Sunday, January 29, 2012

NF Endurance Team

     Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is off to a good start for you. I have joined the NF Endurance Team! We are preparing for the Little Rock marathon and half marathon on March 4th. I really need your help to find a cure for this terrible disease.        
     The neurofibromatoses (NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis) are genetic disorders that cause tumors to grow in the nervous system. Although many people inherit the disorder, 30-50% of cases are spontaneous gene mutations. NF is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder. That means a parent has a 50/50 chance of passing the disease on to a child. There is no cure.  NF can be very disfiguring; NF can cause blindness and deafness when tumors develop in the brain, and NF can be very painful. Some tumors become cancerous.          
     Treatment is aimed at removing or reducing the size of the tumors surgically. Chemotherapy and radiation are also used to try to shrink the size of the tumors when they become malignant.        
     Abbey's good friend, Erin Gatto, lost an uncle to NF and his daughter is almost blind from NF. The Oslica's, who belong to our parish, have a daughter with NF. Dr. Rob Lambert, a cardiologist in NLR, also has a daughter with NF. When Joseph and Abbey were were little I noticed that they each had a few cafe-au-lait spots. These are light brown patches of skin  that occur on the arms, legs, back, even underarms and are often the first sign of NF. As a new mother and doctor I freaked out. Although they did not have NF, I did a lot of research on this disease at that point.
     I find it more than coincidental that 16-18 years later I have been reintroduced to this disease through friends, colleagues and fellow church members. I feel like the Lord is calling me to help these kids (and adults). That's where you come in. There have been great strides in research over the last few years, but we still need a cure. I am glad to donate my time and money to run for NF. Won't you please help me? There are thousands of charities out there, and we all have our heartstrings tied to one. Please help me support mine. You can donate through my website link below, mail a check to the Children's Tumor Foundation listed on the website or give me a check and I will see that you receive confirmation.
     Thank you so much! God Bless you and your family in 2012!

Anne R Trussell MD
Sei Bella Med Spa
proud member of the NF Endurance Team  (click to donate on my LR marathon website)

The NF Endurance Team

Photos of Neurofibromatosis

cafe au lait spots
 underarm freckling
a boy's arm with neurofibromas

same boy's back with neurofibromas

Help us find a cure for NF!

Ingredients in Skin Care Products

There are so many skin care brands with so many ingredients! How do you know what you need? Listed below are some common ingredients in skin care products used to correct various complexion concerns you may have. I've also listed a few of the products we have at Sei Bella that contain them.

1. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) include glycolic and lactic acids. These may be found in various concentrations in both over the counter and prescription strength products. They are also very popular in medical grade facial peels. Creams and lotions with AHAs help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation and age spots. They also help decrease the appearance of large pores. Side effects of AHAs can include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. So you want to ease into using these products. Sei Bella Med Spa products include Bionet's cellular turnover treatments, AHA Rejuvenating Cleanser, Young Pharmaceuticals Lacticleanse cleanser, and Saturday Night Brightener to name a few.

2. Beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid)  is found in our Obagi Clenziderm system for acne, Bionet's Rejuvenationg Cleanser, Anti-Oil Cellular Turnover treatment, and DermaTeen acne system. This ingredient exfoliates the skin and can improve the texture and color of the skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicles, thus improving acne. Salicylic acid products combined with benzoyl peroxide products are potent acne fighters.

3. Hydroquinone is commonly referred to as bleaching cream or lightening agent. Products containing hydroquinone are used to lighten and eliminate hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy or hormone therapy (such as occurs with birth control pills and hormone therapies for menopause). You can buy up to a 2% hydroquinone solution over the counter, but best results are achieved with a 4% solution. I have used hydroquinone for years and LOVE IT! I use it everyday, twice a day. It eliminated the need for concealer. Products at Sei Bella that conatin the 4% hydroquinone include Obagi's Clear, Blender and c-Clarifying serums. Hydroquinone has been a topic of controversy over the last few years so if you are pregnant or nursing, I would recommend the following product.

4. Kojic Acid is a more recent (discovered in 1989) remedy for the treatment of pigment problems and age spots. It  is derived from a fungus and works as a lightening agent by inhibiting the production of melanin (brown pigment). Bionet's Skin Brightener and our DermaFrac's lightening peptides are two examples of kojic acid containing products.

5. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. Retinol's stronger counterpart is tretinoin. Vitamin A has a molecular structure that is tiny enough to penetrate the lower layers of the skin where collagen and elastin form. Retinol is proven to improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, tone and color. Plus retinol improves your skin's hydration levels. Sei Bella carries Retinol 50 pads by Young Pharmaceuticals, Vitamin Infusion Serum and Intensive Eye Cream by Bionet. Vitamin A's stronger counterpart, tretinoin, is found in Obagi's tretinoin cream .025%, .05% and 0.1%. These are prescription strength. Common names for tretinoin include Retin-A and Renova which you must purchase with a prescription at a pharmacy. These often cost about $100/tube. The Obagi tretinoins are exactly the same ingredient and cost $66, $76 or $86 depending on the strength, plus you can get well over a month's worth out of a tube. I use the 0.1% tretinoin and the last two tubes I've had lasted me 10 weeks each. That averages out to about $8.60 per week. Not bad.....

