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Posts Tagged ‘Skin Cancer Screening’

Summer Skincare Tips

Summer is in full swing. Personally, summer means heading to the beach, lake or any body of water to relax as fast as I possibly can. If you’re anything like me, tanning is a summer activity I look forward to‒what can I say? I love the summer glow. Unfortunately, with the warm weather and cloudless skies my skin is at a greater risk for sun damage. I’m not alone‒whatever your plans are this summer, chances are your skin is at risk too.

The sun emits UV rays, which can negatively impact your skin by accelerating the aging process, creating sunspots and burning the surface of your skin (and we all know how painful that can be). Driving, biking, swimming, running and even walking outside without the proper protection can leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage.

Don’t worry, I’m not here to scare you and tell you to never leave the house again. I am here to share Cooper Spa Dallas’ recommendations to prevent skin damage this summer while still maintaining healthy and glowing summer skin.

Sunscreen

A tale as old as time. “Don’t forget sunscreen,” the phrase I heard from the moment I packed my bags for the beach as a kid to my senior year in college‒it’s physically impossible for me to forget sunscreen now. Although it’s a simple answer, the key is being able to apply it correctly.

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Cooper Spa Dallas recommends wearing sunscreen with SPF 30-50 when in the sun, and reapplying it ever 2-4 hours following your first coat (as well as our Cooper Board Certified Dermatologist). When applying, make sure to use approximately two tablespoons worth of sunscreen on your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.

The key to full protection lies in the application of the sunscreen, making sure to fully cover your face, from your hairlines to your ears and lips. Follow these suggestions and your risk of sun damage this summer will plummet.

Self-Tanner

The desire to attain the perfect summer tan is a trend that has been around for decades and self-tanner is changing the game. For some, tanning is a summer ritual, laying out with music, friends or even a good read. While tanning leaves a temporary summer glow, it also leaves lasting skin damage.

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Self-tanner gives you the glow you’ve been searching for without the harmful effects of UVA and UVB. UVA rays play a part in actively aging the skin while UVB rays burn the skin and cause skin cancer. Self-tanning is a healthy alternative to lathering yourself in tanning oil and baking in the sun.

SkinScopeLED

Cooper Spa Dallas recommends having an evaluation of your skin and current sun damage. Cooper Spa uses SkinScopeLED technology to take an in-depth look into the current state of your skin, pinpointing sun damage and giving you recommendations on how to better prevent further damage.

Having a SkinScopeLED evaluation is a unique way to understand the state of your skin and how to prevent future damage. Our Cooper Clinic Dermatology offers head-to-toe skin cancer screenings. Learning how to take better care of your skin to prevent disease is important to your health and quality of life, make sure that you know how.

Blog provided by Afton Guedea, Cooper Aerobics Marketing intern and Student at the University of Oklahoma.

Skin Cancer Screening at Cooper Clinic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that one in five adults will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. That should be powerful enough to have an annual screening and that’s why it’s is a vital component to the Cooper Clinic Comprehensive Exam. Read about the first four (of six) components to get caught up!

  1. Medical Exam & Counseling
  2. Laboratory Analysis
  3. Cardiovascular Screening
  4. Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) Scan
  5. Skin Cancer Screening
  6. Nutrition Consultation

While beauty is more than skin deep, we must not neglect our skin—the body’s largest organ. Our skin provides an important barrier and immune protection plus hydration and vitamin-producing functions. A skin cancer screening identifies potential problems before they affect your health. Our board-certified dermatologists perform a meticulous screening for cancers, pre-cancers and atypical moles. With the physician you will also discuss information regarding your past sun exposure, sun protection measures and family history of skin cancer.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are many different types of skin cancer: actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell are the most common forms of skin cancer and if caught early and treated successfully, the cure rate is about 95 percent.

Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer. According to the CDC, in 2010, 61,061 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin and 9,154 people died from it.

You are at higher risk for developing melanoma if you have been a frequent user of tanning beds, have a family history of melanoma, have atypical moles or lots of typical moles.

When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. As is the case with most cancers, patients who have melanoma detected at an earlier stage have improved survival.

