coolmini (1)Join us Thursday, May 12th from 4-7pm.

We will be providing complimentary consultations and Dr. Sawyer will speak with a slide presentation from 5:30-6pm.  All attendees will receive a baseline 15% off procedures as well as an additional 5% – 15% off through random selection.  That means 20-30% discounts will be available.

This will be our best offer of the year.  Please reserve your place by letting our front staff know or by calling 205-870-3303.  

SAVE BIG NOW on CoolSculpting!

coolsculpting-pinchVisible fat is an unsightly and persistent issue that, in many cases, even the most rigorous exercise and diet practices can’t completely cure. Surgical options such as liposuction leave patients with long recovery times and require uncomfortable explanations for work absences – hassles that really get in the way of enjoying the results. Years of research have finally offered up an intriguing and effective new approach: CoolSculpting. This procedure requires no incisions, no anesthetic, and no recovery time, harnessing the power of cold and the body’s own metabolizing process to turn back the clock on bulges and fat throughout the body. Call our office today @ 205-870-3303 schedule your complimentary consultation. Inches are all you have to lose!

Spotting Skin Cancer From Home

woman-with-mirror_200United States Melanoma skin cancer rates have doubled within the past 30 years and will continue to increase unless Americans take higher precautions in protecting their skin from harmful UV rays. If detected early, skin cancer is one of the most highly curable of all cancers. This is why Dr. LaTowsky highly recommends her patients to perform monthly, at-home skin checks and encourages them to schedule yearly skin examinations at the Clear Dermatology office. Skin self exams can be done easily at home in just a few minutes, and could be potentially lifesaving.


Here is a step-by-step guide to checking your skin at home. See below for the irregularities you should be looking for!

Step 1: Examine your body front and back in the mirror, then right and left sides with arms raised.

Step 2: Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms, upper arms and palms.

Step 3: Look at the back of legs and feet, spaces between toes and the soles of your feet.

Step 4: Examine back of the neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair multiple ways for a closer look at the scalp.

Step 5: Check the back and buttocks with a hand mirror.

Follow the ABCDE guide to detect any irregularities in existing or newly developed pigmented skin lesions.

Asymmetry: One half does not match the other half

Border Irregularity: The edges are notched or ragged

Color: Varied shades of tan, black or brown

Diameter: Greater than 6mm

Evolving: Change in size, shape or shade of color


If you notice any concerning spots during your monthly skin self exams contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment.


A cropped shot of a happy family doing yoga together

Do you daydream about your perfect look? There is no need to daydream any longer. Thanks to the latest non invasive fat melting technology, you can have the body of your dreams. It starts with identifying the areas of the body you wish to have treated. They can include the abdominal area, back, arms, thighs, knees, bra fat, buttocks, and waist. Despite an excellent exercise and diet regimen, these areas may still need further treatment due to stubborn fat. Our state leading, comprehensive collection of non invasive technology can be ideal for dropping a clothing size as well as attaining firmer and more youthful-looking skin.

Join us Thursday, March 24th from 4-7pm.  We will be providing complimentary consultations and Dr. Sawyer will present from 5:30-6pm.  All attendees will receive 15% off procedures as well as an additional 5% – 35% off through random selection.  That’s right, GET LUCKY on St. Patrick’s Day with 20% to 40% off!  This will be our best offer of the year.  Please reserve your place by replying to this e-mail with your name & phone number or calling 205-807-3303.  

Your friends are welcome. 

How Lasers Work

LasertomMany patients are interested in laser treatments for skin rejuvenation, treatment of brown spots, treatment of acne, treatment of blood vessels, and scars among other concerns. There are many lasers from many manufacturers of different wavelengths but what does all this mean?

First off, what is a laser? A laser is a device that emits light at a specific wavelength. This means that it may emit visible wavelengths such as red or green or it may emit wavelengths in the infrared spectrum (longer wavelengths than visible light). Why is this important and why do we care? In the skin there are targets that the laser is trying to destroy. For instance, if someone has a lentigo (brown spot) that he or she does not like, we could target it with a laser wavelength that is absorbed by the brown pigment cells but not by other cells. As the laser light is absorbed it heats the target and destroys it. This allows lasers to be precise. Some lasers target water. Since most of our skin is made up of water, these lasers are typically used to treat the top layer of skin in a controlled manner to allow for rejuvenation (resurfacing lasers).

