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Kathleen Behr Blog

A Little Sense and Sensibility can Save your Skin

Summer Skin Protection Fresno CASkin cancer is a hot topic at this time of year. Many of us are preparing for the long, hot summer by making plans to be at the beach, lake, pool, or other outdoor venue as much as possible. This means a nice golden tan, and that means cellular damage. We expect that you realize that even your morning commute puts you in harm’s way since UV rays quickly penetrate through the glass of your windshield. What we don’t expect is for every person to know what it takes to save their skin – and their health.

Skin cancer is concerning in and of itself, but melanoma is a type of cancer that no one wants. The mere fact that a tiny growth on the skin could ultimately take a life is frightening. Rather than avoid the issue, we encourage patients to tackle their risks head-on. With a little sense and sensibility, it becomes much more likely that early detection and treatment of melanoma can occur.

Start in our Office

There are plenty of websites that discuss the home exam, but this may not be enough. Skin savvy begins with a thorough evaluation of every part of the body. Your experience Fresno dermatologist, Dr. Behr, can show you how to check your skin, your scalp, and even your fingers and toes, and what to look for. Sure, you can view images online; but that isn’t your skin. Sometimes, we can get so used to our moles and freckles that we may overlook nuances that indicate an abnormality.

The ABC’s are Just the Beginning

The general guideline for performing skin cancer self-exams is to observe existing growths for:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border
  • Color
  • Diameter
  • Evolution

These are just the basics. What if you have a small, brown mole, but it is growing up from the surface at a fast rate? What if you have a flat, red mole that is itching? These are the small intricacies that could cause you to question the normalcy of any given growth.

Don’t question what your skin is telling you. Schedule your skin cancer screening with us. We will help you build the groundwork for a skin-saving regimen tailored to your needs.

Posted on May 15th, 2017


Your Aging Skin: Part II

Earlier this month, we broached the sensitive topic of aging skin and the fact that there are genetic factors to aging over which we have no control. In this post, we will discuss the extrinsic or external factors that lead to lines, wrinkles, dryness, and more. The good news about extrinsic aging is that you have numerous ways to slow it down. So let’s get to some tips to do just that!

  1. Avoid tobacco. Among the various problems with smoking, the lack of oxygen in the skin is crucial to aging. In addition to oxygen deprivation, smoking also releases toxic chemicals and free radicals directly to the skin on the face, which leads to a dull, sallow complexion.
  2. No tanning. There is enough evidence available now for us all to know that no tan is a safe tan. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, natural sunlight or a tanning bed. The ultraviolet light of either degrades collagen and elastin, the two chemicals that give skin its firmness and softness.
  3. Eat low-glycemic foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables along with lean protein aren’t just good for health; they are good for your aging skin. According to research, those who eat large quantities of carbs and sugars age more quickly.
  4. Consider restricting. Some say that, when we get older, we naturally eat less. According to research on calorie restriction, this may be a great way to slow the aging process. Calorie restriction by 1/3 may not be for everyone, but, when approved by your doctor, could be a healthy way to manage health.
  5. Control stress. Stress is just bad news all the way around. It robs you of the small joys of life, and it also damages your organs. Specifically, it is cortisol that does this. Reducing stress is not only healthy, but it can also be fun. Try yoga, walking in nature, or traveling more.
  6. Use the right moisturizer. Here’s a big tip: the moisturizer you used in your twenties won’t do the trick in your thirties or beyond. In fact, you may find that you need to switch up your skin care routine every decade, or even more frequently.

We are here to help you support your skin as it ages. To schedule anti-aging skin treatments or dermatologic care in our Fresno office, call (559) 435-SKIN (7546).



Posted on April 30th, 2017


Your Aging Skin: Part I

Over the past several decades, a significant amount of progress has been made in the area of health and wellness. As a result of knowing what might cause conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia, adults are living longer these days. This is all well and good, we think, until we hear the concerns that start to sprout up around mid-life.

Aging is not a disease; it is the natural progression of living. There is no way to escape it, and one of the first places age makes itself known is on the skin. We know that, like many of the other health concerns that arise as we get older, dermatologic aging is affected by external factors to some degree. We will touch on this in Part II of this topic. Today, our focus will be on the genetics tied to aging, and why they cannot be avoided.

Some important details about aging . . .

  • You don’t get into your 20’s without beginning to “age” in the way we refer to it today. The signs of this early aging do not become obvious for another few decades (if you’re lucky).
  • Skin becomes scaly in appearance when dead skin cells stop sloughing off in the appropriate time frame.
  • Wrinkles begin to develop as the skin loses elastin, which gives elasticity to connective tissue.
  • Skin becomes thin and papery when collagen stores become depleted. Collagen gives skin its firmness and structure. Without healthy strands running beneath the skin, we start to notice ridges at the edges of the lips and thinned skin on the arms and hands.
  • The lipids that form a barrier on the skin decrease, which makes skin more dry and itchy with age.
  • The fat loss at a rate of about 1 tsp a year eventually leads to bony hands, flat or sunken cheeks, and hollows beneath the eyes.
  • Hair turns gray or thins. In some, pattern baldness occurs.
  • Fingernails break more easily as we age. Toenails, on the other hand (or foot!), become thicker.

