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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

Moisture – for Healthy Winterized Facial/Body Skin

It’s About Moisture…

Cold, dry winter weather can really cause irritation, discomfort and… can age the skin if proper care isn’t taken. You invest in your skin with cosmetic surgery and non invasive procedures, so it is important to take extra care of your skin…especially when the weather is extreme.  Here are some age defying tips to help you keep your skin healthy and feeling great in all kinds of weather!

Conserve Moisture
There are many habits that can strip out the moisture from your skin. This dryness can be painful, itchy and contributes to skin-aging by stripping moisture. So – work on replenishing this lost moisture using a few simple steps:

First…some habits to avoid – and some to do:
….Hot showers or baths removes the natural lubrication and oil on the skin. Although a hot shower always feels good after coming in from the cold, try to keep it short and not too hot.
…..Cleansers and toners, containing harsh ingredients, strip your skin of natural oil. Real sudsy cleansers usually have a surfactant like sodium laurel sulfate, and the acetone in many toners can be too harsh, along with already dry conditions.

…..Use mild cream or gel cleansers and toner with no alcohol this time of year.
Sipping hot coffee and tea is so comforting when it’s cold out, but beware the dehydrating effects they can have. Most people only think to drink lots of water when they’re sweating and hot, but cold, windy air can be just as dehydrating for your skin. So, drink lots of pure water everyday!

Moisture Reinforcement
Not only do you need to be on the defensive when it comes to protecting your skin (during the winter) by not participating in certain drying habits, but you need to be on the offense to add the extra help it needs this time of year. Here are some ways to add moisture reinforcement for your skin:

…..Running the heat in a home strips the air of any moisture -counter this by adding a little water vapor back to your home’s air with a humidifier.
…..Diligently use moisturizer morning and night… your face and hands are most exposed to the elements, but don’t neglect the rest of your body.
…..Exfoliate gently to remove the dull dead skin build up … then you must moisturize that fresh new skin to keep it healthy and glowing.
…..Continue using sunscreen. Snow can actually reflect up to 80 percent UV rays. As skiers and snow sports enthusiasts know, you can get a sunburn in the winter.
…..Eat foods that encourage your skins moisture retention... rich in essential fatty acids like salmon and other “healthy fats” found in avocados and coconut oil.

I hope these tips help you save your skin this winter. We also offer medical grade, physician prescribed skincare, SkinMedica, which effectively addresses many skin issues and is essential for healthy skin maintenance. Stop by our office or visit our website www.davinciplastic.com to learn more.

Steven Davison, M.D.

Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Washington D.C.