Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares the common causes of melanoma & why this deadly disease is increasing in prevalence.

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Melanoma is the most aggressive and most deadly type of skin cancer. Not only is melanoma extremely dangerous, but it is also increasing in prevalence across the United States.

According to the Melanoma Research Foundation, there were approximately 63,000 melanoma diagnoses made in 2009 with approximately 8650 deaths. The projected numbers for 2012 are even higher with 76,000 diagnoses and 9,000 deaths.

Why is melanoma increasing in prevalence?

“Some of the main causes of melanoma prevalence is due to the sun and the loss of the ozone layer,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “While sunscreens weren’t as effective 30 years ago, the ozone layer was more intact than it is now.”

Another one of the main causes of melanoma is the increase in the use of tanning beds.

“Tanning beds weren’t around 30 years ago and they are single-handledly the most likely culprit for the stunning increase in skin cancer and deadly melanoma,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma sometime throughout his or her life.

While there are many causes of melanoma, Dr. Joel Schlessinger has tips on how to avoid this potential deadly disease.

“Never, ever go in tanning beds as even one experience can lead to melanoma. It can take up to 20 years to see the full problems from tanning, so it won’t occur until years after the exposure, yet by that time, it is too late to help.”

If you have a mole or growth that exhibits skin cancer warning signs, contact your dermatologist immediately.

What is SPF? Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains broad spectrum sunscreen and new FDA rules

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Everyone should wear sunscreen every day to protect skin from the damaging rays of the sun. But how much do you know about your sunscreen from the label? And what is SPF?

SPF, also known as sun protection factor, is a measure of the effectiveness of your sunscreen products. The higher the number, the more protection your skin will receive against the sun rays.

UVA and UVB radiation are two different kinds of sun rays that cause different problems for your skin. UVB rays cause skin burns while UVA rays cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer.

“SPF only pertains to UVB rays, not UVA,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “Both can cause skin cancer, so it is a good idea to get a broad spectrum sunscreen if possible.”

Federal sunscreen rules are undergoing many changes, as mandated by the Federal Drug Administration. The FDA is requiring all sunscreen manufacturers in the United States to disclose if they protect against UVA and UVB radiation.

Sunscreens that do not shield against UVA rays or that have an SPF less than 15 will be required to have a warning label that they do not reduce the risks of skin cancer. The highest number of SPF will now be an SPF 50+. For a product to be a broad spectrum sunscreen, they must now guard against both UVA and UVB radiation.

Learn more about what is SPF and the new FDA regulations in regard to sunscreen here.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorite broad spectrum sunscreen brand is EltaMD. For acne prone individuals, he recommends the EltaMD Clear sunscreen, now available in a lotion and a spray.

What is SPF to you? What’s the most important think you look at when choosing a sunscreen?

New study reveals good news for coffee drinkers: Dr. Joel Schlessinger remarks on the link between coffee and cancer

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Coffee often gets a bad reputation because of its high caffeine levels, but according to a recent study, the caffeine in your daily cup of joe can actually help reduce your risk for skin cancer.

This discovered link between coffee and cancer was published in the Cancer Research journal. Investigators found those who drink more than two cups of coffee per day are at a lower risk for developing basal cell carcinoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer in the United States. Generally caused by overexposure to UV rays or radiation, this form of skin cancer is common to those who experience severe sunburns or prolonged sun exposure.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger was delighted to hear the findings about the link between coffee and cancer.

“My guess is that caffeine works as an antioxidant, therefore it helps prevent and repair sun damage,” he said. “My recommendation is to drink coffee responsibly and protect your skin in many different ways with antioxidants for healthy skin.”

Although this story’s findings were impressive, drinking coffee shouldn’t be the only way you protect your skin. Using sunscreen daily and implementing products with CoffeeBerry and caffeine can help give your skin antioxidants for healthy skin.

“We do supply many caffeine-related products on our website, including CoffeeBerry products from RevaleSkin and antioxidant serums from Replenix,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger said.

Some of his favorite caffeine products include:

While you should always use sunscreen and take precautions when it comes to sun exposure, a couple cups of coffee a day can help boost your antioxidants for healthy skin.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger was thrilled with this study about coffee and cancer.

“As a coffee fan myself, this study truly makes me happy!” he said. “I’d also like to wish my many followers and patients a happy Fourth of July!”

What are the skin cancer warning signs? Dr. Joel Schlessinger sheds light on the different types of skin cancer & how to watch for it.

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Photo courtesy of WebMD.com

One out of every five people in the United States will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; each year, there are more cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined.

Although skin cancer is very common, it’s also one of the most preventable cancers. Learn how you can spot skin cancer warning signs and identify the different types of skin cancer with these helpful tips and tricks, including the melanoma ABCDE rule.

“Generally, a change in a mole or growth are the first signs that a cancer may be there,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger states. “Bleeding, irritation or dark coloration of a mole can be a bad sign. Look for signs of change over time as many moles can change, especially birthmarks.”

The types of skin cancer include actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. All of these types of skin cancer are serious diseases, although some are more dangerous than others.

Actinic keratosis usually has red or pink scaly patches on the sun exposed areas of the skin. This can be a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma, a more serious form of cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma is identified by raised, waxy pink bumps that may bleed or be tender to the touch. They rarely spread to other parts of the body but are very invasive to the location of the mole.

Squamous cell carcinoma leaves dull red, scaly and rough raised lesions on the skin. They occur frequently on the areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun.

Melanoma is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer – although only 4% of diagnosed skin cancer cases are melanoma, this deadly type accounts for 77% of skin cancer deaths.

Check for this dangerous cancer by following the melanoma ABCDE rule. Examine your moles for these early signs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry
  • Borders with irregular edges
  • Color is disjointed or variegated
  • Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser
  • Evolving over time

Since melanoma is one of the most dangerous and aggressive types of skin cancer, be sure to use the melanoma ABCDE rule whenever you examine your moles.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger notes that skin cancers can be easy to check for yourself, but remember to always get a yearly check with your dermatologist.

“Dermatologists are uniquely qualified to evaluate and treat skin cancers and moles, so it is wise to make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist for evaluation of any concerning growths.”