MAIN SITE BLOG HOME

Posts Tagged ‘Sun protection’

Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal

Friday, August 25th, 2017

NOT ALL SUNSCREENS ARE CREATED EQUAL

Today, most of us are aware that we need to apply sunscreen when we are headed to the beach or going to be outside for an extended period of time on a hot July day but have you considered the effects of incidental sun exposure?

The principal reason our skin ages is not our age itself, but rather recurring sun exposure from birth onward. Studies indicate that approximately 80% of our lifetime sun exposure comes from incidental sun exposure, not from a day at the beach. Incidental sun exposure refers to the UV exposure you get while walking your dog, walking to your car, sitting in front of a window in your home or a restaurant, driving to work, etc.

While there is no question that you need to apply and re-apply sunscreen when you are at the beach, it’s also failing to apply a sufficient amount of “proven-effective” broad-spectrum UVA / UVB sunscreen 365 days per year that will speed up your aging process and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. So if you are concerned about looking younger longer, protecting yourself from incidental sun exposure is paramount.

The difficult part of choosing a sunscreen is knowing which ones really offer you the protection you need. Not all sunscreens are created equal.  Some sunscreens offer broad-spectrum protection, while some do not. Some sunscreens are considered physical sunscreens (our preference) and some are considered chemical sunscreens.  More-importantly, some sunscreens are “medical-grade” and must be FDA regulated to prove it’s effectiveness, strength, ingredient content and stability while OTC sunscreens do not have to be regulated.  Chemical sunscreens can cause irritation or stinging when applied to sensitive skin types while physical sunscreens will not.

Sunscreens work by either using titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to physically reflect the sun’s rays or by use of absorbent ingredients referred to as chemical sunscreens, which absorb and break down the UV radiation. Some sunscreens use a combination of both. When choosing a sunscreen, there are some very important elements to look for. Look for labels that say “broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection” and check the ingredient label to make sure it contains micronized zinc oxide and / or titanium dioxide at sufficient levels.   For example, Physical Defense Sunscreen by Castillo MD Skin Science contains 10% Zinc Oxide and 5.5% Titanium Dioxide and Sun Defense Sunscreen contains 12% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate.

For years the media has drilled the importance of “SPF” into our heads.  It is used on labels with cosmetics, moisturizers and sunscreens, but gives us a false sense of protection. SPF (sun protection factor) actually refers only to UVB, a shallow ray that causes skin burns / tans & skin cancer. It is of great importance that we are protected from daily UVA exposure as well. UVA rays are deeper penetrating rays known as “the aging rays.” They are responsible for pre-mature photo-aging and hyperpigmentation, along with some skin cancers.

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, we recommend using a medical-grade physical sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens for optimal protection. I prefer Physical Defense, Prime Defense or Sun Defense for the face and Body Guard for the body. Theses sunscreens by Castillo MD Skin Science are medical-grade and all contain high levels of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and some contain Octinoxate as well. These medical-grade sunscreens contain important physical (mineral) components we find necessary to provide effective protection:

  1. Finely Micronized Zinc Oxide – 10% -12%
  2. Titanium Dioxide – 5.5% – 8%
  3. Tint (iron oxides) – tinted sunscreen reflects the sun’s powerful rays as an added source of protection.
  4. Antioxidants – to provide future protection against UV and environmental sun damage.
  5. Water resistance (up to 80 minutes). There is no such thing as truly “water-proof,” as all sunscreens will break down within about 80 minutes when exposed to water or perspiration.

I recommend these sunscreens for a few reasons. They are formulated with the highest percentages of Titanium Dioxide and / or Zinc Oxide that I have used to date. I also like that don’t don’t feel like sunscreens. They are not sticky or smelly and actually enhance the appearance of your cosmetics and your bare skin. The cosmetically elegant formulation found in these sunscreens makes them perfect for daily use.

DSC_0475Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY                                                                     https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prevention Through Education

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Now that summer sun is in full swing and the kids are out of school it’s time to make sure we as parents and caregivers are doing everything we can to protect them from the sun’s damaging rays while allowing them to still enjoy the great outdoors. 

I know that my kid’s summers were always jam-packed with activities from swim club to day camps and softball games.  We could hardly catch a breath.  Daycare providers, coaches and camp counselors do their best to ensure the safety of our children and that includes applying sunscreen. But with all the commotion that goes on with a group of rambunctious kids, it’s easy to see how remembering to re-apply at the proper time could get over-looked.

