Category: Life Wisdom

Botox: A Cure for the Sweats

It’s the last of summer weather and along with the pool, ocean, rivers and streams comes heat, humidity…. and sweating.

Fear not! Among the many magical properties of Botox, add the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis, commonly referred to as “sweaty armpits”.

It’s true: Botox very efficiently reduces the smell and volume of underarm sweating- much more efficiently than deodorant. It’s also extremely long-lasting: between 6-12 months of relief. Most people request treatment at the beginning of summer and go an entire year before filling up again.

I have been an early adopter of Botox treatments, and now am happy to include this very effective option along with all the wonderful Botox benefits of facial rejuvenation. Will it make your armpits look younger? I doubt it, but let’s find out!

Please feel free to call or email us for more information.

Because you deserve to know.


Dr. Koplin

Revelations about Sunscreen

The simple formula is: SUN = AGING + CANCER

Sunscreen is a necessity to preserve the youthfulness of your skin.  If you want to be in the sun- then you must protect yourself from its negative effects.

From the beginning, sunscreens have been made from chemicals which block the damaging Ultraviolet rays of the sun.  They also sting when they get in your eyes.  The stronger the block (SPF), the more oily they get.

Now there is word from the FDA that the chemical components of sunscreen can enter the bloodstream at levels significantly higher previously thought.  And it’s unknown whether there are any harmful health effects.  What does this mean?  Chemical sunscreen may be bad for you, and particularly bad for children.

But there are alternatives.  Mineral sunscreens are made from Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide.  They block UV rays mechanically via the nanoparticles of the two mineral compounds.  They don’t sting when they get in your eyes.  They’re not greasy- in fact, they have a wonderfully soft texture at all strengths.  And they are not absorbed into the bloodstream.

Is this a no-brainer?  I think so.  Check out the mineral sunscreen options such as TiZo- they are great!

I also have my own packaging in a cool and convenient pump bottle available at my office.

Come in and try the samples in the waiting room, talk with us about it and enjoy a cup of coffee while you’re at it.

Because you deserve to know.


Dr. Koplin

September 24, 2019

Coffee with Cica and Caroline


To my wonderful and loyal patients,

Cica Huston-Fleiner, who has been my surgical coordinator and wizard-of-everything in my office, has elected to choose a more leisurely pace for her life. As I can’t really disagree, I have reluctantly accepted her resignation and am wishing her the very best as she and her husband Kenny prepare to retire and enjoy the benefits of a lifetime of successful work. They have sold their home here and plan to move to a lovely abode in La Quinta next month.

You might all imagine, and you would be correct, that I am excited for her and sad for myself, as our entire office will miss her smile, charm, wisdom and expertise. Fortunately for me, Cica has already reached out to find a most wonderful and talented person to replace her. Caroline Alexander has her own history of running extremely successful plastic surgery offices, and does so with a similar Cica-like smile and wise demeanor.

As the two of them transition over the next month, all of us at the office celebrate the wonderful history that Cica has given us and are already missing her (even thought she hasn’t left yet!) We would like to invite all of you who have known and loved Cica to join with us in the process. If you are in the neighborhood, in the mood and have the time we would love to see you all and I know that Cica would love to give you a hug. Share a cup of fresh coffee with her. Introduce yourself to Caroline and get to know her. Drop by, or call, or send her an email or all of the above so that we can all remind Cica how important she has been in our lives, how much we love her and how much we will miss her.

Thank you for listening, and the coffee’s on me.

Dr. Koplin

July 31, 2019

Putting Lipstick on Food

Went to a wonderful dinner with best friends last night—a fancy restaurant and astoundingly delicious food. I even ordered things I don’t really like—but I knew they would be good because they would be fully (and deceptively) dressed.

I don’t really like cauliflower; unless it’s superbly fresh, it really has no taste. I feel the same about Brussels sprouts—don’t like them. They are like the veal of the vegetable family—they die young and we eat them. I never liked cabbage (unless it’s dressed up into coleslaw) and it makes sense I wouldn’t like baby cabbage either.

Did you know the spelling is Brussels sprout? Always has an “s” at the end. Did you know they really are from Brussels? They originated in ancient Rome and first appeared in northern Europe during the fifth century, later being cultivated in the 13th century near Brussels, Belgium.

I bet they didn’t like them much then, either—unless they were really hungry.

