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November 16th, 2017 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

Answering Your Questions About Eczema

Carl W. Soderstrom, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology

What is Eczema?

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common skin disease that causes dry, itch skin. It may appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly appears on the cheeks, hands, elbows and knees.

What Does It Look Like?

While atopic dermatitis can look different from person to person, everyone shares one common symptom. The skin itches. In fact, atopic dermatitis usually begins with an itch and is often referred to as “the itch that rashes.”

What Parts of the Body Does It Affect?

In infants, the rash generally appears on the cheeks and around the mouth. By age 2, atopic dermatitis most commonly occurs on the hands, wrists, arms and legs. You will often see atopic dermatitis in the creases of the elbows and the bends of the knees by age 4. The most commonly affected areas in children and adults are the face, neck and the insides of the elbows, backs for the knees and ankles.

Which Irritants Can Trigger a Flare-Up?

Soap, chemicals, sweating, certain fabrics, food, weather changes and stress can cause a flare-up. In particular, winter weather can cause skin to become dry and itchy due to lower humidity levels.

Are There Treatments for Eczema?

Specific treatment measures and techniques vary from person to person – but these are a several ways to effectively treat and prevent severely dry skin*:

  • Use skin cream, like Skin Dimensions Moisturizing Skin Cream, to add moisture back into your dry skin.
  • Soaking in a bath with bath oil, like Skin Dimensions Bath Oil, for 15 to 20 minutes, is helpful because it adds moisture back into the skin. Showering tends to wash off your own body oil and makes you drier. Pat, don’t rub, yourself dry after the bath.
  • A prescription cortisone cream may reduce itching, redness and irritation.
  • Glycolic lotions (alpha hydroxyl acids), like Skin Dimensions Glycolic Body Lotion 15%, may be used to exfoliate and slough off the dead skin cells while hydrating and smoothing the skin.
  • An antihistamine may be prescribed for itching. These pills work internally by decreasing itchiness. Take them as directed.
  • A cortisone shot may be used to quickly help reduce severe redness, inflammation and itching.
  • The humidity in your home should be kept around 45 to 50 percent. The use of a humidifier often helps alleviate dry skin. A humidity gauge should be placed in your home to monitor the humidity; these can be purchased at a hardware store.

How Do I Know If I Have Eczema?

The best way to know, for certain, that you have Eczema is to schedule an appointment with a qualified physician.

Interested in a Consultation?

Give us a call at 1.888.970.7546 to schedule a consultation with our team.

Learn More About Eczema >>


*results may vary
Source: National Eczema Association – https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/

October 25th, 2017 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

Answering Your Questions About Smartlipo® Laser Liposuction

J. Eric Lomax, MD and James M. Jeffries III, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member Surgeons of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

What is Smartlipo®?

Smartlipo® is a medical device designed exclusively to perform laser liposuction. A very thin tube containing a laser fiber is inserted in targeted areas through a small incision. The laser fiber delivers thermal energy directly to fat cells for easy removal. The laser literally melts the fat, which is removed with gentle suction. At the same time, tissue around the area tightens through coagulation, contributing to a smoother shape overall.

Is Smartlipo® Right for Me?

The best candidates are non-smokers in good health who are not significantly overweight, but have fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise.

Which Areas Can be Treated with Smartlipo®?

The most popular areas are the face, neck, jawline, arms, abdomen, flanks (love handles) hips (saddlebags) buttocks, inner/outer thighs, knees, ankles and back.


On average, the procedure will take 1.5-2 hours.* This is dependent on the number of areas to be treated and the size of the areas.


Smartlipo® is an in-office procedure normally done with local or general anesthetic, depending what is best for the patient.


For most patients, results are achieved in just one Smartlipo® treatment.* According to Dr. Jeffries, “Most patients see immediate change, with continued improvement over the next 3-6 months* as swelling goes down and scar tissue heals. It’s important to be patient and know that some slight asymmetry and minor dimpling is normal.”


Smartlipo® destroys fat cells in the treated area. However, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen to enjoy long-lasting results.


The incision site will be very small. With proper care, any scars will be barely noticeable.*


Smartlipo® is a minimally invasive procedure which usually only requires local anesthesia. Some light bruising can occur, but you’ll be able to return to normal activities in a few days.* According to Dr. Lomax, this is one of the most frequent concerns that patients have. “Patients are anxious to get back to their lives and we want them to be able to, as well. Most find that they are back at work within 7-10 days* and back in the gym within a month.*”


You will need to wear a compression garment for around 3-4 weeks*, depending on the areas being treated. Most patients will rest for a few days post-surgery and resume activities as they feel more comfortable.*


Smartlipo® provides an immediate measurable amount of fat removed during the procedure. In comparison, no measurable fat is actually removed during non-invasive methods such as radio frequency, ultrasound, heat or cooling fat reduction treatments.

Interested? Contact Us!

Give us a call at 1.888.970.7546 to schedule a consultation with our team!

See Real Results – View our Before and After Gallery >>


*results may vary

October 18th, 2017 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

Differences Between Functional and Cosmetic Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

J. Eric Lomax, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member Surgeon of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

In 2015, nearly 170,000 people in the US had eyelid surgery. The majority, nearly half were 51-64 years old.** Many of these procedures were done for cosmetic reasons, but others were done for medical reasons.

