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Protect Children From The Sun

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Researchers estimate over ONE MILLION NEW CASES of skin cancer will be reports this year alone!

Did you know research has shown two or more sunburns during childhood significantly increases the chance of developing skin cancer during your child’s life time? By taking time to learn more about sun-safety, you will be able to teach your family safe-sun habits that will last them a lifetime. You could even save a life!

Invasive melanoma is malignant, often fatal form of skin cancer.

According to the research of Brooke Rutledge Seckel, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, in 1935, Americans had a 1 in 1,500 chance of developing invasive melanoma, by the 1980, the rate increased to 1 in 250 and 1 in 74 by 2001. That number is estimated to be 1 in every 50 Americans by 2010!

Sun rays are ionizing radiation, no different than the radiation of an atomic blast or a cobalt 60 therapy found in cancer treatment centers. The sun is the number one cause of skin cancer (melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma) in the United States. Even though most people who are diagnosed with skin cancer are adults, skin cancer affects children as well. The sun is also responsible for reducing immune responses and many long-lasting aging effects such as lines, wrinkles, loss of collagen & elasticity, brown spots, freckles & broken spider veins.

Using sun protection any time your child may be exposed to the sun is a must. It will prevent sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancers and premature aging. Sunburns hurt. They can cause fever, swelling, blisters and pigmentation changes. Sunscreens are meant to be used as a source of protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun for a longer period of time.   Sunscreens are not just for those with pale skin who burn in the sun. Sun protection is a must no matter what color your skin is. Remember, tanned skin is damaged skin!

Later this week we will talk about sunblock and how Cosmetic Plastic Surgery can help you in the fight against sun damage.

Roxanne, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Restoration and Laser Institute

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

Excuse Busters! The Top 5 Reasons For Not Using Sunblock

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Excuse Busters!

As Melanoma month comes to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to review the top five most common reasons for not using sunblock.

1.     “I just want to get a little color first”:

Keep in mind that any color changes in the skin, tan or red caused by UV radiation is skin damage.  No exceptions.  This includes color changes created in tanning beds.  UVA rays from both sun exposure and tanning beds will speed up your aging-process. Many of the patients at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic achieve “a little color” by using one of the following:

  • Glo Mineral Sun Kissed or Sunlight Mineral bronzer
  • Glo Mineral Luster Brick
  • Spray tan

2.     “I don’t need to use sunblock because I have dark skin”:

Just because your skin is dark or does not “burn”, does not mean your skin is not damaged by the sun.  It just means that the dark color of your skin conceals the visual signs of damage for a longer period of time than Caucasian skin.  Even though it is true that the number of Caucasians diagnosed with melanoma is higher, be aware that African Americans have a lower survival rate because dark skin shows signs of damage much later.  By the time they are diagnosed with melanoma, it is often in an advanced stage.  It is common to see hyper-pigmentation or sometimes hypo-pigmentation in unprotected skin of color.  Over the years, Dr. Castillo has seen a number of African American patients with dark brown blotches on their skin that could have been prevented by simply applying sunblock on a daily basis.

3.     “I want to make sure I get enough Vitamin D to avoid breast cancer and other diseases”:

Don’t be misled by the plethora of unclear information surrounding the studies regarding insufficient levels of vitamin D in relation to breast cancer and other diseases.  Let’s be clear about a few known facts.

  • Yes, tanning beds were officially named as a carcinogen (causes cancer) in 2009.
  • Yes, UVA radiation is found in tanning beds.
  • Yes, UVA radiation produces Vitamin D.
  • Yes, UVA radiation causes cancer, speeds up your aging process, creates wrinkles, brown spots and spider veins.
  • NO, using a tanning bed in hopes of preventing breast cancer is not a safe, effective or healthy choice.

