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Your Face Starts Here – Don’t Forget to Protect!

Your facial presentation begins at your open collar so don’t forget to protect the décolleté and neck! Overexposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) light can lead to skin cancer and precancers like actinic keratoses (AKs). Since sun damage accumulates over time, it’s never too late to start a sun protection regimen. Many people remember to put sunscreen on their face, but forget to apply sunscreen to the décolleté area (neck and chest). Here are a few tips for prevention:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sunscreen is one of the keys to radiant, youthful-looking skin. Daily use may even lower your long-term risk of skin cancer.
  • Exfoliate. The buildup of stratum corneum (the dead, outermost skin cell layer) can make skin appear blotchy and uneven.
  • Hydrate. Summer exposure to sun, chlorine, and salt water can dry out your skin – even the heels of your feet can be affected.
  • Antioxidants. A variety of antioxidants can improve the health and quality of your skin, and can even reverse some discoloration and wrinkles.

Skin Treatment Options

At Zimmet Vein & Dermatology, we offer a number of treatments that can reduce the effects of sun damage on your neck and chest including:

  • Advanced Fotofacial Rejuvenation
  • BLU-Light Photodynamic Therapy
  • EXCEL V™
  • Peels
  • Skin Resurfacing
  • Q-Swtiched Nd:YAG

For more information on skin treatment options at Zimmet Dermatology, click here.

Skin Tightening Options

As we age, our skin begins to lose its firmness for many reasons — sun, gravity, slowing collagen production. There are things you can do! We offer effective, non-invasive skin-tightening treatments that reduce sagging and help restore your skin’s elasticity on your neck and chest.

  • Venus Legacy™
  • Ultherapy®

For more information on skin tightening options at Zimmet Dermatology, click here.


Stay tuned for future specials!

Interested in discussing your skin treatment options? Call us today at (512) 489-7352


Sunscreens reduce the amount of UV ray penetration in the skin, but don’t provide 100% protection from injurious UV rays. High quality topical antioxidants have been shown in good studies to reduce the injury effect of UV that gets through a sunscreen.

Call (512) 485-7700 to learn more and schedule a complimentary consultation.

Melanoma, the fastest-growing cancer in the United States, affects over 68,000 Americans. In 2010 alone, almost 9000 Americans died from melanoma. Though it is easily treatable when detected early, after melanoma spreads, survival rates drop drastically. Fortunately, the FDA recently approved a new drug to target-treat metastatic melanoma cells. The medication is a huge step forward in oncology and could significantly improve metastatic melanoma survival rates.

Approval for the new drug, Zelboraf, was based on a clinical study involving about 700 patients with late-stage melanoma. In the study, 77% of the patients survived after 8 months, compared to 64% of patients who underwent standard chemotherapy. Furthermore, Zelboraf’s side effects appear to be less harsh than chemotherapy’s, because Zelboraf specifically targets and genes that are unique to skin cancer tumors. Zelboraf is approved for inoperable or late-stage melanoma that tests positive for BRAF gene mutation.

The FDA’s approval of Zelboraf and the study’s results are encouraging indicators that the drug can both extend the lifespan and improve the quality of life of individuals with late-stage melanoma. However, prevention remains the most important tactic to fend off against skin cancer. Avoid sun damage and especially sun burns by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing while outdoors, and by limiting your total outdoor exposure. Also, try to do your outdoor activities before 10 AM and after 4 PM. Be sure to have regular check-ups with your dermatologist regarding any sun damage or irregular moles.

During the summer, most people are acutely aware of sun damage. Long days outside without sunscreen may result in sunburns, new wrinkles, and possibly even skin cancer. If your next appointment with your dermatologist is months away but you’re concerned about possibly abnormal moles, check out the new Skin Scan app for iPhones.

Skin Scan is a $4.99 app that “scans” moles and lesions to detect if they are low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk. The app uses an algorithm to examine the skin surrounding the mole and the mole itself to determine if the mole is an abnormal shape, size, or color. You can also track moles with the app; a mole that changes size, shape, or color could be an indication of melanoma or other skin cancers.

Skin Scan also includes another interesting feature: location mapping. When a mole is deemed low-, medium-, or high-risk, the location of the user and the results are recorded and mapped. Depending on the sample size, Skin Scan may eventually produce a fairly accurate map depicting what locations are the most dangerous in terms of skin damage from the sun.

