Melanoma Awareness Month: Get smart

May is melanoma awareness month.  Do you do your yearly skin checks?  If not, we’re here to give you some stats and facts about why coming in for skin checks and being familiar with what to look for in your moles is so important.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.  If that doesn’t get your attention, how about this? Every hour of every day one American dies from melanoma – that’s approximately 10,000 per year. If you’re unfamiliar with the term melanoma, it occurs when the pigment-producing cells that give color to the skin become cancerous. There are a number of things we can be doing to help prevent melanoma from developing in the skin.

The number one thing is PROTECT yourself! Wear and reapply that sunscreen when out at the beach, grab that umbrella, throw on a hat, sunglasses, and cover-up.  While some people are more at-risk than others (like fair skin or medical history of melanoma in the family) there are tons of benefits from protecting yourself from the sun, even if you don’t burn.

What should you be looking for when doing at-home skin exams? Symptoms might include a new, unusual growth or a change in an existing mole. That’s where the ABCDE’s come in.  Since melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, this is best way to determine if a lesion needs to be seen by a professional healthcare provider.  The lesion can be tested and then diagnosis determined.  Treatment may involve surgery, radiation, medications, or in some cases chemotherapy.

A – Asymmetrical Shape

Melanoma lesions are often irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.

 

B – Border

Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.

 

C – Color

The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.

 

D – Diameter

Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).

(Melanoma.org)

Moral of the story is to be smart, be safe with the sun, and when in doubt get a professional to take a look at you.  Call our office to schedule your skin check today! 910-256-4350

Striving for Stricter Restrictions on Indoor Tanning

The FDA has finally strengthened restrictions on indoor tanning devices.   After years of fighting for stricter regulations on indoor tanning, the American Academy of Dermatology and it’s physician members are pleased that the US food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized stricter regulations on indoor tanning devices, a move that will ultimately save lives.  The new restrictions include:

  • A strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18.
  • The reclassification for sunlamps and tanning beds to a Class II level.
  • Labeling that clearly communicates the risk of skin cancer to all users. Under the final changes, manufacturers will be required to provide updated labeling for all products on the market within 450 days of June 2, 2014.

These regulations are essential to ensuring greater safety for the American public. Prior to the FDA’s final order, indoor tanning devices were categorized as Class I — the category for items that have minimal potential to cause harm to individuals, such as adhesive bandages and tongue depressors. The reclassification of indoor tanning devices to a Class Level II will help to reduce the incidence of skin cancer and the AADA is pleased that the FDA has taken this important first step.

Leading up to this decision, the FDA convened an Advisory Panel hearing in 2010, to examine the classification and regulations of tanning beds. AADA representatives, leading dermatologists, researchers and patients testified about the risks associated with indoor tanning and the need to protect the public from these dangers.

It is important to note that the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified UV radiation from tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans, in the same category as tobacco and tobacco smoking. A review of seven studies found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who had been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning before the age of 35. Other adverse effects due to indoor tanning include burns, premature aging of the skin, infection, and exacerbation of certain serious light sensitive conditions including lupus.

Dr. Rosalyn George remarks, “Dermatologists across the country have been working diligently to get tanning beds re-classified and this is an important first step to decreasing skin cancers in this country. We are still working to ensure that children under 18 are not allowed access to tanning beds since this is when tanning is the most dangerous.”

 

Sources:“Years Of Advocacy Pay Off – FDA Strengthens Restrictions On Indoor Tanning Devices,” American Academy of Dermatology, May 29, 2014, http://www.aad.org/members/practice-and-advocacy-resource-center/patient-health-advocacy/skin-cancer/indoor-tanning-device-reclassification

Position Statement On Indoor Tanning,” American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.aad.org/Forms/Policies/Uploads/PS/PS-Indoor%20Tanning%2011-16-09.pdf

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

In an effort to raise skin cancer awareness, the month of May has been designated as Skin Cancer Awareness Month.   The American Academy of Dermatology has also designated the first Monday of the month as Melanoma Monday to encourage everyone to learn to SPOT skin cancer.  Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, but when recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable.  Skin cancer is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease. Melanoma kills an estimated 8,790 people in the US annually. It is estimated that at present, about 120,000 new cases of melanoma in the US are diagnosed in a year.  Dr. Rosalyn George and her staff see skin cancers on a daily basis in her office, “It’s important to not only protect your skin, but to have regular checks as well”, says Rosalyn George.  “A skin-check is a non-invasive evaluation of your skin and is so easy for the patient there really isn’t a reason to not have your skin checked once a year, especially if you have a history in your family”

Melanoma Prevention Guide Lines:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day.
    sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Individuals are also reminded to check for moles using the ABCDE’s warning signs of Melanoma, that include A for Asymmetry, B for Border irregularity, C for varying Color, D for Diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser, and E for evolving size shape or color.

Here at WDC, we carry several different sunscreens to help you stay protected. Two of our favorite forms of SPF are the SkinMedica Daily Physical Defense and Cerave Sunscreen Body Lotion with SPF 50.  The Daily Physical Defense offers an oil and fragrance free formula, that is ultra sheer and provides broad spectrum defense against UVA/UVB rays. Cerave Body Sunscreen is also broad spectrum, lightweight, oil-free, and water resistant with  zinc and ceramides.

Have you ever wondered how you can protect that very delicate area around the eyes? We now carry the SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50! This product is  specifically for the unique structure of the thinner and more sensitive skin around the eye. It provides protection without migrating into and irritating the eyes. A unifying tint enhances skin tone while ceramides nourish, creating a perfect canvas for makeup application.

For more information or to schedule your yearly skin check contact the WDC experts!

Source: skincancer.org, aad.org

 

February 4th, 2014 – World Cancer Day

To raise skin cancer awareness, WDC would like to remind you that February 4th is World Cancer Day. World Cancer Day is a chance to improving general knowledge around cancer and dismiss misconceptions about the disease. WDC would like to take part by keeping you informed of the latest statistics and facts surrounding skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Facts

  • Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the two most common forms of skin cancer, but are easily treated if detected early.
  • By 2015, it is estimated that one in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime.
  • About 75 percent of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.
  • Exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma, especially in women aged 45 years or younger.

Prevention and detection is the key to avoiding potential skin cancers. Protect your skin by applying sunscreen, seeking shade and wearing protective clothing. It’s also important to have a annual full-body exam and perform regular self-exams for new and changing moles.

To learn more information about World Cancer Day, follow the link to www.worldcancerday.org.

Source: aad.org

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness and Monday May 6th is Melanoma Awareness Day.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US today.  Melanoma skin cancer, the most deadliest form, is the most common cancer in individuals aged 25-29.  Early detection is key to successful cure rates.  Remember to PREVENT (seek shade, cover up, sunscreen) and DETECT (look for new or changing spots on your skin).   To learn more about skin checks and skin cancer click this link.  https://www.wilmingtondermatologycenter.com/medical-services/skin-cancer/