During the much longed-for summer months, people work on their tans. While enjoying a richer skin tone now, tanners take huge risks for premature aging and skin cancer.
Sun and artificial tanning
It's what we use to get those tans. But, did you know that when you tan, you actually burn the top layer (epidermis) of your skin and damage your DNA, too?
According to Live Science, DNA damage mutates normal skin cells into cancer cells. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common kinds of skin cancer. Malignant melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer as it easily metastasizes to major body organs. About one-third of melanoma cases in the US kill their sufferers annually, says The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Unfortunately, artificial tanning is just as dangerous as sitting in the sun. Intermittent sun exposure or occasional tanning in the sun or tanning beds are harmful, too. Damage to the skin is cumulative, and both kinds of ultraviolet radiation (there are UV-A and UV-B rays) breakdown your skin's DNA over time. Further, UV-B harms your skin's natural elasticity normally provided by a protein called collagen.
Don't tan: protect
To protect your skin, avoid sunburns, intentional tanning and excessive day to day sun exposure with these strategies from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):
- Cover up any exposed skin (face, arms, legs, ears) with a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeves and other sun-protective clothing.
- Use sunscreen lotion--SPF 30 or higher--on all exposed skin, and re-apply every two hours or whenever you sweat it off or swim.
- Stay indoors or in the shade from 10 am to 2 pm.
Also, all adults, particularly those 40 or older, should see a dermatologist for an annual skin exam. Do a careful self-exam once a month at home, looking for changes in the color, size, and shape of existing spots or moles. Report changes to your skin doctor as well as any sore which does not heal in a week or so.
It's your skin
Don't sacrifice its health for a little fashionable color. Tanning really is bad for you. Find healthy ways to enjoy the summer months and that wonderful sun. Your skin and your overall health will be better for your efforts.
Learn more about the many ways in which we can improve sun-damaged, aging skin.
Who doesn’t want younger-looking skin? Of course, as we get older, our bodies stop producing as much collagen and elastin, two naturally occurring elements that keep skin supple, firm, and elastic. As a result, lines and wrinkles form. If you are looking to breathe new life into your appearance while reducing wrinkles and other early signs of aging, your dermatologist in Basking Ridge and Union, NJ, Dr. Marc Meulener, can help.
Here are just some of the popular cosmetic dermatology treatments we offer:
If you are tired of those deep-set laugh lines or forehead wrinkles, then it may be time to visit one of our offices in Basking Ridge and Union, NJ, to talk about Botox, an FDA-approved injectable treatment that helps to smooth away moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles around the eyes, nose, and mouth, forehead and eyebrows. Results appear within 3-4 days after treatment and last up to six months.
You may notice that areas of your face that once seemed perfectly contoured have now lost their volume. Dermal fillers can be used to plump up thinning lips while also improving the contour and overall shape of your face. By improving volume in the face this can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Many dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid and results can last anywhere from 5-12 months.
This cosmetic treatment is able to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, minimize enlarged pores, and stimulate collagen production for firmer, tighter skin. Microneedling involves using a derma roller, which contains multiple small needles that, when glided over the skin, stimulates the skin’s natural healing response. The result? Healthier, firmer, and more radiant skin.
Chemical peels have been around for decades; however, this cosmetic treatment is still just as popular today. The type and intensity of the chemical peel will depend on the problems that you are dealing with and how severe they are. From there, we can customize your chemical peel treatment to help you achieve smoother and more youthful skin. There is some downtime associated with a chemical peel, so it’s important to talk with your dermatologist.
Choice Dermatology is the premiere dermatology practice here in Basking Ridge and Union, NJ. If you are interested in discussing any of these cosmetic treatments further to smooth away wrinkles and fine lines then call us today at (908) 766-7546 (Basking Ridge) or (908) 355-0112 (Union).
Wondering what’s causing those itchy red spots and whether you should see a dermatologist about your rash? Most rashes are harmless and usually go away on their own; however, some rashes may require further treatment. Here are some of the different kinds of rashes and how they are treated,
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema causes a red itchy and weepy rash to develop. While eczema can develop just about anywhere on the body it is more common on the elbows, face, neck, and ankles. It’s important to recognize triggers (e.g. dry skin; pet dander; household cleaners) to reduce flare-ups.
Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines can be used to manage flare-ups; however, you may want to turn to a dermatologist for steroid creams, light therapy, and other treatment options to better manage your eczema.
Has your child developed an intensely itchy rash all over their body and face? If they haven’t been vaccinated against chickenpox than this viral infection may be to blame for these insanely itchy spots. Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection that appears most often in school-age children. The rash may itch and ooze for a couple of days before crusting over.
It usually takes about a week for a chickenpox rash to go away. If you suspect that your child might have chickenpox it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. While the infection will just need to run its course there are ways to ease symptoms at home through special ointments, creams, and soothing oatmeal baths.
Hives or urticaria causes red itchy welts to appear. These flat bumps can be extremely itchy and may continue to disappear and appear over the course of several hours. Most cases of hives usually go away within 12 hours. Stress, drugs, food allergies, insect stings, and bites, and certain infections can also trigger hives.
While most acute cases of hives will go away, if you are dealing with symptoms that last more than six weeks or are accompanied by trouble breathing, facial swelling or other signs of a serious allergic reaction it’s important that you see a doctor immediately.
This is another common and harmless rash that appears during those hot, humid days. A heat rash will usually appear suddenly and is characterized as a cluster of red, pimple-like bumps. They can appear anywhere on the face or body but are most often found on the arms, chest, or groin. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine may help manage the itching. It’s also important to find a cooler environment and to wear lightweight clothes with breathable fabrics.
Notice a red, burning scaly rash between your toes? If so, this could be a fungal infection known as athlete’s foot. There are over-the-counter antifungal creams that can be applied directly to the infection to kill the fungus. If over-the-counter antifungal medications aren’t providing you with relief or if you’re unsure whether you have athlete’s foot it’s important that you see a dermatologist.
If you are dealing with a painful, widespread, or persistent rash it may be time to see your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. If in doubt, give your doctor a call. Based on your symptoms we can determine whether or not you should come into the office.
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