Summer is Here: Making Educated and Informed Choices to Stay Sun-Safe

 

 

Dr.-Allison-Britt-Kimmins

Dermatologist Dr. Allison Britt Kimmins, MD, MPH with Advanced Dermatology PC with Tips on Reducing the Risks of Skin Cancer While Enjoying Summer.

As never before, the chance to get outside under sunny skies is a relief. “It’s been especially welcoming as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic”, observes Dr. Allison Britt Kimmins, a dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC. After weeks spent inside to limit the spread of coronavirus, it is no surprise that we are all anxious to get outside and enjoy the sun. “However” emphasizes Dr. Britt Kimmins, “we want to make sure that we also protect ourselves from the damaging and potentially deadly ultraviolet light”.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. In the United States, cases outnumber all other cancers combined, according to the non-profit Skin Cancer Foundation.

In spite of all we know, rates of skin cancer continue to rise. In this country, 20% of the population will get skin cancer by the time we’re seventy. Last year, it was estimated that 192,310 people in the U.S. would be diagnosed with melanoma – the deadliest cancer of all.

Dr. Allison Britt Kimmins

The threat of the sun’s ultraviolet rays is so great that the World Health Organization lists them as Group 1 carcinogens, alongside plutonium and cigarettes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has labeled the sun’s radiation as a known carcinogen. “Ninety percent or more of cases of skin cancer are linked to sun exposure”, states Dr. Britt Kimmins. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk of developing melanoma”. In 2020, it is estimated that the number of melanoma cases is expected to rise.

Protecting children and helping young people develop healthy sun habits are keys to reducing skin cancer rates. Just one blistering sunburn during childhood almost doubles the risk of melanoma. Most of the damage occurs before the age of eighteen.

Dr. Allison Britt Kimmins

“Every one of us – regardless of skin tone or age – will benefit from practicing ‘safe sun precautions”, advises Dr. Britt Kimmins, who makes the following suggestions to enjoy the outdoors safely.

5 Tips to Stay Sun-Safe This Summer – and Year-Round

  1. Stick to your skin-checkup schedule: “Early intervention is essential to stay safe from skin cancer. “When detected and treated early, the 5 year survival rate for melanoma is over 98%. Dr. Britt Kimmins recommends that patients see a dermatologist to establish their baseline level of skin health and identify their level of risk. Scheduling regular annual skin examinations will help to monitor the skin for changes and encourage self-examination. This supports early intervention and effective treatment”.
  2. Make sure that your sunscreen protects you: “People may think they’re protected when they are not”, warns Dr. Britt Kimmins. “We need to apply enough sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours while outside. If swimming or sweating, more frequent reapplication may be necessary. It is important to apply enough sunscreen to all exposed areas including hands, feet, neck, scalp and ears. A one ounce shot glass is the amount needed to cover exposed areas of skin”.
  3. Remember: You need more than sunscreen: “Even if we follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s guidelines”, notes Dr. Britt Kimmins, “and use a water-resistant product that is SPF 30 or higher with full-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, we cannot completely avoid the sun’s rays. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is most direct, we need to be careful: Seek shade and wear protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses”.
  4. Indoor ‘sun’ is just as risky: “Just one indoor tanning session”, Dr. Britt Kimmins emphasizes, “can increase the risk of cancer by almost 70%. Additionally, tanning beds primarily emit UVA rays which penetrate our skin more deeply, further accelerating changes associated with aging”.
  5. Pass safe sun habits on to the next generation: “Protecting children and helping young people develop healthy sun habits are keys to reducing skin cancer rates”, states Dr. Britt Kimmins. Just one blistering sunburn during childhood almost doubles the risk of melanoma. Most of the damage occurs before the age of eighteen. Young people are influenced by the behaviors of their caregivers. We see this, for example, with tanning bed use, which often begins during teen years, in the company of a family member”.

“As we all spend time outdoors this summer, let’s remember our sun-safety suggestions so we can stay healthy now – and skin-cancer-free for years to come”.

About: Allison Britt Kimmins, MD, MPH, is board-certified in dermatology.

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York, New Jersey & PA) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. Come into the beautiful world of Advanced Dermatology P.C..

