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Caring for Your Skin, After Sun & Surgery

Taking care of your skin is crucial for effective healing after sun exposure and after surgery success. Summer months mean that skin damage from sun exposure is at its height. As summer comes to a close, it’s time to check your skin because detecting melanoma as early as possible makes it treatable. It is the deadliest cancer, but it doesn’t have to be if it it’s caught early. Regular self checking is a key part of immediate diagnosis is to do a regular self check.

AFTER SUN

What are you looking for? You’re at higher risk for melanoma if you’ve been sunburned frequently, have fair skin or a large amount of moles, live in a tropical or have a family history of melanoma. When you’re self checking, there’s a common acronym to help us remember what to look for. This is called the ABCDEs of warning signs for melanoma. This stands for:

  • Asymmetry: draw an imaginary line through the middle and it should look the same on both sides
  • Border irregularity: ragged or blurred, undefined edges
  • Color changes: a variety of colors within the same spot or mole
  • Diameter: greater than .25 inch (6 millimeters)
  • Evolving: changes over time

Where should you look? Important to look from head to toe, back and front. Using the angles from a hand mirror and a wall mirror to see the harder parts of the body from behind, literally start with the top of your scalp, especially if you haven’t worn hats to protect your head or have fine, thinning hair. Then move downward, examining the face, neck, shoulders, underarms, chest, torso, arms, hands, and nail beds. When checking the lower body, its easier to sit down, but don’t forget to check your buttocks, especially if you wear brazilian or thong bikinis. Look over your legs and feet, even the heels, soles of the feet and toenail beds.

 

AFTER SURGERY

What extra steps should I take? Whether your cosmetic procedure is invasive or non invasive, you should take some special care of your skin to promote healing and longevity of the effects of the procedure. Here are some simple tips to care for your skin after a cosmetic treatment:

  • Follow physicians directions. Each procedure has a unique protocol for optimal healing. This may include salves and the herbal supplement or cream version of Arnica Montana to reduce bruising.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is good practice in general, but will help flush the area of toxins and empower healing. Avoiding alcohol and other dehydrating beverages so you don’t work against your natural healing processes.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. The skin is more vulnerable after a procedure. UV rays darken scars and this is what you want to prevent, so stay out of the sun.
  • Leave the recovery site alone. This means no picking or poking of the area. Disturbing the area could cause infection or unwanted scarring.
  • Use gentle skin care products. Make the extra effort during this time to pamper your skin while it’s healing. Use only mild, no fragrance skincare.

Help me to help you have beautiful, youthful skin by taking these precautions. From beginning to end, I look forward to helping you in the rejuvenation process. To schedule your consultation, visit www.davinciplastic.com.

Steven Davison M.D.

Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

SKIN CANCER PROTECTION and PREVENTION

Summer is on its way and people will get more exposure to the suns rays than any other time of year. We’ve all heard the word of caution about too much sun causing skin cancer, but specifically it’s the Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure that is overwhelmingly the most frequent cause of skin cancer.

Since May is Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month, and skin cancer affects more than 1 million people in the United States each year, I thought I’d dedicate some time to the topic.

Skin Cancer Causes

Other than frequent, unprotected sun exposure, some significant causes of skin cancer include:
– The frequent use of tanning booths, which, like the sun, expose the skin to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
– Immune system compromise, which impairs the body’s ability to fight disease. A suppressed immune system affects the ability of the body to regenerate and repair at the cellular level.

– Ways to improve the immune system are to stress less and laugh more, drink more water and less alcohol, eat antioxidant rich foods rather than empty calories and sugar, as well as take a probiotic to promote beneficial gut flora.
– Regular exposure to electromagnetic wave of high energy and very short wavelength, such as Xrays.

– And exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic and those in tar, oils and soot.

 

People with Greater Risk
Besides outside environmental factors, certain people are predisposed to skin cancer. These are characteristics of people who are at greater risk:
Fair skin that burns easily from the sun exposure and freckles easily
Blond or redheads with blue or green eyes
Depleted skin pigmentation, such as from certain genetic disorders like albinism and xeroderma pigmentosum.
Previous cancer or close family members who have had skin cancer
Birthmark or a large mole, or numerous moles and unusual moles that developed later in life
Experienced a severe sunburn in childhood

“ABCD’s” of Cancer Detection
– Asymmetry: one side not looking like the other
– Border irregularity: rough, jagged or bumpy edges
– Color: mixture of black, tan, brown, blue, red, or white
– Diameter: larger than the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm across) or noticeable increase in size

 

Kinds of Skin Cancer
The skin is the largest organ in the body and skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. There are three major kinds of skin cancer:
– Melanoma,
– Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
– Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Melanoma is actually the most frequent cancer in people age 25 to 29 years. About a third of all melanoma are diagnosed before the age of 50, although most skin cancers are diagnosed between 50 and 75 years old. Squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas, which are the vast majority of skin cancers, are more common in older people. Unlike the Melanomas, the BCCs or SCC usually do not spread to other parts of the body.

