With the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.
Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!
Reapply Sunscreen Often
If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).
Seek Shade During the Day
While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.
See a Dermatologist
Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.
Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
You’re hearing the term “social distancing” everywhere now. You know that it’s designed to keep yourself and others healthy and to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but perhaps you’re not exactly sure what social distancing actually entails. From the office of our Peoria, AZ, dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Mackey, here are some social distancing tips designed to keep you healthy and safe during the pandemic.
What is Social Distancing?
Many people are using the terms “isolation”, “quarantine” or “social distancing” interchangeably but they mean something a bit different. Isolation and quarantine are designed to prevent people who are sick or are believed to be infected from being able to come in contact with others. These people may be under self-quarantine or may be confined to a hospital. People with weaken immune systems may also choose to self-quarantine in order to protect themselves from being exposed to the virus.However, social distancing is what the rest of the currently uninfected community should be practicing. Social distancing means avoiding gatherings and public spaces where there are more than 10 people at a time.
Here’s what you should know about social distancing,
- You can still go out to get groceries, medications, and other things you need to live; however, it’s best to minimize how much time you spend in public, so only go out when it’s absolutely essential.
- When you’re out in public (e.g. grocery store) make sure to keep at least six feet between you and others.
- Cancel or postpone events, parties, weddings, and other mass gatherings for the foreseeable future.
- If you’re sick, it’s important that you stay home
- Wash your hands frequently and properly
- If you are over 65 years old or if you have chronic health problems (e.g. diabetes), it’s best to stay home as much as possible, wear a mask if you have to be in public, and have neighbors/family members pick up prescriptions or groceries for you.
Make Social Distancing Easier
We know that canceling plans and having to stay indoors most of the day may feel a little strange at first. But there are ways to make social distancing easier, productive, and perhaps even fun:
- Been wanting to work out? Now is the perfect time to start! There are tons of trainers, fitness classes, and programs that are providing people with both free and paid classes online. Make your apartment or house your very own gym.
- There are also tons of chefs that are offering up tips, recipes and cooking courses right now. Choosing a recipe that the family can make together could be a fun at-home bonding experience in the evenings.
- Still working from home? Designate a bonafide workspace and set your hours each day so you aren’t tempted to get up and do laundry or clean the house instead. Once your set hours are over, then you can kick back and relax or tackle those chores. Make the most of your day even when working from home!
Tired of having to pluck, wax, and shave every few days? Dealing with thick, dark and unsightly hair in visible areas such as the chin or shoulders? If so, a dermatologist can provide you with a more effective solution for getting rid of unwanted body hair faster and easier. The answer lies in laser hair removal.
Plucking and waxing can be painful and shaving can leave you with ingrown hairs and irritation. None of these methods are fun. Plus, you have to keep doing it every few days or every week if you want smooth skin. Why go through the hassle when a dermatologist can help you get rid of hair without ever having to lift a finger?
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. This procedure makes it easy to get smoother skin without having to deal with tweezing, shaving, or waxing. This non-invasive laser treatment can treat just about any part of the body; however, it’s most often used to treat the,
- Upper lip and chin
- Bikini line
Thanks to advanced laser technology, our dermatologist can provide patients with a safe, effective, and comfortable laser treatment to help them target and remove unwanted hair for the long term. Most laser systems offer a built-in cooling system to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Depending on the size of the treatment area, laser hair removal can take as little as 10 minutes for regions such as the upper lip or chin and as long as one hour (for a full back).
Since hair grows in cycles, you will need to get several laser hair removal sessions to ensure that our dermatologist removes as much of the hair as possible. The average person will get anywhere from 4-6 sessions. During laser hair removal, the handheld device will be directed over the skin to target and heat up the hair follicles to destroy them, preventing them from growing back. While laser hair removal will not permanently get rid of the hair, it will help the hair grow back fewer, finer, and lighter so they are far less visible.
If you think laser hair removal could help you feel more confident in your appearance, then your cosmetic dermatologist can give you the smoother results you want before summer hits.
Tattoo removal has become one of aesthetic and medical dermatology's most sought-after services. Read on to learn about how this treatment works.