Ah, if only we had control over our genetic makeup! Aging would be so much easier to a transition through life! While the intrinsic causes of aging are beyond your ability to manage, that does not mean you have no options for protecting and promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails. In our next post, we will discuss the extrinsic factors related to aging skin, and what you can do about them.

Posted on April 15th, 2017


Interesting Tidbits about Lip Injections

Lip Injections Fresno CA | Lip FillersOne of the most common uses for dermal fillers is to enhance the volume and definition of the mouth. Lip injections continue to increase in popularity the more that men and women realize the convenience and lasting results of this cosmetic treatment. Here, we offer up a few interesting points you may not know about lip augmentation with dermal fillers.

What You Need To Know About Lip Injections

  1. There is much more than sheer science to lip injections. In fact, different clinicians may have their own combination of preferred products that they use to achieve the desired aesthetic.
  2. That picture may not be as worth as many words as you think. It is common for a patient to come in to our Fresno office with a picture of their favorite celebrity pout. While this can give us an idea of the look you want, our goal is to create a mouth that looks beautiful on you.
  3. Lip augmentation is a fully personalized treatment process. We look at your facial structure and pair that with your preferences. You may want only your lower lip enhanced, or both lips, but just a touch. Whatever needs to happen happens. It’s that simple.
  4. You don’t need to worry about feeling fake. At first, fillers may cause slight hardness in the injection area as water molecules bind to the HA. As integration happens, and it happens quickly, your lips will be soft and silky smooth.
  5. If, for some reason, you do not like what you see after you have had time to get used to your new, plumper lips, don’t fret. HA, or hyaluronic acid fillers can be diluted with a secondary treatment. Within minutes of administration, the enzyme hyaluronidase dissolves the hyaluronic acid that was initially injected, and your lips go back to a less noticeable profile.
  6. Prepare for some swelling! The final results from lip injections will be noticeable a day or two after treatment.
  7. Bruising might also occur. The risk of this can be diminished by avoiding medication or supplements that could thin the blood prior to your treatment.
  8. With these side effects in mind, it is best to schedule lip injections at least a week prior to any special engagement.
  9. Results from lip injections can last up to 6 months. Sometimes, though, the body metabolizes the HA solution in as little as 4 months.
  10. Want ultimate comfort? Apply ice just before your lip augmentation treatment!

We love helping our patients love the way they look. To learn more about lip injections, call our Fresno office at (559) 435-SKIN (7546).


Posted on March 30th, 2017


It’s Almost Springtime, but Don’t Let up just yet

Spring Skin Care Fresno CAThe chill of winter is on its way out, and we are all looking forward to some warmer temperatures ahead. As we do, it can be an easy time to fall into some bad habits with our skin care. In fact, living in California, where the weather usually varies only slightly from one season to the next, the common mistakes that dry out the skin may be lurking in your life. Let’s take a look at a few of them here, so you have a better opportunity to avoid them.

Bright Skin Starts on the Inside

We don’t often hear about the expansive effects of dehydration, but we need to be aware of them so we can avoid long-term consequences. The fact is, everything from the heart to the brain to the skin needs water to function at full capacity. Water is vital to the detoxification of cells. When we become dehydrated, the body cannot flush toxins appropriately, and the skin becomes susceptible to chronic conditions. Oh, and it becomes leathery, too. Make water a part of your day!

It Extends all the Way Out with Exfoliation

The outermost layer of the epidermis is often comprised of dead skin cells than any other necessary matter. Dead skin cells don’t belong there, and they are supposed to fall off, but they don’t. You have to help them. You can exfoliate your skin by using a gentle acidic product, like alpha-hydroxy acid, a few times each week. In many cases, this is sufficient. However, chemical peels or microdermabrasion are excellent therapies to add to your ongoing skin care routine.

Fighting Dehydration

When you hydrate your body (and your skin), you want to hold on to that moisture. To do so, you need to know what may stand in your way. Where a lot of people go wrong is in the shower. Yes, we totally get that a nice hot shower sounds great at the end of your day! However, the higher temperature that the body is exposed to leaches moisture from every cell. Then, dehydration has to be fought from the inside out, and from the outside in. Be sure to apply an appropriate moisturizer within 5 minutes of bathing to lock in moisture.

Your Fresno dermatologist has services to help you refresh and restore your skin. Call 559-435-SKIN (7546)to schedule your visit.