Prevention
It is important to self check using the “ABCD’s” and to regularly be checked by a dermatologist. A doctor can send away a biopsy of a questionable mole or marking to tell if it’s cancerous. Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer. This is one of the main reasons why I recommend safeguarding yourself when you enjoy the beautiful weather with sunscreen, protective clothing, sunglasses and a hat.

Prevention and early detection are key with skin cancer. Enjoy the beautiful summer weather, but please do so safely. If you have any more questions, please consult your dermatologist.

Steven Davison M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safe Sun Protection, part 1

Since I recently talked about skin cancer, I thought I should elaborate on the topic a little more, especially prevention. There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about the sun and sunscreen.

20 Minutes
When I recommend people to limit sun exposure, I don’t mean to completely avoid it. I recommend protecting yourself from getting too much sun and especially to avoid letting your skin burn. The ideal amount is about 20 minutes every day, but not in the heat of the day (10am to 2pm) when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
Benefits of the Sun
Why 20 minutes? This is the average amount of time in the sun that our body needs to naturally generate a sufficient amount of Vitamin D3, which has many benefits for the body physically and emotionally.

Research on Vitamin D3 has demonstrated its ability to:
…naturally fight cancer
…boost the immune system
…improve mood

Dangers from the Sun
While there are benefits from the sun, there are also dangers. The long term negative effects predominantly come from the ability of the sun’s UV radiation to damage cellular DNA. This leads to genetic mutation and cellular malfunction that causes premature aging, and ultimately can cause cancer. As our understanding has increased we’ve learned that we need to protect our skin from both the sun’s longer ultraviolet A (UVA) and shorter ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

The Long (UVA) and Short (UVB) of It
While UVA rays are longer and less intense than UVB, we are exposed to more throughout our lifetimes because they are equally present during all daylight hours throughout the year. UVA can also penetrate clouds and, unlike UVB, can go through glass. This is why it’s important to consider sun protection even when you’re not at the beach or pool.

It has been thought that while both play a major part in skin aging, UVB has been the main contributor to skin cancer. UVB is the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, affecting mostly the superficial layers of skin. But even though UVB has a more concentrated negative effect, UVA causes cumulative damage over years and years, which may also initiate the development of skin cancer. Most skin cancers occur in the basal layer of the epidermis and studies have shown UVA damages cells in this layer, as well.
Bottom line is that while the sun provides wonderful health benefits, we still need to take precautions to only receive its benefits and not its damaging effects. In my next blog, I’ll continue the subject and talk about how to protect yourself, including helpful clothing, sunscreen and diet tips.
If you’d like more information on rejuvenating your skin, visit www.davinciplastic.com.

Steven Davison M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention

Summer is on its way and people will get more exposure to the suns’ rays than any other time of year. We’ve all heard the word of caution about too much sun causing skin cancer, but specifically it’s the Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure that is overwhelmingly the most frequent cause of skin cancer. Since May is Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month, and skin cancer affects more than 1 million people in the United States each year, I thought I’d dedicate some time to the topic.

Skin Cancer Causes
Other than frequent, unprotected sun exposure, some significant causes of skin cancer include:
1.  The frequent use of tanning booths, which, like the sun, expose the skin to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
2.  Immune system compromise, which impairs the body’s ability to fight disease. A suppressed immune system affects the ability of the body to regenerate and repair at the cellular level. Ways to improve the immune system are to stress less and laugh more, drink more water and less alcohol, eat antioxidant rich foods rather than empty calories and sugar, as well as take a probiotic to promote beneficial gut flora.
3.  Regular exposure to electromagnetic wave of high energy and very short wavelength, such as Xrays. And exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic and those in tar, oils and soot.