 

 

 

 

Allergist/Immunologist Dr. David offers tips to combat seasonal allergies and points out differences between allergies and COVID-19

Dr.-David-Erstein-Specialist-In-Allergy-and-Immunology

Coping with spring and summer allergies. With the COVID-19 pandemic sickening many thousands of people, it’s also wise to be aware of key differences in symptoms between seasonal allergies and the coronavirus.

More than 160 years ago, British physician Dr. Charles Harrison Blackley – who suffered from so-called ‘summer colds’ that included sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose – was the first to figure out that plant pollen was the trigger for his symptoms. The many millions of Americans who deal with what’s now known as spring or seasonal allergies (or hayfever) have been searching ever since for the best combination of treatments and tactics to ease these difficult symptoms, says allergist and immunologist David Erstein, MD, of Advanced Dermatology PC.

According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, costing more than $18 billion each year. Clearly, it’s not a small problem. But why do spring allergies occur? Billions of tiny pollen grains – produced by flowers, trees, weeds and grasses as they grow and bloom – blow in the breeze. Some people’s immune systems identify the pollen as a foreign substance – an ‘invader’ to be fought off by unleashing chemicals into the bloodstream called histamines.

This cascade of events can also lead to stuffy nose, red, itchy and swollen eyes, and an itchy roof of the mouth. Spring allergies begin as early as February in many parts of the United States and can last through the summer, depending on where you’re located. That means it’s already time to kick allergy coping strategies into high gear as the thermometer rises and chilly days give way to spring weather.

Dr. David Erstein

With the COVID-19 pandemic sickening ten-thousands of people, it’s also wise to be aware of key differences in symptoms between seasonal allergies and the coronavirus. The two conditions may share several overlapping symptoms, but only COVID-19 can potentially produce body aches, sore throat, severe headache and diarrhea, Dr. Erstein says. “Spring allergies won’t lead to those effects, so if you’re experiencing them, signs point more toward possible COVID-19”, he says. “To be safe, call your doctor”.

 

Getting relief

Perhaps the best way to tackle spring allergy symptoms is to visit a board-certified allergist, a doctor whose training centers on precisely this area, Dr. Erstein advises. This recommendation is even stronger for those who aren’t sure what they’re allergic to, since allergists can identify your particular allergen(s) and optimize treatment choices. Typically, tests that may include a simple blood test or skin prick can screen for dozens of common offenders.

If you suffer from spring allergies, what are the best ways to cope? He suggests trying these tactics:

  •  Take allergy medications: Several types of over-the-counter drugs can prove extremely effective, including antihistamines, which ease congestion as well as itchy, watery eyes; decongestants, which relieve stuffy nose; eye drops, which help itchy, red, watery eyes; and nasal sprays, which make it easier to breathe. For severe allergies, it may take several days for some medications to make a dent in your symptoms. Also, keep in mind that some drugs have side effects such as drowsiness.
  •  Limit outdoor time: It just makes sense that pollen exposure is reduced when you spend less time outside, especially on windy days and during early morning hours, when pollen levels are highest. When you are outdoors, don glasses, sports goggles or sunglasses to keep pollen from blowing into your eyes. Some with allergies also wear filter masks around their nose and mouth while gardening or mowing the grass. Check with your allergist which mask might be most effective for you.
  •  Protect yourself indoors: A few easy measures around your house can cut your exposure to pollen indoors. First, take off your shoes at the door and ask others to do the same, which keeps allergens from dispersing onto your carpets and flooring. Take a shower and wash your hair at night to remove pollen. Close all windows and screens, and use an air conditioner rather than a fan. Vacuum cleaners with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters work much better than others to trap pollens inside, and use clothes dryers rather than line-drying clothing outdoors to minimize pollen collection on your garments.
  •  Stop smoking: Smoking is never a good idea for your health, but smokers typically also suffer worse allergy symptoms than non-smokers.
  •  Get allergy shots: If over-the-counter allergy remedies don’t do the trick, consider allergy shots. Also known as immunotherapy, these shots contain tiny amounts of the allergen you’re allergic to, exposing your immune system to larger amounts over time. The goal is to desensitize your system to the allergen, reducing your symptoms.

