Did You Know Dermatologists Can Repair Torn Earlobes?

Earlobe stretching has been a method of human adornment for thousands of years, documented in historical finds from King Tutankhamun to the Gautama Buddha. More recently, the practice has made its way to contemporary aesthetic practices in the United States, and alongside it the procedures that reverse and repair earlobes when a stretched piercing is no longer desired.

Even if earlobe stretching sounds like the furthest thing from your personal beauty pursuits, wearing heavy earrings can also cause a piercing to stretch over time. Trauma to the ear can cause tears or stretched skin that requires repairing. At Deschutes Dermatology, Dr. Carter is skilled and experienced with surgical and cosmetic procedures such as earlobe reconstruction.

The Procedure

To prepare for a stretched earlobe repair, removing plugs or jewelry can be helpful in order to permit the natural elasticity of the skin to start working on shrinking the tissue towards its original state. On the day of treatment, local anesthesia is injected in the area, allowing the procedure to be essentially pain-free. Once the skin is numb, in straightforward cases, the lobes can be repaired by creating incisions on either side of the piercing or tear in order to fuse the two sides, then utilizing a few sutures to ensure proper healing. Typically, this repair takes less than 30 minutes per side. In more difficult cases with very elongated lobes, the repair procedure is more complex, taking up to an hour on each side. Afterward, we recommend using petroleum jelly on the wound to keep it moist and protected from the open air, promoting healthy healing. Sutures are removed after a week or so and further instructions are given to minimize scarring.


Repaired earlobes are re-pierceable after they are fully healed—usually in six months or more. The piercer should avoid placing a new piercing directly over your scar, as scarring significantly weakens the skin. Heavy or dangling earrings that may get caught on clothing should also be avoided so that the healing process can be as quick and pain-free as possible.

Contact us at Deschutes Dermatology to schedule a consultation!

Preventing Skin Cancer

Unthawing each spring after a long, cold winter can tempt even the most rigorous skin-care aficionado into leaving their sunblock at home in favor of soaking up some rays. Our bodies and minds are craving Vitamin-D that isn’t in capsule form, as well as the chance to defrost our toes with an iced tea in hand. Unfortunately, particularly at the altitudes of the high desert in Central Oregon, this temptation has the potential to cause sunburn and skin damage that may progress into skin cancer over time.  


 What to Know

Most of us know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States — though it’s often a surprise to hear that 1 in 5 Americans will develop a dangerous lesion over the course of their lifetime. All the more astonishing is that skin cancer is the second most common cancer amongst women aged 15 to 29, and that another 96,480 new melanomas are expected to be diagnosed in 2019. 

Between 2008 and 2019, the number of invasive, life-threatening cases mentioned above increased by a shocking 54%. To keep yourself and those you love safe and healthy, remembering a few of the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) tips and suggestions when spending time in the sun can make all the difference.  


Important Takeaways

● Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
● Both young and older individuals are at risk.
● Melanoma cancers are highly treatable when caught early.
● A single blistering sunburn can increase the likelihood for skin cancer by over 50 percent.
● Melanomas can hide in hard to view places such as under the fingernails, between the toes, and
on the scalp.
● Melanoma symptoms and signs often follow the ABCDE’s that the AAD outlines above.
● Memorize and document your moles, and be cognizant of any changes.
● After performing a self-exam, record your moles on a Body Mole Map through SpotMe.org
For more information, visit The American Academy of Dermatology, or schedule an appointment with us
for a skin cancer screening!







Sun Protection and Kids

Although we commonly associate skin cancer with mature skin, the process of cellular damage
that leads to dangerous lesions often begins during our early years. According to the CDC,
blistering sunburns as a child increase the likelihood of cancer considerably―nearly doubling a
person’s chances of developing melanoma over the course of their lifetime. Furthermore, the
American Academy of Dermatology states that experiencing five or more blistering sunburns
between the ages of 15 and 20 increases risk for melanoma by 80%, as well as non-melanoma
cancers by 68%.

Protecting your child’s skin sets them up for a healthy life long after they reach adulthood.
Through the progression of newborn infancy to adolescence and beyond, there are a few sun
safety practices and tips to remember as we enjoy summer.