People with Greater Risk
– Besides outside environmental factors, certain people are predisposed to skin cancer. These are the characteristics of the people who are at greater risk:
Fair skin that burns easily from the sun exposure and freckles easily
Blond or redheads with blue or green eyes
Depleted skin pigmentation, such as from certain genetic disorders like albinism and xeroderma pigmentosum.
Previous cancer or close family members who have had skin cancer
Birthmark of a large mole, or numerous moles and unusual moles that developed later in life
– Experienced a severe sunburn in childhood

“ABCD’s” of Cancer Detection
1.  Asymmetry: one side not looking like the other
2.  Border irregularity: rough, jagged or bumpy edges
3.  Color: mixture of black, tan, brown, blue, red, or white
4.  Diameter: larger than the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm across) or noticeable increase in size

Kinds of Skin Cancer
The skin is the largest organ in the body and skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. There are three major kinds of skin cancer:
Melanoma,
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Melanoma is actually the most frequent cancer in people age 25 to 29 years. About a third of all melanoma are diagnosed before the age of 50, although most skin cancers are diagnosed between 50 and 75 years old. Squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas, which are the vast majority of skin cancers, are more common in older people. Unlike the Melanomas, the BCCs or SCC usually do not spread to other parts of the body.

Prevention
It is important to self check using the “ABCD’s” and to regularly be checked by a dermatologist.

A doctor can send away a biopsy of a questionable mole or marking to tell if it’s cancerous.

Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer. This is one of the main reasons why I recommend safeguarding yourself when you enjoy the beautiful weather with sunscreen, protective clothing, sunglasses and a hat.

Prevention and early detection are key with skin cancer. Enjoy the beautiful summer weather, but please do so safely. If you have any more questions, please consult your dermatologist.

Steven Davison M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

 

 

Obagi for Beautiful, Healthy Skin…Summertime and all the time!


By now you’re fully aware of all the effects the sun has on our skin.  
I’ve written a couple blogs on skin cancer and also summer sun protection. (see previous blogs)  It is possible to have healthy, beautiful skin all the time…and skin cancer can be avoided if correct protective measures are faithfully used.  That said,  today I want to update you on one of the best, healthiest skin care products in the world.

Obagi…nothing works like Obagi because nothing else is Obagi

We offer Obagi products through our med spa because put simply they work, every time, all the time and are the best I’ve found to help patients restore and rejuvenate their skin. And, patients, once using them, claim them for life.  Obagi is for all ages…all skin types and ethnicities and, it maintains beautiful healthy skin for a lifetime.

Obagi was recently voted the premier sunscreen product by SELF magazine after a group of over 2200 users responded overwhelmingly in favor of the results they got.

Full Range of Products…because no two skins are identical

Obagi is a physician directed skincare program that can be started at any age and used for life.  It works at the “cellular” level causing your skin to look and act healthier and younger. In other words, Obagi works from the “inside out” to correct and build healthy skin. Here are some of the ways it works to accomplish that:

  • Obagi restores healthy cell function to transform your skin
  • It corrects signs of aging and helps prevent future damage
  • Obagi is pharmaceutical grade, physician directed to assure safety and success
  • Obagi has proven time, and time again…that it works regardless of skin type or age
  • We “tailor” a program to suit your individual needs…because no one process works for every face
  • Obagi offers several SunScreen formulas…for even the most sensitive skin
  • Ask Nora about our Obagi line…and get started right away!

Why Obagi SunScreen Products?

Sun damage is cumulative over the years and results in uneven pigmentation, sagging skin, wrinkles or sometimes skin cancer.  Skin cancer is preventable with the proper precautions used faithfully and the right products. Doing this you can enjoy the sun without the burn.  Consider this:

  • Use broad spectrum coverage to reduce exposure to both UVA and UVB rays…Obagi has you covered here.
  • Obagi is not just another sunscreen.  It’s non greasy, penetrates quickly, goes on sheer and elegant and keeps you protected.
  • With SPF formulas ranging from 30 up to 50…Obagi’s sunscreen is safe and comfortable for the most sensitive skin, those with rosacea, those with oily skin and more.
  • The formulas go on easily, absorb beautifully and protect even during the hottest summer heat.  Nu Derm SunShield SPF 50 is like an elegant matte finish.
  • Because your skin is unique Obagi has covered all the skin types.

To learn more about this amazing product, call Nora and reserve your supply.  Read more about all Obagi products at https://www.davinciplastic.com

Obagi revitalizes, enhances, maintains beautiful, healthy skin for life!

Enough said about the sun…come on in and let’s design your healthy skin regimen.

Steven Davison, M.D.

At DAVinci…I combine the supreme elements of art and surgical science.

MELANOMA SKIN CANCER Information from Dr. Steven Davison

SCREENING & PROTECTION INFORMATION  from Dr. Steven Davison

Here are a few more tips on Melanoma…since May is National Skin Cancer awareness month.  See my last blog for detailed information on the three types of skin cancer and most critically… melanoma skin cancer.

