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Skin Cancer Screenings: A Summer Must!

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The temps are heating up here in Charleston, SC, which means lots of fun in the sun! Before hitting the beach there are some facts you should know about skin cancer: when to get screened and what precautions to take to avoid getting cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. That being the case, it is important to know about the different types of skin cancer, as well as the preventative measures to decrease the chances of having skin cancer.

 

More than two million people in the United States each year are diagnosed with the most common types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These types of skin cancer are easily detectable as alterations or changes in the skin occur. If alterations and changes are noticed quickly enough, they are promptly examined by a dermatologist who also performs a biopsy. Non-melanoma skin cancers, because they are easily detectable, are also easily curable.

 

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer; luckily, it is not as common as other types of skin cancer. Melanoma is potentially lethal, and new cases of malignant melanoma have been steadily increasing since 2005.

 

People with the following traits are more susceptible to skin cancer and should receive lifelong dermatologic surveillance as well as perform monthly self-exams:

  • A family history of melanoma and other skin cancers
  • Atypical moles (irregular borders, color variation, or are asymmetrical)
  • Skin that burns easily/fails to tan
  • Freckling, blue eyes or red hair
  • A history of blistering sunburns

 

The most preventable cause of skin cancer is the sun. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), adequately protecting one’s skin from the sun is an easy way to prevent skin cancer. Here’s how:

  • Avoid tanning beds. The same dangerous ultraviolet light from the sun is used by tanning beds.
  • Seek shade during the sun’s apex (10am – 2pm). If your shadow is shorter than you, get out of the sun.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses whenever possible.
  • Near sand, snow and water? Use caution, as those surfaces reflect and intensify light and can cause skin damage regardless of the temperature.
  • Wear sunscreen. Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen on your skin before sun exposure (Sun Protection Factor of 30 or higher). Reapply every two hours regardless of the weather.

 

Along with lifelong dermatologic surveillance, we may recommend that you undergo a skin cancer screening. This screening is a visual inspection of your skin, performed by a dermatologist. These screenings are performed before any symptoms are found, if something appears abnormal during the screening a biopsy will be taken. A pathologist will evaluate the biopsy and determine if the growth is benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
To schedule a skin cancer screening appointment with Derm Clinics Charleston, contact us at (843) 795-7546.


Makeup & Sweat – Why It’s Important to Wash Your Face

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The daily environment takes a toll on your face’s skin, but what about when you add in other factors such as makeup and sweat? As dermatologists, we recommend you take the extra time to consider the skincare regimens needed to ensure a clean face at night. We have provided all the practices and tips you’ll need to know below.

Eliminating the use of daily makeup or avoiding the gym isn’t necessary. Simply take the right precautions to protect and cleanse your skin each night and after every workout.

Makeup

When it comes to makeup, the longer you wear it, the more time it has to cause damage. Especially right before bed, cleansing your face as soon as possible will help your skin stay clear. Facial skin is full of pores and very absorbent, so think ‘would I want this inside of me?’ when applying makeup. During sleep, your body goes into recovery mode and heals all the tiny damages you may have done throughout the day.

The best habit to get into is taking your makeup off as soon as you feel you don’t need to wear it any longer. When getting off work or going back home for the day, take a quick shower or wash your face makeup off. Makeup cleansing cloths are great for when you’re feeling lazy – a quick swipe and your makeup is off.

If you know you will be wearing makeup all day long,  you can prevent any damage by purchasing cosmetics that actually benefit your skin. Expensive makeup doesn’t necessarily mean high quality – finding products that benefit your skin can be found in a range of prices. Look for products with SPF so you get coverage & sun protection in one step.

For those with oily skin, avoid comedogenic ingredients like lanolins, isopropyl myristate and red cosmetic dyes. A disclaimer: buying ‘mineral makeup’ doesn’t mean it contains all-natural ingredients and still has the ability to irritate skin the same way non-mineral makeup can. Products with talc and bismuth tend to cause irritation and breakouts.

For more help on buying cosmetics that benefit your skin, visit our website or give us a call at 843-795-SKIN (7546).

Sweat

We’ve explained the perils of not washing off your makeup, but what about when you’re at the gym and wearing makeup? Not many males can attest to this, but women often visit the gym after work while still wearing makeup. First things first, carry a pack of cleansing cloths in your gym bag. Wiping your face clean before sweating will help you avoid breakouts or over-drying, and helps with the cleansing process post-workout.

In general, sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself by perspiring out toxins from the pores. There is a barrier created when you have makeup on, making it difficult for sweat to break through. It then gets stuck on the surface of your skin and creates a greasy mess that could lead to breakouts and dryness when sitting on your face.

Sweating is actually good for your skin and is a great way to maintain clean, healthy skin. It releases toxins and dirt that is clogged in your pores. In fact, sweat isn’t what actually has an odor, but it’s the hair and skin follicles that provide smell when they aren’t clean.

While perspiration helps clear that dirt, it is then left on your skin to help cool your body temperature. While you’re still cooling down, the sweat will lower your temperature until you reach a normal state. This is when it drys on your skin and can cause damage. All of the toxins and dirt now on your skin should be cleaned off as soon as possible.

