Skin Cancer is Preventable

One in six Canadians that were born in the 1990s will develop skin cancer. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and is the number one cancer killer of women between the ages of 25 to 30 years old. The risk of melanoma is 75% greater for people who use tanning beds before the age of 30.

If these statistics shock or worry you, please read on for how you can prevent this.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and it is the most preventable as well. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. There are over 80,000 cases diagnosed each year in Canada alone. This cancer is caused when our skin is overexposed to UV radiation from the sun and artificial tanning beds.

Our skin plays a vital role in our health. It is the largest organ we have and is our protector from things such as pollution, bacterial infections, and the sun, but it can only do so much. The ultraviolet rays from the sun damage the DNA in our skin cells which can cause cancer. So how can we protect ourselves from this preventable cancer that has continued to rise?

The best way to prevent skin cancer to protect your skin. Most people love to be outdoors playing or relaxing when the sun is shining with many more that earn a living by working outdoors. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can harm you. The sun can help with things like depression, improving our appearance, and increase our levels of vitamin D but exposure to the sun must be done so safely. The following are tips for enjoying the benefits of the sun.

  1. Sunglasses – it is important to protect our eyes from the sun as well as our skin. There is no need to spend an absorbent amount of money on sunglasses as a cheap pair with UVB and UVA protection will do the trick.
  2. Sunscreen – Use a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher for extended stays outdoors. This should be applied 15 to 20 minutes before heading into the sun and should regularly be reapplied throughout the entire time you are outside. Definitely, reapply after swimming or playing sports that cause you to sweat.
  3. Head Cover – Put a hat or scarf on your head. This will not only protect your face and neck from overexposure to the sun, but it can also decrease your chance of heat stroke.
  4. Stay Away from Tanning Beds and Lamps – there have been reports for and against this practice. While Canadians use many different types of products to give them that healthy glow, there is no safe way to tan.

It is important that we pay attention to our body. We know ourselves best, and by being aware, reporting any changes in our health to a medical professional, and practicing sun safety, we can reduce our risk of skin cancer. The following are warning signs from the Government of Canada Public Health website:

Asymmetry. Do the two halves not match if you imagine drawing a line through the mole?

Borders. Are the edges uneven, scalloped or notched?

Colours. Are there many shades (brown, red, white, blue or black)?

Diameter greater than 6mm. Is the mole the size of a pencil eraser or larger?

Evolution. Has there been a change in size, shape, color, or height? Has a new symptom developed (like bleeding, itching or crusting)?

The amount of skin cancer cases has increased over the last 30 years, and although it is the most common type of cancer, it is preventable. By following the simple safety tips, you can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer.  

 

Is Your Makeup Undermining Your Skincare Treatment?

Makeup is a way that you can enhance the natural beauty that you already possess and is used for skincare as well. Using makeup to play up your features and downplay what you consider flaws are what makes this a multi-billion dollar industry and one that grows by 7% each year. The average woman will spend over $3,000 on mascara alone! But is over the counter makeup so many women purchase doing more harm to your skin than helping you appear more radiant?

You may have heard the term that skin needs to breathe. The fact is that the top layer of skin is dead and the layers beneath are nourished by oxygens and nutrients in your blood supply. The implication that is meant when you hear that your skin needs to breathe is whether or not your pores are clogged. It is not a myth that poor makeup choices can clog your pores which in turn can compound the problem of acne-prone skin.

Non-comedogenic makeupJane Iredale skincare is the key to clearer skin while still allowing women to use the skincare and makeup products they love. Jane Iredale Makeup is a line of cosmetics that can be used to protect and nourish your skin. Committed to providing a product line that not only enhances the lives of the women who use it but one that is delivered with integrity makes Jane Iredale products stand out from other lines of makeup products.

Make up that is thick or overly creamy in texture should be avoided as these are more likely to clog your pores and can further aggravate skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and rosacea to name a few. Non-comedogenic makeup is comprised of ingredients that will not block your pores. Most of these products are oil-free and are beneficial to those that have sensitive skin or are acne prone. Not all oils will clog your pores, so it is possible to use non-comedogenic products that contain certain oils such as avocado oil that are used in a number of Jane Iredale concealers and lip products which can be found at Laser and Skin Care Medspa in Red Deer. Make up that contains ingredients such as parabens and silicone should be avoided.avocado with natural ingredients for skincare

Products that are hydrating, control oil and are pH-balancing are healthy, restoring and revitalizing to your skin. You want to nourish your skin while still protecting it. Avoid makeup with synthetic fragrances or talc as these are potential irritants for those with sensitive skin. Look for natural ingredients such as aloe vera extract, chamomile flower extract, jojoba seed oil and tea tree extract. These ingredients have all been shown to be good for your skin.