When most people think of blepharoplasty, they think of a cosmetic “eyelift” performed to tighten up droopy upper eyelid skin and create a more refreshed youthful appearance. You may be surprised to learn that droopy eyelids can actually impair your vision.

When is an “eyelift” considered functional?

When your eyelid falls too low and partially covers your pupil, it can impair your vision. This condition is called ptosis. Some people are born with ptosis and others experience ptosis as they age and the tendons that hold up the eyelid stretches. Either way, it is sometimes necessary to conduct a blepharoplasty to restore normal vision. In most cases, if your vision is being impaired, your insurance will likely cover some or all of the costs of a functional blepharoplasty.

According to Dr. John Eric Lomax, board certified Plastic Surgeon at Soderstrom Skin Institute. “Almost half of all blepharoplasties done at the practice qualify for insurance coverage. Before surgery, we test every patient’s field of vision—many don’t realize that their saggy eyelids are hindering their eyesight. “

When is an “eyelift” considered cosmetic?

As we age, our upper, and sometimes lower, eyelids can get saggy and appear weighed down. As the skin under the eye gets thinner and muscles weaken, bulges or dark shadows can become more prominent. Cosmetic blepharoplasty is performed to reduce these signs of aging and can leave the patient with a more rested and youthful appearance.*

Patients have different reasons for considering eyelid surgery. The best approach is to sit down with a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or an ophthalmologist and discuss your concerns. These professionals can help make sure your expectations are realistic and that you have a good understanding of the risk and benefits associated with the recommended treatment.

Interested? Contact Us!

Give us a call at 1.888.970.7546 to schedule a consultation with our team!

See Real Results – View our Before and After Gallery >>


**Source: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
*results may vary

October 10th, 2017 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

What Is a Mommy Makeover?

James M. Jeffries III, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member Surgeon of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

Motherhood is full of ups and downs – that is to be expected, but for some women their post pregnancy body is somewhat unexpected and can leave them feeling down and insecure. Pregnancy can negatively affect the size and shape of a women’s breasts, leave her with a sagging tummy and stretch marks or pockets of fat on the waist, abdomen and thighs that often do not improve with diet and exercise. Fortunately, there are options in cosmetic and plastic surgery to help boost a mother’s self-confidence and body image.

What is A Mommy Makeover?

The term, “Mommy Makeover” has been coined to describe any combination of cosmetic procedures to restore a woman’s before-pregnancy appearance, typically focusing on the breasts and abdomen. The first step is a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine what the best treatment course will be, taking into consideration the desired results.

According to Dr. James M. Jeffries III, board certified Plastic Surgeon at Soderstrom Skin Institute, “Mommy Makeovers can be done as soon as 9 months after giving birth, once a woman has lost most of the weight gained during pregnancy and her body has stabilized. If done too soon, and a woman continues to lose weight after cosmetic surgery, body shape and contour can be negatively effected.”

Which Areas of the Body are Treated in a Mommy Makeover?

Obviously the tummy area is where most women notice the biggest change after pregnancy. Sometimes, no matter how much you diet and exercise the tissue, muscle and skin on the abdomen can be too weak and stretched out to tighten on its own. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, removes fat and excess skin from the middle to lower abdomen, and restores weakened or separated muscles for a smoother and firmer profile.

A tummy tuck may narrow your waist, but not your hips; liposuction can improve the contour of the hips, thighs, buttocks and stomach. A surgical procedure that utilizes a suction technique to remove fat, liposuction is often used in conjunction with other procedures to help contour body shape.

During pregnancy, breasts usually swell – sometimes they remain larger which could be a welcome change unless they are uneven or disproportionately large. Every woman’s breasts are different and in some cases a breast lift to treat sagging or uneven breasts may be the answer, other women may require a breast reduction. Some women may choose a breast augmentation where an implant is surgically placed to increase or restore breast size. And if a woman’s breasts are droopy they may consider a breast lift combined with an augmentation.

Who Performs Mommy Makeover Procedures?

Undoubtedly, the most important decision a woman will make regarding her Mommy Makeover will be selecting the surgeon. It is important to choose a board certified surgeon who has education, and experience with all of the Mommy Makeover procedures; they may also be trained in nonsurgical facial treatments and even skin care.

Try this interactive tool by Allergan, designed to help you learn about available surgeries and treatments. You can also create a list of treatment options to bring to your consultation for discussion with your surgeon: https://www.itsmyturn.com/interactive-tool.

Interested? Contact Us!

Give us a call at 1.888.970.7546 to schedule a consultation with our team!

October 5th, 2017 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

Soderstrom Skin Institute Welcomes Dermatologist Dr. Bradley

Soderstrom Skin Institute is proud to welcome Laurence M. Bradley, MD to our medical practice. A native Illinoisan, Dr. Bradley joined Soderstrom Skin Institute in 2017 and will provide medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology services for patients in our Illinois offices.