Melanomas can occur anywhere on the skin surface but are frequently located on the back and other areas that may be easy to miss with self-inspection. Screening examination of the total skin surface can increase the likelihood of detecting melanoma six-fold compared with partial examination. That is why a head to toe (and between the toes!) examination is very important. Did you know that melanoma can develop in the eye? When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Symptoms of Melanoma
The most important warning sign for melanoma is a new spot on the skin or a spot that is changing in size, shape or color. The ABCDE rule is a guide for self-examination. Between your annual exams, be aware of the symptoms and contact your physician if you find a spot with any of the following features:

A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.

D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.

E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.

The AAD recommends that persons at highest risk perform frequent self-examination and seek professional evaluation of the skin at least once per year. Cooper Clinic board-certified dermatologists Dr. Rick Wilson, Dr. Flora Kim and Dr. Helen Kaporis can help you protect the health of your skin with preventive dermatology services.

To learn more about a preventive exam at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 866.906.2667 (COOP). Stay tuned for the last component of the exam, nutrition consultation.

Sunscreen Guide 2014

April 18, 2014 1 comment

Skin cancer is caused primarily by unprotected exposure to the sun, meaning it’s often preventable with sunscreen and clothing which protect the skin from too much exposure to the sun. Although sunscreen is readily available, skin cancer rates continue to climb. Why?

Until recently, there were no real standards for how sunscreen manufacturers labeled their products. Experts are hopeful that new labeling guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will help reduce the incidents of skin cancer in the U.S.

Cooper Clinic Preventive and Cosmetic Dermatologist Flora Kim, MD, FAAD, explains the new FDA guidelines and how to properly use sunscreen to reduce risk of skin cancer.

New FDA Guidelines

New FDA guidelines are intended to make it easier for consumers to know how much protection a particular sunscreen does or does not provide. The use of the label “broad spectrum protection” means the sunscreen has been proven to protect against both UVA and UVB rays (although UVA protection might me weaker than UVB protection). In the past, a sunscreen could be labeled as “broad spectrum” even if it only protected against UVB rays.

When it comes to SPF, any sunscreen lower than SPF 15 must be clearly labeled that it will not protect against skin cancer, but will only prevent sunburn. Sunscreen with an SPF over 15 that is labeled as “broad spectrum” can be labeled as preventing sunburn, skin cancer and aging due to the sun.

Any sunscreen over SPF 50 will now be labeled as SPF 50+, as there is speculation that an SPF higher than 50 is not actually more effective. Additionally, people may be more likely to apply sunscreen with an SPF over 50 less frequently because they think it provides more protection, when in fact, it does not.

Manufacturers are no longer allowed to use words like “waterproof,” “sweatproof” or “sunblock” as these terms are misleading. What you might on sunscreen labels instead is “water-resistant” with a time limit of 40 or 80 minutes before the sunscreen becomes ineffective.

It is important to know that these new FDA guidelines are still in the process of becoming completely enforced, as it takes time for manufacturers to submit required documentation to change labeling. It is always important to read the label of any sunscreen product you are considering.

Recommendations for Sunscreen Use

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends wearing an SPF of 30 or higher every day, not only when you are lying out by the pool or on the beach. The sun’s rays can still be damaging, even on a cloudy day.

Most people do not put on enough sunscreen. In fact, according to the AAD, most people only apply about 25 to 50 percent of what they should put on to be fully protected. As a general guideline, you should generously apply one ounce to all areas of the skin that will be exposed to the sun.

Sunscreen should be applied to dry skin 15 minutes before you go outside and reapplied every two hours, or after swimming or heavy sweating.

For more guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology, click here.

What About Makeup and Moisturizers?

Some cosmetic products and moisturizers do contain a small amount of SPF, but if you are trying to protect yourself from sun damage or skin cancer that will not be sufficient protection. Dr. Kim recommends an application of dedicated sunscreen underneath your moisturizer and makeup rather than relying on the SPF of your cosmetic products.

Ultimately, you must remember that no sunscreen is perfect. Wearing long sleeves and a hat and staying in the shade as much as possible are also important precautions to take to prevent sun damage or potentially deadly skin cancer.

For more information about cosmetic and preventive dermatology at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 972.367.6000.