Dermatologists mostly use Q-switched, or quality-switched, laser instruments for tattoo removal. Short, focused bursts of light break up the tattoo pigment that lies embedded in skin. With repeated treatments, the pigment particles eventually clear the body, and the tattoo lightens or fades away completely. Your skin doctor will tailor your treatments to your skin and to your tattoo.
Skin doctors find that older tattoos composed of darker hues such as brown or green respond best to laser removal. Colors such as red or yellow are more easily retained and may not fade completely.
These treatments are best performed by a board-certified dermatologist who will examine your skin and your tattoo, review your medical history, and give you the safest and most effective treatment options available.
The American Society for Aesthetic Surgery reports that skin doctors performed more than 45,000 tattoo removal procedures in 2013, and those numbers continue to rise. In just a few treatments, many patients experience complete erasure of their body artwork.
After your tattoo removal
As you may have some blistering, bleeding, and swelling after your laser removal procedure, you must treat your skin gently afterward. Keep the area clean and dry to avoid infection.
Additional aftercare involves:
- Avoiding sun exposure
- Keeping the treated skin covered
- Wearing loose clothing over the tattoo site
- Applying antibiotic ointment or cream as directed
If you want a tattoo removed...
See your board-certified dermatologist for a personalized consultation. They have the credentials, skill, and tools to do the job safely and effectively. Call your skin doctor today to find out more about removing tattoos.
Eczema isn’t curable, and people who suffer from it usually go through remissions or symptom-free periods as well as flare-ups, when their symptoms suddenly appear. It primarily causes itchy and dry skin that when left unaddressed could lead to rashes, inflammation, weepy skin, and blisters. In addition, fungal, viral, and bacterial infections could develop since eczema compromises your skin barrier.
But because there’s still no cure for eczema, the main aim of treatment is the reduction and management of symptoms when they appear. Here at Advanced Desert Dermatology, in both our Thunderbird Rd. and Lake Pleasant Parkway locations in Peoria, AZ, Dr. Vernon Mackey offers various eczema treatment regimens depending on the severity of your case.
Topical Medications for Treating Eczema
The go-to, standard eczema treatment that usually works for many people is topical corticosteroids. When applied to the affected areas, corticosteroid ointments, lotions, or creams can minimize inflammation and reduce allergic reactions. They can likewise decrease itchiness and alleviate soreness and irritation. TCIs or topical calcineurin inhibitors such as Elidel and Protopic may also be prescribed to manage eczema symptoms. These work by minimizing flare-ups and controlling inflammation by suppressing your immune system.
Oral Medications for Eczema
If you have widespread symptoms, your doctor may likewise recommend that you take an oral antihistamine like diphenhydramine, doxylamine succinate, or hydroxyzine. This medication will also help make it easier for you to sleep at night without scratching. If you develop a skin infection due to your eczema, your doctor may also prescribe antifungal, antiviral, or antibiotic medications to address it. Additionally, you may be prescribed an oral immunosuppressant if you have an especially severe case of eczema.
Home Treatments for Eczema
Aside from treatments prescribed by our dermatologist in our Thunderbird Rd. and Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria, AZ, offices, you can try to manage your eczema symptoms using these home remedies:
- Avoid scratching the affected skin and keep your nails short and dull.
- Use a humidifier when the air is particularly dry.
- Moisturize your skin regularly with lotions, creams, or ointments without dyes, fragrance, and alcohol.
- Avoid exposure to airborne allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
- Avoid irritants like manmade fibers or wool, harsh detergents and soaps, and environments or situations that cause sweat.
- Limit your time bathing and opt for lukewarm or cool water. Use gentle cleansers or washes and pat, don’t rub, when drying your skin.
- Apply a moisturizing cream right after you dry your skin, preferably when it’s still a bit damp. Opt for moisturizers marketed as barrier repair creams and with ingredients such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. These can help manage your symptoms by repairing your skin barrier.
Remember, you can’t cure eczema, but you can manage your symptoms effectively and heal your skin barrier to prevent flare-ups and further damage. You just need to determine the right combination of home remedies, moisturizers, and medications that will keep your eczema under control.
Need eczema relief now?
Contact Advanced Desert Dermatology by calling (623) 977-6700 to schedule a consultation at either our Thunderbird Rd. or Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria, AZ. Dr. Vernon Mackey will assess your symptoms and craft an eczema treatment plan that best fits your needs.
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