Top 5 Ways to Repair Summer Sun Damage
One of the most common questions from patients after summer months are over is “How can I repair all the damage I may have done from sun exposure?” This happens to even the best of us – we try to stay in the shade, use sunscreen and wear a hat. But nonetheless, the sun penetrates our defenses and we are left with freckles, pigmentation, melasma, or (worst case scenario) abnormal moles and skin cancer. Other than getting a complete skin check to rule out any abnormal moles or skin cancer, follow these steps to improve your sun-damaged skin:
1. Skin-care: Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher should be used daily. Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean that you aren’t exposed to harmful UV rays. Furthermore, the type of UV that caused wrinkles and hyperpigmentation is not always filtered by windows. Moisturizer is also an important aspect of daily skin-care routine. As is a gentle cleanser. I tell my patients that using these products is like brushing your teeth – you just do it every day.
2. Retinol and retinoids can help repair some of the sun-damaged skin. These products promote normal development of skin cells, and can improve the overall appearance of the skin, as well as wrinkles/lines and pigmentation/melisma to a certain degree.
3. Clear and Brilliant laser can help skin cells turn over more rapidly, producing sloughing of damaged cells and growth of new, healthy, better appearing skin. I call this a lunch-time laser, since it’s virtually painless and has minimal downtime.
4. Microneedling with platelet rich plasma (PRP) helps to promote turn over of skin cells, stimulate collagen and improve the overall appearance of skin. The stem cells and growth factors found in PRP have been knows to give skin a particular glow, and promote healthy, beautiful appearing skin. This procedure is virtually painless (all patients receive an anesthetic) and has minimal downtime, with redness lasting about 24 hours.
5. Fraxel Dual is a laser resurfacing procedure that can help stimulate collagen growth, improve pigmentation and melasma, as well as wrinkles and acne scarring. This procedure is performed after application of a topical anesthetic and is virtually painless when done correctly. After the procedure the patients are usually red and the redness may last about 3 days (so plan on some down time). After the redness subsides, the skin will slowly peel, unmaking healthy, beautiful skin.
With these 5 simple steps, you can repair your skin after a long summer of sun exposure. But of course, prevention is most important. So let’s try to do better next summer!
As the largest organ, the skin plays in important role in protecting your body, controlling your internal temperature, and balance of water, vitamins, or minerals. It is essential to take proper care of your skin because exposure to sun and UV can potentially lead to skin cancer. Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately five million Americans are treated for skin cancer every year and about one in five Americans will fight skin cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. Starting in the basal cells of the epidermis, basal cell carcinoma usually appears as small bumps or nodules on the skin. Overtime, BCC can spread to surrounding tissues and even affect nerves and bones, causing severe damage and disfigurement. Since the major cause of BCC is chronic sun exposure, it commonly appears on areas frequently exposed to the sun such as the face, neck, arms, and shoulders but can also develop in others parts of the body. Although it can occur in all races, those with fair skin have a higher risk of developing this type of skin cancer. People who spend long hours in the sun or tan often are also more susceptible to BCC. If diagnosed early, basal cell carcinoma can be easily treated.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Occurring in the outer layer of the skin, squamous cell carcinoma is a tumor that often appears as a red firm bumps, scaly patches, or sores. SCC can occur anywhere on the body but usually form on areas that are frequently exposed to the sun such as the face, lips, scalp, ears, etc. SCC is more likely to develop in middle aged- and elderly people, especially those with fair skin complexions. Squamous cell carcinoma can grow deep in the skin and spread to other parts of the body, causing damage and disfigurement. With an early diagnosis, squamous cell carcinoma may be treated.
Melanoma is most deadly form of skin cancer. Affecting over 44,000 people in the United States each year and causes the most deaths, melanoma usually develops as a dark mole or spot on the skin. Melanoma can develop from a mole or arise as a melanoma from the start. Excessive sun exposure and UV radiation are the main causes of melanoma; however, genetics is also a key factor in developing melanoma. Those who have family members who suffer from melanoma are more susceptible to this type of skin cancer. Melanoma spreads very quickly and can become fatal; therefore, regular check-ups and early diagnosis is crucial in order to properly treat this type of skin cancer.
