There is a Fungus Among Us: Tinea Versicolor

posted on: April 21, 2014

Fungus Among us Mushroomsno, not this fungus. This one ↓  ↓  ↓

Tinea Versicolor BackTinea Versicolor on the back

When I tell patients we all have yeast growing on our skin I usually get the “you did not just say that” look. When this yeast grows out of control a person can develop a skin condition called Tinea Versicolor. This is a common condition and is not contagious since we all have this yeast living on us. We see it frequently in tropical areas because yeast thrives on warm, moist skin. Most people will notice that they have pink, white, or brown scaly patches on their chest and back. During the summer time the spots become more noticeable because the yeast does not allow the skin to tan.

To confirm the diagnosis I often will  take a small scraping of skin and look at it under the microscope in order to see the yeast. Treatment options depend on several things: where it appears on the body, how much of the skin is affected and how thick the spots have grown. This condition can be treated with anti-fungal creams and pills. While the fungus is easy to kill, the patient may have white spots that take a few months to return to normal color while their tan fades. If you are prone to getting tinea versicolor there are a few things you can do to prevent the breakout. Wash your skin with a shampoo that contains selenium sulfide, like Selsum Blue, and keep the area as dry as possible.

Beauty Seminars: April 30th and May 1st

posted on: April 18, 2014

So many patients will ask me, “When should I start worrying about my face?.  My answer: “It’s never too early to start.” But WHERE do you start? You would not believe some of the BS my patients are told by the sales girl at their local beauty store/cosmetic counter about skin care and procedures. I will be separating fact from fiction for you.

I’m doing two beauty seminars soon to teach you everything you need to know about various cosmeceutical products, sunscreens, chemical peels, Botox, Fillers, Micropen Treatments, Dermaplaning, leg vein treatments, pore size treatment, wrinkle treatments, laser treatments for brown spots, acne, blood vessels and much more!

I’ve broken up my beauty seminars into age groups (because someone in their 20′s is going to be focused on different treatments than someone in their 50′s.)

If you are in the Upland area come and see me!

Register Here:

Beauty Seminar: Wednesday, April 30th. Anti-aging in your 20′s, 30′s and 40′s

Beauty Seminar: Thursday, May 1st: Anti-aging in your 50′s and 60′s+


Daily Thank You Cards

posted on: April 11, 2014

With the invention of emails and text messages I find a hand-written thank you note to be a breath of fresh air and is always a nice surprise. One of my New Years Resolutions was to write a thank you note to one person daily. I found it was a little difficult to keep up on the weekends so I modified it to Monday-Friday when I’m at the office. Like most things in life, establishing a routine has helped me keep on track. I arrive to my office 10 minutes early and start my morning off by getting a note finished first thing in the morning. This is to ensure I don’t forget about it once the hustle and bustle of the day gets going and it puts me in a good mood.

In the beginning, I must admit it was hard to think of 5 people a week to “thank” but once I got a few weeks under my belt it was actually pretty easy. Now, when I say thank you note it’s not a traditional “thank you for my gift…” kind of thing. I like to think of them as appreciation or affirmation notes. I send many cards to my patients. While a patient may come in for a simple rash, often times they will share very intimate details about their life including recent deaths in the family, hardships with sick family members, financial struggles and other general stresses in life. I think people just need to vent sometimes to a neutral party. I will often send these patients a note of encouragement letting them know I am thinking about them.

In addition to my patients I have sent cards to people like my dry cleaner, hair dresser, daughter’s preschool teacher, etc… In any line of work people are so quick to point out any negatives and less often praising positive work that you do. Writing a thank you note is a simple way to show gratitude to those who have made a difference in your life. It also allows me to feed my obsession for cute stationary :)


Hand written letter vs email

Beauty on a Budget: Don’t Break the Bank With Your Skin Care

posted on: April 10, 2014

Beauty skin care on a Budget Products

Walking down any beauty isle can be downright overwhelming (and the cost of a skin care regiment can add up quickly). Follow these tips on how not to break the bank on your skin care:

1. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen- Daily use of sunscreen will prevent sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles and brown spots. You’re sunscreen wears off a few hours so don’t forget to reapply!

2. More expensive skin care lines are not necessarily more effective- While there are some amazing quality products that are higher price points you can find great quality skin care products at the drug store too. Cetaphil Cleanser and Dove Soap are two cost effective products I really love.

3. Plain ol’ Vaseline- This is a very inexpensive project that has a multitude of uses. It can treat everything from dry/cracked feet, peeling nails and dry lips. You can use it to prevent chafing when running, apply it as diaper ointment and sooth kids scrapes and bumps.

4. Keep your routine simple- Do you really need 6 skin care products morning and night? What do all of those bottles even do? Recognize your concerns and make sure the products you are using are effective for those problems.

