Though it's not something I typically do, after trying Theraderm products in August 2007, I just had to speak with the maker himself - James Beckman, M.D., board certified plastic surgeon and chemist, and founder and CEO of Therapon, Inc. His willingness to share each of his products' purposes and ingredients with a complete stranger at the time, for the love of skin, was impressive to say the least. It's been such a pleasure getting to know Dr. Beckman over the last nine months. And I certainly look forward to meeting him in person this summer when I hit the road traveling.

drbeckmanIt's no surprise that I am one of Dr. Beckman's biggest fans. Honestly, the products speak for themselves. However, Dr. Beckman is much more than the name behind Therapon. In fact, the creation of Therapon was out of pure passion for his patients while practicing plastic and reconstructive surgery. You, too, will come to know the brilliant, caring and generous man that I know.

After graduating from medical school at the University of Arkansas in 1970, Dr. Beckman began his residency in surgery. He started with a six-month rotation in the medical center’s burn clinic, where he spent a lot of time performing skin grafts to heal burns. He soon came to understand the difficulties in skin recovery. After speaking with his professors in residency, he had a pharmacist mix up equal parts of cocoa butter, cold cream and lanolin to improve function of grafted skin in his patients after surgery. He discovered that lanolin naturally restored dermal pliability as it is from animal sources rather than the vegetable or mineral oils found in common moisturizers.

In 1977, Dr. Beckman began practicing general plastic surgery after his plastic surgery training at the University of Tennessee. Most of his cases involved burns, hand injuries, congenital cleft lips and mastectomy reconstruction. Originally, certification to practice this type of work required completing both medical school and dental school, general surgery residency and then two additional years of training in plastic surgery. This specialty originated to care for soldiers' disfiguring facial wounds. However, after WWII, dental school was dropped as a requirement for certification in plastic and reconstructive surgery, but full training in general surgery and plastic surgery is still mandatory.

may2007specialmedium.thumbnailAfter studying a focus group on lactic acid (comprised of 1000 patients each within three groups), Dr. Beckman made his cocoa butter/cold cream/lanolin formulation lighter in weight and texture and added lactic acid to provide maximum benefit, allowing the moisturizer to penetrate the skin better. Ironically, Dr. Beckman found himself writing prescriptions for his concoction almost daily for his patients and for other plastic surgeons' patients. Out of passion to solve problems, Therapon was formed. He started with two products and gradually added more only as they fit a need. For example, when Theraderm Platinum Protection was developed, only the best ingredients made the cut in order to protect skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

eternoxdetailsoverWith the onset of Botox, Juvederm and other fillers, Dr. Beckman created his Eternox products, which cause skin to plump on its own and regrow collagen from its own source. And it started with his friend, Dr. R.A. Smith. The only skin care product company in the world using the exact ingredient developed by Dr. Smith (a former resident with Dr. Beckman), is Therapon. This ingredient (soluble keratin peptides) in the Eternox fomulas was shown in a study to reduce wrinkles by 40% in 12 weeks, used twice daily.

Here's what you don't know about Dr. Beckman. He is a chemist. To this day, he still buys a new book every month on biochemistry for research purposes. Dr. Beckman's approach has always been to find out what is causing the problem in order to create a solution. He is driven by formulas that perform so that others may benefit from the best possible skin care. Dr. Beckman is a turkey hunter. He enjoys the outdoors with his wife, family and friends. Dr. Beckman is a missionary. He often visits third world countries to help educate others on better skin care practices. And Dr. Beckman has presented papers, been an invited speaker, and served on skin care/resurfacing panels at national and regional plastic surgery meetings.

You may ask yourself, what can't this man do? I know, I've wondered the same thing. After serving in private practice for over 24 years, Dr. Beckman now devotes his time to the research for better skin care products and the company he created. And our skin's health is very thankful for that.

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