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As Summer comes to end a visit to your dermatologist is recommend. Having a whole body check is imperative for healthy skin. Skin cancer can be avoided and prevented and early detection is crucial.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are many types of skin cancer but the three we hear the most about are Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and Melanoma. To the naked eye these can all look similar which is why it is imperative to see your Dermatologist once a year for a full body scan. If you notice something different or new on your body go see your doctor. All of these skin cancers can be cured or treated if detected early. SCC (in rare cases) and Melanoma more frequently can cause death if they grow and spread. Learn the symptoms and get checked. Most likely anything you find is in very early stages and is easily treatable. Knowledge is your greatest weapon.

1. Basal Cell Carcinoma

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  • Found in outer most layers of the skin
  • Can be disfiguring if allowed to grow
  • Very rarely metastasizes (spreads)
  •  Most common form of cancer

Symptoms/Warning Signs

  • Open sore that bleeds
  • Red patch (can be mistaken for rosacea)
  • Shiny bump
  • Pink growth-can be elevated with a depression in the middle
  • Scar like looking area that can be void of color and looks stretched and shiny

2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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  • Found in upper layers of skin
  • Can cause disfigurement if allowed to grow
  • Can cause death if allowed to grow (although very rare)
  • Grow deeper into the skin than BCC
  • Usually found on face, ears, lips, neck and tops of the hands

Symptoms/Warning Signs

  • Thick and rough sore
  • Scaly red sore
  • Red patch/crusty/bleeds
  • Sore with irregular boarders and crust
  • Can be brown/darker than BCC
  • Can look like a wart
  • Can be elevated with depression in middle

3. Melanoma

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  • Caused by mutation of cells found in the pigment of moles and freckles.
  • DNA is mutated due to UV exposure or predisposition
  • Can cause death
  • Can return once treated
  • Can develop without having had over UV exposure or sunburn
  • Can spread fast

Symptoms/Warning Signs

  • Asymmetry
  • Changes in size or color(pigment) of an existing mole
  • Uneven boarders of a mole
  • Can be black in color or brown
  • Can be pink in color or multi-colored
  • Diameter can be large but not necessary
  • Cancer can show up in places we may not always think to check. Seeing your Dermatologist once a year can put your mind at ease and possibly save your life.

A few areas skin cancer can show up are the following:

  • Moles – look for change is size, color or shape
  • Nail beds
  • Scalp
  • Soles of feet
  • Palms of the hands

Protection and prevention are the greatest tools for staying healthy and skin cancer free. Always remember if something looks or feels different or abnormal see your Dermatologist.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; so don’t take yours for granted. Proper sun care includes protecting the eyes with sunglasses and proper products. Not only can the delicate eye tissue of the upper and lower lids get sunburned but the actual eye cells can be damaged from years of overexposure to UV rays. Below Dr. G suggests a few solutions for keep the eyes youthful looking and safe.

photo via @margoandme

Dr. G recommends:

Sunglasses

  • The bigger and darker the better
  • Sunglasses should cover the entire eye- think Jackie O!
  • The darker the lens the more protection
  • Wrap around shades if exercising or working in direct sun

SPF

  • Eye tissue is 15% thinner than facial skin-protect it!
  • SPF must be worn around the eye area
  • 10% of skin cancers are around the eye area
  • Crows feet love sun damaged skin

After sun products

The kiddies

  • Children have larger pupils than adults which allows more sun in
  • Encourage hats
  • Choose a clean SPF and apply everywhere
  • Encourage kids to wear sunglasses (Velcro wrap around glasses)
  • Goggles in the water as eye can be susceptible to UV rays off the water reflection

 

Dry and arid desert climates consistently get ranked amongst the worst to live in for the condition of one’s skin. In addition to lifestyle choices like, wearing a hat, sunglasses and sun protective clothing, proper skincare regimen is highly effective in protecting against the issues that arise from this type of environment.

The Issues:

Dry climates dehydrate skin and can invite early onset of wrinkles. With intense sun and high heat, the skin has nowhere to hide. The more sun exposure you have, the more damage you’re doing to your skin. Replenishing hydration and sun protection is extremely important in this type of climate.

The Solutions:

Chose an exfoliation product that targets dead skin cell removal, sun damage and hyper pigmentation. Chemical exfoliators and enzymatic peels target all. Look for Lactic acid (found in Fresh A Peel) as the main active as it actually draws moisture to the surface of the skin, thus preventing additional dehydration and dryness.

Because skin is so prone to dryness in these types of environments, Dr. Goldfaden recommends using anti-aging serums and super hydrating moisturizer. Ingredients such as CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Retinol keep skin tone tight and toned, while African botanic oils, Baobob, Kalahari and Mongongo deliver Omega fatty acids for extreme hydration.

Always protect the face and body with sunscreen 30 SPF or higher. The sun can be very intense in these types of climate, so sun protection is imperative.