5. Two-for-One Products- Consider using products that have multiple functions such as a moisturizer plus a sunscreen.

6. More expensive products are not always more effective- While there are are many superb high price-point products there are many drug store products that work great as well.

7. Consistency is Key- Make sure you are doing something to your face morning and night. Even if it’s just cleansing and applying a sunscreen you must be consistent with your regiment to maintain your skin.

Sclerotherapy: Goodbye Spider Veins

posted on: April 9, 2014

With a name like SPIDER veins you know nothing is going to be pretty about these these little guys. Spider veins  are thin red, purple or blue lines or web-like networks of blood vessels that appear on your legs and feet. Many factors contribute to developing spider veins including:

  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain
  • Standing on your feet or crossing your legs for extended periods of time

While they are harmless, many people avoid showing their legs because of this unsightly condition. These blood vessels are not important in supplying blood to your lower extremities, they are only present to annoy us! It’s estimated that at least half of all women are bothered by this common cosmetic problem. Sclerotherapy is the “gold-standard” procedure used to eliminate spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves near painless injections of a solution that irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together and the blood to clot.  The veins look worse immediately after treatment and can take a few weeks to improve so make sure you plan this procedure well in advance of any special events or vacations. Check out a sclerotherapy treatment in action in this video.

Tips On Getting Into PA School: Part 2- Paid Hands-On Experience

posted on: March 18, 2014

PA Orthopedic Rotation Ortho

Orthopedic rotation during PA school at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center where I put my Cast Tech knowledge to good use

So you decided you want to go to PA school? Well between trying to finish your pre-requesits, get some volunteer experience, pay your bills and manage your ever-shrinking social life these PA programs expect you to somehow get your “hands-on” paid working experience where you work directly with patients. You start to do your research and start pulling your hair out when you realize almost all paid hand-on jobs require some sort of extra schooling, certificate or licence. How are you suppose to squeeze that in with your current schedule? Well I’m here to give you a few ideas about what kinds of jobs are out there for Pre-PA students.

{every state is different when it comes to licensing requirements and the amount of schooling to complete these programs, make sure you check with your state for exact laws and requirements. These are only a few jobs that can get you that paid hands-on experience. If you’ve had luck with another type of job let us know about it by leaving a comment below}

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)- Commonly employed in nursing homes or in a hospital setting, take vital signs, collects specimens for medical tests, assist with personal hygiene and feeding of patients who need assistance. Schooling time: 6 weeks (full time) to 4 months (part time). Pros: Short schooling and usually pretty easy to find a job. Cons: This is a tough job. I worked as a CNA for 2 1/2 months the summer after my Freshman year.  As a CNA in a nursing home you are responsible for getting your patients ready for the day, bathing, getting dressed, feeding, ect… For me this was “back-breaking” work often with a large patient load.

Phlebotomist- People trained to draw blood from a patient for clinical or medical testing, transfusions, donations, or research. Schooling Time: 4 weeks- 4 months. Pros: Short schooling, usually easy to find job. Cons: Limited variety of medical treatments observed.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)- EMTs are clinicians trained to respond quickly to emergency situations such as medical issues, traumatic injuries and accident scenes. Often employed by ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments, schools, etc… Schooling Time: 3 weeks-4months. Pros: Exciting variety in medical situations you will be exposed to. Cons: Not for the faint of heart, involved in traumatic and emergency situations.

Medical Assistant (MA)- Typically work in a doctors office, check-in patients, take vitals, preform injections, handle instruments, collect specimens for lab testing, etc… Schooling Time: 6-9 months Pros: works directly with a physician/PA and is exposed to a variety of medicine. Cons: Long schooling process. Can be difficult to find part-time Medical Assistant jobs. *you can sometimes find a MA job without a certificate if they are willing to train you. I was able to do this. Check with your state for specific regulations. 

Medical Scribe- A Medical Scribe is essentially a personal assistant to the physician/PA performing electronic dictation and gathering information for the patient’s visit. Schooling Time: 1-4 months. Pros: Literally see everything the practioner sees, you become very familiar with medical terminology. Cons: Not exactly “hands-on” as you are not touching patients but most PA programs accept this as paid hands-on experience.

Elderly Caregiver- Help the elderly in their own homes with taking medications, daily hygiene, running errands, etc… Schooling Time: CPR Course; 1 day.  Pros: No schooling necessary. Flexible part-time or full-time work. Cons: Not as “medical” as other jobs.

Cast Technologist- Works in a hospital or private office setting with an orthopedic surgeon applying casts to patients. In an office setting you work as a medical assistant but also apply casts. I am partial to this job because this I worked as a cast tech for a year between undergrad and PA school. Schooling: 1-3 day casting work shop + possible medical assistant schooling requirement. Pros: FUN job (if you like hands on stuff). I loved casting, working with my hands, cutting of casts , etc… While I currently work in Derm I have always found Orthopedics so interesting. Cons: Limited job availability.