“Being proactive on many levels often pays off. Some with seasonal allergies find their symptoms don’t become as severe if they start taking medications at least a week before their typical allergy season begins or by ‘March 1’, whichever is earlier”, Dr. Erstein says. “This way, an accumulation of medication already in your system can buffer your immune system’s response when pollen levels spike”.

 

About Dr. David Erstein

David Erstein, M.D., is board certified and fellowship-trained in allergy and immunology. He has successfully managed & treated thousands of allergy sufferers in the New York area over the past decade

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey), with 13 locations, is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. Come into the world of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

 

 

Seeing Spots: Understanding the Skin Cancer Risks of Moles

Skin-Biopsy-Advanced-Dermatology-PC

For some, they are ‘beauty marks’. But dermatologist Dr. Richard Torbeck, a skin cancer specialist with Advanced Dermatology P.C., says moles demand our attention for health reasons, too: “Monitoring our body’s moles is important to stay alert for melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer”.

Skin cancer outpaces all other cancers combined, according to the nonprofit Skin Cancer Foundation. And melanomas are the most deadly forecast to cause more than 7,000 deaths this year in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. “

If melanoma is not treated early, it can spread to other organs, becoming difficult to treat.

Dr. Richard Torbeck

Dr. Torbeck also adds that there is an increase in thin melanomas which may be the result of importance placed on physician and self/partner skin exams on annual basis at a minimum. Melanoma begins in the skin’s melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing pigment. Moles – medically called ‘nevi’ – are clusters of melanocytes. ‘Moles are normal’, emphasizes Dr. Torbeck. “Almost all of us have them, and most do not become cancerous. But checking for changes is important so that we can act rapidly if a problem develops”.

Having moles is not a cause for alarm. But we need to monitor our moles so that we can take action if needed.

Dr. Richard Torbeck

Most of us have between ten and forty ‘common’ moles, which typically develop from childhood until age 40. Common moles share a range of traits: they’re round and small, no larger than a pencil eraser; they have an even color, usually pink, tan, or brown; and they’re smooth, with a distinct border. A smaller percentage of people also develop atypical – or dysplastic – moles, which are larger and may have an irregular color, surface, or border.

ncreasing melanoma awareness remains important: The CDC reports that rates more than doubled between 1982 and 2011. “Early intervention is key”, emphasizes Dr. Torbeck, noting that the five-year survival rate is 99 percent when cases are treated before they spread to the body’s lymph nodes. “If we add in the fact that about half of melanomas are self-detected, the case for self-checks becomes even more compelling”.

With that in mind, he offers the following advice: 5 Tips to Protect Ourselves from Melanoma.
1. Know your risk level: “Genes and environment contribute to risk”, explains Dr. Torbeck. “Factors include fair skin, childhood sunburns, the presence of atypical moles, more than 50 common moles, and any personal or family history of skin cancer. For those with elevated risk, it’s important to develop an appropriate check-up schedule with your dermatologist. That might be once a year or as frequently as every three months, if there is a combination of factors”.

2. Map your moles: “Early intervention starts with skin awareness”, notes Dr. Torbeck. “The American Academy of Dermatology website has a Body Mole Map that people can print out and use to map their body marks. This is a great first step to establish a baseline reference to check for changes. Photos are also helpful”.

3. Practice the alphabet check: “Do regular self-exams, and think ‘A, B, C, D, E’ to remember the five key factors when inspecting moles”, states Dr. Torbeck. “Asymmetry: an irregular shape. Border: an uneven edge. Color: uneven color. Diameter: changes in size. Evolving: changing over a period of weeks or months. If any of these occurs, we need to see a doctor immediately”.

4. See other changes? Take action!: “It’s not only moles we need to be aware of”, says Dr. Torbeck. “Research shows that seventy percent of melanomas can develop in other areas of our skin, so if we notice changes in skin color or texture or experience itching, oozing or bleeding, it’s vital to see a doctor”.

5. Protect the next generation: “Ninety-five percent of melanomas are linked to UV exposure”, emphasizes Dr. Torbeck. “Early skin exposure is especially damaging. Today’s adults may have grown up before this understanding. But we can make sure the next generation is protected by using sunscreen, covering up, and staying away from indoor tanning devices”.