A skincare line that is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested is a good start to finding a line of products that will not add to your acne problem. Because promises made by cosmetic companies about their products aren’t regulated by the FDA, it is important that you educate yourself. Skincare is individual, and while one product may work for others, it may not necessarily be your best choice. Taking the time to read the ingredients on packages and talking with a professional will be helpful.

Just as important as choosing the right makeup to suit your skin, it is also vital that you have a good skincare routine. Leaving your makeup on overnight is a no-no, and you should also avoid aggressive forms of exfoliation. Ensuring that you are treating the underlying acne problem rather than just using makeup to cover it up is another is another suggestion. Once the condition has been treated, it is important to keep the treatment program in place to prevent future breakouts. The staff at Laser Skin Care and Medspa would be happy to give you more information on how we can help you care for you

Skincare Treatments for Acne

While most people will only ever experience the mild development of acne in their teen years, there are those that suffer a severe form of this skin disease known medically as Acne Vulgaris. This skin condition involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Human skin has pores which connect to oil glands located under the skin. These glands produce an oily liquid called Sebum. The sebum job is to carry dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin, and if these follicles get blocked, a pimple can grow that results in an accumulation of oil under the skin.

woman hiding her faceAcne can be embarrassing and cause self-esteem issues in all ages. Understanding the signs of acne is the first step in determining which treatment may work best for you. Whiteheads are small blemishes with a whitish head whereas blackheads look like tiny dots on your skin. Both are referred to as comedones, which is another term for clogged pore. The next phase of acne is called Papules and occurs when bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells cause inflammation under the skin. They are small hard lesions, but there is no pus in papules. Similar to papules are pustules in appearance, but they are pus filled. These types of mild to moderate acne should be treated to heal existing spots and lessen the chances of scarring. It is also advisable for those with a darker complexion to seek treatment at the early stages of acne to prevent hyperpigmentation.

If you’re experiencing large, red, inflamed blemishes that last longer than a month these can be symptoms of severe acne. Nodular acne and acne cysts are both types of severe acne and need a customized treatment plan. Nodular acne is usually painful and covers large areas of your skin. The nodules are lesions that are deep within the skin. Similar to nodules, cysts are deep under the skin’s surface as well, but they are filled with pus and are usually softer than a nodule. These severe types of acne are usually caused by genetics and if left untreated can cause scarring.

There are stronger medications and therapies that can help treat severe acne if over the counter products aren’t working. The following types of treatment are offered for severe acne:

Topical medications
These products work best on clean, dry skin and may take a few weeks to notice any improvements. The most common topical prescriptions are Retinoids, antibiotics, and Dapsone. These products come in a gel, cream or lotion.

Oral medications
For moderate to severe acne, you may need oral medications to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation. This may include a drug called Accutane. This powerful drug was used almost exclusively years ago, and in most cases, the first signs of healing occurred after two to three weeks of treatment although it could take as long as one to two months for the benefits to be noticed. While Accutane can be beneficial for some patients, the best results are obtained when combined with other treatments for severe acne.

Light Therapies
Photorejuvenation is a procedure that uses lasers or photodynamic therapy. It treats only the area that is required and does not affect the surrounding tissue. During treatment, a laser emits a controlled light that is absorbed by the skin. The body’s natural healing system encourages the production of new collagen to improve the texture of the skin. You will be asked to wear dark goggles to protect your eyes from the bright light. A cold gel is applied to aid in the absorption of the light. Treatment lasts about 30 minutes, and five or six treatments are recommended for maximum results.

Blu-U is a narrow band of blue light is emitted in this non-invasive, pain-free treatment that is safe for all ages and pregnant women. The light causes a photodynamic effect within the oil glands that kills the primary bacteria responsible for acne. While this treatment can be effective on its own, it can also be combined with other forms of therapy to enhance results. These simple sessions last approximately 30 minutes during which time you will sit with the affected area exposed to the light. Aftercare may include the doctor recommending special attention in choosing a sunscreen.

Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) combines light and a special light-activated solution called Levulan. This effective treatment controls hard to treat acne and may also improve skin texture, pore size, and pigmentation. Prior to applying Levulan, an active scrub or microdermabrasion will be performed to the treatment area. You will then be positioned under a Blu-U or IPL light in a darkened room. After the treatment, the Levulan is washed off, and a sun block is applied to the treated area before leaving the clinic.

Laser and Skin Care Medspa offer a free consultation to assess each individual before recommending any course of action. Please note that treatment is covered by Alberta Health Care and some 3rd party insurance plans. We also carry special medical grade skin care products and water-based therapeutic foundation such as the Jane Iredale Makeup line that aid in acne care and not harm your skin like some over the counter products can. We employ the most advanced treatments for maximum benefit for you. If acne is a concern for you, there are treatment options available that can help.teen with acne