South County Dermatology

Posts for tag: Skin Cancer

April 29, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Skin Cancer PreventionWith the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.

While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,

Wear Sunscreen Daily

Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.

Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!

Reapply Sunscreen Often

If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).

Seek Shade During the Day

While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.

See a Dermatologist

Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.

Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

April 13, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

The sun is a heavenly luminous body that gives our planet life. Despite the advantages it offers, it also emits harmful rays known as ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If you are overexposed to ultraviolet rays, there is an increased risk that you could develop skin cancer. But how does this happen, exactly? In a nutshell, the DNA found in your skin cells could be damaged if your skin is given excessive exposure to UV radiation. If the damage continues to develop, cells can multiply rapidly, which could eventually result in skin cancer.

Fortunately, as with all types of cancer, early diagnosis can raise your chances of successful skin cancer treatment. Here at South County Dermatology, you can come to our Narragansett, Westerly, Barrington, or East Greenwich, RI, offices for both screenings and skin cancer treatment. Until then, here’s what you need to know about skin cancer warning signs and prevention.

Common Skin Cancer Signs You Should Look Out For

Here are some warning signs that you should note and look out for, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • Moles or growths that suddenly appear on your skin.
  • Growths or moles that have developed.
  • Moles or growths that appear different than they were before.
  • Lesions that itch, alter, bleed, or that don’t improve in time.
  • An abnormal brown or pink mark, patch, or mole.

Top Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

Did you know that even on a cloudy day, the risk of getting skin cancer is still possible? It’s vital to note that clouds are not enough to protect you from those harmful ultraviolet rays. With this in mind, the following are some simple ways you can follow to minimize your risk of getting skin cancer:

  • Look for shade when needed. The sun’s rays are the most detrimental during the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM.
  • Sport yourself with necessary covering. Merely wearing a hat, long-sleeves, long pants, and sunglasses can help shield you from the sun.
  • Cover your skin with broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or greater daily. If you are performing an outdoor activity for a prolonged period, make sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30.
  • Check and observe your skin monthly to check for any skin irregularities and new growths that could indicate skin cancer.
  • Visit your dermatologist in our Narragansett, Westerly, Barrington, or East Greenwich, RI, for regular skin cancer screenings, at least once yearly, or if you spot any signs of skin cancer.
  • Keep away from tanning beds and tanning in general.

For Skin Cancer Treatment or Screenings, We Can Help

Dial (401) 471-3376 to reach South County Dermatology and set your appointment in our Narragansett, Westerly, Barrington, or East Greenwich, RI.

By Robert K Dyer, MD
August 16, 2019
Category: Dermatology

Sun DamageToo much exposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. Dangerous ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays damage skin, which leads to premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other skin problems. People with excessive exposure to UV radiation are at greater risk for skin cancer than those who take careful precautions to protect their skin from the sun.

Sun Exposure Linked to Cancer

Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. To limit your exposure to UV rays, follow these easy steps.

  • Avoid the mid-day sun, as the sun's rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that clouds do not block UV rays.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear hats and protective clothing when possible to minimize your body's exposure to the sun.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and area around your eyes.

Risks Factors

Everyone's skin can be affected by UV rays. People with fair skin run a higher risk of sunburns. Aside from skin tone, factors that may increase your risk for sun damage and skin cancer include:

  • Previously treated for cancer
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Several moles
  • Freckles
  • Typically burn before tanning
  • Blond, red or light brown hair

If you detect unusual moles, spots or changes in your skin, or if your skin easily bleeds, make an appointment with our practice. Changes in your skin may be a sign of skin cancer. With early detection from your dermatologist, skin cancers have a high cure rate and response to treatment. Additionally, if you want to reduce signs of aged skin, seek the advice of your dermatologist for a variety of skin-rejuvenating treatment options.

July 26, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Arm yourself with the best habits for healthy, cancer-free cancer

With the warm summer months fast approaching, some people’s minds turn to the beach while others consider ways to protect their skin from the effects of the sun. Anyone can develop skin cancer, and the sooner you create a skin cancer prevention regimen the better. Our East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI, dermatologists, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione, are here to provide tips for preventing skin cancer, as well as warning signs to look out for.

How to Prevent Skin Cancer

There are a myriad of things you can do to prevent skin cancer. The number one rule is to always wear sunscreen before going outside. Make sure to lather on a generous amount of sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays while also offering an SPF of 15 or higher.

Here are some other tips to follow to keep skin healthy and cancer-free:

  • Apply sunscreen all over your body and face about 30 minutes before going outside
  • Make sure to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours (or immediately after getting out of the water or sweating)
  • Avoid being in the sun (stay in the shade) between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM
  • Visit your dermatologist once a year for a thorough physical exam
  • Make sure to perform monthly skin exams
  • Stay away from the tanning bed
  • Wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat

Early Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

Not sure what you’re supposed to be looking for when it comes to performing a skin exam? Check all moles, growths, and markings on your body and follow your ABCDEs to figure out whether the growth might require further evaluation from our East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington skin doctors. Here are some things to look for:

  • Asymmetry: If you were to draw an invisible line down a healthy mole both sides should look identical. An abnormal growth or mole will not look the same on both sides.
  • Border: Suspicious growths will have uneven or poorly defined borders.
  • Color: Healthy moles should only be one color, while cancerous growths may contain multiple colors of brown, black, blue, white, or pink.
  • Diameter: While melanoma can be small, most often than not, they appear larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
  • Evolving: A healthy mole will look the same over the years, but melanoma will often change in shape, size, or color

It’s a good idea to come in once a year to visit our skin specialists in East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI, for a skin cancer evaluation. No matter if you have risk factors or not, these checkups could just end up saving your life. Schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists at South County Dermatology today.

Woman applying lotionYour skin is your armor—it protects you against injury and infection. Typically, people tend to concentrate on caring for their face because it is what is most noticeable to others. However, it is important to care for skin below the neck as well. Proper skin care varies by body part, as some areas have thinner, more sensitive skin than others. Your dermatologist in provides you with the information you need to properly care for your skin. 

While shopping for skin care products at the pharmacy or beauty store, it may be difficult to decide what products to use on your skin. Your dermatologist offers you helpful tips in caring for the skin on each part of your body, including your:

  • Face – The best way to prevent dry skin on your face is to moisturize.
  • Lips – Since your lips retain less moisture than other parts of your body, they tend to dry out more quickly, which means it is important to maintain moisture by using balm several times a day.
  • Hands – Your hands bare the brunt of the seasons more than any other part of your body. It is important to pay attention to your hands by applying moisturizer—especially during the flu season when we tend to wash our hands more vigorously than normal.
  • Feet – Use a thick moisturizer daily on your feet to maintain moisture and keep your feet softer.
  • Scalp – In order to keep your scalp from drying, wash your hair once a day with a mild shampoo and do not use water that is too hot.
  • Body – Try washing your body with a moisturizing cleanser. If you have sensitive skin look for skin care products that cater to your individual skin needs.

Visit your dermatologist today, for more information on how to properly care for your skin year round. Whether your skin is normal, oily or sensitive, there is a skin care treatment just for you.