Spring is almost here, and that means more time spent out in the sun. Since the sun is a major source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, exposure to it can pose serious risks to our skin.
Although there are three types of UV rays, UVA and UVB are of the most concern. UVA rays are long wavelengths that penetrate deep into the dermis causing skin aging and wrinkles. UVB rays are shorter wavelengths that are more superficial, causing damage in the form of redness and sunburns. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.
The first step you can take to protect your skin from these harmful rays is to use a broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum sunscreen. Make sure it’s an SPF of at least 30, combined with ingredients titanium and zinc dioxide. Reapply every two hours.
Next, avoid the sun and seek shade when the UV rays are strongest. This usually is between 10am and 2pm.
Lastly, try taking one aspirin an hour before going out in the sun to avoid a potential burn. If you do contract a sunburn however, try taking Advil or Motrin. This will help minimize the pain and inflammation associated with the burn.
These precautions will significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, while allowing for proper exposure to the sun. If you do notice anything suspicious on your skin, contact our office immediately. Early detection of skin cancer is crucial.
Did you know that melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer? Although it is less common than other forms of skin cancer it can spread quickly and develop anywhere on the skin. The disease is caused from overexposure to sun or ultraviolet radiation, especially within people that have fair skin.
There are five major signs/symptoms to look for when determining if you may have some form of Melanoma. These are known as the ABCDE’s of Melanoma and they include:
A-Asymmetry: Early forms of melanoma are asymmetrical, meaning that you cannot draw a line down the middle and have equal parts on each side.
B-Borders: Uneven borders with irregularities or blurs.
C-Color: Varying shades of brown, blue or black.
D-Diameter (size): Melanoma tend to be larger than normal moles, ones the size of a pencil eraser are something that you should look at closely.
E-Evolving: Any changes in the size, shape, color, or feel.
If you are unsure if any of these signs pertain to you or notice that some might, do not hesitate to set up an appointment immediately at the Neiman Dermatology Building.
Today marks the 34th anniversary of the death of reggae music pioneer, Bob Marley. He was not only instrumental in popularizing reggae music worldwide, but also the Jamaican and Rastafarian culture. Tragically in 1981, at the age of only 36, he died from a cancerous brain tumor. It is believed that the tumor may have been the result of an untreated case of a malignant melanoma.
According to sources, the first indication of Marley’s melanoma occurred while playing in a soccer game in the summer of 1977. During the game he badly injured his right big toe. Thinking it was just a bruise, he chose not to have it looked at further. With the injury not improving and actually worsening, Marley had a biopsy done on his toe. This confirmed a diagnosis of a malignant melanoma (type of skin cancer). The medical staff recommended that the toe, and possibly even the foot, be amputated to avoid the condition from spreading. Marley refused the amputation, stating that it was against his religious beliefs. With the condition continuing to worsen, Marley agreed to have an orthopedic surgeon perform a skin graft on the toe. The treatment was believed to have successfully removed the cancerous lesion. A few years later in September of 1980, Marley was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This was thought to have been the result of the melanoma in his toe spreading before it received treatment. Eight months later on May 11, 1981 Bob Marley passed away.
While melanoma is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, if it is found early it can be one of the most treatable. This makes early detection essential, so if you haven’t had your skin checked in a while make sure to set up an appointment today!