6. L-Ascorbic Acid is the only form of Vitamin C that you should look for in your skin care products. This is the most stable form of Vitamin C. It is the only antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen. Collagen production naturally decreases with aging, but sun exposure will accelerate this decrease. Vitamin C  will also help to minimize fine lines, scars and wrinkles. Ask me about Obagi's Vitamin C products. I personally partial to Obagi's c-Clarifying serum which has 10% Vitamin C and 4% hydroquinone.

7. Titanium and Zinc oxides are the best sunscreens you can buy. They are a barrier sunscreens that block UVA and UVB rays. The FDA has recently released some stringent criteria on what companies can claim as "sunscreen" and on what they can claim their percentage of sunblock is. Sun exposure and exposure to UV rays in tanning beds are the #1 cause of skin cancer. Even if you are of Hispanic, Asian or African American descent you need sunscreen. We have several that are good under makeup and are moisturizing at the same time without making your face oily.

This was a quick overview of some of the most common ingredients in skin care products.There are multiple other beneficial products containing antioxidants, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, benzoyl peroxide, Vitamin E, etc. Consultations are free at Sei Bella Med Spa so tell me about your skin concerns and let's find the right product(s) for you. We have a wide range of skin care issues I treat in our own clinic including rosacea, melasma, wrinkles, blemishes and sun damage. We have the young and the not quite so young skin, male and female skin issues. You'll be surprised at how much difference even a single product can make in your overall appearance.

Anne R Trussell MD

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Obagi Elastilash

There are several products on the market now to enhance the thickness and length of our eyelashes.....Latisse, Revitalash, Elastilash, Idol Lash, DermaLash, and Rapid Lash to name a few. Latisse was the first and is probably the best known of these. I write prescriptions frequently for Latisse. It costs around $100 per prescription which is supposed to last a month. You need at least three months of use for maximum results. Latisse works very well, but can be a little cost prohibitive. Also, if you get it in your eye it can permanently stain the eye brown. Obagi's new product which we carry at Sei Bella is called Elastilash. I have used it for two months and can see a change in my lashes. It costs $68 and a tube lasts a little longer than a month, plus you don't have to worry about possibly staining your eyes. As with all of these, maintenance is the key. Once you stop using the formulas, your lashes start to return to their  normal thickness and length.
Ask me about Elastilash next time you're in.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January Newsletter

Sei Bella Med Spa
January newsletter

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had relaxing, quality, family time during the holidays. With good food, good friends, and good ballgames, it is definitely time for me to focus on some New Year’s resolutions. Do you have any? Mine are to run more, clean more, pray more, work in the yard more and sleep more. If I do all that, maybe I’ll eat LESS!
I wanted to tell you about a product I started using last year. It’s called Bio Oil. It is made of Purcellin oil, a recreation of the preen gland oil from ducks! Chocked full of Vit A, Vit E, calendula oil, chamomille oil, rosemary oil and lavender oil, it makes my skin feel great! I don’t use it on my face, too oily, but I use it twice a day on my chest and neck. A 4.2oz bottle of Bio Oil costs $14 on Amazon. I got a 2 oz bottle in October and still have a lot of it. You only need a few drops. Love it!
Many times a day people ask me what to use on their face. There is a product on every street corner, for every person, with every problem. Of course I like Obagi, Young and Bionet because that’s what I carry at Sei Bella. If you have a wash and gentle toner that you like that makes your face feel good, use it. There are four products, however, that I use without fail everyday. First is the Obagi C-Clarifying serum. It contains 4% hydroquinone and 10% Vit C for treating dark spots, melasma, and uneven skin tones. I’ve used this twice a day for years. Secondly, Obagi’s tretinoin 0.1% every night. Great for scars, fine lines, and younger looking, smoother skin. Tretinoin is the generic name for Retin-A and Renova. At 45 I haven’t had to have Botox around my eyes yet and I contribute that to Obagi’s Elastidetrm eye cream. I put it on twice a day, my whole eye area… tear duct to temple! A new product I found is Young’s C-mollient. Started using it twice a day, everyday about a year ago. It’s not a cream or gel. It’s an emollient. Not at all greasy and full of antioxidants. Surprisingly, I’ve sold quite a bit of this to guys, too.
Lastly, let me tell you about my joining the NF Endurance team. NF stands for neurofibromatosis. It’s a spectrum of diseases that cause tumors to form throughout the nervous system. It is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder which means that if a parent has the gene, then they have a 50/50 chance of passing it on to their kid. NF can be very disfiguring, cause deafness and blindness, and some tumors become malignant. There is no cure. Treatment is aimed at removing the tumors surgically or shrinking them with radiation and chemotherapy if they are malignant. I have church family, friends and colleagues who either have children or have lost family members to NF. The NF Endurance team is running for a cure! Remember my New Year’s resolution—run more!? Well, we will be running in the Little Rock marathon and three of us are registered to run the full New York marathon in November! I’d love to have your support. You can make a donation online through my NF website at  or print out the form and mail one in.  As a thank you for your donation, I am giving a $10 gift certificate for Sei Bella Med Spa for each $25 donation you make. For each $100 donation I will give you a $50 gift certificate to Sei Bella and a facial product by Obagi, Young or Bionet (I have several to choose from). Thanks so much for helping if you can!
Ooooh…. One more thing. If we have bad weather, don’t forget to check my blog.  I will post early that morning if we are going to be closed. We live in Conway, Vilonia and Alexander so the staff’s safety is my main priority.
Hope 2012 is the best year ever for you! Thanks for letting us at Sei Bella Med Spa be a part of that.

Anne R Trussell MD                 
Sei Bella Med Spa                                501-228-6237