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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

 

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