July 9th, 2013
Researchers from New Yorkâ€™s Stony Brook University recently found that the average American spends approximately 80-100 minutes driving, posing a â€śconsiderable health risk,â€ť as car windows do not provide full protection from the sunâ€™s dangerous rays.Â Car windows block UVB rays, which cause sunburns and blisters, but they do not block UVA rays, which cause aging.Â BOTH types of rays contribute to the development of skin cancer.
As dermatologists, we consistently see more sun damage on the left side of the body than the right side of the body due to driving, because the left side of the body is exposed while driving.Â In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that skin cancer in the United States occurs on the left side of the body 53% of the time.Â This holds true for the right side of the body in parts of Europe as well as Australia, because the right side of the body is exposed while driving.
How can we avoid such sun exposure while driving? Â Take the following precautions…
-Apply sunscreen daily, whether sunshine or snow.Â Sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours while outside. It should be applied even more frequently if swimming or sweating, usually every 40-80 minutes, depending on the type of sunscreen.Â A sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher is recommended, as SPF below 15 does NOT prevent skin cancer.
-Wear protective clothing when possible, i.e. long sleeves, hats, etc.
-Apply UV-blocking films to your carâ€™s windows.
Amy Betschart, PA-C
The Columbus Dispatch: Driverâ€™s left side most vulnerable
FDA Sheds Light on Sunscreens
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June 14th, 2013
What is the purpose of using a daily SPF?
To protect the skin! Have you heard the news?!Â Â Wearing SPF everyday is truly one of the best Anti-Aging products to commit to using. Whether it is in the summer or dead of winter, the suns UV rays are still powerful & can penetrate through the thickest clouds.Â SPF protects the skin from the sunâ€™s harmful UV rays, lessens the chances of developing skin cancer in later life, & reduces pre-mature aging. If you havenâ€™t been using a sunscreen daily in the past, Start Now!!!
How do I know what level of SPF to wear?
Sunscreens with SPF in ranges 30-50 are most recommended for outdoor activity (look for a water-resistant, broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen). Especially when swimming, or engaging in any other sort of physical activity which causes you to sweat, you want to make sure you are re-applying the SPF every 2 hours during the day (for water resistant, broad spectrum spfâ€™s make sure to read the application instructions on the label as they do need to be applied sooner than every 2 hours). Even on days when you think you wonâ€™t be outside or in the sun, it is still recommended to use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher (donâ€™t forget that the sunâ€™s UV rays can penetrate through windows)!!!
How often should I reapply sunscreen?
According to the National Skin Cancer Foundation, apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside, & reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. It does not matter how high the SPF level is (whether a 15, 30, or 50) you still need to be reapplying the sunscreen every 2 hours. (Be on the lookout in the coming year for new sunscreen labeling rules in regards to application, as issued by the FDA)!
UVA, UVB, or Broad Spectrum?
Always aim to use a Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Sunscreen. You may also find them listed as Multi Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or simply UVA/UVB Spectrum. Both UVA and UVB rays are damaging to the skin and oneâ€™s health, so it is best to keep yourself protected from every angle possible!
Whatâ€™s new in sunscreen products?
The latest trend in sun care protection is Water Resistant Spray Mist Sunscreens! There are a few brands on the market right now, but the one we love the most is Glytone: BS SPF 50+ Water Resistant Spray Mist Sunscreen. The spray function allows you to target those hard to reach places on your body with ease. The sprays are also quick drying, not as thick feeling as lotions, & they glide over hair easily (great for men)!Â Also, Neova: DNA Damage Controlâ„˘ [SILC SHEER 2.0 | SPF 40] is not only a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen, but it also has a sheer tint to help even out your skin tone! It gets even better tooâ€¦the DNA breakthrough technology in this sunscreen actually helps to reduce the appearance of visible signs of aging due to sun exposure + photodamage!!!
For More Information, Please Check Out the National Skin Cancer Foundationâ€™s Website!!!
Check out some of these great SPF products that we carry!!!
Obagi: Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Avene: High Protection Mineral Cream SPF 50
Avene: High Protection Tinted Compact
Glytone: BS SPF 50+ Water Resistant Spray Mist Sunscreen
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February 11th, 2013
Would Botox work for me?Â Should I get a chemical peel?Â What moisturizer should I use?Â Over 50% of our patients have questions regarding their skin care products and cosmetic procedures.Â It is often difficult to fully address these concerns during their regular medical visit.Â Therefore, we have decided to offer free consultations to answer the question, â€śWhat should I do with my face?â€ťÂ Once a month, we will offer free 15 minute consultations on skin care and cosmetic procedures.Â We will advise you on the benefits, side effects, and costs of treatments that would be appropriate for your skin type.Â If we recommend a service or procedure that we do not offer, we will do our best to refer you to the appropriate provider.Â Our first sessions will be Thursday April 11, 2013 by appointment only.Â Call now to schedule. Â 724-935-9133.
