Category Archives: Skin News

Ultherapy® as a Surgical Facelift Alternative

Ultherapy® –  For those who are looking for a way to rejuvenate their appearance and lift their lax skin but do not want to undergo a surgical facelift, Ultherapy®  may offer the perfect solution, says Dermatologist Dr. Bernard Gasch of the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Gasch and his highly-trained staff offer various cosmetic as well as medical dermatological treatments.  One of their increasingly popular procedures is Ultherapy®, which is a non-surgical and non-invasive, yet effective approach to lifting and tightening skin on the face, neck, and brow. Ultherapy® is the only FDA-approved non-invasive procedure that lifts sagging skin on the neck, under the chin, and above the eyebrows.

Utilizing a patented ultrasound technology, the Ultherapy® procedure involves targeting the exact location and depth of the appropriate treatment area.   Focused ultrasound energy is then delivered producing heat in the deeper layers of the skin which stimulates the growth of collagen, and restores elasticity, tone, and firmness to the treated area.  This effectively results in a lifting and tightening of the skin.

Unlike a surgical facelift, Ultherapy® does not involve any down-time.  There are no incisions or stitches.  In fact, patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately following their treatment.  The Ultherapy® procedure is ideal for women and men between the age of 30 and 65 who have mild to moderately sagging skin.

While Ultherapy® does not duplicate the immediate results of a surgical facelift, the procedure is highly-effective and less expensive.  Most patients will see immediate skin improvements after treatment and gradual, but significant lifting improvements in the following weeks. Patients who have already undergone other facial procedures, including previous facelift surgeries, lasers, or dermal fillers can also utilize Ultherapy® to enhance and prolong the effects of their cosmetic surgery.

Whether a patient seeks Ultherapy or other cosmetic procedure, Dr. Gasch and his staff at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery closely work with patients to determine their best course of treatment, so that they can achieve the beautiful and natural-looking results they desire.



Ultherapy® Treatments

Ultherapy — For many individuals, the appearance of sagging and wrinkled skin on the face and neck defines one’s aging process.  Until recently, the only solution for eliminating the often-embarrassing appearance of excess skin was a surgical facelift. Fortunately, now, there is a much less invasive method for treating the appearance of sagging skin.

Dr. Bernard Gasch, of the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, Portland, Oregon, recommends the FDA-approved Ultherapy® procedure as a non-surgical, non-invasive, yet effective approach to lifting and tightening skin on the face and neck.  “Ultherapy® utilizes a patented ultrasound technology to heat specific areas of the neck and face to help correct the skin from the inside out.”

The first part of the Ultherapy procedure involves using an ultrasound imaging system to pinpoint the exact location of the appropriate treatment area. The ultrasound energy is then delivered to the treated area helping to stimulate the growth of collagen deeply within the skin, restoring elasticity and firmness to the area.  The procedure is usually well-tolerated and is relatively quick to perform resulting in no downtime for the patient, states Dr. Gasch.

“The best candidates for Ultherapy® are those with mild to moderately loose skin. Patients who usually seek this surgery are usually between the ages of 30 and 65,” Dr. Gasch explains.  “While Ultherapy® does not duplicate the immediate results of a surgical facelift, it is a highly-effective and less expensive alternative for patients who are looking to avoid invasive procedures. The procedure does not involve any downtime, making it ideal for busy patients. Most patients will start seeing improvements in skin immediately after treatment, with more gradual but significant improvements in the following weeks.”

Dr. Gasch has an extensive amount of experience and expertise in cosmetic and medical dermatology. Along with the highly trained staff at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, Dr. Gasch strives to provide the very best in patient care and satisfaction.

Interested individuals in the Portland, Beaverton, and Hillsboro areas are encouraged to learn more about Ultherapy®.


Eczema Awareness Month

Eczema — With Eczema Awareness Month fast-approaching and set to begin on October 1st., Dr. Bernard Gasch takes a minute to discuss this condition, which can often be uncomfortable as well as debilitating.

“Eczema is a chronic skin condition, which flares periodically. When the condition flares, intensely itchy, rough, bright-red, and occasionally blistering rashes may appear on the skin,” Dr. Gasch says. Approximately 15 million Americans suffer from eczema, yet many never seek professional help for their condition. According to Dr. Gasch, it is important that patients seek advice from a dermatologist, who can give them various up-to-date and effective treatment options in hopes of not only resolving their eczema, but also preventing it from becoming widespread as well as infected.

