Safe Celebrating on our Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!


Don’t let this be you…pocey3tns0






Sun protection is key when we are enjoying this beautiful place we call home. Sunscreen is one of the many avenues we can protect ourselves from skin cancer and aging.

#1 Mineral Based Sunscreen

Why “Mineral Based”?

Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide have reflective characteristics due to these particles residing on the surface of the skin that ricochet UVA/UVB off of the skin rather than penetrating the skin like other non-mineral based absorptive sunscreens.

Other sunscreens on the market are chemical based sunscreens that work by absorbing the photons of light and convert them to heat. The reaction takes place on the surface of your skin and produces free radicals-this may contribute to the creation of skin cancer. This is also why chemical sunscreens feel “hot”, “burn” or sometimes sting the eyes.

Look for sunscreen with active ingredients of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, they are the best available to fight against cancer causing beasts and for prevention against the not-so-pretty age and sun spots to strengthen – not weaken the glow of our youth.


If you’re accomplishing proper protection:

  • FACE: 1 teaspoon amt. (adult face)
  • BODY: 1oz. or shot glass size amt. (adult body)

#2 Sun Protective Clothing

Clothing and hats have as much or more sun protection than sunscreens. And the thicker the material, the more protection. For example, a white cotton t-shirt has an SPF of about 8-10. A baseball cap will protect the scalp, but is a very insignificant SPF for the face. Wide brimmed hats and SPF shirts or rash guard/shirts shirts are key. A quick test is to hold it up to light or the sun and see f you can see through the fabric, that is the amount of rays coming through to your skin.

#3 Daily Antioxidant Serum

Vitamins are critical for your body and play an important role in maintaining healthy, skin. Aging skin naturally loses Vitamins over time and exposure to UV light, pollutants and cigarette smoke.  You can fight aging by replenishing your skin’s vitamin levels to help to combat and even reverse time’s effect on your face. Two antioxidant serums that the Sheperd Integrative Dermatology team stands behind are Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic®, and Epionce Intense Defense Serum.


Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic® is an antioxidant combination that delivers advanced environmental protection against photoaging by neutralizing free radicals that cause accelerated signs of aging. It provides advanced environmental protection against damaging free radicals induced by UVA, UVB, and infrared radiation A (while protecting your collagen!). Also,increases firmness and replenishes lipids to visibly reduce wrinkles. Once absorbed, this serum can’t be washed or rubbed off. It remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, making it an excellent addition to sunscreen


Epionce Intense Defense Serum is a complete multivitamin for your skin. This highly advanced anti-aging serum stimulates skin rejuvenation to help reverse fine lines, wrinkles, roughness and uneven skin tone while improving firmness, elasticity and texture.

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May = Melanoma Awareness Month

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, especially with the sunny days when we live in this beautiful city!



Periodic health exams are important to be proactive about your health; a cancer-related check-up should include skin checks. An annual total body skin check is a head to toe skin cancer screening performed by a dermatologist.

You can also monitor yourself monthly at home using the ABCDE’s of melanoma.

Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer Foundation.

Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer Foundation.

A)  Asymmetry; If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match.

B)   Border; The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.

C)   Color; A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, blue or some other color.

D)  Diameter; Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the size of the eraser on your pencil, but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.

E)   Evolving; Any change in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting points to danger.

Take control of your health, and reduce your cancer risk.

  • Protect your skin.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.

More information at the skin cancer foundation

Speaking of Prevention…

While sporting our mineral based sunscreen, we participated in Coastal Expeditions Shem Creek Sweep to protect and give back to our town.



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Spring Update: Integrative Healthcare Symposium



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Doctor Sheperd and I (Dr. Kingslea, Family Nurse Practitioner) had the opportunity to attend the Integrative Healthcare Symposium (IHS) in New York City this February. The IHS brings together multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals dedicated to improving patient care. I want to keep y’all in the loop of the exciting future of our practice.


MKnycWhat is Integrative Healthcare?

In addition to our passion for Dermatology, healthy skin, and healthy living, integrative health care motivates our transition to the Sheperd Medical Institute and patient centered care.

The topics of most interest to us at the conference included cardiovascular health, nutrition, fertility, gut health, autoimmune conditions, integrative nursing, and mind body spirit medicine.

Our focus is tailoring a person’s healthcare to their individual characteristics, medical conditions, genes, circumstances, and values. Putting the patient at the center of the plan, not the disease, will advance personalized, proactive, and patient driven medicine.

How are we going create health and prevent disease?

An Integrative approach includes care based on prevention rather than treatment while fostering continuous healing relationships. The patients (you!) are the source of control with customized care according to patient needs and values.

Compare this to a more traditional medical approach where the physician or insurance company in more in control of the health care choices and where the insurers limit visits and restrict them to conditions where illness is present, rather than educating on prevention.

 Fundamentals of Health

1. Stress management

2. Diet/Nutritional status & Detoxification

3. Exercise

4. Rest

5. Connectedness/social support system

I like to think of these as your “Top 5 for Ultimate Wellness”. Dr. James Gordon from the Center of Mind Body Medicine gave an enlightening lecture on creating health and promoting whole body wellness, watch an interview with him here.  

You can meet these 5 criteria by:

1. What are ways you like to cope with stress, these can be very personal. Such as meditation, massage, counseling, exercise, social activity, and prayer.