Indeed, some research has indicated that in patients with breast cancer, a number of them were also vitamin D deficient.  However, the study does not indicate that Vitamin D deficiency is the cause of breast cancer by any means.  It just indicates that some individuals with breast cancer, diabetes, or heart disease are also Vitamin D deficient.

The tanning industry has inhumanly used these studies to instill fear into families whose members have been diagnosed with breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease for the benefit of their industry.  Strangely, their “public service” message about preventing breast cancer by increasing your vitamin D production thru the use of a tanning bed never mentions that as of 2009, tanning beds are now officially listed as a carcinogen (causes cancer!) Surely it must have been as over site on their part, right?

I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem like exposing yourself to something we KNOW causes cancer in hopes of decreasing your chances for getting cancer would make a lot of sense.  Observing as the tanning industry is trying to push this unproven, untrue message makes me think that skin may not be the only thing getting fried in the tanning beds.  The truth is that most of us get enough Vitamin D walking to and from our vehicles, walking the dog, just living life.  And for those who need to increase your Vitamin D intake, Vitamin D from foods and supplements are a SAFE, EFFECTIVE way to achieve that without exposing your body to a known carcinogen.

4.     “I’ll be inside all day”:

“Remember that a significant amount of UVA radiation penetrates clear glass and UVA rays are of a consistent strength year-round, rain or shine. UVA rays will penetrate both car and house windows. Some Fluorescent lights even emit low levels of UV rays.  Single envelop, corkscrew shaped, compact bulbs emit the most UV radiation.  If you select the double envelop bulbs, they will provide an extra layer of protection.  Your UVA/UVB broad-spectrum sunblock will protect you both outdoors and indoors and should be applied every day as part of your daily skincare routine.

5.     “Sunscreens irritates my skin”:

Avoid using a chemical sun screen. Most often it is a chemical ingredient in the sunscreen that causes irritation.  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, we recommend trying a UVA/UVB broad-spectrum physical sunblock such as medical grade Tisilc with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide.  Both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are physical sun blockers. Physical sunblocks are less likely to get absorbed by the skin than one of the chemical sun block ingredients.

If you would to take a proactive role in your aging process and the prevention of skin cancer or would like more information on this topic, call our Savoy (Champaign-Urbana area) office at 217-359-7508 or our Bloomington office at 309-662-0436.

Roxanne Hammond

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

Melanoma – Are You At Risk?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

 

Are you at risk?

May is National Melanoma Awareness month.  Did you know that Melanoma takes more lives than any other skin disease?  Do you think you are at risk for this life-threatening skin cancer? Actually, anyone who is over-exposed to sunlight or UV radiation is at risk for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

Melanoma manifests in the pigment producing cells of the skin called melanocytes.  The purpose of melanocytes is to protect the skin from harmful UV light from the sun and tanning devices.  Because UV radiation reduces DNA’s ability to repair itself, when the skin becomes over-exposed to UV light, it can cause melanocytes to grow abnormally and develop into skin cancer.

Some people have a higher risk of getting melanoma than others. Did you know that even dark-skinned people and those who tan without burning can get melanoma?

Risk factors for melanoma sited by Mayo Clinic:

  • Fair skin: Having less pigment (melanin) in your skin means you have less protection from damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, and you freckle or sunburn easily, you’re more likely to develop melanoma than is someone with a darker complexion. But melanoma can develop in people with skin of color.
  • A history of sunburn: One or more severe, blistering sunburns as a child or teenager can increase your risk of melanoma as an adult.
  • Excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure: Exposure to UV radiation, which comes from the sun and from tanning beds, can increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.
  • Living closer to the equator or at a higher elevation: People living closer to the earth’s equator, where the sun’s rays are more direct, experience higher amounts of UV radiation, as compared with those living in higher latitudes. In addition, if you live at a high elevation you’re exposed to more UV radiation.
  • Having many moles or unusual moles: Having more than 50 ordinary moles on your body indicates an increased risk of melanoma: Also, having an unusual type of mole increases the risk of melanoma. Known medically as dysplastic nevi, these tend to be larger (greater than 1/5 inch or 5 millimeters) than normal moles and have irregular borders and a mixture of colors.
  • A family history of melanoma: If a close relative, such as a parent, child or sibling, has had melanoma, you have a greater chance of developing it too.
  • Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems have an increased risk of skin cancer. This includes people who have HIV/AIDS and those who have undergone organ transplants.

