Archive for April, 2011

A Hats On Award for

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

At MoleSafe, we are quite used to seeing the super-enlargements and “high def” reality of various lesions, moles, skin blemishes and irregularities.  After all, with our advanced detection technology we see details even macro-photography doesn’t reveal.  (See an example in my post, Spotting Melanoma.) And, we have frequently promoted the ABCDEs of skin cancer self-exams and shared the rules of thumb about suspicious marks. However, there has rarely been a consumer news piece as clear and as, well, blatant, as’s feature posted this week, of “38 photos that could save your life.” Certainly, our friends at the Skin Cancer Foundation, credited with these images, share examples on their site, but we felt the CBS spread was important for its ability to reach the general public.

This nodular lesion is a squamous cell carcinoma. These lesions are seldom fatal but can be disfiguring.  Credit: The Skin Cancer Foundation

This nodular lesion is a squamous cell carcinoma. These lesions are seldom fatal but can be disfiguring. Credit: The Skin Cancer Foundation

The images are startling, clear, and come with specific explanations of the whys and whats that distinguish the moles and lesions in the photos.  They may be difficult for the average person to review, but I feel they are important as a way to increase awareness of what could be ignored or overlooked  and with this kind of education what could, just as the title promises, save your life.  Just as we felt about Dr. Oz and the “in your face” videos of skin cancers and prevention information that he shared, this photographic guide is worthy of a “Hat’s On” award for straightforward, helpful coverage of exactly what to look for in the variety of skin cancer presentations.

And yet again, here are those rules of thumb again for your skin self-exams and warning signs to heed:

  • A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
  • A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
    • changes color
    • increases in size or thickness
    • changes in texture
    • is irregular in outline
    • is bigger than 6mm or 1/4”, the size of a pencil eraser
    • appears after age 21
  • A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
  • An open sore that does not heal within three weeks
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If you must tan…

Friday, April 15th, 2011

There is still a feeling by many that tan-looking skin is preferable to pale.  We’re still working to buck this perception Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, for those who still want the glow but have at least gotten the message that they should do it without the sun, here are some suggestions by NBC’s Today Show  style editor, Bobbie Thomas on the best of sunless tanners.

Note: this is not an endorsement of any particular product…just an endorsement of getting the look you want in a safer way:

1. First up, cult favorite “Big Bronzer” by Cargo Cosmetics. The jumbo oversized palette will instantlBuzz from Bobbie Thomas_1302394347737y warm up your face or body. With just a hint of shimmer, you can quickly apply a little or a lot for a natural looking glow.
2. For an even easy-to-apply application simply swipe on a little color… Kate Somerville’s Tanning Towelettes are paraben-free, streak-free and mess-free, while Dr. Denese’s Glow Younger Self-Tanning Gloves will do the same and offer anti-aging benefits.
3. New on the bronzing scene is Temptu’s Summer Skin 3 Step Air Pod system–perfect for die-hard spray tan fans who want to give it a go at home.
4. Last but not least, if you want a faux glow without the long-term commitment, L’Oreal and St. Tropez both offer great “1 Day” options that easily wash away with soap & water.

PS:  The timing has never been better for encouraging your teen to try sunless tanners. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, which officially opposes indoor tanning and supports a ban on indoor tanning for non-medical purposes, most tanning salon patrons are white females in their teens and 20s.  And not coincidentally they also point out:

  • Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
  • Melanoma is increasing faster in females ages 15-29 than males in the same age group. The torso is the most common location for developing skin cancer which may be due to deliberate tanning.
  • Studies have demonstrated that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma.
  • So consider Bobbie’s sunless tanners recommendations or take those of the AADA and just say no to tans altogether.

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