Red blood cells in vessels absorb light in the visible spectrum (typically near green). By using a laser such as PDL at 585nm or KTP at 532nm, the red blood cells selectively absorb the laser heat and destroy the vessel. Similarly, lasers that target melanin (responsible for brown spots) heat up the melanin and destroys pigment. This is also how hair removal lasers work. They target the pigment cells of the hair. This is the reason you may be told that gray hair or blonde hair will not be able to be removed with a laser.

A unique category is the IPL “laser” used commonly. In actuality it is not a laser but rather emits a range of wavelengths. It is for this reason that it can be used for brown and red spots but is slightly less specific than lasers that target specific wavelengths.

So this is a small snapshot of laser physics. There are many other parameters that have to be accounted for to properly operate a laser but I hope that this will allow you to ask questions and understand why a certain laser will be helpful for your unique skin type. It is also the reason that it is important that laser operators understand all the fundamentals of lasers and how they work.

If you have any questions about lasers or laser treatments, please contact us at Dermatology & Laser of Alabama and we will be more than happy to explain this further. We also offer a wide range of lasers and are happy to discuss them with you as well!

4 Forgotten Steps To Beautiful Skin

beautiful-young-blonde-woman-laughingHere’s a beauty secret worth knowing: glowing skin often comes from the inside out.  Instead of pricey potions and beauty balms, try these four overlooked tricks to sensational skin.

Fifteen facial muscles work together to help you laugh and smile, and all that laughing increases blood flow around your face.  You’ll pump up circulation to your tiny face capillaries, resulting in vibrant, radiant looking skin.  Smiling helps you look younger too.  Research shows that a smiling person seems about two years younger than they actually are.


Listen to Your Mom
If your mom ever said, “Wash your face before bed” or  “You don’t need makeup,” she was right. If you rolled your eyes in your younger years, you’re probably more open to the wisdom now. Your skin is your largest organ and its pores can become clogged by the pollutants, dirt and the grime of life.  Fact – washing your face nightly is vital to a fresh face.  Make-up is also a pore-clogging culprit. Consider wearing less makeup or take a makeup detox to allow your skin to breathe.  There’s a medical reason to ditch makeup too: a study found that certain beauty products may cause early menopause.

Search Nature for Skin Care
Try skin care products from nature.  Honey is full of antioxidants, which help with aging skin and wrinkles.  Honey also has antibacterial qualities that help with skin irritations and can unclog pores.  Oils such as castor, olive oil, sunflower, safflower and coconut oil are excellent for moisturizing.  Try these natural concoctions for beautiful skin.

  • Cleaners:  Honey dissolves make-up.  Mix with oil, apply to face and rinse.
  • Masks:  Spread a tablespoon of honey all over your face.  Let the mask sit for 5-30 minutes, and rinse.  Follow with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 egg yolk.  Apply to face for 20 minutes, and rinse.
  • Moisturizer: Argan (from kernels of a tree grown in Morocco) and coconut oil are great for hydrating skin.  After washing face apply a small amount either oil to the face and neck.

Self-acceptance may be the biggest beauty booster of all.  There’s no cream, potion, pill or injection that can fight the negative pull of self-loathing.  There’s a psychology behind self-love and beauty, so love your self from the inside out.  Your skin will show it.

4 Foods That Make Your Skin Glow

pumpkinimagesWe’ve all heard about the importance of antioxidants. But what can they actually do for you?

These much-talked-about substances can help protect your cells against the effects of free radicals and the damage they cause.

There are many foods that are rich in antioxidants, but I have four favorites that are delicious AND may help your skin look younger and more beautiful!

1. Dark Chocolate

Rich in antioxidants, chocolate may reduce moisture loss in skin, improving skin hydration, leading to smoother skin and improved skin texture.

Select chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao, and remember to keep your intake to a small amount. Just 1 ounce a day is enough to reap the benefits without sabotaging your weight.

2. Walnuts

High in omega-3 essential fatty acids, walnuts may stimulate collagen,improving skin elasticity.

Enjoy a small handful every day for healthy cells. Get your dose of walnuts by adding to healthy cookie, muffin, or bread recipes, or sprinkle over your afternoon salad.

3. Cherries

With 17 different antioxidant compounds, cherries could help slow down the skin’s aging process.

Try adding a small amount of dried cherries to your salads or keep frozen cherries for a quick and healthy smoothie.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

These little seeds pack a healthy punch and can help maintain collagen levels, increase elasticity, and stimulate new skin-cell growth.

Sprinkle over salad, cereal, or yogurt for a healthy and satisfying crunch.

Healthy Indulgences

Via Birmingham Magazine

chocDon’t feel bad if you fall off your healthy eating plan with some chocolate and/or red wine to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In fact, you may actually pat yourself on the back!