My best advice is not to wait for one of these jobs to pop up on craigslist or monster. Network, pound the pavement and get your name out there! Get your resume in tip-top shape but also provide a cover letter indicating you are a pre-pa student and are highly motivated for the job and why YOU are the best one for the job (even if you have zero experience). I was able to find a Cast Tech job, zero experience and they knew I’d likely be leaving in a year. I did that by networking. Many medical jobs are not posted anywhere. While you may only get 1-2 call backs from dropping off 100+ resumes you only need that one job to get that experience you need.

Tips On Getting into PA School: Part 1

posted on: March 3, 2014

USC Keck white coat ceremony Physician Assistant PA{Me and the hubby at my White Coat Ceremony in 2007}

I’ve had a lot of inquiries by Pre-PA students on tips on getting into PA school. I’m no expert on PA program admissions but I applied and got in so I must have done something right. Since graduating I’ve mentored about 2 pre-pa students per year and have a 100% on their acceptance rate, so here are some tips that can be helpful in getting you into PA school.

Narrow down the programs you’re going to apply to. Every program has different requirements for their applicants including class prerequisites, minimal number of hands-on hours, volunteer hours, etc… One program may require Spanish while the next requires Genetics. Knowing what prerequisites you’re up against will help you better plan your class schedule. You would hate to either take an extra year to wait to apply because you have to take one more class or not applying to a program because you’re missing a class or two.

Line up those paid hands-on medical hours. Even if a program does not “require” hands-on hours it will make you a much more competitive candidate if you do have them. I think this is the hardest part of applying to PA school. Most states require some sort of license or certificate to work in an “hands-on” capability. This is can be frustrating because on-top of working on your bachelors degree you have to find time to squeeze in more schooling to get a license for a profession that you’re only planning on using for a short time. Common hands-on jobs PAs have prior to attending PA school include: EMT, Phlebotomist, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, etc… I recommend researching these professions and seeing if the classes will fit in your school schedule or your summers off. I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Cast Tech for an Orthopedic Surgeon prior to PA school. I’ll give some more information about how I got those jobs in a future post.

Don’t forget to Volunteer. In addition to having paid hand-on medical hours having medical volunteer hours will make you a more competitive candidate. Luckily these are easier to obtain than paid hands-on hours. Most hospitals have volunteer programs that easily satisfy this requirement. It is better to have a weekly, ongoing volunteer commitment vs just picking up a few hours here and there. I started volunteering HERE in high school as a junior volunteer and racked up over 300 hours with my weekly 3 hour shifts. I volunteered in pediatrics and loved every minute of it. I mostly played with the patients, brought them toys and video games, did paperwork and other odds and ends. When I went away to college I was able to get a volunteer position at St John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. I really wanted to work in the ER and the only weekly shift they had open was Fridays from 4- 7pm. So every Friday afternoon I trekked my way through LA traffic to put in my time. I learned so much during these short 3 hours shifts. My favorite tip I learned from an RN there was that if you have a patient that was pretty stinky you can soak a washcloth in Listerine Mouth Wash and put it next to their bedside and the room smells minty fresh. Such a simple fix! In addition to these weekly commitments I found various health fairs, medical conferences and weekend medical missionary trips to Mexico to add some variety to volunteering experience.

Look for Pre-PA programs. There are a programs that are focused on giving pre-pa students the ability to work directly with Physician Assistants and witness first what exactly a PA does. The program I am most familiar with is the Physician Assistant Helper Program at LAC+USC. This amazing program allows you to work with PAs at LA County Hospital in the ER. While I applied and was accepted into this program I had finished my undergrad and got a job with an Orthopedic Surgeon near my parents house so I decided to move home and take the job there. The hour commute to LAC+USC did not work with the open shifts. I do know many people who volunteered with this program and have told me that it was such a wonderful experience. Do some research and see if any of your local hospitals or PA programs have something like this.

Are you a PA or currently in PA School? Comment below with your advice for Pre-PA students!

Next Week Look For: Tips on Getting into PA School Part 2- How to really get that paid hand-on medical experience

The Best Wide Brim Hats for Spring

posted on: February 27, 2014

Best wide brim hats

I have what can only be described as a full-fledged obsession for wide brim hats. The larger the brim the better. While they’re not the most practical for traveling (when I fly with a large hat my typical thought is: “please extra small overhead bin don’t squish my hat!”) I am always so happy I made the effort to bring it along with me. Sun exposure/sun damage is the worst thing you can do for your skin, especially on your face. While SPF is always a necessity for your skin, sun avoidance is even better. I live in Southern California and grew up going to the beach, Palm Springs, Lake Havasu and much more. I am not saying you have to be a hermit, lock yourself indoors and not enjoy the beautiful spring/summer activities in your area. You just have to be smart and try your best to protect yourself from the sun the best you can. Why not look fabulous while doing so? Here are my eight favorite hats to wear all spring/summer long.