Though Melanoma is the deadliest of skin cancers, the rate for survival significantly improves with early detection. It is important to become familiar with the appearance of your freckles, moles, spots and other skin markings so that you are able to identify changes should they occur.  During your self-examination, watch for changes in the size, texture, or color of moles, freckles or spots,  shiny pink or red lesions that appear suddenly or slowly grow in clusters, or a sore that does not heal.  A spot or growth that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, fade, or bleed can also be a warning sign that will require a visit to your dermatologist.

Through-out the year there are free skin cancer screenings available through the American Academy of Dermatology.  Information on these local screenings can be found at www.aad.org/public/exams/screenings/index.html.

To reduce your chances of developing skin cancer, Dr. Castillo, Medical Director of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic suggests following these simple sun safety rules:

  • Sun rays are the strongest between the hours of 10 AM – 4 PM, avoid exposing your skin during these times whenever possible.
  • Practice the Australian slogan – “SLIP, SLOP, SLAP & WRAP” – slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap-around sunglasses.
  • Choose a sunscreen that is labeled “broad-spectrum” UVA/AVB protection. The ingredient label should list titanium dioxide or micronized zinc oxide, 4% of higher and an SPF of 45 or higher.
  • Most rays can penetrate through the clouds, so use sunscreen every day of the year, even on cloudy days.
  • Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours, while exposed to the sun.
  • UVA rays are highly present all year, even on snowy or cloudy days. These rays penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB rays. Therefore, UVA rays may not give us the signal (red, tanned skin…) that we have been over-exposed to the sun. Remember, UVA rays can penetrate car windows and loose woven clothing as well. It is important to use sunscreens on exposed skin all year round.
  • Keep skin well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and using quality moisturizing skin care products. Dry skin is more easily affected by the sun.

For Children Under One Year Of Age:

  • Babies need extra protection from the sun, even if they have naturally dark skin.
  • Keep them out of direct sun light; use shaded areas, an umbrella, or stroller canopy.
  • Dress them in light weight clothing that covers the whole body. Use a wide brim hat to protect their ears and face.
  • When applying a sunscreen, apply a small amount to a limited area and watch for a reaction before continuing to apply it all over an infant. Choosing a physical sun block with titanium dioxide or micronized zinc oxide, rather than a chemical sunscreen may help to avoid a skin reaction.

As the Medical Skincare and Laser Specialist for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Skin Restoration Center, I am available to answer any additional questions regarding sun-protection you may have. You may contact me at both our Savoy (Champaign-Urbana area) and Bloomington, Illinois locations.

Savoy location at 217-359-7508
Bloomington location at 309-662-0436

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

Ask Our Expert – Tanning to Cover Sun Damage?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Ask Our Expert Blog

Q:  Now that summer is over, my tan is fading.   I have dark brown patches and spots on my face that are making me feel very self-conscious.  If I use a tanning bed through the winter months to stay tan, will it help hide these brown spots?

A:  Stop…  Back away from the phone…  Do not schedule a tanning appointment.  Covering up sun damage by getting more sun damage is never the answer.

First, understand that the UV radiation (exposure to the sun or a tanning bed) is the reason these unwelcome spots are appearing on your face in the first place.  Though tanning your skin may initially camouflage them, those spots will become darker and multiply very quickly. Not only that, but eventually these unwelcome visitors will bring friends in form of lines, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, and poor skin texture.  Your skin is giving you an initial visual warning.  It is saying “STOP abusing me or else!”  And believe me, “or else” means it will punish you by introducing you to lines, wrinkles, large pores, and rough texture next!”