Depending on the stage of cancer, there are many different treatment options. Surgery is the most common treatment for skin cancer. If the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body, surgery is usually successful in removing the cancerous mass. Another treatment option is chemotherapy, which utilizes anti-cancer drugs to destroy or control the growth of cancer cells. Radiation is also a treatment option for those who suffer from cancer. Radiation therapy uses ionizing radiation to kill or control malignant cells. Other treatment options for skin cancer include photodynamic therapy, laser surgery, or topical medications. Visit Dr. Goldenberg at Goldenberg Dermatology to if you think you may have skin cancer and for tips to prevent skin cancer.
3 ways to decrease risk of skin cancer:
1. Sun protection:
Sun protection is most important to prevent and decrease the risk of skin cancer. This is accomplished in several ways. Sun avoidance, such as walking on the shaded side of the street, avoiding mid-day sun, and using an umbrella at the beach are important. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and other sun protective clothing is important. Special clothes are available for outdoor activities, such as golf or tennis, running, going to the beach and etc. These clothes have “UPF” – the fabric is woven tightly to prevent sun’s harmful rays from penetrating the article of clothes. Some new options include fabrics to keep one cool and absorb sweat. Using sunscreen is one of the cornerstones of sun protection. Look for a trusted brand sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 and above, and water resistance. Spray sunscreen have been recently criticized for not working as well if not rubbed in. The amount of sunscreen used is important – apply about a shot-glass amount each time. It’s also important to reapply regularly, about every 3 hours or so, especially after being in water or participating in a physical activity.
2. Yearly skin check:
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a yearly full skin check with a Board Certified Dermatologist for those 18 years old or over. During this exam a dermatologist will check your skin from head to toe. Although skin cancer is most common on sun-exposed skin, it’s also important to check areas where “the sun don’t shine,” since some patients may develop skin cancer in those locations. This is especially true for those who’ve used tanning beds in the past. The goal of this exam is to find abnormal lesions early, either to prevent development of skin cancer or to find skin cancer when it’s least invasive. If an abnormal lesion is found, a biopsy may be performed. Depending on the results, your dermatologist may perform an additional treatment of skin cancer and ask you to follow up more often than annually.
3. Perform a monthly self skin exam:
A monthly self skin exam may help you find an abnormal mole or even skin cancer. Look for lesions that are new, changing in size, color or texture, or are painful, itchy or sore. While benign lesions may sometimes produce all of these changes, make sure to see your dermatologist to have the lesion checked.
See Dr. Goldenberg for your skin cancer screening yearly or more often if needed.
Number of skin cancers has increased dramatically in recent years. This includes both melanoma and non-melanoma forms of skin cancer. Melanoma cancer originates from melanocytes, skin cells which give pigment or color to our skin. It is estimated that 1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime. One patient dies from melanoma every hour. Non-melanoma skin cancers, mainly basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are very common. Approximately 3.5 million cases are diagnosed annually.
Skin cancer can start as an innocuous appearing spot. These lesions can grow and become symptomatic, with bleeding, crusting, scabbing, and pain. Lesions can also grow rapidly, change in size or color.
So, what are the signs of skin cancer? Non-melanoma skin cancers usually present as red, crusted, bleeding, scabbed or scaly lesions. Some lesions, especially nodular basal cell carcinoma, can look like a flesh colored bump with dilated blood vessels. These skin cancers are usually on sun exposed skin, with scalp, face, hands and forearms being the most common locations.
Melanoma can present as a new “mole” or a changing mole. These lesions are usually dark in color, but can vary in color from light brown to dark brown, black, blue or red. A rare subset of melanoma, known as amelanotic melanoma, can present as reddish or flesh color bump. When examining moles, it’s important to remember the ABCDE’s:
It is recommended for everyone to have a skin check every year. If you are concerned about a specific spot, get it checked sooner. Depending on what the doctor thinks, he or she may decide to do a biopsy which will then confirm if there’s any cause for concern. If it turns out that the lesion is indeed cancerous, then the doctor will book you for surgery. The cancerous cells will be surgically cut out through excision. To learn more about this particular surgery, click here.
