micrographic surgery on patients with skin cancer for over 20 years and is considered an expert in dermatology and cosmetic surgery. For more information about skin cancer or Mohs micrographic surgery, please call Dr. Bernard Raskin at 661.254.8636 or visit our website at

Recent Advancements in Customized Skin Care

Featured in SCV Magazine

Skin analysis tools recently introduced to the marketplace are allowing dermatologists to develop customized programs to help you improve the condition of your skin, maximize the effectiveness of your diet and help prevent diseases.

Programs such as the Étude Skin Counseling software work with other devices to conduct a thorough analysis of your skin type and condition in order to compare it against people in your same age group to see how well your skin is ageing. The analysis is performed by taking extreme close up pictures of your skin with a special microscope, and then using a scanner to measure the moisture level, sebum (oil) level, and elasticity of your skin. After the analysis, your data is compared against a national database of information to help your skin care specialist recommend products and procedures that are right for you. The information can then be stored in a computer for future comparisons.

To enhance the skin analysis performed above, a dermatologist can also utilize the Bio-Photonic Scanner – the world’s first measuring tool that gives an immediate reading of carotenoid antioxidant activity. This scanner measures the anti-oxidant level on the inside of your body. This comes from a healthy lifestyle of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. When your body has high levels of carotenoids it has a greater ability to help prevent and/or fight cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Not only are carotenoids in high levels good for your body, but they are also good for your skin. They work on the inside helping the deeper layers of your skin. You still need to use a topical (cream or serum) anti-oxidant to help the upper layers of your skin fight against free radicals, but working on both the inside and outside is the best thing for your health & beauty.

So make sure that your dermatologist or cosmetic care professional are familiar with these new tools and is properly trained in their use. To find out more about these skin analysis programs and your carotenoid level, call Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Care at (661) 254-3686 or visit our website at

Six Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer

Featured in SCV Magazine

As a dermatologist with over 20 years of experience working with sun damaged skin, I have heard many “wives tales” about how to prevent the skin cancer known as Melanoma. With sunny spring and hot summer days just around the corner, it is important for the people of Marina Del Rey to properly prepare for increased exposure to the sun.

How can you enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle and still minimize your risks of developing skin cancer? Here are six tips:

Tip #1: Avoid sunburns. This is even more important for people who have a history of sunburns from their adolescence; when precautions were not take as seriously as they are today.

Tip #2: Don’t “sunbathe” between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Even if it reaches 100 degrees at 9:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m., there is very little cancer causing rays occurring at these times.

Tip #3: Wear lots of sunscreen and re-apply every two hours. This is critical as it has been shown in studies that re-applying every two and one-half hours results in five times more sunburns!

Tip #4: Wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats with at least 3 ½” brims all around. This dramatically reduces sun exposure. Remember, there are harmful U.V. rays during cloudy “June Gloom” days, as well!

Tip #5: Avoid sun exposure near beaches, lakes and large, open playing fields. There are no vertical structures to absorb the sun’s rays.

Tip #6: It’s never too late to start preventing Melanoma! If you already have it, if it is only at the surface of the skin, it can be 100% curable. Have a dermatologist examine you.

Melanoma is the “silent killer”. Its rates have doubled in just the last few years! The highest risk is with light-complected blondes and redheads and people who live in sunny environments. This is what makes preparing now for the upcoming summer days in Marina Del Rey all the more important!

Longer-Lasting Wrinkle Smoother Arrives from Europe!

Featured in SCV Magazine

Since its introduction in 1981, Collagen has been the standard in injectible fillers for smoothing out wrinkles. Unfortunately, its effectiveness was short in duration as its natural ingredients became resorbed by the body. During this time, alternative synthetic fillers were available but lacked significant longevity.

Now there is an injectible filler coming to America by way of Europe that combines the effectiveness of Collagen with the long-lasting properties of synthetic fillers: Artefill. Originally know as Artecoll, this injectible filler will be available in the United States in early 2007. Introduced in 1994 in Germany, this filler has been used in over 200,000 patients throughout Europe with research indicating only 0.01% complications! In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug’s General and Plastic Surgery Devices Advisory Panel approved the sale of Artecoll in the United States, with certain conditions. Subsequent studies conducted by prominent physicians such as Steven R. Cohen and Ralph E. Holmes clearly indicated that Artefill is more effective than Collagen in smoothing out wrinkles over at least a three-six month period. In fact, there has been a subsequent report submitted that shows patients at 4-5 years after treatment with results still visible (FDA approval is pending for the 4-5 year claim).

The reason Artefill is longer-lasting is because it is non-resorbable, therefore it is a permanent support matrix; in other words, it never breaks down in the body – ever! However, because of this it is extremely important who does the injections. Even more so than other fillers, success with the use of Artefill is heavily reliant on the technique of the person injecting the filler. Thus, when selecting a provider, you will get what you pay for. Make sure you look for a dermatologist with many years of experience introducing new cosmetic procedures to the marketplace and a solid reputation for safety.

For more information about Artefill, please call Dr. Bernard Raskin, founder of Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Care, at 661.254.3686.

Acne Scarring: It’s Not a Black & White Issue

Featured in SCV Magazine

When considering treatment for acne scars, one should not assume that all treatments and providers are created equal. There are several types of acne scars and each one should be treated differently in order to maximize the results. A proper analysis is needed in order to select the best treatment.

