Dr. Sonja Krejci Joins Westside Dermatology

Sonja Krejci, MD, FAAD - Board-Certified Dermatologist

Sonja Krejci, MD, FAAD – Board-Certified Dermatologist

Dr. Krejci brings 20 years of experience to our clinic

Westside Dermatology is very excited to announce the addition of Dr. Sonja Krejci to the practice. Dr. Krejci, formerly of the Polyclinic in downtown Seattle, brings 20 years of experience in adult and pediatric dermatology to Westside Dermatology. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Washington in 1987.

Dr. Krejci was born in Innsbruck, Austria and was raised in Alaska. She and her husband have lived in Seattle since 1995 and are the parents of twin 13 year old boys. She is an enthusiastic supporter of her boys in their various sports endeavors. She enjoys baking, accumulating kitchen gadgets and occasionally exercising.

By adding another dermatologist to the practice we hope to reduce wait times for appointments. Just like Dr. Wilske who joined Westside Dermatology in 2013, Dr. Krejci will focus 100% on medical dermatology.

To learn more about Dr. Sonja Krejci, click here.

Dr. Krejci begins seeing patients at Westside Dermatology on March 17, 2015.

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How To Boost Your Sunscreen’s Effectiveness

Six Easy Steps To Ensure You’re Getting The Most Out Of Your SPF

Seattle has enjoyed a record-breaking streak of sunny weather this year, and for a lot of people that’s meant using more sunscreen than ever. Yet for some of our patients they’re noticing that they’re still developing a tan. This has left some of them wondering if their sunscreen is no good. If you’ve avoided a sunburn then you can be sure your sunscreen is working. However, a tan still represents some form of sun damage.The purpose of sunscreen is to prevent the burning of important cells in your skin called melanocytes. The dark pigment in your skin produced when you have a sunburn or tan is known as melanin, which are produced by these melanocytes. When a burn or tan occurs these cells can become damaged, resulting in sun/age spots and sometimes skin cancer.
Unfortunately, no sunscreen can completely block the sun’s harmful rays. Here are our top six tips on how to increase the effectiveness of your sunscreen and avoid both a sunburn and a tan.
1) Re-Apply – Even the best sunscreen only lasts 80-minutes. If you’re going outdoors take you’re sunscreen with you and set your countdown timer on your phone or watch. You might be surprised how quickly 80-minutes goes by.
2) It’s Water Resistant, Not Water Proof – Think a water-resistant sunscreen is only necessary when swimming? Think again. Hot days can mean a lot of sweat and the body’s cooling system can do a great job of breaking down and diluting sunscreen. A water and sweat-resistant formulation can help with this. But don’t be fooled. There is no such thing as a “waterproof” sunscreen. All sunscreen, no matter what the label says, is compromised by exposure to water and sweat. Re-apply after you swim or if you’re particularly sweaty.
3) Up The SPF, But Don’t Be Fooled – Don’t spend money on less than an SPF 30. Anything less just doesn’t offer adequate protection, especially if you know you’re going to be exposed to direct sunlight. But also don’t be fooled. An SPF rating higher than 50 doesn’t not offer significant additional protection from the sun. A product labelled SPF 100 does not protect twice as well as an SPF 50. An SPF 50 will protect you from 98% of the sun’s UV-B rays. A higher SPF rating will only improve the protection very slightly.
4) Go Broad – Not all sunscreens are the same. Look for those labelled “broad spectrum.” These enhanced sunscreens protect you from both UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-A rays cause skin cancer. UV-B rays cause sunburn. Because sunscreens are only required to protect you from UV-B rays you may not be fully protected from the potentially more harmful UV-A rays. Look for zinx ocide and a titanium dioxide in sunscreen. These ingredients provide broad spectrum protection and are gentle enough for people with sensitive or compromised skin.
5) Check The Expiration – Sunscreen doesn’t last forever, but for some reason a lot of people think it does. The ingredients in sunscreen are naturally unstable and overtime sunscreen looses it’s effectiveness as the stabilizers in the sunscreen break down. Pay close attention to expiration dates as using expired sunscreen can result in a nasty burn. Did you apply sunscreen all over but developed a strange, swirly sun burn? You’re sunscreen has likely expired. Can’t find the expiration date on the bottle? Throw it away!
6) Seek Shade – No sunscreen can eliminate 100% of harmful UV rays from the sun. To prevent melanin production in your skin all together, your best bet is to seek the shade.
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Ask Heather: What’s The Best Way To Get Rid of Blackheads?

