Polly the Palomar Icon

decemberThank you for everyone who attended our SHINE event, where we showcased what Sheperd Integrative Dermatology has to offer in the realm of skin rejuvenation.

SHINE … Strength, Health, Inspiration, Nature, and Energy, is an alignment of our outer appearance with our inner vitality. For our first SHINE event, we debuted “Polly” our Palomar Icon laser. Polly is the most powerful laser and light device of her kind, so our clients can achieve an elegant result with reduced treatment down-time. “Polly” custom treats your skin type, tone and texture, and does so comfortably.

Polly features three Optimized IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hand pieces and a fractional Erbium laser. This allows our skin care team to customize your skin revitalization treatments to fit your lifestyle.

Polly produces results that include:

  • * brighter skin
  • *correct fine lines & wrinkles
  • *stimulate collagen
  • *minimize acne scarring and other scarring
  • *improve stretch marks
  • *permanently reduce unwanted hair
  • *reduce facial redness and rosacea
  • *eliminate facial blood vessels
  • *treat brown spots
  • *correct melasma
  • *refresh revitalize and renew the skin

We look forward to offering our patients these services and are taking consultations for individual treatment plans by request.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Benefits of Eating an Alkaline Diet


balancing rocks

A True Balancing Act: PART II

Now that we are aware of which foods are alkalizing to the body and which create acidity, we have the tools necessary to bring the body back into balance. Once we no longer are battling itchy skin or other symptoms of inflammation, it is important to eat a balanced diet of both alkaline- and acidic-forming foods to be healthy.



How do we know whether our bodies are imbalanced and toward the acidic side? One way to measure our body’s internal pH is to use pH test strips found at most health food stores or online. Step One: tear off a strip of paper and dip it in the tested solution (commonly, urine); the paper changes color instantly. Step Two: The test strip should be immediately compared to the colors on the test strip box to determine the pH level.


The pH strip will turn a color determining our current pH. Based on David Wolfe’s book, Eating for Beauty, a healthy pH reading is around 7.0. Eating a standard diet can cause acidity and cause pH to drop to 6.3 or 6.2, which indicates room for improvement and should encourage you to eat more fresh vegetables. Aim for your morning urinary pH to read closer to 6.8. Step Three: From there, we know whether to eat more alkaline foods, or maintain a balance of alkaline- and acid-forming foods. Monitoring your pH may motivate you to continue choosing raw foods. Try testing your urine a few times every day for two weeks. The beginning of the day is often the more acidic readings.
Remember, to reverse an acidic condition such as dermatitis, dandruff, and other itchy skin issues, it is important to increase intake of organic green salads each day and drink green vegetable juices.

Why are lemons and limes alkaline-forming foods? Although we think of lemons and limes as acidic, when they are digested, they alkalinize the body.

Lemon on tree

Lemons and limes contain alkalinizing minerals when they are broken down, including iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium, among others. Since our biochemistry is mineral-dependent, our hair, skin and nails become healthier with higher concentrations of minerals in our diet. Therefore, if we have an acidic pH of our urine, we are deficient in minerals that help buffer the acid-forming foods.

An example of an acid-alkaline balanced diet is rice with a green salad. The rice, which is a seed, is acidic, and the green leaves are alkaline. A similar balanced meal is steak and a salad. When this balance is met, everything will digest better.

Further tips to alkalizing your body:
Breathing deeply (breathing off CO2), helps to alkalinize the body.

Also, add “Pink Salt,” sold at our office, to water and foods to increase your daily intake of minerals and lead you on a path to better health!

Posted in cancer, Eczema, health optimization, Nutrition | Comments Off

Picker, Popper, Peeler…

Dr. Kingslea Moore, Family Nurse Practitioner

I find myself on a daily basis telling patients to “stop scratching”, “stop picking, “stop popping”, and “stop peeling”. Many patient encounters include how to avoid scratching, and how to reduce the compulsion to pick or pop. My interest in Dermatology is partially because I myself find satisfaction in picking! My inspiration for this blog post is how to address this skin abuse, and treat ourselves with love and healing.

The medical term used to describe skin picking disorders is Dermatillomania. Skin picking is a nervous or anxiety related disorder that is also referred to as Skin picking disorder or SPD. Quite often the habitual picking begins with understandable circumstances. Perhaps a blemish is the target of the picking, such as an ingrown hair, insect bite, a minor imperfection, and is often temporary. For some reason, we develop an irresistible urge to pick this minor imperfection to the point of pain and destruction. The original picking creates a bigger target area on which to focus attention, thus picking, so the habit becomes self-perpetuating.

