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MyDerm Blog

Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

Monday, April 29, 2019

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is characterized as a disease in which cells in your body grow out of control, with it being one of the more common types of cancer in the United States.

The two most common types of skin cancer are basal and squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinoma, or BCC, are the most frequent forms of skin cancer. They appear as abnormal, uncontrolled growths and lesions that lift away from the lining between the deepest layer of your skin and the epidermis. Depending on location and melanin, these lesions are often pink, with red patches. BCC rarely spread and seldom does it metastasizes on other parts of the bother. This leads to a diagnosis that isn't dire, with most BCC lesions being surgically removed, with smaller lesions extracted with the help of a curettage.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most popular, with it appearing in areas that tend to be exposed to UV rays, including the head, neck, upper back, lips, arms, and legs. While it is a slow growing cancer, it can spread to other parts of the body, including lymph nodes and bones. It's evasive, making it hard to treat is not diagnosed early enough.

Preventing Skin Cancer

To know how to prevent the formation of skin cancer, you'll need to be able to recognize factors that contribute to their manifestation. Here are risk factors for skin cancer:

  • Repeated Exposure To UV Rays During Peak Hours. The sun is highest in the sky between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. To protect yourself, try to avoid extended exposure to the sun during this window of time. Take advantage of shade, hats, and sunscreen of at least 20 SPF to protect your skin.
  • Unprotected, fair skin. While any skin color can form cancerous cells, fairer skin groups tend to be at risk due to a lack of melanin, which helps protect against UV radiation. A diligent suncare routine is important with this skin group.
  • Exposure to arsenic matter. Exposure to known arsenic raises the risks of skin cancer. Arsenic is a type of heavy metal that is sometimes used on unregulated products, as well as many insecticides. Workers who work closely to coal, industrial tar, and paraffin are at an increased risk.
  • Carelessness near water, snow, and sand. These surfaces are highly reflective, and can actually intensify exposure to UV radiation. Make it a habit to include sunscreen in your skincare routine, even during the winter months or when partaking in watersports during the summer months. Water resistant formulation will help protect your skin.

Dermatology Consultants of Frisco

Precancerous conditions can manifest as irregular growths that can eventually develop into skin cancer. If not treated, they can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. If you notice lesions, skin growths, or spots that you haven't noticed before, contact us. We'll be able to remove growths, as well as help you with tips to decrease your exposure to UV radiation.

 

Cold Weather Skincare 101

Saturday, December 01, 2018

 


Good skincare can be challenging during the winter months, especially for those with conditions that leave their skin dry like psoriasis and eczema. The primary reason for this? The big drop in humidity which robs your skin of moisture.

Here are a few winter skincare tips endorsed by us, Dermatology Consultants of Frisco. Coupled with a dermatologist's advice, working a couple of these tips into your winter skincare routine could do wonders for you.

Invest in a Humidifier

If the lack of humidity really dries your skin out, then putting some humidity back into the air is a no-brainer. That's where humidifiers come in: they keep the air most -- hence the name.

When shopping for one, be aware that you have two options: warm mist or cool mist. Warm mist humidifiers have better moisture saturation, while cool mist humidifiers are quieter and better able to filter out impurities. The choice really depends on your needs, but go with warm mist for better overall moisture if you're not sure.

Moisturize Often

Of course, another way to combat the effects of low moisture is to apply moisture directly to your skin. Get yourself a high-grade moisturizer, and use it often. A little bottle or tube that can go with you everywhere is perfect -- especially on days where you have to spend a fair amount of time outside.

Look for a moisturizer that isn't greasy and spreads easily. Keep an eye out for brands that advertise themselves as specifically designed for sensitive or irritable skin.

Stay Hydrated

Don't just spend all your time focusing on keeping your skin itself moist; internal hydration is also very important.

Dry skin affects your body's ability to retain moisture, so you're going to feel dehydrated faster and more often than you would during warmer weather. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the day. On workdays, keep a water bottle handy if possible, and refill it during your breaks.

Be Careful With Showers

It may not seem like literally soaking your body in a bunch of water could exacerbate dry skin, but if you're not careful about how long your showers and baths are, they could indeed do just that.

Hot water strips oils off of the skin, and in low humidity our skin needs to hold onto the little oils it still has. Avoid hot showers and baths; opt for milder temperatures.

You should also avoid stepping outside shortly after you've showered or bathed. If your skin is still damp when you get a full dose of frigid winter air, you'll find that it chaps much more easily.

Stay on Top of the Thermostat

It's basic science: the higher the temperature in your house, the more moisture is going to be removed from the air.

For that reason, you should keep the thermostat at the lowest setting that you can tolerate, and just throw on a few more layers to keep warm instead. Obviously, you want to exercise some moderation; giving yourself frostbite won't be good for your skin either. Experiment with different settings until you find the sweet spot.

 

Odd Rash on Your Child? It Could be Molluscum Contagiosum.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

 

What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral infection that affects an individual's skin. It is most commonly observed in children, although it can occur at any age. MC is usually a harmless skin rash that will get better within a few months without any specialized treatment. However, it is all too common for the condition to spread around the body take up to 18 months or more for the condition to clear up completely.

What Does Molluscum Contagiosum Look Like?

If you have noticed an odd rash on your child, then chances are it could be MC. In most instances, the only symptom of MC is small, raised spots on the skin that have a small dimple in the middle. The spots are not painful but are usually rather itchy. These spots can appear in small clusters and can be spread all around different parts of the body. The most common places for these spots to appear is around the armpit, behind the knees, or on the groin. It is possible for MC to affect an individual on more than one occasion, but this is very uncommon.

The spots will generally be red or pink, although they may have a tiny yellow or white head in the middle. If this head splits, then a thick substance will be released, which is extremely infectious. It is vital to never attempt to pop the spots as this will more than likely lead the infection to spread to other parts of the body. Most children will have only around 20 to 30 spots on their body, although if they have a weakened immune system it is likely that they will have more.

In the majority of cases, individual spots will begin to crust over and heal within two months of appearing. Some individuals may experience mild swelling and redness in the affected areas as they begin the healing process.

Treating Molluscum Contagiosum

In most instances treatments for MC are not necessary. This is because the infection will usually clear up by itself without any other symptoms apart from the spots. The infection doesn't normally interfere with an individual's everyday life either, and some treatment methods can be painful and cause scarring. If treatment is required, then a dermatologist will likely prescribe liquids, creams, or gels that can be applied directly to the affected area. In some instances, Dermatology Consultants of Frisco will recommend minor procedures such as cryotherapy, a simple procedure whereby the spots will be removed by being frozen.

For more information on treating MC, visit our website or contact us today and see how we can help you or your child.


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