May 13th, 2011
There is excitement in the medical community that a new product may be developed to treat scalp balding. Â LatisseÂ® is a solution that is used to grow eyelashes and has been on the market since 2008.Â Many physicians specializing in hair loss treatment and restoration have been using the generic form of the drug bimatoprost since 2007 to treat scalp hair loss. They have found that 70% of their patients had significant response. Â The pharmaceutical company Allergan that produces LatisseÂ® sees the potential for a FDA approved treatment for hair loss and just recently began phase 1 trials.
Letâ€™s wish them luck and success in the trials. Â Letâ€™s also hope the price of the medication is affordable. Â LatisseÂ® currently costs $150 for 3 ml. Â My own hair is thinningâ€¦ genetic trait I inherited from my dear grandmotherâ€¦so I decided to begin using it on my own scalp, sparingly.Â But how many treatments can you get out of a tiny bottle that costs $150?Â I wince at the price. Â So we can only wish that if a new drug for hair loss is in the pipeline and proves to be effective that it will also be affordable.
There are several other options for hair loss currently on the market that are FDA-approved and range in price.Â Topical RogaineÂ® costs about $25 and can be used by men and women.Â PropeciaÂ® is an oral medication approved for men only and costs about $75 per month. Â Hair transplants currently range from $7000-$10,000. Â HairMax LaserCombÂ® is hand-held device that uses laser energy to stimulate hair growth and costs about $500.Â What does the future hold? Â Perhaps hair cloning will be the treatment for hair loss. Â It is currently being studied at several academic centers and may be commercially available in ten years.
So whatâ€™s a girl to do with thin hair?Â I just love the thickening shampoo by Rene Furterer Paris called Forticea ($25).Â My hair feels like it doubles in size after each use.Â I also use the Rene Furtererâ€™s Vitalfan dietary supplements ($40 per month). Â My complete hair maintenance regimen also includes the use of the HairMax LaserCombÂ® twice a week and RogaineÂ® topical solution daily. Â Wish me luck. I canâ€™t wait ten years!
Video Good Morning America video on Latisse for hair loss, featuring Dr. Alan Bauman, a hair-restoration specialist based in Florida who helped pioneer the use of bimatoprost in his hair loss patientsÂ
Video DatelineÂ video following several men who suffer from hair loss and the treatments that they used to combat baldnessÂ
View New York Times article on Latisse for hair loss
April 29th, 2011
Mole mapping typically involves photography of the entire body. These photographs are saved digitally. These images serve as a baseline and assist the physician during the patientâ€™s annual skin exam to see if any skin lesions are new or have changed. This is particularly useful in monitoring people at higher risk for melanoma. This may include individuals with numerous moles, a history of dysplastic or atypical moles, a personal or family history of melanoma, a history of multiple sunburns, or a history of tanning bed use.
The average dermatologist sees up to 10,000 patients per year. It is impossible for any medical provider to accurately remember whether any individual mole is new or has changed. If a mole is changing appearance or is a new lesion, it may be suspicious and require a biopsy to determine if it is a skin cancer. When melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is detected early, it is almost always curable. However, if the melanoma has spread, it is difficult to treat and can be fatal. Therefore, early detection is critical.
There are several advantages of mole mapping. The digital images can be used to determine whether a lesion of concern is new or has changed. The physician can then determine if the change necessitates a biopsy or continued surveillance. The patient and the physician do not have to rely solely on memory. The patient can keep an electronic file, CD, or prints of their photographs that can be transported to a new physician if the patient ever changes healthcare providers.
However, mole mapping has not yet been proven to save lives. There may be a melanoma in a hidden site that has not been photographed. Early melanoma may look like a normal mole or other benign skin lesion, and might be missed. Melanoma, particularly nodular melanoma, may grow rapidly; it may reach a dangerous size before the next planned skin exam. Thus, while mole mapping serves as a significant aid, it is not a substitute for annual full body skin examinations by your dermatologist.
February 15th, 2011
Within this regularly updated feature of my website, I will provide visitors with practice news and specials, as well as information regarding the most recent technological advances and new treatments in dermatology.Â
I believe that patient education and open communication with your doctor are the keys to achieving healthy, aesthetically-pleasing results and patient satisfaction, which is why I strive to provide the highest quality of dermatologic care for patients of all ages.Â This is done by combining technical skill and broad experience with cutting-edge technology for impeccable medical and cosmetic results.
I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to visit my new blog.Â Please check back often to learn about the latest news, updates and additions to the practice and within the field of dermatology, and feel free to post comments and/or suggestions on any posts that you find of interest.