Dr. Gasch explains that although eczema may appear on any part of the body, it is  usually found on the arms and legs. Despite the exact cause of eczema being unknown, many have linked it to genetics, as well as dry skin.  In many cases, eczema, or atopic dermatitis, first appears in early childhood in children who suffer from environmental allergies. The initial eczema may improve with age, but often later manifests as skin allergic contact rashes, such as to fragrances and preservatives found in products applied to the skin.

“Eczema flares may be triggered by any number of factors including contact with soaps, shampoos, lotions, or even laundry detergents containing fragrances, preservatives, or certain dyes.  It may also be worsened with contact with coarse materials found in clothing, including wool, especially in the wintertime.  Stress, environmental allergies, and fighting off a cold or infection may also lead to an eczema flare,” says Dr. Gasch.

“I always tell my patients to avoid scratching their skin even when it is itchy.”  We have various strategies including topical and oral agents which can help our patients with itching, all in an attempt to avoid scratching.  Scratching will cause further irritation and cause the flare-up to become worse.

Patients must also be aware that, while there is no cure for eczema, there are plenty of effective treatment options. Although each patient’s needs differ, common treatments are prescription anti-inflammatory creams and oral medications, if needed.  Also, if the skin becomes infected from scratching, oral antibiotics may be helpful.  Nevertheless, appropriate moisturizers are necessary to hydrate the skin and form a protective barrier against contact allergens which the patient might be sensitive or even allergic to.

Dr. Gasch also emphasizes the importance of “patch test” skin allergy testing, especially in teens and adults who may be suffering from eczema-related rashes such as Contact Dermatitis.  This form of skin testing is totally different from skin “prick tests” that are administered by allergists for discovering triggers for environmental allergies and asthma, not skin allergies.  Skin patch testing, on the other hand, is performed by certain dermatology practices, including Dr. Gasch and Dr. Rydzik”s Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery.  This testing reveals what the patient’s skin is allergic to.  In other words, this testing identifies which ingredient the patient may be coming in contact with which may be causing or contributing to their eczema or eczema-related skin rash.

With Eczema Awareness Month set to begin in October, Dr. Gasch also says his practice will continue to emphasize the importance of patient education when it comes to controlling eczema and contact dermatitis.

Many patients who suffer from eczema and contact dermatitis are not only bothered by the fact that their skin is itching and has rashes, which maybe keeping them awake at night, but are also self-conscious about the appearance of their skin.  Patients need to be aware that there are millions of people out there with same concerns, and that many of their symptoms can be relieved with the professional help of a qualified Dermatologist.  I will continue to promote eczema education for my patients, and I will continue to encourage anyone with eczema to consult a compassionate, board-certified dermatologist who will help them manage their skin symptoms effectively.”

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

Psoriasis — Dr. Bernard Gasch, an expert and experienced dermatologist at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery in Portland, Oregon, reports that Psoriasis Awareness Month is fast-approaching. With August on its way, Dr. Gasch takes a moment to discuss this widespread and sometimes debilitating skin condition.

“Psoriasis is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the U.S.,” Dr. Gasch reports. “It affects over 7 million Americans, and there is no permanent cure. Patients can get their skin under control with the correct treatment, but they first need to overcome their embarrassment and actively consult a dermatologist.”

Dr. Gasch describes psoriasis as a “sometimes hereditary autoimmune skin disorder which often results in thick red scaling plaques most commonly appearing on the elbows and knees. Depending on the type of psoriasis, however, the scalp, face, trunk, hands, feet, buttocks, skin folds, and genitals may also be affected. Sometimes these plaques are itchy, burning, and painful. Occasionally, psoriasis can be triggered by an infection, such as a strep throat, whereas other times it can be triggered by certain medications. Basically in psoriasis, false signals are being sent out by the immune system causing skin cell growth to speed up.”

Dr. Gasch reports that psoriasis can be linked to other serious health conditions, as well. “Many times, psoriasis appears with other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, as well as depression. Moreover, the National Psoriasis Foundation also estimates that almost 30% of people suffering from psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints.”