So why do I eat them? Like putting lipstick on a pig, we’ve learned to dress them up by covering them with things we love. What do I love? Well, bacon for one. I love grilled onions. I love sweet things. I love garlic. So no wonder I love Brussels sprouts when they’re covered in bacon, onions, sugar and garlic! I would eat cardboard cooked with that stuff!

What do we do with cauliflower? Don’t get me started! Pull out a cookbook or Google it—holy cow! Throw cheese on it, breadcrumbs, cumin, sumac, lemon, caramelized, turmeric, “oatwalnut crust and lemon herb filling.”

Sounds great, just hold the cauliflower, please!

I feel better now.

How Men See Colors

Guys, how often are you being corrected on your descriptions of things? I’d say I’m pretty good at the spoken and written word…. except where it comes to describing colors.

Men see in one-word colors: blue, purple, yellow, green…… you know what I mean. “That Ferrari is red.” “Look at that crazy blue shirt!”

Women? Holy cow, you need a book—or an app—to describe anything, and it is never a single-word color. I just looked up and found at least thirty shades of blue, ranging from Celeste to Midnight Blue. At least as many purple shades from Amethyst to Violet, and even more yellow—from Acacia to Yellow Rose. Just look at any photo of plants or trees to see the literally hundreds of shades of green. Guess what? Each one has its own name! And Shades of Grey- we know at least fifty (lol)!

Guess what—there is a scientific basis to this! In a 2012 Brooklyn College study, women really did excel in discerning shades of blue, yellow and green. The biological reason seems to be how testosterone (or lack of) affects neuron development in the brain’s visual cortex.

Evolution at work? Women, as gatherers, may have become better adapted to recognizing close-at-hand, static objects such as wild berries. Men, on the other hand, have been found to have “significantly greater sensitivity for fine detail and for rapidly moving stimuli”. This means that men—who were the hunters—could “detect possible predators or prey from afar and also identify and categorize these objects more easily.”

Whew! That makes a lot of sense to me (I’ll write about this in another blog), and now I don’t feel so bad!

I have lovely pink fabric gowns in my office, which are much nicer than the blue paper ones I used to have. But I just found out the gowns aren’t pink—they are Dusty Rose! I bet even those old paper gowns were more Aero than blue. But I can see a dusty deer at 300 yards!!

Why Does Food That’s Bad for You Taste So Good?

I recently came upon a beautifully written article on a subject that has nagged at my brain for quite some time.

Why does food that’s bad for you taste so good?

The author’s premise is that there is an evolutionary survival basis for meats and sugars that protected the caveman in addition to the healthy foods they ate.  Meat provided protein, vitamins and minerals for a long slow burn of strength and energy.  But there was also the need for quick burning energy:  “Evolution made us neurotic about filling the tank with high-octane foods that pack the most energy per gram swallowed.”  Our early ancestors also didn’t live long enough to suffer the negative effect of atherosclerosis caused by fatty foods and diabetes caused by raw sugars.  In fact, there were very few raw sugars available then—perhaps sugar cane—and the rest were found in healthy berries and fruits.  But they did need immediate energy to run away from those saber-tooth tigers!  Then they likely needed salt replacement from all the sweating and stress of a near-death experience.

Let’s take a look at my fabulous young granddaughters.  One is being raised vegetarian, and both of my daughters are very careful to feed their children in as healthy a way as possible.  They love fruit, they love vegetables, live a very healthy lifestyle and do not crave junk food.

On the other hand, they don’t really know about junk food…. yet.

What happens when you introduce a child to cookies, chips and candy?  Remember what their face looked like the first time they tasted ice cream?  Know anyone who nibbles on a Cheeto and then says, “Thanks, one is enough for me”?

I don’t know why God does this.  I don’t think Darwin can fully explain it.  There is just something inexplicably delicious about sugar, salt and fried foods that is not found in Brussel sprouts, cauliflower or kale.

If God could have a do-over, would this be the one?  Maybe, but I think Gallagher was right when he said that noses were designed wrong.  Why put something so drippy upside down above your mouth?

Dirt: Where Does It Go?

In Dr. Seuss’s masterpiece, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, there is a famous scene where, upon draining the bathtub, a long pink ring has formed around the inside of the tub. In the cat’s attempt to clean it up, the pink spot transfers to the children’s mother’s white dress, the wall, their father’s pair of $10 shoes, a rug, their father’s bed, the television, a pan, then finally outside to the snow until all the snow becomes pink. A spectacular feat of magic is finally required to fix the situation.