If you haven’t had a skin check this year or have a concerning spot, schedule an appointment with Dr. Goldenberg for a consultation.
Summer is here! Hello sunshine and warm weather. With summer in full swing, you’re probably spending a great deal of quality time outdoors, running, biking, hikingor hangouts on the beach. Spending more time in the hot sun can wreak havoc on your skin, even damaging your skin. This summer, fight back against the sun’s harmful effects by exercising good suncare.
Although most people understand the importance of applying sunscreen, there are still many misconceptions revolving around SPF. Many people believe that higher SPFs mean more protection against the sun and therefore you can spend more time in the sun; however, this is a huge myth. High SPF sunscreen can provide a false sense of security, but skin damage and sunburns are still likely if you aren’t reapplying sunscreen, seeking the shade, and wearing sun protective clothing. No sunscreen product can provide 100% protection. Another major misconception is not wearing sunscreen on a cloudy day. Just because there are overcasts, doesn’t mean you’re safe from the sun’s harmful rays. People are actually exposed to as much as 40% of UV rays during cloudy days. Even when the sun is not shining, you are still exposed to UV rays and could still get sunburn. Furthermore, applying sunscreen once is not enough. It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, more often if you are in and out of the water. In addition, always check the expiration date of you sunscreen products. Expired sunscreen may not provide protection from the sun because the formulation has broken down. This summer, be aware and cautious of our sunscreen products. Make sure to always check the SPF and expiration date and reapply often, even during cloudy times.
These SPF misconceptions can lead to serious lack of sun protection that can cause major risks. High exposure to UV rays from the sun target the collagen and elastin fibers in our skin, breaking down the existing molecules and weakens the production of new molecules. With little or no protection from this UV exposure, skin loses its ability to repair itself over time. Without these connective tissues and the ability to repair itself, the skin loses its flexibility and strength which can lead to pre-mature aging, making people look much older much faster. In addition to pre-mature aging, poor suncare can lead to a higher risk of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, in the United States, approximately five million people are treated for skin cancer every year. In a lifetime, about one in five Americans will develop and fight skin cancer with an estimated number of 9,940 people dying of melanoma skin cancer in 2015. Because poor suncare makes the skin more susceptible to aging and skin diseases such as cancer, it is very important to properly protect your skin from the sun.
With these risks of lack of sun protection, it is vital is exercising good, proper suncare. When searching for a sunscreen product, keep in mind the SPF. It is recommended to use a product with a minimum daily SPF of 50. Generously apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out into the sun. It usually takes the skin about 15 minutes to fully absorb the product. Remember to use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed parts of the body, even the hard-to-reach or easily forgotten places such as the feet, back, behind the knees and behind the ears. To protect your lips, use a lip balm with at least an SPF of 15. Reapply sunscreen every two hours throughout the day or after swimming or excessive sweating to ensure maximum sun protection. Also, to further protection your skin from the sun’s harsh rays, wear large brim hats and sunglasses. Larger brim hats provide shade for your face while sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun. Sun protective clothing with UPF is widely available and should be worn during the periods of sun exposure. It’s also important to seek the shade, especially during the hours of 10am-2pm. Be sure to keep these tips in mind so you can have good suncare and properly protect yourself.
For those concerned about sun-damaged skin, Dr. Goldenberg provides many treatments such as the V-Beam, Fraxel, and chemical peels to help rejuvenate and repair skin.This summer, protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by taking the necessary precautions and exercising good suncare. If you are concerned about sun-damaged skin, visit Dr. Goldenberg’s New York practice for a consultation.
There is a lot of misinformation regarding skin cancer on the internet. This article, by renowned NYC dermatologist and dermatopathologist Dr. Gary Goldenberg, will help you separate fact from fiction, and will provide professional insight into what skin cancer is and is not.
Skin cancer, the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, is the most common form of cancer, accounting for roughly half of all cancers in the U.S. Unfortunately, if left untreated, skin cancer – particularly melanoma – may be fatal. Therefore, identifying skin cancer and treating it early, before it has spread, offers the best chance for a complete cure.
