Tag Archives: Vanguard Dermatology

Dr. Wynn Kao offers five tips for minimizing acne

Severe acne By Shayna Thorn

“Just because a condition is common doesn’t mean it’s a quick fix,” cautions Vanguard dermatologist Dr. Wynn Kao.

“People assume that because a condition is not life threatening, it should be easy to cure. But that’s not how it works with skin.”

When teens or even adults in their thirties or forties are plagued with acne, no one can blame them for not only seeking medical help but for hoping that a skilled dermatologist will banish the condition forever. Less conscientious doctors might raise expectations by promising instant remedies. Dr. Kao would rather have the patient understand that while skin conditions can certainly be resolved, it is often patience and persistent attentiveness that get results rather than miracle panaceas.

“Most of our tools are good ones and they are always being improved. But there is no one size that fits all and the cure takes place over time.”

Types of Acne PimplesPrescribing the appropriate acne medicine involves the same kind of trial and error approach that other physicians follow in controlling more dangerous chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or depression.

“We start out with a lesser strength prescription with the understanding that depending on the individual, we will need to adjust it.”

Treating acne, Dr. Kao takes into account a patient’s genetic givens.

“If a teenager is accompanied by a biological parent who is still plagued with acne, than I know I am dealing with a challenging case.”

Stress is also often a factor but even here individual experiences vary.

“There is a difference between someone who is always stressed out and someone who is coping with a periodic shift in hormones that causes stress-related, monthly breakouts.”

wkaothumbDr. Kao’s Five Tips for Minimizing Acne

  1. Reduce your intake of sugar: While dietary factors may contribute to only 15% to 20% of acne eruptions, it’s a good idea to enlist everything you can on the side of improving your condition. It may be hard to show a direct cause and effect, but high glucose consumption is known to lead to inflammation so keeping away from the refined carbohydrates in many snacks can help.
  2. Avoid skim milk: Drinking skim milk often has an adverse effect on acne. Try going back to whole milk and watch for improvement.
  3. Keep your skin well moisturized. Acne sufferers often have oil excess but that does not mean you should let your skin dry out. Ask your dermatologist for the right products to use for washing and hydrating your skin type.
  4. Prescribed Retin-A can help: While some less concentrated Retin-A gels are available over the counter, results are best when a dermatologist works with you over time to find the right formula for your skin.
  5. Consider phototherapy: This acne treatment, also known as a light box or Isolaz, can make a dramatic difference in four to six treatments. Watch for more on this in future blog posts.
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Media Event launches Vanguard Dermatology’s new Financial District Office at 115 Broadway

filmstrip1By Shayna Torn

Editors from Shape, The New York Post, Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Glamour and other publications joined Drs. Michael Shapiro, Karen Hammerman and Susan Bard in May for the launch of Vanguard Dermatology’s new office in New York City’s Financial District, its fifth office in the city, in a media event organized by 5W Public Relations.

The new office is located in the historic Trinity Building at 115 Broadway and when you enter its gilded, vaulted lobby you are transported back to a more elegant past— lavish, unhurried, visually impressive with an eye for artful detail.  The welcoming couches and witty poster art in the office reception area are a perfect match for the aesthetic of the district—but what’s important about the spacious new office is what it enables the doctors now to do.

As medical director Michael Shapiro pointed out, Vanguard Dermatology has had an office in the downtown area, in Soho, for the last ten years but that office was not equipped to offer all the services they wanted.

“In this location we’re going to be offering the full gamut of medical, surgical, cosmetic and laser services.”

Staff at 115 BroadwayIn his address to the media, Dr. Shapiro reviewed some of the specialties of the three doctors who will be working at 115 Broadway.

“I trained at Harvard and then went to the University of Pennsylvania for medical school and residency. I’ve done two fellowships, one in lymphoma of the skin and the other in skin cancer removal and facial reconstruction at the University of Colorado in Denver.”

Like Dr. Shapiro, Dr. Susan Bard is a MOHS surgeon. She specializes in laser and cosmetic treatments and recently co-authored an important textbook on Laser Treatment of Vascular Lesions (Dr. Bard’s chapter on the history, physics and safety of  lasers is available here as a free downloadable PDF). A longtime member of the staff, Dr. Bard will split her time between the Brooklyn Sheepshead Bay office and the new office.

Dr. Karen Hammerman has done extensive research in wound healing, stem cell research and skin regeneration at New York University.  Dr. Shapiro pointed out that she “is the authority on complicated acne problems of the face and is an expert on facial aesthetics.” Dr. Hammerman will be splitting her time between her current practice in the Forest Hills office and the new office.

In her address to the media, Dr. Bard crystallized the Vanguard Dermatology philosophy:

“My approach to cosmetics is fairly simple: I like to augment, enhance, and maintain. I like to have a very subtle and natural approach: augment anything that isn’t already perfect, enhance everything that’s already beautiful, and maintain your appearance in the least invasive way possible for as long as possible.”

In addition to champagne flutes and custom espresso, every editor received a complimentary Botox treatment— but not before the physician studied their facial features and decided how best to make a little go a long way. The doctors hope that many of the local area residents will now discover that a new sanctuary of health and rejuvenation has arrived amid the hustle and bustle of downtown Manhattan.

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