Birmingham dermatologist Dr. Sarah Sawyer shares that consumed in moderation, the phytonutrients—healthy compounds that occur naturally—found in red wine and dark chocolate can have great health benefits.

In red wine, the specific phytonutrients are resveratrol and anthocyanins. Together, they are known to increase heart health in several pathways and have excellent antioxidant benefits.

Dark chocolate is known to be rich in flavonoids, also potent antioxidants. It should be at least 70% cacao to achieve the best health benefit. Because moderation and quality are key, Dr. Sawyer recommends keeping a dark chocolate bar, such as the Sprouts Farmers Market Brand Dark Chocolate Bar (72% cacao), on hand and enjoying it a square at a time.

Are hats the the root of your sudden breakout?


As cold weather approaches, hats once again are becoming a must-have accessory.  But if you notice the arrival of hat weather has coincided with the arrival of sudden breakouts around your hairline and forehead, don’t worry! There’s hope. Because hats can trap sweat and bacteria against your skin, you may need to switch to something that’s a bit looser. If your hat is knit, wash it often, and if all else fails, switch to earmuffs or scarves.

Fat Reduction Revolution!

Take advantage of our November promotion and save 10% off treatments. Call 205-319-0594 to schedule your free consultation. Inches are all you have to lose! Expires 11/30/12.

In the battle to look your best, there’s nothing more frustrating than that stubborn “last inch” you’re trying to shed – especially around your waistline. The Custom Contouring™ capabilities of the Liposonix® System target and eliminate fat around your waist – in your abdomen and in the dreaded love handles – to help noticeably slim your waistline.

Liposonix is:

  • Safe, non-surgical and non-invasive
  • A revolutionary treatment using high-intensity focused ultrasound to treat and eliminate stubborn fat
  • Perfect for people close to their ideal size and shape – but need help where diet and exercise just won’t work

How is LIPOSONIX different you ask? It is non-surgical & non-invasive.

Invasive fat reduction procedures, such as liposuction, typically carry certain surgical risks and are associated with significant post-treatment recovery downtime. Even newer, minimally-invasive techniques are still surgical procedures. Unlike these types of surgical fat reduction procedures, the Liposonix treatment is non-invasive and patients typically resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.

Patients come in all shapes and sizes, and so does their fat. Other non-invasive body contouring devices can be limited in their ability to treat certain areas of fat and may require several hours and/or multiple treatment sessions to adequately address problem areas. The Liposonix system is highly versatile, allowing control over precisely how and where energy is delivered, for a truly customized treatment in a single one-hour session.

Click here for much more on LIPOSONIX!

Winter Skin Care Tips


Between the harsh weather outside and the blasting heat inside, your skin needs extra TLC during the colder months. Here are some quick pointers.


As Time Goes By

As it matures, your skin grows less able to protect itself from moisture loss. Start using a lotion containing sunscreen early, then follow these guidelines according to your age.

  • In your 30s: Add products with AHAs or retinol to your regimen to help prevent fine lines on your face and forestall age spots and loss of elasticity elsewhere.
  • In your 40s: Switch to a thicker, petrolatum-based formula for your body and to a product containing either glycerin or hyaluronic acid for your face.
  • In your 50s and beyond: With the onset of menopause, your skin’s natural oil production stalls. Apply moisturizers with high levels of petrolatum more frequently.  


Arid Regions

Winter weather varies across the country, and so does the prevalence of problematic dry skin. In places with harsh winters, such as the Northeast and the Midwest, humidity levels plummet as central heating pumps out hot, dry air, and your skin ends up paying the price. Similarly, desert areas, like the Southwest, are more likely to produce dry skin than are humid areas, like the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest, says Jeffrey Dover, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. To guard against dryness, Dover suggests using a humidifier in both bedroom and office. If that’s not feasible, simply add a couple of plants to your surroundings. “The water in the leaves diffuses into the air and adds moisture,” says Philadelphia-based dermatologist Susan C. Taylor.

What’s in a Name?

These over-the-counter products not only look and sound medicinal but also are effective for treating dry skin.

                                                                                                                                                                        Aquaphor Healing Ointment: A petrolatum balm for cracked lips or skin and minor cuts. It can also be used on babies’ irritated skin.
Amlactin: A 12 percent lactic acid lotion to soften rough, dry skin on elbows and feet.
Cortaid Intensive Therapy Moisturizing Cream: A hydrocortisone cream for treating irritation and eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis on the body.