Skin Cancer Myth #2: Tanning beds are a safer way to tan than tanning outdoors.
This is false. Tanning beds do NOT offer a safe alternative to natural sunlight. Whether derived from the sun or from artificial sources such as sun lamps and tanning beds, ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been indisputably linked to skin cancers (including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) and to other sorts of skin damage, particularly premature skin aging.
Skin Cancer Myth #3: A base tan will prevent you from getting sunburned.
This is simply not true. Any degree of suntan or skin darkening is a sign of skin damage, and acquiring a tan will not prevent you from further burning. The only way to protect one’s self from the damaging effects of the sun’s harmful rays is to utilize proper sun protection; that means using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and avoiding the sun during peak hours (10 A.M – 4 P.M.) It is also advisable to cover up with lightweight, tightly woven clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV blocking sunglasses.
Skin Cancer Myth #4: You cannot get sun damage on an overcast day.
Like many people, you may believe there is no risk of sun damage on a cloudy or overcast day – but this isn’t the case. Just because you do not necessarily feel the sun’s heat, or see its bright rays, does not mean you are at any less risk of exposure to its harmful effects. In fact, most sunburns occur when least expected. Even on cloudy, foggy or wintry days, 87% of the sun’s UV rays are still penetrating.
Skin Cancer Myth #5: People with darker complexions do not need to worry about sun damage.
There is a common misconception that those with darker skin complexions are immune to the perils of skin damage. This is false. Everyone, regardless of skin tone, is at risk for developing skin cancer during their lifetime. In fact, those with darker skin tones are even more susceptible to certain types of hereditary skin cancers, such as acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) than those with fairer complexions.
If you would like to learn more about your personal skin cancer risk as well as prevention and treatment options, please contact the office of Dr. Goldenberg for a professional consultation.
Skin cancer is a real epidemic. The number of cases keeps climbing. Younger and younger patients are getting skin cancer, likely to tanning bed exposure. And there is a shortage of dermatologists in US to take care of this growing problem.
Which is why it is so important for patients to be pro-active and perform self skin exams monthly. I recommend this to ALL my patients. It’s really very easy and can be made easier if you have someone to help look at your back and back of your legs. Explicit instructions can be found HERE, on the American Academy of Dermatology site.
So even if you are getting your skin check with your dermatologist annually, which everyone should do, perform a self skin exam monthly in the interim. It may just save your life!
We all know that melanoma is an epidemic. The most important factor in improving survival is early detection and surgical removal of the abnormal lesion. But there may be hope for those patients that waited too long to get checked – the FDA recently approved treatment with 2 new medications in combination. The combination of Mekinist with Tafinlar worked better than Tefinlar alone. This may offer hope to those patients with advanced disease.
Here is my quote:
Gary Goldenberg, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, agrees. “[The new FDA approval] is an important step in treatment of patients with advanced melanoma, but prevention and early detection, however, are still the best option for patients.”
MELA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:MELA) designer and developer of MelaFind®, an FDA approved non-invasive optical device that assists dermatologists in diagnosing melanoma at its most curable stage, announces the Company will participate in the 16th Annual Mount Sinai Winter Dermatology Symposium in New York City, December 6-8, 2013. In conjunction with the Symposium, MELA will also host its second Clinical Advisory Meeting on Friday, December 6, 2013.
The Mount Sinai Symposium focuses on the most current research, devices, surgical techniques, cosmetic agents and diagnosis and treatment techniques for a variety of skin conditions, including skin cancer. The symposium is intended for dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, fellows, medical students and allied health professionals.
MELA Sciences Clinical Advisory Meeting – Winter 2013
The Clinical Advisory Meeting will gather thought leaders in the field of medical dermatology to discuss the use, clinical value and future potential of MelaFind®, MELA Sciences’ optical imaging technology. Gary Goldenberg, MD, Assistant Professor, Dermatology and Pathology, and Medical Director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice at Mount Sinai’s Department of Dermatology will chair the meeting. Dr. Goldenberg has been using the Company’s MelaFind® optical diagnostic device in clinical practice for over a year.
