June 2, 2020 Newsletter

MYTH: A tan is healthy.

Sun damage is sneaky. The damage may not show up for many years. So if you tan while you are young, you may think you look good, but you are setting yourself up for premature wrinkling and possibly skin cancer. Sunburns that you get in your teens can cause problems later in life. Eighty percent of sun damage occurs before age 18. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the leading cause of skin cancer.

Outside or indoor tanning can have dangerous and often irreversible consequences in the future. The “glow” of bronzed skin if often portrayed as health and attractive in society. Tanning is the very opposite of healthy. Tanning is evidence of DNA injury in your skin. Tanning damages your skin cells and speeds up visible signs of aging. Worst of all, tanning can lead to skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Consider some popular myths that to relate to sun tanning and tanning beds in tanning salons

MYTH:  A tanning bed is safer than sun exposure.

There is no such thing as a safe tan. Tanning beds emit UVA and UVB radiation. Both types of UV radiation are also found in the outdoor sun and can cause premature aging and skin cancer.

MYTH:  Tanning is OK as long as you don’t burn.

Even if you don’t burn, sunbathing can increase your risk of skin cancer and can cause premature aging. Damage from the sun accumulates over time, so even if you never have a severe sunburn, the damage is building up.

MYTH:  If you have darker skin, you’re safe.

Sun damage may take longer to show up in people with darker skin, but it still happens. People with lighter skin are at greater risk for sun damage.

There are simple steps you can take to minimize sun damage:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. if possible.
  • Wear protective clothing like a broad-brimmed hat, long pants, and a long-sleeve shirt.
  • Wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.
  • Always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure. Remember to reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or strenuous activity.
  • Sunscreen that contains physical blockers like Zinc are more effective at skin protection than most chemical sunblockers.

Ask your dermatologist for recommendations on the best sunscreen for you.


June 2, 2020 Newsletter

How much do you know about your own skin? Decide which of these statements are true or false?

  1. Eating greasy food causes acne.
  2. Tanning beds are a safe way to get a tan.
  3. Blackheads are pores clogged with dirt.
  4. Tattoos can be easily removed.
  5. If you ignore a skin condition, it will go away
  6. Birthmarks cannot be removed.

All of these statements are false. They are some of the many myths about skin care, conditions, and treatments. We hope to answer your questions and raise your awareness about this important but often neglected, part of your body, your skin.

Take Care of Your Skin: It’s Forever

Did you know your skin is an organ? Think about your other organs: heart, lungs, liver, brain. They are all inside your body safely protected. But skin is on the outside, exposed to the elements. This vulnerability makes it very important that you do all you can to take care of your skin.

First of all, although skin’s primary purpose is to protect your body from the elements, you want your skin to look good. A visit to a dermatologist, a physician specializing in the medical, surgical, and cosmetic care of skin, hair, and nails, can help you determine how to best care for your skin. Just like you would see physicians about cardiology (heart issues), pulmonology (lung issues), rheumatology (joint issues), so you seek out physicians that specialize in dermatology (skin issues).

A dermatologist is trained to treat rashes, skin cancer, psoriasis, acne, warts, athlete’s foot, acne scarring, and any other skin, hair, or nail conditions. When you visit a dermatologist, he or she will talk to you about your skin, hair, or nail concerns. You will be asked to provide your medical history. The doctor will perform an exam, do any necessary tests, and give you a diagnosis and treatment options.

Most skin, hair, and nail problems are treatable, so as soon as you notice a problem, visit a dermatologist. It’s even a good idea to schedule a visit without a problem because a dermatologist can help you improve your skin and can look for things you may not notice. For example, your parents may get regular skin checks for signs of sun damage, wrinkles, or skin cancer. A dermatologist is trained to recognize these conditions early, and early treatment for skin cancer is critically important.

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