Posts Tagged ‘sunscreen’

Sunscreen Shake-up

Friday, June 17th, 2011

IntellishadeSPF45Confused as you walk down the sunscreen aisle?  Apparently so were alot of other people.  So the FDA announced some changes that they will require for sunscreen labeling.  Here are the facts:

When choosing a sunscreen, look for one that offers broad-spectrum protection.  According to the CBS Evening News, manufacturers may only label their product as broad-spectrum “only if the sunscreen protects [against] ultraviolet B which causes burning and ultraviolet A which causes wrinkling.”  The AP reports that sun protection products that aren’t broad-spectrum, or that are less than SPF 15 will be labeled with a warning that reads: “This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

The Washington Post reports that the FDA will do away with the terms sunblock, waterproof, and sweatproof due to the inaccuracy of the terms.  Instead, they will be labeled water-resistant.

The FDA has not yet decided if it will require manufacturers to do away with excessively high SPF numbers (SPF 80, 90, 100).  According to the New York Times, products that are labeled with that high of a SPF “offer little more protection than those with an SPF of 50.”  USA Today reports that everyone should use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen

Before you head out to the beach this summer, make sure your sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, that it is at least an SPF 30 or higher, and that you apply enough sunscreen (think a shot glass size amount for the entire body), and re-apply every one to two hours while outdoors.

Skincare Must-haves

Friday, October 8th, 2010

skincare for blog1A question we hear almost daily from patients is, “What should I be using on my skin?”  Your skincare routine doesn’t need to have a million different steps, but there are three products (4, if you include a good face wash) that we recommend to almost everyone over the age of 25.  To acheive healthy, youthful looking skin it’s important to protect your face from the elements and promote skin cell turnover.  When cleansing your face, try to find a cleanser that is soap free.  After cleansing your face in the morning, apply a Vitamin C product, like SkinMedica Vitamin C Complex.  Vitamin C protects your skin from free radicals.  It also improves the appearance of skin tone and texture.  While you can buy a Vitamin C product in your local drug store, we recommend purchasing pharmaceutical grade products that offer a higher concentration of the active ingredient.  The next very important step is sunscreen.  Sunscreen is essential in fighting the signs of aging!  Everyone should wear at least an SPF 30 sunscreen DAILY, and reapply every 1-2 hours when outdoors.  Remember to apply sunscreen to your neck, chest and back of your hands, as well as your face.  Last essential product to have in your medicine cabinet… Retinol.  Retinol is less abrasive than its prescription counterpart Tretinoin, which enables you to use it on a nightly basis.  Retinol (we recommend Retinol Complex by SkinMedica) is a keratolytic, which means it helps slough off dead skin cells revealing the healthy skin underneath.  It’s a great anti-aging product and very well tolerated.  This skincare regimen is simple, affordable and will keep your skin in great shape

To see what other products we carry in our office, please click on the following link: San Diego Dermatology & Laser Surgery Skincare Products

Skin Cancer Doesn’t Discriminate

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

37669_1330426913141_1605037106_30805780_223815_nThink just because you have darker skin that you won’t get skin cancer?  Well you’re wrong, according to an article on MedPage Today (7/19, Walsh). 

The article sites a study published in the Archives of Dermatology and found that people with darker skin are “also at risk for skin cancer” especially in places that are very sunny… like San Diego.

The research, conducted in sunny Florida, showed that the incidence of melanoma increased- most notable was the increase in melanoma in hispanic and african-american individuals. 

Everyone, regradless of skin tone, needs to take sun precautions; wear a wide brimmed hat, wear and re-apply sunscreen every 1-2 hours, and try to avoid being out midday for prolonged periods of time.  Full body exams are strongly recommended at least once a year.

To read the full article, please click on the following link: MedPage Today

Case Report: Treating “Sun Spots”

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

A 62 year-old woman visited the office to discuss photodamage she had accumulated over the years.  She was looking to even out skin tone and  improve the appearance of her skin overall.  She presented with larger lentigos, sometimes referred to as “sun spots” or “age spots,” primarily on her cheeks.

To achieve a dramatic result with limited downtime, I treated the patient with the Qs Alexandrite laser, or Alex for short.  Treatment with the Alex laser is very well tolerated, but some patients prefer to have a topical numbing cream applied which stays on the skin for up to 10 minutes.  The actual laser procedure only takes about 15 minutes to treat the entire face.  The areas that were treated with the laser appear slightly red and swollen, similar to a bug bite.  That redness and swelling decreases significantly the next day and the treated spots will appear slightly darker before sloughing off about one week later.  During that week, patients may wear make-up and resume all their normal activites, but should wear sunscreen and a hat while outdoors.  After about a week, patients can expect the lentigos to be much lighter, if not completely removed.

To learn more about this and other cosmetic procedures offered in our office, please follow this link to our website: San Diego Dermatology and Laser Surgery: Cosmetic Dermatology

Before treatment with Qs Alexandrite laser

Before treatment with Qs Alexandrite laser

After 1 treatment- notice that the large brown spots have resolved resulting in an impressive improvement

After 1 treatment- notice that the large brown spots have resolved resulting in an impressive improvement.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

It’s time to take a good look at yourself in the mirror… and check for any changing moles or suspicious spots, because May is Skin Cancer Awareness month.  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, in the last decade and a half the number of skin cancers has increased by 350 percent!!  Although May is designated as Skin Cancer Awareness month, you need to be mindful all year long about limiting your sun exposure to avoid becoming a skin cancer statistic.

Here are some facts about the most common types of skin cancers:

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)- Accounts for 80% of all skin cancers and is the most common form of any cancer diagnosed in the United States.  Basal cell carcinomas appear on areas of the body that have received the most sun and are commonly found on the face, scalp, ears, neck, hands and arms.

Photo of a basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

Photo of a basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)- Nearly 250,000 American are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma each year.  Squamous cell carcinomas appear on areas of the body that have received the most sun and are commonly found on the face, scalp, ears, neck, hands and arms.  Squamous cell can have many different appearances, like:

  • A dry, crusted, scaly patch of skin that is red and swollen at the base
  • A sore that won’t heal
  • Crusted skin
  • A thickened, crusty patch of skin with a raised border with a pebbly, granular base
Photo of a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Photo of a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Melanoma (MM)-  The most serious type of skin cancer because it can metastasize (spread) quickly.  Change in the size, shape, color, or feel of an existing mole could be an indication of melanoma.  Moles that are exhibiting any of those characteristics should be evaluated by a dermatologist.

It’s important to have a full body exam done once a year, or as often as needed, as advised by your dermatologist.  Skin cancers, especially melanoma, can be treated when caught early.

In addition to regular skin exams, here are some important tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation (   to practice safe sun this summer:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

To learn more you can visit our website: derm sd medical glossary or visit the Skin Cancer Foundation at: