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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Healthy Summer Skin…by Steven Davison M.D.

Summer Sun & Your Skin

Summer Sun and Skin Tips

Let’s review a few basics for protecting your skin during these summer months when BarBQ’s, beach parties, backyard birthday parties, canoeing, kayaking, rafting and many more outside activities…mean more exposure to the sun.

Stay hydrated by drinking lots of pure water. every body requires water.  it is essential to life itself…there is no substitute for pure water.

Summer Sun Protection Review: 

  • Use Sun Screen often and apply generously (ask Nora what to use)
  • Shade does not guarantee protection from the Sun’s UVA/UVB rays…if you are near the ocean…the water reflects the rays even when you are under umbrellas and trees.
  • Wear sunscreen even when in the shade
  • Wear a Hat and Sunglasses
  • Rinse off Saltwater…if you’re at the beach rinse off saltwater often since it is dehydrating (drying)
  • Drink lots of pure water…cooler is better to help reduce body temperature during hot summer days/nights.  Alcohol is dehydrating.
  • Sun Burns do occur and if so…try these tips from a renowned Hollywood Celebrity Aesthetician/SkinCare Professional:
  • Rinse off with cool water to cool the skin
  • Apply Anti-Oxidants to stop free radical damage   (Vit C&E)
  • Gently Apply Aloe Gel or cold yogurt to help cool the skin
  • Let Your Skin Breathe….avoid too frequent moisturizing with creams, lotions containing heavy oils.
  • Don’t Do it again…avoid getting sunburned in the future!

Foods for Healthy Skin…this info comes compliments of the Mayo Clinic and their suggestions for healthier summer skin.  They include:

  • Carrots, apricots…e.g. lots of yellow and orange fruits and vegetables
  • Spinach, Kale…lots of dark green leafy vegetables and salads
  • Tomatoes
  • Blueberries (strong antioxidant properties)
  • Beans, Peas, Lentils (fiber & protein)
  • Salmon, Mackeral and other deep, cold water fish
  • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans…avoid processed, salted and oily nuts.
  • AVOID refined, processed carbohydrates and fatty fats….sugar, baked goods, bleached & bromated grains etc.

JELLYFISH STINGS…Try to avoid coming into contact with Jellyfish…but if you do get stung here’s what to do:  rinse with salt water immediately, remove tentacles with tweezers or wear protective gloves as soon as possible, rinse with white vinegar and apply vinegar compress.  Use aspirin or tylenol for pain if needed. Seek medical help.

The information I’ve given you today goes for men, women and children!  The sun touches everyone, and the foods recommended are good for the entire population.  So, please enjoy your family times…but do take time to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Enjoy Your Summer.

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.

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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