 

About Dr. Richard Torbeck

Richard Torbeck, MD, is a board-certified and fellowship-trained dermatologist specializing in Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer and cosmetic dermatology at Advanced Dermatology P.C.

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. Come into the beautiful world of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

 

 

 

 

Tattoos May be Cool, but Could Prove Hazardous to Skin and General Health

Dr.-David-Erstein-Specialist-In-Allergy-and-Immunology

Tattoos may seem cool but turning skin into a canvas for artwork, messages and permanent cosmetic designs poses health risks, some of which can prove serious. That’s the word of caution from David Erstein MD, of New York- and New Jersey-based Advanced Dermatology P.C.. He says the tattooing process penetrates the outer and inner layers of skin, paving the way for possible allergic skin reactions, local and systemic infections, rashes, inflammation, scarring, and even a potentially heightened risk for some cancers.

The skin is the largest organ in the body, serving as a barrier to the toxins and bacteria surrounding us in our environment. The tattoo artist breaks down part of this barrier by using a machine that creates literally hundreds of needle pricks in order to inject tiny particles of ink into the dermis – the skin’s inner layer.

Dr. David Erstein, specialist in allergy and immunology

A new tattoo is literally a traumatic injury to the skin, Dr. Erstein says, and, as such, activates the body’s immune system, with white blood cells identifying and attacking the ink particles as foreign invaders. This response can lead to temporary pain and heightened sensitivity in the tattooed area, skin inflammation and itching.

“Even with proper ‘aftercare’ of the tattoo, keloids – scar tissue – may develop at the tattoo site or granulomas, nodules that form around the ink particles, might appear”, Dr. Erstein says. Other possible health complications associated with tattoos include:

  •  Engorgement of lymph nodes with ink particles.
  •  Infections that can prove aggressive or dangerous if not promptly treated
  •  Allergic reactions, such as swelling and rashes
  •  Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease affecting primarily the lymph glands and lungs, and
  •  Lichen planus, a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder.

Individuals with pre-existing skin conditions like psoriasis need to be particularly careful before proceeding with a tattoo, Dr. Erstein indicates. In about 25 percent of psoriasis cases, a tattoo may prompt growth of psoriasis-like lesions on or around the tattoo site.

Meanwhile, tattooing has gone from ‘exceptional’ to mainstream, with four in 10 adults between the ages of 18 and 69 in the United States now sporting some type of picture, design or message on their skin, according to a 2017 Statista Survey.

The widespread acceptance of tattoos – even in the workplace – leaves scientists feeling increasingly uneasy about tattoos’ potential long-term effects, especially health complications that may be related to contaminants – like titanium dioxide – common to tattoo pigments. Some of these pigments are also used in print toner and car paints, and the toxins in them have proven carcinogenic to animals, but not humans – yet, Dr. Erstein says.

Choosing a reputable, licensed tattoo artist and ensuring that inking needles are correctly sterilized are obvious, first-step recommendations. Equal in importance, however, is the follow-up attention a patient should give a new tattoo to minimize complications.

Dr. David Erstein

Authors of a study published in a September 2017 issue of Scientific Reports express concern about how nanoparticles of pigment toxins found in the lymph nodes of tattooed individuals might behave in the body. These particles were less than 1 percent the width of a human hair. Earlier research, described in the British Journal of Dermatology, indicates that pigment nanoparticles travel beyond the immediate tattoo site and may be toxic to nerves and brain.

“Tattoo inks are unregulated by any government agency,” Dr. Erstein says. Does that mean tattoos should be avoided? “Not necessarily,” Dr. Erstein says, “but people must first carefully weigh the pros and cons of a tattoo and then, perhaps, talk to their physician before proceeding, especially if they have an underlying skin condition or immune system disorder”.