Fantasy? Not really, except the part where the pink snow is magically changed back to white.

What about dirt? Like the pink bathtub stain, it never really vanishes-it just moves. Perhaps we need to consider dirt (and cleanliness) in a different way.

Think about it- what happens when you clean a spill from the counter? Perhaps you pick it up with a sponge, then wash the sponge in the sink. You’re just putting the spill into the drain and downstream- eventually into the Pacific Ocean, if you happen to live in Los Angeles. Perhaps
you clean it with a paper towel? You’re just transferring it to the garbage- and eventually to the local dump, where it resides for most of eternity. So when we clean our house, what are we really doing? Well, we’re moving as much as we can out of the house- that’s all. To the ocean, or to the dump. You can see where I’m headed with this.

So what’s the deal with dirt? We didn’t create it in the first place, so why do we feel so guilty about it? Think of all the money spent on getting rid of dirt, when in fact we’re only pushing it around. Are we making the world worse by all the things we use to clean?

Sadly, there is no spectacular magic “VOOM” like the Cat used to clean up the snow. We are doomed to simply move dirt-to put it somewhere else. In the Greek myth, Sisyphus, King of Ephyra, was condemned by Zeus to eternally push a boulder uphill. However, as soon as he would reach the top of the hill, the boulder would roll down and Sisyphus had to push it back again.

Perhaps we should relax a bit and stop pushing dirt around so much?

Shallow End or Deep End?

I’ve met and treated a lot of patients in my career, and have come to the conclusion that there are two basic personalities when it comes to decision making.  I compare them with the two options we have when deciding to swim in a cold pool: Shallow End Steppers or Deep End Divers.

The pool is cold—how do we choose to get in?

Most people go in slowly.  Toes first, then feet to the top step.  Get acclimated.  Down to the next step, get acclimated again and continue.  It takes time and patience, but it gets the job done.  That’s a Shallow End Stepper.

A smaller group of individuals find it easier to make the decision, are certain in their choice, and just jump in.  They have weighed the options, know what to expect, and are eager to get on with it.  That’s a Deep End Diver.

You have seen this many times before.  At the beach, most people go in slowly and scream every time the water moves a bit higher.  But a few brave (or reckless) souls run in full throttle, diving under the approaching wave and surfacing with a shout and a shake of their head.  Some kids wiggle a loose baby tooth for days and weeks, not allowing anyone to touch it until the last thread breaks loose and the tooth is out.  Other children (not many) grab and pull that tooth to get it out as quickly as possible- and under the pillow for a Tooth Fairy reward.  In a vaccination line, most of us want to be at the very back, but a few others push to the front to “get it over with.”

Plastic surgery is a very personal choice, and making that final decision to proceed isn’t always that easy.  I notice that most successful business individuals seem to be able to make a quick decision: to move ahead, have the surgery and make plans for their schedules during and after recovery.  Most of us don’t decide quite that easily!

I have also noticed that the “first” decision is often the most difficult.  You don’t know us; you don’t know the temperature of the water.  Familiarity, trust, comfort and great results make it much easier to dive in.

My job, and the job of everyone in my office, is to make the decision making process as stress-free as possible.  We won’t pressure you.  We won’t push you.  If you need to talk with us several times, we are here for you.  Patients who consider future surgeries after knowing us find the water to be much warmer.  We will always respect your pool personality!

On Becoming a Grandparent

Over the past 26 months, my family has doubled. From three single children, my two oldest (daughters) added husbands and this week my oldest gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl!

Coming from a small family with only one sister and her son, there is something very lovely and special about large ones, with giant family gatherings, picnics, outings and vacations. Each of my daughters immediately acquired these extended families with their marriages, and I know they treasure the situation Continue reading “On Becoming a Grandparent”


A palindrome is a word or phrase that is the same backward and forward. Like “dad”, “mom”, “pop”, “Abba”, “kayak”, “deified” and “racecar”.

I like palindromes. There is something very clean and orderly about them. They are the comfort food in the vocabulary supermarket, having symmetry and balance that makes the brain warm and happy.

There are complete books of palindromes. Two favorites are titled, “So Many Dynamos!” and “Sit On a Potato Pan, Otis!” Your head will spin (in Continue reading “Palindromes”