Like most new developments in the medical and dermatological field, Dr. Zimmet urges patients to download the app with a grain of salt. It’s important to beware of false negatives, where the scan reads a normal mole that is actually not normal. Unless we understand the rate of false negatives, determined in a well-controlled study, it’s critical not to rely on the results of the scan when deciding whether or not you should see your dermatologist. So, it’s strongly advised that you have regular check-ups with your dermatologist, even if you believe that none of your moles are abnormal.

There are about 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers, and 150,000 melanomas diagnosed each year around the world. There is overwhelming evidence that UV radiation is a major cause of precancers, skin cancers, and skin aging.

UV radiation consists of UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC does not penetrate the atmosphere, and thus doesn’t impact us.

What Is the Difference between UVA and UVB?


UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and is the dominant tanning radiation. Tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, causes cumulative damage. Most of us are exposed to large amounts of UVA throughout our life, as UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the ultraviolet radiation reaching Earth’s surface. UVA is less intense than UVB, but it is present with about equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year. UVA does penetrate clouds and glass.

UVB is the primary cause of skin reddening and sunburn. Because it tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers, UVB plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photo-aging. Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day. The most significant amount of UVB hits the U.S. between 10 AM and 4 PM from April to October. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice. UVB rays do not significantly penetrate glass.

Studies consistently have shown significantly more pre-cancers, non-melanoma skin cancers and even melanomas on the left side of the face. Why is this? We are exposed to significant amounts of UVA rays when driving. While the amount of exposure might seem insignificant it really adds up over the years. Another theory is that the way people sunbathe may be involved. One researcher in Britain (where people drive on the right side of the car) suggested “If people sunbathing in the northern hemisphere tend to lie facing south in the morning, the left side of their body might be exposed and sunburned as the sun moves from east to west, making them more likely to cover up by afternoon,” they say.

We recommend daily application of a good quality sunscreen, protecting from both UVB and UVA. For information choosing a sunscreen see and

About Your Skin: Fact or Fiction?


‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
John Keats


We know to knock on wood, not walk under ladders, and to be careful what we wish for. And if we pluck a gray hair, will two more really grow back in its place? All of us have heard the claims, the persistent beauty secrets from our mothers and grandmothers that go back probably to their own mothers and grandmothers. Is there a kernel of truth to them, perhaps some wisdom that comes from generations of passed-down observation? Or are they just myths?

Wrinkles form at an early age but don’t appear until later in life
Yes, the changes to the skin that cause wrinkles can start when you are young, and show up later in life. There are primarily two types of wrinkles.

One type, dynamic wrinkles or lines of expression, occur from movement of the underlying muscle. Examples of this sort are frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines. At first these may be visible only during active expression. Over time, however, they become visible even at rest. For example, squinting eventually can cause wrinkles around the eyes. Treatment with Botox® can be quite effective in smoothing this type of wrinkle, because it prevents the communication between the nerve endings and the muscles treated, creating a smoothing effect that generally lasts 3-6 months. Botox® also offers a preventive benefit, because the muscles aren’t scrunching up the skin and damaging the collagen.

The second type is caused by aging and sun damage. Ultimately, wrinkles occur with the weakening of the collagen and elastin fibers that keep the skin firm. It’s also useful to remember that sun exposure is the number one cause of collagen degeneration. Gravity is also a culprit in the formation of wrinkles.

Exfoliating slows hair growth
There is no evidence that exfoliation changes any phase of the hair, follicular, life cycle. The follicular life cycle of hair takes place in 3 phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is the phase of active growth. The catagen marks follicular regression, and the telogen represents a resting period. Exfoliation has no effect on these stages of the hair growth cycle.

Greasy food causes acne
Acne has commonly been attributed to diet. The association between acne and diet was evaluated in a recent literature review of 27 studies. Observational studies, including 2 large controlled prospective trials, reported that cow’s milk intake increased acne prevalence and severity. Prospective studies, including randomized controlled trials, also demonstrated a positive association between a high-glycemic-load diet, hormonal mediators, and acne risk. Studies have been inconclusive regarding the association between acne and other foods.

Lemon juice gets rid of freckles
Probably Fiction
There is no evidence-based science proving that this works. If you want to try this treatment, consider doing it on only half the area, so that you can judge the results for yourself. Caution is required though as the citric acid may be irritating and can cause the skin to be photosensitive.

The sun clears up blemishes
Probably Fiction
While some people feel their acne improves with light exposure, there is no proven effect of sun on acne. The increased humidity of summer may even exacerbate acne for some people. Ultraviolet light in sun (UVA, UVB) increases skin aging and the risk of skin cancer, so it is not advisable to use this as a treatment. For more info on sunlight and its impact on skin see

Toothpaste dries up pimples
Fact with Caution
Toothpaste can be drying, and this might occasionally be helpful, but it could also cause irritation. Also, it’s better for your treatment program to prevent acne lesions from developing rather than treating them after they have already surfaced.