The mental effects of psoriasis on the patient are yet another one of the many aspects to consider when designing a treatment plan, according to Dr. Gasch. “Most patients suffering from psoriasis feel self-conscious and embarrassed because of it. Patients need to be aware that even though there is no cure for their psoriasis, various treatment options exist which can control their psoriasis for months, years, or even permanently. These treatments vary depending on each individual case, but topical medications, oral/injectable medications, and phototherapy are all commonly used.

Dr. Gasch again emphasizes how important awareness of this condition is. “Patients need to be aware that there are plenty of others living with psoriasis, and that many symptoms can relieved with professional help. I encourage anyone who thinks that they are suffering from psoriasis to find a board-certified dermatologist and learn about their treatment options.”


Cosmetic Dermatology to Treat Brown Spots

Brown Spots – For those dealing with unwanted skin discoloration, confidence and self-esteem can become a daily struggle.  Often manifesting in the form of brown spots and patches, skin discoloration can affect patients both physically and emotionally.  Thankfully, however, patients today are choosing to do something about it.  Dr. Beata Rydzik recently  discussed how more and more patients are turning to cosmetic dermatology as a way to help treat troublesome brown spots.

“As one of today’s most common skin complaints, brown spots can serve as a blemish to an otherwise perfect complexion,” Dr. Rydzik explains.  “While they typically don’t pose a medical threat, brown spots can take a toll on patients in other ways, often becoming a source of embarrassment.”

Detailing causes of the condition, Dr. Rydzik offered this: “A common result of the aging process, brown spots are most often caused by years of overexposure to the sun.  Manifesting as flat, painless areas, brown spots can also occur as a result of injury or trauma, in a condition known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.”

Dr. Rydzik, who specializes in many of today’s top general and cosmetic dermatologic procedures, went on to describe a few of the condition’s most effective treatment modalities.  “While brown spots can certainly be discouraging, modern cosmetic dermatology now offers a host of minimally-invasive solutions for reducing the appearance of skin discoloration and promoting a more uniform complexion,” Dr. Rydzik explains.  “Chemical peelsmicrodermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing can all be effectively used to reduce the appearance of spots.  Liquid nitrogen and skin bleaching may also be used, depending on the patient’s unique medical needs.”

Asked to comment on the growing popularity of cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Rydzik concluded with this:  “Where in the past, many patients had no choice but to accept brown spots, that is simply no longer the case today.  With several highly-effective treatments available, we encourage anyone dealing with skin discoloration to contact us and learn more about their treatment options.”


Dr. Bernard Gasch to Speak at National Psoriasis Foundation Event

psoriasis marker resized

Join Dr. Bernard Gasch at the National Psoriasis Foundation’s “More Than Skin Deep.”

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Embassy Suites Hotel Portland – Washington Square
9000 SW Washington Square Rd
Portland, OR 97223 [ map ]

Parking: Free


Dermatologist—Bernard Gasch, M.D., F.A.A.D.
Rheumatologist—Ajay Wanchu, M.D., M.B.B.S., F.A.C.P.

Schedule and registration information

  • 9:30 a.m.—Registration and continental breakfast
  • 10:00 a.m. – Noon—The Other Side of Psoriasis: Psoriatic Arthritis presentations. Dermatologist Bernard Gasch, M.D., F.A.A.D., and rheumatologist Ajay Wanchu, M.D., M.B.B.S., F.A.C.P., will provide a comprehensive overview of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, explain your risk factors if you have psoriasis and the importance of early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis: The Other Side of Psoriasis is a patient-oriented event that will provide the information you need:

  • A comprehensive overview from a leading dermatologist and rheumatologist
  • Your risk factors if you have psoriasis and the importance of early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis
  • Overview of treatment options for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
  • Tips for taking charge of your health care
  • An update on the most promising drugs in development
  • Opportunity to ask questions of the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis experts

National Psoriasis Organization

June is Acne Awareness Month

Acne —  As June approaches, it marks the beginning of Acne Awareness Month, a 30-day campaign aimed at bringing light to the signs, symptoms and treatments of this common skin condition.  Dr. Bernard Gasch recently sat down to speak about this effort, and how patients can take a proactive role in managing their acne symptoms.

