Tag Archives: Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month – and it is also the start of the summer season when most of us will be spending more time enjoying the great outdoors.

According to Dr. Z. Paul Lorenc, New York plastic surgeon, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and the rates of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer,  have been rising steadily for the past three decades.

Basal Cell Carcinomas (most common form of skin cancer) and Squamous Cell Carcinomas (the second most common form) are caused primarily by sun exposure, and develop most commonly on sun-exposed areas, including the face, ears, neck, lips, scalp, and the backs of the hands. Unfortunately, most skin cancers occur on the face because that your face get the most exposure to UV rays.

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, ZO Skin Health is pleased to report that our newest sunscreen – ZO Skin Health Oclipse Smart Tone SPF50 – just received the highly coveted Sun Safety Award from the nominating committee of physicians of Plastic Surgery Practice (PSP)! Woo hoo! This unique formula offers complete protection in a creamy wearable consistency with anti-redness properties and customizable color beads with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection to match any skin tone. You’ve got to try this product!

Using the right sunscreen and enough of it for adequate protection is key, as well as other prevention measures, such as seeking shade from 12 – 2 pm daily when the sun hits its peak, and wearing a wide brimmed hat, and protective clothing on your chest, arms and legs to prevent further sun damage.

What’s Growing on Your Skin?

As a dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi will always recommend that you monitor all the bumps and growths on your skin for changes. Doing a simple body check on yourself at home every few months can literally save your life – especially when you consider that early detection is the most important weapon we have against deadly skin cancer. So go see your dermatologist for an annual skin check or sooner, if you find something that looks suspicious or is changing or if you have a family history of any form of skin cancer.

However, not all of your little skin lesions, lumps and growth are actually dangerous. Below, we have listed a few of the most common things that can grow on your skin but are not generally serious or life threatening.

  • Sebaceous Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of oil-filled tissue growths on the skin. They usually feel like large peas under the skin and can develop as a result of infection or clogged oil glands.. Sebaceous cysts typically grow slowly, are usually painless, and have a smooth appearance. Occasionally, cysts can become hard and painful, and they may get infected and require immediate treatment. When a cyst becomes infected it may grow rapidly, become painful, and the skin surrounding the area can become warm to the touch and red.
  • Lentigo are freckles or age spots that occur on the arms, legs, and face or any sun exposed area of the skin.. Lentigos are various shades of brown and have a clearly-defined edge surrounded by normal-appearing skin and a flat surface. Lasers and skin lighteners can help eliminate lentigos. If a lentigo starts to rapidly grow, change color, itch, or bleed, go see a dermatologist to have it checked.
  • Seborrheic Keratosis is a benign skin growth that takes a waxy brown, black, red or white appearance. These are rough growths that can grow rapidly anywhere on the body. Although benign, these can often scare people because they can seem to come up very suddenly, grow rapidly, can be several colors and itchy. Seborrheic keratosis are also called age-related barnacles. They tend to show up after age 50 and are easily removed by shaving and certain laser systems.
  • Warts are viral-caused painless growths on the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can be embarrassing and they can sometimes itch or become irritated. They are contagious and therefore, should be removed as soon as possible.

For more info, visit aad.org

How To Choose Sunscreen Without Getting Burned

Sunscreens used to be the darling of dermatologists everywhere. Now it seems the love affair is over. People don’t use them as often as necessary and don’t reapply them as frequently as they should. We don’t blame the consumers—the problem is with the sunscreens themselves.

According to one leading consumer protection agency, 80% of sunscreens offer inadequate protection, make claims that are false and misleading, or cause accelerated aging. Some of the biggest brands are developing and selling sunscreens that, according to the Environmental Working Group, not only fail, but fail miserably.

So are you safe from a sunburn? Maybe. Sometimes you won’t know for years that the sunscreen that you trusted was inadequate. Don’t get burned!

Here’s what to look out for:

Moisturizers that contain SPF
The problem isn’t the sunscreen, it’s the moisturizer. Moisturizers can make skin cells lazy, causing cellular function to slow, and inducing premature lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

Casper-ization
Many physical sunblocks create a white cast. Instead of looking like you have a tan, you look like a friendly ghost.

Over-promising and under-delivering
Don’t believe claims like “all day protection” and “waterproof”—if you’re concerned about wrinkles, you’re old enough to know better. When you’re outdoors, sunscreen should be reapplied frequently and liberally.

SPFs higher than 30
They give people a false sense of security. For example, an SPF60 only offers about 3% more protection than an SPF30.
Here’s what to look for:

Nature’s best photo-protective agent
ZO’s Oclipse SPF 30 Sunscreen contains all-natural melanin—nature’s best photo-protective agent—as well as two of the best sunblocks: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

A healthy tint and primer
Eliminate the ghosting effect, and give your skin a natural, healthy glow.

UVA Protection
One out of every 7 sunscreens does not protect against UVA radiation. Blame it on Uncle Sam! The FDA has not finalized sunscreen safety standards that they drafted more than 30 years ago!

A healthy habit
The biggest problem with sunscreens is that people don’t wear them every day. Oclipse is quite possibly the first sunscreen that people love to wear.

It’s almost May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Now is a great time to start a new and healthy habit that lasts all year long.