In addition, wiping your face while sweating only pushes the sweat back into your pores. Avoid touching your face throughout exercising and then shower or wash your face immediately post-workout. Exfoliating is important to aid your skin’s rejuvenation process, but doing so too soon after a workout may damage sensitive skin. Intense scrubbing should wait until after your skin calms down from exercise and closer towards bedtime.

One last tip for you – moisturize after cleansing! Especially in Charleston’s summer heat, extra body perspiration can leave your skin dry, so slather on some lotion. And not just on your face,  but your whole body!

So, have you been washing your makeup off as soon as possible, and especially before a session at the gym? We sure hope you do now after reading this! Let us know your thoughts and leave a comment below.

 


Rosacea 101

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What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin disease that usually begins with having a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The National Rosacea Society has designated this upcoming April as Rosacea Awareness Month, so we find it an apt time to help you & the general public understand this condition.

More than 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea, so taking the time to help create awareness of this common skin disease is crucial.

Rosacea Symptoms

FIrst, rosacea is a very complex skin disease that has numerous symptoms. Aside from excessive blushing or flushing in the face, the redness can also spread beyond the nose and cheeks, reaching the forehead and chin, and even the ears, chest and back all at the same time.

However, rosacea is much more than just redness; the many signs and symptoms of rosacea are so diverse they have consequently been assigned to four subtypes. If you’re concerned that you may have any of the following symptoms, contact us immediately.

Subtype 1: Facial Redness

Medical name: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea

Symptoms: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels, stinging, burning and swelling

 

Subtype 2: Bumps and Pimples

Medical name: Papulopustular rosacea

Symptoms: Redness, swelling, bumps (papules), acne-like breakouts or pimples (pustules), red patches

 

Subtype 3: Skin Thickening

Medical name: Phymatous rosacea

Symptoms: Excess tissue, skin thickens and has bumpy texture, often results in enlargement of the nose and irregular surface nodules (bump-like lesions)

 

Subtype 4: Eye Irritation

Medical name: Ocular rosacea

Symptoms: Red, irritated, watery, or bloodshot eyes, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, sty-like effects, and recurrent styes

Talking About Rosacea

As with discussing any visible disease, talking about rosacea and insensitive questions can be frustrating and embarrassing. Don’t worry – you’re not alone when it comes to experiencing these situations. Trust us, many individuals feel uncomfortable and humiliated, but that’s why we’re here for you!

Because April is Rosacea Awareness Month, we’re here to educate the public on how to talk about the condition and to create awareness on this common skin disease. Here are some tips to follow when talking about rosacea or trying to share information:

  • Many adults have it (16 million Americans), so you are part of a very large group. You are not alone, not everyone is aware of rosacea and may not know how common it truly is.
  • Often times people confuse facial redness with heavy drinking or poor hygiene – both of which are untrue about rosacea. Point out these facts to anyone who is confused. Let them know the condition is unrelated to cleanliness, and although heavy drinking can aggravate the disorder, the symptoms can be just as severe in someone sober.
  • Rosacea is a condition that comes and goes and is worse during flare-ups. This fluctuating nature is due to specific triggers, so let people know of personal triggers you are avoiding and that you are helping control the condition with medication.
  • Subscribe to Rosacea Review and encourage others to educate themselves on the topic. You may know someone with rosacea or have a friend who should see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment – encourage them to be knowledgeable about the condition.

 

How to Treat Rosacea

If you believe you may have rosacea or have previously been diagnosed, the following tips can help:3

○      At the first sign of symptoms, treatment often controls the disease and eliminates the visible effects and feelings such as burning or itching.

○      Treating it early can stop the condition from getting worse – before it becomes more difficult to treat.

○      Rosacea may not go away on its own and tends to worsen as time goes on.

○      Different types of rosacea (see ‘Rosacea Symptoms’ above) need different treatments.

○      Over The Counter treatments may worsen your rosacea, as some contain ingredients that cause rosacea to flare up. Prescription treatments from your doctor are specific to your individual’s needs.

  • Learn what triggers your rosacea. There are many everyday things that can cause flare-ups, including sunlight, stress and many foods and beverages. Every individual has different triggers, which is why it’s crucial to determine your personal triggers so you can avoid them.
  • Follow a rosacea skin care plan. Also an important role in controlling rosacea, the right skin care regimen can help keep rosacea under control. There are products that are too harsh and can worsen your condition.

In additional, there are support groups available and other resources that help many with the disorder live more comfortably.

Do you think you have any of the following symptoms or need help controlling your rosacea? We’re here to help, so please contact us for any concerns you may have. We offer laser treatments for blood vessels and generalized redness and can prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.

If you have any friends who you may want to share this information, or want to help create awareness with the general public, please feel free to comment below or to share this post.


  • Contact Us Today

    Call Us: (843)795-7546 (SKIN)

    Or visit us at:
    Cross Creek Village
    325 Folly Road
    Suite 305
    Charleston, SC 29412