First, naturally, is sunscreen! Most of us are aware that in order to protect an active kid, water
resistance is key. Most dermatologists also suggest a sun protection factor (or SPF) of over 30.
At Deschutes Dermatology, we recommend mineral sunblocks with zinc oxide and titanium
dioxide as they offer more broad spectrum protection and are less likely to cause irritation. One
of our favorites is Elta MD’s UV Pure Broad Spectrum sunblock, which is chemical free,
provides both UVA and UVB protection, and is water resistant up to 80-minutes. Sunscreen is
not recommended for babies under 6-months-old as they should be kept out of direct sun



Also important is limiting any time spent outside during peak hours of the sun’s arc, usually 10 in
the morning to 4 in the afternoon. During this period, it’s particularly important to make sure that
sunscreen is applied properly, hats are worn, and shade is nearby. As burns can start to develop in as little as 15 minutes, your child could be well on the way to a sunburn before you even finish a walk to the park.


Protective clothing, such as a good hat and sun shirt, is also be a great way to keep your child
safe. Making sure these items are available in their backpack or book bag can keep their skin
protected even during unexpected outdoor activities. One of our favorite UPF (ultraviolet
protection factor) clothing brands is Coolibar, with fun patterns and colors.
If a child you love does develop a serious burn, it’s important to keep a close eye on any
preexisting moles or suspicious spots. The American Academy of Dermatology’s ABCDE’s of
melanoma can give you helpful pointers on what to look for. Following up with a skin cancer
screening can ensure that any suspicious lesions are caught early, drastically decreasing
chances of melanoma related complications.

Elta MD products are available at Deschutes Dermatology Center. Visit Coolibar’s website for more details on the different products they offer. 

Everything You Need to Know About Botox

Botox very well may be the most recognizable cosmetic dermatology procedure. It’s practically a household name, which makes sense since over seven million botulinum toxin type A injections (which includes Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin) were performed in 2017, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. While there have been countless advancements in cosmetic procedures, Botox treatments remain in the top five minimally-invasive procedures performed in the U.S.

What is Botox?

Botox Cosmetic is the brand name for its formulation (onabotulinumtoxinA) of botulinum toxin. The botulinum toxin, created by Clostridium botulinum, is a paralyzing chemical that blocks nerve signals, or the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is naturally found in soil, water, and in animals’ intestines as an anaerobic bacterium. But when administered to humans, most commonly used on the face in very small doses, it relaxes muscles to improve and minimize crow’s feet, severe frown lines, forehead creases, and other facial wrinkles.

What are other uses of Botox?

Botox has also been proven to treat excessive underarm sweating, clinically categorized as axillary hyperhidrosis. There have also been studies around the use of botulinum toxin injections to prevent wrinkles. Many dermatologists are utilizing Botox treatments in conjunction with good skin care techniques for patients in their 20s and 30s to minimize future effects of deep lines on the face.

What does a Botox treatment look like?

Botox treatments are normally short, simple, and relatively painless. First, the dermatologist or plastic surgeon administering the treatment will talk with you about the areas you want to improve. They will ask you to move your face in different ways to see where you will best benefit from the injections. During the appointment, your cosmetic injector will inject you with the appropriate amount of Botox, or other brand of botulinum toxin. The number of injections depends on how overactive the muscles are and the size of the treatment area.

After the procedure, you may experience temporary tenderness and redness around the injection sites. The injections usually take 10 to 15 minutes, and you can return to normal activities soon afterward. You will notice relaxing of the muscles around the injection sites for a few days, and the overall effects usually last about three to four months, on average. Ongoing treatments are generally required to achieve long-term results.

Is Botox safe?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Botox for cosmetic procedures in 2002 for frown lines and again in 2013 specifically for crow’s feet. It has been deemed a safe procedure due to its minimally invasive nature and is trusted by doctors worldwide.

While Botox is generally safe, women who are breastfeeding or are pregnant should not receive botulinum toxin injections.

Botox | Bend Oregon | Deschutes Dermatology

If you are considering Botox or any cosmetic injectable, it is best to look for a board-certified dermatologist to administer the procedure. They are skilled professionals in facial anatomy and will make Botox injections look as natural as possible. Dr. Carter and her team at Deschutes Dermatology are experts in administering Botox treatments. Schedule a consultation for Botox in Bend Oregon today. You’ll be on your way toward younger, smoother, and more natural-looking skin.