2. No Alcohol, No Smoking, How can you incorporate clean eating and non-toxic substances into your daily routine?

Superfood Immune Supporters include: Almond, Apple, Broccoli, Carrot, Chile pepper, Cocoa, Cranberries, Halibut, Pumpkin, Sweet potato, Tumeric, Scallions, Brazil nuts, Eggs, Spinach, Onions.

3. Walking (not running) 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Start slow and build yourself up for this. If you are an athlete, remember that walking engages the immune system, not running.

4. Sleeping 8 consecutive hours nightly.

5. Having 2 social activities a week with 2 or more people that are not related to you (spouses don’t count), think a book club, bowling league, or spiritual devotion.




Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), such as Chiropractic and Acupuncture, practitioners were also represented. I was able to participate in ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy, widely used for many conditions. Auricular therapy emphasizes a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. The acupuncture points found on the ear help to regulate the body’s internal organs, structures, and functions.

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What is a Living Building?

smi-disc-smSheperd Integrative Dermatology is working with architects, Macmillian Pazdan and Smith and Trident Construction to design and build a new 4,400 sf facility for the Sheperd Medical Institute that embodies several of the seven principles of The Living Building Challenge™.

This green building certification program is defined by seven “petals” :

Site: Our location will support a pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly lifestyle.  A strong connection to the site will occur through generous north-facing windows.

Health: The building will promote health for its occupants, with  features to promote walking and interacting with the outdoors. In addition to the traditional exam room and office spaces, the design includes a “Discovery Room” which serves as the reception area during office hours, and as a flexible space for art exhibits, educational events,  yoga practice, and social events during non-office hours.

Materials: Natural and sustainable materials will be used throughout. The building will not contain any “Red List” hazardous materials, including PVC, cadmium, lead, mercury and hormone-mimicking substances, all of which are commonly found in building components.

Beauty: Stunning architecture will be integrated within the landscape to minimize its impact and preserve a host of live oak trees.

Water: Rainwater will be collected from the roof, stored in a cistern and used to maintain the medicinal herb garden.

Energy: We will use energy efficiency as a guiding principe for all fixtures, building material choices and personal choices in energy consumption.
Equity: All workstations will be within 20 feet of large operable windows, offering access to fresh air and natural daylight

The building  is to be located in Mount Pleasant, SC at 912 Old Georgetown Highway.  While we will not be able to achieve the entire 7-petal “challenge” of a living building (we will not be net zero energy efficient),  we are excited by the prospect of creating a healthy and harmonious place for the new medical facility.


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Black History Month is a time of celebration, assessment and examination.

blackhistoryThis February, our practice is questioning a different aspect of African-American history: skin cancer.

Indeed, the overall rates of skin cancer are much lower than those of European-Americans, but when melanoma occurs in a darker-skinned American of African heritage, that person is three times more likely to die than someone of lighter skin.

        The cancers that do occur may be more aggressive due to genetic factors but dermatologists are falling short of detection because we do not routinely screen people with darker skin types for skin cancer.  Melanoma is certainly more difficult to detect on dark skin because there is less obvious contrast of color, making it less noticeable to the patient and physician alike (Cress, 1997).

How we can contribute to early detection, prevention and saving lives?

 Getting the word out to ALL Americans, regardless of color, that a skin check is simple, easy (I would even venture to say it can be fun!) and it saves lives!


Health care providers and the public need to be more aware of skin cancer on skin of color. Melanoma took the life of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley. What was dismissed as a soccer injury under his toenail turned out tobe an aggressive form ofmelanoma that ultimately caused his death at 36. Among African Americans, melanomas are most likely to appear on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and under the nails (Gloster, 2006). It may also occur in the mouth, your dentist or primary care provider will include during physical exams.

In conjunction with Black History Month, the American Cancer Society has released Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans. This publication identifies areas of significant disparities. Cancer disparities, or health inequity, are caused by a number of societal problems that result in greater suffering and more people dying from cancer.

Why are we missing this crucial diagnosis?

Melanoma in black patients is more often to have advanced disease at time of diagnosis.  Delayed diagnosis in blacks is be related to perceived lower risk therefore, delaying treatment (Myles, 2012). Skin cancer comprises 2%  of all cancers in African Americans. With squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) being the most common skin cancer among African Americans (Ahmedin, 2010). SCC in African Americans tends to be more aggressive and are associated with a 40 percent risk of spreading (Hu, 2006). Annual skin exams are recommended, as well as monthly self exams. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer Foundation.

Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer Foundation.


Ahmedin J, Siegel R, Xu J, Ward E. Cancer Statistics, 2010. CA Cancer J Clin 2010; 60:288-296

Cress RD, Holly EA.  Incidence of cutaneous melanoma among non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, Asians, and blacks: an analysis of California cancer registry data, 1988-93. Cancer Cause Control 1997; 8:246-52l for these populations.

Gloster HM, Neal K. Skin cancer in skin of color. J Amer Acad Dermatol 2006; 55:741-60.

Hu S, Soza-Vento RM, Parker DF, Kirsner RS. Comparison of stage at diagnosis of melanoma among Hispanic, black, and white patients in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Arch Dermatol 2006 Jun; 142(6):704-8.

Myles ZM, Buchanan N, King JB, et al. Anatomic distribution of malignant melanoma on the non-Hispanic black patient, 1998-2007. Arch Dermatol 2012; 148:797.


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