Monday, April 28, 2014

Are Single Men at a Greater Risk of Death from Skin Cancer?

According to a recent study conducted by researchers in Stockholm, men with skin cancer who live alone are more likely to die from melanoma than their coupled counterparts.

The researchers studied data on 27,235 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, between 1990 and 2007. The analysis adjusted for factors such as the characteristics of the tumor, gender, educational level, and the body site where the tumor was found.

Their research revealed that men who lived alone were 31 percent more likely to die from melanoma than men who lived with a partner. Men who lived alone were also 42 percent more likely to have more advanced skin cancer at their first doctor’s visit. This was true for men of all ages.

In comparison, older women living alone also had more advanced skin cancer on average at their first doctor’s visit than women living with partners, resulting in a greater risk for developing melanoma. However, single women were no more likely to have late-stage cancer than those living with partners.

According to the researchers, one possible explanation for this trend is that men and older women who live alone are simply ill-informed about the disease, or simply lack a partner to notice any suspect marks on their skin.

Patients who have advanced skin cancer at the time of diagnosis have a much lower survival rate than those who are diagnosed at an early stage. That’s why is it important to recognize the symptoms of skin cancer and be screened by a dermatologist annually.

Click here for more information about skin cancer. To schedule an appointment with Greenville Dermatology, call (864) 242-5872 today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April is National Rosacea Awareness Month

April is National Rosacea Awareness Month, so it’s important to know what this skin condition is, what contributes to its onset, and how to prevent and control it.

Rosacea is a very common skin condition that typically affects people over the age of 30. It causes redness on your nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. Some people experience small bumps and pimples on the red parts of their faces. In some cases, rosacea can cause burning and soreness in your eyes. In rare cases, rosacea that is not treated may cause permanent damage, such as thickening of facial skin or loss of vision.

This poorly understood skin condition affects more than 16 million people in the U.S.—and most of them don’t know it. In fact, while rosacea is becoming increasingly widespread as the baby boom generation ages, a Gallup survey found that 78 percent of Americans are unaware of this condition, including how to recognize it or what to do about it.

Lifestyle and environmental triggers contribute to rosacea and its severity. Important triggers include food, drink, exercise, weather, emotions, and medications. Avoiding food and alcohol that causes you to flush, such as spicy foods, red wine, or hot drinks will help to control the severity of rosacea. Incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods, such as fish, fruits, and vegetables will also be beneficial.

Some other ways to control rosacea include avoiding over exertion, protecting your skin from the sun, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Rosacea flushing is also common with emotional stressors, so it is important to reduce the stress in your life as much as possible.

While there is no cure for rosacea, there are medications that can help control the symptoms and keep the condition from worsening. If you are showing signs of rosacea, be sure to schedule an appointment with Greenville Dermatology today by calling (864) 242-5872. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tips to Protect Your Skin This Summer

With summer on the way, it’s time to start getting your skin ready to take on the sun – from the inside and out. Brief exposure to the sun is beneficial to the skin and essential for production of Vitamin D. However, prolonged exposure may lead to harmful consequences like melanoma – the deadliest type of skin cancer.

It is important to not only take care of the skin that is exposed to sun, but also the skin that stays covered. Below are a few tips to keep in mind before you step outside this summer.

Apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before stepping outside. Most sunscreen takes a while to soak into your skin and truly be effective. It is important to reapply your sunscreen every two to three hours; and even more often if you are sweating or exposing your skin to water.

Exfoliate your skin daily for a healthy glow. By incorporating exfoliation into your skin care regime, you’ll be able to avoid dull, dry skin. Exfoliants help to remove old, dead skin cells, toxins and other deposits, allowing new skin cells to surface.

Care for your hair and scalp. It is also important during the summer months to take good care of your hair and scalp. Wear hats as often as possible to keep your scalp from getting sunburn. Apply sunscreen to the parts of your hair that are exposed to the sun. Because hair also tends to be moisture-deprived during the summer, avoid overuse of any kind of chemical or hair styling tool. Use gentle shampoo and a deep conditioner to replenish moisture.

Maintain a healthy diet. When summer is in full swing, it is beneficial to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and to drink plenty of water. This will help keep your skin hydrated and your body feeling refreshed. Some of the best foods for your skin are cucumbers, cherries, oranges, plums, spinach, and watermelon. These foods are highly nutritious and filled with fiber, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and minerals.

Treat sunburn fast. The sooner you are able to treat sunburn, the better. By getting the inflammation to subside, you will be able to curb the overall damage to your skin. A simple way to do this is to soak a washcloth in a bowl of skim milk and ice, and apply it to the area for five to ten minutes. Also, applying hydrocortisone cream to the skin will help decrease the inflammation.

When you step outside to enjoy the sun this summer, make sure your skin is protected. Stop by Greenville Dermatology’s retail store today to stock up on sunscreens, fun accessories and other skincare products. To schedule an appointment with one of our skincare experts, call (864) 242-5872. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Article: When Should Accutane Be Considered in Treating Acne?

The following is a preview of an article Dr. Miller wrote for Click here to read the full article.

The traditional treatment of acne usually begins with topical cleansing agents and leave-on gels or creams. If the acne continues to progress and get worse, an oral medication, usually an antibiotic will be added to the topical regimen. Thankfully, most acne is brought under satisfactory control at this point. However, there are a significant number of cases of acne which do not clear. At what point should your dermatologist begin to discuss the controversial acne medication called isotretinoin (better known as “Accutane”)?

What Is Accutane?
There are several brands of Accutane, including Claravis, Absorica, Sotret, Amnesteem and Zenatane. Accutane is a medication that is very closely related to vitamin A. It is believed to decrease the amount of sebum, or oil on the face, causing acne to be significantly less severe. Accutane does have some side effects including dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, joint pains, elevation of triglycerides, suppression of the white blood cell count, and liver enzyme elevations.

The Pros Of Taking Accutane
Treatment of acne with Accutane is performed over the course of 20 weeks. During that time, the acne clears around week 12, and remains clear after the course of treatment for up to several years. This differs from conventional oral antibiotic therapy, which is indefinite in length and can continue for years requiring multiple visits to the dermatologist and usually numerous courses of oral antibiotics. With the controversy surrounding overuse of antibiotics, Accutane provides a distinct advantage. The vast majority of patients taking Accutane suffer nothing more than dry cracked lips and dry skin. Accutane can be taken alone without the need for other oral or topical medications, which makes treatment of acne less complicated.

The Cons Of Taking Accutane
It is well known that Accutane can cause birth defects. Therefore, women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should avoid Accutane. Sexually active female patients of childbearing age should practice two forms of birth control while taking Accutane to prevent accidental pregnancies. It is normally recommended that the pregnancy be terminated if it occurs while the patient was on Accutane. Patients who suffer from chronic depression or have a family history of chronic depression may want to think twice about starting Accutane or be closely monitored for behavior disturbances.

Accutane should be recommended for any patient in which scarring is imminent or already present. For patients without scarring, the decision to start Accutane should be considered when at least one course of oral antibiotics has failed, but certainly after several course of antibiotics have failed. With the controversy surrounding the overuse of oral antibiotics, an argument could be made to start Accutane sooner than later in the course of treatment.

To learn more about Accutane, click here to read the rest of the article. To see if Accutane is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists today by calling (864) 242-5872.