Choosing a reputable, licensed tattoo artist and ensuring that inking needles are correctly sterilized are obvious, first-step recommendations. Equal in importance, however, is the follow-up attention a patient should give a new tattoo to minimize complications. Dr. Erstein offers these care tips:

  •  Keep a new tattoo covered with a sterile gauze or bandage for at least the first day.
  •  Gently clean the tattoo area daily with plain soap and water; moisturize it several times a day for a couple weeks following application.
  •  Don’t expose a new tattoo to the sun until it is completely healed.
  •  Avoid swimming or immersion in pools, hot tubs or bodies of water to minimize chances of infecting the wound.
  •  Don’t scratch an itchy tattoo and let any scabs that form to heal on their own.
  •  Contact a physician if the tattoo site remains red, swelled, itchy or painful after more than a week or 10 days of recovery time.

Bio: Dr. David Erstein, is board-certified in allergy and immunology and internal medicine, at Advanced Dermatology P.C.. Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. Come into the world of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

 

 

 

 

Underarm Odor Banned with Newly Cleared FDA Treatment

Underarm-Odor-GIF-min

It’s a smelly problem no one wants but millions of people cope with: severe underarm sweat and odor. But the advent of a newly FDA-cleared device to permanently eradicate glands causing the condition is cause for celebration among those who have suffered its negative impact on their body, clothing and self-esteem, according to dermatology specialists Joshua L. Fox, MD, and Meryl Joerg, MD, of Advanced Dermatology P.C..

Everyone sweats, but this universal human condition is only a problem for some. About 3% of Americans produce copious amounts of sweat in places such as the underarms due to hyperhidrosis – a medical term loosely translated as ‘excessive water’. Hyperhidrosis causes excessive and unpredictable sweating, even during cool temperatures and when affected individuals are at rest.

Under the arms, in particular, pooling sweat can lead to overwhelming smell – despite the use of strong antiperspirants, extra-absorbent shirts or other measures – as odor-causing bacteria latch onto the secretions, says Dr. Fox, Advanced Dermatology’s medical director.

It’s wonderful to now have an easy-to-use device that so effectively eliminates the sources of underarm sweat and offensive body odor. Using miraDry offers hope to those whose sweat and odor issues have prevented them from being confident at work or school or stopped them from feeling clean and carefree in their daily lives.

Drs. Joshua L. Fox

Receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance in November 2016 to tout its odor-reduction capabilities, miraDry is now the first and only FDA-cleared device for the non-invasive treatment of underarm odor. But how does the procedure work?

Delivering localized heat – precisely controlled microwave energy – to the armpit area, miraDry destroys both types of glands that lead to sweaty, smelly underarms: the eccrine and apocrine glands, Dr. Joerg explains. The procedure is quick, taking only about an hour in a doctor’s office. First, the underarm area is numbed by a topical anesthetic. Then the miraDry handpiece is placed on the skin and aligned with a personalized ‘treatment template’ guiding where the microwave energy will be applied. Patients feel a slight suction as the handpiece is turned on and glands are brought closer to the surface for maximum results. Soothing cooling is applied to the skin throughout the procedure.

Dr. Fox explains, “Studies demonstrate that results last up to 2 years and are likely permanent as sweat glands do not regenerate”. “When those glands are destroyed, they don’t come back – so miraDry represents a permanent solution to an exasperating, embarrassing problem”, Dr. Joerg confirms. More than 80,000 people have been treated with miraDry worldwide, and the procedure comes with a well-established safety and effectiveness profile.

What to ask before undergoing miraDry

Before deciding to undergo miraDry, Drs. Fox and Joerg suggest that patients be proactive about educating themselves about the procedure. They offer several key questions to ask doctors:

  • How often have you performed miraDry? Have you been specially trained in the procedure?
  • What other options might you suggest I use to combat my specific case of underarm odor and sweat?
  • How should I handle miraDry’s side effects, which can include swelling, soreness and bruising after the procedure?
  • How much downtime will I have from work and other activities after miraDry?

“For years we have found that this treatment for the hyperhidrosis also eliminated the bad smelling odor (Bromhidrosis). It’s great to finally have FDA approval for this common and debilitating problem”, adds Dr. Fox.

 

About Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D.

Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., is the founder and medical director at Advanced Dermatology P.C. He is a leading authority in the field of dermatology with expertise in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures and is program director of a fellowship in laser and cosmetic surgery. Come int the beautiful world of  Drs Joshua L. Fox

About Meryl Joerg, MD

Meryl Joerg, M.D., is board certified and specialize in dermatology at Advanced Dermatology P.C.

