Featuring Guest Guru, Ava Shamban, M.D., Owner of the Laser Institute for Dermatology
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May 2011 - Featuring Guest Guru, Ava Shamban
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April 2011
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April 2011
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  Guest Guru
Ava Shamban, M.D., Owner of the Laser Institute for Dermatology

Q: What inspired you to go to school for dermatology?
A: After I finished med school I wasn't sure what field to specialize in. During my two years of general practice I saw many patients with dermatological issues that really troubled them. So, I decided to do my specialty training in dermatology.

Q: What event took place in your career that catapulted you from a local dermatologist to a nationally recognized derm?
A: I would say there were two major events that took place. They both had to do with skill and the good fortune to be at the right place at the right time. The first was being present at what I like to think of as the dawn of cosmetic dermatology. I had an opportunity to become well versed with laser technology and the use of fillers and toxins to achieve an aesthetically pleasing look. The second was being asked to do the dermatology for the participants of the show "Extreme Makeover." I learned how to get results in an accelerated time frame and described what I did in terms that the viewership could understand.
Q: How competitive is the field of dermatology? How do you set yourself and your practice apart?
A: Very competitive. I believe that we provide outstanding medical care with the most cutting edge technology in lasers and the most advanced approach with the use of fillers and toxins -- and all in a healing atmosphere!

Q: What do you contribute to the overall growth of your business?
A: I talk constantly! At medical meetings both nationally and internationally, on the news, on daytime TV shows such as "The Doctors," to magazines, to the public and most of all to my patients.

Q: Do you think appearing on TV is essential to "making it" in the beauty biz today?
A: No. Most of my patients come from patient-to-patient referrals and doctor referrals.

Q: What skin care trends are you excited about currently -- any plans to work them in to your collection?
A: I'm excited about plant cell research, but I will only fuse this new concept in to pur~lisse when there is more solid, proven, scientific research showing dramatic results on skin and [when it can be done] with no negative environmental impact.

Q: Why was it important to you to launch a skin care line? What was missing in the market that your line now provides?
A: I developed a skin care line during my stint as the dermatologist on "Extreme Makeover." I received so many requests from people for recommendations about what they could use on their skin to get real results. So, I designed a two-week skin care kit with a high-powered combination of active ingredients to give results in a short time frame.

Q: What qualities do you think are essential in beauty industry execs?
A: The ability to see the future and bring back the oldies but goodies.

Q: What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your career and how did you get through it?
A: Figuring out what "doing it all" really means. What I mean is, the challenge of raising three sons while taking care of my patients and my office staff.

Q: If you had to do it all over, would you still have decided to become a dermatologist?
A: Absolutely. 150 percent. I sometimes pinch myself to remind myself [that] this is not all a dream.

Q: What new beauty technologies, either in skin care or in-office treatments, are you most excited about and why?
A: The development of more effective skin care along with at-home technology that delivers.

Q: What's the biggest mistake you think women make when it comes to their skin?
A: There are two mistakes in my opinion. One is thinking that sunscreen will completely protect your skin. The second is being inconsistent [with] skin care. Would you leave the house without brushing your hair? Then why do you go to bed at night without applying skin cream?

Q: What does your skin care routine consist of? What treatments have you done on yourself that you think have made the biggest improvement in your skin?
A: A little of this and a little of that but every single day -- rain, shine, tired, awake, traveling or not. I've tried every laser or procedure we have in the office so it's a little hard to say which one is responsible. I always wear a hat!

Q: What's next for you and your practice and/or skin care line? Any exciting news to share?
A: The most exciting thing is the publication of my book "Heal Your Skin" [by] publisher Wiley [which will be on shelves] in June. I cover topics ranging from adult acne, pregnancy, menopause and skin issues around chemotherapy in a problem/solution format. I include a general skin care chapter as well as chapters on nutrition, fitness and at-home skin care recipes. People really suffer from skin issues and hopefully they will find the freedom [that comes with] clear beautiful skin in this book!
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