Tag Archives: skin cancer

The rise of melanoma can be prevented

Melanoma is the deadly kind of skin cancer – the kind that can metastasize (migrate through the body).  Not too long ago, melanoma was uncommon. In 1930, only one in 1500 individuals would get melanoma. By 1980, this number had increased to 1 in 250. Today,  we note with great concern that this number has risen to 1 in 60.

The culprit isn’t difficult to find.  The group most likely to get melanoma is young women who get exposed to the intense ultraviolet rays of artificial tanning beds.  This is completely preventable.

Besides contributing to skin cancer, ultraviolet radiation, whether from tanning beds or sunlight, causes most of the aging of our skin. Up to 80%, in fact.

So, you should use a good paraben-free broad spectrum sunscreen every day – even if you’re not tanning at the beach, and even on cloudy days. This is because the effects of sunlight are cumulative over your entire lifetime. UV rays are also invisible, so on an overcast day, just because it’s not as bright, there are still a lot of UV rays penetrating your skin.

But you don’t have to be pale, either. There are some excellent, non-toxic sunless tanning lotions on the market to give you that golden skin glow – safely.

What to do about Age Spots on your Skin, Hands, Face, Chest

Age spots, also known as liver spots or sun spots, are known to dermatologists as “solar lentigo,” or more lightheartedly, “wisdom spots.” As the medical name implies, they are caused by years of accumulation of sunlight exposure.  These spots can appear anywhere on your body that has had a lot of sun exposure, typically on the face, shoulders, arms, chest, hands, and neck.

Age spots are flat, round, dark, and much larger than a common freckle. As a cautionary note, while they are benign and pose no skin cancer risk, it is important to distinguish them from skin cancer, which will be dark spots showing irregular edges or uneven color, and change in appearance. Talk to your dermatologist if you have any suspicions.

How do you get rid of age spots? Your dermatologist can remove them with a laser treatment or by freezing them. If you want a less radical approach, try exfoliating your skin with a paraben-free exfoliator.  This process will yield results over time.

Finally, to help prevent more age spots, be sure to use a daily UVA/UVB sunblock with a SPF of at least 15.