Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Skinny on Skin Cancer

Have you ever heard the expression, "ignorance is bliss?" Well, not when it comes to matters of your health. Skin cancer is now the most common form of cancer. Being well informed on the risks can help protect you and your family.

There are three different conditions that "skin cancer" refers to: basal cell carcinoma (most common form, accounting for more than 90% of all skin cancer in the U.S.), squamous cell carcinoma (second most common form), and melanoma (generally considered the most serious form because of how quickly it spreads).

UV (ultraviolet) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer and the most common place for cancerous lesions to occur is the face.

Although most skin cancers don't appear until after the age of 50, the sun's damaging effects begin at a much earlier age. Here are some ways that you can help prevent the two most common forms of skin cancer:
- Avoid unprotected exposure to the sun during peak radiation times (the hours surrounding noon)
- Undergo regular checkups and bring any suspicious looking lesions to the attention of a dermatologist
- Avoid tanning beds and always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
- Wear broad-brimmed hats and tightly-woven protective clothing while in the sun (like our Scala hats!)

It is often hard to tell the difference between a basal cell carcinoma and a benign growth without performing a biopsy. If you notice any unusual lesions, it is best to have them looked at immediately by your dermatologist. With that said, there are many ways to successfully treat a basal cell carcinoma with a good success rate; typically 90% of these types of cancers are treated successfully.

Even though most skin cancers are cured, those who have been treated have a higher-than-average risk of developing a new cancer of the skin, so follow-up care is extremely important. Patients must continue to examine themselves regularly and visit their dermatologist for regular screenings. If you haven't had a skin cancer screening this summer, now is the time to make an appointment!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The importance of board certification

Are you getting your skin care advice from anyone BUT a board certified dermatologist?
At Greenville Dermatology, your cosmetic dermatology procedures such as Botox, JuvĂ©derm and Restylane are always performed by a board certified dermatologist. At a medi spa… it could be anyone.

I want to take the time to explain what being “board certified” in dermatology means.

When a dermatologist is board-certified, it means that the dermatologist has:

• Completed a three-year residency in dermatology;
• Passed a rigorous two-part test administered by the American Board of Dermatology.
• Required to maintain certification by completing prescribed courses yearly, having other dermatologists review my care, and re-testing by taking the board exam every 10 years.
The certification process is designed to assure the public that a certified medical specialist has successfully completed an approved educational program and evaluation, including an examination process designed to assess the knowledge, experience and skills requisite to the provision of high quality patient care in that specialty.

These rigorous standards are in place to ensure our patients safety and care. That is why it is so important for you to do your research when you are considering any type of cosmetic or medical dermatology procedure. Many medi spas and plastic surgery offices are providing these services without being supervised or administered by a Medical Doctor.

At Greenville Dermatology I administer all injections and fillers for my patients. I have been providing “Botox Cosmetic” (which is produced by Allergan in the United States) injections for the last eleven years, and have never had a single adverse reaction.

For an appointment or more information on any of our Dermatology services, call our office at 864-242-5872.

Dr. Miller

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DWT: Breaking the laws of skincare

We have all heard about the risks of driving while texting but what about another DWT to consider...Driving While Tanning?

A recent report released from The Skin Cancer Foundation discusses the importance of protecting your skin from damaging UV rays even while in the car.

The report revealed that nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers' side of the body. It is reasonable to assume that the increase in skin cancers on the left side of the body could be caused by the UV exposure one would receive while driving a car. If you're one of the over 200 million licensed drivers in the US, this should be of concern to you!

Car windshields are partially treated to filter out UVA, but the side windows of cars let in up to 63 percent of the sun's UVA radiation, and rear windows are not protected at all, leaving your backseat passengers completely exposed.

So be sure to keep sunscreen handy when you take long road trips and skip the sun roof AND the convertible.

For even more sun protection, be sure to wear a hat while driving, particularly one with a 3" brim or larger. We carry a wide variety of Scala hats, these hats offer built-in sun protection, while still looking fashionable. Come by our office to take a look at our selection or call for more information, (864) 242-5872.

Dr. Miller