skin care Spring Lake, NJ

It’s Time to Talk Sunscreen

skin care Spring Lake, NJWith skin cancer rising in numbers, there is ample reason to continue the conversation about this condition and, importantly, how to protect yourself. Experts estimate that 90% of skin cancers are directly linked to UV exposure. This doesn’t have to mean a bad burn, as was once believed. The fact is, exposure to UVA and UVB rays damages skin cells. How we spend time outdoors matters, and sunscreen is a crucial aspect of protection.

The Basics

There are some chemicals that have been approved by the FDA for inclusion in sunscreen products. These include cinnamates and para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA. These chemical ingredients absorb UV rays and convert them to heat energy. Other ingredients, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are physical sunscreens that actively scatter rays so they cannot be absorbed by the skin. Both types of ingredients are appropriate. The question is, which type of sunscreen is right for you?

The SPF Question

It is easy to become confused about the SPF, or sun protection factor, of sunscreen use. If you are only outdoors for a few minutes here and there, you may think that you don’t need sunscreen at all. Wrong. Conversely, if you plan an entire day at the beach, you may believe that you need one of those SPF 100 products. Also wrong. Here is a safe bet: choose an SPF 30 product with broad-spectrum protection. This product will require filers up to 97% of UV light, which is sufficient, so long as you reapply as needed.

Now for the Uniqueness of You!

  • Dry skin needs a sunscreen with the moisturizer such as dimethicone or lanolin oils.
  • Children’s skin may be sensitive to certain ingredients, such as oxybenzone and PABA. Instead, choose a physical sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Spray sunscreen may be used but not applied directly to the face; apply to hands first.
  • People with acne-prone skin, or with rosacea or allergies, may also be sensitive to sunscreen ingredients such as fragrances, preservatives, PABA, and oxybenzone. Products containing alcohol should be avoided, as well. If you are using medication for acne, even topical solutions, talk with your dermatologist about sunscreen use.
  • Darker skin still needs to be protected from UV light! Both chemical and physical sunscreens are appropriate for dark skin. Physical sunscreens are now formulated with micronized particles, so they are less likely to look white on the skin. SPF 15 or SPF 30 products are suited.
  • People with very fair skin, a history of skin cancer, or with melisma do not have to stay completely clear of sunlight. SPF 30 sunscreen needs to be applied 30-minutes before going outdoors, and it needs to be applied every two hours, or anytime you sweat or swim.
  • Mature skin has sustained a fair amount of UV damage over the years. This can lead to laxity, discoloration, wrinkles, and precancerous or cancerous lesions. SPF 30 sunscreen needs to be carefully applied to the nose, ears, neck, chest, back of the neck, and all other exposed areas. This can be difficult for an older adult with limited mobility so that a spray-on product may be useful.

Do you have questions about sun protection or skin cancer? Call our Spring Lake, NJ office at (732) 449-0167.

Dr. LoBuono Specializes In Treating All Types of Skin Cancers

skin cancer screeningDid you know that Dr. LoBuono is a specialist in both general and surgical dermatology with respect to the treatment of all types of skin cancers, including melanomas, basal and squamous cell carcinomas, and Mycosis Fungoides (the most common form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma which commonly affects the skin, but may progress internally)? Dr. LoBuono is board certified, with over 30 years of experience in private practice.

We talked about skin cancer in last month’s blog, but as a refresher, here are the three types of skin cancers, from least serious to most deadly:

  • Basal cell carcinomas are slow growing and are unlikely to spread or cause death.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas are more likely to spread. They, therefore, are more serious.
  • Melanomas are the most aggressive and the most serious.

Most skin cancers are manageable and easily treatable if caught early. The treatments can vary from “freezing” to surgical removal. If you have a growth that is surgically removed, Dr. LoBuono will send the removed tissue to a lab for testing and will then proceed with an appropriate treatment protocol.

One of the reasons it is so important to get yearly exams of your entire body, including your scalp, is to check for any changes to existing moles or growth and to scan for new growths. Melanoma is nothing to sneeze at and is not to be ignored. It can be deadly.

Summer is here and the sun is at its hottest. It goes without saying that using sunscreen is recommended as a preventative measure, as is wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes and wearing a hat, especially if you are balding. Remember also that the use of tanning beds has been linked to skin cancers.

The take-away is that we are here to help you with any concerns you may have, especially regarding skin cancer. Please don’t wait if you have a suspicious growth or a mole that has changed. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. LoBuono, today: (732) 449-0167.

A Few Things You Should Know About Skin Cancer

skin cancer treatmentSummer is here and that means fun times spent outside…with your skin bombarded by the sun’s damaging UV rays. It’s a given that these rays can cause your skin to prematurely age – and wrinkles, “age spots,” and even skin cancer can be the result.

Skin cancer is due to the development of abnormal cells that may invade or spread to other parts of the body. The three types of skin cancer are:

  1. Basal cell, a slow growing cancer which is unlikely to spread to distant areas of the body or cause death. It appears as a painless, sometimes shiny raised area of the skin.
  2. Squamous cell, which is more likely to spread. It appears as a hard lump with a scaly top.
  3. Melanoma, the most aggressive type. Moles that have changed in size, color or shape or are itchy or bleed are some of the signs of melanoma.

What do you know about skin cancer prevention?

  • Damage from the sun’s rays is cumulative.
  • To be effective, sunscreen must be worn. Sunscreen helps block the rays than lead to skin cancer but it does not prevent it.
  • Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays because both are damaging to your skin.
  • People with many moles have a higher risk of developing melanoma.
  • Other risk factors include advanced age, heredity, light skin color and exposure to tanning beds.
  • Over one million people in the U.S. each year are diagnosed with skin cancer. Unfortunately, many more go undiagnosed.
  • Skin cancer is serious, but most skin cancers, if found early, are treatable.

As you age, it is especially important to have your skin checked at least once a year for any changes or abnormalities, to have any pre-cancerous lesions treated and to examine any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths. If you have questions or concerns about a mole or suspicious growth, call to schedule an appointment, today: (732) 449-0167.