Dr. Lisa Chipps is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon who specializes in Mohs micrographic skin cancer surgery, having received awards for her research in skin cancer. After completing her residency, Dr. Chipps completed a two-year fellowship in procedural dermatology, Mohs micrographic surgery, and cosmetic surgery with Dr. Ronald Moy at UCLA, with whom she later co-founded the Moy-Fincher-Chipps practice in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Chipps has a special interest in skin cancer education and prevention, and regularly volunteers for free skin cancer screenings through the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the Skin Cancer Foundation. In addition to her volunteer efforts, Dr. Chipps is an active member of numerous medical societies, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the American College of Mohs Surgery.
Tell us a bit about your history—why dermatology and dermatologic surgery?
Dermatologic surgery, and dermatology in general, is an extremely rewarding field. I see a wide range of patients with a diverse spectrum of skin concerns. In my specialty, I am able to achieve very visible, tangible results for my patients, which is very gratifying. My goal for every patient is the same: that they leave with healthy, beautiful skin and a renewed sense of confidence.
What treatments and procedures do you consider your specialties?
As a dermatologic and cosmetic surgeon, my specialty is the combination of non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures that deal with the skin. By pooling the benefits of lasers, fillers, and fat transfer with more traditional surgical procedures, such as facelifts or eye lifts, I am able to give patients optimal aesthetic results with less risk and minimal downtime.
What is your personal skincare and beauty philosophy?
Less is more. Skincare should be simple. By resolving to take good care of your body, your health, and your skin, you are already making enormous strides toward your outward appearance. I normally recommend a three prong regimen for beautiful skin. This consists of a gentle cleanser, a topical retinoid, and an effective sunscreen. For most individuals, this is all that is needed to maintain healthy skin. If a patient has more specific issues, those can usually be dealt with easily using tailored product regimens. With each of the treatments I administer, I aim to help each patient obtain their ideal complexion, even without makeup.
You have a special interest in skin cancer education and prevention. Do you have any specific tips or advice for our readers?
Education is the key to prevention, and prevention is the key for healthy, youthful-looking skin. The biggest tip I can give is to protect skin from ultraviolet radiation every day—not just on sunny days. Also, steer clear of tanning booths and sunbathing, which can be particularly damaging and dangerous. Furthermore, when applying sunscreen daily, don’t just protect your face; also remember your scalp, ears, lips, hands, neck, and any other areas likely to be exposed. Keep small sized sunscreens in convenient places (e.g. purse, car, stroller, gym bag) just in case you are blessed with a little bit of unexpected outdoor time.
Another important way to prevent the development of skin cancer is by routinely checking your skin for new or changing moles or abnormal marks. Try and do this once a month, and if you can, enlist the help of a loved one. On top of your own routine skin checks, you should also make it a point to visit a dermatologist annually for a complete skin exam, and sooner if you notice anything suspicious.
Are there any advances in the field that you are particularly excited about?
Dermatology is an exciting field because there are always new technologies and products in the pipelines. Our specialty is responsible for developing lasers, chemical peels, liposuction, Botox, fillers, and many other now commonplace aesthetic treatments. In particular, I am always excited about new laser technology since it is such an effective and low risk skincare solution. Additionally, I am enthusiastic about new ways we can use our own cells (such as stem cells and fibroblasts) to regenerate our skin and solve a huge cross section of skin concerns in an advanced way.
What comes next for you?
Professionally, I plan to continue providing excellent care for my patients, whether it is for skin cancers or just general health and beauty. On a more personal level, I am looking forward to welcoming my third child this spring.