May is Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month; here’s what you need to know to keep that spot from coming in hot as skin cancer.
Skin Cancer is the most common form of human cancers, affecting more than 1 milion Americans every year and it doesn’t discriminate – all ethnicities are affected! There are also different types, but most fit into these three categories: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
What’s the difference between the types?
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. They tend to be slow-growing tumors that rarely metastasize (spread).
- Raised pink or pearly white bumps
- Pigmented bumps that look like moles with a pearly edge
- Any sores that continuously heals and re-opens
- Flat, scaly scars with a waxy appearance
Squamous Cell Carcinoma, just like basal cell carcinoma, is diagnosed through biopsy. It can develop anywhere, including inside the mouth and on the genitalia; however it most commonly appears on the scalp, face, ears and back of hands.
- Fish-scaly skin – crusted or scaly with an inflamed red-base
- The spot being tender when touched
Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, but by far the most worrisome. Melanomas spread rapidly to internal organs and the lymph system, making them quite dangerous. It is the most common in young adults, ages 25-29.
- Large brown spots with darker speckles
- Dark lesions on the plams of hands, soles of feet, fingertips, toes, mouth, nose or genitalia
- Translucent, pearly and dome-shaped growths
- Existing moles that begin to grow, itch or bleed
- Brown or black streaks under the nails
How do I stay in the clear?
Prevention is key!
Since roughly 90% of non-melanoma cancers are attributable to ultraviolet radiation (UV Rays), protecting your skin is a most when you’re out in the sun.
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible during “peak” hours (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
- Wear protective clothing when you’re going to be out in the sun
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
- Use sunscreen year-round with a SPF 15 or greater
*Make sure your sunscreen also covers both UVA and UVB rays – look for the term “broad spectrum”
- Check your skin monthly and contact your dermatologist if you notice any changes
- Schedule regular skin examinations. It is advised that adults over 40 get an annual exam with a dermatologist
Are you always trying to avoid your profile because of your double chin? Do you eat well and exercise but still can’t seem to shake it? Enter: Kybella®! Kybella® is a series of injections administered under the chin, destroying the fat cells. It’s a gradual process, so the body removes the fat cells over the course of a number of days to a few weeks. The kicker? The fat cells do not return!
Most people will need 2 to 4 treatments that are spaced 4-6 weeks apart. The number of vials of Kybella® a person needs per visit will also differ from person to person. Most people will need 2-4 vials per treatment, and with subsequent treatments will need less vials. This is because of the reduction of fat from the previous treatments. After your Kybella® treatment, it is normal to have some swelling, bruising, or numbness under your chin that may last for a few days.
Kybella® is first and only FDA approved treatment of its’ kind and was awarded the 2015 Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough Award. The active ingredient in Kybella® is synthetic deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that helps with the breakdown and the absorption of dietary fat. Since Kybella® causes the destruction of fat cells, those cells cannot store or accumulate fat once they are destroyed. Once you’ve reached your desired result, no further treatment is needed!
Are you ready to see if Kybella® is right for you? Give us a call to find out more at 210-255-8447 or visit http://www.alamoheightsderm.com/appointment.html
We all know that aging is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t mean we have to take it lying down! We can age gracefully and in our own time. We can’t delay it forever, but we can take steps to avoid pre-mature skin aging. Here’s how.
Protect your skin (aka sunscreen)
Back in 2013 it was proven that wearing sunscreen prevents wrinkles. The catch? Daily use is necessary. The recommended SPF to use is SPF 30 or higher at least once a day, but more often if your skin is exposed to the sun for longer periods of time. Researchers say that it’s never too late to start this regimen and see results.
Apply facial moisturizer every day
Applying moisturizer after a wrinkle has already developed can help to lessen the appearance by absorbing the moisture and puffing up the skin, but this effect is only temporary. Daily moisturizer with collagen peptides and growth factors prevents wrinkles before they start.
Use self-tanner instead of tanning
So, if you’re having to avoid the sun how are you supposed to get a tan? Everyone wants that perfectly golden skin for the summer, but excessive exposure to the sun or tanning beds can cause pre-mature skin aging and poses a risk for skin cancer. To avoid this, but still have that perfectly golden tan, the FDA suggests that using a spray tanner or self-tanning moisturizer responsibly can be a safe and effective method.
Avoid repetitive facial expressions
Wrinkles are a natural process of aging and naturally the way you move your face will eventually cause lines as you age. While there is no way to avoid this entirely, avoiding certain repetitive facial expressions can help pre-mature wrinkling. Frowning and squinting are the main repetitive facial expression to cause the skin to look aged. To avoid squinting make sure to wear the appropriate eye wear you need and avoid excessive screen time.
If you smoke, you probably already know all of the negative consequences that can come from this habit. The risk of lung cancer, tooth decay, skin and nail yellowing the list goes on and on. A big thing on that list is also pre-mature skin aging. The repetitive motion of smoking the cigarette causes wrinkles around the mouth and smoking in general causes the skin to dry out, discolor and loose elasticity. The best advice we can give you is to just quit!
We all want to age gracefully in our own time, but it can be hard to find the right products and regimen for your skin. Book your cosmetic consultation today and the fee will apply to any product or treatment booked same day as consultation.
There are many ways in which to treat your breakouts.
Are you having trouble getting your acne under control? Not sure why nothing seems to be working? If so, then it might be time to turn to our San Antonio, TX, dermatologists Dr. Rebecca Kelso and Dr. Emily Fridlington for answers. There are many options out there to help you get your acne symptoms under control. Here are some options to consider,
Whether you are using a commercial acne-fighting cleanser or a topical treatment it’s important to understand that there is no product that will get rid of acne overnight. It can take up to 12 weeks to see the product’s full effects, so give it time before deciding whether or not the product truly works for you. Some of the best over-the-counter products for targeting and eliminating acne will often contain:
- Salicylic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
Dermatologist-Recommended Acne Treatments
If you are having trouble getting your acne symptoms under control then this might be the time to turn to our San Antonio, TX, skin doctor for an evaluation. We will be able to figure out the most effective methods for reducing the frequency and severity of your breakouts.
Everyone’s skin reacts differently, so what works for one person may not work for another. This is why turning to a dermatologist is the best option if you are having trouble getting your acne under control.
If over-the-counter medications aren’t doing the trick then a dermatologist can prescribe stronger creams or ointments to apply to the skin. These topical treatments will often contain a stronger percentage of active acne-fighting ingredients such as retinoids, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Taking oral antibiotics such as tetracycline could also be effective for reducing inflammation and killing the bacteria on the skin that are responsible for acne. Of course, oral antibiotics aren’t meant to be a long-term solution since patients can develop antibiotic resistance; therefore, oral antibiotics is often used in conjunction with retinoids or products containing benzoyl peroxide.
A dermatologist may also recommend laser therapy, chemical peels or a simple extraction for treating acne. The treatments we choose will depend on the type and severity of your acne.
Don’t let acne affect your appearance and your self-esteem. Turn to the skin care specialists at Alamo Heights Dermatology in San Antonio, TX, to find out how we can help you.
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