When selecting where to go, make sure the office offers a comprehensive selection of procedures in order to meet your needs the best. Different procedures have different durations, costs, side effects and levels of effectiveness. By choosing an office that has a wide variety of options, you can choose a treatment that is the best for you, rather than having to settle with only treatments they can do.

For instance, Vitalize Peels and Microdermabrasions are the most cost effective and easiest to perform. They can help with color and light texture, but usually require multiple treatments.

Smoothbeam is a laser treatment to help build collagen, which will help to elevate the base of an acne scar. This laser does not help color and also requires multiple treatments.

An Erbium laser does light resurfacing and helps with discoloration. This procedure has a few days of crusting/peeling.

There is a stronger laser called the C02 laser that resurfaces the skin to help with texture, stimulates collagen to push up the base of the scar from the inside and helps with pigmentation and some skin tightening. It does have some healing, about seven-to-ten days, and is the most expensive procedure; but, it generally has the best results.

For rolling scars, subcision can be used where a needle is placed under the acne scar to help loosen it and raise it up. Bruising and swelling is typical and may need to be done a few times.

The results of acne scar treatments often comes down to skills of the dermatologist. Though there are manufacturer recommended settings for some of the equipment used, adjustments should be made by the provider for specific types of scarring. The knowledge to make such adjustments often comes from years of experience in working with different kinds of scars and different kinds of skin.

Also, the dermatologist should set reasonable expectations for the reduction of scarring. Some types of scarring may never completely disappear, but can be minimized through proper treatment.

Finally, make sure to ask who will be doing your procedure and whether or not a physician will be immediately available if problems occur as there is risk with any type of procedure performed.
For a complimentary cosmetic consultation for more information about properly treating acne scars, call Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Care at 661.254.3686.

The Hands of Time

When people think about taking care of their skin in order to retain a more vibrant appearance, they often over-look one area where aging is most prominent: their hands. Unfortunately, short of wearing gloves your whole life, there is little that can be done to prevent damage to the skin on your hands. But that does not mean we have to resign ourselves to having hands that age us prematurely!

First of all, we must remember the three most important things that cause our skin to age: sunlight, sunlight & sunlight. When applying sunscreen to our own skin or on the skin of our children, we often forget to apply it on our hands as well! Perhaps we think that because we use our hands to apply the sunscreen, we end up protecting our hands in the process. Unfortunately, this is not the case as we have usually protected the palm side of our hands, which is thick and more resistant to degeneration. It’s the outside portion of the hands that need sunscreen protection the most!

Liver spots (which have nothing to do with your liver) are the most visible signs of aging on the hands. Liver spots are areas where sun damaged skin produces too much pigment. These can be minimized through the use of sunscreen, but can also be reduced through the use of antioxidants such as green tea cream. Laser works best for these pigment spots.

Though we may think that simply using skin moisturizers will keep our hands looking smooth, this has never been completely proven. What we should do is try to “thicken” the skin on the outside of the hands by using product such as Retinols and/or glycolic acids. The purple bruises that often accompany aging can be reduced through the use of a topical Vitamin K cream.

Products can help skin stay youthful, but there are several procedures that can be performed to obtain faster, more dramatic results. Fat injection into the back of the hands can increase thickness while glycolic peels and microdermabrasions are helpful for color and tone. One must be careful about using stronger peels as they may risk scaring, which is why I sometimes recommend the use of different lasers such as the Yag, IPL, Erbium or V Beam lasers, depending on your skin type and needs.

Remember one thing about the treatment of hands that have already been affected by aging: all hands are not created equal! Thus, you should make sure that your dermatologist offers a wide variety of products and procedures so that you can obtain a customized hand care program. If you want to know more about taking good care of the skin on your hands, please contact us at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Care at 661.254.3686, or visit our website at

Don’t Fall Back into Old Habits!

Featured in The Magazine of Santa Clarita

Summer is gone, but the need for skin care remains. Around this time of year, people start to think that they do not need to protect their skin as carefully as they do during summer months. As long as the sun shines, we need to use proper SPF sunscreen to protect our skin from harmful rays. This is especially true if you plan on enjoying winter sports where the sun’s reflection off the snow increases its potentially adverse effects. Make sure to use lip gloss with sunscreen to avoid a chapped wind-burned sensation.

The fall and winter months are also a good time to exfoliate any leftover sun damage (e.g. pigmentation, brown spots, un-even skin) by using heavier peels and microdermabrasions. These treatments address the build-up of dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling fresh, clean and healthy. Some dermatologists offer Skin Medica’s Vitalize Peel (about 2-3 days of flaking), or the first crystal-free DermaSweep Microdermabrasion (no downtime!).

You may want to change your home skin care routine to include the use a hydrating mask to infuse the skin with a mixture of human growth factors to hydrate, moisturize and firm/plump the skin. Doing this once a week for ten minutes will cleanse your face without making it feel like your skin’s natural oils are being stripped away.

Finally, the skin care products you used during the summer months should change, as well. If your skin is feeling drier, you should consider switching over to a milky cream cleanser. One such smoothing cream, “Glytone Body” helps re-texturize and soften any dry, chapped, rough and callused areas on your heels and/or elbows.

There is a lot to consider about your skin care regimen when transitioning from the summer to fall and winter. A good dermatologist will be able to provide a wide variety of products and procedures to meet your skin’s unique needs. For more information about how to decide on your fall/winter skin care needs, call Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Care at 661.254.3686, or visit our website at

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