Dr. Bradley is board certified in dermatology by the American Board of Dermatology. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northern Illinois University, and received his medical degree with the highest honors (Alpha Omega Alpha) in 2013 from Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM). Dr. Bradley received training in Internal medicine and dermatology at Howard University. In 2017, he completed his dermatology residency where he served as Chief Resident.

He has published and presented many dermatology articles and participated in the tutoring and educating HUCM students and residents. Dr. Bradley is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and Skin of Color Society.

Dr. Bradley practices general dermatology with extensive training and experience in cutaneous oncology, pigmentation disorders, chemical peels, BOTOX Cosmetic, laser, soft tissue augmentation and hair loss. He is very interested in furthering his research into keloids, cutaneous oncology and pigmentation disorders.

When Dr. Bradley isn’t in the office caring for patients he enjoys spending time with his three children and wife. His hobbies include kayaking and fishing.

To make an appointment with Dr. Bradley at our Peoria, Morton, Normal, Galesburg or Peru office, please call 888.970.7546.
We are a participating provider in most insurance plans. For additional information on medical staff and services, please call 888.970.7546.

September 20th, 2017 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

Glycolic. Just because you see the word often doesn’t mean you know exactly what it is. You probably know it’s good for your skin, and maybe you even seek skincare products with glycolic acid in their list of ingredients. But what is it really? 

Glycolic acid is part of a group of active compounds known as the alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs). These compounds are found naturally in plants, but can also be made synthetically. Other AHAs you’re probably familiar with are lactic acid or citric acid. Glycolic acid—an AHA naturally derived from cane sugar—is the safest and most valuable for skin.

The reason glycolic is arguably the most beloved of the AHAs is simply due to its makeup. Its molecules are the smallest, so it’s easily able to penetrate the skin, treating fine lines, acne, dullness, and discoloration at their source.

Is the Glycolic Acid in Skincare Products Natural or Synthetic?

Even though the growing movement towards more natural products may suggest otherwise, both naturally occurring and synthetic glycolic acid are loaded with benefits and completely safe to use. In fact, most skincare products containing glycolic acid use a synthetic form that has higher concentrations of skin-nourishing vitamins than its natural counterpart.

Any claims that synthetic glycolic acid is hazardous are poorly researched. The ratios used in cosmetics are strictly regulated and optimized for healthy skin.

How Does Glycolic Acid Work?

The main skincare related purpose of glycolic is exfoliation. So how does it exfoliate and why does that help treat other conditions? After applying a cream, ointment, or peel with glycolic, the acid begins to work its way into the skin by loosening the bonds that hold skin cells together. This process is what allows glycolic to essentially buff away the top layer of dead cells and leave behind rejuvenated, fresh skin.

Dissolving the rough cells of the epidermis’ upper layer is glycolic acid’s premier act. The following results are what make it the star of the show. Shedding those dead cells triggers repair, and the whole process is free of abrasive scrubbing or inflammation. A good glycolic treatment will regenerate collagen and improve skin’s tone and texture.

Are There Any Downsides?


While glycolic acid does minimize fine lines and blotchiness, we will say it isn’t an ideal treatment for deep wrinkles—reducing those may require lasers or fillers.

Glycolic generally works best when used as a general toner and preventative measure, rather than as a correctional response.

There is also an increased susceptibility to sunburn combined with the use of glycolic acid. This just means you shouldn’t skimp on sunscreen, especially if glycolic is part of your skincare routine.

Shop our collection of Skin Dimensions Glycolic Skin Care Products
Originally posted on our Skin Dimensions Online blog

September 14th, 2017 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

Soderstrom Skin Institute Welcomes Dermatologist Dr. Kentosh

Soderstrom Skin Institute is proud to welcome Joshua B. Kentosh, DO, FAAD to our medical practice. Dr. Kentosh is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and part of a growing staff of board certified dermatologists, plastic surgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified dermatology nurses at Soderstrom Skin Institute.

Specialty Services

He will be providing all facets of dermatology care – medical, cosmetic, and surgical including Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery. He is now taking new patients at our Illinois clinics including Peoria, Morton, Normal, Galesburg and Peru.


Dr. Kentosh grew up in Ohio and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana Wesleyan University. He received his medical degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007 where he was a member of the Honor Society.

Residency Program

He completed his dermatology residency at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and served for 10 years in the United States Navy as a diving medical officer, staff dermatologist at WRNMMC, and assistant professor of dermatology at the Uniformed Services University (USU).

Clinical Research

As the principal investigator of several clinical trials during his time in the military, Dr. Kentosh maintained an interest in clinical research and was actively involved in the dermatology residency teaching program while at WRNMMC and USU.

He has authored numerous publications in dermatology journals and has presented at several regional and national conferences.

Affiliations and Special Interests

Dr. Kentosh is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and American Medical Association. He is also an affiliate member of the American Society for Mohs Surgery.

His research interests include amputation residual limb dermatoses, hyperhidrosis and amputee wound care.

To make an appointment with Dr. Kentosh at our Peoria, Morton, Normal, Galesburg or Peru office, please call 888.970.7546.
We are a participating provider in most insurance plans. For additional information on medical staff and services, please call 888.970.7546.