THIRD QUARTER 2002, VOLUME 16, NO 3

Ask the Surgeon | What’s New | Health Tip

IN THIS ISSUE

Putting the Sparkle Back Into Your Relationship

Skin Cancer: Know What to Look for and How to Reduce

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Your Results Are In … Trends in 2001

Ask the Surgeon
My son was born with abnormally large ears that do not lay flat against his head. He is now four years old and I would like him to have corrective surgery. Is he too young? I would like to have the surgery before he starts school, but would like an expert opinion.

Surgery to correct protruding ears may be done as early as age five or six. At an earlier age, the ear has not fully formed and is still growing. In another year or so, your son’s cartilage will still be soft and moldable, therefore producing very good results. See your facial plastic surgeon for a consultation and evaluation; you and your physician can make the optimal plan for your son.

Whats New
Although green tea is not new, scientists continue to find new ways that green tea may be advantageous to your health. In the near future you may be seeing green tea extracts in your skin care products. Research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland has found antioxidants, known as polyphenols, in green tea may help reduce cell damage caused by exposure to the sun’s rays. The studies at the University suggest that the polyphenols added to skin care products would be beneficial, but further studies must be made to determine the concentration and amount necessary to be effective. In the meantime, you may want to start drinking green tea (at least four cups of hot tea) to reap the preventative benefits, but don’t put away your sunscreen!

Health Tip
You have had an injury to your face and want to minimize scarring. What is the best advice your facial plastic surgeon can give you while your skin is healing? Apply sunscreen!! The new skin that is forming is sensitive and can be easily damaged by ultraviolet radiation. Any sun exposure can cause pigment changes that lead to blotchiness, variations in tone, or more pronounced scarring. Protect the area with a sunblock or sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. Apply the product liberally and with a light touch.

After the wound is completely healed, if you are self-conscious or unhappy with the scar you may want to consult your facial plastic surgeon about different methods to minimize the scar. Your physician will discuss scar revision surgery (z-plasty, w-plasty, free flap technique), steroid treatment, and skin resurfacing procedures that may be beneficial to you.