Many people find themselves caught in the same viscous circle.  They develop sun damage.  Then to cover the sun damage, they sun tan. Then they develop more sun damage.  It isn’t until the sun damage is so bad that it can no longer be hidden, that people truly realize what they have done to their skin.  Your best bet is to give your skin the protection it is demanding and begin to correct the sun damage that is causing you to feel self-conscious.

So let’s talk about ways to correct your sun damage.  There are many options that will help you to some degree or another.  It is important to seek advice from someone who specializes in aging, sun damaged skin such as a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon.  They will help you match the amount of sun damage you have to the appropriate treatment. Usually the less expensive options are less aggressive and therefore give less result or require multiple treatments.  If you are someone who is willing to be patient, some of the less aggressive options may work well for you.  I will start with the least invasive options and work up.

Topical skincare treatment:

1.      Avoid sun exposure as much as possible and protect your skin faithfully by applying a medical grade physical sunblock every single day of the year, not just when it is hot or sunny. (THIS IS A MUST NO MATTER WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING SOLUTIONS YOU CHOOSE) In both our Bloomington and Champaign-Urbana locations, we recommend TiSilc 60 medical grade sunblock.

2.      Use a prescription bleaching agent with retinol every night for 6 weeks.  Both of these will help lighten the brown spots over time but you will need to be patient.

3.     In addition, applying Vitamin C and E topically to the skin every morning may also improve your spots.

4. Talk with an experienced medical skincare specialist within a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon’s office.  Ask her or him to build a medical-grade skincare program for you based your skin injuries. Remember that there are no magic creams out there but there are some scientific based medical skincare products that will make great improvements to your skin.  However, you must be faithful in applying them as directed. 

Chemical Peels:

There are several formulations of strengths when it comes to chemical peels.  I suggest you seek an experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon to develop your chemical peel plan.  Chemical peels have a quantitative effect, so typically you would expect to have multiple peels. You need to protect your skin from UV radiation and use a physical sun block every day.

Approximate cost:  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic chemical peels range from $50.00 to $175.00 each.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Treatments:

Intense Pulsed Light can improve both brown spots and redness.  You should plan on three to six treatments depending on the severity of your sun damage.  Expect redness and swelling for a few days following each treatment.  Your brown spots will get darker before they get lighter.  Then they will come to the surface and flake off.  Again you will need to protect your skin from UV radiation and use a physical sun block every day.

Approximate cost:  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, you can expect to pay $250.00 and up per IPL treatment depending on the location of the treatment area.

CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing:

This is typically the best treatment for sun damage in the form of brown spots, melasma, lines, wrinkles, and the break-down of collagen and elastin.  In most cases this is a one- time treatment. You will need to take about four days off from work or social activity as you will be swollen, red and your skin will peel between days three and five.  This option will give you the best non-ablative results available if preformed by an experienced laser practitioner.

Approximate cost:  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, for a first treatment you can expect to pay

Full face:  $2000.00                              Hands: $700.00                        Neck: $900.00

Chest:  $1900.00                                    Shoulders: $900.00                 Eyes only: $600.00

Upper & Lower lips:  $600.00            Upper or lower arms: $1800.00

Roxanne Hammond

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

“Dying” To Get A Tan

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

How many of you are “Dying” to get a tan?”

These facts were provided by The Skin Cancer Foundation: www.skincancer.org As I am a strong believer in the duty to make educated choices, I wanted to share these facts with you.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

More than one million skin cancers are diagnosed annually.

Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

About 65 percent of melanoma cases can be attributed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Melanoma accounts for about three percent of skin cancer cases, but it causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.

One in 55 people will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime.

One or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.

A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns at any age.

Frequent tanners using new high-pressure sunlamps may receive as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from sun exposure.