SCREENING:  Melanoma can be deadly but is treatable with immediate diagnosis and early treatment.  After Melanoma spreads to the lymph nodes, the 5 year survival rate possible with treatment, drops to 62% and 15% respectively.

You can self-screen to check for skin cancers or you can see a dermatologist or sign up for a “free” cancer screening.  They are offered frequently around the country.

SELF CHECK for MELANOMA:

Use these steps:

1) STAND UP & look into the mirror & examine your head, scalp, face, neck, chest, torso, (women under the breasts), hands, nails, elbows, arms and underarms.

2) SIT DOWN & check your legs, feet, soles, heels & toenails.  Use a HAND MIRROR to check genitals.

3) STAND UP & use a HAND MIRROR to inspect the back of neck, shoulders, upper arms, back, buttocks & legs.

REDUCE YOUR RISK:  We cannot completely avoid sun exposure, but there are ways to reduce the risk from exposure.

COVER UP…Wear cool, clothing that covers your body.  Dark colors block more UV rays than light colors.

WEAR A HAT…Wear a wide brim hat when out in the sun. It should cover your ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.  A baseball cap is better than nothing.

SUNGLASSES… invest in good glasses that block UV rays.  They should block 99 t0 100% of UVA & UVB rays.

SUNSCREEN…LOTS OF IT!  Get it, use it liberally and apply it often…at least every 2 hours when in the sun.

***Ask Nora about our sunscreen products.

If you have any questions or concerns, call me and we’ll address them right away.

Dr. Steven Davison

At DAVinci…I combine the supreme elements of art & surgical science.

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month…Helpful Info from Dr. Steven Davison

May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection/Prevention Month…Early Detection Increases Chances for Survival

One in every five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime and every hour…one person in America dies from skin cancer.  Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and it is preventable/treatable.

May has been designated as National Skin Cancer Awareness month by several organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, Skin Cancer Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Dermatology.  I won’t belabor the facts…just want to remind you of them and offer some helpful and important tips for skin cancer prevention.

Review of Skin Cancer Facts

-During the month of May we try to raise the public awareness of the importance of prevention, early detection and immediate treatment of skin cancer.

They are:  1) basal cell, 2) squamous cell 3) melanoma.

-More than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually in more than 2 million people.

-Melanoma (unlike other cancers) has a wide age distribution…it occurs in young people & seniors.

-Rates of occurrence increase with age- they are highest among 80 years olds.

-One bad burn during childhood doubles the risk for getting melanoma skin cancer later in life.

-Skin cancer is the most deadly for African Americans, Asians & Latinos.

RISK FACTORS

Everyone is at risk…but some people with certain factors are more likely than others to develop skin cancer.  The risks include:

Lighter natural color skin

Family history of skin cancer

Personal history of skin cancer

Exposure to the sun through work & play

History of sunburns early in life

Skin that burns easily freckles, reddens easily or becomes painful in the sun

Blue or Green eyes

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PROTECTION/PREVENTION

1.  AVOID the sun between 10am and 2pm…this is the when the rays are at their peak

2.  Damage occurs all day long…so be wise and use sunscreen or sunblock

3.  Take more precautions when it is hot, humid and windy as these conditions enhance harmful effects of   UV rays

4.  Cloudy days are dangerous days…we tend to be out more, longer and use less protection.  Understand that UV Rays pierce the clouds and cause serious damage (burns)

5.  TANS are NOT healthy!  No tan, whether from sun exposure or tanning beds, is healthy.  The darkened skin is merely a protective measure (performed by your skin).  It provides only minimal levels of protection and does not cancel out the need for using other sun protective methods.

6.  Short Term Symptoms of over exposure include: blistering, peeling, tanning

7.  Long Term Symptoms= increased risk for skin cancer along with dry, wrinkled skin.

Early diagnosis & immediate treatment of melanoma cancer can mean the difference between life and death.

Please read and heed this important information.

Ask us to recommend top of the line products to protect your precious skin…and allow you to enjoy your fun in the sun.

Dr. Steven Davison

At DAVinci…I combine the supreme elements of art & surgical science.

Schedule Your Consultation With Dr. Davison

The initial consultation with your surgeon is critical! It should always be face to face with your surgeon during which time he/she listens closely to your concerns. Dr. Davison believes this time spent with you is critical to both you and to him. It is during the consultation that he comes to fully understand your concerns, evaluates them correctly and is then able to make the recommendations and develop the treatment plan thats right for you. Dr. Davison invests the time to sit down and talk to you face-to-face.

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3301 New Mexico Ave. Suite 236

Washington D.C.