What Is the Best Psoriasis Treatment for Me?

The honest answer to that question is that it varies on the severity of your condition. That being said, there is a myriad of relief options available that we will go over here. In order to find the best psoriasis treatment specific to your condition, you will need to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist.

In the meantime, you can learn about your psoriasis.

The first step to begin to ease the problem is understanding what psoriasis is. Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by scaly skin cell build-up that is often itchy, uncomfortable, and painful. While it isn’t completely understood, psoriasis is believed to be caused by an overactive immune system. What dermatologists do know is that psoriasis speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. This build-up causes an accumulation of cells that results in red, scaly patches. This condition is chronic, and flare-ups usually coincide with stressful situations or during habits like smoking or drinking alcohol.

Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Patchy, itchy skin
  • Silvery, scaly skin
  • Burning
  • Soreness
  • Stiff or swollen joints

Different types each call for a different psoriasis treatment.

Types include:

  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Nail psoriasis
  • Guttate psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Pustular psoriasis
  • Erythromdermic psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

Finding the right psoriasis treatment will be individual for each person suffering from the condition, but treatments according to the Mayo Clinic include:

Topical treatments:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Vitamin D analogues
  • Anthralin
  • Topical retinoids
  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Salicylic acid
  • Coal tar
  • Moisturizers

Light therapy:

  • Sunlight
  • UVB phototherapy
  • Narrow band UVB phototherapy
  • Goeckerman therapy
  • Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA)
  • Excimer laser

Injected/Oral medications:

  • Retinoids
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine
  • Biologics (drugs that affect the immune system)
  • Thioguanine or hydroxyurea

Deschutes Dermatology | Psoriasis Treatment

The best and most effective way to find the psoriasis treatment right for you is to meet with a dermatologist. Dr. Carter at Deschutes Dermatology is well versed with the different options for psoriasis treatment. She has seen all types and can help you choose the right medication or procedure for your specific condition. Schedule a consultation today to get started in finding a reprieve to psoriasis.

Now’s the Time for Laser Hair Removal

Summer has faded and with it goes bathing suits, shorts, and sandals. Instead of mourning the warmer weather, you can look forward to cozy sweaters, winter activities, and laser hair removal. Oh, you hadn’t thought of that last part? It’s true; winter is the best time to receive laser hair removal treatments since you’ll have less exposure to the sun.

Wondering how laser hair removal works? You’ve come to the right place.

Laser hair removal involves a highly-concentrated laser light source that’s beamed into the hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorbs the light, which ultimately destroys the hair. The darker the hair pigment, the more significant the hair loss, which is why fall and winter months are the best times for the procedure.

Lasers provide precision and efficiency for hair removal. A single pulse can target many dark, coarse hairs at once, all within a fraction of a second. Advancements in laser technology make this procedure very safe. Modern lasers also don’t damage surrounding skin. It is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the U.S.

The most common areas that can benefit from laser hair removal include the legs, underarms, bikini line, upper lip or face, small of the back, and more. Smaller areas like the upper lip only take a few minutes, while larger areas like the legs can take up to an hour. Depending on the client’s hair pigmentation, permanent hair loss can be achieved in less than ten sessions.

To prepare for the session, refrain from waxing and plucking the treatment area to preserve the hairs’ roots. Avoid laying in the sun or visit a tanning booth as UV light will alter your hair follicle’s pigmentation. During the session, the technologist will use the laser equipment, which is adjusted according to your hair’s pigmentation and your skin color, to pulse the light source onto the treatment area. You will wear appropriate eye protection. Many patients describe the process as a rubber band being snapped on the skin. If your skin is sensitive after the procedure, you may be given ice packs or sent home with anti-inflammatory lotion. Your appointments will be six weeks apart but come next spring, you’ll have smooth legs and won’t even have to shave!

Deschutes Dermatology | Laser Hair Removal

Even though laser hair removal is a common treatment, it is still a medical procedure and must be performed by a certified doctor or technician. Here at Deschutes Dermatology, our trained staff is experienced with performing laser hair removal.

Schedule a consultation to find out how many sessions you need to achieve the desired effect. Now’s the best time for laser hair removal!