Dr. Goldenberg, commented, “MELA Sciences is a true pioneer in bringing innovative optical imaging technology to the challenging process of melanoma diagnosis. MelaFind® data and images literally provide dermatologists with ‘another set of eyes’ to help them in their assessment of pigmented skin lesions for possible melanoma. Like other imaging technologies, there seems to be much additional potential for their technology to aid in the diagnosis of skin disorders.”
MELA Sciences will share new insights and data on the MelaFind® system’s performance and clinical applications, as well as possible new applications being researched at leading centers in the U.S. and Germany. The Company seeks to position MelaFind® and its unique optical imaging technology and data analysis as a standard of care in computer assisted mole monitoring and management of ambiguous pigmented skin lesions.
Julie E. Russak, M.D., FAAD, a specialist in skin cancer and melanoma, will keynote the session discussing how MelaFind® has aided her biopsy decision making process during melanoma examinations as well as in her ability to communicate with patients about the state of their skin lesions. Dr. Russak will also speak about how she has integrated the quick, painless MelaFind® evaluation into the workflow at Russak Dermatology Clinic, her thriving midtown Manhattan dermatology practice. Dr. Russak is a Board Certified Dermatologist, a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, and a Volunteer Faculty in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. In addition to extensive research in Cutaneous Oncology, Dr. Russak has published multiple journal articles and authored a chapter for a prominent skin cancer textbook. She was also the editor of the July 2012 issue of the Dermatologic Clinic’s update on Melanoma and Pigmented Lesions.
Rose Crane, CEO of MELA Sciences, commented, “Having recently reoriented our MelaFind® marketing strategy to focus on opinion leaders in medical dermatology, the Mount Sinai Symposium provides an excellent opportunity to introduce and expand awareness of our technology and to gather feedback from some of the nation’s leading physicians. We are grateful for the support we have received from Mount Sinai and our presenting physicians and look forward to expanding awareness of our technology which can assist dermatologists in the fight against melanoma.”
Melanoma – Deadly but Curable if Caught Early
Melanoma is a skin cancer formed in melanocytes, cells responsible for forming pigments (melanin) responsible for skin color. Melanoma is the deadliest and fastest growing cancer in the U.S., according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Doctors in the United States diagnose about 160,000 new cases of melanoma per year, and the World Health Organization estimates about 48,000 melanoma related deaths occur worldwide each year. Melanoma is almost 100% curable if caught early; however, according to according to a Harris Interactive Study commissioned by MELA Sciences, 76% of Americans have never had a skin check by a dermatologist.
About MELA Sciences, Inc. www.melasciences.com
MELA Sciences is a medical device company developing dermatology diagnostics utilizing state-of-the-art optical imaging. The Company’s flagship product is MelaFind®, an FDA approved, non-invasive diagnostic tool to aid dermatologists in melanoma evaluation and diagnosis. MelaFind® uses a variety of visible to near-infrared light waves to evaluate skin lesions from the surface to 2.5 mm beneath the skin. The device provides images and data on the relative disorganization of a lesion’s cell structure that provides substantial additional perspective to aid in melanoma diagnosis. MELA is also exploring new potential uses for its core imaging technology and algorithms. MelaFind® has also received CE Mark approval and is approved for use in the European Union.
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include but are not limited to our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and may contain words such as “seeks,” “look forward,” and “there seems” that suggest future events or trends. These statements are based on our current expectations and are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from our expectations due to financial, economic, business, competitive, market, regulatory and political factors or conditions affecting the company and the medical device industry in general, as well as more specific risks and uncertainties set forth in the company’s SEC reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K. Given such uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect or unreliable. MELA Sciences assumes no duty to update its forward-looking statements and urges investors to carefully review its SEC disclosures available at www.sec.gov and www.melasciences.com.
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Melanoma rates are going up. More and more melanomas are diagnosed in young patients. This, partially, is caused by tanning bed exposure and multiple sunburns.
New techniques and devices are available to help doctors diagnose melanoma earlier. I am quoted regarding risks of melanoma in The Plain Dealer.
One of these devices is Melafind. This non-invasive device can help in two ways:
1. Detect melanoma and atypical moles.
2. Prevent unnecessary biopsies of benign moles.