Posted on March 15th, 2017


A Bright Side to Acne?

acneMany people struggle with acne, particularly during the already-troublesome teenage years. The development of acne brings with it a host of concerns. Will I be made fun of? Will my skin be scarred for life? Will my confidence be scarred for life? These are just a few of the questions that may flood the mind when it looks like acne has set up shop for the long haul.

Fresno dermatologist Dr. Kathleen Behr understands the nuances of the different types of acne. She works diligently with patients to bring the problem under control in order to minimize the risk of long-term scarring. While you may be ready to seek care for your frequent breakouts, know that there may actually be a bright side to your current struggle.

Younger Skin, Brought to you Courtesy of Pimples
It isn’t the pimples actually, but the general characteristics that make one prone to acne in the first place, that may pave the way for younger looking skin throughout adulthood. That’s right! Researchers from King’s College in London studied the aging processes of individuals with acne, and those who rarely, if ever, developed blemishes. They, like many dermatologists, found that those who suffered acne in their youth tended to look younger as they aged. The real reason behind this phenomenon is thought to be the thicker skin that many acne sufferers have, as well as their more active oil glands.

Yes, But . . .
We hear you. So what about the future benefits of oily, broken-out skin! What about now? Acne is most definitely a problem that we take seriously. Dr. Behr is aware of the various acne treatments that have been proven efficient at clearing up existing breakouts and inhibiting further problems. She also stays abreast of the latest developments in dermatologic care that aim to mitigate the inherent risk factors for acne.

Acne care is customized to your individual needs. In some instances, topical prescription solutions can destroy acne-causing bacteria and reduce the oiliness of the skin. We may couple prescription treatment with an acne facial, laser treatments, oral medication, and high-quality skin care products to achieve the desired result quickly and to promote long-lasting dermatologic health.

Acne is not a condition that you have to live with. End your struggle. Call our office at (559) 435-SKIN (7546).

Posted on February 28th, 2017


Treatments to Try this Year

Cosmetic ServicesThere are so many innovations taking place in aesthetic medicine that a large majority of us find that we feel intrigued. We may hear about the power of lasers or see the direct benefits that come from injectables like Botox and dermal fillers when our friends or colleagues obtain treatment. And still, we wait. If you are in this boat, there is no time like now to hop out and test the waters. Here, we will describe a few of the ways we help patients of our Fresno dermatology office look and feel their best.


Fraxel laser treatments are great for men and women who want to either slow the development of lines, wrinkles, and pigment problems, or those who would like to correct these issues. Fraxel laser is fractionated. That means that the beam of light that is directed toward the skin is broken up into tiny pinpoints. On the skin, this means less area touched, which means fewer side effects like redness and flaking.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Due to the precise nature of laser skin resurfacing, there is a perception that this treatment is uncomfortable or that it requires extensive time away from normal activities while the skin heals. Neither assumption is accurate. Dr. Behr has a twenty-year history using CO2 laser devices, and she also offers a fractional laser resurfacing treatment. While resurfacing is more advanced than Fraxel laser treatments, patients achieve noticeable improvements with just one or two treatments, rather than a series.

Skin Tightening

The natural effects of age leave us with sagging, loose skin on all parts of the face and body. If your eyes are drooping or your jowls are hanging, this year could be a great year to schedule skin tightening treatments. We use two modalities to help our patients regain the elasticity and firmness they had years ago. These include Ultherapy, which stimulates collagen with ultrasound energy, and ThermiSmooth, which uses radiofrequency to encourages regeneration of the collagen fibers that support youthful skin.

There is a wide variety of treatments through which you can address dermatologic and cosmetic concerns. Call your Fresno dermatologist at (559) 435-7546.


Posted on February 15th, 2017


Skin Tightening Treatments – you have Options!

Skin Tightening TreatmentsNormal facial aging is unavoidable, although we all progress through this process at our own pace. One of the aspects of aging is that the fatty deposits that plump the skin decrease a little each year. As this happens, skin becomes wrinkled, thin, and saggy. It isn’t just the loss of volume underneath the surface that ages the skin, our declining elastin and collagen also play a role. That is why many of the best skin tightening treatments used today focus on encouraging the production of these vital chemicals.
There are a number of ways in which the appearance of the skin can be improved. Here are just a few of the options you may consider:

There are a number of ways in which the appearance of the skin can be improved. Here are just a few of the options you may consider:

There are only so many high-tech facials you can get. What you do on a daily basis will make or break the pampering your skin gets. In order to maximize your dermatologic health, you need to find skincare products that meet your needs at this moment. Our aestheticians can help you with that. Many of our patients are encouraged to use products with antioxidants, retinol, hyaluronic acid, or growth factors. We carry several different brands in our office, understanding that every person has his or her own needs and preferences.

