Archive for September, 2016

Risk factors for skin cancer

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Anyone can develop skin cancer, but people with fair complexions are more susceptible to precancerous conditions and skin cancer than people with darker skin tones. That’s because darker skin has more melanin, which provides some natural protection against the sun’s damaging rays. In addition to fair skin, other risk factors for skin cancer include:

  • a personal history of skin cancer
  • a tendency to freckle or burn easily
  • lots of sun exposure throughout your life
  • many sunburns as a child or adolescent
  • family history of the skin cancer or conditions that are more likely to develop into skin cancer
  • Chronic,  non-healing scarring
  • Radiation Therapy
  • exposure to toxic materials, such as arsenic, coal tar or creosote
  • exposure to certain subtypes of human papillomavirus (genital warts) especially in people with compromised immune systems
  • taking immunosuppressant drugs (after an organ transplant, for instance)

You especially want to see a pediatric dermatologist if:

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
  • Your child was born with a skin abnormality like a birthmark or wart. A specialist can make sure it doesn’t get infected, cancerous or harmful.
  • Your pediatrician doesn’t know what to do about a lump, rash or acne outbreak. Yes, she may have diagnosed the issue and prescribed medication. But if the problem recurs or the treatment isn’t working, a pediatric dermatologist can ensure that the condition gets treated correctly.
  • Your child has a recurring or serious skin problem. It’s serious if it changes rapidly in size, color, shape or texture. It’s also serious if it keeps returning, is itchy or could come from an allergic reaction.

8 Wrinkle Causes—Other Than Aging

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


1. Smoking
You’re likely aware of the long list of reasons to quit smoking. Here’s another: Lighting up is one of the most common causes of wrinkles. Smoking can accelerate your skin’s normal aging process, contributing to wrinkles. It may restrict blood flow to your skin. And that makes it difficult for skin cells to reach the oxygen and nutrients necessary to regenerate and stay healthy. Also, smoke’s chemicals break down your skin’s elastin and collagen. And of course, pursing your lips to puff creates fine lines around your mouth.

2. Skipping sunscreen
You know that sunscreen is important. But an occasional tan won’t hurt right? Unfortunately, most signs of aging come from unprotected skin exposure—even just a few minutes worth. How? Exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays breaks down your skin’s elastin and collagen. Without these supportive tissues, skin loses its flexibility and strength. Then it starts to sag and wrinkle. That’s why you should wear sunscreen daily, regardless of the weather. Otherwise, you’re accelerating the aging process. (Just be aware that many sunscreens aren’t the SPF they claim to be.) And don’t be tempted to skip sunscreen even if you’re inside your car. Remember that the sun still hits your face while you’re driving and that some car windows don’t block out UV light.

3. Picking pimples
You may have the urge to pop your zits. But you’re creating scars, irritation and, yes, wrinkles, when you pull and pick at your skin. Your best bet is to use over-the-counter or prescription products to help get rid of acne or let pimples heal on their own.

4. Eating a poor diet
As they say, “You are what you eat.” Cliché, yes. True, indeed. Since the skin is our largest organ, it’s no surprise that it’s the first part of your body to show nutrient deficiencies, including wrinkles. That’s why it’s important to consume a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating a plentiful amount of fresh vegetables and fruits may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. And findings from research studies suggest that a diet high in sugar or other refined carbohydrates promotes aging.

5. Squinting to see the computer screen or television
Each time you squint, a groove forms underneath the skin. As skin gets older, it loses its flexibility and can’t return to how it was, causing wrinkles. So if you sit too close to or too far away from the computer or the TV, constantly straining and squinting to see the screen, you’re causing fine wrinkles around your eyes. Consider making an appointment with your optometrist to make sure your eyes are in optimal shape and that your prescription, if you have one, is up to date.

6. Chewing gum
Chomping on gum forces your mouth to continuously form different shapes. And if you chew frequently, these formations can lead to a downward turn in the corners of your mouth, a pronounced muscle at the bottom of the jaw line or a wrinkle on your lower mouth.

7. Eager for fresh breath? Opt for mints or mouthwash.
Sleeping on your stomach or side?If you sleep on your face, your comfy and beloved pillow can give you wrinkles. How? Consistently pushing your face into your pillow creates creases that can eventually lead to permanent wrinkles. Sleep on your back if you can, placing a pillow beneath your knees to help prevent you from flipping over. Can’t give up stomach or side sleeping? Try a satin pillowcase; it slides across your face and is less abrasive than one that’s cotton.

8. Not removing makeup
When you sleep in your makeup, those cosmetics plus the pollutants you acquired throughout the day seep into your skin, breaking down elastin and collagen. And that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.