Why is picking such a problem? Although one may have clean and washed hands, the nail beds, nail polish, and fake nails are notorious for harboring bacteria that is not easily washed off by common hand washing techniques. Inflammation and subsequently scar tissue also develop when we rupture and disrupt the skin’s surface. With the skin being the body’s largest organ, we want it to be well cared for.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that patients whom excessively pick should be either co-managed by a mental health specialist and dermatologist, or managed by a specialist who has experience in both psychiatric and dermatologic disorder.

I believe with a little conscious skin love and self control we can curb our urge to disrupt the skin barrier. 

  • Using the appropriate lotions to encourage soothing touch of the skin
  • Cover the area  with long sleeves, pants, or bandaids
  • Meditate on the impulse to pick, if comfortable while sitting on your hands. Some yogis say you “burn away Karma” when you resist an unhealthy compulsion.  OKAY… this might be a little out there for some people…
  • Try to always touch your physical body with compassion and awareness…
  • Redirecting your attention by taking a walk, draw, write, play an instrument, or clean the house
  • Playing with bubble wrap can give the same tactile sensation of popping pimples
  • Forgive yourself immediately if you do pick. The shame of being imperfect can often lead to more shame of being “out of control” when we pick.

van gogh


Park, K. Koo, J. (2014). Skin picking disorder. UpToDate. Accessed 08 Oct 2014 http://www.uptodate.com/contents/skin-picking-disordersource=machineLearning&search=Dermatillomania&selectedTitle=1%7E1&sectionRank=2&anchor=H15211858#H15211858



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Bio-identical Testosterone therapy – will it protect me or give me a heart attack?

iStock_000013751074SmallThis article is a reprint of a post from Sajune Institute for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine:

The most common comments we hear from men on testosterone are, “I got my life back!” “My energy is great!” “My sex drive is back.” “I’m building muscle.” “I got off of Lipitor.” “My diabetes is under control.” Although, more than 30 credible studies show the benefits of optimal testosterone levels, two studies released early this year reported an increase in heart attacks with testosterone therapy. These studies made the headlines just as the medical community began their analysis. The reanalysis of the data showed “gross mismanagement of data”, the accidental inclusion of women and several other flaws that resulted in a request for a formal retraction of the study by Harvard professor Dr. Morgantaler, 29 medical societies and 9 journal editors. The good news is that most studies show that testosterone levels restored into the upper ranges is associated with protection against heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol and muscle loss.

At age 50, testosterone levels have declined by approximately 50 percent. This decline is accompanied by symptoms and disease. A review of the current literature on disease and quality of life supports the most common statement we hear, “I got my life back!”

Posted in bioidentical hormones, testosterone | Comments Off

The Benefits of Eating an Alkaline Diet: PART I


Healthy Skin – A True Balancing Act

We’ve all heard a lot of hype about it, but what is an alkaline diet?  To begin with, pH measures the amount of acid or alkaline present. Our blood pH is slightly alkaline at 7.35 to 7.45. Our body depends on a tightly controlled pH level to survive. Luckily, the human body maintains this level naturally. However we can make the body function more efficiently and with less stress by eating foods, which promote alkalinity in the body.  When we maintain alkalinity, we detoxify naturally through our bowels and kidneys and we keep minerals in our blood and in our bones where we need them to sustain energy and vitality. Bodily functions are carried out optimally at a pH of 7.0 or higher, which is an alkaline pH. Studies show that a drop in pH in body tissues toward an acidic state leads to inflammation. An acidic state makes losing weight more difficult. We can help our body stay balanced by our food choices.

Skin issues that may benefit from an alkaline diet include yeast overgrowth, dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), rosacea and other forms of skin inflammation such as psoriasis and eczema. Alkaline diets also decrease inflammation in the body and help improve chronic diseases.

Think plants! Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, fermented soy products (miso, natto, tempeh), and other legumes, along with a lot of water are good options. Eat fruits in moderation because they are high in sugar. Berries are best! It is important to understand that alkaline promoting foods may actually be acidic —- but their effect in the body raises the pH.  Try keeping fresh lemons and limes on hand to squeeze into every glass of water that you drink – this is the quickest ticket to a more alkaline diet!

The typical Western diet is comprised of foods, which lower the pH in the body (wrong direction!). Sugar, meat, coffee, tea and sodas sugar, alcohol, white flour, dairy, and packaged & processed foods can worsen inflammatory conditions of the skin as well as the joints, muscles and internal organs, promote yeast overgrowth and may even cause a bad mood.  A more acidic pH causes minerals to leach out of our bones and speeds osteoporosis and mineral loss (which slows our cellular function). In the end, eating a diet that is mainly comprised of acidic foods can cause the body to work harder to stay balanced.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.19.35 PM


Part II: Measuring pH of the body at home and when to incorporate acidic foods to balance the diet


Posted in health optimization, Nutrition | Comments Off