1. Club Monaco “Lacey Sun Hat”- $79.50: Love the rich red color. Be adventurous and don’t choose the typical straw/black color.

2. Anthropologie “Canotier Floppy Hat”- $78: Most feminine of the bunch. Can you ever go wrong with a bow like that?

3. J.crew “Patterned Summer Straw Hat”- $39.50: This is my go to hat. I purchase a new one every spring after I’ve worn my last one to death. It’s wide enough to provide good sun protection but not too big and travels well.

4. Nordstroms, Eric Javits “GG Dame II Packable Sun Hat”- $125: This hat is great for traveling. Pops right back into place if it gets squished a little bit in your luggage. Love the classic two-toned color details

5. Goorin Bros. “Macey”- $55: This hat is very structured. Great classic look. Comes in a few colors but I prefer the hat in white.

6. Forever 21 “Standout Straw Sun Hat”- $14.80: Most affordable of the bunch. Love the pink color and the ombre-ish effect.

7. Old Navy “Floppy Straw Sun Hat”- $17.94: Classic straw floppy hat at a great price.

8. Urban Outfitters “Braided Straw Floppy Hat”- $34: Light-weight and floppy. Great for every day use.



The Low Down On Laser Hair Removal

posted on: February 25, 2014

Laser Hair Removal

Beauty maintenance can be so time consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice to “shave” off a few minutes of your morning routine? Some things like brushing your teeth are a twice a day must, but what if I told you there is a permanent solution to one of women’s most despised maintenance woes? Laser hair removal is in short, AMAZING. Can you imagine shaving only 2 times a month as opposed to every other day? Let’s talk about no more ingrown hairs too (dream!) Here are 7 informational tips on deciding if laser hair removal is right for you.

1. Dark Hair Only. The laser is attracted to the color in the hair, not the hair itself, so this procedure does not work on blonde or grey hairs.

2. The Thicker The Better. Laser Hair Removal works better on thick course hairs vs fine/peach fuzz hair. While you can see improvement to fine hair you will get much better results with course hair, like armpit and bikini hair.

3. Put Down The Tweezers. You have to stop waxing/plucking/threading the area for 4 weeks prior to getting treated. You need the root of the hair present and in full force in order to get the most effective treatment.

4. Have Realistic Expectations. Laser Hair Removal will not remove 100% of the hair, it will remove about 80-85% of the hair but the hair that is left is much finer and grows in slower. Daily shaving is no longer necessary, about 2 times a month will do the trick.

5. Plan Ahead. Have a Cabo trip planned next month? Well you’re a little late to start your laser hair removal process. Laser hair removal can take anywhere from 5-12 sessions depending on the type of laser being used and your skin tone. The sessions are typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Winter is really the best time to start working on getting bikini ready.
 6. Follow Through On Treatments. Did you see great results after one treatment? If you don’t finish out your treatments that hair can start to grow right back. Laser Hair Removal is kind of like attacking an army when they’re down. If you let them re-gain their strength they’ll come at you full force. You need the full set of recommended treatments to see permanent results.
7. Find Someone Reputable. Lasers are powerful medical devices. You should do your research on the medical office and have a pre-treatment consultation with the provider doing the treatments. Any laser can potentially cause damage to your skin and permanent scaring. Don’t skimp on these kinds of treatments. If the price is too good to be true there is usually a reason why.

Our little guy is 1!

posted on: February 20, 2014

Where does the time go? I cannot believe it was a year ago when I was sitting on my couch and my husband looked at me and asked, “what do you want for your 30th birthday?” I told him pretty directly “to have this baby” (oh, last month of pregnancy why are you so difficult?) He may have been 2 days late but he was the best birthday present a girl could ask for. My sweet little Drew is now one years old and and like everyone says, the time is just flying by. Being a mom is one of the toughest jobs a person can have, but it’s rewarding, oh so rewarding. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 6 hours straight in over 4 years between pregnancy insomnia, midnight feedings, potty training and everything in-between, but when I get an open mouth kiss from Drew or when Elle runs up to me and give me “huggies” and tells me, “mom, I love you so much” all of the exhaustion and frustration just seems to melt away. I cannot imagine my life any other way at this point. Let’s see what this next year has in store for us :)

mother son balloon birthday picture

elle daughter picture  mother son sunset picture

denim toddler girl picture

Brother sister blue eyes tutu

brother sister firetruck picturePhotos by: Lori Dorman