“Acne affects roughly 40 to 50 million Americans, making it the most common skin disorder in the United States,” explains Dr. Gasch.  “Despite how widespread it is, many are still unaware of the proper treatments and preventive measures; this is why Acne Awareness Month is so important.”

Explaining the condition in more detail, Dr. Gasch offered this: “Acne is a skin condition in which pimples, cysts, nodules, and clogged pores appear on the skin, affecting a number of different areas on the body.  Not only can acne be painful, but it can affect patients emotionally, often diminishing confidence and self-esteem,” explains Dr. Gasch.  “Typically, acne is caused by three main factors: overproduction of oil in the skin, inflammation and irritation of the oil glands within the hair follicles, and a buildup of bacteria within hair follicles.  While it’s most common to see acne begin to appear during puberty, it can actually affect men and women well into their 40s and 50s.”

“Luckily, there are many ways to treat acne and ward off potential unwanted side effects, like scarring,” offers Dr. Gasch.  “Procedures such as photodynamic therapy, as well as certain lasers and specific peels, can work to kill the unwanted bacteria and reduce inflammation in the skin.  There are also a number of prescription medications, both topical and systemic, as well as various over-the-counter treatments which can be customized for the patient which are aimed at reducing or eliminating acne symptoms.”

Explaining the connection between acne breakouts and daily skincare, Dr. Gasch offered this: “When it comes to acne, prevention can be just as important as the treatment.  We recommend that our patients use non-comedogenic cosmetics, which are less likely to clog pores.  Our patients are also advised to gently wash acne-prone areas twice daily using cleansers customized to their skin type.  Also, upon consultation with us, we can choose certain specific ingredients found in skin-care products which will not only decrease the amount of oil produced in the skin, but also to decrease the amount of inflammation in the skin without creating irritation.  in my opinion, the most important aspect of a good acne skin regimen is effective results without irritation.”

Offering his final thoughts on the importance of Acne Awareness Month, Dr. Gasch concluded with this: It is important to remember that acne is a medical condition that is best handled under the care of a trained dermatologist.  We hope those living with untreated acne, who are bothered by it, will use Acne Awareness Month as an opportunity to seek care for the first time and find out more about managing this frustrating condition.”


May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Skin Cancer – May 1st marks the beginning of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign aimed at bringing skin cancer prevention and detection to center stage.  Dr. Beata Rydzik of Portland’s Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery discusses the importance of these efforts, emphasizing the need for regular skin cancer screenings.

“Each year, over 3.5 million skin cancer cases are diagnosed in over 2 million people – that represents more cases than breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer combined,” reports Dr. Rydzik.  “With such a high prevalence, it is crucial for patients to understand the steps they can take to prevent, detect, and treat this all-too-common disease.”

A topic often misunderstood, Dr. Rydzik offered some background on the different types of skin cancers men and women are susceptible to.  “Skin cancers can be generally broken down into two categories: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers,” explains Dr. Rydzik.  “Melanoma accounts for less than 5% of skin cancer cases, but it represents the deadliest form of the disease.  While non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma tend to be less fatal, they still present a serious medical concern.”

Offering tips as to how patients can reduce their risk for developing skin cancer, Dr. Rydzik stated this: “While there are a number of risk factors involved in skin cancer, exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the biggest culprit.  Patients can minimize their exposure by avoiding the sun especially between the hours of 10AM to 4PM. If this cannot be helped be sure you wear sunscreen with an appropriate SPF. I recommend a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 40 and above. Reapplication after perspiration or swimming and every 2 hrs is also very important as no sunscreen that we put on in the morning lasts all day long.  Most definitely steer away from tanning beds which have the highest concentration of UVB radiation, more so than natural sunlight. You can also cover up with loose-fitting clothing and wear hats with a large brim. Patients need to understand that there is no benefit to “pre-tanning” before going on a tropical vacation. If you follow the steps of reapplication you will not sunburn. “Pre-tanning” amplifies the “UV-load” on your skin which then increases your risk of skin cancer and leads to premature aging.”


Emphasizing the importance of skin cancer detection, Dr. Rydzik had this to say: “In the end, one of the most important weapons against skin cancer is regular screenings from a dermatologist.  This is especially important for those who have a family history of skin cancer, those with a fair complexion, multiple moles and those who have noticed suspicious changes in their skin.”