Heather Dahl, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

Heather Dahl, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

This Month’s Ask Heather Question:

What’s the best way to get rid of blackheads and prevent them from coming back?

Heather’s Answer:
Blackheads are a common issue for many people. They are caused by overactive sebaceous activity (oil production) that occurs when there are spikes in hormone levels. These hormone spikes begin in puberty and continue throughout adulthood. When the oil in the skin and keratin build up and are exposed to air they oxidize and turn black. Blackheads are not caused by being dirty, stress or diet, however cleansing the skin is important in reducing blackheads. Self extraction is not advised since the pressure of squeezing improperly can cause the oil to break through the follicular wall causing scaring, pitting, and breaking of vessels.
Here are 4 easy steps to eliminating and preventing blackheads:
1) Start fresh – If you have blackheads and haven’t been able to get rid of them by exfoliating it may be necessary to have a professional microderm treatment. Microderm is the process where an abrasive tip  is run along the surface of the skin, polishing the dead skin off while a vacuum attached to the tip suctions the dead tissue away.
2) Keep clean – Gently wash your face at night. Removing dirt and oil will allow your skin’s own healthy oil to protect and hydrate your skin at night. Gentle cleansing will prevent dryness and keep oil production regulated.
3) Avoid the urge to scrub – I do not recommend scrubs they often irritate and damage the skin. I do recommend the Clarisonic facial brush (found at Nordstrom, Sephora and Amazon) this brush will remove the oil by shaking it loose and breaking it up, allowing it to come out easily. The result is a visual reduction in pore size.
4) Keep away from oil – Do not use heavy oil-based products, especially makeup. This clogs pores and adds to the oil problem. Use a natural mineral based makeup and steer clear of moisturizers that use heavy oils if you tend to develop blackheads.
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Ask Heather: 4 Tips For Choosing The Right Laser Procedure

Heather Dahl, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

Heather Dahl, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

This Month’s Ask Heather Question:

I was considering a laser treatment but looked online and read a lot of horror stories. Now I have reservations. Is laser safe?

Heather’s Answer:
This is a valid concern. Most all laser complications can be avoided when properly consulted and done in a medical office. Here are my top 4 tips in finding the right person to perform your laser treatment.
#1: Look for a physician-supervised clinic.

Only consider having the procedure performed in an office where there is a doctor on site. Unfortunately this is not the case at many medical spas. These medical spas will have an affiliation with a doctor but the doctor may only stop by once or twice a month to complete paperwork. Look for a laser clinic where there is a doctor on site supervising staff every day. If a doctor is not on site and actively supervising staff who are performing laser treatments then go elsewhere.

#2: Find out what laser they will be using.

Make sure the laser that will be used on you is actually indicated for the procedure you’re having done. Many clinics will try and save money by only investing in one piece of laser equipment. Because laser light can do multiple things these clinics rely on the laser to treat a variety of concerns, such as unwanted hair, pigment, and blood vessels, even if the laser’s manufacture does not indicate the equipment for such use. Visit the laser manufacturer’s website and make sure that the equipment being used is indicated for what you’re looking to have done.

#3: Protect yourself from the sun.

The biggest cause of complications with any laser treatment is recent exposure to sun prior to or after treatment. Having a recent tan due to sun, self tanner, or any other added pigment to skin can cause blistering and adverse effects from the laser treatment. You should not do laser treatments if you have had sun exposure to the treatment area at least 4 weeks prior to the treatment and need to avoid exposure for 4 weeks after. Sunscreen must be applied daily on exposed treatment areas and reapplied when directed. Even on cloudy days you must use sunscreen since UVA rays are always present.

#4: Ask who isn’t a candidate for treatment.

If the laser therapist says “everyone is” they may not know much about the equipment they’re using. Certain technological limitations exist with all laser equipment. If you have a darker complexion some laser procedures may not provide the results you’re looking for. See your dermatologist to see what they would advise. There are many prescriptions and non prescriptions that would be a good fit for you.