Dermal Fillers
Fillers may be overlooked for their skin-lifting capabilities because they are primarily used to restore volume to features such as the lips and cheeks. Fillers can do much more. While they fill in hollow areas and smooth away wrinkles, some fillers also stimulate collagen production for long-term benefit. These injectables may be used to rejuvenate the backs of the hands, and may lift the jowls by adding contour to the cheeks.

High-tech Treatments
In our Fresno dermatology office, patients may choose between radiofrequency or ultrasound based on the degree of skin tightening they desire. Our ThermiSmooth and ThermiTight treatments restore a more youthful appearance to the lower face and around the eyes. A few treatments are usually needed to achieve the desired result. Ultherapy treats the face, neck, and chest with focused ultrasound energy. Only one treatment is usually needed to progressively improve the appearance of the skin.

The great thing about Ultherapy and Thermi- treatments is that there is no downtime or noticeable side effects to speak of. Most patients can return to their day looking forward to positive changes in their skin.

Want to look your best as you age? Call Fresno dermatologist Dr. Behr at (559) 435-SKIN (7546).

Posted on January 30th, 2017


Set Healthy Habits for Glowing Skin

Healthy Skin Fresno CA | Kathleen L. Behr, M.D.What are your top resolutions this year? Do they reflect a desire to maintain healthy, glowing skin? If so, you will be happy to know that dermatologic health is pretty easy to come by. Here, we will discuss some of the simple habits you want to bring into your skincare routine this year.

Slough it Off

Stress, that is. The amount of stress the average person carries on a daily  basis may make you think we were all still actively running from predators. The modern-day predators look more like a nagging boss or mountain of debt than a saber-tooth tiger, but they can be just as powerful. The body responds readily to stress, sending cortisol flowing through the veins. Excessive stress is a major culprit of aging skin, as well as acne. Don’t worry, you needn’t take up meditation to guard your glow; just find ways to unwind that are fun for you, such as journaling or a walk outdoors.


Did you know that a large percentage of the population walks around dehydrated more often than not? That means your body – including your skin – may be crying out for more water on a daily basis. Slathering on moisturizer is not enough. The skin needs to be fed from the inside out, and that means you need to consume a fair amount of water every day. Experts say drink as many ounces as half of your body weight to make sure all of your organs are sufficiently hydrated.

Make a Rainbow on your Plate

We have touched on a few of the foods that feed the skin in recent months, such as pumpkin and cranberries. The good news is that there are numerous benefits that come from eating a whole-food, fresh-food diet that fills your plate with a rainbow of colors. Here’s some good news, chocolate is included on the list of top 10 skin-saving foods! Just be sure you choose at least 70% cacao. According to one study, green and yellow peppers have wrinkle-fighting carotenoids that help women, in particular, prevent premature aging around the eyes.

Schedule A Consultation

You are not all on your own to manage your age-related dermatologic concerns. For professional care that keeps you looking and feeling your best, call your Fresno dermatologist at (559) 435-SKIN (7546).

Posted on January 15th, 2017


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

skin careDo you know that old holiday song? It expresses how many of us feel about the weeks that stretch from the end of November right into January. During this time, we are more likely to think of all that we are grateful for; we may even get a little more to add to our list. The holidays give us more opportunity to feel childlike, to revel in treats and time with friends and family. While you do this, know that what you put in your mouth might just affect your skin in ways you don’t want. In this holiday edition blog, we want to talk about the Winter foods that we want on our plates, and those we do not.

Thumbs up for . . .

  • Pumpkin. This flavorful, colorful Winter fruit is good for the body in several ways. Its vitamin C content support immunity and it also fights free radicals that age the skin. The carotinoids in pumpkin offer the benefit of reversing UV damage.
  • Cranberry sauce. We don’t sit around the fire eating fresh cranberries; these tiny pieces of fruit are reserved for the sauce we flavor our food with. They may also be included in certain concoctions that pleasure the palate. While the average cranberry sauce may have its fair share of sugar, it also has loads of antioxidants that promote healthy collagen.
  • Coffee. Recent studies are showing us just how good it can be to start the day with a Cup O’ Joe. As it pertains to the skin, coffee actually has properties that give us added protection against nonmelanoma skin cancers. According to one study, just one cup raises our resistance by 10%.

Thumbs down for . . .

  • Alcohol. The holidays tend to offer us ample opportunity to cut loose and over-indulge in the bubbly. Alcoholic beverages may contain sugar, which breaks down collagen. They also steal water from the body and can quickly lead to dry, dehydrated skin.
  • Sweet treats. As mentioned, refined sugar has a negative effect on collagen, which we need for firm, supple skin. Many sweet treats also have white flour, which exacerbates the effects of sugar.

Dr. Behr and the team in our Fresno dermatology office wish you a bright holiday season.

Posted on December 30th, 2016


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