Commenting on the importance of this month-long effort, Dr. Rydzik finished with this: “While skin cancer is certainly a serious condition, it is almost always treatable when caught early.  We encourage patients to take a proactive role in their skin health not only during the month of May but all year long and contact us directly to schedule regular skin exams.”


April is Rosacea Awareness Month

Rosacea – Dr. Bernard Gasch, who specializes in innovative medical and cosmetic skin treatments at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery in Portland, Oregon, announces that April 1 marks the beginning of Rosacea Awareness Month. Dr. Gasch, who suffers from rosacea himself, takes a moment to draw attention to this extremely common and frustrating condition.

“While rosacea is believed to affect more than 16 million Americans, the National Rosacea Society estimates that as few as 10% are actually being treated for it,” reports Dr. Gasch. “This is why Rosacea Awareness Month is so important – to encourage those living with Rosacea to seek treatment for the first time.”

“Rosacea is a condition that affects many patients both physically and emotionally. Beyond the hallmark symptoms of facial redness and swelling, rosacea can hinder a patient’s confidence and self-esteem.” Dr. Gasch went on to cite additional symptoms, including small bumps resembling pimples as well as a burning sensation on the face, among others.

Emphasizing the importance of seeking qualified dermatological care, Dr. Gasch explained how rosacea can be effectively treated today. “While there is currently no cure for rosacea, there are new ways to manage the condition. We begin by identifying a patient’s ‘triggers’, which are lifestyle factors that can cause a rosacea flare-up. Common triggers include stress, sun exposure, among others. “In terms of treatments for rosacea, many patients benefit from a combination of oral and topical medications, as well as laser and light treatments.”

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) released a statement on the importance of this month-long effort. “During Rosacea Awareness Month and throughout the year, the NRS conducts public education activities to reach the millions of rosacea sufferers who may not realize they have a medical condition that can be effectively treated, emphasizing the warning signs and urging those who suspect they may have rosacea to see a dermatologist”.

These sentiments are echoed by Dr. Gasch. “Patients living with rosacea need to understand that they are not alone, and that effective and innovative treatments are available to them. During this upcoming month, I encourage these patients to consult with a caring board-certified dermatologist to take a proactive role in managing their rosacea skin concerns and symptoms.”

More Patients Exploring Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy for Treating Acne

Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy – When teens and adults are struggling with symptoms of acne, they will often assume that oral medications, including antibiotics and even Isotretinoin (Accutane) are their only effective treatment options.  For those patients who are reluctant to take systemic medications for various reasons, including fear of side effects or medication allergies, new acne treatment options exist.  Dr. Bernard Gasch discusses the rise in popularity of a cutting-edge new alternative: BLU-U® Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy.

“Photodynamic therapy has changed the way we can manage mild to severe acne without the use of oral medications,” explains Dr. Gasch.  For mild to moderate acne, Blue Light Therapy alone is administered in quick, 16-minute sessions, once or twice weekly for a total of 8 treatments”  During the treatment, patients sit in front of special blue light that works to kill propionibacterium acnes, the skin bacteria which is implicated in causing acne.

Dr. Gasch explains that “Blue Light Therapy is non-invasive and pain-free.  “Also, besides being effective in treating mild to moderate acne  patients love the quick and simple nature of the treatment sessions.”

For more severe forms of acne, Dr. Gasch utilizes a unique topical solution called Levulan which is usually applied for 2 hours prior to the Blue Light treatment.  “This not only increases the effectiveness of the Blue light treatments in targeting deeper and more inflamed acne lesions, but also helps the appearance of scarring resulting from acne.”  With this augmented Blu Light treatment patients usually trade an enhanced result for a mild sunburn-like redness lasting up to a week, as well as some mild tingling sensation during the treatment.  “It has been suggested that four of these treatments is equivalent in effectiveness to a 5-month course of Accutane, with long-lasting benefits,” reports Dr. Gasch.

Speaking on the growing popularity of Photodynamic Therapy, Dr. Gasch offered this: “Since we introduced the treatment in our practice, the response we’ve been seeing has been very positive.  Patients are reporting significant improvement and new patients to our practice are now requesting the treatment first-line, especially those who cannot or do not want to take oral medications.”

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