You can get rid of cellulite
Not as of yet
First, cellulite is normal. In varying degrees, every adult woman is likely to have it. Unfortunately for the prevailing cosmetic preferences of today, treating cellulite presents a challenge. Existing treatments can yield temporary improvement, but long-term clearing is probably not realistic. Newer technologies are being developed which seem promising. Non-invasive skin tightening procedures such as Thermage can provide reasonable skin tightening and contouring, but the long-term effect on cellulite is less reliable.

Shaving makes hair come back thicker and darker
Shaving does remove the fine tip of the hair, leaving behind the thicker hair below the tip. Doing this creates an illusion that the hair is thicker, when it really is just blunted. That hair will fall out in a few weeks, just as all hair does, when the follicle enters the rest phase. Then it will reactivate. When it re-grows, its size will be the same as before.

Sleeping on satin pillows will keep wrinkles at bay
Satin is soft and luxurious, but there are no good studies to support this. On the other hand, your sleeping position does have an impact on facial lines, especially nasolabial folds. So, sleep on your back if you can.

And don’t forget gray hair…

If You Pluck a Gray Hair, Two More Will Grow Back in Its Place
Thankfully, fiction
Gray hair proliferates quickly, so it seems that once you see one gray hair, you start noticing them all over your head, as if they multiplied overnight. But each follicle produces one strand of hair, no more, no less. Plucking a gray hair won’t cause more hairs to sprout from the same follicle. Actually, plucking can cause you to lose hair, since yanking can damage the follicle or destroy it completely. It’s okay to tweeze the occasional stray gray, but if your hair is already thin or thinning, getting it colored might be your best bet.

by Clare Sargent

Wednesday, June 21

Today I arranged for a videographer to shoot my procedure. Dr. Zimmet had someone in mind who couldn’t do it on the day I wanted the procedure, so we got my colleague and friend Julia Hilder. I waited until after I’d lined her up and explained the project (filming for two hours and a couple of interviews) to tell her that I am the actual patient. I was quite surprised when she emailed back that she “knows it well” referring to laser resurfacing. Her main issue was sun spots—she’s blond and has fair skin. She said that her spots faded and her skin tightened—she described the effect as subtle. I’m counting on a lot more than subtle. I should have asked what kind of equipment was used when she did it, as according to Dr. Zimmet that can make a big difference.

When Dr. Zimmet had one of his staff perform the procedure on him, he used two different kinds of anesthetic, one on each side of his face, so that he could tell which was more effective. I’m not worried about the pain, in part because I’ve had a number of things done now and imagine that this won’t be too different. Back when I had the series of photofacial treatments I remember Dr. Zimmet saying that it would feel like my face was being snapped by a rubber band. Some of the zaps were uncomfortable but at the same time I always thought that it had to hurt a bit to be really effective.

Now that I think about it I have no idea what this will feel like and I haven’t really asked. I’ll definitely be taking a Xanax to take the edge off. The only thing I’ve had done that hurt kind of a lot was the shots in my lips, which I guess are harder to anesthetize. I still got it done a second time, though, because I liked the results so much. One thing I really, really appreciate about Dr. Zimmet is that you wouldn’t look at me and think “Oh, she had her lips done.” He even cautioned me the first time I had it done that he would be somewhat conservative. (When you have a few hours to waste, check out for some hideous celebrity examples of way overdone lips—Lindsay Lohan, Melanie Griffith and Carson Kressley are two that come to mind and there are many, many others.)

Here I am before laser resurfacing.

Friday, July 16

I’ve been wanting the laser FX treatment since the day that Dr. Zimmet walked into the treatment room and I could immediately tell that he’d had something done to his skin. The skin on his face looked tighter, smoother, and with a finer texture than the last time I’d seen him. I asked him and he readily told me that he’d had the Active FX procedure done a couple of weeks earlier. He showed me the pictures—before, during the healing process, and after—and they were pretty dramatic. Continue reading

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind

you.  ~Maori Proverb

But before you do, protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen. Make sure you have protection against both types of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). Unprotected exposure to both forms of UV radiation can lead to the development of skin cancer, accelerate photo-aging and the formation of cataracts. Also, both UVA and UVB suppress the immune system, which may explain the increased risk of skin cancer. Continue reading

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Austin, Texas

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