 

That is why I like the recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.skincancer.org/Search?q=sun+protective+clothing which says you should use sun protective clothing as the first line of defense. This is a good suggestion as sunscreens break down every two hours and must to be re-applied. Even the best sunscreens like the ones we carry here at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery will eventually break down, even more quickly if your child is sweating, spending time in a pool or other water source this summer. Now this doesn’t mean it is safe to skip the use of sunscreens. You definitely need both forms of protection. Purchase UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing with a UPF + 50 rating. Garments with a UPF + 50 rating will block about 98% of both UVA & UVB rays. http://www.coolibar.com

Sunglasses and hats will give additional protection as well.  When shopping for sunglasses, there are two important factors.  First, choose a pair that not only wraps tightly around the face so that harmful UV rays do not burn your child’s eyes and peri-ocular skin. Second, sunglasses with a protective UV rating of 400 will block approximately 99% of the sun’s ever harmful rays.  Remember baseball caps only provide coverage for one side of the head / neck. This leaves your child’s ears, neck, chest, shoulders and the sides of his or her face exposed.  To provide good protection look for a wide-brim hat with a brim that is 3inches or more.

Trying to choose the sunscreen that will best protect your child is where it gets a little tricky. It can feel like you need a Ph.D. in “sunscreenology.” There are so many choices that most parents just simply look for the one with the highest SPF on the label.  Unfortunately that can be misleading.  We like to share with our patients that the most important qualifier is choosing a good sunscreen is to look for two ”physical sunscreen” ingredients; titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Once you have the right sunscreen, apply it liberally! And then re-apply it – liberally!

Don’t be afraid to talk with your coaches, camp staff and daycare providers about your sun exposure concerns, and ways they can help protect your child. It is important to recognize that sun damage is cumulative.  What does that mean for an unprotected child?  Well the amount of UV radiation they a child is exposed to from the day they are born until present impacts his or her risk of developing a skin cancer and pre-mature aging.  Both of which are preventable with education and the proper development of sun protection habits.

 

 

Yours Truly,

 

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

Ask Our Expert: What is the best type of sunscreen?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

 

Q: What is the best type of sunscreen?

A: Historically, it has been shown that physical sunscreens provide the best protection against both UVA & UVB radiation and are less likely to cause skin irritation.  Dr. Castillo, cosmetic surgery and anti-aging expert  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/ recommends medical-grade, physical sunscreens to all his patients.

There are two divisions of sunscreen ingredients; physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens reflect the UV radiation while chemical sunscreens absorb the UV radiation and break it down within the skin. Some sunscreens contain both a physical and a chemical component.

There are two types of physical sunscreens available; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both provide broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Today, these ingredients can be found in finely micronized, nano-sphere  form which allows for ease of daily use. Not only does zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide needed broad-spectrum coverage but they are also beneficial to those who have sensitive skin or are irritated by chemical ingredients.

You will typically find multiple active ingredients listed in chemical sunscreen.  Each chemical ingredient protects only against a specific portion of the UV spectrum. Be aware that at this time many over-the-counter sunscreens protect against UVB rays only, although there are a few chemical ingredients like Oxybenzone that do offer UVA/UVB protection. Therefore, when purchasing over the counter sunscreen, it is important to examine the label for the claim “broad-spectrum.”  Also look for a sunscreen that says “very water resistant.”  However, keep in mind that even the best water resistant sunscreens can only protect you for 80 minutes.  Then you will need to re-apply.

With inconsistent OTC product labels and the idea that active ingredients in sunscreens differ from manufacturer to manufacturer it can be difficult to decipher all of them so I have provided at chart of the more common ingredients found in sunscreens.  When in doubt whether a sunscreen will effectively protect you and your family, I recommend selecting a medical grade sunscreen from your local cosmetic surgeon, plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Our patient’s favorite sunscreens are:

Sun Defense by Castillo MD Skin Science, which offers medical grade 12% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection

Prime Defense by Castillo MD Skin Science, which offers 10% Titanium Dioxide, 4% Zinc Oxide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with an added skin primer.

 

Chemical & physical ingredients found in sunscreens.

Ingredient:                                            Ray Type:

Avobenzone UVA
Dioxybenzone UVA/ UVB
Homosalate UVB
Octocrylene UVB
Octyl methoxycinnamate UVB
Octisalate UVB
Oxybenzone UVA/ UVB
Padimate O UVB
Mexoryl UVA/UVB
Titanium dioxide UVA/UVB     broad spectrum
Trolamine salicylate UVB
Zinc oxide UVA/UVB     broad spectrum

WARNING: You must actually apply the sunscreen to your skin.  Just purchasing it will not provide sufficient protection! lol

 

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY                                                                 https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

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

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

“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