Posts for: September, 2017
Is the sun your friend, or not? Is time your friend, or not? The answers to these questions may go either way when we talk about skin cancer. Cancer Research UK says that too much sun damages the DNA in your skin, giving a clear path for cancer to grow, particularly deadly melanoma. Age increases your risk, too. That's why the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends monthly self-exams and yearly evaluations by a board-certified skin doctor. Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione of South County Dermatology in East Greenwich, RI agree that routine skin cancer screenings are very important.
Is skin cancer really deadly?
Yes, it can be if not caught and cured in its earliest stages. In fact, the American Cancer Society says that about 68,000 new cases of malignant melanoma, which goes deep into the skin and travels to the lymph nodes and other body organs, are diagnosed annually in the United States. Of these occurrences, about 12 percent will prove fatal. Unfortunately, melanoma is the number one cancer among young adults ages 25 to 29.
Kinds of skin cancer
Besides malignant melanoma, there is:
- Basal cell carcinoma, easily cured when detected early. It affects the deeper parts of the epidermis, the topmost layer of the skin.
- Squamous cell carcinoma, which grows in the topmost part of the epidermis.
What can you do?
Know your risk. If you are over 50, your chances of getting skin cancer increase simply because of the aging process. Also, if you are out in the sun a lot, do what you can to cover up (long-sleeves and pants, sunglasses and a hat) if you are working outside. Use sun screen (SPF 30 or higher, and reapply it if swimming or sweating). Stay indoors or in the shade out of the summer sun between 10 am and 2 pm.
Additionally, be aware of what your skin is doing. Watch for pink or red scales, changes in long-standing moles, and large brown spots that appear anywhere on your body, including under your nails. The American Academy of Dermatology asks you to think about these worrisome characteristics of skin lesions that may be cancerous:
Asymmetry - One side of the spot is shaped or colored differently than the other.
Border - The edges of a mole used to be smooth but now are notched or scalloped.
Color - It is uneven through out the spot.
Diameter - The spot grows to 6 mm or larger.
Evolving - The lesion changes in color, size or configuration or has become distinctly different from others you have.
Finally, get a routine skin check at South County Dermatology annually beginning at age 40. It's a simple way to be assured that the largest organ of your body--your skin--is cancer-free and healthy.
Come to South County Dermatology in East Greenwich
Contact the office today for an appointment with Dr. Dyer or Dr. Criscione. We have 4 offices (Narragansett, East Greenwich, Westerly and Barrington) to serve you. Call (401) 471-3376.
Like adults, kids can be affected by many different skin conditions. Often appearing as an unusual rash or growth on the skin, these conditions are rarely serious and actually very common during childhood as kids are constantly exposed to a variety of illnesses.
By learning how to recognize common skin conditions, parents can help identify the cause of their child’s skin irritation and then determine the best course of action. This may include a visit to the child’s pediatrician or dermatologist, who can then prescribe the appropriate treatments.
Common childhood rashes include:
Ringworm is a skin infection that appears as a ring-shaped lesion. The fungus that causes ringworm is highly contagious and is commonly passed by direct contact. Household pets can also carry the fungus and pass it to the child. Ringworm is very preventable and in the majority of cases very easy to treat.
Chicken pox appears as a red, itchy, blister-like rash that can affect all areas of the body. The highly contagious illness is very common in kids—especially those under the age of 12—and is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms and a fever. In many cases the rash goes away without treatment. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The AAP recommends a first dose of the chickenpox vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age for all healthy young children who have never had the disease. A second dose is recommended at 4-6 years of age.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, refers to a number of different skin conditions in which the skin is red and irritated. Eczema can either be a short-lived temporary reaction to something in the child's environment, or it can be a chronic condition lasting for years. Most children diagnosed with eczema have a family history of the condition or other allergies. The majority of babies who have it will outgrow it. While there are many treatments available for managing eczema, there currently is not a cure.
Roseola is one of the most common causes of rash and fever in infants and young children. The viral illness begins with a sudden, high fever that lasts for several days with no other symptoms. Once the fever breaks—usually abruptly—the infant develops a distinctive rash, which often appears and spreads as red spots and bumps. In most cases roseola does not require professional treatment, but high fevers should always be monitored closely.
When to Visit Your Dermatologist
Whenever your child’s rash lasts for several weeks, becomes worse or does not respond to home treatment, contact your pediatrician or a trained dermatologist. Dermatologists are experts in treating all childhood skin conditions from infancy through the adolescent years. After evaluating a child's skin and determining the cause, your dermatologist will provide both education and an appropriate treatment plan for your child's skin condition.
As you age, your skin loses collagen—a protein that helps make up the lower layer of the skin. As a result, the skin loses its firmness, appearing less plump and becoming more prone to wrinkles.
The good news is that there are many cosmetic procedures available today that can be performed by your dermatologist to minimize fine lines and signs of aging. One popular treatment involves injecting cosmetic fillers into the face. Also known as dermal fillers, this type of cosmetic treatment helps to restore volume to the face by physically filling wrinkles and depressions in the skin.
By injecting small amounts of filler substances, such as Restylane® or Juvederm® into affected areas of the skin, crows feet, smile lines, and wrinkles disappear to produce a smoother more youthful appearance. The procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform, and the results of the treatment can last several months depending on the filler used and the area treated.
The benefits of dermal fillers are visible immediately after your procedure, and most treatments require very little to almost no recovery time.
Seek an Experienced Dermatologist
Injectable fillers are a popular choice for someone looking to restore their youthful appearance without undergoing surgery or extensive anti-aging treatments.
If you’re considering dermal fillers—or any type of wrinkle treatment—it is important that you choose an experienced dermatologist to perform the procedure. Not all fillers are created equal, so consult with your dermatologist to discuss the different types of fillers available and which areas of your skin would benefit the most.