Lasers are not just safe when precautions are followed, they are an incredibly effective way of treating various conditions of the skin. By following the 4 steps above you’re sure to find a qualified laser therapist who can give you the results you’re looking for.

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The WD20 For Summer 2013

The 20 Most Popular Skin Care Products At Westside Dermatology

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 – #1 For Six-Months and The Best-Selling Product of All Time At Westside Dermatology.

#1 Physical Fusion SPF 50 by SkinCeuticals

#2 Latisse by Allergan

#3 Renew Overnight Dry by SkinCeuticals

#4 Lumiere by Neocutis

#5 Lytera Skin Medica

#6 Redness Neutralizer by SkinCeuticals

#7 Emollience by SkinCeuticals

#8 Sheer Physical SPF 50 by SkinCeuticals

#9 Eye Intervention System by Neocutis

#10 Phloretin CF by SkinCeuticals

#11 Retexturing Activator by SkinCeuticals

#12 Bio-Serum by Neocutis

#13 Neck, Chest & Hand Repair by SkinCeuticals

#14 TNS Ceramide Cream by Skin Medica

#15 Rejuvenative Moisturizer by Skin Medica

#16 Hydrating B5 Gel SkinCeuticals

#17 Gentle Cleanser by SkinCeuticals

#18 Simply Clean by SkinCeuticals

#19 Bio Cream by SkinCeuticals

#20 C+AHA by SkinCeuticals


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Dr. Kendell Wilske Joins Westside Dermatology

Kendell Wilske, MD

Kendell Wilske, MD, FAAD – Board-Certified Dermatologist

Thanks in large part to excellent word-of-mouth from our established patients, Westside Dermatology is able to announce the addition of a fourth board-certified dermatologist to the practice. Dr. Kendell Wilske will begin seeing patients here at Westside Dermatology in June.

By adding another physician to the practice it is our goal to improve access to care for patients and decrease wait times for appointments. Just like Dr. Bowers, who joined our practice in December, Dr. Wilske will focus 100% on medical dermatology. With four MDs serving the community you can trust that when you’re seen at Westside Dermatology you’re going to be treated by a board certified dermatologist.

Dr. Wilske is well-known in the Seattle area, having practiced at Virginia Mason for over 10 years. Both Dr. Wilske and her husband were born and raised in the Seattle area. She brings a wealth of knowledge and nearly 20 years of dermatologic experience to our practice. Her addition is sure to result in the continued delivery of the excellent care our patients have come to expect from us.

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Ask Heather: How Does Your IPL Photo Rejuvenation Laser Differ From Others?

Heather Dahl, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

Heather Dahl, Licensed Medical Aesthetician

This Month’s Ask Heather Question:
How does your IPL Photo Rejuvenation laser differ from others?

Heather’s Answer:I really like this question because people are always asking me if IPL is the same at every clinic. And simply put, the answer is no. IPL stands for “Intense Pulsed Light,” and unfortunately that means anyone with a laser can market their service as IPL Photo Rejuvenation (or “Photo Facial”). The treatment is popular with patients who are seeking to reduce the amount of red and brown pigment in their skin. Here at Westside Dermatology we use a laser system known as the LumenisOne. This sophisticated device allows us to use several different filters, resulting in an array of wavelengths. This is important because what a laser does to the skin is determined by its wavelength. The systems software allows the user to choose certain settings based on the patient’s unique skin condition. Other, less sophisticated lasers only allow the technician to choose frequency and intensity of the laser without taking in to account the actual condition of the patient’s skin. This increases the likelihood of long-lasting side-effects, such as discoloration of the skin.

With the rise of sites like Groupon a lot of patients have been lured to clinics that offer laser services at unbelievably low prices. I recommend to my patients that they ask themselves the following questions before purchasing one of these deals:
1. Has the technician performing the treatment been trained and certified by the equipment’s manufacturer?
2. Is the equipment being used designed for the service I’m seeking? For example, is this laser meant to treat pigment or something else, such as hair follicles?
3. What happens if I experience one of the potential side-effects? Does this business have medical proffesionals who will be able to treat me promptly and effectively?
Laser procedures are by no means inexpensive and come with certain potential risks. When choosing who will perform your treatment focus on the quality of the technology being used and the experience of the technician performing the treatment. Then decide if the price is right for you.
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