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. Come into the beautiful world of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

 

 

 

 

What You Don’t Know About Sunscreen Can Hurt You; Dermatologist Drs. Joshua L. Fox Provide Tips for Summer Skin Safety

Drs-Joshua-L-Fox-min

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Yet despite the well-documented and well-publicized association between sun exposure and skin cancer, only 30% of adults report that they apply sunscreen when exposed to the sun. Among teenagers who are outside for more than an hour on a sunny day, only 14% of girls and 7% of boys regularly use sunscreen.

This data is extremely disappointing. The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. And despite the widespread promotion of best practices for prevention, the incidence of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, has been increasing for thirty years. We can’t prevent all sun exposure but there are simple steps we can take to minimize the risk.

Drs. Joshua L. Fox, Medical Director of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

Everyone knows the basics of skin protection – stay out of the sun between 10:00am and 4:00pm, wear a hat and other protective clothing, and use sunscreen. But there are hundreds of brands and varieties of sunscreens, not to mention the confusion caused by SPF ratings and advertising claims. Dr. Fox sorts through the issues and answers your questions about sunscreen:

Why is sunscreen so important? Does everyone need it? All the time?
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a known cause of skin cancer. Two types of rays, UVA and UVB, damage DNA in ways that cause cells to grow out of control and become cancerous. Sunscreen serves an important protective function by blocking or absorbing ultraviolet rays. It should be used by everyone – dark-skinned as well as fair-skinned people – all year round, even on overcast days, when as much as 80% of the sun’s rays pass through the clouds.

What about SPF ratings? What do I need?
The sun protection factor (SPF) rating is a measure of how long it will take for protected skin to burn compared to unprotected skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher for everyday activity and SPF 30 or higher for intense or prolonged exposure. Individuals with higher-than-average risk – those with a personal or family history of skin cancer and those with particularly fair skin and hair – can get some additional protection from SPF factors up to 50. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence of additional protection above SPF 50.

Children are even more vulnerable to sun damage than adults. A blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles the risk of developing melanoma later in life.

Drs. JosHua L. Fox

Is there anything else I should look for on the sunscreen label?
SPF is a measure of protection from UVB rays. To be protected from UVA as well, it’s important to choose a sunscreen labeled ‘broad spectrum’, which offers protection from both types of radiation.

How – and how often – should sunscreen be applied?
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside to give the skin a chance to absorb it. Reapply at least every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating. Use about an ounce – the amount in a shot glass – to cover all exposed skin and pay particular attention to the more delicate skin on the face. Every time you apply sunscreen, also apply lip balm with SPF of 30 or above. And don’t depend on cosmetics or facial moisturizer for protection from prolonged exposure.

Is last year’s sunscreen still effective?
Sunscreen is generally effective for two to three years. Check the expiration date on the container. Store it in a cool place.

Sunscreen is a key element of a sun protection program, but it isn’t enough. You should stay out of the sun when rays are strongest, cover up with clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, and wear UV-blocking sunglasses. With some common sense precautions, you can enjoy all the pleasures of the great outdoors.

Drs. Joshua L. Fox

What about babies?
Children are even more vulnerable to sun damage than adults. A blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles the risk of developing melanoma later in life. Infants under six months old should be kept out of the sun entirely and well protected with a hat and clothing anytime they are outdoors. For babies older than six months, use sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher, 30 or higher if they spend a lot of time outdoors or are fair-skinned.

Are sunscreen sticks effective? The new drinkable sunscreen?
Sticks are fine and particularly convenient for children. They offer another choice along with lotions, creams, gels and sprays. Drinkable sunscreen, on the other hand, should be avoided! It purports to have ingredients that ward off UV rays and prevent them from penetrating the skin. There is no research or evidence to support the claims and dermatologists recommend against using it.

 

About Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D.

Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., is the founder and medical director at Advanced Dermatology P.C. He is a leading authority in the field of dermatology with expertise in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures and is program director of a fellowship in laser and cosmetic surgery. Come int the beautiful world of  Drs Joshua L. Fox

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. Come into the beautiful world of Advanced Dermatology P.C.