People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

The average annual melanoma rate among Caucasians is about 22 cases per 100,000 people. In comparison, African Americans have an
incidence of one case per 100,000 people. However, the overall melanoma survival rate for African Americans is only 77 percent, versus 91
percent for Caucasians.

More than 20 Americans die each day from skin cancer, primarily melanoma.

One person dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 62 minutes).

Still “DYING” to get a tan???

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana), IL
309-662-0436 Bloomington, IL

ASK OUR EXPERT: Anti-Aging Treatments for Hands

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Q:  Do you offer anti-aging treatments for hands at Dr. Castillo’s Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Restoration and Laser Institute?

A:  When it comes to trying to conceal our age, hands can be a dead give-a-way.  Brown spots, “age spots”, loose skin, and loss of fat can all be contributing factors of aging hands.  So often we protect our face or improve the appearance of aging facial skin but we forget about our hands, and our neck and chest for that matter. Think of all the hours spent over a lifetime with your hands on the steering wheel of a car while the sun is beating down on them.   Do you apply UVA/UVB sun block with an SPF of 45 or higher to your hands each day; winter, spring summer, fall?

I have a few of recommendations for improving the appearance of aging hands.

  1. The first and most important recommendation is to apply a UVA/UVB physical sun block with SPF of 45 of higher to your hands each day.  Because incidental sun is responsible for a large percentage of skin cancer and aging it is imperative to use sun block 365 days a year.   Using sun block on your hands daily will help prevent melanocytes from becoming over-active, leaving brown spots on your skin.
  2. CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser resurfacing removes brown spots, builds new collagen and improves loose, sagging, crepy skin to restore your hands to a more youthful appearance.   This is typically a one- time treatment and will provide the best corrective results.  A prescription skin lightening agent may also be used to pre-treat brown spots in conjunction with this treatment.
  3. IPL (Intense Pulse Light) can be used to improve brown spots and redness.  It is not likely to improve loose, sagging skin however.  This procedure typically requires 3-6 treatments.  Again a prescription skin lightening agent may be used as a pre-treatment in conjunction with this procedure.  I would not recommend this treatment for skin types IV and higher.
  4. Dermal fillers such as Radiesse can be used to increase volume if fat loss has occurred.  This option offers immediate, long-term effects in a single treatment.  It also works well in conjuction with any of the above mentioned options.
  5. Wear gloves when driving.  Remember that your hands get a lot of UV radiation while perched on the steering wheel of your vehicle.
  6. You’re at home skincare regimen should include a minimum of exfoliation, hydration and sun protection.

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana), IL
309-662-0436 Bloomington, IL

Tanning After Surgery

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Often a patient will ask “how long do I have to wait after my surgery to go back to the tanning beds?”  The answer is …“FOREVER.”  Of course we share with them that UV exposure to an incision can delay healing and darken the scar, making it more noticeable.  However, there are much more important reasons that we want our patients to be aware of.

In the Lancet Oncology Journal, a panel of cancer experts upgraded the warning on tanning beds from “probably” to “DEFINITELY” able to cause cancer. You may recall seeing this on the CBS morning show in the late summer of this year.

UVA radiation used in tanning beds is responsible for the increased risk of developing basal cell and squamous cell cancers along with melanoma, the most deadly of all skin cancers. The fact that UV radiation causes skin cancer cannot be taken lightly.  According to the American Cancer Society one million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers will be reported and over 60,000 cases of Melanoma will be reported this year as well.

UVA is often referred to as the aging ray.  It allows ionizing radiation free to destroy the protein in elastic fibers called “elastin” and collagen.  This creates signs of pre-mature aging such as wrinkles, skin ptosis (sagging skin) brown spots and broken blood vessels. If the thought of brown spots, sagging, dull dry and wrinkled skin sounds unappealing to you, take a look at a cancerous facial lesion.   It might make those “dying” to get a tan think twice.

Roxanne, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington