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MAY: Melanoma Month

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

If we have learned anything over the past year, living life “unprotected” can have serious consequences.  Since the pandemic has decreased our social options, many of us are spending more time than usual outside; this means more opportunity for sun exposure.  With the potential for removing masks in the very near future, I expect the time outside to continue to increase as we are able to loosen the social reins. It’s important to think ahead about protecting our skin from UV rays.  Skipping this simple step will not only cause pre-mature skin aging but can also lead to a devastating diagnoses of Melanoma.

Use multiple tools to help decrease sun exposure like applying and re-applying broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen every 2 hours, seeking shade, wearing a wide-brim UV protected sun hat and sunglasses, and limiting high-sun exposure time because it’s easy to over-look your next sunscreen application and end up with unintended sun exposure, especially when you are working outside or  having a great time with friends.  Did you know, according to the CDC, the occurrence of melanoma has doubled within the past three decades in the United States? One person now dies of melanoma every hour of every day.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Melanoma Month was put into place to encourage efforts to increase awareness about melanoma, the dangers of UV exposure, how to identify suspicious skin changes, and how to protect yourself and your family. UV exposure cannot only cause pre-mature aging such as wrinkles, lines, rough, uneven texture, brown spots and spider veins, but it primarily responsible for all forms of skin cancer.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most-deadly form of skin cancer.  It develops in pigment producing cells called melanocytes. While basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are more common forms of skin cancer, melanoma takes more lives because it can quickly spread to other organ if it is not diagnosed and treated in the early stages.

 

What does melanoma look like? What should I look for?

  1. A spot, lesion, bump or mole that becomes painful, tender, itchy, or bleeds and doesn’t heal.
  2. Visual changes on the skin such as shape, color, size, flaking or bleeding of a new or existing spot.
  3. A spot, lesion, bump or mole that looks shiny, waxy or pale in color.
  4. Red bumps that become crusty and / or bleed.
  5. Red, flat spot that has a rough texture, is dry or scaly.
  6. One half of a mole or a pigmented spot that is an uneven shape (asymmetrical) or has irregular or ill-defined borders.

***This is just a list of SOME of the signs of melanoma, but it could appear differently on a case to case basis. See your doctor with any suspicious signs.

Which factors can put me at a higher risk for melanoma?

  1. Sun / UV exposure – Skin cancers are mostly the result of UV exposure, that includes both sun exposure and UV exposure from tanning beds and other tanning devices.
  2. Family history – If you have a family history of skin cancer, visit your dermatologist for frequent skin checks. 
  3. Skin type – while skin cancers are diagnosed much more frequently in lighter skin types, it often proves more deadly in darker skin types as the signs of skin cancer often do not appear on dark skin types until the later metastatic stages.

How can I protect myself from melanoma?

  1. Make UV protection a priority! Apply a broad-spectrum, UVA/UVB physical sunscreen generously every day of the year. Re-apply every two hours as needed when exposed. If you are swimming or sweating, re-apply every 80 minutes. Be generous with your sunscreen applications.  It takes one shot glass of sunscreen to cover the average body appropriately.
  2. LIMIT your sun exposure time. Applying sunscreen is not meant to be a free ticket to all day exposure.
  3. Wear GOOD UV protective sunglasses! UV exposure has also been linked to cataracts and other eye conditions.
  4. Wear a wide-brimmed, UV protected sun hat and seek shade.
  5. Wear UV protective clothing.
  6. Avoid sun exposure between 11am-3pm.
  7. Do frequent self-checks and visit your dermatologist with any suspicious changes.

Help us improve community knowledge about the dangers of UV radiation and decrease the number of lives effected or lost to melanoma by sharing this post on your social media platforms and sharing this knowledge with your friends and family.

 

Roxanne,

Skincare & Laser Specialist for

G.D. Castillo, MD, FACS

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center

https://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery

What To Expect During Your Microdermabrasion Consultation:

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

When you arrive to your consultation, you will be greeted by our patient coordinator and asked to fill out a brief form regarding your skin.  It will cover topics such as your skin type, current medications, allergies or sensitivities, past skin treatment history, and your current skincare regimen.

Then you will meet with me for a full skin evaluation. We will discuss your skincare concerns, current regimen and your goals.  We will then determine whether or not you are a good candidate for microdermabrasion.  Microdermabrasion is often a good choice for those with minimal to moderate aging changes, rough texture, lines, blotchy skin tones, or minimal acne scarring, for those who want improvements in the way their skin looks and feels but do not want a more invasive treatment or those who have a busy schedule that does not allow for down time, and for those want to maintain their skin after having a surgical and laser procedure.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  We want you to have all the information you need to make an educated decision. Once the evaluation is completed, if microdermabrasion is not an appropriate treatment option for you, other treatment alternatives may be recommended instead.

If it is determined that you are a good candidate for microdermabrasion, we will review the benefits, risks, expected out-come and contra-indications.  Should you decide to move forward, we will create a treatment plan. The plan will include the number of treatments anticipated and how far apart you should schedule each treatment.  You will also leave with a formal, written cost quotation.

We will also discuss your current at home skincare regimen, if you have one.  We will look at which ones will enhance your results and which ones we may want to discontinue.  Maximum results are obtained by consistently and simultaneously participating in an at-home medical grade skincare program.

What To Expect During Your Microdermabrasion Treatment:

Your appointment will last 35-45 minutes. We will begin by reviewing the condition of your skin, any changes since your consultation and your at-home skincare program if you have already begun one.

We will begin treatment by cleansing your face. I will then physically exfoliate your skin with the diamond-tome wand.  As we progress further into your treatment plan, we may increase the abrasiveness of the exfoliating tip as your skin dictates. This is followed by a glycolic application.  You can expect some light tingling for 1-2 minutes. Then we finally reach everyone’s favorite part…the soothing oxygen-nutrient facial mist!  The treatment ends with an application of Dr. Castillo’s premier line of medical grade skincare products and mini-facial massage. You will leave the office feeling relaxing, refreshing and ready to face the world!

Depending on your treatment plan, you are likely to schedule the first 3-6 treatments 2 weeks apart if this is your first experience with microdermabrasion.  Our maintenance or monthly club members are more likely to seek treatment every 4-6 weeks.

Working as a team is the best way to support your results.  I am available to answer questions, deliver information and education as it pertains to your goals. I will routinely review and evaluate your treatment plan and perform effective, thorough in-office treatments.  Keeping your regularly scheduled appointments, consistently following an at-home skincare product regimen and limiting unprotected sun exposure will assure that we are both investing in the same goal of obtaining the best outcome possible.

Does It Hurt?

The old saying “no pain, no gain” does NOT apply here.  There is no pain involved in Diamond -tip type microdermabrasion.  You can feel a slight tugging of the skin due to suction, with abrasiveness similar to a buff puff.  You can feel a light tingle during the glycolic application and just might fall asleep during the mini facial massage.

What To Expect After Your Microdermabrasion Treatment:

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There is no-downtime after microdermabrasion. You will immediately notice that your skin feels smoother and looks refreshed. You may experience slight flushing of the skin for 10-30 minutes post treatment. As we increase the level of abrasiveness in future appointments, it can occasionally result in small cat-like scratches that will resolve quickly. Microdermabrasion is a quantitative procedure.  This means you will see more results after each treatment.

You can apply make-up and carry-out all of your normal activities immediately following your treatment. Microdermabrasion, like any exfoliating treatment will make your skin more sun sensitive for a few weeks.  Be sure to apply the recommended medical-grade, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen daily.

 

Roxanne Grace Hammond
Skincare & Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY http://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

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800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)